The first time I heard and vaguely understood what the word “bipolar” meant was when I was watching a reality competition show. I can’t recall which one it was, but I remember hearing one of the female contestants calling a woman she didn’t like “bipolar.”

Up until that point I…

I haven’t written anything here in years, and that’s both by design and by coincidence. The past few years, especially 2020, have been a complete shitshow for the world at large and for me personally. …

*Spoilers* So many spoilers

When I was in high school, I had my own ideas of what a romantic relationship looked like. I daydreamed of my then-boyfriend appearing in my bedroom like Edward Cullen or “coincidentally” showing up to rescue me from any inconvenience. What I wanted the most was a grand, public gesture…

Life is a lot like swimming in the ocean. Life with mental illness adds extra weight to your limbs. Swimming constantly is tiring. There are days when swimming feels easy, fun even. Feeling the breath in your lungs, the temperature of the water across your body, and the sight of…

Because It Doesn’t

When I was diagnosed with Bipolar II, I was extremely relieved. It felt like I had finally come closer to understanding what was going on with me. My moods made sense to me and it helped me see myself with a clearer lens.

Initially, the transition was difficult as I…

Handling criticism is somewhat of a balancing act. It’s a necessary aspect of life that should be done with a calm and level head; however, that only applies to constructive criticism. That type is helpful and can provide some insight. Unfortunately, not everyone who provides feedback intends to help or…

This post was inspired by and is for M.B.

Finding a treatment plan that works for you can be a long and arduous process. It takes time to work out the kinks and get back to feeling some kind of normal. …

Depression is a kick in the nuts. When you’re in it, you’re really in it, and it feels like it lasts forever. There’s no energy to do anything, the world around you is gloomy but for some reason, everyone keeps telling you to cheer up.

You don’t like being this…

Nobody likes to receive criticism. It’s typically negative and, depending on who’s giving it, can be a little harsh. As much as we’d like to avoid it, feedback of any kind is essential. It helps us learn and strengthen our skills. The problem comes when we’re faced with it and…

Dear Just Kids,

I remember the first time I saw you sitting atop the Must-Read table at Barnes & Noble. Your cover, a simple black and white photo of your author, Patti Smith, and Robert Mapplethorpe captivated me. Its simplistic design and Patti’s piercing eyes drew me to you, magnetic…

J. M. Cools

Life lessons as they come and other things. Email me johanie.cools@gmail.com or tip me on Venmo @Jojo-MC

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