Motherhood, mental illness and beyond

It has been gently pointed out to me that instead of spewing stream of consciousness type posts all over the internet (by which I mean Twitter, Facebook and Mumsnet) I could write a blog. So here I am, with a shiny new blog, typing words in and – well, tbh I’m wondering whether anyone other than me will ever read them! But I guess the most important thing is that they’re written, so here goes.

I’m in my early 30s, married with 2 small children. To save time and confusion with names I’ll just refer to my family with the traditional acronyms – my husband as DH, my 3 year old daughter as DD and my 1 year old son as DS. Imaginative aren’t I? 😉

I have suffered from mental health problems in one form or another since childhood. But it’s only recently that I have come to see that instead of blithely limping striding through life with the occasional course of antidepressants and counselling I might actually need some proper help. So I went to the GP with a bullet-pointed list of symptoms, because I’m that sort of a person (and because while I can communicate relatively well through written text I am shockingly bad at discussing important things face-to-face). Anyway, the GP read through my list and her eyebrows climbed higher and higher – I thought at one point they might actually disappear into her hairline – until at last she took a deep breath and gently told me that in her opinion I have a form of bipolar disorder (specifically bipolar 2) and need proper psychiatric assessment.

Of course as soon as I got home I googled and sat scanning lists of symptoms, treatments and prognoses until my eyesight started to blur. And do you know what? For the first time in my life the chaos inside my head actually began to make sense. I found myself ticking off symptoms and nodding in agreement at accounts written by diagnosed sufferers. I began to think that actually there might be some hope for me, some reason that I am the way that I am – and most importantly that I might not always have to be this way.

So that’s where things are at the moment. I’m still dutifully taking my anti-depressants every morning and waiting for a letter to land on my doormat with a date to see a psychiatrist. Whether they will confirm the GP’s diagnosis or decide that something else is closer to the mark remains to be seen. But hopefully this is the first step to gaining some stability and sanity in my life.

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Comments on: "Hello. Erm. Well this is a little awkward…." (13)

  1. Good luck with it all. I mean the blog and the psychiatrist. 🙂

  2. Great to read your blog and that your world is beginning to make sense! I hope you get the help you need and the appointment isn’t too far in the future!

  3. Welcome to the world of blogging! I started this month too and have already been asked to submit blogs to Black Dog Tribe and Time To Change – and I think you should too……

  4. Welcome to Bipolar II! I have it too. I think I’ve had it my whole life too. Your blog will be read! You’re a great writer!! I’m glad you’re here!!!

  5. Oh I so knew it would be you before I clicked into your intro! I love your writing style, you are going to be ace at this blogging stuff. I shall read with interest and continued support as you travel along your journey. xx

  6. Hi Sam, just commented on Twitter re your 5th Feb posting. Hope it gets better-waiting to see doctors, therapists etc can cause more anxiety. And I know exactly where you are coming from with the self harm thing. For some bizare reason mine manifests as a desire to want to hack off my hair-as you can see I dont act on this as my hair is well over shoulder length. Instead I now put a thick elastic band on my wrist when i am like this , and twang it against my skin whenever I get the urge to reach for the scissors! If I’m having negative thoughts i also now tend to write the words for all the thoughts Im feeling on my forearms with a washable pen or even an eyeliner, and eventually get to the point where I think”I look ridiculous” and wash it off-I have forgotten on occasions and gone into work in a short sleeve top with streaky arms ha , but on the whole , its helped me not harm but deal with the feelings till they back off.
    Well done for the bravery you are showing in writing your blog and opening up your feelings to us all-hope you dont mind me hijacking this bit to comment but my coping strategies might help someone else.

    • Thank you for commenting, it’s always helpful to hear how others cope! I like the idea of writing on your arm, I may try that (carefully though as my daughter’s started to read!).

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