And So It Begins….

By Jennifer Zmurchyk

Boterill Bottom Park in Southern Alberta Canada

And so it begins….day one of me stepping into the world of blogging. I am not sure how to do all of this ‘blogging’ stuff, but I decided to begin writing one to bring awareness to mental health issues. In 2015 I was officially diagnosed with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder after a psychiatric evaluation and this diagnosis brought devastation in my life because my prognosis at the time was very grim.

I was no longer able to work and I had to go on disability in order to be able to support me and my children. At the time I was also living in a serious mental fog due to the large amount of different psychiatric medications prescribed to me. This was all very hard to swallow as I am University educated and it was difficult to have the realization that my career was over and there was a possibility that I would not be able to work in a conventional job ever again. Talk about a blow to the ego!

However, after deciding that I did not want to live a life mired in the chaos that the Bipolar Disorder brought, I took my health into my own hands and began making significant changes towards wellness. A few years later after a lot of hard work, I am living a very productive life and am once again happy and able to confidently manage this condition. I have felt a calling to share the information and wisdom with others that I have gained in my journey towards wellness, and I hope that sharing my story and the things I did to pull myself out of the darkness will help other people going through this experience.

A diagnosis of a serious mental illness does not mean your life is over and you are doomed to existing in a zombie like state of being medicated and feeling like you are in a mental prison. From my experience I know for a fact that people with mental health issues can get out of this trap by making the decision to take their life back and do the hard work of learning about, and applying the tools to be happy, healthy, and productive.

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