Wednesday, 17 April 2013

The Weight of Bipolar

I had an extended appointment with the Practice Nurse at my Doctor's rooms today to put together a health care plan. You see, I've been so (mentally) ill over the past few years I haven't been able to take care of myself properly. I'm significantly overweight with a BMI of 37, unfit and my cholesterol is bad. You might wonder how this happened, it's not so hard to eat well and do some regular excercise right?  Wrong.

When you are so ill that it takes everything you have to simply survive each day, preparing a meal is a massive undertaking. Meat and three veg or a simple stir fry takes a few steps to prepare. Then there is the dishes that cooking creates. Put all that together and it's just too much. I don't mean too much work, I mean too many thoughts to string together to get it done. When you are having so much trouble thinking straight, putting even a few small steps together is near impossible and so is thinking up something healthy to eat that is simple to prepare. The other issue is the depression and the constant feeling I can only describe as a dull 'craziness'  that kept me confined to bed or the sofa. Exercise doesn't even make the priority list when you can barely move because your body feels like lead, and you feel too crazy to leave the house unless absolutely necessary.

It amazes me in hindsight now that I am (hopefully) recovering, how difficult simple things like self care are when you are ill. I know there were days when I had to venture out to the shops and I must have looked mentally ill. I know that might not be politically correct to say, but what I mean is that my personal grooming wasn't good and I was just holding on to sanity by a thread, fearing I would lose my grip at any moment. That showed outwardly I'm sure. I know that mental illness is not always visible and many people living with mental illness live successful lives. I'm simply referring to my own recent experiences.

So anyway, today I felt like I failed at life. I sat down with someone to make a plan for doing what most people can do naturally; look after their health. I know it's a positive that I am well enough to take this step, but I still feel a sense of failure about it all.

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