My Story: AJ

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

After many strained relationships and one failed marriage, I found someone who is living with the same condition as me. I lived 38 years untreated and Lindsey, my girlfriend, was the one person who told me it was okay to seek help for a problem I was afraid to face.

I was a monster during my lows and a different person during my highs. It's hard to describe but I could switch at a moments notice.

It has been over two months since I started seeking help. At one point, I even spent time in a mental hospital for suicidal depression. The prescriptions not only saved me from myself but made me the person I should have been all along.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

I've learned to recognize some of my triggers and be aware of my mood swings. I'm more focused on positivity now. I don't frequent the same old places like bars, instead, I take walks with my dog when my anxiety is up.

I'm more focused on positivity now.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

What accomplishment are you proud of?

I'm proud to say my family environment has drastically improved. It's filled with so much laughter in the house.

I'm proud to say my family environment has drastically improved. It's filled with so much laughter in the house.

Who has been there for you? How?

My girlfriend, Lindsey, is my rock. She pushed me to seek help and get better. I honestly can't thank her enough for standing by me through the worst of times.

What advice would you give to someone living with bipolar?

Seek help. Get to know yourself and your triggers. Recognize your highs and lows. Work with your doctors and talk to them about the meds. This disease is bigger than you or me. I couldn't be who I am without the medicines.

Seek help, get to know yourself and your triggers, and learn to recognize your highs and lows.

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