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Before An Episode: Knowing When To Get Help

It almost feels like life plays pranks on me… “It’s okay – you’re getting better!” - when really once I find that ounce of positivity, it’s like the carpet is pulled from under my feet. It does feel very cruel in the perspective that recovery from something so internal and invisible can be very drawn out. There were many times I felt I was doing great, then suddenly the curtains open and it’s abnormal me standing there alone.

It’s been a while since I’ve spoken on this blog, and of course I want to continue with this but it does get very difficult particularly when life is hard and I am unwell. I felt I was going to get unwell again for a while, almost like I was waiting on it – yet peculiarly and oxymoronically, I did not expect it to happen again. A lot of people have noticed my absence from different things for certain periods, a more ‘quiet’ version of myself and inevitably a girl who is no longer besotted with the life she leads.

Noticing when you are taking unwell with Bipolar Disorder for me is the hardest part, but as I write this post and recognize my issues I feel like a huge weight is being lifted from me, almost like a degree of pain is alleviated by my honesty. In what had become skipping appointments, and eventually rejecting certain medications I was told to take… I ended up pushed back a few steps. I was always aware recovery was difficult and lengthy, but I never thought there wouldn’t be a time that I wouldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hoped to see a progression, something that evidenced the changes that had come out of recovery however it just feels like there is no light, it’s just one long tunnel.

As I write, it may seem I am a girl who is battling depression – one of the prominent demons of bipolar disorder. However, I don’t think I am. I feel a little hopeless yes, but I don’t think I’ve quite given up on the battle. I’m aware however if I don’t seek an intervention now, this will lead to an eventual dark depression of which will take longer to get me out of. What I’m feeling now is an impenetrable anxiety. In what has been essential self-destruction for a few months, I’m now looking at my errors and what is left here in front of me and I’m terrified. I wake up terrified - I go to sleep terrified. Often you hear the term ‘worried sick’, and truly I am. When I eat, if I think about something – I feel ill and I can no longer eat. I can’t sleep properly anymore because my mind is just never at ease. The anxiety itself has ruined my performance at university, my attendance and even though I’m aware I need to work through my problems I feel like I can’t.

I had my first panic attack in four months on Monday night, it’s something I understand but I can never get used to. I sobbed my heart out as I worried over something so insanely small – and that’s the catch with an anxiety disorder, it’s the irrational fear of something probably not that scary. I used to have excellent management techniques, but it’s been a week and I can’t help but feel on edge at almost everything. When I go out, I look normal and I almost feel normal; but when I’m alone everything is worrying.

I apologise for not documenting how I felt on this blog before, but I guess things were going downhill and it wasn’t until a week ago that I realised I needed help. Now I’ve recognized I need help again, the hard part is over. Tomorrow morning, I’m going to do the grovelling trip to my doctor to ask for help once more. I’m also going to make a list and tackle each problem individually. I feel sick with worry, but deep down there’s still a tiny bit of faith in my bones. It’s time to jump on that faith, and try and change my life for the better.