I am not bipolar, I have bipolar Sometimes your illness has such a hold over you that it can sometimes feel all consuming. Dominque explains that whilst this may feel as though it is the case, you are not your illness. I can gladly say these days I’m successful with living my illness, however, the biggest thing for me was acceptance that something was not quite right. There was something amiss with from when I was very young. I was diagnosed in 2001. Being a nurse I see that if I was diabetic I would have to have control of my diabetes. The illness because of its consuming nature has a want to become you. It’s seemingly voracious appetite to permeate all facets of your being needs to be kept in check. It won’t happen on my watch. I am not bipolar, I have bipolar. Before my diagnosis I had quite a traumatic episode with my first husband. He could, at times, be very violent and on a number of occasions he was very heavy with his fists with me. We used to physically fight. It was frightening and to the irrational way I thought in those days the best thing seemed to be that I should stay put and not leave him. I was terribly depressed I have bipolar I. almost like clockwork my bipolar would manifest itself in the May of each year. Thankfully my diagnosis came quite quickly, relatively speaking it took six months. I was referred quite quickly by the psyche team. From there on in I’ve used the eCommunity as means by which understand for myself and help others understand the condition The forum is my anchor. It’s become a daily habit and I’ve become driven to not miss out on helping people. People who inevitably who understand and are understood. One of my favourite and notable things about the eCommunity is the sense of family. You will always find someone on there who care more about you than how you are feeling.