"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.

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