The Four States I’ve Lived In My Whole Life and None Of Them is Queensland

I came in here to blog, half a dozen times yesterday, but I just couldn’t hit the Publish button. Mania + depression is such a nasty headspace. I made the image below, to show the four states  that I cycle between. I would love someone to invent a BD barometer, because I learn over and over and over that people, even those who know me very well, can’t see my mood on my face or in my body language. Apparently I’m excellent at using an I’m okay mask.

the four moods

The Bipolar Boogie – A Lot Like the iPod Shuffle, Without The Warning of an Imminent Transition

GOOD morning! I hope you, like me, are having a good one. I hadn’t planned to post today, but I’ve woken up in heaven, and I just have to share.

Heaven, in this case, is a nice, smooth mood. No high, no low, just breathing in and out and thinking about what to do in my day. Beautiful. Heaven.

I am so grateful to be alive today, in this smooth mood. I know from experience that while in this headspace I’ll be able to handle whatever comes along in my day. I’m so grateful for how relaxing this is, and I’m grateful that I can share this with you.

The suicidal, down, dark mood I had been coping with in the past few days has lifted. I have a clear head and so I can plan my day and get some things done like housework and Christmas lists. While in this headspace, I try and take advantage of every minute. I often write myself notes, to read later in the week when my mood has shifted again. Encouraging notes for a dark mood and calming notes for a manic spike day.

Bipolar mood shifts are so random at times, with no trigger or warning. This makes life impossible to plan. I’m only now learning to give myself permission to say to friends and family “Yes, thankyou for the invitation, and if I’m in the right headspace on the day I’ll be there with bells on.” It’s such a relief to be able to do this! I have worried for many years that people will think I’m giving myself an easy out by saying things like that. Now, honestly, I AM giving myself an easy out by saying things like that. I need an easy out. I deserve an easy out. Not being able to choose to do the things I want to do when I want to do them sucks. I’m giving myself a break at last.

It is so great to be able to share these things with you. I feel liberated. Thanks for reading my blog.

I hope you like my design, above, for a Bipolar Boogie app button. Maybe one day someone will discover a way to achieve control over Bipolar Disorder brain chemistry, and we can download the app? In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my smooth mood.

be you xx Rachel

21.11.12

I’m sitting here at my computer, just after midnight, with cold feet. The only sounds I can hear are the whirring of my laptop, the ticking of my little blue clock and the occasional car driving past my house.

I’m grinding my teeth and my left foot is tucked up behind my right leg, just a little too tightly to feel comfortable. There’s something I want to share with you, but I’m nervous about saying it out loud. It’s one of those things that, once said, can’t be un-said. I can’t just tell you and then change my mind and un-tell you. It might change the way you think about me, the way you feel about me. It might confuse you, or it might even be obvious to you.

While I was preparing to write this post, I did some research online about what it has been like for other people to share similar truths about themselves. The range of experiences was vast. There truly seemed to be as many people advocating openness as there were people pleading for silence on the subject. I felt so sorry, reading about the lack of understanding and love that some people had experienced. Some of them lost friends, became estranged from family members and lost jobs as a result of their willingness to tell the truth about their own life. That frightened me badly, I have to say.

I also read incredible stories of lives changed through courageous openness. I felt encouraged and tempted to share my own story, in my own way.

Sitting here at my computer, with my cold feet, a thousand thoughts are going through my mind. Most of these thoughts are tethered to this core question: what will happen when people know? Can I survive whatever happens, whatever is said to me, whatever is said about me, after I tell? I just don’t know. One thing I do know, is that as a writer, a woman, a human being, I will never be able to be my true self in this world while I keep fighting an inner battle every day to keep the hardest thing in my life to myself. This is why I want and need to tell you that I struggle, every day, living with Bipolar Disorder.

Seeing those words on the page, getting ready to click the Publish button and send this post out to the www, I’m more than a little jittery. A thought occurs to me, pushing the jitters aside; once it’s out there, I can start writing about life as it really is for me. I can blog my mighty high ups and my deepest dark downs. I can share how easy it is for me to help other people succeed, no matter how I feel on the day, while daily sabotaging my own efforts to get ahead in business. I can tell you what it’s really like to be me: awesomely supercharged, terribly depressed, and best of all, those times when I get to cruise the middle road, even if it’s only for a few delicious hours.

If you know nothing about Bipolar Disorder, (BD) I recommend this Australian site: Black Dog Institute for a definition and other information.

I’ll tell you more about BD in another post. Right now I really just want to click on that publish button, before I change my mind for the thousandth time. If you’re reading this, I guess it means I published this post and therefore I have more courage in November 2012 than I’ve ever had before. No more cold feet.

be you xx Rachel