Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Time to get serious.

Title says it all really, its time for me to get serious for a minute.  I realised over the last week that in the last 18 months I have made some of the most blundering bad decisions of my life, and that is saying something.  Some of the choices I have made have been financial and emotional suicide, and inevitably cost me dearly.  I do have to confess that I believe this to be what I now know as a symptom of my Bipolar Disorder.

As some people know, me and medication go together like chocolate and mud, in other words we dont! I have binned my meds more times than people have had hot dinners!

After much soul searching I have to be honest with myself in that I dont want to continue to live this way, I think I need a very big lifestyle shake up and more importantly I need to take this illness a lot more seriously than I have been doing.

It is not going to go away, I have to take medication, I have to help myself, I have to attend my medical appointments, I have to do the right things for my mind and body.  These are things I simply HAVE to do, not to make life easier but to survive.  Sadly, I havent been doing any of them.

I went to see my GP yesterday and he was amazingly helpful, and much to my surprise very understanding and considerate.  We have agreed on a plan forward and he has offered me some new medication, which I have agreed to take, these meds are rather cutting edge in that they are not 'usually' prescribed for Bipolar, but research in the US shows that they are having amazing results on Bipolar sufferers and it does seem to be emerging as a bit of a wonder treatment, I am feeling hopeful!

2010 has been the worst year of my life, professionally, emotionally, personally, financially.  If I dont get serious and take this illness seriously I dont know where I will end up, but I know it wont be pretty.  So I make my pledge to myself to do the right thing, I commit to the medication and the 'right' actions to help myself, as much as it loathes me, Bipolar and I are going to have to work together if this thing is going to work at all.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Faith in Myself.

I have been doing some thinking about Faith in the last couple of days and it occurs to me that one area I have lost Faith is in myself.  I am not talking about confidence here or self esteem or anything like that, but simple Faith in me.

Over the years of my mental illness I have looked everywhere for something to put my Faith in, doctors, medication, friends, family, books, groups, counselling, the list goes on!  One area I never tried to put Faith into was myself.

When I look back over some of the things I have survived I really should have more Faith in myself, I mean, I have managed to get through so much with Gods grace, I am still standing today.  I think that over the last few years, and particularly this year Life seems to have kicked all the Faith right out of me.  I have been devastated about the loss of my Mother, blighted with physical illness most of the year, failed to find the right medication to help my mental illness, been diagnosed with Bipolar and hit some pretty severe financial problems, yes this year has dealt me some pretty heavy blows.

I think its time I put just a little Faith in me, I know that if I do, with Gods help I can make it.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Self Care.

This week I came to realise that I have sorely neglected myself practically all year in many different areas, what with illness, death and other tragic circumstances I have given little time to myself.  I had been contemplating a memorial tattoo for some time now and this week I felt I had really come to a decision about what I wanted.  So, I had the tattoo you see in the picture done yesterday, the writing is Irish Gaelic and means My Mother ~ My Heart a sentiment that I very much wanted to convey in the whole piece or artwork, it spans the inside of my right forearm and I am absolutely delighted with the result.

This inspired me to take a look at another issue sorely neglected this year, my hair!  I havent had it trimmed for well over 9 months now and it was really looking a disgrace, so this morning I trundled off to my trusty hairdresser and she gave me a well deserved and much overdue funky radical new hairstyle.  Again, I am delighted with the result and feel so much better.

I have been reflecting over the last hour or so about how much depression takes out of me, I neglect myself so badly, for such long periods of time, its heartbreaking really when I think about it.

But, on a very positive note, the self care I have practised this week has made me feel so much better about myself and I end this week very much on a great, positive and confident level.

YAY me!!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Today I want to write about medication.  I havent wrote on my blog for a few weeks, I have to confess I have been concentrating on withdrawing from all my medication.

I began taking Prozac some 15+ years ago.  It has done nothing for me over the years, oh except a 70lb weight gain of course!  Other than that, it has help me in no way at all.  There have been several times over the years that I have tried to withdraw from this medication, but I have always had to go back on it, this bothers me.

When I was prescribed the Lithium along with the Prozac I was so desperate I gave it a go, the combo initially seemed to work, days 3-7 were amazing, but oh.my.goodness day 8+ I began to feel very suicidal.  I quickly decided that I had to withdraw from both medications and quickly.

The trouble is, where does that leave me now?!  I have informed the Psychiatrist that I dont want any more medications and he promptly took me off his patient list!!  That tells me that medication is all he has.

If I could go back in time and have the information I have now, I would have never started taking any medication, I dont believe it to be the answer in my case, I am not saying that this is the case for everyone, but for me it has done diddly-squat!!

There is no one out there who can help me, there are no tablets I can take that is going to make me feel alright, so what do I do now? I dont know.  But I do know that I dont want to take any more medication, for now thats really all I have.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Why didnt God save me?

I think of myself as a Survivor.  As I look back over my life there are many times I have asked the question Why?, why was I in the wrong place at the wrong time? why does this happen to me? why me? etc.

I will give you a very brief example of some of the things I mean.  I have survived extreme bullying throughout my school life, I have survived 10 years living with my Brother and Sisters heroin addiction (in the same house) where they stole every possession I had and countless other related traumas, I have survived a sexual assault, I have survived alcohol abuse, I have survived Bipolar, I have survived 2 serious suicide attempts, I have survived chronic body image issues and vast weight gain and I am currently going through the grief of my beloved Mothers traumatic and untimely death.

When I became a Christian in 2008 I began to question why? Why did I have to go through all that? wasnt I a good person?

It is only slowly has the answer become clear to me.  God DID save me, he saved me from all those things, he got me through them, he made me stronger.  And I truly believe He did all that for a reason, but that reason will become clear in His time, not mine.

I know that what God brought me to, he brought me through and he walks beside me all the way.  I know that all the horrific and traumatic events I have experienced I may now use to help others in similar situations.

I am not fluffing this up by the way, all of those experiences were devastating and nearly broke me several times, I didnt feel at the time that God was with me, I didnt feel that it would all be worth it in the long run, at the time of these things happening to me I was distraught, heartbroken, desolate, alone.

But I feel a strong sense now that God really did save me, he really did save me for a reason and I await the day that He shows me, finally, why.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Me, Myself and I.

Todays blog is a piece I wrote as a guest blogger for a Twitter friend of mine, Voice in Recovery, I thought I would share it with my own readers, its a very personal and poignant piece for me, very honest and was quite hard to write in places.  But here it is:

I am a 37 year old woman, I live in the stunning Yorkshire Countryside in the North of England.
I will briefly give you an overview of my younger years which sadly were filled with loneliness due to merciless bullying throughout my school life. Whilst I never really thought I was too badly affected psychologically I can now see it had a rather profound impact on me in the years to come, I was mocked for everything from the way I walked, the way I talked to my flame red hair and geeky glasses.
I left school and began to flourish, I got a good job and became interested in fashion and cosmetics, even training at night school to be a make up artist.  I was really developing in my late teens and without very much effort at all I developed a great sense of style to go with my media perfect size UK 10 figure.
I became quite the socialite, I had complete confidence in my looks, I believed myself to be truly beautiful, I invested in myself, the best clothes, the best hairdresser, the latest make up, beauty treatments etc.. When I walked into a room I wanted everyone to notice me.
I had a good long run at this, around 10 years to be precise, and I never once let up on my socialising.  However I was beginning to become quite unhappy, and my behaviour was beginning to change, to cut a very long story short I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression at 29 and my GP gave me Fluoxetine (prozac) to counteract the symptoms that were occuring.  I took the tablets without question, but the depression deepened and I became darker and more isolated and moody.
Over the next 2/3 years my body began to change in quite dramatic fashion, I began to put on a lot of weight.  I was at a loss as to why this was happening, my diet hadnt changed, nothing had changed, so why?! why was this happening to me?! My confidence was sinking fast and as quick as I was buying new clothes, I was bursting out of them again.
Something had to give.  So my body hatred began!  I began searching out the 'best' ways to lose weight, by this of course I mean the quickest!  And so began 2/3 years of what I can only describe as sheer Hell.  Atkins diet, cabbage soup diet, south beach diet, weightwatchers, slimming world, not to mention the other practices I was indulging in, bingeing, purging, 'detox' days, fasting, slimming tablets.  You name it, I can guarantee I tried it, all to no avail, the weight was still creeping on and by now I was a virtual recluse.
My weight finally stableised and my dress size was now a UK 20, twice what I had once been and I despised myself. I went again to my GP who told me I was now classed as 'clinically obese' I cried for 3 days solid about that statement.
When I looked in the mirror I saw a monster, I couldnt find clothes to look right, I never went out socialising any more, I had stopped wearing make up and I was extremely depressed.
One particular day I came across a book by Marilyn Wann called Fat? So! I was intrigued by the title and delved into the book. It changed my life.
Marilyn Wann is a 'Size Activist', someone who believes in health at ANY size.  The book was a revelation to me, this woman was saying its ok to be FAT??!?!  She was saying just be HEALTHY, eat well, exercise and take care of yourself but dont worry about your weight.  This was totally alien to me and whilst at that point I didnt believe her I began to read more books by these 'Size Activists'.
I began to realise that much of the weight gain was due to my depression medication and since it had now been determined I would have to be medicated for life I was going to have to get used to this bigger body.  I knew I had been abusing my body terribly for the last few years with the fad diets and diet pills etc, and vowed there and then to stop.
I threw away my scales and put my faith into these 'Size Activists' and how my life transformed!  Today I eat well, I exercise well and I take good care of my body on the inside and out.  Yes, I am still Fat but you know what?  I am proud of my body just the way it is today.  I no longer put off socialising, I buy nice clothes that suit my new shape, I eat out, I dance, I cycle and I laugh.  All things I thought I would never, ever be able to do again until I was thin.
Today I myself am a Size Activist, I preach the Gospel that its ok to be Fat, its ok to be Thin, its ok to be YOU, just accept yourself and be kind to your body.
My hang ups with my body were never about anyone else accepting me, they were about ME accepting me and I have managed to achieve that with the help of some very special ladies within the Size Positive Community, I am indebted to them and hope that my words and actions will reach out to at least one person who felt the way I did, and show them that they are beautiful just as they are today, that their body is amazing today and that being kind to themselves will be the greatest gift they can give themselves.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Lifting the Veil.

Today I have been taking Lithium for 14 days.  Its been a strange old revelation for me really, and one which is very difficult to describe but I will try.  I was advised that Lithium would work in around 7 days, that was quite accurate, I began to feel differently in around 5 days, the best way I can describe this feeling is like a veil being lifted from my mind, I know that will sounds quite difficult to comprehend so I will try to further describe.  What I thought was, isnt.  What I thought wasnt, is.  I am finding *that* fact the most difficult to come to terms with right now.  In other words, Bipolar had killed reality for me, my sense of perception was warped and twisted and false.  I have spent many, many years in the Bipolar prison before I even knew what it was, and now because of the medication I am finding the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts.  I see more clearly the things I clung to for survival in depression: alcohol, bad relationships, sour family relationships, and it hurts to know how much precious time and energy I have wasted.

I am not really experiencing any side effects, the odd bit of nausea, my internal thermometer is a bit haywire but I can live with that, amazingly it is not the physical side effects that are bothering me, its this 'lifting of the veil'.

Maybe time will help me get things into persepctive and help me to find a true reality, for now I do feel hurt and a litte confused.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Lithium Musings.

When my Psychiatrist first offered me Lithium some 2 months ago, my immediate reaction was 'give it to me now' 'ill try anything' 'I just want to feel well' he very sensibly advised me to go home, research the drug, read up on it and give myself a good 4-6 weeks to decide whether or not to take it.

I did this and very quickly changed my mind about Lithium, the horror stories I read on the internet were awful, I searched and searched and searched endlessly and can honestly say I think I read just one positive review of the drug.  I soon decided that I was absolutely not going to take it, this in itself sunk me back into a deep depression.

Last week, realising I cannot stick my head in the sand any longer I went back to my Psychiatrist and very cautiously discussed my fears about Lithium, I told him what I had read and why I was now against taking the drug.  He was wonderful and discussed all my fears and concerns, we talked for a long time and in the end he said to me 'just what do you have to lose?' and I realised I had nothing to lose!  I couldnt carry on any longer the way I was.

So, with a heavy heart and a deep sense of trepidation I took the prescription for the Lithium and 6 days ago began taking it.

That 6 days have been a revelation to me, I have suffered no side effects whatsoever, aside from a little nausea on Saturday when I got too hot, I have been feeling good.  The most amazing thing is, I am beginning to feel much better, I can almost feel my mood lifting and I hardly dare believe it.

All the reports I read on vomiting, shaking, hand tremors etc I have not experienced.  I may be the exception to the rule but I now think that the Internet is showing biased experiences.

Its like someone is starting to lift a veil in my brain, so hard to explain after feeling this way for so long, but I know I am feeling better, being one of natures pessimists I am just hoping it continues, but so far, so very good for me!

I will, of course, keep you updated on my progress but for now, I am very hopeful that this could well be the wonder cure my Psychiatrist told me it would be!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


Hi friends and welcome to my new blog!  I have had a blog before, but sadly I have a nasty habit of deleting them when I feel depressed, however, I do promise not to do this again!

I decided on the name as my beloved Mum always used to call me Dolly Daydream, and as I am a doll collector and certainly a daydreamer, I thought it would be a good name for the blog.

Please feel free to follow me, comment or contribute anytime.

God bless x