I met Gemma off the train at Clapton, and we smiled at our matching yellow raincoats. Soon we were on the marshes, trading in our rainwear for sunglasses as the dark clouds cleared to make way for a balmy afternoon. Talk turned right away to my “coming out”.
“So, tell me what happened. Start from the beginning. The last time I saw you was at our choir dinner back in January, when I had just returned from Nepal…”
I explained my first manic high: how I couldn’t sleep, my delusions of grandeur and the super creativity I had felt for days and nights on end. We both exchanged stories of sleeplessness and what sedatives we were on to remedy this. It was so good to share and feel like someone else had been through the same ordeal. However, after having felt that I had had a really hard time, it turns out my dear friend spent years doing the circuit of NHS psychiatrists and only got her bipolar diagnosis quite late in the game, after she had been told she was suffering from chronic fatigue. This was true, however, and did eventually lead to her diagnosis.
We both need medication to function at the moment. Sometimes just getting out of bed and walking 200m to a doctor’s appointment and back is all we can manage. And that’s okay. We accept that things go slow sometimes. The important thing is to practice self-love and self-care.
Whilst talking about being Bipolar we picked blackberries. When I got home I made jam.
Taste of cloud and rain,
Sunshine talk of blue,
Sky mood indigo,
Talk of sunshine highs,
Dark memory lows,
A problem shared, halved.