Guest Post: Interview with the Author of Bedlam and Tea Tony Abbs

1. What is one of the hardest aspects of having Bipolar?
The alienation and rejection that is often felt from society leaves me feeling shameful for having a mental disorder. The ignorance and lack of empathy from society can compound my progress due to the negative responses I may feel towards their lack of understanding.

2. Do I take medication to help with my Bipolar?
It has taken many years with different types of medication to finally find a working dose that helps to keep me stable and has a vast reduction in my negative bipolar behaviours. The medication comes with side effects but so does the effects of becoming mentally unwell. The stability that my medication provides, in my opinion, out ways the damaging consequences of my bipolar. The caveat being that medication is not for everyone and it is not an easy decision to make if you are considering taking medication.

3. Does having a close support network help?
Empathy and understanding from those closest to us can have such a positive effect on our mental health conditions. When the fear and chaos manifests inside our minds having someone who can provide reassurance and a cuddle, can sometimes prevent an episode from taking hold. Communication is key and our ability to understand our current state of mind enables those closest to help us better.

4. If there was a magic pill that would completely remove the Bipolar from my mind would I take it?
NO. Not even from the most destructive aspects of my bipolar and the years of loneliness I would not change any of this. From the years of bedlam and continued chaos to finally finding a peace inside of me. Every single positive aspect that comes from my bipolar is what now defines me and not the negative ones. My bipolar is a gift and a curse. It is up to us as individuals whether we travel down the cursed path of destruction or the path of understanding and seeing our mental disorders as a gift.

Excerpt from the Book Bedlam and Tea

DENIAL by Toby Abbs
It was the main event of the night, and the crowds were packed to the rafters. The
lights of the stage burned lightly onto my skin and left me feeling warm inside. I had
been rehearsing my illusions for a long time, it was my turn to step forward and to
dazzle them with splendour and awe.

It was my turn to tell them what they wanted to hear, and it was my turn to tell
myself what I wanted to hear. Denial the greatest magic trick of them all was now
about to make me the greatest magician of all time.

Instead of the rabbit, I pulled out my mental anguish from the top hat and laughed as
it flooded the audience with its chaotic and pungent smell of deception and pain.
With the audience transfixed I never saw the look of fear in their eyes or their
desperate attempts to escape the madness from within my soul. Instead, I conducted
my madness to weave and flow entangling all in its path.
‘You will live my madness, and you will taste my fear and loneliness’ I screamed at
the top of my voice.

For this night will be remembered for generations to come, it was a time when the
audience sampled my very own personal taste of bedlam, and what little empathy
they had left was eroded when I pulled out the top hat. Tired of my deceptive
behaviour their only recourse to rescue their own sanity was to walk away from me.
In the end I would be on my own with only my cold tears of delusion to keep me
company. The same tears that would eventually tell me that the night of the
magicians never happened, and I would end up denying the undeniable. It was the
ultimate and cruel betrayal of oneself. It was the illusion of oneself fed by the very
strands of insanity floating around inside my mind.

For many years I was in denial about my mental health and my destructive behaviour
was an attempt to cover up how terrified and lonely I was.

Often our fear of the unknown can sometimes only be comforted and managed by the
familiarity of previous behaviours. We all have inside us the ability to ignore and
close our minds to a particular situation and denying my bipolar existed was one
such occasion. We gain comfort from the illusion of lies that we persist in telling
ourselves to help shield us from the actual real problem to hand.
As my delicious jam oozed outwards my denial pushed open the floodgate a little
further with every fable I told.

More from this Author: Toby Abbs


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