It’s been a hell of a year. I mean to start with, it’s been well over a year now since I moved up to Derby. It’s been almost a full school year since I started my job. It’s been not quite but coming on a year since Ben and I got engaged. I’ve left this year with so many new memories, experiences, skills but I can’t help but think about the fact that I’ve left it with something else, something unexpected, something that was a bit of a shock. I’ve left it with a new diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder.
If you read my last blog, you’ll know this year has been a tough one, one that landed me with an 8 week hospital stay, one that led to this new diagnosis, one that left me with more questions than answers.
I knew, after being diagnosed a few years ago, that I was going to be autistic for the rest of my life, and although there are plenty of challenges, it makes me who I am. But what about bipolar? When they suggested I might have it, I decided to google it, then they told me not to, so obviously I kept googling it. And there it was on the NHS website: “This will not prevent the episode occurring, but it’ll allow you to get help in time.” There it was in big old words: my life sentence – I was going to keep going through these extreme ups and downs for the rest of my life no matter how hard I tried to stop it.
It’s been maybe 4 months now since I found out. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Am I scared? Yes, most of the time. But am I feeling hopeless? Not really. I’m on some medication that is working well for now. I’m due to start very short term work to identify early warning signs and make a staying well plan. I’m surrounded by a bunch of fantastic people who I’m so incredibly lucky to have had supporting me through this year. Going forward, I will have periods of being well and periods of being unwell, and though it won’t always be easy, it won’t always be hard either, and at the very least, I’m grateful for that.