Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Having a funny five minutes ~ or have you got a mental health issue? x

Hello and welcome to a post in support of Mental Health awareness week. I wanted to do my part to raise awareness of mental health issues and this week is the perfect opportunity. As most of my regular readers know I have Bipolar affective disorder previously known as Manic Depression. For me this means periods of crippling depression which can last on and off for months. I am currently working through one of those periods now and have been ill since January. This is the first time in about 12 years it has gone on this long.

To understand Bipolar you need to see a pretty picture..................

Pretty huh? All those lovely waves are however something quite devastating. The straight line is normal mood and the waves under the line mean depression, above the line mean mania. For me I suffer primarily from the depression. It is not feeling low or a bit blue or a little blip like some people tell me. It is the most mind numbing foggy experience of nothingness you could possibly imagine. It is not a black dog, I like dogs. It is like being a walking zombie, a living death. That is the closest analogy I can use.

I am not alone,

 at least 1 in 4 people will suffer from some form of mental health issue in their life. 


This could related to a stressful incident, loss and grief, trauma or a chemical imbalance of the brain like Bipolar. Some people have a personality disorder, an eating disorder, they may self-harm, they may have postnatal depression or peurperal psychosis. Whatever their personal diagnosis, they have a mental health problem. Many of these people will recover and never experience a similar event again, but for people like me, we will continue to experience debilitating illness for the rest of our lives.

''On average, someone with bi-polar will have five or six episodes over a 20-year period.'' 

Since I was correctly diagnosed, I have already had at least 2 episodes a year which over 12 years means 24. If that rate continues and I live to the ripe old age of 80 years, I can expect to have a minimum of 66 further episodes in my lifetime. Imagine how that makes me feel? 

66 more depressive episodes.

 But hey, in between those periods, I will be ''normal'' I put that in inverted commas because in all honesty what is normal? My main saving graces are my friends and family, especially my parents who sadly are counted as my carers and my sister and her boyfriend. I have a brilliant psychiatrist and Community Psychiatric nurse who support me medically. I have my crafting and singing, when I am well enough cos when it's bad I loose the ability to even listen to music. And dear readers I have this blog and you.

Blogging is not only a way to share craft, reading and fun, but also a kind of therapy for me. I write to stay sane and it helps me focus.  I also do Sudoko and codewords to try and dispel the fogginess of my brain. I had 2 1/2 weeks of relatively happiness then 4 days of non-stop crying and depression but now I feel happier again.

I would like to end on one of my favourite poems. It is love poem but in this instance it is a message of hope that I carry all the things that are beautiful and good like music, friendship and love in my heart saved and protected as warmth to fight off the sadness I feel. 

 “I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart) I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go,my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)
I fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)I want no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart) 
E. E. Cummings. 



  1. Jo,
    I find you so brave and inspiring when you share your story like you do. Thanks for educating all of us.

  2. Jo I echo Rindas words above. I am proud to know you through your blog & Facebook xx

  3. Another proud-to-be-your-friend x

  4. So brave to share this,Jo....and so pleased to know you through your blog.

  5. You are indeed brave to share this....I too am glad to know you through your blog
    Alison xx

  6. Some people find it strange when I say I read something on a friends blog, when I've never met that friend. But I hope you know just how many friends are out there for you x

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Hello and thank you so much for stopping by. It is always a pleasure to read the comments I receive and to meet new friends. I try and reply to comments on friend's blogs as much as possible. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and look forward to seeing you here again soon. Love Jo xxx