I’m here.

It used to hide behind closed doors. Occasionally it would peek out and I’d shove it back into its dark room. Lately its been appearing everywhere and has permeated my entire existence.

I have bipolar disorder.

I was recently diagnosed. This wasn’t a shock to me; my sister 10 years my elder has bipolar disorder as well, and I know that there is a genetic component to the dis-ease. My life has been a series of magical and dark experiences. Most of my friends would describe me as “sensitive,” easily moved by the shifting of tides. 

A few months after my diagnosis, I started taking medication. It was suggested by my psychotherapist, whom I trust with my entire being. 

I have recently looked online for other athletes who have bipolar disorder. I came across a few, but not many. I couldn’t find another current women’s professional soccer player who speaks openly about her mental illness, although I’m sure there are others out there. I’m not surprised, as there aren’t many benefits to revealing something about yourself that holds little more than a lifetime of struggle and heavy stigma. I’m here, sharing it with all of you because:

  • I want to live an honest and authentic life.
  • I want to do my part in decreasing the stigma around bipolar disorder.
  • I believe that we are alive to share our experiences and connect with others.
  • I enjoy expressing myself through writing.
  • I understand that our existence is transient, and I refuse to spend my short life hiding something that is very much a part of who I am.

Join me on my journey, if you feel inclined. 


5 thoughts on “I’m here.

  1. As someone who also lives with a mental illness, this was SO good to read. I already loved watching you play soccer and now I’ll love reading your blog and connecting to how you navigate your world. ❤


  2. Mana, thank you for this. You are a talented and brave woman. My own struggle with mental illness is still “hiding behind closed doors.” I admire your courage in sharing openly about your journey. I will be following along. 💪🏻


  3. Love this so much! I work in the mental health field and this is so heartwarming to read. Mental illness should not be something to hide, and the more people there are like you the better and more loving this world will be. You’ve shown before how you are willing to stand up for those not heard or understood when you came out publicly. Thank you for sharing and am looking forward to following along in your journey.


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