Christina “Christi” Huff
2013 Mental Health Hero Cartoon-A-Thon
Drawing by Chato Stewart
Christi, aka The Bipolar Hot Mess, has been blogging in the mental health field since April 2011. She got her start while searching for support with her bipolar disorder because she was feeling quite alone and misunderstood with her illness and what she was going through. This opportunity came by becoming a blogger for the website Ask A Bipolar. Shortly after she started blogging there, International Bipolar Foundation began featuring bloggers on their website and Christi was blogging monthly for their site on various topics with non-traditional titles like, “Is Bipolar Disorder the New Black?” Her blog, “A Day In The Office,” written for IBPF, was used in their book called, “Healthy Living With Bipolar Disorder” which was released in 2012. While blogging for International Bipolar Foundation, Christi continued writing with Ask A Bipolar and also being the Social Media Specialist and partners with the Founder, Marybeth Smith. Christi helped edit, and was also published in, their book, “The Best of Ask A Bipolar 2010-2011,” which was also released in 2012.
While blogging for those organizations, Christi had been doing some of her own writing on the side. In 2012, she took her small blog (one that served more like a diary) and decided to change her platform and specifically target the mental health community with her writings. That became the birth of the website and blog, Musings of a Bipolar Hot Mess. Working full time and a whirlwind of personal life events caused her bipolar disorder to take a nose dive and she had to go on disability at the end of January 2012. Since The Bipolar Hot Mess’s college graduation from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2003, she had been putting her two bachelor’s degrees (B.S. in Paralegal Studies and a B.A. in Criminal Justice) to use working full time as a litigation paralegal in a large, international law firm in their Chicago office, until she found herself in the hospital twice at the end of 2006 where she was diagnosed with Bipolar II. Instead of going right back to work, she attended John Marshall Law School for one year in 2007 and then found her way back to another large Chicago law firm doing litigation paralegal work in January 2008 where she worked until her nosedive in January 2012.
The Bipolar Hot Mess continued to work on all of her blogging when she was put on disability. She focused a lot on her own blog, Musings of The Bipolar Hot Mess, but continued to spend time on Ask A Bipolar and International Bipolar Foundation. Suddenly, The Bipolar Hot Mess had not just a following and an audience to learn more about bipolar disorder, but developed into a community filled with people with the same illness or people with loved ones with the illness who are trying to understand more about life with the illness. She had provided a forum for information as well as support for those individuals and a place where people no longer felt alone and could relate to other people. This was a place that The Bipolar Hot Mess had been searching for since her own diagnosis, had found in Ask A Bipolar, and had now created herself while also benefiting from being surrounded by so many supportive and like minded individuals as herself.
Currently, The Bipolar Hot Mess is not back to working in corporate America yet, but continues blogging and building her community on her website, the Facebook page, and through Twitter, Tumblr, Weheartit, and YouTube. She is currently recording a series of videos on YouTube giving information on how to practice DBT as part of a book review. She has been given so much support by those that follow her writings, as well as by her friends and family. Blogging on bipolar disorder and mental illness has opened up so many doors for her, but has also opened up the eyes of so many other individuals around her and has given her an incredible support system. The results are invaluable.LP 14 – Sweet Pea 11 - Precious 10 and Belly 7
FreeCounselingHelp.com is America’s only directory connecting people with affordable counseling. There are thousands of non-profit agencies within America that are available to help those with limited means. FreeCounselingHelp.com allows people to quickly search by ZIP code and find the best fit for their mental health needs.
Mentalympians is a mental health community development initiative to raise awareness of mental health recovery, inspire hope, reduce self-stigma, foster recovery and also connect individuals who are interested in campaigning for mental health reform.
I would like to thank Enzymedica’s Tom Bohager for his support. Enzymedica is Florida-based founded in 1998 to offer consumers targeted digestive enzymes products. Considered America’s #1 selling enzyme brand sold by health food store retailers. They also offer a FREE Digestive Enzyme interactive education program that is very helpful in learning the benefits enzymes have on our over all health.
Thanks to my wife Joan Winifred for her careening help and compassion for the past 21 years.
Friend me on Facebook @chato B Stewart.View previous Newsletters.
Bonus My kids’ Drawings:LP 14* Sweet Pea 11 * Sweet Pea 11 Precious 10 *Precious 10 Belly 7*Belly 7