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My Journey with Bipolar

“the moon affects the mind as the mind affects the body and it all needs to remain in balance”

Bipolar is an important topic to me as I have travelled the highs and lows of this particular form of mental illness for 26 years.

This blog is intended as a light hearted journal documenting my journey from the past to the present and hopefully some of you out there may gain some inspiration and come to the realisation that it can be a positive and rewarding experience, once you have acquired the necessary skills to manage the illness.

You may also have the illness or perhaps a family member, close friend or colleague that you can assist them in leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

I hope you enjoy my story.

Manic high to major low….no I am not going to let that happen !

Anyone with Bipolar knows the above is the usual changes that do occur. If you have the manic high the likely hood as you come back down is then to delve into depression .

But I won’t let that happen. I can manage my medication and hopefully stop the depths of going into a depressive state.

I am strong, I am invincible…..as the song goes. I will take control and balance myself beautifully. There is power in positive thinking.

We are finally about to get some much needed rain in Australia after months of bush fires. Hopefully this will give our fire fighters the upper hand on the major ones, and also give them a much needed break.

My Bipolar high is under control….Yeah

So how are we all feeling after the Christmas and New Year holidays. I must admit I am glad it’s all over. All the high expectations, anxiety for me which is finally a distant memory and my manic high is under control. Still heavily medicated at night to get the all important sleep that my mind and body needs to remain balanced, but feeling better day by day.

I am forever grateful to my Psychiatrist who has trained me and empowered me to take control and allow me to self medicate as required.

A Happy Snap of My Mum and Me on Christmas Day

And here we go on the merry go round of lack of sleep….due to the bipolar high kicking in….

Do you know how damn frustrating it is when after 5 hours in bed….sleep is still elusive. It started last night so had to knock myself out with sleeping tablet plus my emergency antipsychotic medication. So I thought, ok one bad night I will be fine. But no, tonight it is worse. Up and down in and out of bed for hours on end. Extra medications taken to no avail.

This means my mood has definitely taken a change for the worst. If I don’t nip it in the bud as soon as possible well then it’s a downhill slide.

I don’t want to play this game anymore. I have been well for months now, and my next challenging or danger period isn’t expected till March with the change of season…autumn here in Australia.

So here I am At 2am sitting on the couch venting my frustrations. I think I need to stop watching the bush fire crisis unfold on the television as it’s obviously starting to affect my mental health.

It’s just so exhausting having to monitor my behaviour on a daily basis. I had planned on taking my mum to the beach to lazy in the sun and swim, then have fish n chips somewhere….but no, that won’t happen because I will be exhausted and probably end up sleeping all day……I won’t let it beat me though, I will continue carrying on strong and fight ever way.

Bushfire crisis in Australia no end in sight

It is devastating to see the horrific footage of lives and homes lost, townships wiped out in what has supposed to have been a happy Christmas and new year period.

I have seen first hand the destruction back in November on my holiday road trip to Sydney.

I am safe and sound where I am, but am feeling the anxiety on a daily basis as bush fire crisis is streamed online and on television 24 / 7.

With bipolar I have needed to adjust medications to alleviate the anxiety.

For those that have lost everything, our hearts go out to them all. No doubt the crisis will bring a hell of a lot more mental health issues for those affected by this massive and horrible event.

Our fire fighters have been awesome in there efforts to save lives and property. They are struggling, they are exhausted, they have been fighting these fires for weeks on end. Thank you to our overseas friends who have come to assist. Australia has never experienced fires of this magnitude or ferocity…They will all need medical assistance and counselling whenever this disaster ends.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday to all of those with Mental health issues xx

To everyone all around the world from here in Australia.

It’s a few minutes to midnight on Xmas day here in Queensland. Had a great day spent with family for lunch….then I had to work, but it was really quiet.

It can be a hard day for those of us with bipolar and other mental illnesses, I struggled with anxiety this morning, don’t know why, but happens every year.

I think it’s just the whole dreaded anticipation of the day. There is so much hype and expectations… but I got there in the end.

Hope you all have a wonderful day xx

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Christmas Carols without Fireworks Displays

In light of the recent bushfires and out of respect for people who are suffering around Queensland and Australia, some of the fireworks for the 2019 Christmas Carols Gold Coast have been cancelled.

Even New Years Eve fireworks maybe cancelled in Sydney as well, and there are suggestions that all the money be given to either the people in need whom have lost there homes and all possessions, or even give money to the drought affected throughout Australia. It has been a really tough year for them, and Australia as a whole has not had much rain all year, some places in several years.

“Light displays” may be an option in place of fireworks. WHAT A GREAT IDEA !!!

We in Australia may be doing it tough right now, but we all stand together united !

Sydney to the Sunshine Coast

After spending 1 week in Sydney visiting a family member who has “Alzeihmers” then we headed back towards home on a road trip again, this time heading for the Sunshine Coast in Queensland for a beautiful week spent at a tropical resort for some true “rest and relaxtion”. Once again, heavy smoke filled the air all the way (well over 1000 kilometres of road travel).

The resort was just what the doctored ordered, a relaxing stay prior to christmas and the silly season. I work in a resort, and holiday in a resort, and live in a resort, so I am truly blessed. I travelled with my mother who is on her own now since my father passed away 12 years ago after many many years battling with heart issues and rheumatoid arthritis.

We spent the week, lazing by the pool, shopping, shopping and more shopping. Going out for the occasional dinner.

I did end up with an ear infection from swimming in the pool, but thats OK, as long as my bi polar is in check nothing else is any concern. I am extremely lucky that I can manage my medications myself now, so any change to my behaviour or mood is nipped in the bud very very quickly, plus plenty of sleep to calm the mind.

And now I find myself back at work and ready and raring to go for the Xmas period!!

LIFE IS GREAT !!

Holidays & Bushfires – Climate Change is in our own Backyard

I haven’t posted of late, not because I am having issues with by Bi Polar, but because i have been away on 3 weeks holidays!!! Yeah!!

You might not be aware but “Australia is truly on fire” at the moment. Over the last 4 weeks we have had 100’s of bushfires around the Country. From Queensland to New South Wales (Sydney), Victoria, Adelaide and also Perth.

Most having been raging out of control for weeks. 3 major fires around north of Sydney have now merged into what is called a “Mega Fire”. Our fire fighters have been on the frontline for so long, trying to save homes, properties and of course lives.

THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT!! These fires are predicted to go on for several months in fact, well into the New Year and beyond as our summer down under only gets hotter.

Our resources are stretched to the limit and we have had to call in for help from other countries including New Zealand, Canada and America.

My first week of holidays was a road trip from Queensland to Sydney right in the thick of these raging inferno’s. There was smoke in the air all the way down and back. Main highways through towns were closed due to fires jumping the roads, scrub and bushland for kilometre after kilometre were destroyed and blackened.

A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOT AN ISSUE – ASK ANY AUSTRALIAN AT THE MOMENT AND THEY WILL TELL YOU- JUST LOOK IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD and realise that climate change is here, right now and we need to be doing something about it.

Australia has NEVER experience anything like this before. Its a super storm of uncontrolled fire. Yes, we have had bad bush fires before, but nothing of this intensity.

Many lives have been lossed. Over 700 homes destroyed. Unimaginable properties sustained major damage, people living in bushland areas and on farming properties have lost sheds, animals, manufacturing equipment etc.

KOALA’S have been killed in high numbers, there habitat is being destroyed. Those that have been saved, are now in hospital’s being rescued and hope to recover – but many don’t and have to be put down, in the only humane way possible.

It is going to be a very bleek christmas for a lot of Australians this year.

OUR LOVE AND THOUGHTS GO OUT TO ALL OUR AMAZING FIRE FIGHTERS, INCLUDING OUR VOLUNTEERS WHO DON’T GET PAID AND TO THE AMAZING TEAMS THAT HAVE FLOWN IN FROM OTHER COUNTRIES TO ASSIST, AND GIVE OUR OWN TEAMS SOME RESPITE FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, BEFORE HEADING OUT INTO THE FIRE STORMS ONCE AGAIN !!!

Am I Ok???

I find myself asking this question each and everyday. And it’s exhausting….I have forgotten what it feels like to get up each morning and just get on with my day.

When you have bipolar you are forever critical of your behaviour, trying to tune in with your body and mind and asking yourself….how am I today….is there a change in my mood, what challengers will I face today.

Some days upon waking there is a foreboding feeling of anxiety, luckily this only lasts for a minute or two.

Other days you feel quite flat and start to wonder if you may be heading to a depressive state.

Forever wondering and questioning your behaviour is extremely frustrating.

Unfortunately the above is required to stay in tune with yourself and nip any extreme possible changes in your mood quickly to alleviate a full blown manic or depressive episode.

Am I ok I ask myself…..of course I am…..then I can get along on my day.

My Bucket List….Travel

Because of my bipolar I haven’t travelled overseas but my dream one day would be to go to Canada and Alaska and perhaps do the railway trip and river cruise. I love the cold and would love to see the spectacular sites and sounds.

Long haul travelling is meant to play havoc with a bipolar mind. Changing numerous time zones, jet lag that the average person gets is 10 times worse when you have Bipolar disorder.

The fatigue, lack of sleep, sensory overload doesn’t help with the body clock of someone with Bipolar. I am sure many of you have travelled overseas but unfortunately it’s not for me at this stage of my life.

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