What Not to Say to Someone with Bipolar

Are you still taking your meds?

The weather is so bipolar rn.

OMG my friend is SO bipolar, we’re always arguing.

Wow, you’re so moody.

Well you were fine yesterday.

Cheer up.

We all get down.

Have a nice bath.

Try not to worry so much.

You just need to get out more.

Snap out of it.

Oh I’m a bit bipolar too!

It’s just all in your head.

You’re just doing it for attention.

Wow, you’re dark.

You don’t need medication, you need nature / yoga / aromatherapy – delete applicable.

It hasn’t done Stephen Fry any harm.

You never know, it might never happen.

Oh like Stacey from Eastenders?

Are you sure you’ve taken your meds?

Think positively.

Chin up.

Smile!

Stop being so negative.

Happy mums have happy kids!

Get a grip.

Well you sound OK.

Man up.

Stop being so selfish.

What have you got to be so unhappy about?

Oh I read an interesting article in the Daily Mail about bipolar, it said –

Go take some happy pills.

 

What to say to someone with bipolar:

It’s OK.

Same here.

I’m here if you want to talk.

I understand.

Write it down.

Do you need anything?

I know.

Do you need some help?

I’m not going anywhere.

I’m listening.

Holidays-Ageddon

We’re just halfway through the summer holidays. That’s just three weeks. HOW HAS IT ONLY BEEN THREE WEEKS? In that time we’ve had a violent sickness bug stampede through the house, my kid’s been stung by a wasp, he’s gone to bed at 10pm and still had the sheer audacity to get up at 5.30am and to top it off, he’s called me a twat.

So all and all, we’re doing alright, yeah?

I reckon parents fall into two groups when it comes to the school holidays and half-term. Unless you home educate – in which case I need the number of your therapist.

On one hand we have the relaxed and calm lot, rejoicing the lack of early alarms, packed lunches and ironing – “Every day is an adventure!” they’ll tell you wistfully, while you wonder if you even have the appropriate footwear to conquer anything vaguely adventurey or outdoorsy. “I can’t wait for all the lie-ins!” they’ll cry happily.

Lie-ins? Eh? If we’re talking about anything past 7am – then I think we need to see other people.

Then we have the second group, quivering and nervous and oozing with self denial about what we’re going to face in the next few weeks, and how are we gonna do it, where routine and everything we know that’s safe flies straight out of the window.

I mean, come on, they must be knackered right? They have to be. Surely they could do with at least one pyjama day with a side order of Disney films and way too many baked goods? Alas no, before you’ve even got to the good bit with the singing lobster – the little blighter has ripped off his pyjamas, adorned them on his head in a makeshift turban leaving him completely starkers and is attempting his escape from a window.

This is the moment when you realise that you’re no longer enough. The second it dawns on you that this feral creature you helped to make needs other children, lots of land, big open spaces and padded stuff to fling himself from and no amount of craft projects, park visits or baking days will tame that for very long at all.

Other things that you’ll no doubt encounter over holidays-ageddon:

The day you need to wait around the entire day for a delivery – the elusive 8am – 6pm slot will leave you in a false sense of security that you’ll be able to get out at some point, all the way until it arrives at precisely 5.59pm. Or worse, NOT AT FUCKING ALL.  By which point the kids will have made it their sole priority for you to go completely grey by bedtime, you’ll have shamefully wondered if it’d be really bad if you just locked them outside for a bit, just a little bit and had a mini cry in the airing cupboard under the guise of finally sorting the laundry out.

Two: The relatives are coming! Did you know you can translate “summer holidays” back to an old Norse saying which means “Family will descend on home and cause great discomfort / self-loathing and lust for murder.” It’s true, y’know. Brace yourself for arguments with the other half, a home that smells of a sickening mixture of bleach, freshly cut flowers and potent fear all while your children hate you even more than usual as you’ve hidden their collection of rocks / Kinder Egg toys / dead leaves and brushed their hair too vigorously and told them strictly not to sing Baby Got Back near your mother in law.

And thirdly: Get down with the sickness. “Mummy? Mummy, I think I’m going to be si-” 48 hours of every plausible surface including you, the cat, and OH GOD DON’T GET THE CARPET! covered in projectile vomit. And worse. Simultaneously. You’ll mop their sweat soaked brows with cold flannels. You’ll boil wash every known item of clothing and bedding. You won’t even care too much when they miss the bucket and puke straight over you. The flipside is when you inevitably catch the noro-bastard a few days later. “Can we go to the park today, mum?” asked earnestly while you whimper and crawl up the stairs desperately trying not to shit yourself. Again.

You wait, kiddo. You just wait until your first hangover, I’ll get you back.

However you’re getting through the summer holidays, I salute you – it ain’t easy, that’s for sure. I can guarantee I’ll be the first mum at the school gates on the 3rd, pleading with them to take us back. That we’ve changed and we promise to never be later than 8.40am and we’ll do the reading book every single night, I swear.

How to Have Writer’s Block

Firstly, you need the writer’s block uniform, you have to look the part.

  • Dressing gown.
  • Sans bra.
  • Optional – jogging bottoms or pyjamas, topped off with mystery stains.
  • Out of shape, greying T-shirt, I like to go with a freebie kind of ensemble, or better yet a touristy type thang. Ya know, something with meaning. My favourite is one with a TERRIFYING rabbit emblazoned on the front, complete with red eyes, the thinking behind it, I assume, is to SCARE THE LITERAL BEJESUS out of you, before you even THINK about using products that are tested on animals.
  • Unbrushed hair, get some food, cigarette butts or suchlike stuck in it for extra visual excitement. Backcomb the living fuck out of it into scary peaks. Imagine yourself as a wild animal that can’t be tamed. You are a creative-less husk of a beast. Roar. ROAR!
  • Make up: panda eyes are absolutely essential, leave your base (i.e, your erm, face) bare, perhaps to show you’ve made some effort but not so much you look like you’re really trying, draw on some comedy eyebrows to make you look interesting and elusive.
  • Scent: go for something that is a hybrid of late night jazz bar, musty old book shop and a sweaty unmade bed that you’ve been doing the old horizontal Twister in for three days. To achieve this, splash on a mix of lager, whisky, smoke a pack of ten and then go for a quick jog around the block. Done.
  • Accessories: Half empty bottle of red wine swinging in one hand, a distant look of discontent, bloodshot eyes, some scribbles up your arm in biro and a couple of tear streaks down your face and you are good.

Next, we’ll need the writer’s block mindset, the unhinged behaviour, walk the walk, blah blah blah.

  • No speaking is allowed whatsoever. You are concentrating too much of your energy on berating yourself for not being able to string a single sentence together.
  • Gaze distantly out of windows without actually seeing anything.
  • Grunt and mumble under your breath, occasionally bursting out laughing for no reason.
  • Cry uncontrollably while watching the news report that what’s his face, plays for somewhere or other football player has just got a book deal.
  • Play with fire.
  • Make a voodoo doll of yourself, and stick pins in it to kill the bad non-writing demons.
  • Learn how to clog dance / knit / make amazing Yorkshire puddings. Get those creative juices flowing.
  • Drink.
  • Drink some more.
  • Regret the tattoo on your arm that simply says “Think”.
  • Consider taking up poetry.
  • Stare at your empty computer screen for hours. on. end.
  • Sob.
  • Practise meditation.
  • Get bored.
  • Decide writing is dead to you. No one reads anymore anyways. Pah! It’s all about the pictures now innit.
  • Realise you can’t take photos either.
  • Discover your world has officially ended.
  • Cry some more.
  • Find therapy in chocolate ice cream.

Annnnnd repeat, forever and ever. Until you metaphorically slap yourself around the face and get an actual grip. Or better yet, totally steal another writer’s idea. That’s what they all do anyway innit?

What Not to Say

….to someone with depression.

Smile!

What’s wrong with you?

What crawled up your arse and died?

Chin up.

You’ll be alright.

Take some Rescue Remedy.

What’s up, now?

You have nothing to be depressed about.

Get over yourself.

Why are you being such a bitch?

Stop being so selfish.

What have you got to be so unhappy about?

Oh, I read an interesting article in the Daily Mail about depression, it said….

Tell me what’s wrong.

Just tell me what’s wrong.

FUCKING TELL ME WHAT’S WRONG.

Cheer up!

Get a grip.

You never know, it might never happen!

Happy mums have happy babies.

Oh my daaays, I was so depressed last night when the fit one got kicked off X Factor!

Have a drink, you’ll feel better.

Have another drink, you’ll feel much better.

Have a line, that’ll help.

Have another line, that’ll really help.

Oh I bought you this self help book that –

Stop being so negative.

Do you want to be unhappy?

Listen to this Radiohead song!

You emo.

I found these supplements for you, they’re supposed to help with –

You miserable cow.

Let’s go SHOPPING! That’ll take your mind off of it!

You’re so fucked up.

Ugh, I can’t win can I?

A problem shared is a problem halved!

I had depression one time, I –

WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?

Why don’t you just go and kill yourself?

 

What To Say To Someone With Depression:

It’s OK.

Same here.

I’m here if you want to talk.

I understand.

Write it down.

Do you need anything?

I know.

Do you need some help?

I’m not going anywhere.

I’m listening.