Writing Helps to Heal

I know it sounds cliche because we have all heard it before, “Why don’t you write about it? It’ll help” Yet, few of us really take that advice and implement it. Most of us take it as psychiatric mumbo jumbo, and continue with our pain alone for fear of burdening our close friends and relatives, those we have left anyway.

I was one of those non-believers in the power of writing and it took me a good nine years after being formally diagnosed to take finger to keyboard and just type. I started with a Twitter. Yes, I took to social media with my angst because if I was gonna share with the world, I was doing it loud and clear and on the internet. And lo and behold, I found a whole community of people like me, fellow sufferers and survivors of mental wellness. I could not have been more surprised at feeling a sense of camaraderie on the internet of all places. I was so overwhelmed that I started crying after one of my Tweets got retweeted, a personal Tweet I must say.

Maybe it sounds lame to you, but after that first reTweet, I was hooked on writing. I quickly found venues to express my thoughts and opinions, and somehow for some odd reason, people were listening to me. And not only listening, but commiserating, it was as if I had come home, finally.

Now, whenever I feel any slight anxiety, mania, depression, whatever, I take to writing. I love it. Everything about it. And I love and appreciate the people that have given me the chance to use my voice for good.

It gets worse before it gets better?

I envy those who have options.  I’m of course talking about anti depressants, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), TCAs (tri-cyclic antidepressants), the works.  There’s a small group of those with bipolar disorder who have an adverse reaction to antidepressants, in my case suicidal thoughts.  I went through prozac, celexa, lexapro, anafranil, (partly also to try and treat my OCD), and every single one of them resulted in me pacing in bizarre places outside in the middle of the night (and I’m talking 4-5am) with racing thoughts about how no one in my life loved me, or ever really did love me, amongst other thoughts.  This of course led to suicidal thoughts, but thankfully I never acted on those thoughts.  This was a large part of my diagnosis with bipolar, amongst my actions mentioned in my previous post.

I found myself in this unique situation for me.  Everything I had read or heard said, “Give it time, it will get worse before it gets better.”  And I believed it, to an extreme point, until finally taking the initiative to call my doctor about it.  That being said, I believe the statement to be true.  Starting a new medication, we experience side effects, it’s unavoidable.  Most side effects take place immediately, whereas the beneficial side to many medications can take upwards to a month to take effect.

But what frame of reference do you have, when you’re already struggling with mood swings, that a medication isn’t making you just slightly worse off than you were.  All you really have is blind faith.

Now, I 100% avoid any and all antidepressants.  I’ve tried those within their own class such as wellbutrin and had little success, so I simply explain to my doctor that it simply isn’t an option.  I’m lucky to have found a cocktail that works for me so far, but it would be nice to have that extra ingredient to add to the mix.

For those reading who are living with bipolar, how about yourselves?  Have you had any similar experiences?  I’d love to hear your input in the comments.

A World Bipolar Day Rant

Bipolar and unhappy about it

sign saying rant

Bipolar is quite a large part of my life, of that there is no doubt. Trying to find the sweet spot of correct medication is challenging with some meds making me incredibly tired all day. I take an antidepressant which works well, and also Lithium works very well for the mania. Although I still have the occasional manic period and sleeplessness so need an antipsychotic, and it is this that is wiping me out. This in itself is making me feel very low and just for this reason alone I wouldn’t wish any type of bipolar on anybody.

My GP has been trying to prescribe me medications with minimal intervention from my psychiatric consultant. This is a bit of a joke as I have never seen this consultant but apparently she has been allocated to me. She is reported to by my GP and CPN (community psychiatric nurse) regularly but very rarely replies to them unless it is for a change of medication.

My own fault?

I should say that I am one of those people who doesn’t really complain too much, as I feel if you complain too much there is a chance you can be easily overlooked as being a pain in the neck. However, I have begun to show how annoyed and upset I am with varying degrees of success. All of this though is another story.
Continue reading

Am I Bipolar? The Answer May Surprise You.


Right off the bat, let me answer with a defiant ‘NO’ (but read on please!). I am a woman. I am a mother. I am a daughter. I am an aunt. I am a sister. I am a friend. I am a Dallas Cowboys fan! I am many other labels, with some that aren’t very complimentary in my opinion! However, there is one particular label that I refuse to accept. In fact, it tends to make my blood start to boil. I am NOT mentally ill (keep reading!).


Yes, I was diagnosed with bipolar 2 and generalized anxiety disorders in 2007. Yes, I work hard everyday to manage life to some degree of my own defined success. And yes, there is rarely a time when I am not aware of how my actions, thoughts, and words affect me and others because of my bipolar and anxiety disorders.


I still refuse the label. But, it isn’t because I deny the illness. Instead, I try to embrace it. So, my point? Consider this:


I am a home. I have a home.


See the difference? I have mental illness. Mental illness doesn’t define me. I am more than my mental illness. It plays but a portion of what I am as a whole, just like a home is only part of what makes you up as a whole. I don’t think this way because I minimize mental illness nor its role in making my life a challenge. I think this way because I refuse to be just my illness. I instead, demand that I accept it as only one part of me.


Dealing with mental illness is difficult. I struggle with it on a daily basis. Many times, the victories seem small and the failures huge. Still, I count my blessings. I try and think carefully before anything. I am compassionate. I am patient. I always endeavor to be mild and kind. I appreciate simple joys. I am thankful for every breath I take. Those are all positive blessings. I feel blogging for you is another one, and I hope it adds something positive to your life, also. I plan to share my story and thoughts, help educate us, try to erase negative opinions, and more.


So, for today, I leave you with a few other labels I cherish. I am a survivor. I am a warrior. I am strong. I am beautiful. I am loved. So are you. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of Bipolar Winds and thank you for reading.