Reflecting on the first couple of posts from Elle and myself, I’m still looking back at where schooling kind of dissipated for me. Prior to that first bout of depression I’d been a good achiever in my first couple of years of high school. I remember getting the highest mark in my year for History. Yet after losing direction and early mental instability I came out with average or below average O-Grade results. I ended up with a C for History. That will give you an idea of how dramatically these things can impact on you.
But here now today I’ve just got my first result in for a class at university. I got 80%, which is really quite high. Weirdly at age forty-eight this is my first academic validation. It demonstrates two things. One, yes I am capable, and two…things change over the course of it all. Always hang on to that idea.
I’m lucky in that eight years ago I responded extremely well to a treatment and became as well as I have been since pre-diagnosis. There’s a lot of stigma related to taking a medication every day. It’s all rubbish. These things can be treatable. If it’s raining…you put up an umbrella. It’s as simple as that.
I remember the many times I’ve been incapacitated in the ways that Elle has mentioned. Psychosis is obviously extremely debilitating, but depression can be as much so, and extreme depression can cause psychosis, so it can be a relentless cycle. I remember aged around twenty five suffering a particularly acute bout of depression. I left my mum and dads house and just went and lay down in the park for about five hours. That was all I could manage. It wasn’t even a sunny day.
Like Elle I’m also on a new journey by talking about these things. I’ve been a comedian for eighteen years and yet I only first did a show about mental health last year. It’s also taken me a long time to be open about this. People that have known me for that full time had no idea of the things I’d endured and the symptoms I had until they saw that show. Sure I’d occasionally drop into conversation that I was Bipolar, but nobody really knew what that entailed.
That’s the point of these blogs I think. To get that stuff out there. I remember when I was first suffering the effects of Bipolar I really just wanted to talk to other people who had experienced the same thing as me. Now we can.
Anyhoo that’s a more formal tone from me today, so I really must finish this post with a favourite joke from the show Delusions (I’m sorry I really can’t help but pop on my top hat and cane lol)
Sometimes we all need little delusions in our life. They’re what help us get through the day. I’ve noticed online recently that young people have developed a bit of an obsession with Unicorns. They’re doing up their hair, putting glitter and make up on and other such stuff. Any I must admit if I was a young person right now, living on less than minimum wage, on a zero hours contract, no hope of a house, paying off huge debts and possibly going to lose the NHS…Well…I’d pretend I was a fucking Unicorn as well!