JUNE 2019 MENTAL HEALTH REFLECTION

Hi all,

It’s that time where I ‘think out loud’ again. If May 2019 was the month I filled with friendships, June was the opposite. I just isolated myself. I’ve found it really hard to be around anyone, even myself most days. To be completely honest, I’ve really struggled this month.

I haven’t really told anyone, apart from Brad, what’s been going on recently, I guess I kind of hoped I would snap out of it. How naive of me. I guess this is a sort of confession to myself and to anyone reading it, that I am not okay. I try so hard ‘to be normal’. I don’t let myself have bipolar. If anyone else said to me they were having a bad MH day/week/month/year, I would listen and support them if I could. Why can’t I do that for myself? How can I advocate for MH and its awareness, if I hide all my symptoms?

I was discharged from my MH services in June 2018 when I moved home from university (I was actually supposed to be referred to my local MH team where I live, but the system just kind of broke down).

I was in a really good place mentally when I left university, I was ready to take on new challenges and be the one guiding my MH for once. I was prepared to show everyone I had learned from those years of therapy and that I can finally regulate my mood. Of course, it helped that I had a good combination of meds behind me too, I was stable.

All things considered, I would say I’ve done pretty well. Being stable doesn’t mean I don’t have bipolar anymore, I would still have highs and lows, but they were manageable. Yet, here we are nearly a whole year later, and I’m back to square one.

It hasn’t been this much of a struggle for a while. I racked up this years’ grand total of doctors appointments in three weeks: 5. It might not seem a lot to some, but for me, it feels like a giant step backwards. It is not a bad thing to ask for help, I know that. If anything, I encourage it! I’m just a lot harder on myself than anyone else.

My big stormy cloud has come (I always used weather analogies with my flatmates) and I’ve tried for over six months to shake it, but the fog won’t shift. I finally admitted I wasn’t okay out loud and I’m back on the Fluoxetine.

On a positive, for the first time in my life EVER, my local GP took me seriously when I spoke openly about my MH, first time! He agreed I need more support, so I’m being referred back to my CMHT (again). He said that I’m doing absolutely everything I can to get better, but it is my brain that’s fighting me. It was reassuring to hear it’s not my actions making me worse, just my brain.

Admittedly, this episode has been kind of a wake-up call. I knew I had bipolar, but I didn’t realise how much bipolar had me. I knew it is something I will have with me for life, but I never really thought about a LIFE with it. At the time of a bad episode, you wish for it to end, but the very nature of it means it won’t be your last and you could be back in the same place, just at a different time.

As I write this, I’m only just over a week into taking the Fluoxetine consistently again. Obviously, nothing has changed yet but I’m feeling more hopeful that things this time next month will be different.

Despite the lows, this month has brought, I’ve been looking forward to going away for a few days at the start of July. A much-needed break.

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