The one where life has you by the balls. 

Life totally has me by the balls at the moment. There have certainly been plenty of other times this has happened in the past but the difference has been circumstance. It’s been about things I can, to some degree control. They have mostly been times when I have poured my energy into holding up the rest of the family and holding us all together.
Although those times have absolutely sucked, and I haven’t been able to do anything to prevent them, I have always found the strength to keep going and most of the time the energy to keep a smile on my face as it received one slap after another from a life, which at the time seemed determined to beat us. I kept walking through every storm. One foot in front of the other. Sometimes hour by hour and sometimes even minute by minute. Each one being a victory worthy of a huge celebration. 

But this time is different. My brain is attacking itself. It’s totally fried and confused and doesn’t know what the hell its doing. It’s like it’s forgotten how to function. It’s distorting my thoughts and view of the world it’s making me do things I’m certainly not proud of, it’s taking the ability to keep a smile on my face and it’s gradually eating away at any strength I have left. This time I no longer have the control of holding others up through tough times and being proud of it. Some days I feel I can’t even hold myself up and I wonder how long I can keep hanging on for. Other days I could hold up a million men without getting tired. I could climb Everest without so much as an oxygen tank. But it’s these swings which are totally exhausting me. And they are proving very difficult to wrestle under control.

 I’m taking drugs I despise. Ones labeled poison, drugs for epilepsy which I don’t even have, and some with revolting and embarrassing drug classes like “antipsychotics”. I take drugs that contraindicate the other drugs as the benefits outweigh the risks. And still I suffer. I wait. Until the drugs work. Until I realise they’re not and try something else. All the time never knowing how much longer I have to wait until something works. 

I wish things could go back to the way they were. And I don’t understand how after 36 years of adaptively living with this, without even knowing about it, despite now looking back and seeing it there clear as day, it is now so out of control. And there seems to be very little I can do about it. 

I have bipolar 1. Rated the 2nd worst mental health condition behind only schizophrenia due to being notoriously hard to treat and having a high mortality rate. And I fucking hate it. 

I hate suddenly having a disease like this. I hate being told I have an illness. I hate being told “you don’t realise how sick you are” I hate how it is totally controlling my life at the moment. I hate how I don’t know what I’m going to wake up like the next day. I hate how I’m becoming antisocial, how things I used to find fun I can’t plan for anymore because I don’t know what the next 5 minutes will bring, let alone the next week or two. And I hate how I’ve given up on even wanting to do those things at the moment because it is just easier. I hate how many medical bills we have. I hate that my husband had to leave his job because of this. I hate how many times I have to go to the doctor. I hate the support groups at the hospital. I hate how so many things in my future will no longer be doable.  

And right now, I hate being me. 

So please, I don’t need to be told how strong I am. I don’t want people to say keep smiling. Because right now, those things only annoy me. But I do want you to wait for me. To forgive me if I say no to your event, or cancel plans I made.  If I don’t return your message. If I don’t pick up your call. Please understand why, instead of being offended.

I’m fighting the biggest damn fight of my life and it’s hard. But I’m worth it. 


The one about the boy who lived.

 Today Charley turns 7. And I’m in hospital missing it. But it’s made me think about the day he was born. The day he almost died. The day I came so close to a world I now know so intimately. I had polyhydramnios in the last few weeks of his pregnancy. Basically I had too much amniotic fluid. 4 litres was their estimation. It’s usually around 800ml. This huge amount of fluid led to this amazing ultrasound picture at 39 weeks which is highly unusual and the practice still has this one on their wall.  

 So the decision was made to induce me in case his cord came down before his head which would have been an emergency. Anyway details aside I was induced and they waited until his head came down so the cord was no longer an issue. 

A short time later I started feeling very unwell and we called a midwife. She took one look under the sheet, turned white and ran out of the room. I had suffered a major placental abruption probably caused by the drop in pressure when my waters had broken. 

Suddenly what felt like 3000 people were in the room and we were literally running to an already prepped operating theatre. I bumped someone’s planned cesarian just in time. They put me under general anaesthetic after telling me they weren’t sure he would survive or what condition he would be in. 

I woke up an hour or so later with a picture of a screaming pink baby on my chest. He had lived. And was ok. He was in special care but only as a precaution and nobody could believe he had survived as well as he had.

Later they told me the placenta had almost completely detached and just 5 or 6 more minutes would have made the difference from him being ok and not. 

So today, sitting in hospital I celebrate the boy who lived (and for those who get the Harry potter reference he also has a scar on his forehead!). 

The one who I could not imagine life without. The one who kept me on the other side of grief for just that little bit longer. 

  So happy birthday Charley. Thank you for being you. The wise old soul who keeps me entertained and on my toes but also very grounded. You are very special to me, that’s for sure.