The Adventures

The Adventures

of Bernard and Wilomena

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Being Different



What I should have said


Hello! Welcome to my blog spot. Whether you read any of my posts or you’re just passing by, thanks for dropping in. If you’re sticking around for a while let me explain a little bit about what I’m trying to do…

My blog posts are not in any kind of order. Life is unpredictable so I’ll just be posting things as I write them and also dipping into the notebooks I’ve kept over the years. Everything I write is the truth and will be either a past experience, an ongoing predicament or maybe something you can relate to. All names (where needed) will be changed. So here is my truth…I have Bipolar Disorder (let’s call it Bernard) and I have a Stoma (Wilomena). For me personally, one is an unfortunate blessing and one is a curse but I make the best of a bad situation; I live with both on a daily basis and the problems they both bring with them. Contrary to popular belief, I am not defined by either condition.

I am defined by the actions I take

You can’t finish your degree; you have a mental illness.”

You don’t need a job; you’re entitled to benefits.”

You have a mental illness so you will find having a relationship virtually impossible.”

2003: My first experience of life on a psychiatric ward and the first time I ever encountered a social worker. After six weeks in captivity it was time to be released back into the world. I wanted to finish my degree, I was two months away from handing in my dissertation and one step closer that all important cap and gown. I didn’t know my mental illness would dictate my future or that my Bipolar Disorder went hand in hand with a social worker who was telling me the exact opposite.

I was consumed by disappointment. Was this it? Single, jobless, my mum forced into being my “carer” because a social worker said this was all a mentally ill person could expect from life. I’m not usually one for being told “no”. Tell me “no” and I will try my hardest to prove you wrong – it looked like I had to prove the social worker wrong too. 

It was never an easy journey and it took over ten years but I did achieve the things I was told I never would. I finished my degree, I got a job and I even got married! I’d like to take the credit for having the ability to do all of this alone, but that would be wrong. In 2011 I was begrudgingly introduced to a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN). I didn’t want a CPN and I made that very clear when I met her but I was wrong to assume she would treat me the way numerous other people had.

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