So it’s my birthday again …

So it’s that time of year again. i.e my birthday.

So what have my 45 years on this planet taught me so far?

One thing is a year can make a whole lot of difference, as much as a day can.

This year I have learned that I have an illness called bipolar disorder. I’m still coming to terms with what that means other than a fancy way of saying ‘artistic temperament’. But I am aware that something is, well not wrong, more is it’s there.

Bipolar to me is a chemically induced roller-coaster ride of emotions, massive highs followed my massive lows. Both of which, perversely, I wouldn’t change for anything!

I am who I am and always have been, if I change now then I’m only betraying myself. And that will ultimately fail.

What I am learning though is to control the chemicals in my head, and to this end I have changed my lookout to everyday existence. No longer will I or do I over stretch myself in the vain hope that I can convince myself that overworking is the right thing to do.

In other words I’ve slowed down my work a day world. I do what I need to then go and play golf.

Why not? The world didn’t stop when I was ill, it didn’t miss me – and for that matter I didn’t miss it. What I do miss is life.

Life is important, people are important, not a self induced work ethic based on societal pressures.

And that brings me to another matter – societal pressures.

I read this quote from Steve Jobs:

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Steve Jobs

This year this has resonated with me. For so long I have not enjoyed what I did on a daily basis. This year, because of my illness, I have found the point of making sure that everyday will be enjoyed because I want it.

And to this end my productivity has risen greatly. Not only that but the opportunity that has come my way through third parties and/or my own doing has risen to boot.

Don’t get me wrong, it has taken quite a while to shake off the pointless and unnecessary restraints that a 9-5 existence brings about. But ultimately it has been rewarding.

So after another year the few points that have made a difference have been expressed. I am thankful that I’m here, I’m thankful that I have made a difference and that I found the courage to change.

I’m thankful that I have the chance to write again – I hope I can in a year’s time.

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  • Tahir

    Nice blog Nick.. very honest and human. I look forward to your review next year.. keep it real!

  • Happy Birthday @Nicktadd:twitter  - been a crazy year. Trust you have a successful 44 and heres to an even better 45. All the best, Jonnie

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Jonnie – I’ll be trying my best

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Tahir, keeping it honest and human is all part of the healing process :)

  • Good for you Nick. I respect you for this blog and wish you all the best. I hope you go somewhere great for your birthday.

    Happy Birthday

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Nick, I appreciate that, I’ve written a couple on the subject and will write more as and when.

  • Rich Greenland

    Well done for this blog Nick, it’s a brave thing to do when there is still such an unnecessary stigma over mental health issues. The more of us speak out, the more the stigma will be diluted. I suffer with General Anxiety Disorder which is related to depression. It’s hell sometimes, but it hasn’t stopped me doing anything and I won’t let it. 

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