My apologies

I’m writing this because I haven’t written for you all in a while. It would seem in my current mood that all enthusiasm for writing has dispersed and I am suffering with writers block. 

The last few weeks have been somewhat exhausting with so much going on. My energy sapped and my head pounding.
 

Whilst I focus on day to day activities I ask for your patience. I have many stories still to share, some already in draft form. I am on holiday this week with the intention of soaking up some rays (well as much as a ginger can). I’m sure that this will give me the head space I need to get back on form and share with you all once again. 

Bloody Bipolar eh? Who’d have it?!

Best wishes,

Liam x

There was a time in the early 1900’s, before that infamous ship set out on its one and only voyage, that the world unquestioningly believed that it was unsinkable. No practical person thought twice about stepping onto that deck. Today, the Titanic has become a symbol of great disaster. Thats a far cry from its initial grandosity and pompus claims. Don’t be ashamed to ask questions. 

Don’t be ashamed to ask questions…

Posted in All Posts, Bipolar Diaries, Drama, Uncategorized

Pantomime Dame Vs Poundland

Finally managed to drag myself out the house yesterday on account of Nanny needing a few items before tomorrow’s dress rehearsal. Some red lippy, jewels, tits and a bra. 

I thought let’s go cheap as chips and nip to Poundland. So I did. I managed to pick up all I needed including the bra. The tits caused some trouble but I decided on one of those bean filled travel neck rests. I thought, I know they’re droopy but then I imagine Nanny Nutall’s boobs to look like spaniel tabs anyway. 

I took all items in a basket to the till. The young lad behind the till looked extremely puzzled with every item he grabbed out of the basket. Make- up, a bra, a travel neck rest, a pack of 3 buenos (sod it there only a pound) and costume jewellery. 

All under £20, I gladly tapped my debit card onto the machine and walked off as quickly as I could. Then my worst nightmare when I here, “excuse me”. I turned to discover it had not gone through. I went back and we tried again. DECLINED! I was deeply embarrassed, not only because the card declined but because of what I was actually buying. 

I went over to the local Tesco and attempted to withdraw the cash. Only when I selected the amount computer said no. Sheer shock. I rang the number on the back of the card and sat in the car waiting to speak with someone. A lady answered and said “we’re havin’ system issues, the systems gone down. Can you ring back in an hour?”. No I proclaimed. I need the money now for essential items. She said “well it should be back up and running some time after 6pm”. 

With only £9 in cash I went back to Poundland. I said I’ll take nine items now and then pop back in the morning to get the rest. I settled up and left. 

This morning I headed off back to Poundland and spoke to the lady on the till. I explained the situation and said I’d come to collect my remaining items. She then asked, what were they? Here we go again. I reeled off the peculiar pieces selected a day previous, were they there? Were they chuff! 

Apparently they’d been put back yesterday once the shop closed. Baring in mind, they were closing the shop when I left. Which I imagine means that, as soon as I’d walked out of the door, the daft lad serving me must have grabbed the stuff to put back immediately. 

The whole ordeal was rather stressful both yesterday and today. On the plus side, when I got home last night, Nikki was there with a big bag of make up. I lay down and she went to work on creating a divine look for dame Nanny Nuttall. This being the end result…

So please, if you haven’t yet got your ticket, drop me a message and I’ll get one ordered for you. Don’t be fooled by my bad mouthed antics on here, it’s a family show so bring the kids and I’ll keep it clean. It really is a cracking show and the bigger the audience the better! 

Posted in All Posts, Bipolar Diaries, Uncategorized

#lithiumwithdrawal 

Last night I fell asleep before taking my evening meds. I know this the moment I wake. My body tells me. It aches, my head hurts, my eyes feel sunken to the back of my skull, I heave, I cough and cough, I heave. Sometimes actually vomiting. My body temperature fluctuates. Hot, cold, hot, cold. I’m constantly clammy. I don’t know whether I’m coming or going. 

My head is hazed, full of fog. I have far too much energy, restless energy. I lay in bed. Another day in bed. Feeling too sensitive to step outside. The temperature, the light, the wind, the noise, people. 

I hate taking Lithium, I hate taking any meds but, I hate the withdrawal more. I’ll be sure to take them tonight and then normality can be resumed tomorrow. 

Today I coast. 

Posted in All Posts, Bipolar Diaries, Poems, Uncategorized

One More Angel To Fly…

Your wings had grew

You were ready to fly

After your death

You took to the sky

 

We may be confused

May not understand

If we’d realised you hurt

We could have held your hand

 

But your up there now

Looking down at as all

Keeping watch

Finally standing tall

 

There’s no one to blame

Not you and not I

You did what you had to

One more angel to fly

 

Heaven is blessed

To have you there

We will meet again

Someday, somewhere x

 

This is a short poem I wrote in December 2015 after the funeral of a friend who tragically took her own life.

Posted in All Posts, Bipolar Diaries, Uncategorized

Coping Strategy: #1 Fag Ash Lil

I thought I’d start with one that may be controversial, quite simply because smoking is not good for you. In fact smoking is indeed very bad for you. It’s not big, it’s not clever, I am an idiot…however…

 

For me smoking is a coping strategy. I am not recommending that you take up smoking for one instant. I have smoked all my life from a very young age. I could quit if I wanted too but quite frankly I do not see it happening anytime soon.

 

You often get asked on  questionnaires, by doctors, dentist etc how many per week you smoke. Well for me that is entirely dependant on what kind of week I am having. If I am having a low anxiety week with a relatively stable mood then it is quite possible that 20 cigarettes could stretch as far as the entire week.

 

Take this week, it has been a 30 a week…week.

 

Now throw a social occasion into the week, perhaps a wedding or party. It is possible that on such an occasion I may smoke 20 in one day, perhaps if the anxiety levels are particularly high, I may Dot Cotton my way nearer to 40 in one day.

 

So other than risk of lung cancer, gum disease and no body wanting to sit next to me because I smell like an ash tray, what do I get from smoking that I see as a coping strategy?

 

Well it’s quite simple and obvious really…headspace.

 

Being a smoker gives me the perfect excuse to get up and walk out of a room, building,  party, conversation. I  can depart with confidence, politely and grab a few moments peace. I don’t need to make laborious excuses as to why I need to nip outside, several times in one evening. I can quite simply say “Just nipping for a quick smoke” and I needn’t explain myself anymore than that.

When I am around others, I can feel very, very claustrophobic. Sometimes this is worse when I’m surrounded by good friends and loved ones as opposed to strangers. I get very anxious and panicky. Heart racing, palms sweating, very conscious on the sound and feeling of your beating pulse. Says it’s a wedding reception. You arrive and the party is already in full swing, has been all day. You walk up to the venue and the anxiety levels increase. You get inside and make you way to the room that the reception is being held. This disco has already begun. Therefore the room is poorly lit, lots of shadows. The music is louder so you are unable to hear what people are saying and the likelihood is most of the people are drinking and have been all day, therefore on a totally different wave length to you. It is at this point that I would tend to go to the bar and get myself a drink. Perhaps before I have even spoken to anyone else at the function, even the bride and groom.

 

As soon as I have my drink it’s time to pop out for cigarette number one. I may see others out there smoking that I know and use them to talk to in order to gradually settle in to the party atmosphere. It may be that I have cigarette number two before I go back in. It has been known before now where there has been many smokers I know that I would stay outside all night.

 

If I do go back in doors, then I will usually find the Bride and Groom next, ask if they’ve had a decent day, offer to get them a drink. Fundamentally I am letting them know that I have arrived, depending on how long I am able to stick it out, the next time they may see me could be when I come over to say good bye. Which could in some cases only be an hour later.

 

It all sounds really pathetic doesn’t it? The time I spend at a function, wedding, party, is no reflection of how I feel about the host. Just more a reflection of how well I am handling my emotions and mood. By smoking, I tend to manage better, particularly if I am attending somewhere alone.

“Mental Health is as important as Physical Health. Remember that”

Posted in All Posts, Bipolar Diaries, Poems

Lost & Found…

I was going to write a blog today about my day back in London. It started hellish, everything I remembered about it still existed. Up until the point below, it would have been an extremely negative read. On the flip side of this, I did have a moment of acknowledgment to myself that since leaving London I have come on leaps and bounds mental health wise. 

So what changed my mind about writing up this mornings negative view of the world and the people in it?

Well it was one lady really, one lady who displayed a random act of kindness. 

You know I like jotting down a poem or two, so here’s one for that wonderful lady who quite literally made my day…

So today I’ve been in London

Where nothing’s going well

Bad hotel, bad commute 

And I lost my phone as well

I tried to control my emotion

As I’ve tried here years before

But I simply cannot deny the fact

My lost phone was the last straw

It could be in the hotel

Or maybe on the train 

Stressed and quite emotional

I tried to rack my brain

I got on with my day

What more could I do?

When this meetings finished

I’ll try and think it through

When a colleague sat beside me,

Got a random call

From another colleague at the office

To say Liam, give Jackie a call

It rang and rang, she answered

I said it’s Liam, is that Jackie?

And too my sheer surprise 

Great news she had for me

Jackie had sat down

Where I had sat before

When on the seat she noticed

An unattended iPhone 4

She took the phone with her

And off to work she went

Unable to unlock it

Despite several attempts

An email soon appeared

And Jackie took a look

Quickly turning to google

She looked the company up

A number for head office 

Jackie quickly dialled the phone

She explained the situation 

Desperate to return it to its home

We met up at St Paul’s

Both filled with delight

She said be more careful

As I held my phone real tight

So thank you to Jackie

For your help and honesty

Not just for the phone, but

restoring my faith in humanity

Jackie words cannot explain the gratitude I have for you efforts today. Many thanks and best wishes, Liam x

Posted in All Posts, Bipolar Diaries, Uncategorized

Mother said…

On 23rd September 1986 my beautiful little boy was born 7 lbs 10 oz dark brown hair, he was my life I doted on everything he did. He was a good baby and happy when he was snuggled up close to me. He had a hernia operation when he was one-year-old, and again when he was eight years old, he took it in his stride and even coming back from the theatre he was standing up on the trolley and they said that they had never had that before, but that’s my boy.

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Always friendly and outgoing he made friends easily and enjoyed people’s company, of all ages, even from a very early age he wanted to help people he always wanted to go to the shop on his own and I would stand on the street and watch him walk to the shop and back. He always seemed very grown for his age, growing up he always wanted to wear trousers and shirt and sometimes he even wore a tie. He had ideas and plans of being a businessman ideas of owning places, chains of places and working hard.

At his junior school he took part in the school play and that was the beginning of his amateur dramatics, he joined the Studio Players and they were like his second family, he loved going and really blossomed, he took singing lessons and soon started playing lead parts, it would melt my heart as it would any mother when I saw him performing, I could see he was in his element.

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He had a weekend job when he was about 13 years old, as I said he was always grown-up and very independent, always popular, everyone used to say to me he’s a lovely lad. He struggled with his food being a vegetarian and some days he wouldn’t eat anything, he used to say he had forgotten to eat or he couldn’t remember if he’d ate and then other days he would be eating non-stop.

My son has always been a bubbly person always singing and dancing around, outgoing lots of energy and after his diagnosis he was so upset not knowing who he was, was he really a bubbly outgoing person or was that the bipolar. When his medication started to work, would his personality change? Would people still like him or want to be around him? Would he be able to hold down a job? Would he get the help and support needed? Would he be able to live a ‘normal’ life? One day at a time!
Although we have always been very close he keeps things from me because he doesn’t want to upset me. When he was worried about his health he confided in his auntie, yes I would have been upset but he is my baby no matter what. It doesn’t matter how old he is whether he is good or bad I want to be there for him, I do understand that he doesn’t want to worry me but I’m his mum for ever.

He got good grades at school and after leaving was soon the manager at a well-known stationery store. After that he started his own events company, and ran this still struggling with depression. While running his company part-time he decided to take a job to make ends meet at a well-known superstore. He started with the company as a security guard. He gradually worked his way up into managerial position, which eventually took him out of the area. Still young and suffering with depression taking what people call happy pills he didn’t feel that these pills were helping him, so we started doing some research into his symptoms and he came across all kinds of illnesses, he went back to his doctor and listened to what he had to say and they decided to send him to see the psychiatrist and do some more tests then he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This meant that now his medication would be changed, medication to control manic episodes medication to control depressive episodes it sounds easy enough, no not at all.

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Just under two years ago (2013) my son had a manic episode he came to stay with me just after New Year he came over to see his new niece she was born on the day he travelled home. He was talking a hundred miles an hour, which is always a tell-tale sign, manic episode. I went to the doctors with him and he was given so many drugs it knocked him out, he didn’t know what day it was or how long he had been here he just kept saying I need to go to work but he had strict orders from his doctor not to even contact work. I liaised with work and kept them informed of his progress, his workplace were great. I would make sure he took his medication and take a tray up at breakfast with coffee and drinks for the day and with breakfast and snacks for the day because I knew that he would be too drugged up to get up. I made sure he took his medication and checked if he needed anything before I went to work. It upset me to know I had to leave him. I would sometimes ring him in the daytime to see if he was okay but he didn’t answer his phone because he was too out of it. The crisis team would call round every day to make sure he was safe and taking his medication but sometimes he could hardly drag himself out of bed. As soon as I got home from work I would go upstairs to see how it was, and very often the day had just passed by and he didn’t even know. I made him what ever he wanted for his dinner just to make sure that he’d eat something. I sometimes had to help him up and down the stairs because he was so unsteady. Every time I went into his room I had to explain what was happening, I had to explain how long he had been here. Every time I went into his room I stayed strong for him, and when I went into my room I cried, it broke my heart, I couldn’t believe that my strong, loving, kind, caring, hard working and ambitious boy was going through this, why him? Why has he got this? He doesn’t deserve this, I wish it was me and not him.

I tried to get him out of the house I took him to get his medication from the chemist and took him to see his new niece at the hospital she was premature so was in hospital for a week or more. I took photos of him  (above) holding her I showed him the photographs later and he couldn’t remember he said when was that? He couldn’t remember anything he had done or anything anyone had said. After a while he was sent for daycare his first day was terrible he came home in bits he felt like he was being treated like child and felt very patronised he cried a lot and he didn’t want to go back he said he needed a drink and although the doctor had told him not to drink I gave him a small glass of wine to calm him down. When he went for daycare he was picked up in a taxi and then dropped off after every session, it was painful watching him waiting for is transport, he would wait outside pacing fast up and down the drive. I could see in getting more and more distressed the later they were.

I cared for my son for three months altogether before he returned to work and yes he is still working and yes he is still climbing that ladder and still putting other people before himself AND STILL BATTLING WITH BIPOLAR. He is the strongest and the bravest person I know, MY SON.

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I’m sure that by now you will have worked out that this piece was written by my beautiful Mum. The piece itself was actually written a couple of years ago but not shared until now and is referencing my breakdown in 2013. The time in which I also met Jamie.

Every kind word written by my Mum is also owed to her through the fabulous upbringing that she gave me, through her nurture and through her constant love.

Like most little boys, my only real aim in life is to make her feel proud of the man that I’ve become.

My mum gives an abundance of support daily to help me get through. I would struggle to get by without her and nor would I want to. My mum and my friend. Love you xxx

Posted in Bipolar Diaries, Uncategorized

Food for thought…

I’ve always had a bizarre relationship with food. I mean I love food, I love the process of preparing and cooking meals. Just not always a fan of eating. I’m pretty certain the list of foods I cannot eat would far exceed the food I can, so quite frankly, I get bored.

 

I’m one of those fussy eaters, a vegan if you please. Not because it’s at the height of fashion, along with being gay and bipolar. However more because in most cases I’m intolerant and in some cases certain foods, such as cheese, can make me very, very, very ill. Therefore from a young age, like so young I can’t remember, these foods have been calved out of my life.

 

Invite me to any sit down meal your having for a wedding or special occasion, I guarantee we’ll be talking about my weird and wonderful eating habits and dietary requirements in know time at all. I agree that it is indeed a great ice breaker for people around the table who don’t know others. However, I go through the same routine and spiel, every-time. Even to the degree where I have turned down some invites based on the fact that I get incredibly embarrassed and bored by the whole ordeal.

 

Now whilst I don’t eat meat, fish or dairy, I do use it when cooking for others. I like to think it sets me apart from the ‘principal vegans’, like the ones you see on Come Dine With Me, who subject their unwilling guests to their award-winning melon ball starter, a homemade nut-roast and eggless, tasteless banana bread with look-a-like vegan cream. I on the other hand portion myself off what ever I’ve cooked for others prior to adding the meat. What may surprise you further about me is I’m actually a trained fishmonger and meat cutter (I can technically say butcher, however I feel it is an act of deception as I would only know how to handle the actual cuts. I cannot butcher a whole cow).

 

I always struggle finding ‘Liam friendly food options’ particularly when I’m away from home, including when travelling abroad. Take tonight as an example, I’m in a lovely hotel, travelling alone. All I want in said situation is to have a bite to eat, in the comfort of my room. I peruse the menu, generally looking at all the menu options from right to left (yes I wrote that right, unless you too are a veggie or vegan you may not understand). Scanning for all of the (V) options. Typically these days you often find 3 if your lucky. If you are vegetarian you are sorted, if you are vegan, you must then review the three options to see which have cheese and which don’t. If they do, can the cheese be removed (like with burgers). Tonight I’ve scanned the menu, there are a number of options, all options have cheese. However the cheese on the spicy bean burger can be removed, we have a winner. It is generally at this point that I allow myself to get excited about the prospect of having a meal. I go to the bar (because the phone in my room doesn’t work) and upon stating my order the bartender smiles (like actually smiles at me) and says ‘we haven’t got none of that tonight’.

 

Seriously I could throttle this poor bartender, he’s just dashed my dreams of eating tonight, what’s more he’s grinning like a Cheshire cat. In such situation a red rage takes over me which I fight with all of my might to control. He asks, ‘Is there anything else I can get you?’ at which point I result to my default response when the realisation of not being able to eat dawns upon me. ‘Double G&T on ice please’.

 

In most cases when you are a vegan, you can consider yourself a second class citizen. I went to a swanky doo before Christmas. You know the ones, your sat amongst colleagues on a big round table seating usually ten. The menu sounds rather posh and in some cases you may be required to look up online what certain bits are and mean. Every-ones starter arrives, they are now sat waiting for your food to arrive before they eat. Incredibly polite of them, however, as all vegans will know, the fussy food is always last out of the kitchen. Every-one is in receipt of a well though-out decorative starter such as Confined Cotswold chicken & mushroom terrine, pea, shallot & pickled shimeji. The vegan gets: cold pea soup. Every-ones main of course is Christmas dinner themed, with a choice of Turkey or Beef. For the vegan: Walnut Salad, which let me tell you sounds far more exciting than it was. It consisted of a bed of rocket and three whole walnuts. No I haven’t missed anything off, that really was it. Then dessert, well let me tell you now, dessert tipped me completely over the edge. In fact, words cannot describe how flabbergasted I was when I saw my dessert in comparison of my colleagues. Lucky for you reader, I may not be able to describe, however I can show you. As a bit of fun, I won’t point out which the vegan option is until you’ve seen the photos, let me know your thoughts in the comments…


Wowser! Impressive stuff right? It’s almost as though you are penalised for having a dietary requirement. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a bit of fruit. What’s more I like every bit of fruit in that sad pathetic pile, but come on, whilst I may be a fussy vegan surely I deserve the same quality and effort as everyone else, that like me is staking out £60.00.