Hello and welcome to the re-launch of my blog.
My blog has been neglected since Summer 2014. There are many reasons for this; namely the past year has been the hardest of my life, and as such I didn’t even have the strength or capacity to blog about it. Additionally the nature of a lot of my pain was very unique and new to me. Alongside two of the worst bouts of depressions of my life (one of which nearly ended in hospitalisation – Summer ’14 – and the other which lead to being diagnosed as Bipolar again and putting on Lithium, Diazepam and sleeping tablets – Spring ’15), I also lost my cat (who has featured heavily on this blog, and was a huge source of self-care for me), and, most importantly, one of the most significant and special men in my life; my grandpa, the first grandparent I have lost and indeed the first truly devastating loss I’ve experienced (I know I am incredibly lucky in one sense, for being so sheltered thus far, but in another sense, I didn’t just lose a grandpa, I lost a genuine friend, a friendship built upon adult interests, and mature emotional insights).
I know many people have applauded me in the past for being so open online; for saying it how it is, and for exposing truths that most would rather shy away from. However this year I couldn’t bear to fill the internet with posts that were wholly negative in character, posts which couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I went to extremely dark places in 2015, places I hope never to return to. I was suicidal, self harming again, and felt totally alone. I despaired about my career choices; I regretted my decision to go to drama school (something I now feel much happier about), I couldn’t bear the thought of living in London, but equally felt incredibly stifled and lost living at home. I didn’t know what else to do with myself, and applied back to Cambridge on a whim, thinking I would never in a million years get in. I despaired that I had no relevant work experience as all my undergrad holidays had been devoted to theatre. I had a place to begin Teach First in September ’15, but had to drop out because I was too unwell and fatigued to begin the training programme. I was too ill to work a ‘regular’ day job, and thus wasn’t financially independent. I lost interest in everything, and spent days lying in bed, too tired and depressed to even put netflix on. I was suffering the repercussions of my 3 stone weight gain in 2014 (from medication that was wrongly prescribed to me). I felt lethargic and unmotivated and lost all self-confidence. I was suffering with adult acne, and trying creams, and tablets to deal with it. I was sick from the lithium, and the sleeping tablets were having no effects. I had two severe bouts of food poisoning whilst travelling, which resulted in permanent, and painful IBS, which is turn also led to very painful haemorrhoids (just being honest). My trip of a lifetime was marred by constant IBS, food poisoning, severe anxiety and insomnia, and 2nd degree burns to my face, as well as repercussions of medication (antipsyhotic) withdrawal a week before departing. It was also a worrying time for my family; my grandpa passed away from cancer a mere 9 weeks after being diagnosed (after returning from Asia, I had 4 incredibly heartbreaking weeks with him, despite being told he had 1-2 years left to live),my dad had lost his right hand man at work (grandpa), and my mum had lost one of the most important men in her life, my other grandad had a small skin cancer removed from his face, and my sister struggled with anxiety and severe tinnitus (resulting in MRI scans, and a very stressful period).
I am not saying any of this for pity. Life sucks. We all know that. And unfortunately sometimes it all comes at once, but we tend to do the British thing of ‘stiff upper lip’. I know I did. I told bits and bobs to people, my friends were very supportive, but I never painted the whole picture… not for anyone. Nobody knew that when I was nursing and helping my grandpa each day (parents were at work, and Liv sometimes at uni), I was severely suicidal because of my Bipolar, but I kept smiling, and never once let my grandpa see that I was upset and hurting. This became increasingly difficult when I realised the 1-2 years wasn’t going to happen.. that he was in fact getting sicker. Nothing can prepare you for watching a loved one slowly die in front of you. Each day he got weaker and weaker until eventually he couldn’t leave his bed. But we never left his side. We kept caring for him until the moment he took his last breath, which, we were all there for.
But this is where the new blog comes in. I don’t want my blog to just be about the bad stuff. I want to recognise the good can come from shit. It’s almost impossible to see good in death. But I must be thankful that my grandpa didn’t suffer for too long. He wasn’t in a lot of pain, and he got to die at home as he wanted. The NHS doctors were incredible and the hospice (from home team) were incredible (and this actually resulted in my volunteering for the hospice in the Summer, and helping out at their fundraising events). I must also be thankful that grief and hurt can bring families closer together. We spent a lot of time together over that period and are a stronger unit as a result. My friends were also amazing throughout.
And same with my own life, I can feel depressed one day, or for a couple of weeks, and then something can switch and I can feel good again. I want to make those switches more regular. Do little things to improve my wellbeing each day – whether it be buying a nice new candle, or going for a jog in the fresh Winter air, or reconnecting with an old friend, or having a good old sing. And just generally try and see little positives in shit times, because there is always something to be thankful for.
Also a quick thank-you to everyone who has been asking about my blog for the last year and where I had got to and for giving me that extra nudge to re-start it.
I hope to write many more blogs and help many more people.
MORE ABOUT MY BLOG IF YOU ARE NEW:
A twenty-something year old Masters student living in Cambridge, suffering, like 1/4 of the population, with a mental health disorder. I am living with Bipolar Disorder, and will probably have it for the rest of my life. However it does not define me, and I hope to show that life doesn’t have to be on hold but can still be lived. I am reclaiming the equilibrium in my life through self-care, medication, and being open with people around me.
I write my blog to help me and to help you, my readers, whether you’re a fellow sufferer or a friend or family member seeking to understand.
I mostly write what’s on my mind in the moment, or sometimes slightly longer, more composed pieces on particular broader topics, such as ‘loneliness’, and ‘suicide’.
I do hope my little blog helps you in some way.