Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Ive Lost My Much-ness, I Used To Be Much More Muchier

There is always someone worse off than yourself; interesting statement and when used correctly its good to sit back and put things into perspective because we all have a tendency to get wrapped up in our own petty arguments, niggles and lives. Thinking about what makes me most happy can also bring perspective as can reading books, opening a newspaper or thinking about people like my brother-in-law that will be heading out to Afghan to fight for his country leaving behind my heartbroken sister and nephew for 6 months; But this isn't a good phrase to use when overcoming a mental illness as knowing that there are people worse off doesn't directly help my problems and adds to the guilt factor.
lets make something else clear... I don't wallow in self pity - yes I write about it but i don't discuss it and quite frankly its my right to seek help and feel shit about feeling shit.

SOME people think that depression is an attention seeking illness. This I find hard to understand - why would someone want to go from being a fun loving party gal with a HUGE social network to hiding away? Another argument Id like to put forward is that if someone is depressed and they are finding it hard to communicate then what is wrong with seeking attention? Surely the BEST thing a depressed person can do is seek some attention to help overcome the illness? When I'm feeling low I hide away from attention and do everything I can to hide the fact that I'm feeling low. This is partly because I don't know how else to deal with it and because you don't want to burden other people. I would argue that its anything but attention seeking and more about hiding the suffering....and in my case making it worse. Add a few issues into the equation and BAM! You hit crisis point.

Let me make something else clear. BiPolar is NOT a fashion statement and the last thing you need is people thinking you are a fake attention seeking, psycho. Why would someone want to fake a mental illness and even if you could (which I doubt the best actress could) Its loaded with stigma, why the fuck would someone want to do that? Just a thought but would faking a mental illness signify a mental illness?

So lets move on... I'm definitely a dust yourself off and get on with your life kind of girl. I rarely dwell on things that are out of my control. I put my party shoes on, grab my mates and hit nearest gay club. I get absolutely wankered, talk shit and dance. I basically have two speeds; High and very low. The past is always with us so I guess its time to stop running so i can enjoy middle age. Lets be honest, a "normal" person has bad habits. There are people I know that are rude and obnoxious, there are others that are arrogant and bitchy. I have a chemical imbalance and hope that I'm none of the above I'm seeking help to turn my life around...what are the "normal" peoples excuse for acting like a complete c***?

Like recovering alcoholics who avoid drinking or diabetics who take insulin, healthy lifestyle choices for bipolar disorder are a must along with finding out my triggers and patterns. It doesn't mean that I will never go out again BUT maybe its the wake up call i need to grow up a bit. I will still have my holiday to Jamaica and Corfu. I will definitly do my annual trip to sitges (my happy place). I will have some weekends in Manchester and Im sure that you will still find me dancing at 5am in Cruz 101. Im not going to run off to my local convent and become a nun and I will still social drink (once Im used to the meds) BUT I have to give up the binge drinking. BiPolar and drinking seem to go hand in hand...Did you know that up to 60% of people with BiPolar struggle with alcoholism or substance abuse? But I need to find things to replace my bad habits with.

I have been shown an over whelming amount of support with this and the few people that I feel havent are in the minority. Ive said it before and I will say it again...I treat people with the same respect as they treat me. I havent asked for anything and I wont be asking for anything, I seeked help off my own back. I don't expect people to understand but I do expect some respect. If I haven't been in touch its not because im being rude...Im focusing on getting better and surrounding myself in a positive environment. If that looks selfish then so be it. I need to get out of my cycle; I lie in bed, I cry, I feel sad and then I get help cos I know its not right and everytime I feel sad I sink that little bit lower. I get help but its still there only this time I hide it because I want everyone to think Im alright. But its not fine and IM not fine...Im a roller coaster ride of emotions. Slowly I start to feel better the dark mist lifts and I feel happy. I love my life and I love the world. Then CRASH! The cycle starts again....

I'm not saying that people lives should stop because Im unwell or for the world to revolve around me BUT, what goes around will come back around and there will be a time when you need that support back. BiPolar is a lifetime illness but depression can happen to anyone so think very carefully before you judge me. depression can happen to the happiest person on earth so don't think your immune...cos your not!

Its my birthday in a couple of days and I have decided to ignore it and anyone that knows me will know that this is very unlike me. I love birthdays and especially love mine. I was going to have a "Dont be gay be a ganster" themed party at a local club but its all come around very quickly and I dont think its right to go out (especially as i dont have the willpower to not get absolutly wasted). Im not cancelling because I want to hide away...I just want to prove to myself that even though my bday is on easter weekend I can have a good day without drinking a ridiculous amount of alcohol. I know people care and I appreciate the effort that the lovely Joel was going to but I dont think a massive night out will do me any good.

Im feeling really good today. I might look like a pile of shit but Im feeling well. the medication is not particully agreeing with me but I need to stick with it for now. Jamaica is two weeks away and this winter seems to have gone on forever. Sunshine is medicine for the soul!


  1. Janice, people feel uncomfortable. People may even mock these things to make them less threatening. Research by the Mental Health Foundation found that 56% of people suffering from mental distress had experienced discrimination by family and 51% said they had experienced discrimination by friends. These experiences include name calling, not being taken seriously, being told to ‘pull yourself together’ and being ‘dropped’ or avoided. If people are making you feel bad then walk away and don't give them anymore of your thoughts. I went through it and I was avoided by so many people. 5 years on they are no longer in my life. This is there loss and you will be in the same situation my dear. Have fun on your holiday.

  2. Watch this video Janice.

    Your "friends" sound like my "friends". Im glad its only a few people that have been ignorant/selfish. You are a strong lady. Remember that. There are FRIENDS that you party with, there are FRIENDS that you share secrets with, there are FRIENDS that celebrate your bday with you and FRIENDS that help you through this.