“Was mental illness the source of my creativity? Did that account for my kaleidoscopic spirit, my music, and my art?”
Erika Nielsen knew that her real language was music—her truest voice, the cello—by the \time she was three years old. She knew she would become a professional musician by the eighth grade. But she could never understand why sometimes she felt as if she was floating on sparkling clouds, enchanted by her own brilliance, while at other times she huddled in a dark, wretched place, sobbing and overcome with her inadequacy. At age 27, she finally found out: she was mentally ill. In this frank and courageous memoir, Erika confronts the shock of her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and chronicles how, step by step, day by day, she walked herself to a place of stability and health. Containing wellness tips and coping strategies to live creatively, productively, and healthily with a mental illness, Sound Mind is a story of hope, healing, and transformation that reminds us that it is not only possible to function with a mental illness, it is possible to thrive. By promoting education, awareness and de-stigmatization of mental illness, Sound Mind helps write a new narrative around mental health and wellness.