Dear Younger Me: You’re Bipolar, and That’s Okay

Dear Younger Me,
If someone were to tell you that by age 33, you would have a diagnosis of bipolar I, you wouldn’t be surprised. You would be surprised, however, at the fact that you have the wherewithal to treat your mental illness, both emotionally and financially.

You wouldn’t be surprised at the soul-sucking depression you feel now. You would be surprised that you haven’t felt this way in years, and that you are a productive, usually happy, stable woman. You’d be shocked at the fact that the meds have worked so well to control your bipolar disorder up until this point, and that adjusting them isn’t a major problem in your life.

You wouldn’t be surprised that you are a writer. After all, you’ve been writing since you were four and knew how to scribble letters, and wrote your debut “novel,” The Fish. You would be surprised that you are a) married to a wonderful man who would die for you, b) have kids, and c) stay home to take care of your kids. You’d be shocked to know you’re an amazing mother, with healthy, compassionate children.

cassandra stout photo
A closeup photo of author, Cassandra Stout, facing left. Protected under a Creative Commons license.

You wouldn’t be surprised to know that you are still attending the same church you grew up in, the church of Christ. You would be surprised at how much closer to God you’ve become. You’d be shocked to recognize how much He has guided your life, and worked out all things for good.

Younger me, you will be happy someday. You’ll escape the narrow-minded bullies of your small town, and establish yourself in a big city 2000 miles away. You’ll survive college–barely. You’ll suffer a postpartum psychotic breakdown, but that won’t stop you. You’ll just write a book about it.

Younger me, you have so much life ahead of you. A good life. Thank you for not giving up. You will face so many challenges and come out on top. Your grit, determination, and prayers will see you through.

Don’t give up. Don’t give up.

Love,
Cassandra Stout

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Author: Cassandra Stout

Hi! My name is Cassandra Stout, and I am a freelancer and memoirist who blogs at The Bipolar Parent (Cassandrastout.com/bpparent) and at the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF.org). My current project is Committed, my upcoming memoir that depicts my time spent in a psych ward after a postpartum psychotic breakdown. I am a ten-year member of a five-person critique group called the Seattle Scribblers. It's nice to meet you!

7 thoughts on “Dear Younger Me: You’re Bipolar, and That’s Okay”

    1. Thank you so much! I’ve never written one before, and felt a little silly, but I’m glad it worked out the way it did. Thank you for reading, and I really appreciate the comment.

    2. You made me stop crying. I had a psychotic episode with mania almost a year ago, after a year of being woken up by my child every hour. Each time I thought that I have bipolar disorder (as I was diagnosed at the hospital), I cried. You made me stop. Thank you.

      1. Oh, my gosh, I’m so sorry I missed this comment! Thank you so much for sharing and for telling me that you stopped crying. I am so sorry that you suffered a postpartum psychotic break. That’s so difficult to recover from, and you are brave and beautiful and wiser than you were.

        You will get through this. You will improve your mindset and your mood. You will recover.

        You may have setbacks and depressions, and that’s okay. That’s just part of the cycle, unfortunately. But keep trying. Keep working towards a better you. That will come in time.

        Best of luck. <3

        -Cass

  1. very very well done for talking about it .help lot others .peoples views/judgements are very Snotty Nosed .i have great deal health issues .m.e . migraines long list .people never see the every day effects .i take part in a lot lot research
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    twitter,supersnopper

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