About bipolar disorder Pendulum: stories and information What is bipolar? In the mist of time It is World Mental Health Day… and I wanted to write something in the moment as opposed to pre-planned. Why? Because you can’t pre-plan your mental health and how you’re going to feel one day to the next. Not going to lie to you, folks – you’ve caught me on a misty day (well, week) this 10th October 2019 circa 8:00am. I did think about not writing anything, because how do I write an uplifting piece in the hope it’ll help someone else when I don’t even know how to help myself right now? Bit awkward. I’ve sat here for a little over an hour now, sipping tea, scrolling through the trending mental health threads on Twitter, occasionally looking up in a pensive manner to the ceiling with a some-what pouty lower lip / chin combo and ultimately, being continuously distracted with all the nonsense my head is making up on this fine Thursday. Rational and irrational April are in the throes of wrestling to see who’s going to dominate the majority of my head-space today. I’m exhausted. Do you know what we’re gonna do? We’re gonna ride the mist together… ‘Mist’! That’s what I call my ‘bad days’ … I can see many of you have different names for your bad days from my social media scrolling, and it’s actually brought a smile to my face. I found calling mine ‘mist’ was an easier way to quantify how I was feeling from day to day. There are times though when the mist is so dense that I lose sight of everything, hardly making any sense and it can result in memory loss once I’ve come out the other side. That said, I do associate my mist with my favourite colour; purple… Makes it less scary for me if I can see and feel it in a colour I adore. Anyhoo, I digress… This year’s theme is ‘suicide prevention’… The Mental Health Foundation have put together a superb way to remember how you can support another person who may be suicidal… Please see, save and digest the graphic at the end of this piece. I’ve never really opened up about 15-year-old April being hospitalised after overdosing, and I shan’t be doing so now, largely because I’m not ready to and even more largely, I’m not in the right head-space to do so today. What I will share is this… And this is something I don’t yell about nor do I hide but there is rarely a morning where I don’t wake up wishing I hadn’t. Of course, there are levels of mist density which play a part… but ultimately the realisation of “here we go again” exasperates me and wears me out before I’ve even put two feet on the ground. So, if it’s too much for me, why don’t I do something about it? It’s pretty simple… I have people here that need me, I have a too much stuff I want to do in this world, and I have a battle in my head I refuse to lose. With that in mind, there are three things I want you to take away from this article: If you got out of bed today, this is a huge achievement. Do. Not. Belittle. It. Regardless of whether or not you live with a mental health condition check in with someone today, however that may be. Don’t presume someone is okay because of their Instagram Story, don’t leave them on two blue ticks on WhatsApp and don’t think it can wait until tomorrow. Ride your mist. That might mean sitting in an armchair and holding on for dear life, or it might mean going for a walk with a friend or it might even mean staying in bed for today, and that’s okay. Ride it. Why? Because you have people here that need you, you have too much stuff that you want to do in this world, and you have a battle in your head that you refuse to lose. Those three things are from my experiences as both someone with lived experience and as someone who has been there for a loved one who is affected by the condition. On a final note, it is also World Porridge Day today, which is clearly being overshadowed by World Mental Health Day and if there’s one thing we have all learnt it’s that isolation and to be made to feel like an outcast can be very triggering. So, let’s also take a moment to appreciate the unsung breakfast hero, porridge with its whole host of healthy upsides. I salute you, porridge – thank you for your versatility. Final, final note… It’s World Coming Out Day on Saturday (11th October). Need I say more…? I say it every time… but today, my mental health, my mist is crippling, it is exhausting, and it is embarrassing me. I am, however, out of bed – and for that I’m celebrating. As always, lots of love. April x Your donation will help provide a range of services offering the support people need, when they need it. You can make sure there's someone at the end of the phone to listen, a nearby group to share experiences, a 24-hour peer forum and more. Together, we can support the person behind the diagnosis of bipolar.