my story, where it all began.
Should have started writing blogs AGES ago…
In 2009, aged 14, I was sexually harassed by someone (a man who was 22 at the time) I literally called family. Afterwards, I’d struggle with looking at myself, asking myself why I let that happen. Every time he came by the house he’d hug me intimately, and whisper sweet nothings into my ear. He’d ask me sexual favours through BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) and call me his “wife”. One day I woke up at 4am, raided the medicine cabinet and took a glass of water. I ate over 5 packets of paracetamol and aspirin, and drank a whole bottle of alcohol. I figured if I died, he wouldn’t touch me again. What hurt me the most, was that this man, was my best friend Lily’s* older brother. You can see why I never confided in her about this… It’s her BROTHER. She would have never believed me.
The pills kicked in within 10 mins and I was laid on the bed slipping into an unconscious state. The last thing I remember was a sense of relief that as soon as I fell asleep I would be dead the next morning.
But no, I didnt die. Hayley* (not best friend) woke me up in the early morning discovering the pills packet on the side of the bed and forced my fingers down my throat in a bid to save me, then she called my GP as an emergency.
As soon as I was conscious I was admitted to a mental health unit where I met the Mental Health Team who assessed me and came to the conclusion one day that all was not well. I was not prepared to tell a bunch of people my life story, therefore I decided not to continue my assessment, vouching for myself that I was fine and it was just a phase.
December 2011 came by, and it was the end of the year. After 2 years of normalcy, things began to change. I went on a 7 day bender, which included a lot of partying, socialising, drinking, and being a teenage rebel. (this was never me at all) But what I wasnt paying any attention to, was not wanting to sleep, having sexual surges of energy, a racy brain, impaired judgement (hasty decision making), spending money like it was running out of fashion, not eating and surges of creativity. Hayley* saw the sudden change from normal, funny, caring Elinah to over the top, boisterous, rude, insulting, never resting, bad decision making Elinah. She saw that I was well out of character compared to the 2 years before and in between. But to me, this was normal, I felt normal. In my mind there was seriously nothing wrong with me and blamed her that she wasn't adapting to the real me. So in January 2012, she took me back to the Community Mental Health Team where they referred me over to the Early Intervention in Psychosis (I was also experiencing psychosis for the first time, check out my blog about it) where my P doctor began a thorough assessment of my current state of being, and physical state. I had been given a book to read and a website to visit, and that’s when everything became that little bit clearer… I was experiencing and living a life similar to of that a BIPOLAR sufferer. Over the next few months I had assessments and meetings and got the diagnosis of bipolar, and right now I'm seeking a second opinion, hence the low number of people who know I’m bipolar now.
What it’s like for me now…
For people that dont know or understand my life I will try to explain in 2 – 3 paragraphs what’s still taking me and another team of mental health doctors months to figure out…
I’m living my life constantly on the edge. Sometime ecstatic highs where I become the most creative and funny person you will ever meet. I’m better than superman! (or i think i am) and then there are the miserable lows where I just want to go to sleep and never wake up.
These episodes run in cycles of 3-4 months unmedicated and I’m very rarely on the same level of sanity. At the beginning of the year, my first medication was Seroquel (Quetiapine) trying it with the motto “Start low, go slow”. Now I am off it, it’s time for change.
With my psychiatrist, care co-ordinator, a friend who has Borderline Personality Disorder, another friend who has Bipolar II and a bunch of other supportive friends behind me, (Family don’t support me because they don’t believe and I haven’t told them because of it too). I keep alive and half safe and basically try to stay away from knives when things get tough.
So this blog then . . . . . .
Well lets just keep it simple. my plan is to document each day whenever I can. My thoughts, my actions, advice and concerns. To open your eyes more about Mental Illness as a writer. So you’ll be able to catch me on my best days, and worst days. Some days things wont even make sense, but that’s the Bipolar Brain for you.
I cant guarantee that every day will be exciting, that would be silly. Sometimes its going to be difficult to read, Especially in the dark days when i’m feeling low or when I’m feeling destructive. It hurts me to write it, but I have to, to help you understand and sympathise.
I CAN guarantee that along the way there will be laughs, tears, inspiration, and lots of other things to take up 15 minutes of your day. I am quite the creative writer.
So what you waiting for? Get reading and sharing!! Reach out to those who are nutcases like me!
Keep Holding On :)
*Names changed for personal security purposes.