Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Friday, February 03, 2017

I Care Too Much, I Worry Too Much

Holly Bobbins and mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger, I care too much, I worry too much

This week has been exhausting, stressful, confusing and I'm coming out of it not necessarily in a better position than I was when I went into it, my life was put under a microscope more than ever before and at one point I was even considering my position within blogging and whether it was all worth it.  Many good things have happened too, though, I have had some moments in the last week where I felt truly alive again for the first time in years and moments where I smiled with every entire muscle of my face so would I change anything, would I do anything differently?

I'm fairly sure I wouldn't change a thing and whilst I could change the tone of my blog and walk away from writing anything personal again, I'd be doing myself a great disservice if I did because when I write with my heart people read and when I write my innermost thoughts there's such a great cathartic effect.

I have lived a life with so many twists and turns, I'm 43 now and I've packed a lot in, some of it intentional, some things not so much but if there's one thing I do know it's that a lot of my life has been impacted by the fact that I've lived with a diagnosis of bipolar for the last 13 or so years and I've pretty much managed my own mental health, medication, self-care for the last 10.  I have bipolar type 2 which is the less serious than type 1 although don't believe for a moment that it makes life simpler, sometimes I have rapid cycles but not all the time, I tend to feel everything intensely, either at the joyful end of the spectrum or with pain, confusion, and angst.  The hardest thing I'll ever have to deal with is my reaction to human relationships with the opposite sex because they're the emotions it's hardest to deal with for anyone.  I think what happens with me is I feel everything so intensely it often leaves me exhausted.

I'm someone who has mostly everything she wants in life, I'm never envious of others because we are all unique as human beings and also on the surface where people can seem perfect you often find that you can't really know what goes on behind closed doors.  I have the friendship, I have the career I want, I rarely feel lonely, except, and here it comes, when I feel lonely in my soul, this week has taken much out of me, I haven't had any kind of meltdown except that I have had tears every day, I am so lonely in my soul and it's hard not to project that onto other people, whilst I publicly keep my feelings in check most of the time I would be the first to admit that I still try to refuse myself permission to cry because I know I can't handle it.

I always knew that dating was going to cause issues inside my own head, I'm too messed up in the head to function like a normal person, strangely when I was on the highest dose of medication I didn't even notice men and I mean, ever, at all, I was a high-functioning robot and for about 6 months when I was single again but recovered enough from separation that I should have possibly thought about it, I just didn't care, I was happy on my own.  This leads me to think I could swap emotional swings and roundabouts, I could swap the highs and the heartbreak that dating will inevitably bring and just take more medication as a replacement but what I would essentially be doing is leading myself into a long term loneliness type of situation and I would also miss out on the happiness, the laughter and the special feelings you get from sharing time with someone.  I do just wish for a moment I could stop the world and find a way to reconfigure my brain so that it would feel like normal people's brains (whatever that is) I wish I could not feel everything so intensely and I wish that I could find a way not to be Mandy the Overthinker (even if it is a bit of a snazzy title).

Another problem that I have is that I either let you in or I don't and once you are in, you are really in, once you have crossed my barriers, knocked them down and found a way to really get to know me, there's no way I'll let go without a fight, it's something that friends appreciate because when I care about you, it's deeply and I would do anything for you, it's why I only have close friends, I don't really have acquaintances because they're the people I'm not letting get close in the first place.

I really don't know what my future is going to hold you know and it's almost terrifying, I'd say where people get excited about the unknown in the future it actually scares the living bejesus out of me, perhaps why I loved the years of being in a settled relationship so much, I just sort of knew what was going to happen from day to day and that felt good.  I guess it takes a brave man to date me because I'm so complex but it many ways I can be straightforward too (yeah I know, I'm a contradiction, an oxymoron), I'm always honest so people know where they stand and I'm basically good and kind I would hope, I would never hurt anyone intentionally and I've never ever been unfaithful.  I will find 100 new ways every week to show him the ways he rocks my world and one day I will sing to him because he has made me brave and courageous, I will make him laugh, I will make him smile and I will wow him with my ability to deal with his issues way better than I can ever deal with my own.

This weekend I have literally nothing in my diary again, I could go anywhere I wanted to, well apart from the fact that a self-employed non-working person hasn't exactly got the money to run around the country but what I am going to do this weekend is read some books, namely F**k It and also The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k, both required reading in my case because there's no doubt that I definitely care way too much about everything!


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