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A journal to survival…

Leaving

It’s been 8 months 15 days

Since my thoughts disappeared

Into the blueness of my mind

Until nothing of me was left behind

Deeper I withdrew myself a little more

each day

I  did not realised you leaving

Lost

It been 8 months 4 days

Since I let you slip away

And my demons arrived to stay

To cavort and taunt me

They would not let me be

I tried so hard to beat them

But soon I began to realise

they had won and I had lost

Hallucinations

It’s been 4 months 22 days

When the voices arrived

They mocked me

I was petrified

I witness my own death

And my own cremation

This was the being of

the hallucinations

 

Recovery

It’s been 3 months 15 days

I did not know what to do

I called for your  help to get me through

Even though we were no longer lovers

You arrived in the middle of the night

You calmed me and reassured me

You told me you be there and help me recover

 

Survived

It’s been 2 months 2 days

When for the first I day awoke

I could smile

It been a while  after all the

days and months sat in darkness

But I realised I was still alive

That I had survived

Copyright 2014 June Bolland

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Its good to talk …

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.

 

 

 

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Blue skies on the horizon…

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.

 

 

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Jimmy Choo’s in my closet

An impromptu posting.

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?

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Snap, Write, Blog…

As I said in my previous post, New Year , a time for reflection , taking stock and re-valuating things. So over the last week I have been taking stock, reflecting and jotting down things , projects I want /need to do . I think it’s important for each of us to set goals , to push ourselves , whether mentally or physically and not make excuses in not having the time to do things that make us happy. Even if you only have 15 minutes   a day, you can begin the process .

Anyway on personal  note I KNOW I need a leave of absence from social media for a while; feeling too tangled up (on Facebook right now) than is healthy for me, so started off the process of weaning myself away from it, which has  begun with cleansing  some of my friends off Facebook . Not because they’re not nice people, its just that there was no mutual social interaction , so I really didn’t see the point of justifying having them as friends on Facebook !

Then there is my blog , when I originally started I had no idea of how it would develop. Whether it would be me posting the odd rant every so often. It ended up with me sharing poetry ( I have no idea how or why it happened) but I’m glad it did. It got the creative juices flowing. I’m very self critical of my ‘writing’ , I don’t have the self belief in thinking that my poems are remotely any good , never mind even just OK.

This year I want to set myself a challenge with the blog, I have some idea’s on how I want it to develop , whether it will be more poetry , or more journal based I’m  not sure yet .

But then I might  actually start sharing photograph’s . Its a passion I  had  over 30 years ago, and recently I’ve been wanting to explore it again.

When I was in my late teens I ate ,lived , breathed photography, I was lucky enough to have two exhibitions of my work shown in Manchester, which were really  successful . I wanted to pursue it as a career, so I study photography as an ‘A ‘level,  built my portfolio up and I got accepted to study Photography at Manchester Polytechnic when I was 21 ,but never accepted the place on the course ,as my mum became really ill and life’s priorities changed. It was then put the camera away and stopped taking photographs . But always  I still look at things from the view point that there an image , a photograph waiting to be captured  Its very much the same when it comes to words or observations , I see the format of a poem or a blog .

My partner has been aware that there has been this niggle for quite a few months now, but I suppose self doubt and the knowledge that there is unfortunately an element  of snobbery that exists when it comes to photography , I don’t know whether I have still what it takes. But as my partner says ” How do you know until you give it a go and try “. So for Christmas she bought me a new camera and told me ” You no longer have an excuse , go take some photographs, build your confidence back up!”  ( Nice to know she believes in me !)

So yes I have a list of projects  I want to do this year. A hundred ideas on blogs and poems I want to write. I have no idea when they will come to fruition . As they say time will tell.

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Is life really so bad?

I hadn’t realised it been just over 2 months since I posted my last blog.

To be honest haven’t wanted to write anything that requires me to think. I’ve been dealing with an old back injury and trying to manage my Fibromyalgia, which flared up and repaid me an unwelcome visit last July. So currently having intense physio and attending a pain management clinic , just so I can really stop relying on the pain meds and also get off the anti-depressants, because with having Fibro and dealing with chronic pain comes depression, it’s a vicious circle . But in my experience you mustn’t dwell on the negative. Positivity, having a sense of humour being able to laugh is the key to beating pain, harder said than done, cos trust me belly laughs hurt.

Anyway so here we are, Christmas is over, 2013 has gone, and so a brand new shiny Year awaits to be filled with new memories. But I felt the need to write something today, for two reasons really

One because it’s a New Year .I love New Year, it a time to take stock, reflect, and set yourself new challenges. However going back to work, and listening to conversations, I am amazed at how many people whinge, moan about a variety of things life throws at them. They moan about work, money, etc., etc. Don’t get me wrong I love a good rant, but it’s usual about the way people behave, how they conduct themselves, about how injustice exists because of their behaviour.

Yet not one rejoices on the fact they are alive, well , probably happy sharing their life with someone they love, with no real hardship because they have a roof over their head and a bed to sleep in , clean clothes on their back and a belly so full of food. A head that has the luxury to dream, create ,have choices to do, be anything, find a balance of putting up with the crap life throws at them and being content they have an outlet to express themselves, they have the luxury of time to write lists of future plans, a bucket list. But instead people, they wallow in self-pity, why can’t people just be happy they have their health, a future.

Secondly I write this because my partner who is a sister in a large cancer hospital , she works on the a teenage cancer ward, every day she and her staff tend , nurse patients who aren’t let’s face not going to get well . On Thursday she went back to work and one of her patients is a young man, he’s 15, he’s been ill and in hospital since November, he and his parents were told that he probably won’t make it to July. So she spent the majority of the day comforting him and his parents. This young adult who will never know that feeling of being in love, of having children, be able to moan about the 9 to 5 and the rat race, will never be able to write lists of things he wants to do.

Sort of puts life in perspective really doesn’t it?

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Tonight I write about my father.

Now normally at this of the day I’ve either written, or am about to write or have the formation of a poem in my head but not tonight. Tonight I want to write about my father. Those of you have followed this blog since it started in December will be aware that in the early part of my life , well will know that my father and I,  we didn’t have the best of relationships due to his alcoholism. It was only until I was 22 that he finally admitted he had a problem and got help for his illness, (because it is an illness) did we have a really close relationship, although despite his illness, from being a small child I had always worshiped (the sober him ). But today I just really really miss him.

He passed away 9 years ago to a rare illness called Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) that effects only about one person in 100,000 every year. It is an awful illness , he developed shortly after having cancer surgery, on the day he was due to be discharged from hospital  ,we sat and watch  a physically strong man even though he had suffered cancer succumb to this disease, paralysed him from the neck down .He deteriorated  over a period of eight weeks until his body could take no more as he developed secondary cancer and I had to make that decision no ever should have to take and that was turn his life support system off, we held his hand and watched him pass to I believe a better place.

During those eight weeks we use to sit with him for hours, held his hands and I would hum The Beatles songs to him (his favorite was Blackbird) or we’d read to him, or we put the CD player on and let him listen to the Goon shows and Spike Milligan ( he was a huge fan). It calmed him down because he used to get distressed being on a ventilator, during those eight weeks we became incredible close.

His loss has never left us nor will it ever,  as I am sure anyone reading this who have lost a love one will understand. We talk about him all the time because it keeps him here. The only regret is he never met Jo my partner, he would of adored her and she him, I think they would of got on really well and at least they would have been able to have shared a conversation in their mother tongue – Welsh.

It’s strange how the overwhelming loss of someone hits you at certain times, but saying that not one day goes by that I don’t think of him , it’s just sometimes the thoughts are overwhelming. What’s even stranger is that they make their presence felt at the most strangest times too. Whenever I wish my dad was here you can guarantee I will find a penny in the most strangest places, same when I need guidance from him , low and behold I get up and find a penny . This goes for my mum too she’s found pennies in the strangest places too .It like they are a message from him saying don’t worry I am still around looking over you Today my mum found a penny in her bathroom, just at time she needed it. . I like getting pennies from heaven they give me comfort, never stop sending them dad. Maybe one day I’ll sit down and write that poem about the pennies he has sent, in the mean time we will just keep putting them in the jar.

pennies