Noelle O’Clair

Something I am Proud Of:

Since childhood, my approach to self-worth was by ripping my being to shreds. I was on loop of berating myself- “you should be cooler”; “you should be smarter”; “you should be skinnier”. It was constant self-loathing and dwelling that there was something wrong with me. Upon my diagnosis of bipolar II, there was a huge sigh of relief to know that there was something “wrong” with me. But there was still work to be done. It was only after my first (and hopefully only) hospitalization in November that I learned to love myself. It’s a constant battle but the appreciation for myself is starting to outweigh the disgust. I try harder to congratulate myself for victories, which I used to ignore. And if I have a day of hating myself, I make a promise to try harder tomorrow. This quote is what changed my outlook: “give yourself the same care and attention that you give others and watch yourself bloom.” I am proud to finally be able to love myself.

Advice for the Newly Diagnosed:

Let friends and family know what you need from them. If they are real friends/family, they will take in every word you say. I wish I provided my loved ones a list of signs or triggers that would send me spiraling into depression or mania sooner. If you do end up in this state, don’t be afraid to reach out to your support system for help. I always felt so alone even though I have a huge network of help to back me. If you do not have people to support you, there are many resources out there to help you. Look for them, establish the support, and remember them you need help.

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