Anger

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Yep, gonna lose some followers.  I wish them well, and I completely understand if my foul mouth isn’t their cup of tea.  To be honest, “fuck this shit” is a phrase I have said many times, and cursing is a big part of who I am.  I swear like a sailor when the kids aren’t around; well most of the time I make sure they aren’t around.  Unsavory language has gotten me through numerous dicey moments, and it has prevented me from exhibiting dangerous road rage. There have even been impressive studies conducted showing the benefits of swearing! (I’m too lazy to cite them, however, but I believe it!;)

Some of you will be familiar with the famous poem “Children Learn What They Live“.  I grew up with a poster of that poem on the wall in our house.  Over the years I’ve found that Children Learn What They Live  is truer than true.  Both my parents cursed openly, and they were my primary teachers when it came to cussology.  

Last year I listened to a cassette tape that recorded my father playing his violin.  My Dad was a brilliant violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic/Fulbright Award Winner/Juilliard graduate.  While listening to the beginning of the tape I heard him tune up before playing a magnificent composition.  Imagine my reaction when I heard him muttering “Testing, 123, fuck you! Testing, 123, fuck you!” just before launching into a complex masterpiece on his Stradivarius.  Talk about a contrast from one sound to another!

Dad would have definitely liked the profane image of the serene guy flipping the bird gracing the top of this post.  The photo certainly made me laugh.  It felt good to chuckle, and I hope you giggle a bit over it too.  Life is serious enough as it is, and it’s healthy to make light of certain things now and then.

And now, moving right along, I’d like to write a bit about ANGER.

If you’re familiar with my writing, I’m sure you’ve noticed that many of my posts have been fueled by my intense anger. I was brought up by a rage-a-holic and an alcoholic.  Ever since I was a baby, I was around physical violence (which I observed; I was not physically abused, thank God.) and I grew up with verbal abuse.  

It makes sense that I too became a rager, and I was verbally abusive to people I loved, although I’ve come a long way in that area.  I’ve rarely been physically violent; the only time I can remember hitting someone happened when I was manic.  I’m surprised I haven’t been more violent considering all the fights I witnessed.  No wonder I have an anxiety problem! 

Anyway, despite some people thinking I’m “so nice”, I’m a very angry person and my anger grew much worse after I was diagnosed with bipolar one disorder in 2007.  Writing about my anger helps me.  

The addition of my Lucy puppy has been so good for me – she helps me to diffuse my anger in her magical canine way.  She mellows me out.  My daily workouts on my elliptical, in which I sweat so much I create a giant “butterfly” pattern of sweat on my ratty tank tops, levels out my anger too, but exercise is a temporary solution to a deep-seated problem.  

I’ve examined  my anger with my therapist Tara, but to quote Karen Carpenter, “We’ve only just begun!”  I need to discuss anger more with Tara because it continues to be a dominant part of my personality and I hate it!  (That’s a kind of oxymoron, I know!)

I realize that anger is a normal and healthy part of one’s makeup.  I can’t expect to eradicate anger from my brain.  I just need to bring this rage down a few notches…most likely even more than a few.

When I was young I learned that anger can be a positive trait in one of my all-time favorite books: Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time.  The protagonist Meg Murry is one very angry teenager.  Her scientist father has mysteriously disappeared and there is “talk” in her village about him.  She’s unattractive compared to her stunner of a genius mom.  To add to the mix, Meg’s little brother won’t talk in school and he’s bullied by a bunch of his classmates.  

While on a search to find her father in another galaxy, Meg is instructed by three pivotal characters to use her anger as a “gift” when she faces the evil IT on the planet of Camazotz. Interestingly, Meg utilizes her anger in a unique, powerful way to overcome evil. 

I wish I could be more Meg-like when it comes to anger management!

What am I so angry about? you may be wondering at this point.  I have a hell of a lot to be grateful for, starting with you, my faithful reader.  I have my health, my family, a roof over my head, ice cream in the freezer.  (A lot of ice cream!)  Since I have all these fantastic blessings, why all the damn anger?

It’s a good question.  

When a person is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she sometimes feels anger at God for “giving” her the illness, and/or anger at a parent for passing along the genetic predisposition.  I went through a phase in which I was angry at God, but I no longer feel that way.  I believe the reason I relinquished that particular anger is because I’ve reached the beginnings of my recovery over the past year. 

But despite my blessings, the anger still festers.  

It’s based on the fact that most of my family members and friends totally bailed out on me when I relapsed with bipolar depression exactly one year ago.  There’s a lot more to it than that single sentence, of course.  But that’s the gist of it.

In July, 2013, I was hospitalized forty minutes away from home for almost three weeks.  I had slowly, methodically tapered off my bipolar medications for over twelve months prior to my relapse.  At first I was manic, and then I became depressed/suicidal, hence my admission to the hospital’s mental unit.  It was euphemistically named the “Garden Pavilion”.  (Ha!  There was no garden to be seen there – not even a single nice plant or window overlooking a garden!)

In that hospital, I was forgotten.

The thing is…I needed visitors at that hellhole more than anything.  I was the only patient who didn’t have visitors apart from my husband and children.  My sibling, who lives just minutes away from me, didn’t visit me.  My mother didn’t visit me.  My husband’s family didn’t visit me.  My closest friends didn’t visit me.  I didn’t receive any cards, plants, flowers, chocolate, books, phone calls you-name-it.  

I can’t tell you how much this unit sucked. To top things off, I was never taken out into daylight the entire time I was there.  That in itself is enough to make any sane person a little batshit crazy.

Now, some in my circle will totally disagree with me about my perspective about what happened last summer.  In part, I blame our society for its lack of mental health education for people staying the hell away from me.  But I remain baffled about what took place last July.  If I had cancer you can bet your ass I would have had visitors.  

So you can see I’m still really pissed off – my counselor believes I have PTSD from that ordeal – she doesn’t use that term lightly, and I totally agree with her on that point!

The first word that comes to my mind in this moment is “forgiveness”.  

I have to let it go (dammit, “Frozen” ruined that phrase for me!) and forgive my family and friends, but it’s reallllllly hard to let that all go.  I am hoping that time serves as a panacea to this dilemma.

If you were in a loony bin for three weeks and no one visited you or called/sent you a card except your partner, how would you feel?

 

 

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IN RESPONSE TO DYANE – PART 2

Happy Sunday everyone. As promised, here’s part two of blogger N. Eleanore S.’s response to my “I’ll Take Goat Shit Pills If I Have To!” post about my watching the “Crazywise” preview, going off lithium, and my consequential relapse and hospitalization.

This young mother/former teacher lives with bipolar disorder in another part of the world. She writes under a pseudonym, and I’ve faithfully followed her fascinating, unique blog “The REVELATION of being BIPOLAR. I encourage you to take a look at it!

The REVELATION of being BIPOLAR

I am writing this piece with DOUBT weighing down on my mind. Should I have started using medication for my Mental Illness? Because when I look back at everything that has happened to me over the past two years, it has been a direct result of medication.

I started using Epilem and Ivedal near the end of 2011. In June of 2012 I was hospitalized for the first time. This is after I stopped using the Epilem due to my mother (a story for another day!). I got back on the Epilem and still used the Ivedal because I have gotten addicted to the Ivedal. From July 2012 to July 2013 my Mania started to manifest itself again after being dormant for more than a decade. And for those of you who have been following my blog for quite some time – it is Ivedal that literally destroyed my Life.

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IN RESPONSE TO DYANE – PART 1

Although I usually only blog Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays now, I decided to go wild and reblog N. Eleanore S.’s reaction to my “I’ll Take Goat Shit Pills If I Have To” post about watching the “Crazywise” preview, my going off meds and the disaster that ensued, etc.

This young mother and former teacher lives with bipolar disorder in another part of the world and writes under a pseudonym. I’ve been following her fascinating, unique blog for months now, and I encourage you to take a look!

The REVELATION of being BIPOLAR

I have been following Dyane Harwood’s blog for quite some time and she is one amazing blogger! She wrote a piece last week that has been eating away at my mind ever since I read it. It is a topic I feel very passionate about: The use of MEDICATION for Mental Illness sufferers. To read this post by the talented Dyane:

https://proudlybipolar.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/ill-take-goat-shit-pills-if-i-have-to/.

I now feel compelled to write about this controversy surrounding the use of medication because it triggered something extremely personal within me.
Dyane spoke about her views on experts who don’t believe in the use of medication, after watching a trailer of a documentary called “Crazywize.” I immediately felt such a connection to this piece she had written – I empathized with her anger over it! You see, I am a firm believer in the use of medication to treat Mental Illness. I haven’t always been a believer…

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My Nemesis, The Dreads – Part Two

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The Dreads continue to strike each morning around 5:00 a.m.  Fortunately, today I was able to discuss this nemesis in depth with Dr D.  We always cover a lot of ground in our thirty-minute-long sessions, and despite my morning grogginess, I used up every minute to the fullest.  

I worried the day before my appointment as I usually do, despite the fact that Dr. D. is the best and the kindest psychiatrist I’ve ever seen.  To settle my anxiety, I  jotted down a few talking points in my notebook.  Creating talking points always helps me to focus and guarantees my getting something useful out of the session.  

I was about to first place The Dreads down on the list, but then I realized that I needed to start with another topic.  I wanted my doctor to know that I had just spent five days with someone I loved who was verbally abusive to me, and emotionally unpredictable to be around.  Walking on eggshells for five days would be enough to exhaust anyone, and I’ve been utterly drained since the end of that visit.

I suspected that my emotional hangover caused the milder form of The Dreads I’ve experienced recently to become much worse.  Dr. D., who has a gift for therapy and almost became a psychotherapist, was able to shed light on the situation.  I hope to cover what he said in a future blog post as it concerns personality disorders and bipolar disorder as well.

After we spoke about that, the subject turned to The Dreads.  I told Dr. D. I tried to lower the Seroquel and it didn’t work – I didn’t feel it was the right time to take that plunge.  I added that I thought I should wait a few more months to try.  What was interesting to me was that Dr. D. asked why would I choose to make a medication change after what happened last week.  (I thought he had a good point!) He advised that I wait for a calmer time to try again and that I didn’t necessarily have to wait another two months to try, but to take it “day by day”.

I continued explaining The Dreads in gory detail to Dr. D.  I made sure to  differentiate them from their first cousin Depression in that my dread/rumination only lasts until I drag myself out of bed.  The feelings dissipate after a few cups of strong-ass coffee.  Dr. D. understood where I was coming from, and he mentioned an interesting point.  He said (and I’m not paraphrasing too well but I hope this makes sense) that when we are on the verge of waking up, our old consciousness can be stirred up.   Since I’ve been through so much trauma, that concept makes sense to me.  Then he emphasized something I already knew a little about: the importance of regular bedtimes and waking times, but with a different twist…

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I explained how difficult the mornings have been ever since school got out for the girls and that I stopped getting up at a regular time each morning; I also ceased using my Sunbox bright light first thing each morning.

As soon as I said the words “bright light”, Dr. D mentioned reading a recent study with findings that truly surprised me.   The study cited that getting early morning daylight (via natural light or a therapeutic light) & maintaining regular waking times/bedtimes were more helpful in improving depression than regular aerobic exercise.  

Dr. D. said he’d search for that study again to email it to me, and I’ll search for it as well – if I find it I’ll post it here.  He suggested that I consider going outside in the morning with a cup of coffee (programming my coffee pot the night before to get it ready) and hanging out to receive the natural light.  

Since Lucy Puppy is up bright and early at 5:00 a.m., jumping like a pogo stick to go outside, I could use her prodding to get me going.  Craig has been the one to take Lucy out thus far, which has been wonderful , but if I want to stop these damn dreads, I need to excuse him from morning puppy duty!

Wish me luck, kindred bloggers.  I realllllly need it.   The Dreads suck! 

xoxox

Dyane

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Goin’ Back Up after The Dreads Arrive

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This morning I’m writing old-school style, with a pen and a college-ruled notebook.  It’s foreign to write this way, which feels bittersweet.  I’ve become so used to using my laptop for writing that I haven’t used a pen in ages.   I’ve only touched a pen or pencil to jot down birthday card greetings, return addresses on bills (alas, I don’t have those nifty address labels!) and grocery lists.

I’m not handwriting today for its romantic element.  To my intense frustration, I’ve been blocked from using our shared computers, but I don’t feel up to making a fuss over it.  I want this morning to be as calm as possible because I woke up in a big ‘ol funk.  At 5:00 a.m. the precocious Lucy, now a thirteen-week-old bundle of energy, woke me up, raring to go on a puppy ultra-marathon.  My husband Craig also rose early and he made enough noise in leaving our room that I couldn’t get back to sleep.  

While hiding my head in my pillow, a heavy-duty case of what I call The Dreads fell upon me.

The Dreads are a first-cousin of depression and, like The Black Dog, consist of mental and physical fatigue, plus a looming dread of the day to come.  As I sat there in bed I was too wiped out to get up to start the day.  Ironically, when I’ve been hit with The Dreads,  once I’ve gotten out of bed and had my first cup of coffee, The Dreads slowly but surely vanish like a vampire caught in daylight.  That’s the difference between depression and The Dreads – a couple hours. But they still suck.

When I finally crawled out of bed at 7:00 a.m., I remembered I had cut down my Seroquel the night before.  I went from 100mg to 50 mg.  As I hadn’t had The Dreads hit me this intensely for a while, I wondered if there could be any connection between the medication drop and my distressing mental state.   

Of course it could just be a coincidence or my paranoia about how this med reduction affected me, or it could be both things!  But just in case it really is the Seroquel reduction, I’m going to resume my 100mg of Seroquel tonight and remain at that amount for the rest of the summer.

I’ve already found out that ever since my kids got out of school, our days have been too unstructured for my mental well-being.  I think I need a more regular daily schedule in order for me to feel confident about changing my medication dosage.  In any case, I can definitely live with my Seroquel-related grogginess for the next two months.  

My friend Becca Moore, the author and founder of the new website the Bipolar Parenting Project, wrote a great post on routine in her Psych Central Bipolar Parenting column.  Here’s the link:  

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-parenting/2014/06/routines-and-structure/

Maybe if I improve other habits that mess up my energy level, such as my sugar-infused diet, that could help with the grogginess.  Also, if I attempt to go to sleep and wake up at regular times like I did when the girls were in school, that would help with kicking The Dreads’ butt and with my grogginess too.

When the girls’ school closed for summer break, I stopped using my Sunbox therapeutic bright light every morning, which I did for a minimum of a half hour.  I didn’t think the light was making a significant difference in terms of keeping the nasty Dreads away, but maybe it has helped me more than I thought.  I’m going to make a point of using my Sunbox on a daily basis once again.  It’s really easy to do this as I can write, surf the net or read in front of it.  And, of course, eat while using it.  (Hopefully not too much double chocolate Talenti gelato!!)

On the brighter side, it helps me to notice that I’ve improved on my “all or nothing thinking” that I’ve done for so long.  In the past, I would have felt that I failed my one-day-long Seroquel taper.  I would have thought horrible things such as “You f*cking loser!” and “You’ll never be able to lower your Seroquel!”  Now, I think differently, and my self-flagellation is thankfully gone.  I’m able to think about all of this more rationally, and I’ll look to the fall as a better time to try again.  That’s pretty cool!

I can’t expect every day to be sunshine and rainbows.  (Can I?)  Well, I know a couple people who actually do feel strongly that way, and I admire them for their attitude, but I’m not there yet.  

In the meantime, I’m going to carry on with my self-care routine the rest of this afternoon. That consists of working out, paying attention to my kids and husband, and trying my best not to eat too much ice cream.  (It’s sooooo good this time of year, though.)

I’ll take Lucy for a stroll on our “Death Road” in which I pray she doesn’t have diarrhea like she did yesterday.  (Oh yes, I practice the fine art of T.M.I.)  I’m so glad The Dreads disappeared because after suffering with bipolar depression, any glimpse of those awful feelings is scary as hell.  

I’ll be around here in Blogville this Friday, and I’ll let you know how my Seroquel increase goes.

Wishing you sunshine, rainbows, gelato ( if you like it) and most importantly, not a whisper of The Dreads EVER! :))

xoxox

Dyane

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Adventures in Seroquel Tapering for the Groggy Blogger and more…

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T.G.I.M.? Thank God  it’s Monday?  I think not!  Mondays are usually the toughest day of the week for me, but maybe this one will be different.  At least I don’t have to rush the kids to school, and that’s a big plus for this groggy blogger.  More on my grogginess follows in this post; oh yes, it’s a primary theme, although get ready – other topics will be discussed and an exam given at the end. 😉

I’m thankful to have a more leisurely pace in our household this week.  There was a steady buzz of frenetic activity over the past five days.  Between having my two young girls out of school, hosting family from out-of-town, and adjusting to our super-energetic puppy’s needs, last week was challenging and at times even heartbreaking.  One day was plain-old-Nightmare On Elm Street Part VI, but blogging about that awful day really helped me.  After I received wonderful comments of support in this blog, I was able to move on with my day better than I would have done in the past.

Now, as I type this post, there is a beautiful sort of quiet in the room.  I hear the sounds of cars and motorcycles off in the distance, for we live directly above a scenic mountain highway, but at this point the traffic sounds akin to a rushing stream.  For the next hour it’s just me and Lucy puppy, who is nibbling contentedly on a puppy chew.  My husband took the girls to swim at the community pool, and I’m so, so grateful to have this solitude.

Most of us bloggers need to have quiet time away from other noisy humans – you don’t realize how vital this alone time is until it’s gone!  If I want to write anything except maybe a grocery list, I must have quiet.  I wish with all my heart that I could be like the author Madeleine L’Engle, who was able to write well with all kinds of distractions.  She wrote backstage on Broadway when she worked as a character actress, she scribbled on trains, journaled in hotel lobbies, etc. Unfortunately, I can’t write if my two kids are around unless I have headphones on, and that usually hasn’t worked out for me.

Along the lines of writing and solitude, a few minutes ago I watched an interesting, brief YouTube video of the writer John Irving.  I’ve never read his work, but I’ve heard about this famous writer for many years.  The video is called “How to Tell if You’re A Writer”, and Irving validated certain points for me regarding writing in general.  It was an inspiring minute & twenty seconds, and it’s definitely worth the time to watch if you’re a writer!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYvOSrgvCrk

Meanwhile, in exciting medication management news, last night I dropped down from 100mg/night to 50 mg of Seroquel (quetiapine).  Seroquel has been a godsend to me.  When I had a terrible, bizarre type of agitated insomnia last fall, my psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel.  I was completely skeptical that it would help me, but I was desperate to get some sleep.  Not to sound like a drama queen, but from past experience I knew if I didn’t sleep, I’d wind up back in the hospital.  So I started taking the Seroquel and I was profoundly relieved to find that it worked very well.  The only side effect that has bugged me is mild-to-moderate daytime grogginess until noon or so.

I’ve been meaning to drop from 100mg to 50 mg of Seroquel for literally months now.  My psychiatrist was totally on board with my decision.  However, I procrastinated tapering because I felt paranoid that changing my dose would throw off the wonderful, antidepressant effect of the lithium and Parnate (MAOI) I’ve been taking since last fall.  I voiced my concern with my psychiatrist and he told me that it was highly unlikely that my reducing Seroquel would bring on depression. I trust this man literally with my life, so I decided to go for it.

The 50% reduction has worked well so far; I slept well last night, but it has been less than twenty-four hours since I changed my dose! Only time will tell if this adjustment is effective for me in the long run.  My fingers and toes and eyeballs are crossed that it works just fine.

One good omen is that today I only had one cup of coffee instead of my usual three (sometimes even more – yes, I admit it!) hefty-sized mugs.  I’ve been drinking all this coffee because I love the taste, but also the large amount of caffeine has cut my grogginess down a bit. What amazes me is that I didn’t even realize that I drank 2/3 less of my usual amount of coffee until just now, 2:30 p.m., so that’s an encouraging sign!

The past week has been different for me in other ways in terms of my daily routine.  I’ve cut down my Facebook notifications & “following” option (which I still don’t totally understand, I’m embarrassed to tell you!) Lately I’ve only wished to keep track of the doings and likings etc. of people I’m actively involved with.  I’ve reduced my Twitter surfing too.   (Did you know that you can “mute” people on Twitter?  If you don’t, write me a comment and I’ll explain it! 😉  Or someone else can explain it…and I bet they’ll do a better job of it.)

Changing my social media habits frees up more time for me to be with my family, read other blogs, read books, write, and play with Lucy Puppy. And, ahem, to watch my trashy television shows.  I don’t want to stop being on social media – no way! I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again –  I’ve been using Facebook & Twitter too much.  It’s going to take me all summer to figure out a happier medium between online fun, mundane real-life responsibilities, and real-life fun!  At least I have hope I can work out a better balance of virtual and real-life activity.

Finally, I can’t thank you enough for reading this blog.  It’s a joy to know that I have loyal readers who I consider to be kindred spirits. The other day I hopped on another blogger’s post and I noticed there were 162 comments made within a day.  At first my heart sank, and I seethed in emerald green jealousy.  But then I realized that if I was that mega-blogger, there would be no way I could ever reply to all those comments.  Moreover, I probably wouldn’t read them all unless I was on speed or something, and the lovely give & take between blogger and followers would be non-existent.  At least for me.

At any rate my point is I’m glad for your comments, and I read every one.  Sometimes I take more time than I’d like to reply to you, but I promise I will.  I love having you, my followers, and I wish each of you a fulfilling blogging experience and a great day –  you deserve it!

All my best to you!

Dyane

 

 

My “Placeholder” Friday Post

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Hi everyone!  I hope your Friday (and for some of my Aussie/NZ friends, your Saturday) is going well.

Last month I vowed to blog Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays instead of publishing daily posts as I had been doing for the previous four months. I thought it would be much much easier to blog less often than every single day – wouldn’t you think the same thing? 😉 Well, ironically, it has been harder for me to write the less I write – if I don’t prime my “writing pump” each day, it gets stopped up. My favorite author Madeleine L’Engle’s advice was to write for a minimum of thirty minutes a day, and she’d be shaking her head at silly me for breaking her golden rule!

Having my two kids out of school and adjusting to a new schedule with much less free time is reason enough for me to have blogging challenges.  Even so, I was hanging in there with it all and getting a little writing done until a couple days ago.

I don’t have the energy to go into detail about it yet, but I plan on writing about this past week soon. I’m struggling about a extended family situation.  I’m not bottoming out, and I have a solid support system in place, but I’m feeling totally depleted emotionally and physically all the same.  My counselor has helped me out a great deal.  I have my furry antidepressant Lucy by my side, which is such a comfort, but neither my therapist or Lucy have magical powers to ameliorate the shitty thing that has been going on.

Over the past two days in particular I’ve been incredibly sad about this heartbreaking dilemma.  It’s something that’s impossible for me to fix.  While yes, I can change the way I react to what’s happening, it’s not so simple as it sounds.  It’s a totally complex and unfair dilemma.  I need to be strong and have faith that I will get through all this in one piece and life will get a little easier.

So if you’re into praying, please pray for me & my family!

Due to all that stuff, I wasn’t going to write today, but it feels good to just come up with a few paragraphs.  In order to relax from the sorrow I’ve been feeling, I’ve been treating myself to some creature comforts.  Some aren’t so great (i.e. gelato and chocolate chip cookies…and I don’t stop at a single scoop or one cookie!) but other treats are calorie-free, thank God.

I bought a couple books on my Kindle.  Knowing I have my books at the ready wherever I go is a Godsend.  I gravitate to certain types of books when I’m really bummed out, such as memoirs of people who really have it bad.  Their stories help me to put my life into perspective.  I bought “Why Did She Jump?” by Joan Childs, LCSW, a book that I’ve heard about for months and it was finally published this week.  Its theme is really heavy as the title implies, but it’s interesting, especially as the family depicted in this book are Jewish and Judaism is my cultural heritage.

Here’s the Amazon description:

Six million people in America suffer from bipolar disorder. Joan Child’s daughter, Pamela, suffered from the disorder, bouncing from doctor to doctor in search of treatment. Yet the demons became louder, and on a summer day in July 1998, the same day that the Oprah Winfrey Show aired a segment on bipolar disorder, Joan Childs’ 34-year-old-daughter leaped to her death from the window of her father’s 15-story apartment. Why Did She Jump? is her mother Joan’s haunting story of grief and guilt, yet it is a beautiful story of love and the courage to find peace and purpose once again.

With brutal honesty and vivid detail, Joan recalls how the entire family became entangled with Pam’s illness as they watched her dive deeper into the darkness where no one could reach her. Ironically, Pam and Joan were both psychotherapists yet, with all their credentials and medical knowledge, Pam still could not be saved.  Why Did She Jump? masterfully looks back even as it looks forward. Written with vivid memories of Pamela’s troubled yet loving life and the final days of her funeral and shiva (a seven-day mourning period in Judaism), the story will break your heart and then mend it again.

I also bought Australian singing legend Kate Ceberano’s long-awaited memoir “I’m Talking: My Life, My Words, My Music”.  I’ve heard of Kate Ceberano for years, but I’m actually not even familiar with her music!  I just love reading books about famous musicians, with a special weakness for New Zealand and Australian performers.  I downloaded Ceberano’s book’s sample and I really enjoyed reading it, so I completely splurged (I don’t even want to tell you how much it was!) and I bought her book.  Here’s the description:

For the first time, Kate Ceberano, one of Australia’s best-loved entertainers, shares her story.

In her own unmistakeable voice, Kate Ceberano takes us on a very personal journey from her suburban childhood, her immersion in the Melbourne club scene of the eighties and her rise to stardom at the age of fourteen when she fronted the wildly popular funk bank I?m Talking, to the life of a female performer and recording artist in London, Los Angeles and New York.

With parallel careers as a pop and jazz singer and songwriter, Kate has received the highest awards in the Australian music industry including the ARIA for Best Female Artist. She has delighted audiences in Harry M. Miller’s hugely successful Jesus Christ Superstar, won a legion of fans when she won Dancing with the Stars, and made a triumphant debut for Opera Australia in South Pacific. Now she reveals, for the first time, just what that was like.

People have been talking about Kate Ceberano since she was a teenager: Hugh Jackman described her as having ‘truly one of the great voices this country has produced’; for Rolling Stone she is ‘pure, soulful and powerful’. Now Kate is talking for herself.  Accompanied by never before seen photos.

So that’s what’s going on with me.  Please forgive me for typos and/or syntax errors – I usually wait a day before publishing a post because there are always, always errors to fix and ways to tighten up and improve even a measly few paragraphs!  I’ve heard this time and time again from other writers so it’s nice to know it’s not just me.

On a brighter note, I’ve gotten some fantastic comments this week on my blog – thank you so much!!!  I haven’t been able to reply to most of them yet, but I will once I recharge a bit.  In the meantime, thank you for reading this, and thanks to those of you who have been so kind and encouraging about my writing.  It means the absolute world to me.

take care,

Dyane