I have my final counselling session today and I am a little apprehensive. I don’t want it to end , I feel like I’m going to visit a really good friend for the very last time.It makes me feel sad but then again I should take it as a positive that I am grown up and no longer need my comfort blanket.
As I said in my previous posting I have recently been going through a really bad bipolar episode.I am now well on the road to recovery. My mood swings are finally levelling out due to new medications and due to the counselling sessions I have received.
My psychiatrist thought it would help me to attend counselling as I was beginning to isolate myself more and more. Anyone who suffers from Bipolar will understand how debilitating the isolation is when your going through a depressive phase. I find it difficult to explain how relentless the battle with it is. Generally I am loner anyhow, not of my own choice I might add but because I am the sole carer of mum who is paraplegic , I have been for the last 25 years and somehow the isolation of it’s duties have been forced upon me, non of which is my mum’s fault , as she didn’t choose her illness nor did I. It’s just that people, friends stopped asking me to socialise a long time ago and previous partners begrudged the amount of time and commitment that went into looking after my mum. This is the reason why my latest ex and I are still close, she’s the exception to the rule. (Discovered this through the counselling sessions) I know that people say the internet is a great place to maintain friendships and that it is also great place to meet new friends , maybe , I have yet to be convinced , I think they work for a while and then people move on, but I am not blameless it’s a two-way street and I know I am guilty in not keeping in touch and maintaining friendships, I blame it on my fear of rejection,I’ve always shut myself off from friendships before they reject me! ( also learnt through counselling). So whenever I go through a depressive phase the isolation is so much worst, because every bit of hurt,anger , frustration , rejection and self loathing is held deep within , and there is no one to share it with . So counselling was a blessing .
When I first started the counselling back in May I really didn’t think it would help, I thought it would be all cognitive behavioral therapy, which I’d previously had and which hadn’t worked. I was also worried that I wouldn’t like my counsellor , but I was proved wrong my counsellor Angela put me at ease straight away as we have a common interest we are both learning sign language. So the conversation began to flow very easily. I was so amazingly so open with her that I shared things about myself during that first session that no other living person knew about, so I came away surprised , relieved and optimistic.
I have looked forward to every counselling session since. Partly because it has given me purpose to get out of bed but more importantly it has been an opportunity to share hidden aspects life , my thoughts, in fact it was a place where I could just talk to someone in a non judgemental environment. It’s been a place of laughter and tears and importantly a place of rediscovering what makes me tick. It’s given me back a rejuvenated energy and a purpose of which direction I want my life to go in. I believe it’s fate that I had this Bipolar episode when I did because without it I wouldn’t I have met the wonderful people who have help me in my recovery including my psychiatrist and Angela my wonderful counsellor , who made me realise with her words of encouragement that I am an empathic person and that the counselling profession would benefit with someone like me. So you never know all being well I too could be able to counsel and help people in just like Angela has done with me. So hear’s to Angela for her Patience, her encouragement and kindness and making me realise it’s good to talk.
A very short synopsis of what’s been going on the last few months.
It would be fair to say that I have had a few difficult months recently. I had a major Bipolar episode at the end of February which plummeted me into a pit of absolute darkness , I tried to struggle on but by March I knew I couldn’t function .Whilst this was going on my relationship with my fiancee was falling apart all due to the intensity and problems surrounding my Bipolar. My ex became tired of trying to get me to listen to reason, in trying to persuade me that I needed to get help. No matter how well she coped with my rapid cycling and my sometimes rejection of her and the verbal abuse aimed at her too, she coped. What she couldn’t cope with was the issue of my denial and bad management regarding this illness.
My partner was always really good at reading when moods were about to change , where as I was more inclined to ignore them. In December she told me that she could tell I was heading for a breakdown and that I should seek help, I told her I was fine and choose to ignore her. BIG MISTAKE!
So January arrived and the extreme rapid cycling started, and then February arrived and this is when things began to come apart at the seams . I’ll set the scene for you -I was in a Board meeting at work facing 18 people and within minutes of the meeting I lost it. Luckily for me my manager and one my friends were there. As soon as I left the room I crashed to the floor and was lying in the fetal position , sobbing. This was the start.
Towards the end of March with the commencement of the breakdown still fairly fresh my partner and I had huge row all because I was still refusing to seek help. It was at this point she left me but only after I told her to leave. Never expecting her to actually go , I must admit I was not impressed , but now with clarity of mind I understand why she did go as now I know I left her with no other option, if I could have walked out on me I would have done. Anyway my partners absence was the wake up call I needed to go seek help. I saw a psychiatrist , who prescribed me new alternative medications to the ones I was taking. So March rolled into July and then things became a whole lot darker.
Now I’ve had frequent episodes but none have been as terrifying than this episode, purely because the new medications began to kick in. As a result drowsed I became submerged deeper in the darkness of my own thoughts, it was then I began hearing voices, I knew it wasn’t my inner voice or voices I recognised, these voices were menacing and terrifying as were the hallucinations I was also beginning to have. It initially started with a voice calling out my name , I turn but they’d be no one there , this would repeat itself , each time the voice would appear to come from a different direction. As time went by the voice turn into voices , at first they seemed to laugh and mock , then they became menacing , just writing about it gives me a chill. It was at this time the hallucinations began . I remember the first time it happen , it was the early hours of the morning , I thought I could hear foot steps on the landing , and then I saw two images watching me terrified I called my ex partner in the hopes she’d pick up the phone I didn’t know who else to call. Thankfully she answered her phone and within 15 minutes she arrived to calm me down.
My ex stepped in and decided to take some time off work to look after me , and my mum. The doctors agreed to let my ex look after me as she is a nurse.So since July , she been my rock. When needed she’s driven to my house in middle of the night and stayed awake with me as I have been terrified to be alone and when the voices and hallucinations were at their most prevalent, she told me focus on the blue skies and the view of the horizon by the sea where we often went to visit, happy times. She made sure my mum was properly looked after and more importantly she’s helped me survive this episode, by making me realise that I have so much to live for.Even though we are no longer romantically involve we are as close as we can be .But we both realise the relationship will never be rekindled but it doesn’t mean that we”ll ever stop caring for each other. I’m just so glad we have one of those relationships that despite everything we can still be part of each others lives, after all we will always be best friends. So here’s to looking towards the future, and the being thankful to appreciate those Blue skies on the horizon and to those who remind you that they are there.
I was reading my past posts on my blog yesterday. A majority (about 90%) of the poems I share are biographical. It was interesting to look back on the past year just by reading the poems and the postings .It’s a bit like reading a journal you kept when you were a teenage, smiling and thinking back on the past . I recently stumbled across an old journal dated 1982 , in which I wrote “ I think I’m in love with Sara Clark!” . But as a rule I don’t really like looking back into my past too much or at least I didn’t until I met Jo my fiancee (still can’t get my head around using that word to describe her even though it’s been 8 months since I proposed to her and more importantly she said yes!) .
I’ve realised through the postings and poems I’ve shared, it’s reminded me of how so much has happened in the last year of this blog and in real life.
I written about breaks ups (J and had two brief separations early last year) wrote poems and impromptu blogs about how my mum dealt with the stress and the worry and of the extremely long wait to find out if her cancer had come back or not. Thankfully she was given all clear in October. I’ve shared my thoughts in verse of how Jo’s heart condition deteriorated and how she had to be fitted with a pacemaker, which at 26 was young. I’ve documented my experiences of living with bipolar and described the relapses have I have suffered. I’ve shared my thoughts of my dad who passed 9 years ago and wrote poems about the sadness of my uncle’s passing (he was like a second father to me) . Oh and those poems which I have written for Jo.
I have learnt a lot about myself too. That it’s OK to let go, to expose the dark thoughts that invade my mind caused by my depression sometimes, whether it be in the form of poetry or even in just sharing my thoughts with Jo. But most of all It’s been a year of discovery, of knowing that I don’t have to carry this burden of stuff I’ve carried alone for so long, that far from me having fears of holding Jo back, I realise she is the one person who holds me up, and helps me carry the weight in fact just unburdens me of stuff that quite frankly doesn’t matter anymore and for that no amount of words can describe how much love I have for her. That’s why I proposed to her a week after her surgery on 19 July at Angel Bay, because I needed to show her how much I loved her and for once not just write about it . So we will have been together six years this July, happier than ever, albeit I have a closet full of her Jimmy Choo shoes crammed into my closets. That’s why I keep my shoes in the boot of my car! It is worth the sacrifice !
So would I say my blog year has been good? One word Yes! I lost the need to write for a while , but this past year I’ve realised that writing is therapeutic, it focuses the mind, cleanses it, makes you feel joyous (well it does me anyway! ) Then there is the added bonus of meeting other wonderful people on here too (although I have met one or two narcissist on my journey who appear to be far more interested in the number of followers they have, how many like they get,and so pre-occupied with stats, than they are in writing or blogging, which saddens me because I am not like that, I write for me, the fact that anybody else reads my blog in all honesty astounds me, likes posts I upload, leave lovely comments and follow my blog is truly humbling. So a huge THANK YOU from me for taking time to read my blog, never mind pressing the like button and commenting, and following, honestly I am for once lost for words. Anyway off for a few days away by the sea, as its my birthday tomorrow, so taking the laptop with me so I can catch up on some blogs I have been meaning to read for a while, especially now as I also have new glasses which have dyslexic lenses, as I dont know if some you realise I am dyslexic . So the glasses are a Godsend as sometimes other people’s work is sometimes hard to read. I’m OK with writing as I use a dyslexic word font . Anyway your comments are always appreciated.
One final thought: I wonder what ever happened to Sara Clark?