John Shares His #WarriorWednesday Story

It’s Warrior Wednesday, and John Medl is sharing his story of living with bipolar disorder, anxiety and panic attacks. Check out his story below!

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006, and I also live with general anxiety and panic attacks. I started writing at an early age. Just very simple poems in grade school. I never knew that writing would help me later in life and turn into a career. 

I have been journaling for years to help alleviate some of my anxiety and racing thoughts. I have found that it helps when I write my feelings down in a concrete way. I used a lot of my journal entries for my books, but of course not everyone has to go that route. Some people like to remain more private, and I understand that. Journaling can be anything: poems, short stories, long stories, random words. Have fun with it! 

When you struggle with mental health, sometimes it’s all hands on deck trying to find something constructive to do with an anxious mind or racing thoughts. I have found that when I make my thoughts concrete, it is easier to track progress that I am or am not making. For example, if it’s all written down, you can track your mood or thought process over a few weeks rather than trying to remember. Another benefit is that maybe you see that you journaled about a great day a few days ago, but today you don’t feel so well. That positive journal entry may serve as hope for you that things will get better. 

I use my journal entries in my books and on social media because it helps for me to be open and honest and talk about my mental health journey. I recommend that you talk about yours, too, but to what degree, you get to decide. I’m the type of person who talks about my diagnosis to pretty much anyone who will listen, but other people are more private, and that’s okay. It helps to have at least a few people to share you thoughts and feelings with, even if it is just your treatment circle.