I was 16 when I was diagnosed; it was one of those moments that completely changed my life. Never did I think that a doctor’s appointment could be so life altering. For months, maybe even years, I knew something was wrong; I knew I was different. It never concerned me in a way that I thought was bad which was probably why I waited until it had begun to so deeply affect me. Eventually, I just stopped functioning, I wasn’t me anymore. I saw the steps leading upto this, but to be completely honest, I didn’t know what to do. I was relieved when I finally met my psychiatrist; it was scary but at the same time comforting to hear that I had bipolar disorder. My symptoms finally had a name; it wasn’t in my head anymore. There was a reason behind the mind games. But my diagnosis was just the beginning of my journey. It took years to realize this, I wanted my diagnosis and that moment to fix everything but it didn’t. That was the beginning of a lifelong commitment to psychiatric treatment including medication management, therapy and inpatient stays. There are times I wish I knew this 13 years ago, but then there are times that I’m so appreciative of my journey. I’m grateful for my 6 hospital stays and multiple mediation changes. Being bipolar has taught me a multitude of life lessons along with its tribulations. It has taught me patience will giving me courage, it has taught me kindness while giving me strength but most of all it taught me acceptance while giving me tenacity. And for this, I am forever grateful.