From Solitary Confinement to Mental Health Advocacy: Young Woman Shares Power Through Stories
My name is Julia, I am 29 years old and I have Bipolar Disorder. In college I was diagnosed but with a confusing second opinion, abandoned the idea. I spent years experiencing lows so low I considered suicide and highs where I was productive but difficult to be around. About three and a half years ago I had a manic episode so intense that my mind crossed into psychosis. I was no longer myself at all. I spent a night in the ER, a week at a psych ward, a month at a recovery center, and then moved home to live with my parents. I thought my life was over.
With the help of my psychiatrist, medication, friends and especially my family I have slowly but surely learned how to manage my illness and the trauma inflicted by years of suffering.
This journey has been the single most challenging thing in my life, but I am so happy to say that I am OK. Stability was not easy to find, but by confronting my illness head on, I was able to find it. I know that it is always alright to ask for help.
I started sharing short stories on my Instagram @julia_lives_bipolar about six months ago after my smaller efforts to open up were received very positively. The overwhelming feedback inspires and encourages me to keep writing, speaking and advocating. I truly enjoy sharing my story. The isolation that one feels upon diagnosis can be terrifying, but there is a large and dedicated community out there. I hope my stories help others feel less alone in their journey.
Follow @julia_lives_bipolar on Instagram