I am a 52 year old grandmother with Bipolar I. I have struggled with this mental illness since I was 6 years old. Not until 2006 did I seek medical help for my illness .I was hospitalized for the first time in 2006 and was placed on some new medication used to treat Bipolar. With the help of my doctor and especially my therapist I was able to start living a balanced life. I am currently a substitute teacher for the local school system. I have often helped others who struggle with the same Bipolar issues as I do in the classroom and in my group of friends. I will always have to manage my illness and follow my doctor and therapist advise to continue to be a courageous and productive person. I have decided not to let my illness define who I want to be.