A long-term mental health condition is something that has to be maintained. There is no magic cure and without a health plan a relapse is inevitable.
In life there are going to be stressful situations and struggles that may be overwhelming. This is not a diagnosis for a mental illness it is part of everyday living.
The one thing that we all wish for in life is to have peace of mind.
When I am struggling with my depressive thoughts, it feels like I am fighting to keep my head above the waves.
I can be my own worst enemy a lot of the time. I have to focus being mindful of how I control my thoughts and feelings.
I have good and bad days, just like everybody else.
I would have to be extra careful of how good and bad they can be.
Mania is a serious matter; it feels like a feeling of euphoria. I am overexcited and over talking about so many new projects and ideas, that I have no desire to sleep or eat. I can sometimes become nasty and irritable if I feel I am not being listened to. This can last anything from a few hours to a few days.
If the episode last for more than a few days, the come down can be profoundly serious. That is when the depressive episode can take over. This condition is managed through medication and meditation.
I also suffer from psychosis, I see, hear, and even smell things that only exist in my reality. This can happen at any time even when I am in the same room as someone else.
I have to spend every day of my life monitoring my behavioural patterns and I have managed to recognise some of my triggers.
I am not someone I would choose to be around if I could help it.
I have always been aware that there was always a dark space inside my head since I was a child.
The thoughts that would go around in my head was something I could never tell anyone about. When I started therapy in my late thirties, I was able to deal with it.
I always saw this as a cancer of the mind and was unable to understand why I was always having dark thoughts that made me want to die.
I had psychodynamic therapy for two years, I found this especially useful, as it forced me to address things that I normally would avoid.
This was the beginning of healing for me. It helped me process my Fathers terminal illness and forced me to see how emotionally dependent I was on him.
I felt guilty for a long time and blamed myself for my Fathers illness. He loved me unconditionally and I worshipped the ground he walked on. He was an exceptional man of superior quality.
I believe in life we have to go through all different experiences in order to learn and become strong enough to help others.
This is just a small part of who I am and what I have to live with.
Today I am managing my symptoms with the help of my family and my friends who are able to relate to these struggles.
I am trying to maintain a balanced lifestyle. It is not easy I have had to make a lot of sacrifices in my life to be able to hang on to my sanity.
In everything there must be a balance.
The Scripture of Balance