9 November 2015
Following on from the success of Bipolarcoaster, showing the pain, mania, cycles and stumbling blocks to recovery, 'Forever Enduring Cycles', will begin where Bipolarcoaster left off. Recovery has been hard, but strength has been born from hardship. When you are diagnosed with a condition, that will last a life time, you hear the words, you understand, at its most basic level, what you have, but really, you have no idea of the consequences, that follow a diagnosis, that took years to achieve and a developing illness that changes direction all the time. You can of course make yourself aware of what to expect and have a rough idea where your life will travel, but in reality, until you truly experience the onslaught, that Manic Depression throws your way, you can never have a real concept as to the reality that is Bipolar.
Mental Illness is in itself a difficult and challenging concept to get your head around and unless you have the right Doctors and Consultants in place to help you through a process that is unpredictable and forever changing, then you really do feel alone and at the mercy of a condition, that many claim to have, few offer explanations and even fewer experience, in its pure unrelenting form. Bipolarcoaster documented a very difficult period in my life, when a life time of anguish and pain reached a head and the resulting mayhem is clearly documented for everyone to see, not in a clinical sense, but in a deeply personal blog from myself, as I tried to explore what was going on, the different cycles that rocked my world and the changes that remain stamped on my heart as a permanent reminder of some of the strangest and difficult times, that were not only destructive for me and those around me, but also a time of laughter, extremes and a longing for a new, as yet untried future.
I never realised, just how powerful the written word can be. When I started blogging, it was really a way for me to work out what was going on in my mind. Each person who suffers with Bipolar, copes in their own unique way. I believe Bipolar to be, not only a burden, but also something to cherish and explore. Like myself, those who suffer, also have some wonderfully creative, expressive and life enhancing periods in their lives. Most are highly imaginative and innovative. We can have highly intelligent minds that sometimes tend to work against us, which can of course be a challenge to overcome. Circumstances, surrounding each one of us, who suffer from Bipolar, to an extent dictate how successful or not we are in dealing with each change in cycle. The one thing I have learned from Bipolarcoaster, is really, do not become complacent and know the signs of change. It is important to be fully aware of any triggers to collapse and work with yourself and others to try and eliminate any possibility of spiraling out of control at either end of the Bipolar spectrum. Awareness of extremes is an important technique for survival and is something I teach myself to do each and everyday.
'Forever Enduring Cycles', is in itself another cycle. It is a positive sign of transferring negative energy, built up over the last eight months and channeling my thought processes and writing into what I regard as a new favourable dawn of understanding, just what my life may have install for me. Of course as an individual we are all self aware and are the architects of our own destiny, but for those of us living with a chemical imbalance, we inevitably succumb to the power of our condition. Blogging is a great way of monitoring my progress over a period of time and allows many of us the opportunity to understand what we have, what our limitations are and the journey we are currently on.
This is the first new blog entry in a new online diary, looking from a very different perspective. Yes it is more positive, but it is now far more aware of the challenges ahead and a lot more focused on the outcomes for a brighter and better future. I will still experience depressive periods, periods of inertia and instability as well as times of heightened senses, happy, funny and deeply creative cycles. This is all part of the course, part of who I am and love it or not, part of my future.
Medication is the key for most of us who suffer the extremes that Bipolar conjure up. Like all medication, for any condition, it does have its time limits and eventually effectiveness can be a problem. Regular consultations with Mental Health Practitioners and a family friendly, understanding GP is essential for stability. A network of friends and family who understand the difficulties associated with Manic Depressive illness is also a great source of help. Understanding employers and those you have a professional relationship with, is a must and most importantly, if you are in a loving relationship, an extremely understanding partner is the key to long term happiness. It is a sad fact of life, that most people with Bipolar, do not enjoy relationships in the same way as those without the condition. Many spend a lifetime alone, after going through broken relationships and find the one true love of their life can be just too hard to contemplate and even harder to sustain over a long period of time.
I married my long term partner of twenty years on 22 September 2015, twenty years to the day, we began our relationship together, under circumstances that were not the best for success, but since those early days, the battles we fought to varying degrees of success, we have shown our commitment to each other, our love for one another and our belief and trust that we do everything we can to be everything and more to each other. I am one of the rare sufferers from Bipolar, who has a successful relationship. The battles we fought along side each other at the beginning cemented our love and instilled in us a sense of moral duty to one another, to move forward together as one, even under the most difficult circumstances.
I hope this new blog will be as successful as the first, but for very different reasons. It was important to end Bipolarcoaster, in order to draw a line under that most grueling of times. I will return to it from time to time, as necessary, add to its contents and refer to its entries. Thank you to everyone for their continued support and I look forward to all of your future comments, appreciation, anger and controversial points, you have all so eloquently made in the past and I know you will make again.
Please keep reading Bipolarcoaster. Please do keep commenting, as I know you will and be assured it will remain alive and kicking for as long as I am. foreverenduringcycles, is a new chapter for me. As my life changes, together with my partner and our friends and family, I will try and document the trials and tribulations that come with any mental illness. As the Bare Naked Truth Blogger, I will always be accurate and no matter what I am blogging about, always speak the truth. The truth is part of my journey and it remains integral to my outlook on life, the people in it, the experiences we share and the path I will always follow, in order to realise my dreams, ambitions and above all contentment with my life, whatever the circumstances!
Reflections 26 October 2017
My first new blog entry on 9th November 2015, nearly two years ago. Here I am reflecting, after a relapse bought about predominantly because of a corrupt, bullying employer. I have come out the other side and survived terrible times. When I read this entry earlier, I was struck by the language used. OK, so I have Bipolar, but the reliance I had then on medication, Doctors and consultants was horrifying. Today, I have no access to medication and rely on no one; just myself. My health is so much better, without having this label above my head. I am able to finally forge a life, without the need for constant help and care.
Just before I left for Spain, I was told I could live a full life without the need for medication. A change of environment, thinking and focus could be the therapy I needed. I can confirm the person who gave me that advice was correct. I am happy, secure and living a life I always wanted. Sometimes we can get trapped in a vicious cycle because of external factors; people, circumstances and environment all contribute towards failures, failures one would have blamed on professionals in the past; today, I am the only one responsible for my direction. This was the entry that truly signified a new life ahead!
46 year old Expat, writer and columnist, living and working in Gran Alacant on the Costa Blanca.