By Tania Chick 
I was plunged into the depths of bipolar waters at the age of 18. My early experiences consisted predominantly of manias and dizzying episodes of psychosis, which I would describe as enchanting but frightening.  
As I navigated the ups and downs of life, love, and mental illness in my twenties, I began to see my experiences as character building. A mantra I live by is, ‘it’s happening for you, not to you.’  
I began to glean wisdom and foster self-awareness through living with the daily struggles of bipolar. For that I am grateful.  

10 years on 

With over a decade’s lived experience of the condition, I wanted to reach others who are affected by bipolar in sometimes similar - and often different - ways by volunteering for the Peer Support Line at Bipolar UK.  
In my free time, I like to write. For me, writing is an outlet; a form of expression in both dark and light times. I’ve kept a journal for most of my adult life, helping me to connect with feeling, which is somewhat numbed through taking medication.  

Writing poetry

In 2015, after graduating from university with an English Literature degree, I decided to give writing poetry a shot. My poetry took the form of free verse, with occasional natural rhyme.  
The poems came to me in fleeting moments of inspiration, often during digital detoxes, which is cleansing for my mental health.  
I realised that a way of reaching a wider audience and sharing my bipolar journey was through collating my poetry and publishing a book.  
This summer (2023), I published the second edition of my debut poetry collection, Flourishing Goddess. First published in 2020, it has touched people with and without the diagnosis internationally.  

A spectrum of emotion 

I wrote the book over several years and across several moods, depicting a spectrum of emotion. One reviewer wrote, ‘anyone who experiences the highs and lows in life will feel an automatic connection to this book.’  
My aim was to soothe anyone who is going through mental discomfort with affirming poetry, showing how out of suffering we can not only survive, but flourish. Many reviewers describe my words as ‘soothing for the soul’.  

Forever evolving 

The chapters, Fall, Rise and Flourish show the cyclical journey that we all go through, but especially people living with mood conditions, of falling, rising, and forever evolving.  
My message is that nothing is permanent, we’re all in a state of flux and our experiences are to be cherished or learned from, however light or dark they may seem.   

Tania's book is available on Amazon here 

Last updated: 18 October 2023