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It is so easy to say “I am bipolar”.
It just rolls off the tongue and seems so inconsequential. But it is this kind of statement which contributes to the defintion of who we are, and how we view ourselves.
You are you, not your disorder.

I am Victoria Lynn Frick Miller.
I am creative.
I am compassionate.
I am thoughtful.
I am a sister, a daughter and a life long companion.

I am not bipolar, I have bipolar disorder.

In no way do I consider myself an authority on bipolar or any other mental health issue.
These writings will simply explore my thoughts, reflections and journey as a woman. A woman who just happens to be living with bipolar disorder.

~victoria.

struggling to be the norm… as a deviant.

struggling to be the norm… as a deviant.

As many of you know, I have been on a new journey working to get my BSW at York. This semester I worked on a paper discussing the way in which I disguise or work against my deviance by adhering to everyday norms. For this paper I discussed my mental health and how it has
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a whole new perspective…

a whole new perspective…

Living with a mental illness, whatever it may be, presents a whole set of its own challenges. Having a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder Type 1, I am no stranger to these difficulties. Before my correct diagnosis was made, I lived with shame, embarrassment and pain, but I lived it silently. Once I received my diagnosis
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a whole new sense of pride…

a whole new sense of pride…

It was the day before thanksgiving, and my mum was on her way to collect me to head to the CAMH ER, but not before we at least made some sense of order out of my apartment. After all we didn’t know when I would return. With the kitchen in a much more orderly state
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5 thoughts on “welcome.

  1. Lindsay Cullen says:

    Being real, is the most valuable step in knowing how to deal with this and not let it control who YOU are. Having this disorder does not define you, the qualities you possess do. Hold on to every thing good you have, be it the people you have in your life that are there to support you, or even the smallest of creatures that will “purr” up to you in those early morning awakenings! You are a force to be reckoned with Victoria, and no disorder will ever change who you are inside. I will follow your journey every step of the way, and know you have a good listener on the other end that is here for you whenever need be. This is another aspect that only makes you a more interesting person!

  2. Kathryn Colantonio says:

    Saw you on CTV’s Canada am today. Impressed with your articulation of a condition I share with you. Diagnosed one year ago, but suffering with what I thought was depression for 20 years prior to that. Working to learn all I can and advocate in much the same way as you do. Would love to work as a “peer support worker”. Not quite clear on the path to get there. Thanks again for your advocacy. All the best.

    • Hi Kathryn. So pleased my story reached you and thank you ever so much for your complimentary sentiments. Educating myself is a big part of what brought me to where I am, that and using that knowledge to advocate for my own care. I am pleased you are looking at becoming a PSW. There need to be more of those with lived experience helping others. I wish you all the best with that journey. If you ever want some advice in how to get there, I can be reached at victoria@intheswing.ca. I am always happy to help!

  3. mark says:

    Are you kidding? I have been bipolar for 25 years now. It took 7 years to get meds right. Countless doctors. Many hospitals. It is not happy and I wish people would stop telling the world we are successful, great, we live wonderful lives. Yes we have good days, good weeks, good months. But being bipolar is a struggle everyday. It’s not like cancer. Cancer can be cured. You live with being bipolar forever. You never know when you will relapse. You must take meds. Missing one day can be disastrous. Missing a meal, not having enough sun, not exercising all contribute. Being bipolar is VERY hard work. We don’t all blog and smile on swings. I am sure you’ll take this down but sleeping in a chair in a hospital waiting room isn’t all sunshine. And this happens every time someone gets sick. There are no rooms, no doctors (you see an intern at best) and very few treatment programs. It is extremely difficult and people shouldn’t be lead to believe otherwise.

    • Hi Mark, thank you for your comment. I appreciate that we don’t all have the same journey and yours is as valid as everyone else’s and as such I would not take your comment down. I do agree there are serious flaws in the system. My journey has hasnot always been easy. But smiling and swinging on swings helps me stay well, literally and figuratively. I have had my share of negative moments in my care and I agree it is a daily effort to stay well. Thanks again for visiting and commenting. I wish you all the best.

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