I am no spring chicken, due to turn 39 in a a month or two. Therefore it is even more remarkable that I have only recently been pointed in the direction of a diagnosis of Bipolar.
One of the very first movements towards this was my very patient partner mentioning your documentary. She asked if I had watched it and drew comparisons to our shared love of gadgetry and over indulgence in items of a technological nature. I remember being quite happy to be associated with that kind of behaviour, but also being quite belligerent when it came to the insinuation I may have Bi Polar disorder.
Indeed I have been "ill" since I was about 14 or 15. Lapsing into yearly stupours, wherein I found myself feeling physically unwell during the winter months. I would vegetate, only to be resurrected during Spring.
Latterly, things have changed and my moods are quite different to how they were before.During certain phases, I would not believe that there was anything wrong. I had started to believe I was in control somehow of the weather, that I had a connection to Gods and that I was somehow chosen to put the world to rights. I have given myself the option to fail in that, but have passed the baton on to my Son to fight the good fight ( I hasten to add that I have not mentioned this to him.. yet). Eating and sleeping is for the boring and fat during those times. I took up Mountain Biking and became obsessed with getting fit. I was furious with myself when I failed to improve my fitness.
Actually the Mountain Biking helped me out quite a bit. Through last winter I was part of a club. That, teamed with a good Winter with plenty of Sun meant that I did not suffer an episode of depression last year. I am living in Spain. Which has not helped matters as I have not been able to get the help I needed.
There are times when I should have been in hospital possibly. Times when I have cut myself.. taken overdoses. But I have never seen a Doctor, due to an inability to be fluent in the language and a fear over what happens with people with mental health issues here. I feel for my poor partner who has gone through hell with me.
I have finally agreed to get some help for this condition as it is affecting me now in a negative way. I have always enjoyed the "edge" that I felt that I had over some others. As though I could see things a bit brighter than my friends.The Sun shone brighter and the Stars twinkled in greater numbers. Now I am ready to forgo that pleasure, I have grown bored of it and would rather be a little more "regulated".
Thank you Stephen, for talking so honestly about Bi Polar disorder Without your help the stigma would be so much greater. x