May 27, 2013


Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I need to drown out the noise in my head.  Sitting in the garden, pulling weeds is the perfect antidote.  My solitary meditation of dig, lift and toss, dig, lift and toss allows my mind to focus only on the next weed and the next.  All other thoughts escape and my brain and my body are flooded with the warmth of the sun and the comfort of the trowel in my hand as the pile of weeds grows ever larger.

If you read my blog on a regular basis, then you know that I "disappear" sometimes.  I stop posting and I've never really explained why before.  I suffer from bipolar disorder.  There are times when I am depressed or manic and I have trouble communicating.

When I'm depressed, the world loses all colour and I literally stay in bed with the covers over my head.  I lose interest in any activities and tend to isolate myself.  I don't like to dwell on this but I felt it was time to explain.

When I'm manic, I am a whirling dervish.  I talk too much, I eat too much, I laugh too loud...well you get the picture.  It's a fine feeling while you're in it and I understand people not wanting to take their medication.  It evens you out and you lose the highs and the lows.  But I've always hated the manic phases because it is hard to control what you are thinking, saying, become one of those impulsive and sometimes obnoxious people who say whatever comes into their head.  I've been working on this and always try to be kind and take time to think before speaking or acting.  Next I have trouble sleeping and eventually get exhausted and end up with debilitating depression.  It's the old...what goes up, must come down and it seems to work in equal measure.

I was diagnosed about twenty years ago and it took a year to find the right medications to stabilize me.  I was able to live and work pretty normally from that time (with only minor periods of sickness) until November 2011.  Then I got sick and went off work.  I tried to return once but to no avail.  It's tough being off, feeling guilty that I'm not working but just thinking about it puts me into a panic again.  I hope to overcome this one day.

I'm one of the lucky ones though.  I have very supportive and understanding family members and friends.  I have excellent doctors and access to free health care in Canada.  I also have a good disability plan through my employer so I'm not living in a box under a bridge somewhere.  A lot of people with mental health issues end up destitute and homeless so I count my blessings every day.

I find it's important to take some time every day and find a bit of joy.  If you dwell in the possibilities of life, you can always find happiness.


PS I am joining Elaine for her blog party at Sunny Simple Life.  Please pop on over.


  1. Hi Julie, I find sitting in the garden and weeding is my therapy, thanks for sharing, Francine.

  2. Thanks for sharing such a personal story Julie. I'm glad you have such a good support system to help you through the tough times. Hoping today is a sunnier day for you. Hugs.

  3. I've been meaning to comment on this pose, Julie. You are brave in sharing your struggles with us. The support you have from friends and family is priceless and it sounds like you handle being bipolar as best you can. Having something like gardening to help you through is so important. Though I don't have bipolar disorder, I know that the therapy I get from gardening helps me enormously as I struggle with life's ups and downs.



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