A Mental Health Anniversary – 11 Years Later Part One

I made a promise around this time in 2011 to turn my life around and better myself despite my lifelong battle with mental illness. It has never been easy, and I have doubts along the way, but the truth is I am such a healthy person now within my mental illness. Here is something I wrote, a letter to that person I was just seven years ago.

You Made It, A Letter to Me From 11 Years Ago- P1

roman-klimenko-594350-unsplashWhat a journey it has been.

It has been eleven years since your diagnosis, but this journey started back on that day around Thanksgiving 2011. I remember, these moments tend always to stay inside deep in your heart, you were sitting in front of a different computer–a different desk than the one you sit in front of now.

Despite working hard to better yourself, it was easy to feel alone and lost. You had no real direction —no idea where you wanted to go with your life. It was Thanksgiving, and you stayed true to your promise–you were here for the holidays. You told yourself you would never miss another Thanksgiving. It was a hard year, and you fought the battles. The depression still had its control over you. A year and a half passed since your last suicide attempt. You were strong, even then, but you wanted more than the darkness that had followed you all your life.

You made a plan. It was crazy to think it was even possible at the time, but it had been brewing for some time in your mind–go back to school. Fight the depression. Find a way to be happy, and above all, you wanted to share your experience with the world.

aaron-burden-90144-unsplash.jpgIt started with a journal. You wrote for hours all of your hopes for the future. I remember the after feeling. The weight began to lift. After four years of drifting through life seeing it, all pass you by there was real hope in your eyes.

Was this what it felt like to have hope in this mental illness life?

It was an impossible task that you had ahead and it was so much easier to give up on the dream. You had no idea that there was a real strength inside you. I realize now that it was that strength that guided you from that moment until today. It amazes me thinking about you, that is me then, and how different we are now. Would you look at the me today and recognize yourself?

Your eyes were always deep and sunken in–the eternal battle was still in your eyes. The black circles were saying it had been days since you hast had a good nights sleep. The hoodie you always wore to hide the scars on your arms from the world–the results of so many nights of battles with depression lost. Those scars are still there, they always will be, but some have even faded. You would be so proud of me, five years since the last time I self-harmed.


It was the start of something great in your life. You still had battles, and there would be almost two years before you began to find yourself, but finally, you did it. You got back into school. The nights were not so dark anymore, and your mental illness life and your real life began to separate for the first time.

It was the real beginning, and if I am honest with you though you struggled so much to get to that point, it was well worth it. Everything that we have now is because you had hope one night seven years ago that it was possible to change. You have accomplished so much, and I can’t wait to tell you what you have done…

Always Keep Fighting


P.S. Look for part to and the remainder of this letter to myself later today.

Upgrading The Bipolar Writer Blog to Business

I am looking to expand The Bipolar Writer blog to new territories that include having the blog sell books for other artists (if I can make everything work). I am also looking to sell my own book here on my blog. I hate asking for donations but I have to do what I can.


Photo Credit:

Marc-Olivier Jodoin

Roman Klimenko

Aaron Burden

21 Replies to “A Mental Health Anniversary – 11 Years Later Part One”

  1. While I may not know you outside of this site, I would just like to say that I am also proud of you, for staying free of self harm and for making that decision to keep fighting. I am thankful that you are here to share your story with the rest of us. ♡

    Liked by 2 people

  2. James, I cannot thank you enough for this letter. Your genuine words and accomplishments moved me. I too feel hopeful after reading your letter. And all the best!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ll be looking for your memoir! I’ve been at work on my own that past couple years, and I’ve been sharing some thoughts and passages from my book in my blog. mindfulbipolar.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for being so willing to share about your mental illness. It’s time we put all the dogma behind us and start having real conversations. Headed over to check out part 2 now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really was GOOD+ & Really Liked it LOTS+, … Congrats on Your Improvement in Life … I couldn’t fix myself on my own as you had apparently figured out how to… I had to initially Learn from an X-Sufferer as I was who Saved my Life based on a Tremendous Program She developed along with Professionals She Knew and She could Trust… Then I was able to Experience and Grow from there…

    Liked by 1 person

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