Validated!

 

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If we don’t ask for what we need, we usually won’t get it.  Yes, that’s an simple truism, but when we start incorporating it into our lives and ask for what we need, awfully nice things can happen, both big and small.

It hasn’t been easy for me to ask for what I’ve needed, for I’ve often felt unworthy and I’ve feared rejection.

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Yesterday I blogged that I emailed an Associated Press journalist named Frazier Moore.  I contacted him to ask if he would consider changing his writing terminology in regard to bipolar disorder.   His review of the new ABC television show Black Box was titled “Bipolar Doctor” and there were other phrases in the piece such as “bipolar people”, etc.  I explained in detail why I prefer to say  “I have bipolar.” instead of “I am bipolar”.

My post about this topic can be found here:

http://www.ibpf.org/blog/i-am-bipolar-i-am-blessed-it-and-get-it-over-itis

After emailing the journalist, I got on with my day.  I let the whole matter go – I didn’t even expect a reply.  By simply writing my email, I experienced a nice catharsis.  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post,  I received a courteous response from Frazier.  He agreed with me!  Frazier wrote that in his future articles he’d take my point and “aim to be more sensitive in writing about this subject in the future…”

Super-cool!

Every success inspires me, and my small victory with Frazier fired me up to ask people more often about matters important to my heart.

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This past month I asked  to have postpartum bipolar disorder (PPBD) be officially recognized by the most influential non-profit addressing pregnancy/postpartum issues facing mothers: Postpartum Progress.

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The Postpartum Progress website states:

“We offer in-depth information, community and hope for pregnant and new moms with postpartum depression and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth (including postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, depression during pregnancy, post-adoption depression, postpartum PTSD, depression after miscarriage or perinatal loss and postpartum psychosis)…. We are fiercely proud to be the world’s most widely-read blog dedicated to these illnesses, with more than 1.1 million pageviews annually.” 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “pooh-poohed” when I’ve mentioned I have postpartum bipolar disorder to others, either face-to-face or through writing.  Hardly anyone has heard about this postpartum mood disorder.  However, I feel excluded that my mood disorder is not found in the list in the above paragraph.  It’s nearly impossible for me to explain my feelings of feeling a sense of invalidation in the postpartum world to my family and friends.

What has helped me the most when it comes to my diagnosis is to bring my experience out into the open and write about it.  Writing is not only validating; when I hear from another mother who has read my writing and has also experienced postpartum bipolar disorder, I feel like I’ve found a member of my tribe.

Last March Cristi Comes, a content editor for the Postpartum Progress website and founder of Motherhood Unadorned, gave me the opportunity to write for Postpartum Progress about PPBD.

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/story-postpartum-bipolar-disorder

This was the big break I had been wanting so badly!   I submitted my piece about postpartum bipolar disorder to Cristi, and she and Postpartum Progress founder Katherine Stone published it on the website.  I received great feedback and comments from other mothers with PPBD.

After my piece was published on Postpartum Progress, I stepped outside my comfort zone, and asked Katherine to please add PPBD to their list of mental illnesses afflicting mothers, and she did!  That may seem like a minor triumph, but for me it was a giant step for humankind!  If I didn’t force myself to ask, it wouldn’t have happened.

So I invite you to join me in moving forward together to ask for something you normally wouldn’t ask for – services, favors, money, guidance – whatever we want! In the comments tell me what you want to ask for and I’ll support you in your vision.  I’m currently asking for donations for my Postpartum Progress Climb Out of the Darkness walk that I’m doing on June 21, 2014.

loathe asking for money, but I’m doing it anyway because it truly is for a worthy cause; it’s not for me to spend on some fancy designer shoes.  It’s easier for me to ask via social media, I must admit, so I’m going to challenge myself and ask three people face-to-face in the coming week if they care to donate.  I’ll let you know what happens!

For more information about my June 21st walk for Climb Out of the Darkness and to donate please visit:

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/join-climb-out-of-the-darkness-2014#comment-18563

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12 thoughts on “Validated!

  1. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “pooh-poohed” when I’ve mentioned I have postpartum bipolar disorder to others, either face-to-face or through writing. Hardly anyone has heard about this postpartum mood disorder.

    There is so much of that sort of sloppy thinking because most people believe mental illnesses are diseases with defined causes. They aren’t. They’re symptom clusters that arise in response to life stressors – sometimes biological ones such as fever, toxins, brain damage, drug side effects or hormonal imbalance, sometimes non-biological such as grief, childhood abuse, work and responsibility overload or just a life that sucks.

    Mental illnesses are not the stressors, but the mind’s response to them. Evolutionarily they are probably adaptive but in a specific individual under given circumstances they can be catastrophic. They are the ‘flu like symptoms’ of the mind and like many auto-immune disorders the response to the irritant is often worse than the irritant itself. Sometimes it’s fatal.

    Different people respond in different ways to the same allergens. Itchiness, hayfever, hives, asthma, fever, sweating, shock … So why wouldn’t something already known to lead to anxiety, OCD, depression, PTSD or psychosis in some people under some circumstances not lead to bipolar in others?

    And why would they need multiple examples to ‘prove’ it’s existence?
    Do I not exist because no-one else has ever reported being me?

    1. Oh my dear Droologist, forgive me for taking eons to respond to your comment. Despite whatever I may have already written in this blog (which I’m too lazy to re-read or recollect) you are currently preaching to the choir with what you write here.

      “Do I not exist because no one else has ever reported being me?” Pardon my French, but that’s fucking brilliant! The type of line I wish my bleary brain could produce! If I didn’t like you so much, I’d be jealous.

    1. Thank you sweet Becca-boo. You know we are both in the same mutual admiration society! Now you just need to send me some of that fudge you made today. Just freeze ‘n ship! 😉

    2. I will be replying to your thoughtful words, oh drooling one, after I have at least three cups of coffee. I love coffee. It’s so yummy it makes me….drool with anticipation! (well, that and chocolate) p.s. I think you have a higher IQ than I do but that’s okay, as my thrill in discovering neurodrooling wipes my feelings of insecurity away.

    1. Hiya Whyteknucklez – thank you for the props!!! I am often super-duper-pooper-scooper-lazy, so your comment about my being productive (not to mention proactive) made me happy! :))))) Some days I have enough trouble simply ordering a drink at the coffee shop – know what I mean?

      Sorry for the short comment I left on your blog yesterday – I was working out on my elliptical, using my Kindle and hunt & pecking with an index finger, attempting not to fall off the thing…when you see super-brief comments from me, you know that’s what I was up to! Thinkin’ of you, hoping your day is going well!!!!!!!

      1. You’re lazy?… NEVER would if gathered that from your posts.

        Trouble with the simple things?.. I get it. The struggle is real.

        Your comments 1 or 100 words makes me feel “loved” (even tho I don’t know you lol) and supported.

        It’s funny to me that someone I don’t know (you) know more intimate details about my life then most of my friends and family.

        Always looking forward to your posts and comments 🙂 happy Sunday evening!

      2. I’m not sure if this reply will make it through, but what a seriously awesome compliment, Whyteknucklez. I’ve been reading your posts religiously, and I care about what you are going through.

        Yes, I support you – just call me your “bra” – get it? Get it? (Yep, I’m a little bit batty!) No matter what, please keep in touch, and please keep writing!

        your underwiry friend, Dyane 🙂

  2. Hey there Kitt, one of my fave bloggers! I value your prayers.

    I’ll keep you posted about my “Climb Out of the Darkness 2014” that will take place in Felton, also known as the Bigfoot Capital of California. (It’s true – we have a museum that attests to this fact.) Hopefully I will not see Bigfoot or his relatives/friends while out on my walk on June 21st!

    On a more serious note, the fact that you took time out of your day (and money out of your account) to donate was such a blessing yesterday. Many thanks for that and for your kind comment.

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