Something I am Proud Of:

My story of resilience began nine years ago. That was the year I entered law school. They asked me: “are you sure you can handle this?” Hardly scratching the surface of what my Bipolar I diagnosis meant, I said I could. It took me twice as long to finish law school, and I was stunned at the end of my final exam. I could not believe it. I had finished law school. I was someone with a law degree. The hardest part, however, was going over the times when I was fighting for it. At times, I felt I was fighting for my life. Bipolar I requires strength that is unimaginable. I suffered through episodes, I made regrettable choices, I ended up in the hospital as the security guards laughed at me. I left, humiliated for years. For these reasons, I knew I had to fight with my heart. I had to forgive myself. I had to turn away from triggers and words that were open wounds. I managed the self-awareness to complete law school, on my own time. I learned that love has so many facets to it, and some of it has space for me. I learned that I am not a secret, I am a person. I am not just resilient, I am someone who is surviving bipolar I.

Message for Newly Diagnosed:

When I stood where you stand, a woman with bipolar I, 8 years my senior, told me that it would get better. Life would start being less chaotic. She was right. You may find that you can do things as you would normally expect, however there will be things that you simply cannot do. If you don’t sleep, you will feel it. Sleep. On time. Always. Don’t be afraid. You are still you. You are going to learn to be tenacious and you will find workarounds that help you navigate this world. Those with bipolar disorder may not find it easy to settle, but you can. You are not broken. You have just been unjustly handed this diagnosis. You can succeed, but sometimes you need support and that’s okay.

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