Today, 10th October, is World Mental Health Day 2018, allow me to share with you what that means to me. This is nerve racking for me as this account is fairly anon, if someone googled/searched my name it wouldn’t come up but this message felt important to share. These two pictures were taken one year apart, one where I am looking my best for a party and one when I was being savagely attacked by depression. And no that description is not over the top. That time was horrendous but do you know what? The day to day is tough too. Living with bipolar disorder means I have to manage my illness on a daily basis; I need to have an alarm set to remind me to take my meds each day, it means I need to drink enough throughout the day or I develop a tremour, it means I need to think twice before I make arrangements with friends even if it’s stuff I want to do because I need to be careful not to over stimulate myself. It means I need to have my blood taken regularly so as not to develop dangerous toxicity. It means sometimes I need to leave events early if I have had a late night or a disturbed sleep the night before because sleep makes a huge difference in my wellness. It means I worry everytime I laugh too loudly or am having a bad day that people will assume I have relapsed. It means I worry that too. It means that even when well I put in an exhausting level of effort to stay that way. It is every minute of every day. It’s not all misery but it’s important I share that equally bipolar is not just happy and sad, it’s everything in between and a bit more. I have experienced psychosis with depression and that was the most terrifying time in my life so I’d just ask you to think before you use ‘psycho’ as an adjective in fact don’t use any mental illness in that way you ARE NOT ‘a bit bipolar’ or ‘totally OCD’. The most important things in my wellness are medication, sleep and most definitely the friends and family I surround myself with… To them I say thank you for accepting me as I am and not just tolerating my quirks but celebrating them!