Increasing or changing up psychiatric medication is a scary thing.

For those of us that suffer from psychiatric illnesses, as I do with bipolar disorder, finding the right medication(s) can be a challenge. Even when I’ve been stable on medication for a long time, as I have, it’s pretty common to need to increase the dosages from time to time. For some, actually changing up medications from time to time also happens. I’ve been on my current cocktail of medications for about one year now.

Recently, my psychologist decided that some of my symptoms were worsening and that it was…


Treat exercise like self-care

No matter how much you are committed to health and fitness, it can be difficult to stay consistent with a morning exercise routine. That is especially the case as we have been busy during the holidays. Not to mention that we are in the midst of a pandemic, and still have to juggle work and personal lives. I have been consistent in my morning exercise routine for over one year now. It was last December that I committed to my routine, rather than just sporadic exercise.

Then my dad died of cancer in November. I completely fell off track, for…


Ditch the resolutions. Ease into your goals.

It’s that time of year again.

For many of us, no matter what you celebrate, the holiday season is in full throttle. As we purchase gifts and take part in holiday rituals, we also begin to head towards the conclusion of the season, New Year’s Day. For many, New Year’s Day is not just about champagne and sparkly dresses. …


It’s been a rough few months.

My dad passed away from cancer about 1.5 weeks ago.

I haven’t been writing as much for the past few months in general. That’s because I’ve been going through what is called anticipatory grief for months. My dad was diagnosed in the late stages of cancer so we have literally been watching him battle this illness, and ultimately losing that battle. We watched him go from a strong provider, a man that was always strong and active, to basically becoming a shell of himself. This prolonged grief felt like agony for me and my family.

He passed away peacefully, surrounded by family. While we…


Books open up the mind.

“It usually helps me write by reading — somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear.” -Steven Wright

I’ve had a love affair with books and reading for decades, since I was a wee young girl. Some of my fondest childhood memories include my mom taking me to the library every other week. I’d peruse the library, excited about all of the possibilities before I’d settle on a pile of books to read for the next two weeks. I have been an avid reader since that time.

I fell in love with…


It has taken a while to get to this place

I’ve always been someone that has pushed myself to do things, to achieve things. I tend to be extreme in the way that I approach things. Whether it’s a new fitness routine or working towards my future, I fully jump in headfirst. In the past, I rarely thought about how doing so would affect me mentally and physically.

Now that I struggle with multiple chronic illnesses, I’ve learned that I need to listen to my body. Self-care is now a non-negotiable if I want to live my best life. I struggle with bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety, and fibromyalgia, which is…


Adjusting your expectations is key

Fibromyalgia is a complicated condition that is still pretty misunderstood, both by the general public and even in the medical field. There are ideas and theories about why people end up with fibromyalgia, but there isn’t an exact cause or proper test to diagnose it. Instead, it’s a disease of exclusion.

The doctor first has to rule out a myriad of other illnesses, such as autoimmune diseases, using blood tests and exams. There is no one form of treatment. Treatment is basically about managing the pain, brain fog, and the myriad of other symptoms of fibromyalgia. …


I spent years feeling hopeless and desperate

Most people have at least struggled with sleepless nights or troubles with sleep during their lives. Tossing and turning and waking up during the night is so incredibly frustrating. But if you happen to deal with chronic insomnia, you know that it can be a life ruined.

It impacts virtually every part of life. It can harm your mental health, job performance, and basic functioning in everyday life. The difficulty with treating chronic insomnia is that there can be so many different causes for it and it can vary from person to person.

World wide studies have shown that up…


It’s not the right choice for everyone but it is for me

Talking about mental health can be tricky. Mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder, have always been stigmatized in our society. Because mental illness is not something that you can see, people don’t always believe that it’s there. There is no black and white testing that can definitively state that someone has a mental illness like you do when diagnosing a physical disorder such as diabetes.

Thus, when you are diagnosed with a mental illness, it can be extremely difficult to “come out” with it so to speak…


Maintaining a consistent workout routine can help ease signs of aging

We all have to contend with our bodies, and minds, aging. I’m currently in my early 40s and have definitely been feeling things change, from how I look to how I feel. I have no issues with my age or getting older. I see it as a gift. However, that doesn’t mean that I want to look or feel older before my time. While I use anti-aging skincare and take care of myself in general, I find that my fitness routine is what is helping me look and feel younger than I am.

I haven’t always been someone that exercises…

Yvonne Handy

A Seattle gal living the good life in Austin, TX! I love to write about mental health topics. Find me on Instagram @i_want_my_2_dollars

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store