Trying Something New

If you had asked me a few months ago, or even a month ago, if I would ever start a blog, the answer would’ve been a hard “no.” In 2011 (at the age of 17) I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, bipolar isn’t the only mental illness that I have – I also have a plethora of anxiety disorders, and an (undiagnosed) eating disorder. The ED is undiagnosed because I’m not ready to share my “best kept secret” with my psychiatrist yet. I know that it’s not healthy, but hey, I’m a work in progress.

Since 2011, I have kept multiple journals detailing my life, thoughts, opinions, rants, and my experiences living with mental illness. Nobody has ever read these journals. My journals have been the only place where I can speak my mind freely without feeling judged or crazy. Once I began journaling, I could never imagine a time when I’d stop writing. Journaling has provided me with an outlet to create memories to look back on, has shown me struggles I’ve overcome, has helped me figure out the messy thoughts in my head, and most importantly, has shown me how much I’ve grown as a person over the years.

At the beginning of last year something changed and I slowly stopped journaling. At this time in my life, I had never felt more alone. I kept sinking lower and lower into my depression, and writing wasn’t providing me with a sense of relief anymore. In the 4 years since my initial diagnosis, I hadn’t told anyone about it (including my parents & other close family). I wasn’t open to having a conversation about my mental health issues. I didn’t know anyone who could relate to my struggles. I was so embarrassed by my mental illnesses that I wished the world would just swallow me up so I didn’t have to be here anymore. I felt like a failure as a human being, and I felt those feelings alone.

Fast forward to October 2015 – In the midst of my everlasting depression, I had an idea. What would happen if I made an anonymous twitter account where I could begin to talk openly and honestly about my mental illnesses? So, that’s how my twitter account @hellobipolar started – by taking a chance on an idea and trying something new. I didn’t know whether anyone would care about what I think or feel, but it turns out that some people do.

2016 has seen significant changes in the way I think, feel, and talk about my mental illnesses. Creating my anonymous twitter account @hellobipolar has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I didn’t expect it to have such a profoundly positive impact on my life, but I’m so grateful that it has! I have found a community where I don’t feel like an outsider. I have connected with so many amazing and supportive people. But most importantly, I have learned that there are people out there who can relate to my experiences, and that I’m not alone trying to navigate these invisible illnesses. Inspired by my interactions with people on twitter, I began attending a local bipolar peer support group. That group mirrored what I felt from my experiences on twitter, although the tangible, face-to-face interactions added an extra level of comfort. On World Bipolar Day, I opened up about my mental illnesses to everyone I know – which was terrifying!! I still can’t believe how far I’ve come on my mental health journey in such a short amount of time.

To this day, I still look at my journal sitting on my dresser and I just can’t seem to pick it up and start writing. But at least now I have other outlets to help me feel the relief that journaling once gave me. So here I am, right now, creating a different kind of journal that’s no longer just for my eyes only. Even though I find the idea of me blogging scary, I choose to believe that something good will come of it. I don’t know if anyone will ever read this, but if someone does, thank you – I hope you like whatever it ends up being. It’s truly amazing to see what can happen when you try something new.

If you’re wondering:

Journals are by ecojot 🙂


It’s Been A While…

I can’t believe it’s December already.

My life over the past three months has been extremely busy, exciting, heartbreaking, and overwhelming. I haven’t blogged on here in a while, but if you follow me on Twitter (@hellobipolar) you may have seen that I wrote a guest blog post over on Robert Duff’s website called “Working in a Psychiatric Hospital While Having a Mental Illness” that you can check out if you would like to. I highly recommend following Robert Duff on Twitter (@DuffThePsych), as he is a psychologist that does a lot of incredible work to educate people about mental health related topics, among many other things. Along with his website, he has books, and a podcast that you can check out too. Anyways, I am done fangirling about my admiration for Robert so, being the Canadian that I am, I will apologize and move forward with this post!

So, what has Linla been up to in the past three months? … Well, a lot so let’s talk about it.

I started my internship in September and like I had previously said, it got off to a rocky start. I was very anxious and lacked the confidence that you desperately need to have in my field of work. Regardless, I worked hard and every day it became a little easier. I traveled by train to Toronto for a weekend to meet up with my stepmom while she was there on a business trip. We had a lot of fun, as we got to eat at many delicious Italian restaurants, see a bit of Nuit Blanche (an annual art exhibition that takes place in the streets of downtown Toronto), I got to visit with a couple of my friends, hit up my favourite coffee shop, and go to the Ripley’s Aquarium. It was awesome. Mental health wise, September was rough. I experienced many days of feeling homesick, and bouts of depersonalization/derealization which made my anxiety go through the roof. I wanted to quit my internship on many occasions. Even though I was struggling with my mental health issues, I continued to show up at my internship every day and made a commitment to myself to just try my best. “The only way out is through” is what my best friend would tell me when I would call her crying because I was emotionally exhausted, and everything felt like it was overwhelmingly “too much.”

October is easily the most difficult month of the year for me, and this year was no exception. This October was the 11 year anniversary of my mom’s death, and naturally that still makes me upset. This time around, it was a combination of missing her and feeling as though she’s missing out on big milestones for me and my sisters.  Heart breaking, to say the least. This year was my first time ever not going home for Thanksgiving. I stayed in Ottawa and had Thanksgiving brunch with my dad’s side of the family, and had Thanksgiving dinner with my stepmom’s side of the family. It was so different and anxiety provoking, but overall a great experience to see how the rest of my family celebrates this holiday. I also had the opportunity to travel to Winnipeg, MB and spend a weekend with my dad and stepmom, celebrating my dad’s retirement. We got to stay in a gorgeous hotel called the Fort Garry in downtown Winnipeg, which also happened to be where my dad’s retirement banquet took place. I was excited that I could take time off from my internship to be there for my dad in his big moment. You couldn’t have found a daughter more proud in the banquet hall that night. Even more awesome though, is the fact that I won the grand door prize that night – a 55 inch flat screen television! I never win anything so it was really cool. I met a lot of my dad’s colleagues that weekend, my parents and I ate at a few restaurants and we did a bit of shopping. It was another weekend trip that flew by so quickly, but I was happy to be there with them. During October, I was in the thick of my internship, it was stressful but things were going okay. I found my groove and my confidence was building.

November flew by for me; it was like I blinked and it was over. November had a lot more highs than lows, and for that I am grateful. The most exciting of which was that my older sister had her first baby, and I got to fly home and surprise her! She had a priceless reaction; her husband let me into their house and as I was standing in their living room, she came out of their bedroom and instantly dropped her jaw and started crying and hugging me. While crying, she kept repeating, “How are you here? You’re supposed to be in Ottawa for five more weeks!?” If there’s one thing in my life that I’m so glad I was able to do, it was working my ass off at my internship so that I could take time off to come home and surprise my sister, her husband, and meet my new niece, Elizabeth. I was one happy Auntie Lin! At my internship, I was feeling way more confident and had settled into a nice routine. I began feeling like a competent professional and less like an awkward intern student. The team that I have the pleasure of working with really valued my input and made sure I felt included.  Things went well for the most part, and keeping my eyes on my end goal helped motivate me on my low days. I also went on a few dates with a guy, but I think I might write about that some other time.

So here we are now… December! I am currently consumed by my anxiety, stress, and anticipation. I have two weeks left at my internship, and am very excited to be done so that I can go home and be with my family. Unfortunately, I have a lot of assignments due before I get to go home and trying to do them in between my chaotic work schedule has been stressful. I am scared of the future because I have no clue what is going to come next. I think I will take a few months off and just enjoy being with my family and friends. Maybe I’ll read more, write more, pick up a hobby… who knows. I do know, however, that I need to make my mental health a priority. I need to get my medication sorted out because that has been a disaster, and maybe go back to therapy. Being in school for so long, this new found freedom will definitely be a big adjustment.

Thank you for continuing to follow my journey, even though I have not been the best at keeping you all updated on my life this year. Now I should probably stop procrastinating and start working on these assignments…

Talk to you soon 🙂




3 Lessons I’ve Learned from Being Medicated

Bipolar disorder is a difficult illness to live with. In the seven years since my diagnosis, I have been on and off medications for extended periods of time. Many times over the years, I have believed that psychiatry wasn’t for me because I feared what it meant to be medicated for my illness. Would I lose my sparkle? My creativity? Would I become a different person? Here are three things that I have learned from accepting medicine as a part of my treatment for my bipolar disorder:

  1. Medication is not prescribed because doctors want to take away anything from me. Contrary to my popular thought – usually when I am unwell – my doctor is not trying to take away anything from me. They are prescribing me medicine so that I can hopefully feel relief from my symptoms so that I can move on with my life and get back to doing the things that I love doing the most.
  2. Being unmedicated can make me feel stuck. I have learned that when I am sick and unmedicated, I stop growing. I get stuck in a self-preserving mindset that doesn’t allow me to continue learning and moving forward with my life. Medication is an intervention to help me get unstuck, and get my brain chemicals moving again so that I can thrive in my daily life.
  3. Being medicated isn’t always easy and I need to have an open mind. I get frustrated at times with medication (and sometimes make the decision to stop taking them) because side effects are frustrating, and feeling physically sick can sometimes feel worse than my mental sickness. I have learned to trust the process and know that not every medication I try will be the right one for me, so I need to be open to the “trial and error” process.

I’m sure as time goes on I will learn a few more lessons regarding what it means to live life well while on medications for my bipolar disorder, and hopefully I will be able to share those lessons with you too.

I hope you all are having a lovely day!


New Beginnings

Moving back and forth across Ontario to attend university has been my life for the past six years. As I began packing up my life and preparing for my move to Ottawa at the end of August, I came to the realization that this process never gets easier. Change is hard and uncomfortable, and I get anxious and homesick pretty easily. I also know that I have to be brave and take advantage of these new opportunities in order to get ahead in life.

I have been in Ottawa for just under two weeks now and the transition has been bumpy, but that was to be expected. My dad and I got to Ottawa on August 29th and we had a few days together to help me get settled in. We also got to do some touristy things, which was fun. He flew home on September 1st and that was literally the worst day ever. I had a meltdown pretty much every half hour for the entire day. It’s scary being left alone in a new city, where you don’t know anyone and having to figure it out for yourself. I missed my home. I missed my family and friends. And I missed familiarity.

Since that day, things have not been that bad; still a little rough, but no more full-blown meltdowns. I was supposed to start my internship on September 5th but because my police records check didn’t come in on time, I couldn’t start when I was supposed to. This caused me a lot of anxiety and made me feel helpless because there was nothing I could do to fix the situation except patiently wait for it to arrive in my inbox. I hate feeling like I’m making a bad first impression, but my supervisor was really nice and assured me that it was no big deal (although she would prefer to have me working with her instead of staying at home doing nothing!) I received my police records check in my inbox yesterday, so I can finally start my internship on Monday. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.

I am filled with anticipation about starting my internship. It’s exciting because it’s something new and I get to practice the skills I have been cultivating for the past five years, but it’s also scary because I know that the expectations of me are high, I lack “real world” experience, and I will probably mess up sometimes. I just want to succeed and have a positive experience. Once this internship is over in December, I am totally finished my undergraduate degree which is very exciting! My graduation date will be in June 2018.

I think that’s all I’m going to write about for now. I just wanted to give a bit of an update about what I’ve been up to lately. I know I will be super busy once my internship gets underway, but I hope to share more with you all soon!





Summer of Struggles

Throughout the summer I have tried many times to get my thoughts together so that I could write something for my blog. Unfortunately, every time I try to write about my life, I either get sad, anxious, or overwhelmed, and so instead of writing, I choose to shut down my laptop and numb out with drugs. This summer has been rough.

I have been really struggling with my mental health since the end of May. My psychiatrist says it’s a combination of dysthymia and anxiety. I think it’s a little more than that. From the end of May until the middle of July, I was sick with three different physical illnesses that occurred back-to-back, each lasting at least two weeks, and having maybe a week in between them. During that time I spent a lot of my time in bed watching TV shows on Netflix (ex. iZombie and Sherlock) and sleeping. I had to miss a bunch of bike races because I was sick, and I never got to take advantage of my yoga membership. I still had to go to work while I was sick because I had bought a brand new vehicle earlier in the summer so I couldn’t afford to take time off. The sicknesses were draining and felt like they were never-ending.

I have also been medication free for pretty much this whole summer – hence the brutal depression and anxiety – but that’s a topic that I can’t get into right now because it makes me feel incredibly overwhelmed. I’ve basically been self-medicating with marijuana all summer. Things are not going well between my psychiatrist and myself… I think I’ll leave it at that.

Since I don’t want to make this the most depressing blog post ever, I want to share some of the fun* things that I have done this summer: I’ve gone fishing with my dad three times, I went back to Winnipeg, MB for a weekend trip with my best friend to go see an Ed Sheeran concert and to do some shopping, I’ve hung out with family and friends quite a bit, I’ve gone to camp to go kayaking with my stepmom, and my aunt came from Vancouver, BC and stayed at my house for a week.

I leave in two weeks to go to Ottawa to complete an internship from September – December and I am so anxious about it but there are still a few more things to look forward to while I’m still at home: I am getting my cards read again which will be interesting (I might write a post about it), I have my sister’s baby shower, I’m going fishing again next week, and I have some friends from Southern Ontario coming to stay with me for a few days right before I leave for Ottawa.

Even though my depression and anxiety have been all consuming this summer, I really just wanted to try write something. Anything. I hope this was an okay read.


* This summer I’ve just been anxious, sad, numb, or indifferent so I use the word “fun” loosely. If I wasn’t sick these things probably would’ve been legitimately fun


Psychiatrist: First Half of 2017

So far this year, I have had a psychiatrist appointment in February, May, and June. Since I’ve been so busy this year, I haven’t been keeping you all updated on what’s been happening during and as a result of these appointments. Here’s what’s been going on with my mental health journey in 2017:

FEBRUARY: I had my psychiatrist appointment while I was home during Reading Week and at that time things were going okay but they could’ve been better. I had been taking Latuda (20mgs) regularly and my mood was flat but falling more towards the depression end of the spectrum. School was stressful but I was managing things just fine, I was able to do everything that I needed to do (and then some)… but I was like a robot. I didn’t feel much of anything – I was functional but couldn’t feel any positive emotions or excitement. As a result, my psychiatrist wanted me to try out an anti-depressant to hopefully help me get back to feeling a range of emotions.

MARCH: When I headed back to school after Reading Week, I started to take the anti-depressant, Cipralex, along with my normal dose of Latuda. I took it for about a week at a low dose with no problems and no big changes. After that week, I was instructed to up the dose. A few days into the higher dose I began having the most intense suicidal thoughts. I got in contact with my psychiatrist and was instructed to stop taking it immediately. It took about a week and a half before I began to feel okay again. During that time I missed the deadline for two major papers and was feeling very stressed out because of it. My psychiatrist refused to give me a doctor’s note to explain this ordeal to my profs, so I had to do a lot of begging to be able to hand in those papers without harsh late penalties. It was super frustrating. The only thing that made this time in my life feel okay was the fact that I had a supportive therapist, roommate, and people in my peer support group to talk to.

MAY: Once my schooling was finished for the term, I came back home and had my first psychiatrist appointment since the whole anti-depressant incident. My mood was still flat and very low, and my psychiatrist was concerned. I had been experiencing a lot of anxiety and dread about setting up my internship for the Fall, trying to find a vehicle, and making plans for the summer. I can admit that I was also pretty bitter about the way my MH team had handled my negative reaction to the anti-depressant, so I wasn’t very receptive to any of their suggestions during this appointment. I wasn’t willing to try anything new at this point and so we agreed to just keep the Latuda at 20mgs, and I was to do some research into Prozac and Buspar to see if I would be interested in taking either one of those drugs in the future.

JUNE: Last week I had a psychiatrist appointment and it was different from my previous appointments. I haven’t been taking my Latuda regularly (maybe twice a week or so) and so I was anxious (as always) but full of life and just excited about everything. Since I stopped taking my Latuda regularly, I found the motivation to apply for an internship (which I’ve since secured a placement!), I travelled to Winnipeg, MB with my dad and bought a 2017 Ford Escape SE, I signed up for yoga, I’ve been racing mountain bikes again, I bought a kayak, and I have been working a lot, and socializing more. Things have been going great recently! My psychiatrist was skeptical about my motivation and optimism, and doesn’t like that I’ve stopped taking my Latuda regularly. I think it’s nice to feel human again, although I could do without these random suicidal thoughts when I go too many days without taking any meds. We agreed that I would work on trying to take the Latuda more regularly, and we’re adding Buspar to the mix to hopefully help with my anxiety. I have my next psychiatrist appointment at the end of July.

A lot has changed over the past six months and this blog post covers the highlights of all of those interactions. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, and thank you for continuing to follow my journey – even though I know my posts have been few and far between!


Where Have You Been, Linla?

I feel like I haven’t written anything on my blog in a long time. That being said, I want to fill you all in on what’s been going on in my life for the past few months!

UNIVERSITY: This past term was my final on-campus term of my undergraduate degree, so now all I have left to do for my degree is my internship in the Fall. I definitely experienced the heaviest workload during this term, which had me spending the majority of my time studying in the library. Luckily, all of my hard work paid off. I did well on all of my assignments, aced all of my exams, and finished all of my courses with excellent grades! Of course, all of this success did not come without some struggle but I’ll tell you more about that in another post.

MENTAL HEALTH: While working through the most intense term of my university career, I decided that I really needed to step up my self-care game so that I could push through and finish the term off strong. Since I started university five years ago, I can say that this was the first time that I truly made taking care of my mental health a priority while in school. I saw a therapist bi-weekly throughout the term which I found incredibly valuable. I also went for massages bi-weekly to help myself relax and get out of the house. I attended yoga classes on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, either by myself or with my roommate. I attended my weekly bipolar peer support group. I met up for coffee or lunch dates with my friends on a weekly basis. I hung out with my roommate a lot during our breaks from doing school work. Lastly, I attended a 6 week CBT group at my university. Minus the one incident that I alluded to in the previous section, my mental health was actually quite stable these past few months! Yay for effective self-care and positive mental health!

LIFE: Something that I’ve learned about myself during these past few months is that I thrive when I have a lot of structure in my life. I’ve always hated structure and thought that it wasn’t something that would benefit me, but boy was I wrong! Being constantly busy and having a schedule that included a lot of self-care helped to reduce my anxiety, made me learn proper time management skills, and it kept me from falling into a pattern of procrastination and self-hatred. Overall, life has been very busy but its also been better than ever (for the most part!)

WHAT’S NEXT: Some of what you can look forward to hearing about in future posts is my psychiatrist appointments that I had in February and April, the incident that resulted from one of them and how I made a comeback, how I’m dealing with change, and what my plans are for the summer.

Thanks for hanging in there while I’ve been absent for a while.

Its nice to be back home and blogging again 🙂



1 Year Later: Coming Out As Bipolar & Bisexual

On this day last year, I made the decision to come out as both bipolar and bisexual to my family, friends, and to the world. I did this through a picture that I submitted for the International Bipolar Foundation’s #MoreThanADiagnosis campaign for World Bipolar Day 2016, and by having honest conversations about that picture with the important people in my life. So what has my life been like over the past year since coming out as bipolar and bisexual?

Honestly, it feels as though a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. For years I had been carrying around these “secrets” that made me feel isolated, insecure, and ashamed about who I am, and it had been negatively affecting my mental health. Sharing these intimate parts of myself with everyone made me extremely nervous and anxious but now, a year later, I can say that it has all been worth it.

Today I feel a sense of peace and freedom that I have never experienced before. Over the last year I have learned how to embrace my differences, my struggles, and have learned how to truly be my authentic self without harsh internal judgment. I have become closer with the important people in my life. For the first time in my life, I can actually say that I like who I am.

I don’t want to mislead you and say that it has been an easy journey because that is definitely not the case. It has been challenging to be open and honest, but conversations are slowly becoming easier. I’ve been working on myself with my therapist and I am finding that to be very helpful. I attend weekly support groups so that I have a safe space to share my journey with like-minded people. I have been working on mindfulness and self-compassion in my spare time. I’ve been trying to educate myself as much as possible about bipolar disorder and the LGBTQ+ community, and have been working on ways to stay engaged in both communities. It’s been a journey of self-love and choosing courage.

Although I am a lot more comfortable and confident with who I am, I am still trying to figure things out. I still get frustrated when I am met with ignorance and stigma, but I assume I will always feel that way. I am still learning to embrace my sexuality, which will take time, but I will get there eventually. I am still learning that it is okay to be sick with bipolar disorder and to see it as valid, rather than as an excuse for my shortcomings.

In a year, a lot has changed. Through the good times, the bad times, and everything in between, I am learning to accept myself for who I am and I think that is pretty damn cool. I can’t wait to see how I grow and change over the next year and I hope that you all will stick around to see my journey unfold.


February 8, 2017

[TW] Self-harm and suicide attempt. Please take care of yourself and reach out for help if you need it. I don’t recommend reading this post if you are in a vulnerable state. 

Side note: I try to refrain from telling other people’s stories but I’ve decided that the story I am about to tell you is as much a part of my story as it is the other person’s.

Where shall I begin…

These past two week have been a very rough time for me. I am stressed, anxious, and burnt out from my intense workload at school. As a result, I have fallen into a depressive episode. My depression is usually at its worst every February, so I am not surprised that this is my current reality.

This past Friday my younger sister called me up to have a chat. We talked on the phone for 40 minutes. During this phone call we chatted about how we both were really struggling, and I shared with her some coping skills that I find helpful when I am feeling shitty. The conversation never got too heavy, in fact, we shared a lot of laughs. She was very receptive and appreciative of my self-care tips and tricks; overall it was a very good chat.

Saturday morning I got a text message from my sister. She had told me that the previous night she got very drunk and high and had self-harmed pretty bad. My parents had found out what had happened and were spending the day at the hospital with her. The hospital was in gridlock so they didn’t have a bed to spare, but thankfully the detox centre had a bed waiting for her. She is currently still at the detox centre.

I feel like absolute shit.

My sister had made a suicide attempt. I had talked to her the day before but never caught on to any signs that she was in danger of harming herself. This ordeal has triggered me and left me unable to function. I recently had a friend die by suicide (October 2016) so that pain is still very real. This feels like ripping a bandaid off of a fresh wound.

I can’t focus. I can’t make it to class. I feel like crying. I just want to stay in bed forever. Every part of my being is drained. I want to go home.

I feel guilty that I can’t seem to get my school work done. I know I shouldn’t – a lot has happened – but I still do. I am supposed to lead a discussion tomorrow in my seminar class but I am going to email my prof and let her know what’s going on/tell her that I won’t be in class. I need a break. I need to rest. I need to stop trying to pretend that everything is okay because it’s not okay.

Thankfully I have my support group on Thursday and therapy on Friday so I can start to process some of this with the help of other people. Also, I get to go home next Thursday (16th) for Reading Week and am going to stay at home for an additional week (until March 5th) to try relax a little. I will be seeing my psychiatrist while I am home too.

Thanks for letting me vent,


January 29, 2017

I’ve got some stuff that I want to get off of my chest. I think a little “life update” chat is in order since I have so much going on; so that’s what you can expect from this blog post.

Life is going well for me these days… and I feel weird about it. 

One thing that I find difficult about recovering from months of continuous mood episodes is that nobody hands you a manual on “what to expect in recovery” or “how to cope with the aftermath of multiple episodes.” In December, I saw my psychiatrist, was given a fancy new prescription, and sent back off into the world. That’s how this bipolar disorder recovery journey began again.

I have been on Latuda (20mgs), an antipsychotic, for almost a month and a half now. Life has improved drastically for me since I started taking this new drug. I am able to attend classes, keep up with my intense workload, exercise, not feel super anxious/stressed all the time, hang out with friends, go to my weekly bipolar support group, and do a bunch of other things that would’ve otherwise been impossible to do when I was unmedicated. I am grateful to have my life back, but it hasn’t all been “sunshine and rainbows.”

Stability, for me, has meant not feeling things as deeply or as intensely. To be honest, I really don’t feel much emotion at all and that feels super strange to me. It’s such a huge change from what I am used to and I don’t really know how to deal with that. The fact that I can do all these wonderful, normal, every day things with ease makes me feel like a fraud. This isn’t the real me… is it? Am I just this person because I’m on medication, or is this the person I would be if I didn’t have bipolar disorder? … But I do have bipolar disorder, so who am I really? Do I want to be this version of myself? Is this who society wants/expects me to be? These are just some of the thoughts/questions that have been swirling around in my head.

It’s complicated.

Being sick for so long has changed my perception, and maybe that’s okay. I know that I need to be on this medication and I want to be on this medication. Latuda is saving my life and giving me my life back. Since I’m struggling with this life transition, I have found myself a therapist. I met with my new therapist on Friday and I felt like I really clicked with her. I’m hoping that maybe she will be able to help me figure some of this stuff out. Recovery is confusing. I feel like I should be happy that I’m so productive, focused, and living my life “properly” but I just feel like a fake. I don’t even know if this little rant is making sense to anyone… I’m just feeling a little alone in this “post multiple-episode” aftermath/recovery journey.


Psychiatrist: December 2016

On December 15th, I finally saw my psychiatrist after four months of being medication free. I never wrote a post for “Medication Free: Month 4” but I did a life update in my “December 22, 2016” blog post where I told you all about how I spent most of what would have been month 4 in a hypomanic state which was awesome at the time, but I did (indeed) crash afterwards. Not a huge surprise there.

For this appointment, I had really low expectations since things between my psychiatrist and I had been rough since the summer. Before going into my appointment I was super anxious and felt like I was on the verge of a panic attack. Thankfully, I was able to calm myself down with some deep breathing before I went into my appointment. To my surprise, this appointment actually went really well.

My psychiatrist wasn’t quick to dismiss my concerns this time around, and she actually took the time to listen to what I had to say. I explained how chaotic my life has been over the past four months without minimizing my experiences – something that is new for me. Honestly, I usually minimize my experience out of fear of judgment. This time I was too tired, and too worn out from my bipolar disorder and anxiety to even care what she thought. I talked about my friend’s recent suicide, the 10 year anniversary of my mom’s death, excessive spending, promiscuity, suicidal ideation – absolutely everything relevant that I could thing of. I, for once, did not hold back and every topic was fair game. As a result, I finally got the help I desperately needed.

She decided to start me on the anti-psychotic called Latuda (20mgs) and gave me a prescription refill for my Seroquel (to take as needed). Finally, I am no longer an unmedicated bipolar patient! I 100% would not recommend going medication free – although it can be fun at times, my life was a complete nightmare looking back on the past four months. *Note to future self: re-read that last sentence the next time you’re thinking about going off your meds!*


On December 28th, I had a follow up appointment with my MH nurse, just to let her know how my first week and a half of being on Latuda has been, and report if I had been experiencing any side effects. At 20mgs, the only side effects I experience are slight drowsiness, and nausea (if taken on an empty stomach). As long as I eat something, all is well. Usually I don’t like eating at night because I have too many strange dreams/nightmares, but I guess that’s a small price to pay for sanity.

January 9th: Since my initial appointment and follow up appointment, I have started noticing the benefits of being on Latuda (20mgs). I notice that I am a little more optimistic about my future, and motivated to get my school work done/not procrastinate. I am eager to start things that I had given up on before, like exercising and eating healthy. My sleep schedule is slowly improving which is making a huge difference in my daily functioning. I actually want to put myself in more social situations, rather than just stay at home by myself. I’m actually kinda happy.

My next appointment with my psychiatrist is February 23rd, when I am back home for Reading Week.

Thanks for following my medicated/unmedicated/re-medicated journey!