About Me

My name is Andrea. I was diagnosed with manic depression in my sophomore year at Indiana University when I was a 19-year-old college student and soccer player. After a hypomanic episode in the spring, followed by a deep depression and a suicide attempt that summer, I ended up in the psychiatric unit of the local hospital. After my diagnosis, and a semester off for recovery, I switched my sport to cycling and managed to graduate with a degree in journalism. My diagnosis has been renamed Bipolar I. I am now 52 years old.

After college, I held several different jobs in business, served as an AmeriCorps VISTA, earned a Master of Arts in Teaching, and then worked as a special education teacher for 5 years before crashing into the worst bipolar depression of my life. After being on medical leave from teaching for an extended period of time, I applied for and received Social Security Disability for 8 years, starting at age 38. I worked part-time for 7 of those years. Now I'm working full-time in the mental health field and I've been off of disability since July of 2016.

I decided to start blogging about bipolar disorder and recovery a few years after going on disability. I hoped I could write my way to recovery, and it is possible that I did, because I am now in recovery, but I know for sure that there were other factors leading to my current healthier mental state:  years of therapy, fine-tuning of my medication, learning more about mental health recovery, improving my sleep, nutrition, and exercise, and having a job that is satisfying and not too stressful.

The main reason I bought my first computer in 1997 was so that I could try to connect with other individuals living with bipolar disorder and research bipolar disorder using the Internet. I thought there had to be more information out there than what I had gotten from my psychiatrists and the few pamphlets and books I had read before everyday people began using the Internet for research.

I’m still trying to learn as much as I can about bipolar disorder and health and wellness, and I'm always interested in finding new information about how people are living day-to-day with the condition. When I decided to start my blog, I wanted to give readers a view into my life so that I could provide an example of someone who is doing her best to manage the condition. I hope that my blog will inspire others to take charge of their physical and mental health, and also to remain hopeful and positive.