I try not to over-identify with my mental illness. It is part of me, but not all of me. I have heard people suggest it is something separate. What is the illness vs what is me? I understand that. There are symptoms, behaviors that aren’t typical for me.
For me, I am a person with a mental illness, like I am a person with green eyes.. I don’t know how to tease the two apart.
There was a point, after diagnosis, when I would interpret any change in mood as a symptom. I would micro-manage my illness. I spent a lot of time reading and trying to make sense of it all.
To me, part of my healing, was to learn to trust that a good day could be a good day and a bad mood could be normal. That I could relax and not worry so much.
I still spend a lot of time on mental illness websites, volunteering for mental health organizations, going to support groups but at least sometimes I feel like I can share and educate and give back.