A relationship ends
Unsurprisingly, the relationship I was in fell apart due to my erratic and difficult behaviour combined with my partner’s inability to understand and cope with this, and I moved out of the place I shared with him. With the help of my parents, I moved into a lovely family’s home over the holidays and became a lodger with them so I could continue at university.
With this move, things calmed down and I was able to enjoy university, my part-time job and living with these lovely people who really were there for me. I did well that first year when it came to academics, and I did have some good friends there and a part-time job at a cattery that was a place of great joy for me, a great source of comfort.
A troubled romance
After a while, I met a new partner, an older man who I quickly became enamoured with. Things became serious with him quickly, and when my physical health got in the way of me going back to university for my second year, I moved in with him.
My struggles with anxiety were ongoing although the self-harm was much less often and for a lot of the time I was with him, I felt truly happy. Sadly, he wasn’t the person I thought he was, and it ended badly.
Then came a part of my life that was one of the worst periods of my life so far, which included my most life-threatening suicide attempt to date. I’m not ready to go into that part of my life yet, so we’ll skip that part and just say I ended up back living with my parents.
The time for change
By this time, I was in my mid-twenties, and there came a time for change. I finally found a therapist who helped me, someone private as sadly other health services had let us down once again. With this woman’s help, I was able to see a real psychiatrist and was given a preliminary diagnosis of bipolar disorder. This wasn’t followed up at the time and was sort of left in the background. Combined with me feeling complete disbelief at first, this meant a diagnosis didn’t come straight away, but it stayed there in the back of my head and in the centre of my heart.
Finding a soulmate
Over time I healed from the suicide attempt and that period in my life, and I met the man who is now my husband. This was one of the best times of my life and is still one of the best things that has happened to me. I moved to Glasgow to live with him and in time we got married. I had found my true soulmate.
Getting my diagnosis
The Scottish health services were so much better than anything I had ever experienced, I couldn’t believe it at first. Through a combination of me advocating for myself and a lovely doctor who I will always remember, I got referred to my current mental health team and physiatrist. There I got my diagnosis and found the help I had always needed.
Happiness at last
With this professional help, a new routine, new coping strategies, medication and the best partner I could ever imagine, I have built a life that now makes me truly happy. I still battle with my illness, but I am more stable than I have ever been and happier than I have been in my entire life.
I have been self-harm free for 3 years, and although at times I struggle with suicidal thoughts, I feel I now have the help and coping strategies I need to be able to cope with the hard times more effectively.
I know that this disorder will always be with me, but now I feel I have the support I need and the knowledge I require to be able to deal with it in a much better way. I’m a warrior, I won’t give up and I won’t let it rule my life. I will find ways to cope and to keep moving forward.
This is my journey, and this blog will be sharing my experiences and what I have learnt and giving advice where I can. If this can resonate with other people like me out there, if I can connect with people with mental illness, if I can help anyone, then that will mean the absolute world to me.