The Life of Teddy With Bipolar

Born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, I was the first of two children that my parents would have. During our early childhood we lived in the suburb of Kirkby. This was a particular poor suburb, houses built almost identical just after the second world war. The town itself was badly damaged by the bombing runs of the German Bombers, due to it housing one of the British Forces munitions Factories.

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s was a fun time to be around, excessive street parties, lots of vibrant colours worn by people and just a general feel of happiness was evident amongst our close knit community.

My school years was when we first realised I was a tad different to the other kids. I would get in trouble quite regularly by misbehaving and become defiant. My parents would be constantly summoned to the headmasters office, all parties be wielded as to why I was so naughty.

Then came comprehensive school, or high school to those not in the UK. Not much changed here, I still got into trouble, this time getting detentions and more punitive measures against my misbehaving. My family were starting to have enough of the constant calls, and I couldn’t explain why I was so naughty, I would often say that my brain just wants to keep doing stuff, like sports. You see sports was the only subject, along with maths that I didn’t misbehave as I was fully immersed in those subjects.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is what the doctor diagnosed me as having, prescribing what I can only briefly remember as being ritalin. This is when it all changed. I was focused with all my work and no more behaviour problems, but by this time the damage had been done during the previous four years at high school. I didn’t leave high school with much GCSE’s (Qualifications).

At 16 I started a night-shift job and went to the local community college to study computer science. I was no longer taking ritalin. The job paid good money for somebody my age and I was living it large, taking friends out on the town for drinks. Then it all started coming back again, the moods, the mania and the behaviour. To my embarrassment I called in a bomb threat to the college, I have no idea why or what I was going to gain from it but still I did it. Obviously, I was kicked out of college.

Between the years of 16-18 I worked for a large clothing retailer, in the warehouse as the goods in clerk. I would check the contents of the deliver matches the paperwork. It was a good job for a young person, with great people to work with. As with everything with my life, the mania manifested during the christmas period. I believed that the manager told me if I worked late on the 23rd December I could finish early on Christmas Eve. So I did work later, and when I went to finish early on Christmas Eve I was blocked by the manager. I went into a rage, picking up and throwing computers at the walls before leaving.

Between ages 18-23 I worked as an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, getting promoted to Manager after a few years. I was responsible to managing a number of staff (most employed for a year from other countries, much like Camp America) and creating meaningful programmes for the children / schools that came to visit our camps. I loved this job, looking back it was probably the highlight of my life…Then like everything else I blew it. I “misheard” my manager say get rid of the old computers we had stored, so I did. The rest is history, I lost my job, got a criminal record and moved by home with my girlfriend in tow.

Aged 24 I started a job as a tutor for a learning center which deals with kids who “can’t do school” due to their behaviour. I taught them literacy, maths and ICT skills to help them get employment. During this employment, my girlfriend fell pregnant with my first child, who would turn out to be my eldest son. Again, as with other jobs I got sacked from this job. But there is a catch, they sacked me unlawfully because I was on paternity leave. So I took them to court, they settled with me outside of court.

The settlement money paid for my girlfriend, son and myself to emigrate to New Zealand. You see she is from New Zealand so that made it an easy transition. For the first few months we did some touristy stuff before settling in our own place and deciding what to do. In the interim I took a job at a grocery store, working nights. Did that for about a year then was promoted to Department Manager. Met lots of cool people here. I resigned from this job to start studying.

In 2014 I got married to my partner. We kept it low key and had it at the registry office, about 30 family members turned up and we had a nice party at our place afterwards.

I would go and study for a Bachelor of Teaching, having a wonderful three years as a student, albeit poor, but worth the experience. It was my way of proving to myself that I can still learn, especially considering my education background. Three years later I graduated and had my own degree framed and hung up (at my new house). Luckily, for me I landed a permanent full-time teaching job straight out of university. This job lasted 5 years, until in good old Teddy fashion I f**ked it up.

Here I am today. It’s been approx 18 months since separating from my wife and having to find my own place. I often put the blame on her for the break-up, claiming she cheated, as her current partner is somebody she works with. But, I think it could have been me. I didn’t treat her right, didn’t show her affection and didn’t say a lot of nice words. I was emotionally mean to her – and I take ownership of that. It was my fault the marriage broke down. Phew! That took a lot to say.

Now I have a wonderful new partner, whom we have been together for just on 6 months, she is amazing, supportive and understands my bipolar. She also has a son of her own, who is one cool kid. I love this girl so much and I guarantee these demons from my past relationship will be a thing of the past and will never show their evil faces again. I actually think she could be “the one”.

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