Her Crystallised Heart - I Wish I Could be how Others See me, but I can't - Bipolar
‘I wish I could be how others see me, but I can’t’
Her Crystallised Heart.
And on the unfinished crystal floor, where I started this self-portrait during a hyper-manic, she is finished.
Bipolar Self Portrait - Personal Meaning
The dusty rose waves are other-worldly and like her mind, not quite here or there.
The waves aren’t blue because she sees things differently from others.
The smoky quartz crystals at her heart represents both the beauty and fragility of bipolar... no matter how much she tries to submerge and hide it
from the surface - bipolar is her, and it’s not her.
It is not her complete being.
The open border framing her, is the box that others put her in, not understanding her complexities, her quirks
I’ve kept the border open, because while others might try and confine her, she won’t allow it. She is many lifetimes in one.
Quick Bipolar misconceptions:
✨ I rapid cycle - this DOES not mean I’m up and down in a day, I’m no more moody than the next...
What it does mean is that I experience hyper-manics rapidly in that it’s a burst of 3-4 days symptomatic.
Being symptomatic for me can be feelings and experiences of:
- intense ideas and energy
- a magical sense of the world
- seeing signals/messages from 'higher beings'
- increased intelligence
- reduced need to sleep for days
- higher performance
- hallucinations = though I know what is reality and what is not
- mixed states
- over confidence
- extroverted (normally I'm quite introverted)
✨ For me, I don’t fly off the handle nor am I aggressive- I do FEEL thing’s deeply and need alone space from people and electrical over-stimulus.
It can be like a rollercoaster that is incredibly physically and mentally exhausting.
It does impact my ability to function in a world that I feel like I don't quite fit into.
✨ I can be suicidal and NOT want to die.
This is not attention seeking, it is neurological misfiring in my brain.
✨Bipolar isn’t a every day thing. Yes, i can have visual, auditory hallucinations and paranoia BUT this is ONLY a handful of times per year.
For me, I have some grasp of what's reality and what's not. For example, I KNOW when a hallucination is not real, but I’m also seeing/hearing and have to try and manage by acknowledging it, but trying not to buy into it, if that makes sense?
👉✨ While I may have had a genetic predisposition for Bipolar, mine has been assessed as by a highly respected International Psychiatrist (specialising in Bipolar) as ‘environmental’
This means, it is more that significantly probable that my Bipolar was 'set-off' by extreme trauma that I experienced in my early 20's.
Bipolar is difficult, by my panic disorder and agoraphobia is debilitating (again trauma related).
I am not defective.
Nor am I 'damaged'
I do not need to be 'fixed', although my bipolar is managed through medication and therapy to help me live a beautiful and fulfilling life
I am not psycho, crazy or nuts. Please don't used these negative and degrading words.
✨I would rather have Bipolar then not, but that doesn’t make it easy.
I am not a bad mum or a bad wife. In fact, I probably overcompensate.
Being a wife and a mother is what I thrive at and what makes me happiest.
I absolutely adore my family and have and will ALWAYS do everything to always them safe, protected, secure, loved and spoilt (and they do the same for me ✨🌙)
✨ANYONE who has mental health conditions or has had one in ANY form, has a responsibility to role model appropriate, open and empathetic conversations.
My children are aware of my conditions and sometimes that means mummy is sick and can’t be like other mums socially (when I’m low), but they know I try my hardest.
Please don’t treat me differently or be awkward.
I’m exactly the same person you knew before.
✨My Bipolar 'label' should ONLY serve for you to understand me better.
To the small handful of trusted friends and family who knew my ‘dark secret’ thank you for allowing me to trust you enough to tell you.
No one can glamorise mental illness, if you suffer from illness YOU know that it is not glamorous.
Fun fact, I would NEVER have hit the over 100k mark, graduate with a Psychology degree with a High Distinction average, write a comprehensive and published document, be awarded an award for excellence, or be eligible to complete a PhD (among other numerous high achievements) if I didn’t have my conditions.
I have served in the Royal Australian Airforce, I have worked in a Minister’s office - point is, you can still be a high achiever and have mental health difficulties.
For me, unfortunately the reality is that ‘normal’ life is NOT sustainable for me, but lifestyle changes are, which is why I am so dedicated to wellness and why I started Nourished cove.
Nourished Cove is my beautiful creative escape, it was also born from a manic.
My 'stable' self always tries to follow through with my ideas because more often than not, my ideas have proved to be incredibly positive and made real-life significant change.
My advice to anyone suffering in the shadows, like I have since my diagnosis at 22...
DO NOT KEEP trying to fight against the grain to survive.
DO NOT ALLOW for anyone to use your mental health as a weapon to attack you, degrade you, devalue you or humiliate you.
Do NOT ALLOW anyone to use your mental health as a scapegoat for your very real and valid thoughts, personality and feelings.
I’m on medication, see my psychiatrist every three months and have a family support system.
I believe in both traditional clinical help and alternative wellness practices for help and healing.
There’s no rule book that says it’s this or that, although society has always pushed towards medical practices and kinda snubbed alternative ways to heal like reike, crystals, sage).
For me, we have processes in place for when I’m symptomatic.
I am loved.
I am supported.
I am grateful.
I am blessed.
My husband is my everything, he is always present, attentive, caring, one hundred percent trustworthy, honourable, family orientated and empathetic.
My children are incredible, words are not enough.
My family love me for all my quirks and that is what true love is.
This love is what has helped to guide me through learning to let go of past trauma.
It has helped to nurture self acceptance.
Love note: no two bipolar's are the same.
I speak only to my own personal experiences.
If you are struggling and need to reach out please do.
There is nothing worse than feeling like you are alone.
If you see your GP and are unhappy with the care you receive, you keep on going and going and going until you get the help you need and deserve.
I know it is hard, but I’m proof it can get better.