About Me

My name is Nicole and I’m 26, the favorite second oldest daughter of my still married parents, favorite second oldest sister to one sister and two brothers, graduate of Indiana University’s master’s program in Public Administration, a swimmer, in love with water, 5’ 6”, addicted to slushies, living the yuppie life, fun-loving, and talkative.

Oh yeah—and there’s “something” wrong with me.  Has been for as long as I can remember, but particularly since I was twelve.  For ten years I referred to that “something” as the darkness, an evil presence, someone else living in my brain.  However, at twenty-one, through some extraordinary circumstances—really an act of God—I saw a therapist who diagnosed me with panic disorder….since then its become obvious that the “something” runs deeper than that.  Anxiety disorder (coupled with obsessive thoughts and panic attacks) and manic depressive (aka: Bipolar II disorder) are words that are now becoming common place in my life.  I usually just group it all together and refer to it as my brain being broken…

When I think of my mental health adventure, two stories come to mind.  The first occurred when I was crying in my room talking to my mom about going to see the therapist for the first time.  She told me, “Nicole—I don’t think you’re depressed”.  I responded “I don’t think so either, but something is wrong with me.”  I choose this story because I’ve discovered so little is known or advertised about anxiety disorders and bipolar 11 disorder; depression is the mental illness our society knows most about.  I wonder how my life would have been different if more information was available about my disorders growing up, and want to help create a world where others struggling are diagnosed and treated sooner.

The second occurred shortly into the therapy process.  Rick, my first therapist and a hero of mine, asked me, “But if we put all this anxiety, depression, voices in your head, and mood swings on the shelf—what about that Nicole?  Who is she?”  And I just stared at him and said “She doesn’t exist”.  For so long my identity has been tied up in the “something” and one peak of the adventure, is seeing myself as Nicole—all the things I listed above and more—a person who has value, and struggles with anxiety and depression.  Not an anxious and depressed person.  A small change in word order—but a huge change in perception….

So welcome to the 21st century where I can post my ramblings, thoughts, and hopefully insights and lessons learned online and expect people to read them.  This blog has been an idea growing in the back of my head for a long while—so grab a board.  I won’t say “walk with me” or “walk a mile in my shoes” because frankly, I’d probably trip, and I don’t tend to walk anyway.  Hop, skip, jump, maybe.  But if given the option to swim–always.  So come ride thewaves with me–I can promise it will be a crazy adventure.  How can it not be when you combine a naturally dramatic person with bipolar II disorder?  But hopefully it will be fun, thrilling, educational, and leave you with a new appreciation for life!


10 thoughts on “About Me

  1. MSMK2 says:

    You rock!

  2. sakuraandme says:

    Hi Nicole.
    Thanks for checking out my blog!..I have Bipolar 2,OCD,BPD,Anxiety Disorder etc!! Lol
    I like the way you explained your brain! *laughing*…we have to laugh or we would be crying all the time!
    I make up stories (fun one’s) in my head to get me through crap days. I kind of trick my brain like it tricks me!!
    I also have a very good life (financially)..people think because you have money..you shouldn’t have a care in the world!!..If only it was that simple. *laughing* xx

    • Nicole says:

      Agreed about the laughing!!! That’s one of my goals of this post–help us to find a sense of humor in this situation. : )

      I feel very blessed to be financially well off–but you’re right, so many people expect that means I should not be depressed/anxious/etc. It can be hard–but stigma sucks!

  3. Hi Nicole, I’ve just found your blog and I think the bracelet idea is really great! I am sorry you have so many struggles, but it seems you are making progress through it all. Thanks for sharing your story, and I’m going to have a read of the rest of your blog 🙂

  4. Lindsey says:

    A mutual friend of ours gave me one of your bracelets today. I truly appreciate it, especially going into my new role. Thank you. It was very thoughtful. 🙂

    • Nicole says:

      You’re welcome. I’m so glad you were able to get one and I hope it helps. If you find someone else who needs or could use one, let me know and I’ll send one along to you.

      Best of luck on your new position! That’s always stressful, but you can do it!

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