My Dirty Little Secret…

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I’m not ashamed of my truth.  I am ‘out’ about my condition but do people realise that I wouldn’t change it for the world? Probably not.

Of course, I take my medication like a good little girl but I refuse to take the cocktail of uppers and downers which my consultant recommends because in all reality, I wouldn’t be me if I did.

I take just enough of my medication to ‘pass for normal’ and to live a high-functioning life that allows me to generally go undetected through the ‘Crazy Radar.’  People generally just assume I’m eccentric or friendly (both true) and seem to feel much more comfortable with that.

But the real truth is that my medication merely dilutes the crazy.  Am I dangerous? Hell no.  I have bipolar disorder, I’m not a sociopath. However, my mind works differently to most.  And you know what? I love that.  I was recently told that I think too much.  Bullshit.  There is no such thing as thinking too much.  Without thought, we are merely robots and one thing my life has taught me is that I have never felt comfortable fitting in.  I would much rather over-analyse everything and feel alive than numb myself to all that surrounds me.

To quote my musical hero, Brent Smith of ‘Shinedown’ “Maybe I like that I’m not alright…”  Yeah, I said it.  I like it.  I wouldn’t get rid of this illness if I had the choice.  Sure, I’d get rid of the diagnosis because that brings with it a whole heap of drama but my mind is beautiful and I’m keeping it.

The thoughts I have are not like those of the people around me.  Or if they are, they keep their truth really well hidden.  I love that I notice the little things.  I love that I experience things with such intensity.  I love that colours are brighter.  I see the world through a child’s eyes much of the time.  Why would I want to dull that awe with medication and through being worn down by life to such an extent that I take it for granted?  Fuck that.

On Sunday I took a drive to the Cotswolds.  If you are unfamiliar with it, google it.  It is a gem.  I had a training course to attend for a certain Z-related dance trend but my mood required a serious lift so I took the scenic route.

It took my breath away.

Being surrounded by nature is guaranteed to ground me and bring me back to myself.  The beauty of my surroundings sent a buzz of awe through me.  My trusty old car meandered along country lanes that were dappled with sunlight through a canopy of trees, nature’s tunnel that would then dissipate to reveal a patchwork of fields and forests.

When you lose trust in humanity, retain faith in nature.  It cannot fail to let you down.

I will leave you with the couldn’t-have-put-it-better-myself words of Brent Smith:

“Am I sick or am I gifted?…

Maybe it’s me, I’m just crazy;

Maybe I like that I’m not alright”

Have a truly beautiful day 🙂

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Like no-one is watching…

My mood, like the British weather, is changeable. I feel alone. I feel disconnected with a smile. To look at me you wouldn’t know the turmoil that lies beneath. My masquerade, an art perfected over the years – fooling only those closest to me. But where have they gone? If there’s no one here to see it, no one can know.

And so I will do the only things that I know how, that will make me feel alive.  Today I will take a road trip, I will sing along to the songs that can always lift my mood and when I arrive, I will dance…

Suicide Season

Beautifully written. I love the concept. Great work Chris 🙂

The Renegade Press

‘Ignoring your passion is slow suicide. Never ignore what your heart pumps for.’

  • Kevin Claiborne

Let’s play a game of Russian Roulette.

You and I are seated at a table in a smoke filled room; there’s an old six shooter positioned perfectly between us with a single round floating in one of its chambers. The heavy aromas of mildew and fear cling to your skin causing you to perspire. We’re alone. There’s no one here to save us; the only entrance to the cell is destined to remain locked until only one of us remains. You’re scared. So am I. Our lives have been reduced to this moment where we’ll play a game of chance to see who survives. Nothing else matters right now. It’s just you and I.

There’s a coin beside the gun. We’ll flip to see who shoots first. I pick it up and use my thumb…

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The Beauty Gauntlet…

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Finally, it is here.  My favourite time of year: Autumn.

To many, the anticipation of summer holds a longing and promise but apart from the added hours of sunlight which can always be relied upon to improve my mood, it has never held too much magic for me.

Autumn?  Now you’re talking.  The season of Bonfire Night, mittens, conker-ing, Halloween, Pumpkin Spiced Latte and above all, nature at its finest.

06df506cfd01c09b6b876f0ff00c4dbcAutumn has always held a very special place in my heart. I cannot trace it back to happy childhood memories but the pleasure it gives me as an adult is unparalleled.

The realisation that Autumn has arrived, sinks in as I look around me and notice the beautiful shades as the trees begin to turn.  One particular tree, near our giant supermarket split perfectly into thirds displaying green, orange and red leaves like a real-life Snow White apple.

There is something mystical about the Autumn.  It is the time when I feel closest to nature.  I am often stopped in my tracks at the beauty that surrounds me.  Beauty that can be found in the most unlikely of places.  The way the low sun creates sharp shadows or the glint of the grass that appears to shine.  It’s breath-taking.

The other morning, something magical happened.  To the vast majority I assume that it would have gone unnoticed, or if noticed it would have been remarked upon and then promptly forgotten.  It has stayed with me.  I spoke in my post ‘‘Spiderwebs’ about the fascination that these incredible gifts of nature invoke so what happened this day was truly magical.

As I left the house with ‘The Kid,’ it became apparent upon opening the front door that it was an incredibly misty morning.  This was not something she had experienced before so as we walked to her school, I explained why it looked so cloudy.

As we rounded the corner onto the main stretch of road where her school is located, we spotted on the lamp-post a beautiful spiderweb whose structure was further highlighted by the presence of dew drops.  The sight in itself was pretty breath-taking.  However, as we walked the short walk from that lamp-post down the walkway to the school entrance, the pathway which is lined with bushes, was strung from top to bottom with intricate dew covered spider webs.

A Hollywood set designer could not have created something so beautiful, mesmerising and eery.  The lighting was just right to create an Edward Scissorhands/Beautiful Creatures-esque atmosphere.  I counted over 120 of these webs over the short distance.

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Every morning, I leave the house hoping that I will experience this incredible work of nature again but of course I do not.

Moments like this blow my mind.  So much time is spent in life stressing about the big stuff that people often don’t notice or appreciate the magic of the small stuff.

Open your eyes and take a look around.  There is beauty right in front of you…

Have a magic-filled day…

Alive…

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The thing with bipolar disorder is it’s so damn fickle.  How is it possible that I am able to feel simultaneously vibrant yet monochrome?  Tuesday was an incredibly emotional day for me and every time ‘M’ made me laugh, I begged him to stop for fear that I would begin to cry and never stop.

Bipolar Disorder is like the strongest of magnifying glasses – every emotion, bump and flaw in your life is illuminated – not necessarily in a negative way but in the sense of awareness.  Things that would go unnoticed by others, flicker before my eyes and are registered and filed into a box in my brain (McBeal jokes that it is my Pandora’s Box).  Does my awareness of situations and body language make me an over thinker? Paranoid? Hyper-aware? Or all of the above?

I have to wonder whether ‘normal’ people get it?  I see them going about their lives with their nice cars, television series conversations and general mind-numbing small talk and I think to myself, “Is this all you’ve got?”  Yet, I’m the one that gets depressed!

I obviously cannot speak on their behalf but I am pretty sure that they have never felt the intense rush of euphoria at the sheer wonder of existence.  The throb of blood through your veins as your consciousness lifts like a skyscraper elevator.

This sensation is incredible, this feeling requires no accompanying side dishes to complement.  It is there in the moment.  Like the rush of a rollercoaster that holds no fear, just pure euphoria.  There is no fear, no consequence, nothing other than the here and now.

But the problem with my type of disorder is that I am balancing on a knife’s edge.  One moment I can feel high as a kite and then in a flash, a wave of despair can crash over me, knocking the wind from my sails and smearing away the confidence and security that once remained.

And so I look around me at those who are ‘normal’ and I wonder if they get it?  I don’t mean that with a sense of grandiosity but I have to wonder are they living like icebergs with just their shallow existence peeking at me with significant hidden depths that lurk beneath?  I would like to think so but judging by the state of what prime time TV shows offer, the pointless trash that people purchase from magazine stands and the conversations that I overhear as I go about life, I have to wonder.

There is only one person that I have met that truly gets it.  And by it I mean, they can see what I see, they can feel what I feel.  This level of understanding makes me feel more alive than ever before – it’s like stumbling through life with the lens cap on, only for someone to come along, tap you on the shoulder and point out your foolish mistake.

My whole life I have felt like a square peg attempting to fit into a round hole.  I have noticed things that others didn’t seem to and always seemed pretty confident that others were not experiencing the same emotions as me – if so, how on earth were they able to function and maintain such a regular, bland normal life?

However, I can feel myself slipping.  Reaching the realisation that most do not think as I do is both liberating and isolating.  I see things differently.  I find beauty in unusual places.  I cannot accept and conform to things that many in society accept without question.  Why?  Do they know something that I have missed, or is it just easier to follow the herd and get sucked along with current?

Embrace or deny?

First of all, may I just say, “SWEET LORD, I’M SO FREAKING HUNGRY!”

It’s been almost 3 days since I took to my pit bed and I’m pretty sure that if I could muster the strength, I could kill a man for a Papa John’s tuna, sweetcorn and anchovy pizza (don’t judge me, it’s awesome.)  I am sick of being sick.

I had every intention of today being like every other Monday but when my alarm went off at 5:45am, my head and limbs screamed, “Are you fucking kidding? Lie back down you joker!”    My glands are so swollen it feels like Mike Tyson has been using my neck as a punch-bag. Ugh.  Yet not a visible symptom in sight.  Not even the teeniest sniffle. Odd.

I have been very ‘up-and-down’ these last few days (no shit, I’m bipolar) but not in the sense that I am depressed.  I am not depressed at all.  I have merely been flitting between my innate default optimistic self and the life-has-made-this-monster cynic that has typed many of my recent posts.

So I’m gonna take a step back and ask the ridiculously clichéd question:

“Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?”

Now, I would hope that the majority of people would say, “Choose love!’ but the thing with love is that it has the capacity to enter very murky waters indeed.  In a perfect world, everyone would find their other half and they would live happily ever after for the rest of all eternity.  But we all know that this isn’t a perfect world.

What if your other half has not been discovered?  What if there is more than one of them?  What if your other half is someone else’s?  What if your other half has already committed to another? It’s a fucking shit storm I tell ya!

Now generally in life, if you love someone or someone loves you, it will be obvious.  If they tell you then that takes out the guesswork.  But what happens when they love you, you know they love you, but they choose to deny it, despite making it crystal clear?  At the end of the day, a person is surely just as vulnerable to pain as soon as love enters the equation?

So where is the power in denying it? 

I was once told, “I have always loved you, from the moment I met you I knew. But I cannot let myself get too close to you because I would never be able to walk away…”

This same person would flit between these beautiful declarations of undying love and cold heartless don’t-give-a-fuck exchanges.  Had their feelings changed? No.

If both parties know the truth then what is the sense in denying its existence?

Just putting it out there.  Answers on a postcard please…

I’m sticking with the Kevin McCallister philosophy…

Bird Lady: The man I loved fell out of love with me. That broke my heart. And whenever the chance to be loved came along again, I ran away from it. I stopped trusting people.

Kevin McCallister: No offense, but that seems like sort of a dumb thing to do.

Bird Lady: I was afraid of getting my heart broken again. You see, sometimes you can trust a person, and then, when things are down, they forget about you.

Kevin McCallister: Maybe they’re just too busy. Maybe they don’t forget about you, but they forget to remember you. I don’t think people mean to forget, I think it just happens. My grandfather says if my head wasn’t screwed on, I’d leave it on the school bus.

Bird Lady: I’m just afraid if I do trust someone, I’ll get my heart broken again.

Kevin McCallister: I understand that. I used to have these really nice pair of roller blades. I was afraid if I wore them, I’d wreck them, so I kept them in a box. Do you know what happened? I outgrew them. I never wore them once outside. I just wore them in my room a couple times.

Bird Lady: A person’s heart and a persons feelings are very different than skates.

Kevin McCallister: Well they’re kind of the same thing. If you aren’t gonna use your heart, then whats the difference if it gets broken? If you just keep it to yourself, maybe it’ll be like my roller blades. When you do decide to try it, it won’t be any good. You should take a chance. Got nothing to lose.

Well said Kevin!

Have a lovely day! (said in a corny stereotypical British, Tim Curry kinda way)

Waiting…

If I just sit here patiently, something will happen. He’ll do something so staggeringly romantic that my faith in him will be restored.

He knows how I feel. Just 7 days ago I sat in a public car park with tears rolling down my face as I let every feeling of worthlessness out.

So if I just wait. Maybe, just maybe. He’ll remember why he fell in love with me…

Let me share with you one of my favourite songs of all time. I can’t listen to it too often because it makes me cry.  It’s too beautiful not to though…

Pass the Kleenex