Hi, my name is Morgan. Is that even how I start this? I’m new to blogging but I decided to create this blog as an outlet and to share my story. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 23, after being committed to 3 different mental health hospitals over the course of just 5 months. It has taken a while for me to come to terms with my mental illness. I was confused for a very long time, feeling self pity. Like why me? I had a successful career, good friends, a loving family, and I had just met the man of my dreams. Really, why now? why me?? My life took such an abrupt turn down such a dark, scary, unknown path. It has been, by far, the most challenging, traumatic, painful journey that I have ever endured. It felt never ending. I had done so much damage, physically and emotionally, to the ones I loved most during my manic episodes that I was scared of myself. I was ashamed of who I was. Even after the the right medications were finally found and I began to stabilize, I still felt lost. I was searching for an explanation for why I was having these overwhelming mood swings and losing control of myself. I wanted to know why I was chosen for all of these terrible things to happen to. I was scared of a label that I felt would change who I am, and how others perceive me. My family and fiancé (now husband) have been extremely supportive throughout everything, and I have a wonderful psychologist who I see weekly, but I still felt alone. After a while, I turned to the internet to try and find some tips or extra help. The blogs and stories that I came across truly inspired me. I found that there were so many people out there that I could relate to. It opened my eyes to hundreds of people that are fighting their own battles with mental illness, just like me. I wasn’t some freak of nature. I got that final push I needed to tell myself that I am not going to let my illness dictate how I live my life. I am still rebuilding, but I am proud of who I am becoming as I learn to forgive and accept myself. I believe that I am rebuilding myself to become even stronger than I was before. I still have bad days, I find myself losing patience with my recovery, wondering why I am not magically better now that it has been a couple weeks. But, I have to remind myself to stop counting the days and allow myself the time to heal. I will become stronger than my struggle, and I want to help others do the same. No one should have to worry about the ‘label’. I find it so bizarre how, in this world, if you have cancer, you go through chemotherapy; if you have diabetes, you take diabetes medicine. But, as soon as you are diagnosed with a mental illness and have to take medication for your mind, there’s such a stigma behind it. There are millions of people who live with mental illness, the issue is other people’s ignorance.