So here it goes. I’m starting this blog to share my stories about living with Bipolar Type II with the hope of shedding more light on mental illness and helping others cope. I wasn’t diagnosed with Bipolar Type II until 2013, but I started struggling with it in my teens. I was misdiagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder several times beginning at age 23. Depressive episodes are more frequent with type II so being misdiagnosed with unipolar depression is common. I’ve tried a litany of meds (I could start a side business with the leftovers). I was even prescribed GHB for sleep (Yes, the date rape drug. It didn’t help). I’ve experimented with alternative therapies as well. Cranial Sacral Therapy, Reiki, and Yoga (all of which did provide some relief). I was determined to get off meds at one point to start a family so I donated ten grand to a Naturopath that promised to cure my illness with high doses of amino acids. Instead of relieving my symptoms permanently, it gave me nausea and diarrhea for months while I took up to 65 pills a day. Ain’t nobody got time for that especially when the runs hit you in the middle of a work meeting. Good times. I’ve tried gluten-free, sugar-free, paleo, and veganism. These restrictive diets caused even more symptoms. I’ve learned that changing my diet so drastically affects my mood and energy in a big, not so great way. I function better when I eat sensibly and don’t cut out entire food groups. Cleanses are not my friends. I once eliminated all sugar, dairy, meat, caffeine, and alcohol. I became so depressed after three weeks that only a cheeseburger and milkshake from McDonald’s could ease the pain. Currently I’m focusing on finding my balance with eating more fruits, veggies, and protein, while cutting back on processed sugar and grains. I also take my meds religiously as well as prescription l-methylfolate (increases the effectiveness of my anti-depressant). I’m beginning to exercise again, a natural anti-depressant for me. I’m taking it day by day and learning how to keep from sliding up and down this pole.