Certified Health and Transformation Coach
Living with bipolar 1 disorder

After being diagnosed first with depression and then with Bipolar I Disorder, Stacy found stability through a practiced combination of diet, exercise, medication, and sleep habits. Today, as a health coach, she shares with others what she learned on her own journey.

Stacy’s Story

Briefly, how has your condition impacted your life?

I was diagnosed with depression with psychotic episodes before being diagnosed with Bipolar 1 in September of 2008. After returning from vacation, something snapped in my mind and I became extremely paranoid and anxious. Suddenly I thought everyone was against me; I was going to jail, and the TV was talking to me. I woke up throughout the night in severe panic attacks with my heart beating out of my chest, wishing the night would last forever so I did not have to figure out how to face another day.​

The most difficult time I have had since being diagnosed with Bipolar 1 was in the beginning when I could not get an appointment with a psychiatrist and we as a family had no idea what was happening or what to do. In hindsight, this is when having a support network became a key component to thriving with mental illness.

What is your life like now? What does success/living well look like for you?

Today I am enjoying my life with my husband Christopher and our dog Luke. My husband retired early, and I am a Certified Health and Transformation Coach. I love this because it allows me to work from anywhere and set my own boundaries.

How do you manage your condition and stay healthy on an ongoing basis?

I like to think that the strategies that helped me get well are the same strategies that help me stay well. On an ongoing basis, I train with a personal trainer, work toward eating healthier following the philosophy of a healthy lifestyle vs. diet mentality, manage my medications with my psychiatrist and the support of my husband, talk with my support network to convey my feelings and keep a routine sleep.

What advice would you give to someone with a similar condition? 

Everyone’s experience with mental health is different. However, I would tell them that thriving with mental illness is obtainable by tapping into their strength and perseverance.

What motivated you to join The Stability Network?

I recently subscribed to Bp Hope magazine and have been thrilled with the positive content. At the end of my second prescription, I read the article by Kathrine and thought “I have found my Tribe, I must be in OZ!” I knew there were other professionals out there living with mental illness, but I could only find stories of stigma or struggles.

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