The Key

I’m stuck in the prison of my mind, Mixed up and locked away from the outside, All I wish for is to be free… to see myself looking back at me…

…I am what I still am, but what I can’t find. I want to scratch the surface and find me inside, Make sense of the many broken dreams and memories,
And to wake up… not a prisoner… But free.

Does anyone out there have the Key?

Advertisements

Inside My Bipolar Mind – Lost…

I’m not sure really how I can explain how lost I have felt since my diagnosis. The journey to finding myself again has not been an easy one. Being patient with myself hasn’t been easy either… knowing what I can do only makes me envy what I now can’t do, however I’d like to think with time, and with patience anything is possible.

This may be a myth or a trick of the mind however, but I’m hoping my faith in myself will outweigh the negative thought from the darker side of myself, because you see when they explain Bipolar to people on the outside, the family and friends… they can only reveal facts which may differ from person to person, no case is ever the same.

Yes it is true there are polar opposites, from quite severe deep ‘depression’ to the over the top ‘mania’ only few truly display… but there are many points in-between, I can only surmise that this is the only reason I was only diagnosed in 2008, when they didn’t have a choice but to look closer, as I was under section.

Even as a child I exhibited the traits, and my biological mother was diagnosed with the very same mental health diagnosis.

I never truly understood her as a child; I used to feel severe anxiety when we, my brother Matthew and myself went on access visits to Wolverhampton to see her. We found it funny at times, she would be happy, so much so that she would sing and skip through the streets and spend money like she was a millionaire, buying lavish gifts and telling us how she was going to have us back with her, and how we would never want for a thing.

Unfortunately this mood always changed quite severely, I never knew until recently why this happened. She would get very angry with me, and blame me for things I hadn’t done, punishing me… even hitting me on occasion. I was too young to understand, and whenever I spoke up about it, it was denied… they’d always believe her over me, I mean I was a child, why would I tell the truth?

Whenever I found myself getting angry, for no reason at all I hid away, ashamed of my actions. I knew when I saw myself in the mirror; my moods very much mirrored my mums.

I stopped going on access when I was 10 years old.

I refused point blank to visit as it was affecting me emotionally and physically. I would become quite ill, anxious, low, and have to be given medication to calm me. My brother Matthew however kept visiting, his relationship with our mum was so much more healthy… and no matter what I said, or how I reacted to his relationship with her, I feel it must have been quite evident that I was quite jealous of this.

You want your mum to love you… You want your mum to care. I wanted all my life for that, as I never knew my real dad.

I loved my foster parents so much, I called them mum and dad and asked at 10 years old for them to adopt me, so I could share their surname, feel secure, and truly loved unconditionally.

It took 5 years to become a fully-fledged Plenty, yet it made me so very happy to feel like an official member of the family who have shown me nothing but love. I was no longer a lost child, someone who didn’t belong… I was Katie Plenty, and I was most definitely found.

Don’t get me wrong; I cared for my real mum, I understood, as I got older why she was the way she was. She was a part of who I am, and in time I knew I would try again to forge a relationship, place the missing pieces of my puzzle. Every day I question… every day I don’t get the answers.

 

 

 

 

Inside My Bipolar Mind – Waiting…

Have you ever noticed that we are always waiting? Whether that’s waiting for a bus, for the weather to change, or like me this morning… sitting in the doctor’s surgery waiting to be seen.

I don’t know who designs waiting rooms, but they always seem to be awfully strange. The first thing you notice in my doctor’s surgery is the overly large reception desk, which is tall enough to hide the receptionist from view. I can only imagine this design is helpful for them and only them, as they’re hoping that you’ll walk past them and use the touch screen to sign in rather than bothering them. I mean sorting out appointments, and taking the rather large volume of calls would stress out even the most patient among them!

I sometimes wonder if they people watch, like I do at a coffee shop, and try and figure out why in fact we are there, huddled into the waiting room trying nervously not to look each other in the eye, or even breath… worried of what germs can be caught from the surgery itself. I’m forever using hand sanitiser in places like this… I’m far from OCD… but places like this make my skin crawl with the stories you see in the newspaper and online.

I also worry when I call to make an appointment, that they hear my voice and think… “Oh no, not her again!” I worry that they see me as a burden, a pain, someone they should sort out quickly, pack up and send off before I lose my patience, before my bipolarity causes them an issue. It’s not always like this, there have been exceptions, but since my move to Leeds I have felt slightly failed by the mental health service.

I have come quite a long way since my section and diagnosis back in 2008. I spent five years quite lost, waiting for my mind to heal from a very traumatic time. When I was younger I would escape into my own mind, a safe place, somewhere I kept my favourite stories and memories.

The mental ill health however has torn many of these from my mind, and ever since I have been re-building old memories, and beginning to create new ones too. I feel like this was stolen from me, and to rebuild some form of normality is a very important venture. So waiting patiently I am for my mind to make sense of the things that once did not… for this is all I can do to rebuild my very being.

Inside My Bipolar Mind – What I see…

When you are asked to look at yourself… I mean “really” look at yourself? What do you see? Does your reflection show you for who you really are? Do you even recognise yourself? Imagine feeling like you don’t exist, like looking into that very mirror and not seeing a reflection at all, just the room and the world behind you completely distorted and devoid of you. Every day seems to merge into the next, as you lay awake at night watching the seconds, minutes and hours pass.

Your head full of the nonsensical garbage, which circles round and round and round, until you could quite happily shoot yourself just so it would stop, so that everything would stop.

BUT you wouldn’t, because you care for the people you would leave behind. I don’t think anyone can truly realise how lost a soul can be, they usually notice too late. I was told today that a colleague at work attempted suicide, it upset me a lot to hear someone say that she had done so to get attention.

When somebody attempts to take their life, they do not do so lightly, it is far from the coward’s way out, or a way to seek attention. Have you ever held a cold blade against your wrist, with the want to draw it across deep enough to draw all the blood out of your body? Stood on top of a bridge so tall that if you were to jump you would fall to your death? Sat down on a railway track waiting for a train to tear you apart? If you have answered yes to any of these, then you too know that this isn’t an easy way out. The thoughts taunt you, pick at you, haunt and deceive you.

eye

I hate hearing the thought processes, and the voices, so hateful, I want so much to expel these, but they return again, time after time… when you least expect them too. Have you ever asked a friend how they are, without any intention of actually listening to the answer? I haven’t, because I know how much it hurts knowing that someone you consider to be a friend actually couldn’t give a shit about the answer you give. They hear what they want to… probably only the generic “Yeah fine thanks” not the “Yeah ok I guess, I could really do with someone to talk to”

This isn’t because they don’t care about you, believe it or not. It is actually because listening to someone who is down is too much for them, it scares them. Trust me knowing this only alienates me as a person more, I get scared too and I’d like more than my teddy bear to hug me back and tell me it’s going to be ok.

What I have is not contagious, you won’t catch anything from me, I can be loved, and not everyone will run away. Those who matter will want to hear the answer to the question how are you? And one day just like me, you will see your true self looking right back at you.

Thoughts Of The Day

I finally had my appointment with the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) today. Something that has been causing me a lot of worry over the last month.

Thanks to a very patient and understanding partner who not only drove me to my appointment, sat with me last night as I made a list of things to say today. She’s a big part of why today had such a positive outcome.

I hope the new year gives me a lot to look forward to…  Including better mental health 🙂

Coping At Christmas

image

A great post from mental health charity SANE.

I have felt so lonely at Christmas  time, even with friends and family close… I have felt so far away.

Knowing I have someone who understands my need to surround myself with comfort,… And shy away from the conflicts that occasionally happen during the Christmas holidays .

I wish every one a comfortable and safe Christmas time .

Dreams That Nightmares Are Made Of!

I have always had trouble with sleep, even as a little girl I suffered with insomnia.

I was scared of the monsters that hid under my bed!

These weren’t your cuddly Sully types found in Disney’s “Monsters Inc”, they were dark mysterious monsters that fed off your fear… With big eyes that glowed in the dark,  and sharp teeth that would snap you in two. 

There wasn’t anything special about my monsters…  Everybody has them… Because they’re the unknown, unneeded and unhelpful thoughts,  even psychosis which as a child would only be seen as strange behaviour… Or an imaginary friend.   As I grew up I realised these monsters actually hidden deep inside my head.

The mind is a powerful thing, it can create whatever your imagination will allow.

Dreams have become more vivid, more real… I’m 33 now and I sometimes still wake up crying thinking a friend or family member has been hurt by my actions whilst ill.

I distance myself from others when the dreams get worse. I don’t want to harm anyone like my dreams depict.

“Have You Taken Your Meds? “

It’s probably the most annoying question that could possibly be asked. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks so!

I even worry when I start to feel happy that someone may ask if I am slightly if not full blown manic! Am I not allowed to feel good? To actually feel happy for real? Rather than the fake happiness I sometimes try to portray…  To seem normal. 

My medication is something I have taken every day since my diagnosis…  And even beforehand.
There are times however when I wonder why I am taking them…  When for over a year now
have had little if no effect on my mentality.

I feel like I am permenantly low.., fighting each day to get out of my pit and face the day. Anxiety has overtaken many of my actual functions… And I actually hate that it still smacks me in the face, when I least expect it to.

Even the simplest task seems like a mission, being around people has been horrendous…  The crowds of Christmas, I’ve left shops without shopping, started crying because I cannot actually stand to be anywhere else but home.

This has affected work,  and my uni life… And in the past caused me to fail. BUT I won’t let it…  I’m fighting every day for help with it.  I know the CBT tricks…  And I try to put them into practice.

Trust me…  I know when I’m beat…  So if I walk away from a situation, I haven’t lost, I’m just taking time out to regain the strength to start again.

Yes I am strong…  But when I ask for help… I need it!

I wish the mental health services would not judge me by a single moment, and listen to the struggles I am having.

Attempt to change the medication which is not touching the surface.

In time…  I hope it changes and government stop cutting funds to much needed services. I’m fighting to change this…  I hope to gain support from the many charities out there… As things need to change in mental health, for the better!

About Me

wp-1450336604227.jpeg

Hi my name is Katie Plenty.  I am a photographer & an artist who happens to live with Bipolar disorder.

I was diagnosed back in 2008 whilst under section,  yet had showed signs of it years before.

Mental health is something many of us will suffer from in our lives.  It is reported that 1 in 4 of us will be diagnosed with mental ill health.  This is of course the reported cases of such.  With education and less stigma more people will receive the help they need.

I hope to give others out there with mental ill health the chance to speak out,  ask questions,  and understand a diagnosis doesn’t define them.

So Why Blog?

I guess I felt I needed to voice further something that is not only part of my life, but something I feel needs to spoken of to replace stigma with knowledge, and a more sympathetic ear.

I sometimes wake up wishing I was someone else…  That is of course if I have slept at all! Having mental ill health is hugely stigmatised…. Mainly because there is no form of education about it.

I feel it important to talk about it, that way people who are worried about their own mental health will be more likely to see a health professional about it… And also services which are much needed won’t be cut due to lack of support.

I hope as you read through my blog you gain an understanding, or a wish to help me stop the stigma, and gain a better understanding of mental ill health.