A support page for peeps living with Bipolar Disorder, Brain fog, Anxiety & Depression by a Melbourne gal who has been battling these demons for 40 years. The more we talk about our "invisible" struggles, the more the stigmas will lift. They have to…………….. don't they? PLEASE SHARE MY BLOG, ADD YOUR COMMENTS & TELL US YOUR STORY..
So. Now I have a blog. OK.
Where the hell do I begin with this?
I never expected to get writer’s block after only one entry! Jesus!
I guess I could begin by writing a little bit about myself. After all that’s what most blogs are about yes? Aren’t the majority of them written by narcissists, shouting out just another “Look at me! Validate me!”? Aren’t most blogs simply diary entries? You see I’m not really sure! To be honest I really don’t have a frigging clue!
As a 44 year old I’m pretty good at navigating Facebook, YouTube and my Hotmail account. However, I need to think hard to get my head around the internet as a whole. But then again my brain needs to think pretty bloody hard to get around most things these days. Mental illness is a bitch like that. I remember the days when I used to feel intelligent. That was a long time ago.
Well, well, well; it appears I don’t have writer’s block after all!
Looking back on my life I’m pretty sure that I’ve always suffered from some kind of depression. I was always a serious kid, too grown up for my own good. I had my share of troubles growing up; the usual ones that most kids go through with a few nasty ones thrown in for good measure. Abuse comes in all sorts of guises but I’ll elaborate on that subject another day.
Anyway, I was (and still am) a perfectionist and a pleaser. I tried to be GOOD all of the time. It was a tough gig for a young kid but I just kept doing it. It was expected of me and I didn’t know any other way. Then when I turned 21 the wheels kinda fell off and I had my first nervous breakdown (as my mum called it). Long story short I did what I was told to do, went on meds straight away and was apparently “fixed” after only 4 months. I wasn’t convinced but everyone else seemed to be so I once again did what I was told.
My twenties were pretty fun. I learned to swear, I learned to drink, I was pretty and clever and had “everything going for me”. But I could never really understand the absolute joy others got out of life – I always thought my friends were exaggerating. On the outside I smiled. On the inside… not so much. But I was used to that. Don’t get me wrong, I still had god times but I always felt an emptiness and a lingering disappointment that life wasn’t as it should be.
Life went on and I approached the end of my 20-somethings. The only time I ever really enjoyed myself was when I was drunk. I was constantly told how my personality changed when I was “half cut” – how much fun I was. I suppose the alarm bells could have gone off back then regarding my mental state but hindsight is a powerful tool for “what could have been”.
When I was 31 I started a new job. I was learning new procedures (as you do) but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get my head around it all. That was my introduction to the wonderful world of brain fog. It came and went. Some days I would be fine. I was smart, regarded highly by my colleagues and sure of myself. But most of the time it was as if I was getting over the flu. The halo around my head was nothing but pea soup. I couldn’t read simple instructions. I couldn’t concentrate. I felt stupid, like my IQ had dropped to dunce level.
Then I started getting hypersensitive to smells. Paint and fresh flowers gave me terrible hay fever. It got so bad that I couldn’t be in a room with chipboard furniture because I could smell the awful chemicals and I even had to stop reading the newspaper because of the ink fumes. However it all came to a head when a bad asthma attack turned out to be a panic attack…. which turned into full blown depression for some time later.
More meds again. Feeling of utter failure. Depressed because I was depressed.
That was 13 years ago now and I wish I could say that with time my brain got better and I regained my intelligence. But no. The brain fog is now as bad as ever and sometimes I think it’s actually getting worse. Every few months I’ll get a few hours of complete clarity. Fucking sensational, wonderful, beautiful hours! Then the pea soup will suddenly be back. Just like that.
But it’s ok. Really, no bullshit, it is! I’ve learned to live with it, to endure it. I’m still here. I have survived.
Cue Gloria Gaynor – I’m off to bed!