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..
Well it’s a gorgeous sunny day here in ole Melbourne town and I’m not feeling too bad. It’s amazing how the weather can affect my mood. I’m planning on nurturing my garden a bit later – I’ll put on my hat and just zone out for a while.
I tend to wear a lot of hats, metaphorically speaking: Mum, step-mum, partner, daughter, sister, survivor, emo, perfectionist and sarcastic bastard to name a few. Most of the time I’m wearing all of them. They get extremely heavy.
Like a lot of you guys, I’ve wrestled with depression and anxiety my whole life. And being the over-achiever that I am, I’m more recently battling an “uncertain” diagnosis of bipolar disorder as well (it’s a long story for another day). As if I needed another “label” to define me. My instincts keep me going, as do my family and my sheer stubbornness. I have outbursts of mania, of anger, of fear and mistrust… but I also have intense feelings of absolute joy and love so it ain’t all bad!
On a bad day, my hats are overwhelming and crushing. I struggle to lift my head. I watch the clock. Every tick gets me closer to the evening… the kids in bed and my responsibilities over for one more day. On a bad day the hardest part is just thinking. Just getting my brain to function like a normal human being. The smallest tasks take immense concentration. A day at the office can be highly stressful and I feel like a complete tool, unable to understand basic instructions. Home life can be even harder on these days. The juggling act that every mother knows is so bloody tough some days I could scream. I’m thankful my babies are at school now. The demanding, relentless toddler years were wonderful times but exhausting beyond belief. The kids come home from school and usually it’s a great part of the day. But on the bad days I spend all of my energy trying to speak to my beautiful children civilly, trying my hardest not to overreact to trivial matters. The routine of making them dinner, arranging showers, homework; addressing the arguments, the “Mum, mum, mum, mum, mum”, the repeating myself a billion times… I’m a coiled spring just waiting for the slightest nudge to spring up and out of control. My brain is in overdrive just trying to keep myself on task and not to run out the door.
On a good day I’m thankful. I’m calmer. Sometimes the clarity comes and my fog lifts, but those days are rare. On a good day I wear just one hat at a time and just appreciate feeling normal. I try not to overload myself. I go for a walk if I can, or I take time out to enjoy my serenity. It sounds very “new age hippie shit” but I breathe deeply and stop to smell the roses.
On a fucking fantastic super amazing day it’s highly likely I’m manic. I wear my “Superwoman” hat, roll my sleeves up and get shit done! I love these days but I’m sure I can be a pain in the butt to others. I can be over-bearing, excited, talkative, highly confident and extremely positive. I sing and dance, badly but I couldn’t care less! Life is full of purpose and is mine for the taking. I want to help everyone, whether they need it or not. Mania can be great. It’s a break from the lack of motivation that depression brings. It makes me feel good about myself and I’m a better mum, a better partner and more in touch with the world.
So I try my best not to wear all of my hats at once. I guess that’s the key to dealing with an over-active mind. Right now I’m putting on my sun hat. I’ll make the most of this beautiful sunshine before the clouds return…