Outside / Inside

Jon looking teary and vulnerable

Being bipolar has its ups and downs. For most of my life I’ve concealed the downs, presenting what I thought was a polished, impenetrable exterior that exuded confidence, desirability and success. Maintaining that façade was exhausting.

Inside I’ve frequently felt anxious, paranoid, unworthy and pathetic. An anxious attachment style and fear of abandonment have, and continue to be, a serious thing. There have been times where my mind has been so utterly consumed by paranoid, depressive anxiety that I’ve struggled to get out of bed and form sentences.

Those around me noticed my aloof withdrawn state. Some interpreted it as me being cold and disinterested. Some were concerned. These depressive-anxious episodes typically started in August and ran through to March. I would become the ‘other’ more outgoing, creative and energetic Jon during the Spring and Summer months. These cycles have really f***ed with my MBTI scores over the years.

I’m optimistically using the past tense when I refer to the depressive episodes because so far, this year is different. It’s November 1st tomorrow, and I’m not depressed. I put this down to therapy, meds and lifestyle changes (Lamotrigine appears to be a wonder drug for me). It would be naïve to assume that the dark clouds have gone away forever. The photos on this page were taken two days ago. I am confident though that I’m getting better at keeping the dark times at bay and dealing with them more effectively when they do come around.

Being open and authentic has really helped me to heal and grow. I hope others reading this may feel encouraged to open up too. You’re not alone.

If any of this is relatable and you want to talk, please reach out, Love, Jon x

Jon looking confident
Outside

Author: Jon

After decades of denying and hiding his illness, Jon was diagnosed with Cyclothymia aged 36. Since then, Jon has worked hard to find more effective ways to manage his condition via a combination of medication, counselling and healthy living. Jon delayed seeking help - with near fatal consequence - because of fears about what a diagnosis might do to his career, having seen others dismissed when they were clearly exhibiting mental health issues. Jon hopes that others won't fall into this trap, and is passionate about seeking justice and raising awareness for fellow humans with mental health concerns.

5 thoughts on “Outside / Inside

  1. Lance says:

    Poignant writing and great first person account of living with depression and bipolar disorder.

    Reply
  2. Pamela Gold says:

    Lamotrigine is working well for me too. It’s great to hear that your usual mood during the current months hasn’t returned.

    Reply
    1. Jon says:

      Thanks Pam 🙂 I’m pinching myself every day – can this be real??? Glad its working for you too. We should be on commission. x

      Reply
  3. L’ourse bipolaire says:

    Hmmm I’m thinking of asking my gp see if I can try this instead of Citalopram. Glad you are not depressed anymore and thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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