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My first ever blog entry

So at the age of 42 I decide to blog? I have no idea why.

This evening I entered a chatroom for people around the world to chat about depression and dealing with their illnesses. I hadn't been in a chatroom in years and it was quite overwhelming at first, but then I had the pleasure of chatting with someone in our own private room.  I browsed around the site and read a few articles, checked out a few links and finally viewed a few blog entries, something I hadn't done much of before.

It's interesting seeing the points of view of 'strangers' and I found myself nodding in agreement at various statements, as well as getting myself into emotional places I'd rather not be at the moment, but there really isn't any escaping from those places anyway - just realising I'm there was enough.

I'm 42, live with two cats in Liverpool and I was diagnosed with Bi Polar Disorder around 18 months ago. I've battled on and off with depression for more than half of my lifetime, in fact, all of my adult life. I'm lucky to have a family, who are very understanding although I know it can be draining for them emotionally having to deal with my ups and downs. I have some amazing friends, who again are finding it increasingly difficult to communicate with me. I hate that. I hate what I've become and I hate the knowledge of my hurting them.

I've been in a relationship with someone wonderful, intelligent and sensitive for the last three years. Before we met, I'd been single for pretty much my adult life and adjusting to being with someone has been tricky and often hard, but exctiting and fantastic too.

Tonight I concluded that, for some bizarre reason I can't find, I seem to be driving an imaginary wedge between me and all of these great people and I'm finding it very difficult to grab a hold of the right reins to bring myself back to where I should be with them. Maybe it's just a culmination of stressful factors that are clouding the way at the moment, but I'd be very wrong to say these factors are responsible for my failings over the last year or so.  I've been letting people down badly. I've done things during periods of mania that I'm very, very ashamed of and I've put myself in a dark place as a result.

I didn't choose to write this as some way for pity to come my way. I think it's more to do with the hope of exorcising some demons from my head and to reflect honestly about who I am and what I'm in the midst of destroying. It's too easy to simply bleat on about my mental illness and how I feel so isolated. The truth is that I think I'm bringing all of this on myself, but it has taken someone so close and dear to me to point it out, and they ended having to do so because of my failings, how I've made them feel so low and my inability to give myself the kick up the arse that I know I'm very capable of doing. I've been part of some projects needing a lot of attention. The outcome of these are important to the success of a business and for the creative success of a band of musicians, who are amazing. Apologies are not enough any more.

I haven't been able to speak to my partner in days because I've upset them. In fact I'm currently wondering if they are indeed still my partner. As I'm writing this I keep hoping the phone will ring and we'll be at least talking about anything. I don't even care if it's to try patching things up, I just want them to call.

This very much a low point for me. I've been much lower down on the depression depth scale before, but each time I hit a low I find the way back up more of a struggle these days. I can cope with the highs if they don't fuel me to cause trouble!  I'm about to try a new medication plan structured by a psychiatrist, who's care I'm under. I trust him. He's one of very few in a long line of professionals I do have faith in on my journey dealing with mental illness. One of the new drugs, which I can't name, has a 50/50 chance of some very harsh adverse effects. They'd only be temporary as and when I'd need to take the drug, but still  it's something I'm not looking forward to at all.

I've developed daft little OCDs over the last few years too. "My mind's way of coping with the prospect of a traumatic experience". If I'm leaving the house, I'm compelled to check, check and re-check all the windows are locked, electrical appliances are turned off, that I have my keys in my bag or pocket, the cats are in and the backdoor is locked. Sometimes this can take 15 minutes or more. If I try breaking this cycle, I become more stressed outside than it's worth so I live with this accepting it as a quirk or eccentricity. I now know how annoying and frustrating it is for my partner though.

Anyway, I think tonight's conclusion is: I'm the cause of the problem and I'm the only one to make the changes for the better. I just wish I knew where I left my mojo so I can dust it off, attach it to my psychological boot and give myself that kick up the arse I need.

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