Saying Goodbye to My Blog, “Hello Bipolar Linla”
The last thing I posted on my blog was on December 2nd, 2017. That post was titled, “It’s Been A While…” and in that post I wrote the following:
“I am scared of the future because I have no clue what is going to come next. I think I will take a few months off and just enjoy being with my family and friends. Maybe I’ll read more, write more, pick up a hobby… who knows. I do know, however, that I need to make my mental health a priority. I need to get my medication sorted out because that has been a disaster, and maybe go back to therapy.”
When I published that post, I could not have predicted what the following 7 months would actually entail. I also didn’t know that it would take almost 8 months before I would be in a headspace where I could begin to tell my stories again.
If you follow me on Twitter, you will know bits and pieces about my life from the past 7 months – but if you only follow my blog (or have no idea who I am), then I’m sorry that you’ve been left in the dark (or hello, new friend, I’m Linla!) Whatever the case may be, I will briefly explain what went down, and why you haven’t heard from me.
After my internship ended in mid-December 2017, my mental health began to rapidly decline. In mid-January 2018, after experiencing a few terrible psychiatrists and doctor’s appointments, I hit “rock bottom” with my depression and was in total crisis mode. Soon after, I was brought to the hospital by a close friend, and was voluntarily (which quickly turned into being involuntarily) admitted to the Adult Mental Health Ward for 24 days. I “live tweeted” on my Twitter account, each day that I was living on the inpatient unit. At times my tweets were brutal, boring, interesting, engaging, but most importantly, authentic and honest (to the best of my ability at that time.) This was my first psychiatric hospitalization, and it felt very strange as I had just completed a 4 month long internship on an inpatient unit in a psychiatric hospital in December. The role reversal from “clinical professional” to “patient” was hard for me to wrap my head around. I often thought to myself, “How did I go from being a clinical professional to being a patient on a psychiatric ward in such a short time?” I felt embarrassed and defeated.
During my admission, I learned a lot about myself, and my mental health. I started to learn how to open up to people in real life about my struggles without feeling an intense amount of shame, anxiety, stigma, or embarrassment. As some of you may know, anonymity has always been my comfort zone, but over the past few months, I’ve started to feel a natural shift towards wanting to be more authentic and transparent about my life and what I am going through.
So, you may be wondering what has been holding me back from fully embracing my new found desire to be my authentic self both in person and online?
First of all, I am still learning to let go of the self-stigma that I carry around with me. I also fear feeling stigmatized, rejected, and abandoned by my online community, because during my hospital admission, my mental illness diagnosis’ changed. I’m still grappling with this one, to be quite honest. I no longer have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. These days my thoughts often include ruminating phrases, such as, “Will people no longer want to connect with me online since we don’t share the same diagnosis anymore?” “Have I been living and sharing a life of lies to people on Twitter and through my blog for all these years?” “I’m a fake” “Nobody is going to be interested in the real me” “It’s terrifying to let people see and get to know the real me without hiding behind a mask of anonymity.”
I titled this post, “Saying Goodbye to My Blog, Hello Bipolar Linla” but this truly isn’t the end of blogging for me. Don’t worry; if you still want to hear my stories, you definitely will have the opportunity to do so. Moving forward, I am working on creating a new blog. You can expect similar content/writing style from the new blog, you will learn about my post-hospital recovery stories, and you will get to know a lot more about me, Linla, as a real person in the real world. If that intrigues you, then I’d love for you to join me on this next chapter!
These past 7 months have been a wild ride, to say the least. Now that I’m finally in a place where I feel comfortable and mentally able to share my stories again, I can’t wait to introduce you to the new and improved version of myself. But before I go, I just want to say a quick “thank you” for investing your time into reading stories about my life on my blog and on Twitter. I truly hope you stick around to hear more because I have a lot of stuff to share!
Lindsay (known as Linla online) is a 25-year-old, bi/pan/queer, cis-female, of Scandinavian heritage, that currently lives in Thunder Bay, ON, Canada. She enjoys mountain biking, hanging out with her family, friends, and dogs, drinking iced coffee, listening to music and podcasts, colouring, reading, and writing. She’s currently focusing on improving her overall health and wellness, which includes doing a lot of therapy-related stuff, which she finds challenging but helpful! Follow her on Twitter @hellolinla