Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Story

Since this is a new blog, I figured some background on my story might be helpful to you. This is the same information found in the "My Story" tab at the top of this page, but I thought a current post on the home page would be helpful as well.

Photo by Jeff Norris
I am a Unitarian Universalist minister, a wife, and a mother. I am also someone who has bipolar disorder, ADD, and anxiety. I knew at the young age of six that "something was wrong with me," but I did not know what it was. At eleven years old I wrote in my diary: "I promise I won't ever go crazy." My biggest fear was to have mental illness, yet I knew all along that was what was happening.

It took many years of panic attacks, depression, mania, and confusion for me to finally be correctly diagnosed with rapid cycling bipolar disorder, ADD, and panic disorder at the age of twenty five. I have been on almost every medication and I have seen quite a few psychiatrists and psychologists. My life is consumed by trying to manage my illness, do good in the world, and have a great family life. I am not currently on medication, as none have really worked yet.

My illness is much better than it used to be, but I am not what you would call "symptom free." I manage my illness through diet, spiritual practice, seeing my psychiatrist, and lifestyle requirements- along with a lot of help from my family. I believe mental illness is a chemical imbalance and also a spiritual issue because of how the mind and spirit are interconnected.

In the photo above, you can see my tattoo of the logo from the musical "Next to Normal." This musical is about a woman with bipolar disorder and her family. In my experience, it is extremely similar to my family's life.  If you truly want to know what bipolar does to not just the patient but also the family, who are usually our caregivers, listen to this musical.

In this blog I hope to help support other patients like me and their families. I also hope to raise awareness and help end the stigma against people with mental illness.

In addition to this blog, I also have a blog called Moving In With Dementia, as a few years ago my husband, son and I moved in with my parents to help care for my Mom who has dementia.

I truly believe we need to learn how to care for each other, because there are some illnesses that you just can't fix, but which can be managed, together. 

Thank you for visiting my blog and taking this journey with me. I hope you share your stories with me as well.


Rev. Katie

1 comment:

  1. Rev. Katie

    I just started reading your blog because I recently began going to a UU fellowship and I wanted to know the churches thoughts about bipolar. I was afraid that the UUs felt I chose this diagnosis out of boredom because of some things that were said at the support group they hold. I have lost family members to the depression phase of bipolar and this disease runs rampant in my family.

    I'm very happy to find your blog and will continue reading until I catch up to the current post.