My name is Sarah Lindsay and I have been living with bipolar disorder for eight years. I was diagnosed at the age of sixteen and it turned my world upside down. Today I am an Office Manager and Client Coordinator at a Government and Public Relations firm in downtown Toronto. Things could not be more different than those first months, but some days I feel just the same. Very soon after my diagnosis I realized that some day, some hazy day in the future I would like to make things better for other people with mood disorders. I didn’t know what shape that would take. At the time the idea came to me I was still barely treading water in my first major depressive episode.
In the past four months I have finally come to something I think will help others, but also myself. I’ve started a blog about my experiences as a twenty-something with bipolar disorder. I came up with the idea one evening when I was trying to walk off a panic attack when a t-shirt in a crowd of shoppers reminded me to laugh through the hard stuff. The blog quickly made the rounds of my family and friends on Facebook and I was overwhelmed by the response. People from all facets of my past and present reached out to me and told me they struggle too. I’m sure even more stayed quiet. They stay quiet because of stigma; stigma is the shame associated with a label of illness that far too many people misunderstand. And so, in this space that Healthy Minds Canada has so graciously offered me I will fight stigma. I will show that a person can be bright, funny, ambitious and full of joy, and also a little nutty. And that’s okay. Our illness is a part of us, but it does not have to define us.
For more on my story please visit my current blog One Flew East, One Flew West
About Sarah Lindsay
Sarah Lindsay is in her mid-twenties and lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and their dog (who also has some anxiety issues). Sarah was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2005 at the age of 16 and is still trying to figure it out. Follow Sarah’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog, or additionally you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook or check out her new website: SarahsMoods.com