Dear Mama,

This week I am opening up even further about an incredibly vulnerable topic – my new mental health diagnosis – BiPolar Disorder.

Receiving this news has been very challenging…

I was already on a healing journey of self discovery and actualization to heal childhood trauma and to heal my battle with infertility; so to learn that in the midst of all that work – I had an undiagnosed illness – it was hard.

One thing I do know –  this the first step on my road to recovery – this right here – ADMITTING that I have an illness.

I have learned that little can be done to learn and grow without admitting the reality of the circumstances you are set to face.

Once you do admit, it is time to get support. And that, begins with humility and willingness. Humility to ask for help, willingness to fully receive the help. Both of which I am doing.

This diagnosis has me in many moments feeling like I lost everything that I have known to be true. The truth of how I thought I should  feel, how I thought I should be in this world…

But the truth is – I have been fighting an illness my whole life – and yet still managed to build a pretty fantastic life, and now – it is finally time to stop fighting.

It is time to fully surrender to this new diagnosis and allow myself to receive the support that I am worthy of – to make my life more manageable, and hopefully – more enjoyable and ultimately, more peaceful.

For me, right now, that means daily prescription medication – specifically a mood stabilizer named Depakote to balance my body chemistry. This medication will help ensure no further extreme manic or depressive episodes in my future, and deliver an overall balance to the hills and valleys of my moods.

I have been resistant to medication my whole life. There are many reasons why – but the biggest truth is that medication symbolized to me that something was ‘wrong’ if you had to take medicine for it.

And Lord knows I was always trying to do the ‘right’ thing and ensure that when it came to being classified as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – I would land on the ‘good’ side.

Now I know that to land on the ‘good’ side – I will take my daily medication and work to identify increased stressors and triggers in my life which add fuel to my bipolar episodes. Ironically, I have been working with clients to establish Personal Wellness Plans – to help them design and manage their ultimate freedom – their health and wellness. And that work is completely what I need for myself.

Taking care of myself through wellness practices like getting the proper amounts of sleep, water and nutrition. Stress management, strength training, meditation, prayer… the list goes on – all things I have been seeking out throughout my life to try to create a better one. In the midst of the search, I already did it. And now, with my diagnosis – I am going to treat it as a gift to unwrap this new life of peaceful balance and flow (which also has multiple ‘emergency’ buttons to be activated as needed).

Mental health is just as critical as physical health. The journey to get to these places of healing has been painstaking, but worth every solution and every moment of peace and serenity.