#129: The promise and challenge of a new day

anxiety career reflection Sep 23, 2021
blog post image


Have you ever learned about a public figure’s private diagnosis of mental illness and wondered how on earth they’ve survived under the pressure? Regardless of your identity, career or status, when you have a manic-depressive disorder you can instantly empathize with the suffering of the human condition of another individual, which is an incredible asset for you.

But just as you might freeze with fear over “going public” about your story of brain health impairments and medical diagnos(es) of illness, it’s critical to know that this is a gate that we must all pass through in order to truly know ourselves and be known by others. Believe it or not, how you choose to “own” your story and go forward is what makes today’s anxiety about the future disappear into confidence.

Mike is joined by special guest Joanne “Coach P”, who used her career to spearhead multiple conference title wins, multiple National Championship game appearances, a “Coach of the Year” award, and more more alongside her student athletes in NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball.

Her new book, appropriately titled, “Secret Warrior: A Coach and Fighter on and off the Court” has just dropped, and is a first for this accomplished leader in allowing the world to know her private struggles with bipolar disorder through every high and low of the game of life.

You don’t want to miss today’s exhilarating stories!


Listen to the podcast:


Click here to subscribe on Apple Podcasts!  I don't want you to lose out on a single episode. Plus I release special bonus content from time to time that you'll likely miss if you're not subscribed. And if you're feeling generous, would you please leave me a review? It is a special treat to read each and every one of them. Just write about your favorite part of the show! :-) 



  • Most people with a genetically inherent or “dormant” (unknown) bipolar disorder experience their first symptoms and sensations of brain health going astray when they enter a new season of life that is stressful—whether that stress is exciting or intimidating, such as graduating college or having a baby.

  • Your family members who know the “real” you are usually the first people to speak up and share that you’re not well in your mental health. But it’s very normal for us as the “sick/altered” individual to reject this observation as legitimate or cause for concern.

  • Learning how to manage your mental health and developing the “workarounds” for having a mental health impairment diagnosis like manic depression is something that takes prioritizing, because sudden life stressors, shifts and scenarios can cause you to fall back into crisis without a game plan that you’ve already practiced.


Lifer Discussion Guide

Use the questions in today’s Lifer Guide to assist you over any hurdles you may have to clear as you address your mental health. These are special conversations!

“Lifers” are people who have unwavering faithfulness. This assures you that they’ll stick by you through all the highs and lows that are normal for a life with mental health challenges. If you haven’t nominated a lifelong family member or friend as part of your non-medical support team, what are you waiting for? :-)


The Questions

1) Think back to your childhood. Did you have a particular sport that you were drawn to more than others?

2) What is it about practicing a physical sport or other personally-developed skill or competitive craft that makes your brain feel healthy and alive?

3) Joanne talked very openly about the loss of her role as a coach and the loss of her routine on the team with her girls, and how this shook her at her retirement from college sports. Is there a memory you have of when you had a “team” or a friend group or a work setting where you felt the most secure and stabilized?

4.) How would you encourage someone like Joanne, who is entering a new season of life being destabilized and discouraged by her bipolar disorder coming back to haunt her?


Join the Tribe!

Once you’ve had a chance to talk or journal about these things you might have a question from this episode. If so, make sure you head on over to The Bipolar Now Podcast Group on Facebook! There’s quite a few people over there who are also taking a new step in their mental health. And we’d love for you to share your story with us when you’re ready. So don’t miss out!