Something I am Proud Of:
I am proud that over the past 7 years (since I first began mental health treatment) I have consistently stayed in therapy and taken my meds, despite relapses, medication issues, and major life stressors. I am also proud that during each momentary lapse in emotion or behavior, I always seek help– whether that be an extra therapy session, an emergency appointment with my psychiatrist, calling a hotline, or having someone take me to the hospital, I know when I need more than just my usual coping skills and medications.
Advice for Newly Diagnosed:
Lastly, I am proud to use my experience as a survivor of severe mental illnesses, such as my Bipolar disorder and comorbid conditions, to advocate for others and to end the stigma. I am a writer, and so I am grateful that I have this ability to not only get my chaotic thoughts on paper as a means of coping, but to also be able to put my words out there in a way that will help others. Whether you are manic, depressed, in a mixed episode, in the throes of anxiety, or very stressed, just know that those moments are always temporary– and that perhaps they are there so that you can help others struggling with similar experiences to you. That’s how I try to see it!