The other day I was in my room and I found one of my journal notebooks from 2011. I have been journalling on and off since I was about 14 and have documented a lot of my life.
Why am I about to share this diary entry from 2011?
In 2011, I was suffering from bad depression and anxiety. I had to quit my job in teaching in April due to stress and depression and was waiting to begin my masters degree at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in the September. I eventually went on to complete my Masters, but ended up suicidally depressed (no exaggeration) afterwards- however I loved my degree even with my health challenges.
Anyway, back in 2011, I was on a mood stabiliser to even out my moods- Carbamazepine, that wasn’t holding my depressive moods at all. In truth I had been clinically depressed on and off since 2008 and my Doctors were begging me to try Lithium to improve my moods but I refused, being frightened as it is a far stronger drug and I was concerned about its side effects.
After my hospitalisation in 2014, I decided to try Lithium as it had worked for my Dad and my bipolar is far more under control. I wanted to share this message that I wrote about my bipolar at the time. It shows what having this illness is like and I hope will raise awareness or give others comfort that they are not alone.
‘ If I was to describe how having bipolar disorder makes you feel- Its like having two yous. I mainly suffer from depression and so one me hides from the world, feels frightened and anxious, down, can’t do anything- go to work , see friends, walk down a road. And the other half of me is my bubbly happy self- seeing friends and loving theatre, music, nature, travelling and life.
I am, believe it or not, a people person. But then irrationality takes over me and I don’t know who I am. I become a scared child, who hides in her bed for comfort. I become someone that I don’t know. And I don’t want this anymore.
I don’t want to be so frightened. I want to live.
Part of this though is not bipolar disorder- its separate anxiety that bubbles up when I am under stress in my life. I feel a sickening feeling of fear in my stomach- gurgling away, palms sweat and mind replays the ‘fearful’ scene over and over. I isolate myself because I become scared of peoples judgement of me. Its irrational but the physical symptoms of fear feel very bad.
I know I can get better and rid myself of the symptoms. I know I can move forward and follow methods that will get rid of it. I just have to use all the advice I know and all the common sense I can to push forward. To keep challenging myself, because I can do it and I am going to get better.
I will be without anxiety for good.’