Featured Advocate: Ciara from How I kicked Bipolar’s Butt and got Back Making Art 8/6

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delete21Ciara: I am an advocate because I have survived- to tell my story of my journey to wellness. I write a blog with a positive message which hopefully provides positive solutions. Though I live with a very severe form of Bipolar I rapid cycling and have been hospitalised 11 times , I now only have very short relapses lasting only a few days, at most.

This is because of all the work I did with getting fit, addressing my diet, quitting alcohol, monitoring sleep, having weekly acupuncture etc. You can read more of what I have done in my blog and it may or may not work for you but my message is that we must at least try to take back control as at least we know we are doing everything we can for ourselves.

This disorder and disorders like it often render us helpless and we are led to believe that medication is the only answer but I believe there is so much more we can do for ourselves in order to get well and stay well. I hope you enjoy my website blog & facebook page ( its a little bit of fun and my artwork is on there too). Ciara (pronounced Kiera for all you Americans !!!–I am Irish)

How I kicked Bipolar’s Butt and got Back Making Art
I was a year well on the 27th of March 2014 shock! and now I am creating work again, of all kinds. Website & blogwww.kickbipolarmakeart.com
My name is Ciara Asple, I am 37 years old and for the last forever I have been struggling with Bipolar Disorder Type I , rapid cycling.

It was all kinds of hell at times until one day in March last year my very good friend called Mary said something that resonated during a particularly bad episode—Ciara, it doesn’t have to be this way .

It got me thinking– I really really want to beat this–what am I not doing?— what can I do for myself that might make me better perhaps even God forbid cure me ( is that even possible?!!) I had tried different approaches before but nothing worked. But one thing that dawned on me that I hadn’t really done was get fit–I could try getting fit and see if that makes a difference—I can look at diet —I will try give up Drink—I need more professional support around me–I need a team of peeps ( then I really only had my eminent psychiatrist Prof Patrick McKeon & my brilliant GP Dr. Maria Murphy)–I can look at alternative therapies such as accupuncture, bio-energy healing, reiki–I can put into practice The Ultramind Solution by Dr Mark Hyman–I can try harder!!

So I waited for a window of relative wellness (the illness comes on like a switch overnight and goes in the same manner, with little or no triggers or warning) and on the 27th of March 2013 I started running– doing the Couch to 5k.—I got tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body, expensive but worth it. I gave up drink ( a big thing at first but I feel it really makes a difference) but I still go out and I still have lots of fun ( working on giving up the smokes).

In June I discovered accupuncture , I have it every week from the brilliant Mairead Fahey in Gorey, Co Wexford, Ireland– I also had Bio-energy healing from the wonderful Jo Murphy. Prof McKeon says Bipolar Disorder is a disorder of energy which must be why these energy treatments work so effectively.

How Bipolar affected me is that I mainly got depression and chronic fatigue and the illness turned me into a negative sometimes hateful person and I could be argumentative with my family. I would have mood swings and often swing into little highs known as hypo-mania and then swing back again. Sometimes I could hide it, sometimes not. My close friends said they could always tell from my eyes which I suppose are said to be the mirror to your soul.

Roll on nearly a year and my year anniversary is nearly here. I have started to come off my medication with Prof McKeon. Its a slow process with a touch of relapse and sleep disturbance with each change down but when that lifts my life dramatically improves.Currently I am having the time of my life. I have been on medication since August 2003 thus I feel like a veil is being lifted. I am able to get up in the mornings, I have loads of natural energy (but not a manic high that occurs with this illness) and I am flowing with creative juices I have not experienced since my early teens…long may it continue. I often wonder if it’s this good coming half way off Lithium, what will life be like when I am off all my meds as it can’t get any better than this! I agree with medication use but not in the long term as I researched it can actually make the illness work and your brain becomes dependent on the medication.

Life is very good and I have just set up my studio and look forward to continuing productivity. Thanks for liking the page. Please spread the word of this page so that my journey to complete wellness might help someone out there to get well too. I, for one, never thought it was possible.

I want to publicly thank my amazing parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins neighbours and friends who also helped in getting me here.



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