author’s note and disclaimer: the following piece details my story of overcoming a serious and potentially-fatal mental illness, bipolar ii, between the years of 2000-2007. i have decided to write this story now, painful as reliving some of the history is, in order to provide inspiration and information to others currently struggling with mental illness, and to their families and loved ones. i am not a doctor or medical professional. i do not intend this piece to replace the advice of physicians or health care practitioners, nor am i intending to diagnose or prescribe treatment for any illness or disorder. it is my personal story only. if you are suffering from any medical condition, you should seek qualified professional attention before beginning, changing, or ending any regime of medicine, nutrition, or supplements.