I’ve been giving thought to success the last few days or so. My business is doing really well and I’m pushing things along and it’s made me wonder a few things. What is success? How does someone define success? Does everyone want to be successful? What is successful to one is just routine for another isn’t it?
For some getting up, getting dressed and just having an ok day is a success. For others success might be setting up a multi-million pound business and they still don’t think they’re being successful.
I think that im successful now I’m getting on with things again and staying level. Keeping work very manageable, although I’m doing 10+ hour days and Saturdays, is really good too. I’m loving work again. I’m loving challenging myself again. It’s still in the back of my mind not to let it tip or slip into something more but my drive is very focused and has been for a few months. The focus is helping so much as it’s a good focus and not a a bad obsession. I’ve realised obsessions CAN be good if they’re the right kind and healthy. I know that sounds like a contradiction too.
So am I successful in my own mind? I think I am getting there. Maybe it’s a hindsight thing. Maybe when one looks back at tough times and realises they got through them they know they’ve been successful. I guess it’s about keeping going through the tough times.
I’m sitting here taking a quick break and pondering if I miss episodes. I know it’s possible that one can come along anytime but what’s got me thinking is that I’m very very productive at the minute, I’m working really smart, I’m pushing things along, things are going really well, I’ve realised how far I’ve come and how much effort it’s teally taken to get here and I’m planning a few things ahead in the future once I’ve cleared lots of debt. So it’s made me think how I might be, or where I might be, if I were in an episode.
Initially I missed the high that I lived in most of the time once I levelled out but then being level grew on me and my normal energy levels came back but without any craziness. I don’t miss mixed states AT ALL! I don’t miss deep depression that has lasted for several months. I don’t miss the really crazy mania either.
What has amazed me is that my future plans do encompass some of what I tried to do while high, like buying land etc and moving, but it’s a future plan rather than ‘fuck it I’m selling our house, we’re buying a farm, I’m going to climb Everest, buy an Audi R8 and fuck it all!’ Now it’s a lot of careful planning, lots of goals for each day, week, month and year by year.
I know I have lots of subscribers yet I don’t know how many actually read this. For those who do I sincerely hope you get level. I want you to know it is possible. I want you to try making some goals. And I want to help. I hope that I do help. When I first blogged I figured if I could reach and help one other person it would be worth it just by sharing where I am and how I am. The last 10 years have been shocking, horrific, amazing, crazy, mind blowing and very scary but I think it’s helped me more than I yet know. I don’t want to go through it again but if I do get unwell I have lots of things in place.
I wonder how I could help others even more? Maybe just keeping going and writing is helpful. Who knows? I wish you all a good day and that you keep going because it can, with hard work, get better.
I’m feeling tired today. I started at 7:30 on a job I’m doing after the main job I’m on. It was just a case of a quick tidy up then onto the main job I’m on. I’m doing days of about 10 hours or so plus most Saturdays at the minute. It’s why I’m a bit tired. So I’ve come home for half hour away for a quick break. I know that it’ll make me more productive too. Plus my stomach area aches as I’ve been hunched over laying oak flooring the last 2 days. It’s not the most comfortable position to be in. I might take a 10 minutenap too. Then head back to work and smash it.
I’ve added a Patreon button to this blog. I had pondered on it for some time as this blog isn’t about money. It’s about bipolar and my journey with it in life. What I write is just about me and I hope that it might be of help to others. Each year I pay more to keep the blog online and to pay the web host. I always pay it but of someone helped even a small amount that would be great. If not I’ll still keep going.
Things are going well and I’m mentally very stable now. I’m not about to rush out and do anything stupid either. I’m looking at ways to make life better for myself and my family and clearing my own personal debts is something I’m facing up to and working hard at. I’ve got my business out of the overdraft for the first time in about 3 years and it’s made me realise how debt has also kept me unwell. A lot of my debts are caused by myself and I’m facing up to them now and can plan a bit further than that as well.
To feel level is awesome now. To start with it felt strange and unnatural. Others are noticing that I seem really well and my hair is growing longer. It’s been a few months since I cut it and for 4 years or so I’d kept it close to bald or fully bald. It was drastic to cut it and I always used to have slightly rough flyaway hair. It’s getting a bit scruffy again but I like it. Soon I’ll go and get a haircut. A proper haircut. Not just shave it off.
So many things have cropped up lately in my mind and in life. I’ve realised how many times my dad used to tell me that “you’re just like my brother. He was just a dreamer too” etc etc. I’ve realised how damaging this was, and I say WAS because I’ll not let it stop me achieving my plans and goals now. No more niggling in the back of my mind from, or caused by, others. It’s interesting that now I’m getting stronger and in ‘recovery’ that I can face so many things and accept them for what they are or were.
Life goes on and is getting really good. I wish I could share this with my subscribers and help them to feel how I do now. Recovery is very possible.
I’m feeling really good. Things are going well. I know there will be blips. I know there will be things that go wrong. I know that I am who I am. I know that only I can make changes in my life. I know that things are getting better and better all of the time. Things are great.
I’ve been discharged from psychology a few weeks and have even had a letter about some stuff. I saw the cpn a week ago yesterday and he’s pretty amazed at where I’m at. I’ll be discharged from MH services early next year. I can always jump back in if I need to.
This is the most mentally well I’ve been for at least a decade now and it’s getting better all of the time. I know that things can get tough but I’ll ride them out. I question any negative self talk now. I have my drive for life back again. Keeping things logical really is helping. My wife has been worried that I’m a little energetic but I’ve reassured her that it’s just my normal state which has been gone for so long. My sleep is really good. My eating is good. I’m still off social media. I’m making some serious and sensible life plans and they’re falling in place. It will all take time. In the past I’d of been pushing for it to happen faster and faster. This time I can see the sense in the waiting. I don’t need to rush. I’m setting goals that push me but they’re sensible goals. It’s a bit scary being able to do all of this and know I’m ok. It’s scary looking back at how unwell I have been. It’s also scary, in an amazingly good way, to be able to plan ahead and have goals.
Razor sharp focus. That’s where I’m at. I’m still making lots of lists. They really help. It stops me forgetting things and it’s good ticking things off. I’m on the ball again after almost a decade. Being able to form plans is quite a amazing feeling. Anyone who’s lost in their own mind I want you to know it does stop and you can come out of it. Bipolar is episodic and doesn’t have to be one long episode. Take all of the help you can get. Be honest with yourself and your mental health team. Get counselling and try your hardest to make it all work. If you feel overmedicated then bring it up with your team. Mental pain can pass even if it’s only for brief times. Hold onto those times. Write everything down. Make plans and goals for each day, week and month. Start with something really simple likenot drinking coffee after 4pm or not drinking alcohol for one day. Start small and watch your progress. If you fail then keep trying and don’t beat yourself up over it. Keep moving forwards. Try to know yourself and be honest with yourself. Try getting out in nature if and when you can.
I’m still off (anti) social media and have deleted the Facebook and Facebook messenger apps from my phone. I even put my phone and iPad out of reach at times so I can focus better. It’s all good.
I’ve not much to say. I’m still level other than a few blips but that will always be the case. I’m working hard and clearing debts. I’ve got good focus again and drive. Kara has been Co corned that I’m going high but I’ve hopefully reassured her that I’m not and that it’s just good feelings and energy flowing. I’m going to bed at a very sensible time each night and wake up at a sensible time too. I’m focused on work and my business. I’m loving life again. I have some plans too! I’m still not on Facebook and for now have no intention of going back. I’m sure I might at some point though. I’m not online very much other than some YouTube sometimes. I’m reading lots and meditating again. I’m making lists of things that need doing with work, home, food growing and other things. It’s all a huge help in keeping focus.
I’m feeling the best I’ve felt since possible 2007 just before my mum got seriously unwell. She died in the Februaury of 2008 and I think, looking back, that I was pretty mentally unwell from when she first went into hospital and into intensive care. It escalated from there. I remember the journeys to the hospital vividly and the routine and ritual of having to ring the bell to be allowed in to ICU and the having to use the alcohol based had steriliser. The smell lingers with me and will forever as will the white noise of various machines and sounds. I can remember how they would draw the curtain around and we knew that meant someone had died in there and they were wheeling their body out.
Recovery. What a strange thing and a strange word. As strange as it is I’m really enjoying it. It’s made me realise even more how seriously unwell I was mentally. Shockingly unwell. How I never got noticed for the odd behaviour and how I never got sectioned I’ll never know. I’m actually making plans for life, something I had tried but was so out of it they were all very crazy things, and they’re grounded plans. I’m learning things all of the time. I’ve realised how much I’ve learnt about myself over the last few months through seeing the psychologist. Talking of which I had my last booked session last Friday and can get referred back to her if I need it. What was very surprising was talking to her about how far I’ve come and a few other things. She told me how great it is to see someone recover and understand like I have and do. She was surprised t how deep I went with the therapy and said that lots of people can’t go that deep as it can just be too painful for them and too much. For anyone reading this and who have really struggled with therapy I can really relate to it and however far you’ve been with it you’ve done really well. Never forget that you are amazing and you’re so very strong. Keep going no matter how shit things can get. It’s really worth it.
Last nights dreams…hmm. I had several dreams in which a friend of mine featured really strongly. In fact the dreams were fully about him. I woke a few times from the dreams then went back to sleep again and dreamt about him again. It’s obviously on my mind and I’ve been working crazy lately. I’ve fitted in decorating a whole bungalow out in my spare time the last week and a half. It’s made me realise how much I miss people who’ve died. The friend I dreamt about killed himself last December. He’d tried a couple of months before and the way he did it was quite horrific. I think that’s why it’s on my mind so much. It’s made me realise that the few times I tried to choke/hang myself and didn’t manage to kill myself were one hell of a blessing. I’m very fucking lucky to be alive and to be level and in recovery. Very lucky. I’m making a few plans with life again now and they’re very realistic plans instead of bullshitbollocks bipolar crazy ones. They’re grounded this time. Thankfully. All I can do is keep going and keep trying my best. Life really is very very precious.
I’ve realised that the longer I’m well the longer I think I will stay well. I’ve made notes on my phone, which duplicate onto my iPad, to look at and to add to as and when needed. Thy range from normal things to keep in check in life to things to do with how I run my business and my work and life ethics. I’m finding that although I have blips and my though processing sometimes switches back to the patterns I had when unwell I’m able to notice them more now and act on them, even if it takes some hindsight. I’m still off Facebook for the most part, certainly while at work, and occasionally log back in just to check on a gardening/food growing group that I’m on. I’m finding I’m much more productive and my thought processes are changing for the better. Facebook is a huge distraction and waste of time for me personally and probably is for most others too. I find that I end up checking comments and replies etc and often I disagree with others. It’s far better avoiding it on the whole. I’ve decided that I want to learn Spanish and now have a free app, it’s kind of ok, and have now bought a course that comes as 19 books as PDF and some MP3 DVDs too. Maybe I’ll not like it but I’ll certainly try it. My daughter said I should learn Mandarin and she’s quite right because I’d love too. I love a good challenge. I’m also now looking at ways to make my business work better for me and I’m changing how I run things slightly so that I use my time more efficiently. I’ve started to save a small amount and I can then look at ways to invest that money so that we can do more of the things we want to do instead of feeling like we’re just getting by. Kara is making gallons of apple cider vinegar for the horses and also to sell. She already has several friends who want to buy it for themselves and their horses. Between all of us were getting to a lovely level. I’ve also made another bipolar type YouTube video.
Sunday night and yesterday I had a pretty upset stomach. Feeling crap made me feel mentally crap too. I thought I was heading down but realised how much even just an upset stomach can affect my mental health. It’s a fine line and a fine balancing act. Even so it’s easy to bounce back from if I can understand why I feel like this. It’s good to step back a little and think if there’s a reason why yet it’s so easy to get caught up in the crap feelings. I think my body was telling me I needed the short rest. I feel much better today even though it carried through a bit into this morning. Sometimes other things can give you a little lift. Things like messages etc from people you thought you’d not hear from again and sometimes they can make a good difference. I guess it’s life. At least it’s good to know things are ok.