Firstly I don’t blog about my own mental ill health to seek sympathy or attention to myself, I do it to help educate and raise awareness, I believe in being open, honest and beating the stigma and discrimination that still surrounds mental ill health.

Towards the end of last year I went through almost 3 months of a manic period, something I wrote about in November, certainly worth checking out as I thought it gave a great insight into how mania affects me. I recovered from the manic period and then became “normal” my mood was stabilised, thanks to time and medication, so I had this feeling almost every morning and every night “where is the depression that follows mania” every single day I thought it was coming the next day, I got on with things, I carried out several appointments, I did some public speaking and attended a number of football projects and tournaments, sadly due to a long term knee problem I was unable to play much football myself. I was waiting for it to hit me, depression for me comes with no warning signs, I usually wake up feeling like a completely different person, I feel alone immediately, I feel weak, I feel afraid of how bad things can get and then follows all the negative thoughts about me being worthless.

A few weeks ago I woke up and depression had sunk in, just like that I became a different person, I became the person who is writing this blog today, I am now in depression and my biggest fear at the moment is that it may not have bottomed out yet, that means I could become worse, I could become suicidal, I could be beaten. I live with this affliction every single day, I am either waiting for something to happen and become anxious very easily, I am manic and out of control (just as dangerous as depression) or I am in a low depressed mood where I struggle to see any light at the end of the tunnel, perhaps one day I will just stick with one of the three moods forever, I really hope it’s not the mood I am in today. I would love to get stuck in the “normal” stable mood for good but there is no chance of that, I have come to accept that I will be like this and on the medication for the rest of my life, I also live with the thought that it’s highly likely that I will die through suicide.

I’m struggling at the moment but I still feel I have a responsibility to educate as many people as possible, to smash the stigma and to stand up against the discrimination shown towards people with mental health problems. There is no shame in being ill, there is certainly no shame whatsoever in mental ill health, what’s so difficult to understand when someone is ill they are ill regardless of whether it is physical or mental. I repeat I don’t want sympathy, I am not writing this to gain attention for myself, I sincerely hope that this has given you an insight into bipolar. For now I want to be left to my own devices, my own support network and take some time out just for myself, I don’t have any choice as I have no motivation whatsoever to do any work, for me time is a great healer, I only wish I wasn’t injured and could at least escape for a couple of hours on a football pitch.

I am happy to answer any questions you may have here, let’s keep the conversation going, let’s together smash the stigma and discrimination. I’m fighting every minute that I can, I have beaten this several times before so I have a track record of recovering, I will find light, I hope it’s soon but it’s unlikely to be so quick. Go on ask away, let’s get the conversation going. Don’t forget to share this to help others out there and remind them they are not alone. If I can fight so can they.

Colin Dolan