The many and various ways I pass the time now has a new addition. Usually it involves drinking coffee whilst sitting at a computer keeping in touch with chums, or sipping wine sitting on our tiny terrace catching the sun, and wondering what else I can do to avoid any cleaning or tidying or putting away of stuff and things that aren't even MINE. And now I am going to type this blog. Provided that doesn't become a chore as well, in which case...

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Time To Talk 6 February 2014

It is almost 24 years since I was first admitted to a psychiatric ward and diagnosed with manic-depressive psychosis (now more commonly known as Bipolar 1) at the age of not quite 33, and given the horrendously powerful and now rarely used drug haloperidol to "bring me down". My only child had just had her 9th birthday.

Next month she will be 33, so she is now the exact age I was then. 

I had a further five
admissions as an in-patient in the following 7 years, until I finally screwed up my nerve, all my energies and determination, to leave and then divorce my first husband.

I have never been an in-patient since, although I continue to take stabilising medication as my brain chemistry was permanently altered by the high cortisol levels induced by the intolerable stresses in my first marriage.

On some very rare occasions I have been abused, criticised and marginalised by people I had regarded as good friends, once with scathing comments about being "on tablets" as though that automatically made me inferior to her and not a fully paid-up member of human society.

Our paths have not crossed since.

However, my adorable second husband often tells me he married me because I am mad, not in spite of it. He loves the way my mind works, its flashes of startling brilliance, its sideways-on humour, my compassion for the sufferings of others, having once suffered so much myself.

I am a survivor. I own my illness, always have, and no-one will ever make me feel ashamed for having developed the abnormal brain chemistry that prevails in 2%+ of human beings worldwide.

If you have a problem with it, dear reader, then I promise you, it is YOUR problem! LOL (manic cackle, of course...)!


  1. Gosh, is it so long? The difference between the you of then and the you of now is just wonderful. :-)

    It's beyond me that people can't see that abnormal body chemistry is just part of the human condition, whether it affects the brain or any other organ in the body. We still have a long way to go to accept mental health problems in the same way we accept physical health problems, but honest posts like this are a step towards it. Love you, Baby Sis. xxx

    1. I was admitted into the Warneford in late March 1990, way back in the era of fierce anti-psychotics like haloperidol, so yes, almost 24 years.

      Not only have I changed, but thankfully so have psych drugs!

      But the biggest change of all has been in the emotional environment of my day-to-day life...

  2. Hari Om
    All power to you Marion!! I had noted this 'time to talk' initiative and think it a wonderful move. It is true that the treatments have come a long way, but as Perpetua says, there is still so far to go.

    That you have found such a loving and strongly supportive environment, as you say, must surely be the best medicine of all! YAM xx

    1. When we got engaged-married Barty grew was a little bit fed up of folk gushing about how good he was for me. "She's good for me as well!", he would rejoinder.

      See why I married him, Yam? Not a scrap of prejudice in him.