Camaraderie In Grief

Having Bipolar Disorder, I have spoken already about how I can be cut off from my Grief. As such when Grief comes I am often grateful for the release it gives me and for the fact that it feels I am taking a step forwards in my working through my Grief process. I appreciate feelings of Grief. Even if it is painful, it is real, it is raw, I am feeling something, processing something, releasing something. Not caught up in the distraction of Bipolar Disorder. I am recognising something real. I wrote this poem a few weeks ago and haven’t had a chance to post it yet. It gives just a tiny flavour of where I am coming from.

Camarederie In Grief

I was struck by death today

Whilst musing with a widow

And when I walked away

I found myself quite hollow.

A few tears filled my eyes

But not enough to purge me

The bittersweet camaraderie

That someone really heard me.

It’s not enough, not often

That I become connected

Within my cluttered life

Of how I am affected.

But in these Grief filled moments

A wave of gratitude

Gives me my connection back

And brings me close to you.

Marrying a Dying Man

Grief ebbs and flows. It never truly disappears. Sometimes I don’t even know that I am under it’s effects. This week I have been paralysed by Anxiety which I put down to a drop in mood which it may be in part but it rose and rose towards the end of the week as I approached the 5 year anniversary of my wedding to my husband. The anniversary wasn’t on my mind either as I hardly ever even know what date it is but someone had mentioned it earlier in the week. On the day of the anniversary I could barely move for anxiety. I finally got up to go for a walk in the evening and when I did the awareness of my grief about my anniversary and loss became apparent. I relived my whole wedding and realised how much I want my husband here with my and my daughter. I also felt incredibly sad about his illness and the underlying context of the day. I have captured some of the day in this poem.

We never thought we would be getting married when he was dying. We weren’t big on marriage. We’d been together 11 years and called each other husband and wife. But we did say we would get married at some point. We liked to travel so we thought we may do it quietly abroad or whenever the time was right. But this turned out to be our time.

Marrying a Dying Man

Exquisite fancy food, provided by a friend,

Long beaded gown hanging, champagne glasses at the end,

Bridesmaids playing, Big girls chatting,

Make up decisions to be made.

Excited Bridal preparation,

My special day about to take place.

To Know Him is To Love Him

Is the song that I had chosen

To leave a special imprint

Of a man who’ll soon depart.

His wish to walk the aisle without a stick,

Executed with a flair and a fine art.

Re-united at the alter, I’m immediately safe,

A safety I’m yet to re-establish since he left for heavens gate.

We begin the process of vows and at

“Til death do us part”, eyes fill, I falter.

He grabs my arm, fixes my gazes, strengthen me as always.

“You have this”

We sign the book to Bob Marley,

“Everything is going to be all right”

Where did we get that positivity?”

For me it faded by the end of the night.

Cancer is ugly once it starts to fiercely gnaw your bones,

He was remarkably brave and charming, never complained or moaned.

There was pleasure in the wedding lunch.

Circulating the guests, he was vibrant, happy, we were bright.

Until the pain of the disease took over and he said I think it’s time to say goodnight.



I must make time for me time,

Even if just to write bad rhyme

Or my head mutates to a stifled zone,

Precipitating collapse

With a mad tone.

Balance I find hard to achieve it,

Engines get revved with the things in my head

Caring, social media, Wikipedia,

Lost creativity, self activity, into tedium.

Blessed awareness hits like a church bell,

Divine intervention, sixth sense intention

Supersonic affirmations and writing save the day

Burnout averted,

My winning game is back in play.



Hello my faithful followers,

I just wanted to share that I now have Instagram. Your ongoing support on the blog is much appreciated and invaluable to me but I would really welcome your support on Instagram too if you use it.

You will have advance access to poetry before it hits the blog and some that I won’t be publishing on the blog if it is not relevant. And whatever else my Instagram journey brings.

Much Love,

Blossey xxx

IG blosseyfriday #blosseyfriday

Lucky Us-A Love Poem

Your love was whole like creation

Giving and nurturing,

fun, never taking

We had our own nation.

Fragranced with energy

Love balanced,

Imaginative and wise,

Sometimes disguised.

Sapiosexual I’m told,

Enthralled by your mind,

Perspicacious and bold.

Others clambering behind.

Elaborate sexuality,

Touch charged with electricity,

Gentle, Rough,

A perfect duplicity.

Your love was whole,

You were truly unique,

I miss ‘us’ I loved ‘us’

Perfectly beautiful freaks.

A Whoosh Of Unidentified Grief

Laden with Grief, compressing my soul,

Restricting movement, squeezing my lungs,

A suprising turnout, midst debilitating burnout,

I feel I’m coming undone.

I wish he would visit and melt it away,

I called he said he loved me but he’s too far from gone

I need him with me now to pacify my fear.

Just for a few hours for the whoosh of Grief to appear.

Trying to be the best alone has been a feat indeed to manage,

Even ’good enough’ for this long term has done some damage.

Raising a child alone is always a challenge at best,

But a sick one for 3 months I don’t have anything inside me left.

I’ve lost myself, I’ve lost my care, I miss the one who isn’t here.

I didn’t recognise the power, of rising Grief pushing me down.

I thought my relentless effort caused my semi constant frown.

I hate the power of this monster, that means nothing, a mere word.

But now I see it’s hurting me I’ll unblock it and make space,

Space to breathe, be energised and have a little faith.

Somewhat thwarted by impatience, I hope I don’t get stuck.

I need an exorcism if I’m on the side of luck.

Fall From Grace-Vigilance & Honesty In Self Care

Yesterday I posted why I haven’t been writing and why I still can’t write for a bit and

it’s all very true. But this morning I woke up and realised how I am neglecting myself

somewhat and how putting my writing on hold is part of that. Writing is one of my ‘me’

things and I share it with others in the hope that they may identify with some of it and it may

offer some support or some of it may provide interest. I also realised today that I am not

practising the things that I preach. The things that keep me well. So here I am at 7am, sitting

amongst the boxes and the jumble with a warming cup of hot coffee to get some of it down

and make some sense of it.

            I’ve always proposed an early mental health check in before glueing your face to your

phone. To identify how you feel today, assess your mood, let any negative feelings surface and

release. To journal if you feel inclined. Have a relaxed breakfast and plan the day. For a few

 weeks now I’ve been getting up, drinking coffee, glueing myself to the phone, scrolling

everything, Twitter, Facebook, Emails, Messages, more coffee, smoking multiple cigarettes

and not checking in with how I feel all day at all. In fact actively avoiding how I might be

feeling. Then getting on with breakfast and stumbling into the day, getting on with things but

with no plan.

            I’ve reached a point where I am fragile now. I realised that this morning when I picked

 up the phone and put it down again deliberately without looking at anything. For a few days

I’ve been feeling cumulatively exhausted, tense and increasingly anxious. I’ve been so caught

up in the care of someone else for 3 months. Then selling furniture, taking deliveries and

 creating a new room for my daughter, dealing with the chaos that has created in the home. I’ve

left no spaces for me recently and that has been symbolically represented by the lack of space

 in my flat with the contents of my daughters room everywhere. To write, to breathe, to check

 in, to do something I enjoy, to go for a walk. I’ve been on survival mode but it’s not a type of

 survival that my mental health will survive long term.

            I’m constantly anxious and on edge now and I need to go back to basics and deal with

it using the strategies that I recommend to others. Or I’ll be no use to my little girl. Constant

vigilance is required to maintain mental health. It’s so easy to slip. There will always be these

moments of falling and awakening and needing to wake up and refocus. Maintaining and

awareness and honesty is key.

            This honesty is useful when dealing with others too. Something I think we find a little

harder. “Are you ok? “I’m fine” when actually if we were honest we may be able to get a little

bit of support. It’s been hard to get support during the lockdown of course because of social

distancing. But you can be honest in your phone conversations as the stress has been building

and I have done that recently and I have found it valuable.

This is just a short piece really. To demonstrate even those who write out how to do it

perfectly can fall down. I intend now to pick it up again. To slowly start putting my

strategies in. To create those spaces again. I feel some relief already just from writing this piece,

this statement of intent. It won’t be easy and I still have no feelings, hopefully they will come

on a walk. My daughter had a relapse last week. There is still a lot to do in the house. But it

must be possible to make some spaces. There are a lot of hours in the day and jobs can carry

over. With Bipolar Disorder it is of paramount importance to keep things going as relapse

prevention can be life saving. And for Grief management it took me a long time to start the process.

I have not had an episode for 8 months. I am on my way for my target to a year although

I am not complacent and I know anything could happen. I feel vulnerable right now and I need

to build myself back up to feeling like a Warrior again. I need to remain vigilant.

My average daily plan will look like this although won’t always be fulfillable as we

both have a lot of appointments:

Wake up-Coffee and emotional check in with journal

Breakfast and plan day

30 minutes social media

(Eat 3 healthy meals)

30 minutes walk with affirmations

Care for daughter/homework, finish putting home back together/house jobs/food shopping

Finish the day with emotional check in and reading for pleasure

These are the simple sorts of things that work. The structures that keep us well. They are good

for anyone but particular those who need to adopt a self care routine to prevent a catastrophic

slide in mental health.

If you would like to read a more detailed article on self care, please check back on my extensive post “Self Care For Those Who Find Self Care Difficult”.

Note To Followers

Hi Folks,

Just a quick update on the silence. I’ve been dealing with my child’s severe Post Viral Fatigue. Made an ambitious decision to do some refurbishment in the middle of it and have also lost my glasses!!! That explains the radio silence. I need to get things together. Take my child to some medical appointments, get the house straight and get some new glasses and then I will be back with some new material. Do be patient 🙂 Thanks. Bloss. X

“The Thoughts” A Poem about Bipolar Hypomania to the structure and rhythm pattern of Edgar Allan Poes’ The Bells

Feel the creeping joy of thoughts!

Incandescent thought,

Here the sense of perfect satisfaction sought,

How they rise and rush and crackle,

In the day and in the night.

Sharing Love, Communication

Sublime, Euphoric Nation.

Losing time, time, time,

In a sort of runic rhyme.

Feeling emancipation befitting the talk.

From the thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts

From the rising and rushing of the thoughts.

Feel the fertile racing thoughts,

Elevated thoughts,

Going lickety split, had they ought?

Dazzling Goddess taking flight,

Should they express worry or delight?

She really didn’t mean to rock the boat…

Seemed all in tune,

Now everything is choked.

Soaring high crashing back to Disorder.

Parcels everywhere, impulsively bought,

Lack of thought,

Feeling fraught.

How this pans out, she fought,

She got taken, got caught.

To the rushing and racing of the thoughts, thoughts, thoughts,

Of the thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.

To the rushing and crashing of the thoughts.

Has The Lockdown Saved My Mental Health? Are People With A Diagnosed Mental Illness Riding This Out Better Than Those Without?

This lockdown has been incredibly stressful for me. Especially at the beginning. I was

preparing to do one anyway and pull my daughter from school as I didn’t think the government

was responding quickly enough but a week before the official closure of everything, she caught

the Coronavirus. Luckily I was prepared.

            I wasn’t terribly worried for her initially as her symptoms were quite mild at first.

 Rather I was filled with terror at the thought of catching it and leaving her without parents.

            I adopted excessive cleansing practises, practised all the distancing possible and due to

the excessive fatigue she was suffering she was only up for about 5-6 hours per day in any case.

But her symptoms were varied and prolonged. We had paramedics out, a trip to A n E. I packed

a hospital bag twice and the G.P visited us at home.

            Fortunately her most debilitating symptom was the fatigue. Temperature fluctuations

settled, breathing issues minimal and other aches and stomach cramps were passing.

            I was filled with anxiety for about 3 weeks. I survived the time using strategies I would

use if I was in an acute mental illness episode. Trying to balance my time between tasks of

pleasure and mastery, making sure there was food on the table and getting rest when I needed


In addition to this using simple affirmations and breathing and visualising the forest I

could no longer visit as I could not leave the house. I did need to use sleeping tablets and

Diazepam from time to time but when I realised there was no end in sight for this situation I

cut it out and relied on strategies only-I didn’t want to emerge from the lockdown reliant on

prescription drugs.

The last 3.5 weeks have been easier. My anxiety has reduced. I have settled into this

new normality and have a little routine within it. I’ve found new joys, engaging with the writing

community on Twitter. I’m part way through a Poetry writing course and have realised I can

 write reasonable poems. I’m excited about what else I might be able to write.

I’m accustomed to the silence. The isolation. I’m comfortable with it. The days pass,

my achievement level varies. I’ve been a little lazy of late, I could do with stepping it up a bit,

pleasure has definitely taken over mastery.

But my mental health is intact. That is the important thing.

My daughter is very slowly improving. She has post viral fatigue. She is now up for 8

hours per day but not well enough to engage in the on line classroom. It runs from 9am-3pm.

She’s up from 2pm-9pm and has to eat, wash, exercise, relax, have some stimulation. It’s too

much right now. She gets really exhausted. We’ve built up to a 15 minute slow walk and she’ll read

for a little bit. I see a light at the end of the tunnel at last but it is a long tunnel and I still have

 worries about her.

So despite everything, I feel we are surviving and it’s not that bad although I think my

 daughter would disagree. But for me, it’s no longer too bad.

Going back to the title which is two-fold. How has it saved me and why is it not too bad?

Well, for 30 years I have suffered a major depression in Spring. I was determined this

year for it not to happen. I am desperate to get a years remission. My remission rate has been

extremely poor since my husband died. I have been doing many things to assist with this goal,

walking in the forest, using affirmations, writing has helped. I mustn’t also underestimate that

in November I started a new medication which has the key purpose of reducing remission rate.

But I wonder if being locked in has protected me in some kind of way. Protected me

from interacting with the environment and hence protecting me from triggers which could

worsen my mental health. At first I thought this lockdown, the stress around Covid19, my sick

child would be triggers but I do have coping skills for crisis. I wonder if day to day life is more


Being in lockdown is a bit like being in a Psychiatric ward with no staff. You can’t go

anywhere. There are limited things to do. You have a lot of time to think. Whatever you have

to eat is what you have. You are cut off but at the same time protected from the outside world

and the people and things in it. Sometimes you feel trapped and sometimes you feel safe.

I read a tweet yesterday and the person commented that people with a mental illness

were doing better than those without as they had better skills for this. I don’t know if it’s true

 in reality but it makes good sense to me. This is what we are trained for! Living indoors in an

acute episode and trying to occupy the day. Perhaps it’s easier for someone with a mental illness

to accept this restriction and then get on employing the copying strategies they have used

previously. Afterall many of us have been in lockdown with no other choice before.

The wonderful difference for me in this is that doing it when well I have been able to

 execute and practise my self management skills with ease as I have not had the additional

weight of being unwell to deal with.  As such it is possible perhaps I have more gratitude for

what occurs during the day and miss less day to day life.  I am an extrovert. I do miss the

opportunity for a face to face conversation as I always prefer that than any other mode. But I

think complaining about what you miss in a situation like this is a bit distasteful.

I am not complacent about my Spring episode. The Spring is not over yet and there will

be a huge change when the lockdown ends that could trigger an episode in itself. But I have

passed the markers of the first Daffodils and that of my birthday. Those are oftentimes when

my mood is low. Occasionally it comes later but for now I am hopeful. If vigilant.