2nd Feature Story: Anonymous “NannyWoofWoof”

 

I HAVE BIPOLAR – BUT I CAN NEVER FORGIVE MYSELF 

When I was very young I was always sad, frightened and life was difficult.  I had great difficulty at mixing even at a very young age and felt alienated.  When I was a teenager, my mother regularly told me that I must be a very selfish person to be the way that I am and that I should pull myself together and be like other people. I became reclusive and developed an eating disorder, with extreme mood swings and depression.  I hated myself and my parents were ashamed of me.

When I was in my twenties, and a young Mother, I no longer believed that I was human.  I saw myself as a spitting, slavering demon.  I actually thought that I was a monster and I was frightened and delusional.  I fought constant battles with my head and suffered with thoughts and visions of harming my children. I could not tell my doctor or health visitor that I wanted to kill my children because they would have been taken away from me and I loved them madly.  I was ashamed of my madness and so afraid and alone.  I despised myself for my weakness.  My moods became far worse and I would go days without speaking to my husband; sitting staring into space, crying and raging in my head.

It was difficult to leave the house, as I was afraid I would push my children in front of a bus, or throw them off a local bridge into the river that I had to cross on my way into town.  I spent years on and off on antidepressants, but I could only ever tell my doctor that I was depressed, never the whole truth.  I did have some counselling but I think it made me worse, so I stopped going.

In my thirties, I was completely manic, up and down like a yoyo, and my rages were frightening.  Suicide was on my mind daily for I felt I didn’t deserve to live and life was so fearful.  It was during this time that I left my family as I did not think I deserved them and they would be better off without me.  My youngest son was just 2 years old.

It was not until about 4 years ago, after I ran away again because I knew I was once again making life unbearable for someone that I loved very much, that a psychiatrist actually told me that I was suffering from bipolar disorder.  I was put on new medication to control my moods, and although I was still very unwell, it was as if a weight had at last been lifted from my shoulders.  There was now a reason for it all.

Unfortunately, I found the meds didn’t work for me, as I can’t function on them and to be honest, after all these years I like my highs- and the lows I have learned to live with and manage.   It’s almost a lifestyle choice now, and I have learned various coping skills.  I, also, during a very bad period, got a little black dog, and he is my saviour and my love.  I would be dead if it weren’t for him.

Now in my forties, I can never forgive myself for the pain and suffering I have caused my family because of the way I am, but they have forgiven me. My two youngest sons now choose to live with me. It took 10 years for me to get them back.  It is a struggle every day.

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About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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