Saturday, 30 March 2013

Because this is my story.

I haven't posted in a while, there've been some inevitable ups and downs with university and focus and life in general. I've been trying to wrap my head around whether or not this whole blogging thing is a positive for me anymore -- I worry that posting about what I'm going through might be like experiencing the situation twice... first hand, and then again when I re-visit it in my mind to write.

The thing is though, I love to write. I find the process of writing so calming, the rhythm of the keys, one sole voice in my head focused on voicing the words as I type, the movement of the words down the page each time I hit


Its like a new beginning, as if with each new sentence and every new paragraph, anything can happen. This is my story. This is my story and I'm responsible for the twists and turns of the plot -- each moment can be different, maybe for the worse but I have the power to make it for the better. Because this is my story. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

From a close friend

Eunoia-- From my experience, being an optimist does not come over night. It takes years and years of training yourself to see the good in everything and sometimes this can be an issue as you choose to see the good in all things. Even when you consider yourself to be fairly optimistic regarding life and day to day situations, you are human after all and will go through ups and downs - keep your head up girl and a smile on your face because it takes less muscle to smile than to frown. 


Monday, 25 February 2013

Eunoia- A Well Mind

From Ancient Greek εὔνοια 

What is "beautiful thinking"?

To me, its solidifying every thought with kindness and compassion. Ridding yourself of the harsh judgements passing through the grey matter between your ears; this also means not judging any negative thoughts that may pass, rather reevaluating them. Beautiful thinking is a promise to yourself, to better yourself and appreciate the life that surrounds you, whether it be good or bad.

Completely attainable right?
Haha, perhaps not.

At least for me.

My mind is unwell, this could be a result of Bipolar or my choosing to remain in negative opinion toward myself. Most likely its a combination of the two. To start to change my thinking - and I say "start" because it isn't just a switch to be turned on/off, its a daily commitment - I can focus first on beautifully thinking about others and everything around me, accepting things for what they are and making positive changes to the things I can.

I think many minds are unwell. There is so much stress in the lighting fast world we exist in, that for the most part existing is all we do. I read a book on mindfulness by Jon Kabat Zin and if I could pick out the most important, eye-opening bit it would be--
the realization that we are no longer human beings, rather that we are human doings.
Beautiful thinking transcends this, it has the ability to return you to being--truly experiencing things as they happen, instead of merely doing, from sun up to sun down the mindless tasks required of you.

I wish for my mind to be well, I wish to think only with kindness -- especially toward myself -- I wish to be rather than do.

Unfortunately a star is just a ball of helium and hydrogen held together by gravity and does not grant wishes...

So I guess I'd better get to work, or find a genie-- although I hear those are hard to come by!

Promise to yourself to work toward achieving eunoia in your life.

I will too.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Fault Line

fault line
  1. A line on a rock surface or the ground that traces a geological fault.
  2. A divisive issue or difference of opinion that is likely to have serious consequences.

I look down toward my feet, my eyes follow the hairline fracture in the ground as it disappears over the horizon line; mostly straight, but there are some tiny cracks branching off, it zig-zags a little. It doesn't look like much, but then again neither did the supposedly surmountable chunk of ice floating in the ocean that sank the titanic.

The surface-- a superficial depiction disproportionate to the havoc below. The smallest shift, slightest movement; detrimental. Pressure to the seemingly innocent crack is the causation of catastrophe.


  1. A deep fissure in the earth, rock, or another surface.
  2. A profound difference between people, viewpoints, feelings, etc.

From crack to chasm, the growing gap will consume you the minute you falter, falling off the eroding edges of what was once your peaceful existence.

The persistent feeling of walking such a fine line, tip toeing as though there were merely a delicate sheet of ice between me and the frigid water beneath, is exhausting.

But the moment you take a deep breath and realize that the ice has yet to crack and the fault line yet to expand, you can recognize that you're ok for now, and thats good enough. It has to be. Otherwise your entire life will be spent in a constant state of the fear of relapse. And that fear alone, perpetuates such negativity that relapse is almost inevitable.

If you do fall, if that tiny crack does give way to seemingly insurmountable depths, remember resilience. When the dust settles and the crash is over, find a foot-hold and climb. No matter how tough or long or hopeless the journey seems; climb. When you reach the top, take a look down. Disaster has given way to change. There is beauty and strength in this change that wasn't there before; hold on to it.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Sleep, where art thou?

I know, I know... 'a consistent sleep pattern is one of the best tools to help deal with a mood disorder.' In fact some might say having a regulated sleep schedule is the most important thing.

Well unfortunately I've never acquired skills in the field of slumber. I don't think I ever even napped when I was younger.

At the moment its 6:00am, I've yet to fall asleep... how am I not tired?

Sometimes when I can't sleep, this immense sense of discomfort washes over me, capsizing me with each swell. Its frustration, its sadness, hopelessness, agitation, anxiety... not just in my mind, I feel these things throughout every inch of my body; my extremities shaking, skin crawling, temperature rising, the pace of my breathing and heart rate quicken. My thoughts seem to uncontrollably turn against me, proving to be worse backstabbers than a group of catty teenage girls. Regurgitating every memory of even the faintest failures/embarrassments/mistakes, it overtakes me, consuming my mind and body with such a negative presence its nearly impossible to escape.

I fend it off though. I breathe. Four counts in, six counts out. Four in, six out. Four, six. Four, six. Four, six-- the above^ lessen as I keep breathing. Unfortunately this is only a temporary solution, I return to the stress state pretty quickly, so I breathe all over again Four counts in, six counts out. Four in, six out. Four, six. Four, six. Four, six. 
And Repeat.

Just to add to things I've injured my shoulder, which results in;

a. waking up every time I move because it hurts
b. needing to sleep in a practically upright position (so not comfy!)
c. the lack of range of motion required to play guitar
...(which is normally what keeps me sane when I can't sleep)

Basically, I'm tired of not being tired... make sense?

^I'm whining. I don't want to be.

So how about this, back to basics and I take one moment at a time, accept it for what it is and remember that I have the power to change the next moment for the better.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

MI - from different to disconnected

Can't breathe,
Panic stricken,
Overtaken by unwanted yet unavoidable emotion. I hate to feel.
Its quite the unfortunate evolutionary product if you ask me. There must be some "survival of the fittest" reasoning behind it, but right now its pretty hard to make out.

The past few days have been tough, who knows for what reason... but they've been tough. Being back at school is both a blessing and a curse. In one sense the constant surrounding of friends/acquaintances and even strangers is a welcome change from the stuffed animals in my bedroom at home. But the constant socializing is also a constant reminder of the fact that all though "Alannah" may fit in... I don't.

Living with the weight of illness or stress in your life changes you, not necessarily for the worse or better, but for the different. Theres nothing wrong with being different, I prefer it to being the same, but when the problem arises, at least for me, is when the "difference" morphs into disconnect. A parted seam between the people around you-- and you. The inability to be fully connected with someone who has not endured. Not always for a lack of trying on both parts, simply the ever present unawareness of the effect of mental illness and its severity.

Even when I'm "balanced"-- which for me is a state of not fully manic and not fully depressed, rather than somewhere actually on the midline of emotion --I carry the weight of a lifetime of personally waged wars, haunting memories of my lowest points, fear and excitement of my highest and what seems like a split unable to be mended between the visible aspects of me, the internal ones and my emotions. I've separated the three unknowingly in order to cope. My balance is visible. My emotions, pure chaos. Me? My internal balance is fleeting, lasting sometimes longer than others, but it always leaves, quicker than it came.

I don't want times of balance and happiness to be fleeting. I'm tired of my mind in such an unresting state. I want be "cured".

But then I realize,
This illness is so tightly intertwined with who I am,
So incredibly connected to so many attributes that make me, me.
I'm 19, I don't know who the hell I am.
But who would I be without Bipolar?

I don't know. And I will never know.

So yeah, brutal few days. But I wouldn't know that these days were so bad if I'd never experienced good ones. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013


mood swings. manic. bipolar. depression. hypomania. mixed mood. medication. therapy. changes. restrictions. different.

loss of self. lost. improving. relapsing. new focus. old habits.
fear. anxiety. creativity. intelligence. fog. thoughts.

self harm. self hate. hell. isolation. insomnia.
high. low. lower. higher. cycle.
pain. desperation. numb. feel. repress. express. crumble.
anger. sadness. lonely.
motionless. unstoppable. impossible.

why. questions. genetic. predisposed.
stress. never-ending. sickness. illness. disease.
complicated. worthless. burden.
denial. acceptance. grieve.

one more breath, on more hour, one more day.

easier said than done.