5 Things I’ve Learned about Myself After 5 Years with Bipolar Disorder

This month marks five years living with Bipolar Disorder. On one hand, I can’t believe it’s been that long. I can still remember sitting in that physiatrist’s office, smelling that cinnamon candle, and hearing the diagnosis for the first time. On the other hand, I feel like I’ve had Bipolar disorder for a lot longer than that. I’ve been taking time to reflect on these past five years. Life is a lot more complicated than it once was. I’m a different person now. Life has forever been altered. All of that is true. But what else have I learned about myself?

Five things:

  • 1) I’m less resilient

Continue reading “5 Things I’ve Learned about Myself After 5 Years with Bipolar Disorder”

How do we talk about mental illness?

When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I was shocked. It was good to have an answer to why I was feeling the way I was, but I didn’t know how to process the news. I remember sitting in the psychiatrist’s office, stunned into silence, as she began to explain the first steps in my treatment. A part of me was relieved—an answer, finally!—but the rest of me was completely numb to what she was saying.  Continue reading “How do we talk about mental illness?”

“What do you do?”

I usually like going to church. Rob and I go to an Anglican church, so we get to experience the liturgy and Eucharist every week. I like the simple music; I’m moved by our pastor’s sermons. When we first got married, we church-hopped quite a bit. We couldn’t seem to find a church where we “fit.” But now, I actually look forward to Sundays. This Anglican church means more to me than any other church has in the past.

But there is something I dread about the service. I look at the clock often, knowing it’s coming: the passing of the peace.  Continue reading ““What do you do?””

When “Healthy” Is Not Healthy

When I was growing up, there was a lot of pressure on girls to be skinny. The women on the covers of the magazines were very thin, sometimes emaciated.

So, not surprisingly, I knew a lot of girls who struggled with eating disorders. Anorexia was common in my junior high and high school.

When I was 15, I too had anorexic tendencies. I obsessed about calories, analyzed what was on my plate, skipped meals, and perused pro-ana sites (websites that actively encourage anorexia).  When I looked in the mirror, I saw a body that was completely different from reality.

Thankfully, my parents were wise enough to put me into counseling to get me some help. It was their care that brought me healing.

Continue reading “When “Healthy” Is Not Healthy”