40 Years old, Housewife UK
I’ve been living with Bipolar for 19 years and I manage my condition with medication, family support, understanding my condition and knowing how my body struggles day to day.
When I was 21 I was working in an office where a work environment was all new to me and the pressures of socialising was a huge learning curve. I didn’t go out as an adolescent with friends and family as I was not allowed to. It came about that at work I started to act bit strange and small tasks were becoming stressful for me. This was a concern for my family when I was sent home from work due to being very unwell and very stressed. This led to me seeing my GP who prescribed me medication to help me cope with depression and developing mania of with my Bipolar condition.
I experienced my 1st episode when I was signed off from work and during my sick leave, I decided to take the one hour’s walk to work for no apparent reason, my father had seen me leave and drove to check on me at work. At this stage my family and work colleagues were really concerned and had no choice but to intervene. Their invention allowed me to get the help I need from professional and local support workers. As I was learning to manage my Bipolar, I had elated moods, low moods, extreme spending sprees all due my changes to mind and body. My depression and medication was continuously monitored there have been many changes I’ve needed to accept.
However, I was lucky enough to I have an Indian support worker from the mental health services team in my home town. She visited me and my family at home, She ensured my family and work life was balanced out. She helped my mother and father understand Bipolar, she supported them and guided them on how they could help me at home. Whilst struggling with these changes, we were told that my father was to be on a dialysis and this was a huge struggle for me, being an only child and no one else to confide I felt alone.
Due to my father’s health condition, being advise he didn’t have long to live and my daily battles with Bipolar, it was suggested I was to get married. I was introduced to my husband on a family holiday in Fiji at the age of 22yrs old.
At 23 I was married, A rocky relationship with my inlaws and differences with my husband my marriage has been hard to live with, even though I was receiving regular treatment and counselling with my psychologist I still felt alone. The gurdwara was a place for me to be at peace especially in the early days of my marriage. I found sanctuary at times of hardship, when I was depressed and lonely. Until this day the gurdwara is a place of home for me.
As I reflect on my journey now, my bipolar episodes were always experienced at times in my life where the events were of a significance to me. Like starting work understanding the social life that came with work, being pregnant developing diabetes during pregnancy, and the most recent episode was on my 40th Birthday. Upholding the duties of a daughter-in-law, with old traditions and high expectations has put a strain on my condition, this can lead to exhaustion, unhealthy eating habits, tiredness all of which increase the levels of my emotions, changes my moods and makes me depressed due to the negativity I experience. My strength is my daughter and a very few family members who supported me through my tough times.
Now my healthy 9yr old who has 100% attendance at school who is academically bright and very strong caring and understanding. In my 19year of living with Bipolar and continuous medication adjustments I live a healthy lifestyle. I know when I need to rest, when I need to seek help or see my GP. I have regularly support from local a support worker and charities and organisation like of Sikh Forgiveness who help me through my tiring days. I am now looking into what courses I can do and how I can continue to develop myself. Ready for when my daughter is in full time education.
I can drive, I have worked, I am married, first a daughter, then a wife and now a mother the most important job of all. I do have bad days, but I can manage them, with knowing what’s right for me and my Bipolar. I am stronger person now than when I was at 21yrs old confused and distressed. I love keeping busy, I like cooking and I like music, but my biggest achievement is my daughter and making her a stronger woman for the future ahead. The love and support my daughter gives me, gives me hope to be a better person for her.
I hope this will encourage others to be open about their journey.