Something I am Proud Of:

I’m a mother. A good one. I practice intentional, positive parenting and try to be as patient as I can. I am always thinking of how situations affect my child. This is drastically different from what I had as a kid, where I was an extension of my parents and my feelings and desires did not matter. I’m immensely proud of the fact that I was able to process my traumas and stop the cycle with me.

Advice for Newly Diagnosed:

Bipolar Disorder does not define you. Do not let others do it either. Bipolar is a chronic health condition I live with— it is not what I am. So I never say, “I am Bipolar.” Instead, I explain, “I live with bipolar” or “I’m diagnosed bipolar.” People don’t go around saying, “I’m cancer.” The same should be true for mental health conditions. By using person-first language, I refuse to let myself or others take away my humanity. Next, prioritize treatment. Treat it like it is life or death, because it absolutely is.

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