Whatever happened to JD?

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This blogging lark can be difficult sometimes – you’ve a lot to say, but you have to be careful about how and how much you say it. My writing on here has been sporadic to say the least over the last few months and the majority has not been positive. And to be fair that’s where I was at the time and allows me a chance to vent when I need to and you a chance to see into the murky mind of a manic-depressive.

There is so much I really want to put up on here, but I need time to take stock, think about my experiences over the couple of years and put it down in a fair and sensible way. But it’s time for you to get some of the edited highlights of where I am as I’ve been too cryptic for too long.

Having reached two decade anniversaries in the last week has been great – firstly my 10 years all clear from cancer last Wednesday is a big one (and hopefully this Wednesday coming’s check up will sign me off as an outpatient). And our Tin wedding anniversary marked another milestone in our lives. A life that is made richer by our friends and family, but mostly our three amazing kids. The latest little one is a wee bundle of joy and I can’t wait to see her follow in the footsteps of her older siblings and become her own person.

Work has taken a turn for the good as I am back where I want to be with the University. As a job it allows me to both be in touch with pupils and schools but gives me the time and space to take a wee step back too. Head space has become something very important to me in the last two years since the Bi-Polar diagnosis. I’m still learning how to manage it, change my routine to take account of the mood fluctuations and generally come to terms with how it affects my life.

It seems strange to say that as I’ve always had this split in my personality from the lows and isolation to the hyper phases and impulsive reaction – but the defining of the illness has really helped me to be aware of what it is to be me. I know this sounds a bit “way out man” in a finding yourself kind of way, but I think that understanding who you are is important as you know your boundaries and how to flex them. With the medication, support and medical know-how, I’m in a good place and with work being a positive experience again I’m hoping that some past daemons can be exorcised.

I’m enjoying being back in a band again. I did need some time off, but there is a real pleasure to belting out tunes of a weekend as a physical anti-depressant – in much the same way others find solace through sport, music is and always has been my therapy. Taking the best of my previous experiences and combining it with four talented musicians is fantastic and think we are improving all the time. Shaping the set to suit the five of us and working hard to build a strong reputation is a welcome challenge for me out with the nine to five.

Hopefully I’m not jinxing things by saying this but at the moment I think I’m in a good place. There have been some really tough experiences over the last couple of years that I hope I will never have to go through again, but the positive is that I have survived them, become stronger by standing up for myself when the odds were against me, and I know now that others try to put you down that you just have to remind yourself that if they so concerned with you they must have pretty empty lives to waste their time on such superfluous matters.

Family, friends, work, band and living with mental illness is where I am – more than that it’s who I am at this moment in time. Remember the positives; ignore those who are negative and live your life to the fullest. Depressions will come and go, life is always to be lived.

JD

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