Sunday 7 January 2018


Reader Marianne shares her struggles with anxiety and bipolar in this courageous and inspiring post...

Marianne says:
My favourite thing in the world is art. I'd never really thought about it before, but now when I put pencil to paper I find that I can really express myself. I don't have to feel lost anymore, not while my hand is connected to the canvas as I sweep bold colours across the fresh, blank nothingness of a beginning. Bring yourself into the open world; find your 'me' thing and show your true colours to everyone. We all have a gift, and when you have a mental health illness you should definitely find and use it... we were made to connect and to live life peacefully the same way we walk and talk and eat and drink. We were born to enjoy and be happy, and we CAN be happy. We will always be happy in the end.

Once when I was feeling deep and depressing thoughts, and hadn't had a good night's sleep for ages, I ran to my mum in tears and she took me to a doctor... all because I had opened up a bit. ALWAYS talk to someone when you feel sad or emotional. I was diagnosed with GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disporder) and Bipolar Disorder, which made me feel quite sad and hopeless for a while, but my mum is very understanding and does everything she can to help which I am very grateful for. I take 5-htp which helps me to sleep and Celexa, an anti-depressant, and have regular therapy. Nothing much seems to have changed yet but I know that as long as I keep believing, there will be a space in the future just for me, and for others going through the same thing.

I feel sad a lot. When I have a bad day, I don't want to get up or go to school, I don't want to do anything at all except lie in bed. 'What's the point?' I ask myself. Because of my anxiety, I hate parties and large social gatherings - the heat, the noise, the crowds - it all gets to me and I feel like running away. I don't like answering questions, performing or speaking in front of others, and I don't like having to do certain tasks, because what if I do it wrong? What if I disappoint? What if I forget all the other things I have to do? I self-harm occasionally to punish myself for this, and to try to take my mind off the hurt inside. Thankfully, I don't do this anywhere near as much as I used to - hurting yourself is NOT the answer. Pain or violence never is. On a crazy day, however, I go wild and over-excited and out of control, and overall, it's as if I'm in a rainbow of moods sometimes. That's what Bipolar Disorder does to you. It's terrible - and beyond - but none of those 'don't likes' or 'let's do (something potentially dangerous)' or 'I can't/ won't/never' will stop me from being myself and doing what I really want. I have learnt that I can be a free person; I can choose what my soul wants to do, and not listen to the monster voice in my head that tells me I'm rubbish all the time.

Because I self-harmed and still occasionally feel the urge to do so, I always wear long sleeves and tend to keep myself to myself and not go out much. I have the NHS, CAMHS (Children & Adolescent Mental Health Service), an awesome group of friends, my best friend who always knows what will make me happy and my family who are really understanding and supportive, including my star older sister; all of these people are helping me to see hope and light in the darkness again. Sometimes, we are not OK and need help, someone or something to break through the barriers for us. I wish life could be simple and things could always work out right; I wish there was no pain, no sadness, no anger. But there is. There is, because to find happiness and love in the stars, you need to start from rock bottom, don't you?

Cathy says:
Powerful words from Marianne, which I know will strike a chord with many of us... the honesty and hope in this piece are really moving. Have YOU ever struggled with mental health issues? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!


  1. This is a brilliant post and I can definitely relate to it. I'm glad mental health is getting spoken about more. I have suffered with mental health issues for quite a few years now but not quite the same diagnosis as this girl but I can relate to some of the same feelings of not wanting to get out of bed and not liking social environments. Things seem to get worse then better then bad again which is annoying but I have NHS CAMHS and support from other companies. :)

    1. Marianne (pen name)8 January 2018 at 18:45

      Thank you for your comment, that's really kind :)
      I hope that you are much better now. I know you said that things get better then bad again and I totally agree. But if you think about it, you're probably much better off than how you were 2/3 years ago! Also, it's great that you are getting support and understanding from people. :) P.S. I like your book blog. Great reviews :) :) :)

  2. I can definitely relate ❤️ Marianne, you are so strong for sharing this ❤️❤️

  3. I know how you feel. I feel like that sometimes and I don't know whats going on. Thank you for sharing your story, its very brave of you. x

    1. Marianne (pen name)14 January 2018 at 08:41

      Thank YOU for reading it, and sharing your feelings too. You are very brave as well; I hope you have lots of people to talk to when you are feeling down. <3



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