Week 34 through the phone

Last week had its ups and for sure downs. It was my first really bad breakdown since 6 months. I used to have those… 1-2 times a week before I got my diagnose (bipolar 2) and medicine. This post might be brutally honest, life is brutal sometimes. It’s so frustrating that the brutality mostly goes on in my own head, triggered by different situations/comments/economical stress (stress in general) etc. That darkness attacking.

Monday started with me walking to Mitte to have my eye sight checked for the first time in maybe 18 years. I was walking filled with anger because of a friend repeatedly telling me that I overreacted when his actions led to my old glasses breaking. Telling someone with bipolar disorder that they are overreacting can lead to severe depression, which it has during my whole life. Sandra, you’re overreacting has made me feel so fucking ashamed of myself and my feelings. When finishing 9th grade, the teachers had written a song about how nice the pupils had been, except for about me: Sandra is just crying all the time, which they sang for us. WTF. Hope that doesn’t happen to kids these days.

Not saying any if this in the end is anyone else’s fault, I need the tools to build up a shield so I don’t fall. It’s going to take time, but I’ll get there.

After ordering new glasses, I went out to discover places to post about on sandrajutosberlin. It was the only thing that could keep me sane; to walk 17 kilometers around the city and look at beautiful places.

Went to Bonanza and got all nostalgic; Johan and I always went here when we were visiting back in the 00s. Stumbling inside with snow on our shoes, my glasses foggy, the guy working dropping his iphone in the coffee roasting machine. Beautiful memories, I was always happy when we were visiting.

Oderberger Strasse is one of Berlin’s most beautiful streets.

Took a stroll through Prenzlauer Berg towards…

Wohnzimmer, we went here on our wedding day for a drink. It’s one of my favourite places still, I always bring visitors here and they are completely blown away.

The picture to the left made me send Johan a text Berlin is so beautiful I could cry. Instead of crying, I laughed so hard seeing the stuff in the picture to the right. Emotional rollercoaster, imagine having to live with my brain 24/7. I guess those of you suffering from some kind of disorder can relate. Maybe others as well?

Ended up in Pankow and went to Penny for my favourite snack when out walking. Once Coca Cola asked me to work with them and I said no because I was afraid it would ruin my credibility online. So stupid, I do drink the zero one from time to time and would have really needed the cash.

Johan texted me and wanted to meet in Prenzlauer Berg after a meeting at a fetish shop he’s making graphic stuff for. So we went to Choriner Strasse to go to Lass uns Freunde bleiben, but then we saw Vino e Libri, a Sardi restaurant I haven’t been to for 6 years back when they housed at Torstrasse.

Pizza with gorgonzola and salsiccia. Bought some sour pommes candy at this Parisian corner and we walked through Mitte to take a train from Alexanderplatz.

Tuesday. Another friend told me I overreacted when a guy I don’t know asked if we should work for a midwife for almost no money at all, that I could get midwife service and that made me so angry that I didn’t know what to do. We said no to the job in a nice way and the guy I don’t know sent us a very rude email. Happy not to be working with him. Always listen to your gut. Went to Tazza to start editing pictures for my Berlin guide on instagram when Allison texted and asked if we should take a walk towards Kreuzberg. Of course! Charley joined as well.

I was exhausted, can’t remember much from that day, later sobbing like a kid all over Friedrichshain telling Johan I don’t want to be like this, I can’t help it, I just want not to have this disorder, why can’t it go away? At the same thankful that it’s not like this every week anymore. I need to avoid stress, try to inform my closest friends about this disorder and what helps and not. I don’t want them to change because of me, but if I can educate them a little bit to have a smoother relationship and avoid breakdowns, I will try. I love them so much and am so happy that they still stand me although my emotions take over. Where’s the balance? It doesn’t exist, right?

Johan fed us ramen at Hako, it helped a lot. Went home to sleep but after a whole day of thinking about how I don’t feel like myself with blonde hair, I went to DM to buy the dark brown hairdye which I have been using for years.

Woke up feeling like myself again, walking Johan to the S-Bahn and then I went to Tazza to edit pictures for this blogpost.

Had a really rough chat with an ex-friend who I had to block, hopefully I will never meet that person again. Got a whole novel about what a cruel, bad & manipulative person I am for hurting his feelings (stepped away from him last year for a reason that he proved 100x this week). It ended with him writing the most classic gaslighting message: you need to search help. This made me start writing a text about friendship breakups and I know many of you are interested in reading it, but I don’t know if I will be able to finish it. You know, I have kind of moved on and thinking about it brings back so many difficult-to-handle memories.

Decided it was time to have a sale in the shop and then I went out to meet my friends Andrew & Tom for a beer in the park.

Late night dinner on the balcony. The next day, I discovered my medicine was almost out and went to the Praxis to get a new prescription. God, this blogpost is so mememe, oh well.

We thought it was time to share a Ritrovo pizza in the heat and have dessert in the form of coffee and Lemon Soda at Tazza afterwards. People write to me how beautiful my life is. It IS, but from time to time I end up in this black hole It makes me feel like such a pain in the ass for the people around me, I do the best I can not to be a pain, but that’s usually contra-productive and makes it even more difficult.

Passed by this place on my way home.

Friday was super hot and for some reason I ate hot noodles, what a bad idea. Was writing about friendship breakups the whole day. Went to Rossmann only for the aircon, met Andrew and the gang at Badfish for Asphall cider on ice. Only way to survive the last evening with 37°C.

Love to go to Boxi early in the morning on Saturdays to look at the market being built up. It was raining and I came home looking like a wet, stray cat, went to bed and woke up to something that felt like a new life.

The geranium from Sardinia loves living in Berlin, so do I. We were about to head off for this dinner when thunder struck. 15 minutes of heavy rain and all of a sudden it was gone; we made it to the restaurant in time for our reservation.

Someone was wearing socks in sandals, you have to adapt, right? German way. Sorry about the creepy looking hands, don’t know what happened. Look at the place we were sitting at instead. Berlin, Berlin, Berlin. One of the best evenings this summer, we walked home and started watching Midsommar. Watch it!

I was working the whole day (I know my blog looks like I never work, remember that the pictures here don’t show many hours of a whole week), took a short walk around the neighbourhood. We made this dinner to finish Midsommar. It’s super simple, just: Wonton noodles with cabbage, zucchini, fermented beans, sichuan pepper, egg & crispy chili oil.

Last week was like it was. Got a bit higher hopes for this one when it comes to emotional stability, but now I’m jinxing it.

Thanks for reading (listening). Maybe I come out as completely self-obsessed; I’m doing this to hopefully give more insight for people who don’t have bipolar disorder and I also do it for people with BD to feel less alone.

Gonna quote Kanye W again: I hate being bipolar, it’s awesome.

Another note: Please don’t tell me I have a superpower for having this disorder, it doesn’t make me feel better at all when it comes to this pretty new knowledge about myself.


  • ktinka
    August 24, 2020 at 11:00 am

    Hi Sandra, again, thanks for sharing. I miss Berlin these days – your pictures bring some Berlin moments to Zurich and that is a very good thing. Also, I always get SO angry when people say others overreact. I think there is no such thing as overreacting (even if it is a word in the dictionary). How can any reaction be measured? It is something so deeply personal and should never be judged as being too much. Instead people should take their time to understand why a person reacted in a certain way and show some empathy.

    • Sandra
      August 26, 2020 at 9:14 am

      Empathy is the answer and I really agree with you about measuring other peoples reactions. You wrapped it up so elegant, thank you dear <3

  • Moos
    August 24, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Hi Sandra, I hope you are doing better this week. I never understand why one would tell a person that they are overreacting. It makes you feel almost ashamed of your feelings and it doesn’t help one bit. I get told the same sometimes, especially now since the pandemic has gotten me feeling sad and scared. Some friends don’t get why I’m scared and it makes me feel so alone.
    Also, the one about the teachers, I can relate. My math teacher told me (15 then) he thought I was a very cranky person, in front of the whole class. I was not cranky, just very sad and scared. It sucked and I will never forget it.
    Wishing you all the best!

    • Sandra
      August 26, 2020 at 9:16 am

      Exactly, the shame you feel for being you and someone else just steps on you. I need to build up a shield or I have to step away to protect myself. Sorry about your teacher, I had so many awful ones – my history teacher when I was 17 was standing in front of the class asking Isn’t Sandra coming? looking all happy, I opened the door right when this happened. After I graduated, he didn’t say hi to me if we met on the street, the man was 60+ !!

  • kerstin
    August 24, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Hej Sandra! Min dotter, en av dom finaste som finns närmast mitt hjärta, det är du. Att falla ner och försöka förstå sig själv är nog svårt och krävande. Det går bra mycket bättre om omgivningen också vet hur det kan bli. Ärlighet och gränser är viktigt för oss alla för att vi ska känna tillit och trygghet utan att känna skuld och skam och det finns gränser för hur vi möter varandra. Förståelse kallar jag det //kram från Mamma!!!

    • Sandra
      August 26, 2020 at 9:17 am

      Förståelse, eller i alla fall viljan till förståelse, är så viktigt i relationer. Att lyssna på varandra och respektera varandras känslor. Så glad att du läser min blogg <3

  • Alexandra
    August 24, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Som vanligt fantastiska bilder! Jag förstår absolut att man kan tycka att ditt liv är vackert men det har ju också att göra med ditt fotografiska öga! Vi ser glimtar ur ditt och Johans liv genom dina ögon och jag blir glad av att se hur mycket vackert du ser och din kärlek till det som omgärdar dig! Naturligtvis har vi alla upp och ner dagar / timmar / månader, en del väljer att visa andra inte. Att överreagera är bullshit och att försöka minimisera andras känslor är bullshit! Vi reagerar som vi gör i förhållande till dagsformen. ALLA gör så! Har man en “jämnare” dagsform så kanske reaktionerna blir lite mindre “högljudda”. Jag var länge rädd för att låta känslor komma ut men det skiter jag i nu. Skulle någons förehavanden leda till att mina glasögon gick sönder skulle jag bli heligt (för att inte vara vulgär) förbannad!! Låt oss inte ens gå in på barnmorske-historien!! Nu tog det eld i peruken på riktigt!! Jag är 46 år och har inga barn, det verkar störa många bekanta och ibland okända människor man diskuterar allmänt med… “Oj, har inte du barn, stackars dig!” “Är de självvalt?” “Är du en sån där militant vegan som tycker att man ska avstå barn för miljöns skull?” Tänk om jag inte kan få barn och det är min största sorg i livet? Eller om jag är en militant miljö vegan? Det är så otroligt oförskämt att tolka in sina egna känslor i en annan människas liv att jag blir GALEN!
    Jag kan inte leva mig in i hur det är att vara bipolär, jag är bara glad för din skull att du mår bättre och bättre kommer det att bli! Det Ktinka har skrivit ovan är mitt i prick! Ta hand om dig! Hoppas att den här veckan blir svalare och att du känner dig bra! Stor kram

    • Sandra
      August 26, 2020 at 9:19 am

      Tack för jättefina ord Alexandra!
      Det regnar här och jag mår mycket bättre. Har fällt några tårar för att mina läsare är så jävla fina människor som visar förståelse för människor runtom dem.
      Eller hur, apropå barnmorskegrejen – jag blev så förbannad för han VET ju ingenting om oss. Vi har valt bort barn, men det kunde lika gärna varit så att vi försökt och försökt. Folk alltså.
      Kram tillbaka <3

    August 24, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    It is all about empathy (or the lack of empathy). I’m not gonna tell you have a superpower, but I have to tell you’re very generous sharing with us the most intimate part of your life: your feelings and how you handle them…and that’s gold.
    Showing reality is very valuable and always helps, since we already live in a world that is too fake and banal.


    • Sandra
      August 26, 2020 at 9:20 am

      Thank you for reading, Elena.
      And thank you for showing understanding and empathy. I grew up with some people not being able to show empathy, telling me my feelings were not worthy, that boys were much better than girls etc. It takes years to re-programme your brain and I wish I would have started at an earlier age, but trying to see that I do it at 40 instead of 60 😉

  • Elke
    August 24, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    Dear Sandra,
    thank you for being so open, so considerate. Been reading your blog since before you moved to Berlin, and you always help me see beauty in this city, my hometown. Not even sure what to say, only that I appreciate it a lot. Reading made me emotional, and the comments almost made me shed a tear.
    We have the feelings we have. We don’t choose them, we don’t have them to be “special” or ruin anyone’s day, and it can cost a lot of energy to live with them, even without other’s explaining we’re overreacting. Can only speak for myself, but inside of me there are even more feelings than others will ever know, as I am so conditioned to not be too much.

    Wholeheartedly hope this next week is better for you!

    • Sandra
      August 26, 2020 at 9:23 am

      Elke, thanks so much for your comment – I have also shed tears reading the comments, my readers are so generous and understanding and I’m so grateful to have you all here. Exactly, we don’t have them to be “special”, many people have through the years tried to tell me that I need to hide my feelings more. I can’t, even if I try, people see immediately that there’s something going on in my head. Could never work in hospitality hahaha.
      This week is so good so far, I hope you have a beautiful one. Be you <3

  • Jonna
    August 24, 2020 at 5:13 pm

    Loved the long post <3 No, you are not self-obsessed, you are honest. And try not to stress about the friendship post, you'll get it done or you won't. You don't owe it to anybody. And breakdowns happen, it sucks. But not as often as before and it'll get better again even if it does not really help in that bad moment. Hope you are doing better now <3

    • Sandra
      August 26, 2020 at 9:25 am

      Thank you Jonna,
      I really needed to get this out and reading all the comments made me cry a bit. It took me so many years to realise us humans don’t owe anything to each other if it’s something we don’t want to give away. Trying to kill some percent of the pleaser in me 😉 Hope you’re well <3

  • Kirsten
    August 26, 2020 at 12:50 am

    You make Berlin, and cities in general, seem so wonderful! I wonder if it’s because the photos don’t have noise.
    For a couple of years, bad days were on Thursdays. That was handy; I knew they were coming and I didn’t expect much of myself, and at that time, I could just hole up. I think Epictetus and the Stoics (philosophy, not a band) does me some good.
    I like the dark hair. You’re taking good care of yourself!
    (If someone tells you you’re overreacting, I think it means you’re not reacting the way THEY want you to. They don’t deserve you.)

    • Sandra
      August 26, 2020 at 9:26 am

      I’m so glad you found your pattern and what helps for you, Kirsten. It’s so so so important and we can only figure it out for ourselves.
      Thank you for your kind words, for taking the time to comment <3

  • Merle
    August 27, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    I am late to comment but wanted you to know that your posts about your health help me interact better with the people in my life with similar illnesses.

    I hope you feel better!


    • Sandra
      September 18, 2020 at 9:20 am

      I’m so glad to hear that, Merle. I’m late answering 😉

  • Joanne
    October 11, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    I just want to send love. And understanding. You are perfect as you are. We are blessed with feelings and emotions. They can be our friends. It is so good that these days we know more about the mind. Take good care from day to day.


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