At first I didn’t like you. I didn’t like coming in a group where everyone was talking in turns. Several times I have been at home before a meeting and thought to myself ‘I do not want to go tonight’. Some of those times I went, others I didn’t. My husband is the reason of that. He helped me take the decisions I couldn’t. Like going to a meeting or not.
I have realised that I need this group. I need to feel that I am not all alone with my illness. And I need to practice to verbalise how I feel. You are good at that. You do something special for me. And this place is like a quiet hiding place in the sea of normality.
I came here after a psychosis and in the middle of a depression. While I have been here, I have gotten worse and I have gotten better again. While I have been here I have left the hallucinations behind, I have relearned how to bike in narrow spaces, and I have have regained the ability to have conversation.
Thanks for hearing me out. I really needed to say this. I like you now.
Over and out.
Some weeks ago I sat outside with a friend. We talked about illnesses and mine in particular. I had just been told that I should count on taking meds the rest of my life (people kept asking for how long I would be on meds and I didn’t know so I asked). I had been and am still surprised. My friend wasn’t. Her face went also sour when I say something in the lines of ‘I’m not that ill’. She is a really good friend of mine and do tell me off when I need it. I had to look away. “You really don’t think so?!” Well maybe, I don’t know.. I just thought that the average other had it worse.
It is really hard for me to judge the seriousness of my own situation and of others. My head strives after a pattern that can make it make sense to me. Maybe even an other system than the one I have. The one a navigate from now says if people are hurting, it is bad and if people are not hurting, it is good. My understanding of mental illness is like a child’s.
Over and out.
I have been there. I have been the friend and I have been the depressed. Each role has its challenges. It is hard for everyone.
My story as a friend started years ago and it hasn’t ended. In this time it has changed who the depressed friend is. Each case is individual but I found that in all cases my friend needed me to listen. So I tried. I tried to listen and to be supportive. Before my last depression I didn’t understand that I could have helped them by lifting some of the weight of their shoulders for instance by doing their grocery shopping. I know that now.
I have heard (from an article by a psychiatrist) that it is important to familiarise yourself with the illness, remind that it is only temporary and take the initiative to go and do something. These are things I would have liked to know years ago so I could have been a better friend.
While i exoect understanding of my friends, I am much more demanding when it comes to my family. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must have been (and still is) for them. What I demand of my family is unfair. I expect that they support me, hold me when I cry, and help me with practical stuff. Basically everything. It is not a spoken demand, but the problem is that I simply can’t do it by myself.
I feel with my friends and family but while I’m in the darkness I can’t think of anyone else but me. And even that is too much. I wish I didn’t burden them so much. But my wishes do not do the dishes or clean at home.
All those tears, all those dishes and dinners and grocery shopping, all those calls on my behalf (I have a hard time making a phone call when i am depressed). My loved ones really work hard. For me. Thank you.
Over and out.
I feel that maybe I should explain where I am coming from. Explain that I have bipolar disorder. I do. I have bipolar type 1, which means that I get lows in form of depressions and highs in form of mania – and then I get mixed episodes and rapid cycles where I either have symptoms of lows and highs at the same time or, in rapid cycles, shift from high to low within a short period of time for instance within a day, days or weeks.
I have had depressions and manic periods I have had a psychosis and paranoia. It all fucks up the brain. I used to call it a small brain damage before I thought of people with brain damage and stopped in respect (and in the political correctness that I only practise from time to time).
In Denmark, 2-3% of the population develop bipolar during their lifetime (I live in Denmark and that is why I have this statistic).
My psychologist (who it is link to my psychiatrist) have told me that bipolar disorder can be understood at waves. In the middle of these waves is a horizontal, neutral area, which is the “normal” mood. As soon as your mood moves out of the “normal” area, is it a bipolar episode. I like that description. It made me understand the different between emotions and moods.
I used to be a energetic (in my neutral and hypomanic periods) girl, but that has been over and done with for a while. These days I am getting more and more neutral, but I still can’t follow the news, I get stressed if there is more than one other person in the room, I say weird stuff that doesn’t make sense, and I forget dates, places, and what I am saying. I wish it was different. I wish I could find a job and keep it, I wish I could maintain my relationships with my friends, I wish I could volunteer, and I wish I could become neutral.
Over and out.