When your still waiting for the snow to fall, it doesn't really feel like Christmas at all....

Ah Christmas!  Don't you just hate it? Go see the pictures then read this. 
I am coming up the other side of my black patch which made me think how I would explain my cycles.
And a cycle is exactly what it is. It is where we all have our ups and downs. I've drawn a cycle for me which probably takes 4-6 weeks. The difference I believe between you and me is that my highs and lows are more extreme than the average -  the average is what society considers normal. Everyone else is  bit more sine wave than me. 
Now I love being high: passionate, full of ideas and the energy to carry them out, a rose tinted view of everything plus I sleep for 4hours max each night for a few days.
It's the crash that brings me to rock bottom that you will have read about in my past couple of posts but I could summarise with self loathing, self harm and even suicidal thoughts.

When I'm high, then the lows seem worth bearing with.  When I'm low, nothing is worth living like this.
Still I'm coming up the other side for now.

I'm going to my GPs on Monday to try and get officially diagnosed and maybe some meds to help stop me crashing so hard and low.
Before I wrap this post up I just want to say a huge thank you to some great friends I have who have stood by me and given me room and given me 'slack' when maybe I haven't always deserved it and been greatful. I find it difficult not to put on my happy and entertaining face in a group (except when I'm very low and then I don't even try - sorry if I was ├╝ber rude to you!) and so I struggle to say this thank you to people or to explain how I actually think or feel. Claire, your text meant the world to me and I am so lucky to have a tolerant big sister like you. Carol, your messages were great and where some are scared of mental illness you were there with a hug which I desperately need. Aidan with help from Lee, Emily, Falcon and Louis, you tried to cheer me up when I needed lifting out of my ditch. Elli, My crazy Dutch friend,  it's nice to have someone outside of the situation to offer a ear. Tiff, thanks for making me smile! 
So I say thank you and that If you'd like a Costa Coffee, a hug and chat / cry then I would love that too. Xx
Right now, I'm watching TV with my nan (I suspect Alzheimers) and having a biscuit. I'm OK.

Otherwise I'm a proud member of the Mental Health charity MIND and I'd like to say a big thank you to Claire who made a donation to mind rather than spend the money on cards and stamps. You can too :There are two ways to donate to Mind via text (UK only) Text SUPPORT to 70660 or Text GIVE to 82772

I'm done now.  You can go.  Enjoy Christmas you lucky barstards. ;)

What am I meant to change?

I'm not happy. It feels like it's getting worse - which is an achievement as I thought I had already visited rock bottom.

The happiest I've been in the past week was presenting a quiz at my work on Thursday and getting drunk alone watching House on Saturday night.

The rest of the time I feel overwhelmed. I've feel I have been pushing my friends away although my brain feels that society is pushing me away -  I'm unwelcome. I'm fat and horrible.

Something has to change. But I don't know what or how.

If I could win the lottery I would lock my door and never come out again.  I don't want to keep fighting just to survive.

I don't enjoy drama anymore.  I  could rant but why bother. And apart from drama I have nothing.

I am nothing.
AND yet you all seem to think I'm funny and some local celebrity.

I've burnt out and I'm alone. 

Anyway.  On a more cheery note, I'm in panto in January and I uploaded a special video of pics and videos from set build and rehearsals this month. Buy tickets at www.ihdc.co.uk. Or see the video at www.youtube.com/MattStreuli (it'd be great if other people did some advertising at their work or through social media) #iwontrant


Now go watch my YouTube

What if they weren't alcoholics...

Ok.  Im having a low moment.
Not sure what the trigger is but I have been quite happy for a few weeks so the karma of bipolar was due. Ooh look pictures. Merry Xmas btw. 

If you're looking for a more cheerful blog visit Lee Hall today

Perhaps I have been watching too much House (an American TV series starring Hugh Laurie and not a place of residence) but ive re-examined my patient history. My mother and likely her father both have / had a history of alcohol addiction. Both were heavy smokers. Sticking with my mother as I have personal memories to go by, I've always assumed she drank to deal with the pain of ruining a marriage through multiple affairs including the first bf I met who hit her at least once. Fucking your life up like that would drive you to drink, especially as two close friends died around the same time and your boss gets wasted in his office on miniatures - I can see where the inspiration for the coping mechanism came from.

But what if it wasn't just a coping mechanism but also a symptom. A symptom of a mental health issue.

We've all understood for a while that alcohol and perhaps addictive personality traits could be genetic - we all know of a family of drunks or druggies and whilst some of it is nuture I think alot more is nature. Or to be more precise I agree with some physiologists who suggest that our brain nature is altered by nuture - for example major events especially in childhood and teenage years when the brain is forming.

What if my brain nature was already predisposed to mental health issues and the nature of my childhood -  drunks and death - simply exacerbated the issue.

If this is the case then the alcoholism was a coping mechanism for their lives which they couldn't handle due to their genetic preposition for mental health issues.

What makes me think that alcoholism is a symptom and not the virus?
I am not an alcoholic. I can go weeks without drinking  and then only have one pint or if it's a night out get very drunk and then take a week to recover. But I do have mental health issues. Perhaps my genetic preposition is the same but my coping mechanism is not.

I'm not sure what are my mechanisms: creativity through youtube and acting or burying myself in community work so I forget how alone I am or the occasional anti-depressant.

All of them seem better than becoming addicted to any substance just to ease the pain. But I guess if that was the measure then we would all recommended people cut themselves (cutting releases endorphins and the brain focuses on that and the new pain signal).

Ive thought I was wired differently for a long time -  especially recently when I wrote a blog post explaining how I took comfort in knowing how I will kill myself (not planning to do it in the next few years, I want to see marriages and babies first).

What if my brain nature was already predisposed to mental health issues and the nature of my childhood -  drunks and death - simply exacerbated the issue?

Is there anyway to change my nature?

Or are you going to tell me that I have to try harder?
Because some days, I just can't anymore.

If you are wondering what you can do to support mental health please look  at making a pledge with Time To Change (and organisation trying to end the stigma surrounding mental health) and why not join me and become a member of the charity MIND.

In more cheerful youtube news I am opening a Doctor Who Advent calendar each day this month and I have two new recent videos: in one I eat a peanut butter Twix and then my sister says "I will cut you because you can sing" (sic) in the other. Go now to www.youtube.com/MattStreuli and like and stuff.