Just after my freshman year in college, I was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder.  Four years later, I would attempt to take my own life.  The following 20 years have been a process of recovery and discovery as I have worked to stabilize my symptoms and address the issues and events that trigger my illness.  Psych meds, psychotherapy, and self-care have all played a role in assisting me in creating an understanding of myself as a whole person with a healthy psyche. For those with mood disorders, especially those that include psychosis, the idea of the self can be a confusing notion.  Healing the rift between the ego and the authentic self is work for all individuals to undertake.  Accomplishing this within the context of a major mental illness and a trauma history has been a long undertaking, but one which has proven to be both emotionally sustaining and creatively fulfilling.