It’s been a long time since writing and a long time since cooking. You know how it is, the longer you don’t do something the easier it is to just…well…not do it.
You see my wee world kind of imploded. Nothing went untouched. The husband, the dogs, the house, the job and the health all went KABOOM.
This is where I’ll give myself credit, when I do something I really do it properly. It’s the perfectionist in me. Or maybe it was the Universe telling me I was supposed to be on a different path.
Either way today I’m living back with my parents – at the age of 36 this seems sad – I have only my one dog with me, which breaks my heart, I have to tick that dreaded ‘separated’ box on forms, and to add insult to injury, I have to deal with Centrelink (welfare).
In regards to Centrelink I feel lucky to live in a country that provides people like me a bit of a leg up when times are tough. But do they have to make you feel like all you are out to do is rort their system? A system I’ve never been on before and I’m on now for the simple fact that I’m unwell.
The upside to this sewer of an experience is the people that rally around you. At times I’ve been left breathless with the love my friends and family have shown me. Even though some people don’t understand my illness, they are still ‘there’ for me in whatever capacity they know how. And for that I feel like the stars shine brightly upon me.
I’ve spoken before about my illness here, but in July last year I was finally hospitalised. During this two-month stay my doctor did some further testing on me and found I have bipolar II. What does this mean? It means I get the polar opposite of emotions between severe depression and hypomania. My hypomanic state comes across as being really enthusiastic, happy, productive, I take more risks than normal and try to do too many things. “But this sounds like most people”, I hear you say. It does need to be coupled with depression. Basically I can’t have a ‘high’ period without it being followed by a ‘low’ period.
Another recent stint in hospital, some more medication changes and an impressive medical team supporting me, the fog is starting to lift. I’m now working on reconnecting with my old loves, such as cooking, reading, crocheting and living. Have you ever not wanted to live? It is a very dark and lonely place misunderstood by many as being a selfish means to an end. I assure you the thought is not selfish. The thought comes from suffering so much internal pain that your very being is aching. This for me at least, has gone on for years. Years of unseeable, untouchable, unprovable pain.
Today there’s a sliver of hope in the world for me. Hope that maybe life doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Hope that I don’t have to wake up and fear the day before me. Hope because this dreaded illness has not killed me, but made me just a little bit stronger. And hope that this bipolar II will become more friend than foe.
If you or someone you know needs mental health help in Australia, please contact Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36, or Salvo Care Line 1300 36 36 22.