How do I know who I am?

delimI was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 17 and had struggled with depression since I was 13.  I can look back on the days where I was very outgoing, was the presidents of a bunch of groups at school, got great grades,  had a wonderful home life, was proud of who I was and the way I looked.  I went on to graduate from college, was a manager of a movie theater, a trainer at Walt Disney World and even was Teacher of the Year in 2003.  This was all during the time I was struggling with bipolar disorder.

Was that the normal me? When was the normal me showing through? I am not sure what is normal and what is mania and what is depressed.  When I have been depressed for a long time, sometimes months at a time where I completely isolate myself, and I come out of that depression, am I hypomanic, manic, or just being myself.

I definitely know when I am manic or have been as when I come out I can see what havoc I have caused and often will have been in the psychiatric ward.

However, there is almost a happy medium that I just can’t find.   What is the normal me?  Will I ever know?  I hope so and soon as I am nearing my 50s and hope that not only the struggles of the ups and downs can end, but I will know who I was and am before I die. I want others who know me to know who I am  and what to put in my obituary. If I were to write my own obituary right now ( I am not suicidal, just making a point), I would have to just say Michelle had bipolar disorder and at a young age when she knew who she was accomplished a lot, but no one knew who she really was before she died, including herself.

I am curious and would like to write another blog about how others have figured out who their real me is.    Please email me at (in subject line write the real me) or comment on this post or send me a message to my Facebook page:   Bipolar Bandit  EVERYTHING WILL BE CONFIDENTIAL unless you want me to include links to your own blog/website/group/book.   I would be happy to do so if you want.  Otherwise, you will be listed as anonymous.



About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
This entry was posted in bipolar disorder, mental health awareness, personality disorder, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How do I know who I am?

  1. LydiaA1614 says:

    Wow, Michelle, I can totally relate to everything you say. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and it was traced back to when I was around 8. Then I was diagnosed with bipolar from around age 16 – both of these diagnoses were in my 30’s. I just started finding out “who I am” in my 50’s where I am right now. I constantly talk about it in my blog I can’t tell you how I got here, except that I shed a lot of baggage. I look forward to reading more of your story.

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