I thought the best way to start this blog was to tell you all a little about my mental health history. If you are reading this and you know me, you’ll already know a bit of my background, but I’m taking this opportunity to be completely honest and open. If you don’t know me, and have mental health issues of your own, well, you can probably relate.
I was still a teenager the first time I started to feel ‘different’. Back then I had no idea what was wrong with me, but looking back, the way I was acting and things that I was doing weren’t normal. By the age of 12, I was a selfish, bratty pre-teenager, and I put my family through hell. By 16/17, I recognised that I was feeling low quite often, and I took myself to see my GP who prescribed me anti-depressants for the first time. From here, I was in a bit of a cycle of taking medication, feeling better, stopping medication, feeling worse, and round and round I went. I can’t remember when I finally admitted to everyone around me that I felt the way I did, but eventually, with the support of my family and a few more trips to the GP, I was referred to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder. By now I was 21, but with a diagnosis and some new medication I could move forward. I was taking Lithium and Citalopram, and for a while this worked well. But, I’m stubborn and I’d stop taking my meds because I felt well, and so the cycle started again. Over the years, I’ve seen several psychiatrists, been on meds and off meds more times than I can count, and since 2012 I’ve had two long-term periods of depression, when at points I didn’t want to be alive anymore. What was the point?
In between times, I’ve had mini periods of feeling high, and indestructible. I find myself full of wonderful plans that seem like a great idea at the time, and you know what? Some of them have been great ideas, others not so much. I decided to get a credit card when I was 18, then another, and another… not a wise idea, but hey, I bought the laptop that I’m using to write this. But, I also had to pay the money back, which wasn’t always easy. In my 3rd year at university, I signed up to coach soccer in the USA for a summer. I signed up on a complete whim, but I went through with it and had one of the best times of my life. Later, I signed up to train as a personal trainer. Again, a complete impulse decision. I thought this would be the start of a wonderful new career, however when it came down to it, my rational brain had no idea or motivation to actually set myself up in business. I did get my qualification though, and the course did help me find ways to help myself when I feel low. The downside, it cost a lot of money.
I’m 28 now and over the years I’ve made stupid decisions, acted irrationally, treated people like crap, hurt people, pushed people out of my life, and maybe if I was ‘normal’, life would have been different. When things aren’t right in my head, consequences don’t mean anything. I never set out to hurt anyone, but over the years I’ve hurt everyone close to me: my parents, my husband, my family and my friends. I’ll be eternally grateful to them for sticking by me, even when I’ve done my best to drive them away.
So… this is my life in mental health so far. Would I change it? Probably not. Because, in spite of everything I’ve not had a bad life. I’m happier now and more stable than ever,
I’m 32 weeks pregnant!!
Come with me on my journey from pregnancy to motherhood. I don’t know I’ll be affected mentally, but I’m excited for some big changes and I can’t wait to meet my beautiful baby. I’ll keep updated on all the ups and downs, and you can be sure I’ll tell it how it is.