My first time writing for Wish Dish was an interesting experience for me to say the least. I’d lived my entire life without writing it down where anyone else could see it. The only way people knew me, if not personally, was through social media, which we all know shows only the highlight reel of the lives of our peers.
I finally gained the confidence to tell the truth and share it with the world. As mentioned in my last article, I am a student, a blogger, and a makeup artist, among many other things. And while those things have stayed the same, I’ve changed so much as a person over the past year, which is why I’m so excited to share this little life update.
Let’s start with my most recent accomplishments. Since last year, I’ve interned at Stone Fox Bride, a bridal showroom in Soho in the editorial department. I’ve gotten more involved with social media management for the same luxury consignment company I worked for last year, and I’ve continued my career as a makeup artist. I also still attend FIT, but I’m spending this semester abroad, so I’m currently writing to you from a café in Florence, Italy.
I stopped writing for someone else’s blog and finally started my own, which can be found on my website at lianaprinzevalli.com. I’ve found that I much prefer working for myself because of the freedom and flexibility it allows.
But the most dramatic thing in my life that’s changed is my diagnosis. As it turns out, I have Bipolar Type 2, not depression. The anxiety is still there, but it’s under control, as is my eating disorder. But I’ve changed medications and have had to adjust my lifestyle to keep on top of things and not let my illnesses run my life.
Unfortunately for me and my fast paced, New York City life, that means saying no sometimes. I can’t attend every event or every night out. It even means skipping class on occasion when I just can’t go. Yoga has been especially helpful in the self- care department, as has keeping a supportive group of friends close by. But my therapist and psychiatrist are really who I have to thank. They keep me in check and help me manage my depressive and hypomanic episodes so that I can get on with my life and live as normally as possible.
From running my own blog, to completing an internship, to getting my associates degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications, I’ve moved my life in the right direction. But it hasn’t been easy. As I work on my bachelor’s degree, I will continue to take care of myself and only take on what I can handle.
Over the past few months, I’ve become much more open about my mental illnesses. I’m no longer afraid to talk about them, and I’m happy to explain them to those who don’t understand. It’s so important to keep an open mind and learn from your peers, because you never know what someone might be going through. The stigma surrounding mental illness, especially Bipolar disorder still exists. People still look at me as if I might explode any minute because they don’t understand how the illness works. And while it’s funny to see people’s reactions sometimes, I often wish they’d see me for who I am and move past the barrier of my disorder.
I will continue attending therapy sessions and yoga classes, probably for the rest of my life. And I will only surround myself with people who are patient with me and who love me. I now have an amazing boyfriend, and have kept many of my friends from last year, along with a few new ones who help me get through each and every day.
Now, my focus is to continue moving forward. I want to work hard in school, travel, take on new jobs, and watch my blog grow. But most of all, I want to do it all while proving people wrong who think that I can’t. It’s true that suffering from Bipolar disorder is extremely difficult. But thriving despite my disorder will make me a stronger and better person, and for that, I’m grateful.
It’s been a while since I’ve written, but my motto has remained the same. Your struggles can’t stop you if you don’t let them. Success despite mental illness is possible. If I can do it, so can you.