For those of you who have been keeping up with the weekly episodes I release for Distressed to Joyful; Bailey’s Way (thanks for your support, by the way!), you probably already have a pretty good idea as to why I’m sharing so much personal information publicly. For those of you who haven’t yet tuned in, maybe reading a little bit about why I continue to put myself out there in one of the most vulnerable ways possible will help move your finger over to hit “play”.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2010 at the age of 16. As if being a teenager and trying to navigate through high school wasn’t enough, let’s add a mental illness to the mix to spice things up! Nowadays, the terms “mental illness” and “mental health” are a lot less scary, but a decade ago, those terms were scary enough to make an entire stadium full of people instantly feel uncomfortable. So my diagnosis did a lot more than just “spice up” my already moody, hormonal-filled teenage angst years… It turned my whole world upside down.
My family didn’t seem accept it nor to know how to handle it. Telling my friends was a joke – I was now looked at as if my diagnosis meant I was crazy. My boyfriend at the time decided it was plausible cause to end our relationship. Not to mention the fact that I knew absolutely NO ONE who had also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Did I feel like an outsider everywhere I went? Abso-fucking-lutely!
It took me nearly a decade to accept my disorder for what it is and to seek the necessary professional help in order to teach me how to effectively manage it. NEARLY TEN WHOLE YEARS! Y’all, that is an extraordinary amount of time that was spent with lots of heartache and pain right by my side. Once I began getting much healthier (mentally, physically AND emotionally), I decided that no one – absolutely NO ONE – should have to feel the way I did all those years. I know so many things now that, had I known back then, I would’ve saved myself an incredible amount of pain and sorrow… Cue the light-bulb-dinging-moment! The idea for Distressed to Joyful; Bailey’s Way was born. And after reading a few of Brene Brown’s books, I decided that being brave and openly talking about my struggles with my mental illness was the only way to go.
So why a podcast?
Well, if you’ve ever met me in person, you know that I am hands-down the CEO of the “Chatty Cathy Committee”. So naturally, a podcast was the best route to go. “You could literally talk to a brick wall” was a phrase I have heard time and time again my entire life. Plus, months before I decided to create this podcast, I was constantly being told by people I knew that I should get one going so the seed was planted before I even realized it.
What can I expect to gain from listening?
First of all, you can expect to learn about what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder. In the event you’re dealing with something similar, you’ll learn about tips and tricks that I’ve used to help keep myself on track. I also talk about healthier approaches on how you can be supportive of someone in your life who maybe be struggling. For those of you not directly affected by mental illnesses, you’ll learn not only how to accept someone you loved being diagnosed, but also how you can improve your actions and thinking to help make the world a much happier, kinder place.
Thanks for your interest and support! Feel free to reach out with any thoughts, concerns or feedback. Looking forward to sharing more with you! 🙂