Therapy is the Bollox

Therapy is the Bollox

Therapy is the Bollox

Something strange happened on Friday afternoon. I was due to go to the Epsom Derby on Saturday which would have been a very boozy affair with the odd bet on the horses taking place. I’ve just been shown a picture of one of the chaps I was going with and he doesn’t look too happy the day after the event. Actually, he is probably quite happy – he is passed out on the couch and has been that way for most of the day. But had I gone, that may well have been me today.

horse, racehorse, sport-3451405.jpg

Now I had not been feeling that great bipolar wise for a few days. The medication I am on keeps my mood swings at bay most of the time, but sometimes I can feel something bubbling under the surface that is all too familiar and quite unwelcome.

When I have that feeling I also hear a voice in my head, well not just in my head – I hear it just about everywhere I go. The voice is my wife asking me if I am ok. Whenever my wife is asking me that I know that I have been acting a tad manic. I know this because she tells me so. The message is usually quite subtle, along the lines of: “you’ve been acting manic recently” so I can’t really miss it. But I used to. In one ear and out the other. This ability to not listen to what I am being told would often result in me having some sort of crash when the right ingredients were in the mix. Most often this would only be a minor affair, but on the odd occasion there’d be a doozy of a downer that came my way.

This problem hasn’t completely blighted my life – I have had a lot of fun over the years, but more and more as I got older any interruption to the fragile state that is my mind seemed to have more of an impact.

Today – the day after the Derby – I was booked to go and watch jousting and other medieval tomfoolery with my son and my mother at Stonor Park near Henley-on-Thames.

Before I started therapy I would have gone to the Derby and would have been feeling awful today. Moreover, I would not have had a quite wonderful day out with my son and mother. I would have had a day out, but when you mix the medicine I am on with alcohol imbibed in greater than normal volume you feel like absolute shite for days; so I would have had a hazy day out where some blokes on horses made loud noises that made my head hurt.

With my therapist I have been working on what are the red flags to look out for with my bipolar. These are behaviours or signals that creep into my life when I am on the cusp. So on Friday, when I was recognising the way I was feeling was not quite right, and with my wife asking me if everything was ok, I messaged my mate to let him know that I could not make it out on Saturday. More specifically, I said this was because of how I was feeling bipolar wise. This was the first time I had specifically stated the reason I could not do something was because of bipolar and it felt a bit odd.

Today I am not in any way bitter at my bipolar, I am really, really grateful.

I had the most marvellous day out today with my son and my mother and made memories that I will savour far more than a day out at the races and a few beers. I am sure I would have had a lovely time at Epsom, but I am learning now that with my illness, big days out most definitely have to be in moderation, but more specifically should only be undertaken when I am completely stable.

Therapy has brought me a new way of thinking and I think I like it. Maybe those few years living in California as a kid really did rub off on me.

Scully

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