All my love Darren x
Happy Birthday to my partner Jason. Here's hoping that 2016 will be better than the last. Remember one thing, you have always had right on your side!
All my love Darren x
This is a fictional account of a real story!
These times were sent to test us! Should I fail my conscience, I will forever know that I did what I could, to stop the enduring pain that now engulfs my memories, all my thoughts and reside permanently in a place, I never want to revisit, until my final few hours on this Earth. These words are words that will never be spoken of again. They are difficult sentences to write and even more difficult to recall. Recall them I will. Every night, I close my eyes, the darkness that spreads through my whole existence, will descend upon my dreams, a recurring nightmare, that has haunted me every day that a try and rest my broken mind. To reconcile the terrible, unbearable, incomprehensible series of events, that now dominate my life, with the aspirations of the child I once was, with hopes and ambitions that will always cause a wound that will never be healed. Changed forever, emotionally destroyed and wrestling with pain, that will never go away. Rejected by friends and family, never understood by most, accepted by a few, but the pure truth, the words on my heart, chizzled on the grave stone, that will sit as a reminder, of just what happened to myself and others, who did no more than help others who needed to be empowered to do all the things I thought I would. The biggest, uneasy realization of my life now and forever!
I was always so full of ambition. There was so much I wanted to do. As a young boy, I was focused and knew where I wanted to go. Not one of us believes we will ever end up, in a situation, so obscure and heinous that a drama, could never pay justice to it. This is the first day I am able to sit quietly, put words on a page and really accept, that what I am seeing is true. Until today, my thoughts were so jumbled and misunderstood, even I doubted them. To place doubt in oneself, is an awful thing. For others, perpetuating that doubt, even worse. This Sunday, after five days of understanding, I can now piece together the scraps of evidence that only I could have collected. Not on paper, but in my mind, that, although tired, will always be lucid enough to recall these events. After all, they have been with me, for what seems a life time, yet in reality, they have only been confirmed within my soul for six months. I have spent this time, searching for the truth, explanations and closure. Today, at least, I can close this last open door, behind which the reality of my situation lies.
In 2008, after suffering, from what I thought was depression, something clicked inside of me. I wanted to be happy again. I wanted to experience a level of self respect the years had crumbled away. I applied for a job within the church, as a Librarian. I loved books The touch and feel, the smell, the words of people, many people, now gone, but the books a reminder of who they once were, a living memory of lives, no longer there. Books telling stories, of bravery, love, anger and pain, books with a past and permanent future that we can always dip in and out from, at will. Taking a little bit of someone we never knew, with us, on our journey through life.
I had no expectations. If anything, I believed it would be the first of many applications, before I could achieve my goal of working again. I had a chequered history, where work was concerned, always achieving and failing at the same rates. No middle ground, just muddle and confusion over another failure in life, when I so wanted to succeed. I just wanted to do something in my life that I was finally a success at. I wanted to prove to myself and others, that I could be an achiever and not that constant failure, I was always reminded I was by others!
It was a hot day, the interview was in Pimlico, above that dusty old church in the High Street. I remember entering the room. It had a strange shape window, a bit like that house in Amityville. I always loved that film. The truth behind it scared me beyond my years. I was interviewed by Susan and Rachel, two genuinely wonderful people, who I respect, over and above anyone, I have ever worked with since. They had there own stories to tell, battles they fought, but both with so much love for those who worked with them, it was humbling. True spiritual and dedicated individuals, who were there to help others, including myself, without any ulterior motives.
I hadn't had an interview in a while, so assessing how well it went, or not, was difficult. I just remembered thinking, what great people they would be to work for. I actually enjoyed speaking to both of them, they were open and receptive and that always helps to put any candidate at ease. It was a boiling hot day, I was wearing a suit and was sweating. I hate sweating at the best of times, but in an interview, it just made me more anxious and annoyed me tremendously. On leaving the church, I kicked myself, thinking, they were probably instantly put off, by this sweaty mess in front of them. I convinced myself, the job was not for me and left!
I received a call shortly afterwards, from Susan. She was a cheerful, happy and uplifting Lady, who I adored. I had got the job. They believed I was the right person for the position and it was mine. For someone like me, who had gradually set my expectations lower, the more failures I experienced, it was an achievement, unmatched. It was my dream job and I was working with people I thought were great. On top of this I was working for the church, making money for good causes. I could not be happier!
Susan was my Manager for a short while, followed by Rachel, for about two years. This was a happy and productive time for me. I worked long hours, over and above what was expected, but I did not care. It was about proving to myself and others that I had integrity and what it takes to be successful. I loved the Library and the large number of volunteers who worked with me. True, selfless people, who gave up their time for nothing, to help me, the church and the causes it championed. People who were happy to go to work and loved what they were doing. The atmosphere was always happy. We all worked together as a team and results showed. Church donations from the Library were rising.
I also decided to do an NVQ, off my own back, encouraging my Deputy at the time, Paul, to join me. We worked well together and I was experiencing new and exciting opportunities each and everyday. Successful times, growing numbers of volunteers, and above all encouragement and motivation. Rachel would come to my shop as often as she could, weekly in the main. He would take me to conferences, ask me to help him with various projects, meetings and plans and I was given the utmost respect, as I always did for Rachel.
In 2010, Rachel left, she was retiring. She was a big loss for me. She was everything I would have loved to have been. I looked up to her, admired her character and found her a true Lady, in every respect. She pushed me ever onwards and was an asset to the church and those who worked in it. She deserved a happy and successful retirement.
My new boss was Alison. She was middle aged, at the time approachable, a bit dowdy and terribly interested in me and strangely my life, in all aspects. This was unusual for me, as I was only used to a Business relationship. At first I was unsure what to make of her approach, but accepted it was her Management style and we became close working colleagues.
I saw less of Alison than Rachel, which for me at the time, showed she had confidence in my abilities as Head Librarian and did not question her motives, why would I? I hardly knew her, but like most people gave her the benefit of the doubt. She was difficult to track down at times. Rachel always produced a monthly diary, which she would sent to his Managers, so we knew where he was and was easily contactable. Alison said it would not be her way of doing things. It made everyone's job harder, but I accepted it.
This was a time, when I began to see less and less of Alison, less than I felt was necessary, to provide me with the motivational, inspirational and appropriate help I needed to continue with success. For the first time Volunteers didn't see my superior, they did not know her name, indeed who she was. I am really not sure why a Manager would think it proper to distance themselves from those who essentially kept the church the success it was, but what could I do. Management styles were always different, this one was just one I had never experienced before. I didn't like it or approve of her ways and it was alien to me, but she did show herself now and again, so as a shop we continued doing what we did best, 'Making The Lords Voice Heard'!
This was also a time where my responsibility as a Manager was changing. Donations was slipping. There was constant change in the Library, as we tried to find out the factors behind decline. Alison remained aloof from the church and I began to take on more and more responsibility. At first I was happy to do this. I was helping St Edmunds and able to broaden my knowledge and experience.
Alison was also changing. I was expressing concern and was asking for help in finding solutions to problematic areas. She was not forthcoming. She told me things were fine. They were not and I knew it, the volunteers knew it and the congregation were well aware of the issues surrounding their Community Library, but she was not. Her only reaction to falling income was to take on more responsibility as Head Librarian, to justify my salary. I agreed and this was the first time, I began to fear for the shop itself, my position and failing health. I had to do it, to protect myself, my shop and the ideals of volunteers and St Edmunds. There was a huge amount of pressure on me, but with the help of my new Deputy, we would get through these times, until income began to pick up again.
I was always a positive person, I had to be. After the turmoil in my life, I had to look beyond current situations and beyond to the future. Depression had turned into Bipolar, my health was slipping ever further, but I would get through it, I was strong and my team were dedicated, now all I needed was more support from Alison. How could she refuse?
I was confronted by Alison at a meeting with local Clergy, after a series of messages from one of my volunteers expressing concern about myself and my illness. She had been liaising with him on a regular basis. My medical condition was disclosed and most hurtfully and disturbingly a suicide attempt. A series of statements were made about me. Drugs and alcohol were also being discussed openly between the two of them and I was horrified. Accusations were being made about me, which were untrue or had nothing to do with my position at the church. I was shattered by the whole experience.
I had tried to commit suicide. The lack of support at work and resulting, faltering relationship was becoming and issue and I felt I had no other option. I took around a hundred pills and had made peace with myself. I wanted to leave this life, it was the end for me and I had accepted that. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, born of neglect, failure and lack of support. With a bipolar diagnosis under my belt, I felt my long term partner would be better off without me.
As I laid on the sofa in our lounge, tears rolling down my face, I knew this was the end. My eyes closed and the next thing I saw was something I shall never forget until my dying day. I was flying above green fields, full of beautiful technicolour flowers. I could smell the air, the blooming colour and the fresh blue sky. It was peaceful and quiet, just a few birds singing. I felt relaxed and happy. Suddenly I saw a familiar face, it was my partner. I tried to reach out to him, but he was gone. Then, just as quickly I saw more faces, a bit like a camera roll, flashing before my very eyes. Everyone was alive. I just remember trying to grab hold of each one. I just could not quite do it. I was scared. Had no idea what was happening and just wanted it to stop. Then a tunnel, just a tunnel, no light at the end, just a dark endless tunnel. I knew what was happening. This was the end of my life. This was finality, the end of everything. It was the most traumatic thing I had ever experienced and I was truly dying.
I was awoken by a friend. From the corner of my eyes, I could see the mayhem surrounding me. I wanted to go back. This was not how it was supposed to be. I wanted to be dead and I wasn't. Sally, dear Sally had saved my life. I was ushered into an ambulance and taken to Hospital. I must have passed out again, although I believe my airway had collapsed in the Ambulance. Apparently the blue lights came on and they got me to A&E as quick as possible. Sally said afterwards, making me smile, how terribly important she felt as those lights switched on. The traffic seemed to zoom past the ambulance, ever quicker as they tried to save my life. Thanks to Sally I am here today. Another memory that will live with me forever.
I don't remember much about the meeting with Alison, accept, I was distressed. I had just survived a suicide attempt and now my whole life was being thrown into question. I remember one of the clergy saying her Aunty had Bipolar, so he totally understood what was happening with my health issues. Alison said very little. She was cold and emotionless. I was not understanding this massive sea change in my boss, she was not what I had ever expected and she was becoming less and less recognisable as time moved on. Deflated, emotional and shocked I went back to the Library, more depressed than ever.
The following eighteen months, can only be described as degeneration and shocking neglect. These months I saw Alison so little I was concerned. She had taken my Deputy from me. He felt pressured into at first accepting an unpaid role, telling me on numerous occasions how much he hated the job. This was also the first time he had expressed concern about Alison as a Manager. He felt intimidated and bullied by her. There was no trust and an inability to offer support.
My partner was also working for church at this time, having been offered a Wardens role. He was so happy to have a job, that also meant something to him. He had been going through a rough time in his previous job and felt he had now achieved something he had always wanted. He also became close to Alison. He had no family left, my family were unable to offer the bonds he needed and Alison seemed interested in him as a person. He was able to talk to her about subjects, that as a rule, only close family and friends were there for. I found this a little strange and totally unprofessional on her part, but knew he needed someone to talk too. I was more concerned about just how long she would be there for him, based on previous experience. I accepted that it was helping him at a difficult time.
As my health continued to falter, so did that of my former Deputy. I expressed concerns for his Health to Alison, asked for help in the Library, expressed fears for my depression and all the time took on more and more responsibility, as income continued to fall. There was no help forthcoming, and I felt more and more isolated. My Deputy's health was now becoming of great concern for me. Alison was his line Manager, yet he could not speak to her. She was a bully, offered no empathy and was increasing his work load more and more. He was a shell of his former self. He needed help and she wasn't their for him. Again and again I expressed my concerns along with my new Deputy Manager. We had real fears for his welfare. Still nothing was done.
He resigned shortly afterwards. He gave me his resignation. He was in tears. When I told Alison, she tried to make him resign with immediate effect. This seemed odd, since he had been signed off sick. I told him not too, he followed my advice. She seemed angry at this, but He was my concern, not her.
There was another suicide attempt. I could not get any help from Alison at all. My life was collapsing around my eyes and I had reached another low point. A friend was once again there for me saved my life. On this occasion I walked out of Hospital before assessment. I have no idea how I got home, but I was woken up at 3am by the Police, breaking into my house. They had a duty of care to preserve my life and had been searching for me around the Hospital grounds. I spent four hours with Police and Doctors coming in and out of my house, assessing whether I was fit and of sound mind, to make a decision about my own health.
During the last months in situ as Head Librarian, things got dramatically worse. An altercation between myself and another Manager and the resulting dismissal of events by Alison caused a complete Bipolar Relapse. I was arrested in the Easter of 2015, after trying to take my own life once again. On release, I was charged into the care of my partner and heavily sedated. I don't really remember the next few months, but they were most distressing for all concerned. For that I am truly sorry.
Since these events, my partner has been signed off sick from St Edmunds, after a series of bullying and events I can only describe as disgusting, using language and untruths I am still in shock about today. His health has deteriorated rapidly and he is now heavily medicated. We both continue to experience horrendous anonymous phone calls from those who seek to destroy us.
My health collapsed further over the last six months, as I was left unmedicated and experienced mental illness in its full unrelenting glory. Rapid Cycling Mixed State Bipolar, severe head pain, Post Traumatic Stress and isolation. An illness left to fend for itself and a complete reluctance by Alison to admit responsibility.
Both myself and my partner are going through a grievance process as part of the shocking and shameful incidents, neglect, lack of safeguards and brutality we went through. It has been so strung out, that we just continue to get worse. My partner is also suffering from Post Traumatic Stress. He is a shell. It destroys me inside to watch him like this, but we are helpless.
Other church goers, volunteers, staff and family in our region continue to suffer bullying and harassment, more grievance procedures, further isolation, lies, so many lies are being told and people are walking out, yet those responsible are sill in post. It is the most disgusting set of events I have ever been witness too. My health, my partners, my relapse my suicides, all as a result of one woman's sick desire for power and control. A bully, at the very least, as we now believe, left in charge of good, God fearing, dedicated people.
Lack of care. Peoples lives at risk, disregard for human dignity and contempt for homosexuals, mental illness and those more vulnerable.
YES THIS IS THE CHURCH, The church I loved and devoted my life too, and for what? A bully to be allowed to run riot over my life!
This is me today, broken, ill, bullied and vulnerable!
That was back then. Today after nine months Robert is fit and ready for confrontation, only this time, he is armed with the law, support, a huge network of friends and returned spirit!
All of us will experience bullying at some time in our life. Usually, for most of us, it happens when we are young. When you mention the bully word, School immediately comes to mind and for most of us, that is the time we experience our only recollection of such traumatic abuse. That is what the statistics say. For me however I believe that bullying is rife throughout our entire life, only most of us, don't see it as bullying, or really do not understand the concept completely.
From my recent experience with bullying, I have concluded that everyone of us is at risk, but certain individuals remain exposed more than others, Lets take my example. I have Bipolar and at various different points, I am more vulnerable than I otherwise would be. I am also an empath.
10 Signs You Are an Empath
1) You feel uncomfortable in crowded settings
2) You have random unfounded mood swings
3) You burst into tears during emotionally charged movie scenes (even Disney)
4) You are able to gauge if what someone is telling you is sincere
5) You can read the emotional state of others beyond what they are revealing
6) You experience a visceral reaction to loaded words such as “hate”
7) You enjoy being out in nature, in or near water more than the company of
8) You are naturally inclined to alleviate the pain of others (physical or emotional)
9) You have a history of co-dependent relationships that likely weren’t healthy
10) Your energy frequently feels depleted after listening to the personal woes of
People like myself are easy targets of bullies and worse. Sadly they fool me everytime and I have fallen victim many times. I suppose from my point of view, I just want to see the good in people. For a while even a bully can be plausible and that is the issue here.
being ill for eight months has allowed me to study and read in depth the psychology behind those that seek to cause harm to others. It was the most emotional period of my life. I learned some of the most disturbing aspects of people, that I have ever read. This is the time you start to see patterns in your own life. I spoke to bullying helplines and forums and sadly began to piece together a story, that although hard to do, gave me answers to the reasons why I am where I am today. When you have that sudden realisation, you at first, reject what is as plain as day. Not believing the truth is easier, but with help of others, you gradually come to terms with the facts.
The things I know now, will remain with me forever. I can never forget what has happened in my life. I still have nightmares, about what has transpired. I was told, I always will have these dreams, but they do become easier with time. Manipulation also played its part in recent times. Sadly, I have only just learned the truth where others are concerned. Sometimes even you do not want to accept the reality, because that changes your World, as it has mine!
When you spend nearly a year, living each day, wondering why, when you reflect constantly, relive nightmares and forever endure awful memories, it will have an impact on you as a person. In my head there are words that I would rather forget, but in truth, they remain there for a reason, to make me remember and avoid this happening ever again.
I could almost give talks on the 'Bully'. When I became a trained Mentor and Advocate for Action For Children, I learned some deeply disturbing aspects of life also, coupled with what happened to us, I have once again become aware of the harm others caused. That got lost in recent times.
The new me, like the old me, would never work with a bully again. As a person I would never feel safe. My life, the love I have and the happiness I so crave does not exist surrounded by the worst people in society. I have become more emotionless, rejected people without bothering to get to know them and had to become more immune to distasteful influences, as hard as it is. I am less forgiving, more distrusting, but a lot more ready to stand up to the lowest of lives.
Myself, my partner and my friends are the only important factors in my life now. I will do whatever it takes to protect us. Good people safeguard others, bad people disregard everyone. Stand up and be counted!
OK, I wasn't going to blog tonight, because in reality, I don't feel very well, For a change I am angry, not emotional. I don't have emotions anymore, nor will I ever have them again. No one, is ever going to get the chance of manipulating me or Jason again. It isn't until you suffer at the hands of your worst nightmare, that you will ever understand the nature of what we have had to deal with. Not only a bad person, but also a process that has made it worse and a refusal to deal with their like again. If I was ever forced to do that, that would make me no better than them. Even at this late hour, you still have the chance to do the right thing, You have to live with this. Morality and ethics should be the only choice.
I always knew this week was going to be hard, it is what we are used too, but why so many had to suffer, is something others will have to answer for, they never will of course. Something this bad, is life changing, because it has to be. The need to erase the dirt is so important, nothing matters, but that. When you are all finally judged, you will finally understand what you put us through!
I heard from a dear friend, this week, that she could no longer take what was happening to her, nor should she. I want to say a few words about a special lady, because she is a true lady in every sense of the word.
This is a person who runs her own charity and who's late husband wanted her to dedicate her life to a cause she held dear. Today that is in tatters and it makes me sick to my stomach. Lies are the issue. Good, upstanding and honest people, can not work with liars. it would make us no better. It bought tears to my eyes when I heard her say how she had suffered. Yes, I do have empathy for others, unlike those who did this.
Like her, we are exhausted. I am penniless, because I did the right thing. Well that's a price I will pay, but I am proud of what she and me and many others have done. We are good people, remember that. I have no regrets and will take this as far as I have too.
I had a meeting this week and by god I told them how it was. It was the biggest weight off my chest. Thank you once again to Mind, for all they have done. The absence of my Union, shows another aspect that has to be addressed. I will never join a Union again.
This week, really is the start of closure, you know me, if it is written, who am I to change fate. The most disturbing aspect of the last eight months was the appearance of a mysterious force, who claimed she was a psychic and was communicating with my dead Grandmother. A lie, used to manipulate me, when I was terribly ill. She had other roles, or rather claimed too, now confirmed to be lies. This person is sick, caused further relapses and used her influence to destroy my health further.
I am ashamed I trusted her, but vulnerable people have to trust someone and she knew it. As I became well again, I finally began to question everything and I handed transcrips of conversations, over to a bullying charity. I never expected their conclusions to be so resolute.
This person had a hidden agenda. She was bullying, controlling and made my suffering much worse. She created a World where she was Queen and I should only speak to her to get to those I needed to speak too. She told me to leave Jason to her and I believed her. Jason had more belief, I trusted his judgement, but he was duped as well and more destroyed than ever. She is then biggest regret, the worst liar and the biggest bully.
I was told to rid myself of her, as I have now done, too late as per usual. What sort of person does that, an evil person and she nearly won. Just how many bullies should an ill person have to deal with. I wish I knew. That person has to explain who the hell they are and why they did this, but clearly they wont. More disgusting behaviour. She even tried to make me believe that the one person who genuinely cared for me, Jay Greaves, was evil. Isolate and control. A classic case, so I am told. Luckily Jay, still lives with us and cares.
This year Christmas is cancelled for Jason and I. Now if you know me at all, you understand just what Christmas means to me, so it was a hard choice. Being dragged out the house by Chris and Sharna was a godsend. As a bonus, Sharna was switching on her Christmas lights and adores the festive season as much as me. It was good to experience, at least a bit of what I used to love, which like so much, has been wrenched from us. It is their first Christmas together and that's special. You will both always remember it. Thank you to you both. Much love x
This is the true nature of charity. Well done Chris. You overcame your circumstances to become the success you deserve. We can only use you as an example!
I am currently banned from facebook for telling the truth. That will not stop me. It's a mission at the moment. No more control. This is about myself and Jason and getting what is due. The more you put us through, the stronger we get, so for once DO THE RIGHT THING!
Just a quick poll, to see how many of our readers suffer with Bipolar, Thanks for taking the time to fill it in!
Just had a nice long bath. Feeling relaxed, positive and after the last few days, accomplished, I've had a lot of writing to do, but not in the 'blog' sense of the word, which has taken a back seat somewhat. To be honest with you, the amount of studying, I have done over the last eight months, has lead me to think, I should take it up for a living. Jason has given me loads to do as well. Jason hates reading and writing at the best of times, so if it helps him, that's fine. His mind has been else where anyway.
I have also done a lot of talking, not to the usual group of people, but to those I should have engaged with long ago. It is amazing, when you start to talk to honest, experienced and empathetic people, who understand you more than yourself, just how much your thoughts and judgements have been clouded for so long. Sometimes it can take a long time to evaluate and understand others motives, but when you finally realise, there is no stopping you. When situations, involving yourself and those you love, become part of the harsh reality of life, you will not stop until justice is done.
I have been doing some research for a guide I am writing to do with Bipolar and employment. It is one of those subjects that most people find difficult to talk about, but it is important, when you consider just how many people suffer with Bipolar. Mental Health seems to be a taboo subject for most, which is why there needs to be more understanding and training on the subject, especially when The Equality act of 2010, sets out details for compliance in law.
For those of you who suffer with Bipolar and are experiencing difficulties at work, read the above document, it will help you and your employers deal with the subject in the correct way. I am, as I say in the process of writing my own views on the subject and will publish those as soon as I have completed the research.
Claire and Lee
Positivity - Friday 13 Nov 15
Awoke this morning feeling as positive as ever. Popped out this morning was Jason. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and despite the fact it's Friday 13th today, it made no difference.
Currently I am sat here watching 'The Hunger Games' with Jason and Chris, which keeps distracting me from writing. It's a great film by the way. It could even describe the story of my life at present,
Peace and love, always
I have had a purely selfish, me kind of day today. The weather of late has been awful, so getting out the house has been near on impossible, not that you would want to on a cold, rainy November day, when you could be tucked up under a warm duvet writing thoughts down, that at times only I can understand. Still words keep me occupied and help pass the time of day.
Currently I am listening to some uplifting music, always a good sign for me in the Bipolar stakes. It means my mind is focused on happy and uplifting thoughts. Music is a key factor to my well being as they say. The happier the music, the more positive I am in mind and spirit, In fact if I put a sad song on now, I would only continue to radiate good thoughts. The fact that I am writing at all, is a good thing of course. I do find the easier the words flow, the more at peace I am. Some days words just seem to fall out of my head. No stopping the flow of writing, even at the worst of times, when I should be doing something I had been putting off for an age, or in the early hours of the morning, when I should be sleeping. Strangely for me, these are the most inspirational times. I enjoy the silence of the early hours, often sat in the garden, in all weathers, just watching the sun come up. It really does feel like you are the only person left alive. Being alone with ones thoughts is important for me. It allows me to process the deepest dreams and write down memories, that in the past I have avoided. We all avoid facing up to stuff, that we would rather forget, but when I am in a particularly good place, it is the ideal time. Even the darkest of memories, can be seen as healing and a favourable slant can often be attributed to even the worst situation.
When I look back at the bad times, as I am beginning to now, the pain I felt then, although heart felt at the time, can only have served to teach me much, about what was going on then. The darker the period, the more I have learned. These are not always easy lessons to learn, they are the key moments, that define a period in ones life when there was no hope, little action and massive mountains to climb. It is funny to see those mountains become hills and those deep chasms become easy obstacles to over come. The fact that I am here today, writing this blog is a testimony to barriers that are either no longer there, or have become a lot less important to me in recent times.
Feeling positive, is natural for most people, as is the negative side of ourselves, but for those of us who suffer with Bipolar, the degree to which these thoughts are processed becomes the danger. Bipolar is of course about extremes, at both ends of the scale and both offer dangers, that only we can really understand. Lets take my last relapse, forgetting why it happened for a moment, at the point of physical collapse and receiving care at Her Majesties Pleasure, I was as manic and high as I could possibly be. Thinking back to how serious the situation was, for me, for Jason and us as a couple, for our future and the consequences that could have unraveled, had Jason not got me the help I needed, I am gobsmacked that I got through it in one piece.
Can you really imagine being so manic, that what ever serious situation surfaced, my sense of unreality would just deal with it, in the most ludicrous, unfathomable, way possible. I was so happy to just walk out of my front door, wearing a pair of shorts, on a cold night and head towards my destiny. Not destiny in the true sense of the word, a moment of destiny, defined by a rapidly deteriorating, manic cycle, that allowed me to find the idea of jumping off a bridge, as a happy, exhilarating and wonderful act of release, where I would survive, yes survive. Nothing was unachievable, no bridge too high, no mountain insurmountable. In all honesty, I had never contemplated taking my own life, under such skewed circumstances, certainly not during a manic episode, that I am aware of.
The level of detachment from ones self must have been overwhelming. Even my wildest imagination could not contemplate such destructive thoughts as a rule. It is these occasions, when I was at my most destructive, without concern or even a need to pull myself in, that I have to come to terms with and understand in complete non glossy terms. There really is no good side to anything like that, except the absurdity of a situation, that could have been fatal, yet a willingness to play it out to its final conclusion, without a second thought. That is quite scary, looking back. It is only now I can look back at that brief period and laugh. What the hell was I thinking?
There have been other, equally disturbing circumstances, which I can't begin to think about and analyse in their entirety. Throwing ones head into icy cold water to stop the rapid cycling and head pain, bought on by unregulated Bipolar, after the most traumatic of circumstances. I know now, this could have been changed, if only others were more aware of the changes taking place in me, as I am fully acquainted with now, through the absolutely marvelous Advocacy and advice given by 'Solent Mind', all it would have required, from day one, was just a common consensus approach to what turned into an extremely serious situation for me, because nobody would sit down and discuss my welfare. As a ley person, I had no idea any other formality or legality existed to protect me. That makes me sad, that only now am I learning the truth, after so many months.
I would like to express my thanks to Oxfam, at this point, for allowing me this period to recover. They are good people, who I have always been happy to work for. They believe in the things I do. Empowerment, Accountability and Inclusiveness. Their ethical policies are second to none. Most of the people I have worked with have been exceptional, especially my dedicated Volunteer Team. I am still unable to go into too much detail, but something happened along the way, to cause great harm to me, make me reassess my life and above all come up with some ideas for changing it for the better. So in a round about sort of way, my employer has made me contemplate the worst and the decisions I finally make are still not made, but whilst I deal with with Jason's continual decline and precarious financial situation, I am at least clearing my old home, Gay Capri, for whatever renewal process happens in due course.
It has been a strange day to be honest, This afternoon I was reading a colleagues blog, 'HR - Without ticking boxes.' I had read extracts before, but never the entire blog itself. Although her words were written 2-3 years ago, you could have equally been reading a chapter in my life now. I have much respect for this person and will include a link to her site on here. I know for sure, if she thinks it is inappropriate to include a reference to the work she has achieved, on my site, she will tell me to remove it. Much of what she expressed in her words are just so true for myself and Jason, that it is truly scary. In fact I would recommend to any one of you, who read Bipolarcoaster and Ever Enduring Cycles, to take a look for yourself.
I bet you get the feeling, I am about to end this entry with a moral, well you would be right. The moral I write now, could have only been written at this time and thank god I am writing it on a positive note!
Following on from the success of Bipolarcoaster, showing the pain, mania, cycles and stumbling blocks to recovery, 'Forever Enduring Cycles', will begin where Bipolarcoaster left off. Recovery has been hard, but strength has been born from hardship. When you are diagnosed with a condition, that will last a life time, you hear the words, you understand, at its most basic level, what you have, but really, you have no idea of the consequences, that follow a diagnosis, that took years to achieve and a developing illness that changes direction all the time. You can of course make yourself aware of what to expect and have a rough idea where your life will travel, but in reality, until you truly experience the onslaught, that Manic Depression throws your way, you can never have a real concept as to the reality that is Bipolar.
Mental Illness is in itself a difficult and challenging concept to get your head around and unless you have the right Doctors and Consultants in place to help you through a process that is unpredictable and forever changing, then you really do feel alone and at the mercy of a condition, that many claim to have, few offer explanations and even fewer experience, in its pure unrelenting form. Bipolarcoaster documented a very difficult period in my life, when a life time of anguish and pain reached a head and the resulting mayhem is clearly documented for everyone to see, not in a clinical sense, but in a deeply personal blog from myself, as I tried to explore what was going on, the different cycles that rocked my world and the changes that remain stamped on my heart as a permanent reminder of some of the strangest and difficult times, that were not only destructive for me and those around me, but also a time of laughter, extremes and a longing for a new, as yet untried future.
I never realised, just how powerful the written word can be. When I started blogging, it was really a way for me to work out what was going on in my mind. Each person who suffers with Bipolar, copes in their own unique way. I believe Bipolar to be, not only a burden, but also something to cherish and explore. Like myself, those who suffer, also have some wonderfully creative, expressive and life enhancing periods in their lives. Most are highly imaginative and innovative. We can have highly intelligent minds that sometimes tend to work against us, which can of course be a challenge to overcome. Circumstances, surrounding each one of us, who suffer from Bipolar, to an extent dictate how successful or not we are in dealing with each change in cycle. The one thing I have learned from Bipolarcoaster, is really, do not become complacent and know the signs of change. It is important to be fully aware of any triggers to collapse and work with yourself and others to try and eliminate any possibility of spiraling out of control at either end of the Bipolar spectrum. Awareness of extremes is an important technique for survival and is something I teach myself to do each and everyday.
'Forever Enduring Cycles', is in itself another cycle. It is a positive sign of transferring negative energy, built up over the last eight months and channeling my thought processes and writing into what I regard as a new favourable dawn of understanding, just what my life may have install for me. Of course as an individual we are all self aware and are the architects of our own destiny, but for those of living with a chemical imbalance, we inevitably succumb to the power of our condition. Blogging is a great way of monitoring my progress over a period of time and allows many of us the opportunity to understand what we have, what our limitations are and the journey we are currently on.
This is the first new blog entry in a new online diary, looking from a very different perspective. Yes it is more positive, but it is now far more aware of the challenges ahead and a lot more focused on the outcomes for a brighter and better future. I will still experience depressive periods, periods of inertia and instability as well as times of heightened senses, happy, funny and deeply creative cycles. This is all part of the course, part of who I am and love it or not, part of my future.
Medication is the key for most of us who suffer the extremes that Bipolar conjure up. Like all medication, for any condition, it does have its time limits and eventually effectiveness can be a problem. Regular consultations with Mental Health Practitioners and a family friendly, understanding GP is essential for stability. A network of friends and family who understand the difficulties associated with Manic Depressive illness is also a great source of help. Understanding employers and those you have a professional relationship with, is a must and most importantly, if you are in a loving relationship, an extremely understanding partner is the key to long term happiness. It is a sad fact of life, that most people with Bipolar, do not enjoy relationships in the same way as those without the condition. Many spend a lifetime alone, after going through broken relationships and find the one true love of their life can be just too hard to contemplate and even harder to sustain over a long period of time.
I married my long term partner of twenty years on 22 September 2015, twenty years to the day, we began our relationship together, under circumstances that were not the best for success, but since those early days, the battles we fought to varying degrees of success, we have shown our commitment to each other, our love for one another and our belief and trust that we do everything we can to be everything and more to each other. I am one of the rare sufferers from Bipolar, who has a successful relationship. The battles we fought along side each other at the beginning cemented our love and instilled in us a sense of moral duty to one another, to move forward together as one, even under the most difficult circumstances.
I hope this new blog will be as successful as the first, but for very different reasons. It was important to end Bipolarcoaster, in order to draw a line under that most gruelling of times. I will return to it from time to time, as necessary, add to its contents and refer to its entries. Thank you to everyone for their continued support and I look forward to all of your future comments, appreciation, anger and controversial points, you have all so eloquently made in the past and I know you will make again.
Please keep reading bipolarcoaster.co.uk. Please do keep commenting, as I know you will and be assured it will remain alive and kicking for as long as I am. foreverenduringcycles.com, is a new chapter for me. As my life changes, together with my partner and our friends and family, I will try and document the trials and tribulations that come with any mental illness. As the Bare Naked Truth Blogger, I will always be accurate and no matter what I am blogging about, always speak the truth. The truth is part of my journey and it remains integral to my outlook on life, the people in it, the experiences we share and the path I will always follow, in order to realise my dreams, ambitions and above all contentment with my life, whatever the circumstances!
As I finally recover from a Bipolar Relapse, life for me will change. Dealing with the after effects will take a life time. Forever Enduring Cycles will document recovery and a new chapter in my life.