Haven’t blogged for ages … This is why!…..#uberbusy

I haven’t blogged for absolutely ages but I have had the most amazing month! Firstly I am well! Really well – no depression, no hypomania just steady … calm and well! Not only that I have coped with being ridiculously busy, quite a bit of stress (good stress!) and the odd panic attack in a way that I haven’t coped before.
As some of you may know I am a Christian and very involved with my local Church. I first went along when I was not even a year old and 34 years later it still plays a huge and wonderful part in my life. I am now an Elder and run the Messy Church with my sister in law amongst other things. I was married in the Church 5 years ago which was the happiest day of my life and the church has journeyed with me and supported me during every stage of my life and especially through my bipolar diagnosis and traumatic life events. This amazing fellowship and congregation of inspirational, devoted friends has just celebrated its 75th anniversary and boy have we celebrated! It has been wonderful to remember the laughter, some tears and worship that has taken place within the Church and been lovely to celebrate with the local community and members past and present. As the Church looks forward to the next 25 years or even 75 years I am also able to look forward knowing that I have the most amazing support network in place starting with my husband, family and friends and am so lucky to have the Church as a constant support as they also learn more about mental illness and as the stigma and barriers surrounding his sometimes difficult topic are broken down by friendship, fellowship and prayer.
Last weekend after the Church’s celebrations were over I joined with 47 others to celebrate the 50th Wedding Anniversary of a very special couple. Carole and Mike welcomed me into their home, family and friendship groups nearly 15 years ago after Carole was my tutor at college when I returned to re-take my a’levels at the age of 19. This followed my first hospital admission and I was so unwell. After supporting me at college Carole and I became friends and she has been there through so many difficult times and spent many hours in accident and emergency and psychiatric hospitals with me as well as providing me with somewhere to live at times. As I have slowly journeyed through recovery and got better at managing my episodes Carole has been there and helped me learn so much about myself and my illness and had been a major player in helping me get to where I am today. Last weekend 48 of us celebrated at Butlins and I am immensely proud of Carole and Mike, and their love for each other and for their family and friends is an inspiration.
The message from this blog for me is a reminder of the wonderful support I have, the people I have rooting for me and the fact that at the moment I am doing well and that taking a day at a time is the way forward for me. I am well at the moment and yes I am terrified of getting ill but I need to live in the now and I am going to try so hard to do this.
Massive thanks to all my family, friends and Church fellowship – love you all.

Keeping busy but not too busy! #recovery

I haven’t blogged for a while mainly because I have been mega busy! I am really enjoying being well however at the back of my mind is a nagging worry that won’t go away. I am worried about getting ill again and that this exceptionally busy period that I am having at the moment ( which I hasten to add is very enjoyable) might prove to be a trigger. I find myself regularly checking for symptoms and lying awake thinking about my day and whether there are any signs that I am going downhill that I missed.
Thank goodness that apart from being tired which isn’t out of the ordinary I am definitely not feeling depressed or even low, I am not overly anxious and have no hypomanic symptoms.
Due to the fact that I have this constant nagging worry & the fact that looking after myself is so important I have come up with a few things that I am going to do everyday. I am hoping that these things will lessen the worry and reassure myself that I am doing ok. My list so far is:

-Letting myself have a short ‘Worry’ time each day and then try to leave my worries for the rest of the day.
-Have at least half an hour (hopefully more when I am less busy) of ‘me’ time each day where I write a blog, read or watch TV.
-Have regular breaks at work and make sure I eat 3 times a day
-Talk to family and friends and listen to them if they think I am overtired or if they have any concerns
-Remind myself of my WRAP regularly but without obsessing about possible symptoms

I have come such a long way over the past month or so and I am hoping that this will continue for the foreseeable future but I also don’t want to be dragged down everyday that I am feeling well by worrying about getting ill.