I'm new to this forum, but not new to Sane (I ran the 2015 London marathon for them) or depression (I first got diagnosed with it in 1996 and then later with bipolar in 2002)... Anyway, I had been fairly stable since then until a 2-3 years when it progressively starting coming back, leading up to a period of complete craziness last summer (when I went nearly a month without sleeping) and three weeks in a clinic. Since then things have been up and down... in the lead up to Xmas I was adamant that I wasn't depressed but equally determined that I was going to kill myself early in the new year (but I actually brought this attempt forward to boxing day - thankfully it was unsuccessful).
My mood since then picked up but is now starting to come down... I've got to much time on my hands (even though I'm trying to constructively fill it) and that's not good for me as I have so many unhelpful thoughts.
One of them that I could really do with a sanity check on is, for some reason I really feel a strong urge to be open with some of my closer facebook friends about my illness, but my wife is completely anti it. I've even written the post, but am struggling to decide whether to heed her advice as it might be my illness or whether to post it (as my illness has felt like a dirty secret that I've been hiding for too long )... any thoughts would be welcome.
Can I start by asking that you don’t like or share this post as I’d rather your wider network didn’t see this personal message, but if you would like to message me then it would be great to hear from you...
I’ve gone back and forth on this so many millions of times that it makes my head hurt... but the older I get the more important I think it is to stand up, be counted, be open and be honest about who you are. So here goes... (sorry in advance if this is hard to read)
In 2002, at the age of 25, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. It probably started in my mid to late teens, but it really became a problem when my life was in complete chaos in my mid twenties. By this point I had been in and out of rehab and psych wards, I'd very nearly burned my flat down, I'd been thrown out by my family twice (for good reasons), I was living in a YMCA but very vulnerable to homelessness and life was unhappy and seemed completely pointless (even during the ups)... so, simply put, I tried killing myself.
Now, clearly that wasn’t a successful activity, as I’m writing this, but as a result of it I finally got diagnosed with bipolar and was put on medication to treat it.
This began to transform my life, in literally the space of two weeks I started to get my shit together and later got my career back, got married and got a dog... and everything was going great and I was to all intents and purposes living the dream
Until a couple of years ago. I’m not sure why, but something changed again and I got progressively more unwell until it came to a head last summer... I won't go into the detail, but let's just say that there was 2-3 months of complete craziness followed by three weeks of professional help.
But, for those lucky enough (like myself), with the support from those you love and who love you, you get through... and, despite this set back right in the middle of my MBA, I received my final mark today and somehow (god only knows) I've managed to get a distinction for the the whole thing.
I’m still not sure why I feel a compulsion to announce this as it’s against very good advice, but I hope that it can be perceived as some sort of testament “that just because you can’t see someone's illness, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there” AND also that mental illness isn’t a weakness - in fact at times it can actually be a strength.
Again, can I ask that you don’t like or share this post as I’d rather your wider network didn’t see this personal message, but if you would like to message me then it would be great to hear from you.