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Strict Standards: Declaration of JParameter::loadSetupFile() should be compatible with JRegistry::loadSetupFile() in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/libraries/joomla/html/parameter.php on line 512

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/advancedmodules/advancedmodules.php:28) in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/admintools/admintools/badbehaviour/screener.inc.php on line 9

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Strict Standards: Declaration of JRouterJoomsef::parse() should be compatible with JRouter::parse(&$uri) in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/components/com_sef/sef.router.php on line 361

Strict Standards: Declaration of JRouterJoomsef::build() should be compatible with JRouter::build($url) in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/components/com_sef/sef.router.php on line 361

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/mmbackground/mmbackground.php on line 98

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/hotlogin/hotlogin.php on line 88

Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/ganalyticstrcode/ganalyticstrcode.php on line 32

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/jdownloads/jdownloads.php on line 164

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/system/jdownloads/jdownloads.php on line 174

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Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/billbmn/public_html/wcmi1/plugins/content/fb_tw_plus1/fb_tw_plus1.php on line 43

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Natasha Simon’s Story - WhatCausesMentalIllness.com
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FAQ  


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Word Cloud  


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Latest Additions  


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Glimpses

Natasha Simon’s Story

Details

Natasha Simon’s Story

I’m Natasha Simon, 25 years old and I suffer from Bipolar disorder, Anxiety disorder and a few other conditions.

All my life I knew I was different, I didn’t fit in. I always felt I could do everything – but things never worked out for me, I’d get depressed for no reason or be hyper-active.

I don’t remember much of my childhood and only snippets from Primary school. I do remember being hit on the hand with a ruler by a teacher in Kindergarten class, because I was using my left hand and that apparently left was wrong. I also remember being bullied and being called stupid, a moron, a delinquent and a drama queen. I would get anxious at school before I knew how to spell the word, or know its meaning.

I hated Primary school – it’s not a place for children. I was very distracted, anxious and totally miserable. I only liked drama and movies, which were unfortunately not a part of the school courses. High school was even worse and I dropped out at 16. I didn’t understand that how I was behaving was wrong and caused all the people around me so much stress. When I was manic, I was deliriously happy, everything was so pink and yellow and rainbow.

However, my head was always aching with the millions of thoughts running through it. I started smoking cigarettes at 14 and Marijuana not much later. This blissful haze was the only time when I could just have one thought at a time in my mind and it was heaven. But the consequences were terrible. While smoking, my thoughts stopped and all anxieties were extinguished, but then when the gear was out of my system I was more anxious than before. It’s the same with prescribed medication – you must take it regularly but it is a better option than illegal drugs (or is it? Marijuana rots your brain but then Lithium rots your kidneys and anti-depressants affect your liver). What I know from my experience is that you certainly cannot mix the two.

I did so many irresponsible things and damaged my reputation as a human being, not to ignore the physical damage I’ve caused myself – such as burning large holes in my scalp when at 19, I bleached my hair in Greece to colour it blue. This was during my first full-on manic episode on my long awaited trip overseas.

I would get very depressed but when I am depressed, I am so unhappy. But although my parents are frightened, they are less frazzled than when I am manic. When I’m manic, I’m extremely happy but the people around me are unhappy.

The mania would often start around daylight saving time change in October. I hate bright lights and prefer dark rooms. The depression would always lift after a few months. I attempted suicide a couple of times but it was more of a cry for help!

When I am manic I act like a 12 year old and when I am depressed I feel like a 40 year old. I just want to be 25!!

People often ask me to look back and tell them when I realised I had a serious problem. I always knew I was different and a bit off centre but there were two major break-throughs in my discovery of my illness: the first when the crisis centre team came to take me to the clinic; at this point I knew I had a problem but really had no idea that it was that bad, bad enough to take me away. The second was at the clinic when I saw all the patients and found out that most of them had been in there a number of times, some even up to ten times and beyond, and I realised I didn’t want to go back. I wanted a one time, in and out experience there, I knew my illness and would learn the ins and outs so I could stay stable and strong and never look back, more to the point, never go back to club meds.

At the clinic I also started keeping a journal, which became a part of our book – The Bi-Polar Express. This book comes with its own WARNING, it contains:

  • SEX

  • DRUGS

  • VERY BAD LANGUAGE

  • LIFE

  • DEATH

  • REALITY

and may contain

  • TRACES OF NUTS

During my manic episodes I often get asked this question:

why do u want to be the centre of attention?”

All my life I have been into acting and role-play. Also I was picked on at school and was only accepted when the kids found out I smoked cigarettes.

I got bullied at school, pushed into cars and down stairs, rumours flew and I ended up dropping out of school.

I went on to do a chef’s course, then decided I didn’t want to cook the same dish everyday and never get to eat it. So I worked, saved, and worked some more. All I wanted to do was to get away. To Scotland, preferably.

I did a film director’s course, but decided that actors are arseholes, so I finished the course but didn’t take it any further.

I worked again, this time I was over 18, so pub work was for me. …I had never in my life felt sexy, but when I was behind that bar nothing could stop me; I was a sex goddess. Need a self-esteem boost? Don’t call a 1900 number, go work in a bar for a day. After all the “what time do you finish?” and the “so can I have your number?” comments you’ll be riding home on a cloud, or in a sexy man’s BMW. OK, enough dreaming……

You know what? I’m not saying any more about this…. As you can see I haven’t answered the question and my mind went in so many directions…I should have answered “(when I’m manic) – I want to be the centre of attention because it’s all about me, me, me, me and me” but I don’t know why!

I was diagnosed twice with ADHD but still it wasn’t the whole picture. Ritalin wasn’t for me – I just knew it!

So why am I so different and why do I make so many mistakes?

What a lot of people don’t realize is that self-sabotage is a part of bi-polar.

Self sabotage is where you mess up everything you do, everything you touch turns to sh*t.

When things are going well you f*ck them up. Subconsciously you feel things are going to go sour so you think “if things are going to go away I may as well push them away, at least then I am in control.”

Every time things are going well I f*ck them up in any way possible. I self-sabotage. I turn good things into bad, great things into horrible. Without realizing it, I push my friends away, shout at people for no reason, run around messing up my parents’ house, therefore running the risk of losing my accommodation, I spend all my money in one go so I’m left broke or in debt for a month, and most importantly, the one thing that keeps me together is the stability of work, and I can’t even do that without f*cking it up. Basically I’m a f*ck up, and f*ck ups can only do one thing right; f*ck up.

Why do I do this? I don’t know. Why can’t I stop this? I don’t know. Unfortunately it’s not like depression, it’s not a problem which can be solved with meditation and medication. The only thing which can help is hours and hours, weeks and weeks, years and years of psychotherapy — and that’s not a cure, that’s more like putting a band-aid on a broken leg.

Hopefully I can hold it together. Bi-polar people need balance. We need days off work to recover and exercise and chill out and sleep and be still and calm. But we also need structure. I don’t know, it’s all a little confusing, every question is just another question, and I see no answers, not even suicide is an answer for this problem, but then what is the solution? Well if I knew that I wouldn’t be writing another book about what I’m going to do next.

So if you have the answer please, write me a letter and tell me what to do, or better still, write a book, so others in the same boat can grab a paddle and we can all meet for a drink and talk about how great we are for overcoming self-sabotage and managing bi-polar.

At the end of the day, with the right medication and therapy, and my family and friends, I believe I can live with almost any problem.

My second and worse breakdown was in Jan 2007 and I was hospitalised for 8 weeks in a manic state. I started smoking pot again and playing with my medication. I booked a holiday to the central coast for me and my boyfriend at the time. Within an hour of being there I was running around the streets talking to strangers, jumping into the ocean at 2am, giving away my stuff (which is common in mania) and trashing my hotel room. After 4 days and very little sleep I flipped and the police picked me up and took me to Wyong Psychiatric Ward. I hated it, I went tachycardic and had tubes stuck everywhere.

The patients were pretty scary but they were scared of me, so I must have been much worse, the nurses were really rude and mean, the first night I asked to call my boyfriend and they had 6 nurses and security guards pin me down and jab me in the bum with a tranquiliser. I just didn’t understand why I was here, where I was and why I couldn’t speak to him. Talking about it makes me shiver so I’m gonna move on.

I was there for 3 weeks before I was settled enough to get transferred to POW. The treatment was better and so was the food. There things happened which would start the wheels turning to change my life again. In POW I had a lot of support and many different types of workers helping me; they got me accepted into NEAMI which changed everything for me. After 5 weeks I was released back into the wild.

I still find it hard to revisit my hospital stays. It’s too traumatic. I imagine it’s like being in prison. But, thanks to medical intervention I was helped to get over those terrible times.

I now see a very supportive and careful psychiatrist and am on the right medication. I was assigned a support worker from Neami, who helped me so much on my journey to wellness and I was given assisted accommodation through HASI – thanks to them I am now on the road to recovery. I have finally been able to move out from my parents’ home successfully. No more trashing their place. I have a 1 bedroom flat, my place. I can start to be independent. I have a cat, called Kyra. I’m still not sure what I want to do ‘when I grow up’.

I completed a TAFE Childcare course, with a distinction. I love children. I attempted University this year, but after 6 weeks dropped out due to extreme anxiety over every part of uni; the assignments and high expectations, the format yet lack of structure, barely knowing anyone, not fitting in, shocking experiments aimed at inducing anxiety, yeah - like I needed anymore anxiety. Even catching the buses and walking down to uni was nerve wrecking. It wasn’t the right place for me, and I had to drop out to stay sane, plus I was running out of valium. Now I am really enjoying speaking with Mum at Mental Health related events about our roller-coaster ride.

MUM — my mother could not be more supportive or caring if you paid her. She would give her right arm to make me happy and she is the only one who really understands. I am on a roller-coaster, and, as I may have mentioned earlier, she has been at the front since day one, riding the ups and downs over and over, around and around, every bump on the rails, every curve and every happy or sad moment.

Dad has been on the ground, making sure that, if we crash, we get back on the track, but when I fall off the track mum is the first one to come to my rescue, every time.

People with problems, whether similar or not, share some understanding of the hardship. But mum understands every little feeling I have, because she has been there for them all. So even though many people hop on and off my roller-coaster, some stay a month, a year, or longer, my mum is the one who has been right up the front the whole time, and I know for sure she will never get off, no matter how bad things get. And that is why I love her and always will. Thanks mum; you really are the best mum I could ever ask for.

I’d really like to finish by saying “and we all lived happily ever after…” but I can’t say that. Yes, things are looking ok right now, but with bi-polar things could look down tomorrow and then up the next day and so on and so forth. All I need is my family, a handful of good friends, the correct meds, therapy, and a packet of ciggies to keep me okay for now…

If you get to read my book, you will follow the ups and downs, the twists and turns, the high highs , the low lows, back and forth, faster and faster, my Bi-Polar roller-coaster life. But always keep one thing in mind: you can put the book down and get off my roller-coaster ride….. I can’t.

If you would like more information about my book, have a look at www.thebipolarexpress.com.au

A compilation of uncensored real life experiences with Mental Illness.
GLIMPSES © 2007  For permission to use the content of this manuscript please contact Nicci Wall at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax +61 3 5222 6847
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