Here I am. Sat in a gorgeous, wooded-floored, open-plan apartment in Athens, Greece. Smoking a cigarette and drinking my iced coffee that came to my front door within five minutes for two euros. It’s 30 degrees here and I’m sat on cushions on the floor, looking out of the open doors onto the veranda and out into the city; listening to Van Morrison’s Moon dance album.
Having cobid-morbidity mental health difficulties does not always mean that life is challenging, you can feel totally at peace and completely adore your life.
Just over one week ago I had no idea I would be in another country right now, at my ex’s house (now no longer ex). It has all been so random and surreal that I cannot help but keep laughing to myself.
I only went on a plane once before in my life, ten years ago when I was 13. As I had a major and terrifying anxiety attack only a few days ago (and as a consequence, I missed going to a theme park with my friends which I had been planning and getting excited about for weeks), my doctor gave me some Valium (which I’d never had before) to ease the stress of my journey here, especially as I was terrified of flying, and on my own. When I arrived at the airport in England, after an already extremely long and tiring journey, I had to take one because I could feel my heart starting to race when I saw the hugeness and business of it, and knowing and worrying I would have to go through security, assuming I would encounter problems and probably miss my flight, knowing my luck. Twenty minutes later the Valium kicked in and there I was, sat in the smoking area, stoned, totally chilled out and smiling away to myself, wondering what new adventures were ahead of me.
My journey from there on went entirely smoothly, and all my worries were washed away as I eagerly and excitedly walked up the steps of the plane.
The first part of my adventure was speeding down the runway and getting that strange feeling in my stomach as we soared off into the clouds. I held onto my lucky necklace, put on Frank Sinatra’s ‘Come Fly With Me’ on my headphones and felt like my ship was finally coming in, after all this time and all these months begging my Higher Power, David Bowie, for a miracle.
I felt at peace in the sky, smiling all the way and knowing my dreams were coming true, after doom and gloom and near death experiences with anorexia for over one year.
I am fully aware that I can be an Idealist and become falsely optimistic when I have my bipolar moments. There has been an undeniable risk since I stopped taking Lithium suddenly, without slowly reducing, two weeks ago, and hugely cutting back on my Quetiapine as well. But I am lucky to have a rare insight into my illness and- at least when it is hypomania, not full on mania- I am normally quite in touch with my moods and more often than not aware when I am being strange and unrealistic. But this time, despite a huge lack in my regular medication, and despite days and days without any sleep at all, I knew for sure that I was just enjoying my recent spiritual shift and appreciating the niceness of my new lifestyle.
Today I couldn’t ask for anything more. I am here. I have the most wonderful, new friends on the planet who love, respect and accept me for all that I am; my unpredictability and eccentricity. I have unconditional love in my life for my dogs. I get on swimmingly with my mum and dad with this distance and call them every five minutes to share my excitement of this new experience, and I have endless hope and faith in my heart.
One month ago I was in the darkest place I could possibly be. I felt no hope at all that I would reach happiness again and that things would work out for me in this way…
Change is the only constant, and today- in this very moment- that is ok.
In my life, with my mood swings and often terrible luck, I just can’t know when things may suddenly change, for better or for worse. But when you are forced to live your life in this way, and as I have repeated over and over again in this blog, you just gotta cling onto these moments of joy with every inch of you.