Mental freedom

There’s a constant buzzing in my head that doesn’t go away. It’s not the steady buzz from cute furry bumble bees, it’s not white noise, and it’s not the usual voices I hear. They’re just conversations between people and myself. For example, I’ll walk by someone with nice shoes and wonder to myself where she…

The best ships are bipolar friendships!

Staying friends with someone who lives with bipolar disorder is like running a marathon. You can’t win the race by trying to dash to the finish line. It’s a mental game that requires equal parts of love, compassion, and patience. And maybe this sounds cruel, but it’s important to be honest with yourself and really…

Dear weathered soul

Dear weathered and withering soul: You may be exhausted but you are not alone. I have spent years trying to climb all the enormous mountains that feel impossible at the time but I made it. So dear and precious soul, do not give up. It does get better even if it doesn’t seem like it…

I am emotional – and that’s OK

September marks the beginning of a new season – one that becomes darker and colder. The combination of these two is a nightmare for anyone with mental health issues because of our “mood disorder”. We are emotional people and that’s OK to own up to, and even embrace. The language we’ve used has changed the…

Limit(less)

“You are not your disability – you can do anything!”, can be hard to believe, and even harder to achieve. For example, anyone living with a physical and/or mental disability are often told not to define themselves by their bipolar disorder. We’re told not to confine our opportunities, hopes, and dreams by the walls of…

Beyond hospital walls

Managing a chronic illness outside of institutions like hospitals aren’t easy. Every single moment of your life is touched when your journey with a chronic illness like bipolar disorder begins or flares up again. There isn’t a time machine that will zap you back to where you were before it. And the truth is that…

The truth behind recovery

Anyone living with a chronic illness is familiar with the phrase, “relapse and recovery”. That’s how it goes. It’s a series of small wins and loses that are tucked in between giant hurricanes that can consume our whole lives. And bipolar disorder is exactly that. I’ve finally dug my way out of the rapid cycling…

Safe in Sing Sing

Some people spend their whole lives searching for a soulmate. I have been spending mine looking for the perfect Dr. Mario and Luigi (or Therapist Luigi in this case). I never thought these words would come out of my mouth… but there is something really comforting about being on the mental health unit in my hospital. Old…

My eating-body image-weight loss problem

Starving myself began as an innocent affair that continued for months and months. First I felt nauseous from my medications, then I barely ate because I was rapid cycling*, and then my stomach shrunk (*see below for definition). I lost a tonne of weight and almost everyone complimented me on this weight loss, so I…

Affirmation in illness

We’re all chasing after affirmation in one way or another. Social media doesn’t help when we’re overthinking the perfect picture or caption on Instagram or Facebook. The need for affirmation brews in our minds just a little more with chronic illnesses like bipolar disorder. Simply put, we want answers and sometimes those answers don’t exist….

Bipolar and Burnout

I survived an 8 year relationship with a man while I was growing into my journey with major depressive disorder and anxiety. It was rough. It started when we were 16 years old, and we managed it a little better year after year. At some point, my ex-boyfriend became exhausted from caring and coping with…

Dear medications

Sorting out medications in the world of mental health is difficult because there are many “new”, or “second generation”, medications that are marked with a big fat question mark. No one really knows how they work, and you’re blindly creating medication cocktails based on your own history and reaction to them, and other people’s experiences…