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"My name is Lauren and..." Saturday January 23, 2016

I am an introvert. This means that I am energised by time spent alone rather than with others. It does not mean that I cannot talk to other people.

I am prone to depression. This means that given the (right) set of circumstances, I will become depressed, and it may last the length of my menstrual cycle, or it could last an entire year. For me (and I want to stress that this is personal and not meant as advice for anyone else) it does not mean that I always need therapy or medication, but it does require that I manage my life in a very particular way.

Five years ago I met my now-husband, who was shortly afterwards diagnosed Bipolar Type II, then Type I. For the length of our relationship and into our marriage, I have had to come to terms with his diagnosis, my position in his life as not only his wife but his supporter and I have to admit it hasn't been easy. It's been damn hard at times.

However, I always like to remind myself that everything happens for a reason. Being with him has made me realise the power of choice. By choosing to stick with him, despite what our families may have thought, I learnt the power of such a simple thing as choice. I've been forced to (but not necessarily against my will) look at the aspects of myself that I'd rather have left unseen. I've been forced to acknowledge that my drinking habits actually exacerbate my depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a host of other issues. I've been forced to admit that the very power of choice is what I needed to exercise when I had to admit I needed help.

I need help. And it starts with me being kind to myself.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Soulmansblue Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 1:16am

hi Lauren,

Thank you for having the courage to speak out like that. Your last line 'I need help' is the beginning of your recovery, until you admit that there is little hope. Now having admitted that you will be able to accept the help that you need.

The road will not be easy and you may never fully recover, but you have made a start. Please do remember to be kind to yourself, we so often knock ourselves for six for no reason.

I'm sorry to hear about all your problems, but I am pleased that you felt able to talk about them. Depression destroys lives so don't knock yourself if you are only just hanging on. At that moment it maybe all that you can do, please don't let go!

Come and tell us about it and offer you support and encouragement. We understand what you are going through and we all know just how damn hard it is at times. I myself suffer from Bipolar Type II but my medication has stopped the highs, but so much so that I am permanently low!

While you are in such a low state of mind it is difficult to make the right choices, if indeed you can even think, so don't rush into any decisions. They tell me that exercise is meant to be good for controlling depression and bringing it down.

Be good to yourself and take care. You will make it and pull through and one day I pray that you will wonder what all the fuss was all about.


g Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 2:00am

Thank you for your blog .You are such an amazing person.It is sometimes very trying to live with a bipolar partner as my husband knows very well so having to cope with your own moods at the same time is heroic.Just remember that you are no.1 and need the mask first ( aeroplane .. have to go tobed now..

Hopeful One Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 7:22am

Hi Lauren- so courageous of you to write and tell us what you are going through. As g says you are an amazing person . Delcaring that you have a drink problem also means that you acknowledge it. A marvellous start because so many with a drink problem refuse to do that and live in denial with no realistic prospect of benefitting from any help . By accepting that you have this you have taken a big step forward in my opinion. From now on you can choose what help appeals to you and their is plenty out there . Simple things for a start- eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables of your choice . Set up an exercise routine - regularity here is more important than length or exerertion , and preferably involving nature . Looking at the flowers , birds and bird song trees provide a vitamin which I call N ( for nature) . Then decent sleep not so much length but depth. Meditation can help here and generally too. Drink and you don't go together so try and say "no' as often as you can and more often than "Yes". All these will benefit your depression and ability to cope with your partner's bi polar.

Lex Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 8:59am

Introverts Rock!
But sometimes we're rocked...
So rock with us gently...
Until we're safe back on top.
{Great blog Lauren}

Leah Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 10:37am

what a refreshingly honest and thoughtful blog. I wonder if writing it helped you see things clearer. I wish you all the best in being kinder to yourself and look forward to more blogs as you learn more about yourself and your strengths. Thanks again for expressing very personal thoughts.

The Gardener Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 11:11am

I'm an extroverts with no outlets except here when I get carried away. Unfortunately for Lauren 2 minuses do not make a plus. I am horrendously depressed this morning - but not within myself. Bad neck which with stress gives horrendous headaches. Sneezing fit plus streaming eyes - also stress oriented. All comes from absolute panic - the refusal of Mr TG to do anything for himself is resulting in serious physical deterioration with the inevitable end - more hospitalisation. I read him, from my diary, all the events which lead to 3 hospitalisations last year - most disruptive, and Mr TG hated it - hoped to 'jerk' his memory into the unpleasantness of it (nothing wrong with the treatment - just not being at home) but his poor mind can't cope with the concept that he, himself, with an effort, could keep himself out of hospital. Another fall must be on the cards. Now he wants to come shopping with me - a huge physical demand on me. Someone needs to give me a good kick - I have loads of interesting things to do - suddenly, everything looks insurmountable. A sharp memory of when I was depressed - 2 unwashed cups and saucers on the draining-board finished me - like so many of you who write - the simplest thing is daunting. Writing has helped - will wash up before there is more dirty than clean in the house!

Frankie Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 6:10pm

Evening dear Gardener; just to say that my candle burns brightly for you and Mr. G - be gentle with yourself - simple tasks like the washing up are plenty for the time being! Frankie

Terence Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 11:17am

I like your blog Lauren. I like the story, your clarity and responsibility. The opposite ends of a bipolar cycle can change a person from introvert to extrovert, in turn affecting the dynamics of a relationship. Just one of the areas that perhaps is hard for you as your husband has a bipolar diagnosis. You are actively looking for ways that you can change, as opposed to forcing change on others. And your own wellbeing is fundamental to it all. Thank you x

Anonymous Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 1:37pm

thanks lauren, a good blog. I am an introvert too (& often misinterpreted by those who are more extrovert). I think the words on choice are interesting & important. I think maybe some of us forget we can choose & are lead by compulsion. Wishing you well.

Frankie Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 6:11pm

What an inspiring blog Lauren - thank-you. I salute your courage and self-awareness. Frankie

Sarah Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 @ 8:09pm

Hi Lauren, thank you for your blog today. When I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2, it hit my (now ex) partner as hard as it hit me. When I was muddling along, everything was fine. Even when I became hypomanic, she was there. But when depression hit (and it hit hard), she left. I'm glad to see it wasn't just us who found it difficult. And it's inspiring to see that there are good people like yourself out there, who stay close and muddle through together. Thank you.

the room above the garage Sun, Jan 24th 2016 @ 1:02am

Hello Lauren, fab blog! Enjoyed reading X

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