Post diagnosis can be a very confusing and challenging time. Although many, many things have gone and will go into my recovery, these are the top 5 aha moments of the early days that really helped me find my path!
I challenged the narrative
All of a sudden I was this new person with a new label. Being officially diagnosed with a mental illness had me pushing my own boundaries and questioning the authority of such boxes. What did this mean? What did my future look like with a new diagnosis and dim prognosis? I sure wasn’t going to sit back and let my story be written for me.
I rediscovered my identity
Following the label debacle, I really had to learn how to separate myself from the diagnosis, I might HAVE bipolar disorder, but I am not Bipolar, nor does it make up my entire being. I exist before and after this label, my identity is mine and it does not change now that I have a diagnosis.
I created a structured care plan
Working to my strengths and utilizing resources according to my new diagnosis meant I could get the intricate care I needed. Medications, lifestyle changes, crisis plans – could all be focused on a specific area instead of the general umbrella of Mental Health. Bipolar disorder was here to stay and I had to hone in on the care strategies that best supported this new diagnosis.
I enlisted the help of specialized professionals
I connected with Bipolar specific doctors and mentors, which really helped me get a handle on the illness from an educated perspective. Reading materials were focussed on mood disorders and my instagram feed starting filling up with #bipolardisorder to help me stay on track – diagnosis can be a pathway to the most helpful tools & resources for recovery!
I networked with those who walked a similar path
Taking an active role in the bipolar community helped me open up dialogue and feel less alone. Watching YouTube videos and learning tips and tricks online from those who faced a similar challenge really allowed me to find a like minded community of support and inspiration – it takes a village, with or without diagnosis – it also showed me the power of lived experience and healing as a collective.