Elsie’s Story

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Coming Out Of Depression Safely

Twenty-two years ago I met Bill at a mental health meeting. We went insane. I was hospitalised and diagnosed bipolar.

I made good within a year. My daughter was out of foster care. I served my probation for breach of the peace and learnt ‘computer skills for women with disabilities.’ My post-mania depression evaporated.

I came off Lithium, informing my consultant. The man with the stylish shirts and floppy moustache grew serious. ‘You’ll be back’

Sixteen symptom-free years followed. A second child. Moving from Edinburgh to Bournemouth then Exmouth – my adopted home since the millennium. Satisfying work; market research interviewing, relief bank work in a supported accommodation project, cleaning.

Then six bad years triggered by redundancy and the menopause. Two bipolar cycles. The Cedars.

Depression meant the psychological and actual robbery of almost everything good and now my younger daughter was fostered. Mania meant euphoria then plummeting into suicidal hell. Emerging safely from depression is tricky. I cannot rocket too far ‘up’.

And recovery? I loved Tai Chi and the Magic Carpet artwork in hospital. Taking some medication helps, also nicotine avoidance. The gym. Coastal walking. A CPNs’ lift to the recycling depot to buy a coffee table.

I thrive on work and friendship – sometimes hard to find. I work part-time along the seafront and recently joined an over fifties group.

Today’s sunny. I shall swim in the sea.