Six months ago, I had suffered, what I can only describe as the most dangerous Bipolar relapse, I have ever experienced, since being diagnosed with Bipolar anyway. I was ill, painfully thin, didn't eat or sleep, was suicidal and thrown into a police cell for my own safety. My friends were worried for me, as I was for myself. The difference being, they cared, I didn't.
If I look back to the Easter, when I relapsed, the secret to survival was having a good network of friends behind me. Natalee Michelle was there from day one, as was Jamie and Kirsty, as well as long term friend, Chris, but in all honesty, I didn't even know it half the time. At the beginning I was heavily sedated, and slept most of the time. There were people there, I just wasn't lucid enough to know.
As I gradually moved out of this period of sedation, these people and others became far more visible. Some friends deal with difficult times better than others, so as part of the course there were many people, I certainly regarded as friends, who turned their backs and walked away. I bare no grudges, they did no more than my own family did in the end. If you don't understand mental illness and in my case Bipolar, then you can walk away quite easily. Not so easy for the person suffering and his or her loved ones, but we just battle on. For a while, actually quite a while I battled blindly, not knowing why I was fighting for in the first place, willing to give up at the drop of a hat and drift away into my own world and probably, eventually some hospital somewhere. At that point, you really didn't care!
The next few months were hairy, really bad at various stages. I had my friends around me, but I also had outside influences who were determined to have input about various aspects of my life, that had left me where I was. At a time when I should have been getting well, their influence was making me worse and worse, telling me stuff I didn't want or need to hear, in fact I would go as far to say, they were telling me lies, yet I was so unwell, I didn't know it and believed everything I was being told. I was told the people around me were bad, yet they were the only ones getting me through. At any given opportunity, if I had listened, I could have disregarded anyone of my friends, because someone was wicked enough to want to manipulate my situation.
There does come points, where you drift out of what ever Bipolic state you are in and realise certain things, shout and scream a bit and at least start to understand just what has been going on in your life. What real things have been going on, not the made up nonsense in someone elses head, who just sought to destroy my state of mind even further. That was not the kind of friendship I needed. I needed the truth, not the drivel I was being spun.
There were many other occasions of worry for those I loved and those who equally loved me. From those I have mentioned already, we also had Jay Greaves, who moved in to take care of us. He bought me back from from the brink many times and I know how horrific these times must have been for him. Sat with someone, holding there hands as much as they can, while they try to smack the shit out of themselves, during a psychotic episode was just one occasion. On another my breathing stopped and he gave me heart massage. All of these times were dreadful for everyone concerned, but all of them are still there. Having to allow your friends access to your Doctor, so they can sit with you, is also hard, but they all stuck around, every single one of them! Recently Melissa King, has also become an important part of our life, In fact we are so blessed with the amounts of friends we have, they have been my survival!
Changing the way you think is so important. accepting help from people, when you have too much pride, as a rule to accept it. Your private relationship with your partner, becomes an open book, as you embrace assistance from anyone you can, you really begin to realise, just who are important to you, who never were and who will be there in the future.
I am better today, because I have learned a great many lessons. I have learned to accept others, when In the past I wouldn't. I have accepted that not everyone is out to harm me and I have finally began to recover from an episode, that remains a shadow across my whole life. When people seek to destroy others, for their own means, turn their backs, walk away and deny, deny, DENY, the truth, you really do have to pick yourself up again from the bottom and learn to live with what has happened. Luckily this is making me stronger, each day. Trusting has become common place, asking for help easier and respecting those people who deserve it, have all become an absolute, resolute and necessary part of a process that has and continues to heal myself every day.