If you live with depression or bipolar, when things are at their worst it can feel like things will never get better. It may be when you are first diagnosed or during a difficult event, or for no particular reason that you can pinpoint at all. What we do know is that these times do pass, and that you are not alone. In fact, when we take time to reflect on our experiences and circumstances, we often find, with overwhelming proof, the strength we have shown during some of our greatest challenges.
DBSA’s blog and podcast series, I’m Living Proof: A Letter to My Younger Self, shares inspiring stories of young adult peers who are living proof that they can overcome even the most difficult times.
Live at Leadership Summit
Olivia, Lauren, Johnny, and Maddie have all shared their letters and recorded a podcast for I’m Living Proof: A Letter to My Younger Self. In this special live episode recorded during DBSA’s 2021 Leadership Summit Conference, past participants gave us an inside look at what it was like to write a letter to their younger selves. Read the Episode Synopsis.
My Mental Health is Not A Curse
For Gwyneth, there isn’t a time she can remember that was free of mental health disorder symptoms. Experiencing hallucinations as early as four years old, Gwyneth shares the incredible journey she has taken through treatment and hospitalizations to becoming the accomplished woman she is today: a mental health and disability advocate, and a leader. Gwyneth says her experiences of living with a mood disorder led to her becoming a creative, insightful, resilient, brave, empathetic, and empowered adult. Read Gwyneth’s letter to her younger self.
Navigating Through the Darkness
For Maddie, her wellness journey “isn’t necessarily about ‘reaching the other side’, but rather learning to navigate the darkness of depression.” Having dealt with panic attacks, depression, and anxiety, Maddie found the strength to ask for the help she needed. Now, she’s sharing her story and celebrating the wide support network she found after her diagnosis. Read Maddie’s letter to her younger self.
Young Men Can Heal Too
In this episode of I’m Living Proof: A Letter to My Younger Self, we hear from Johnny about what it took for him to overcome obstacles and find wellness. Johnny discusses how being diagnosed with a chronic illness at a young age had a long-term impact on his mental health. Having navigated guilt and shame surrounding his mental health difficulties, Johnny is now an outspoken advocate for those struggling like he once did. Johnny’s letter reminds us: Even when faced with systemic issues, young men can heal too. Read Johnny’s letter to his younger self.
Bipolar Does Not Define Me
In the second episode of I’m Living Proof: A Letter to My Young Self, we hear from Lauren, a DBSA Young Adult Council member, about her first experience with hypomania. Lauren talks about her experiences from setting up treatment to difficulties with insurance. Lauren’s letter reminds us that you can learn to live successfully with bipolar and not be defined by it. Read Lauren’s letter to her younger self.
Wellness is Trending Upwards
In the first episode of I’m Living Proof: A Letter to My Younger Self, we hear from DBSA Young Adult Council member Olivia about her first experience with her mood disorder diagnosis. Olivia’s story reminds us, “the path to wellness isn’t always a straight line, but it is trending upwards”. Read Olivia’s letter to her younger self.