The Bipolar Identity Diet

IdentityCrisis

This morning I had reservations about publishing this post.  It doesn’t contain f-bombs or slurs or anything like that!  I only hope that when you read it, you won’t take my opinions the wrong way, because they’re only that…opinions.  You may be in a very different place in how you view bipolar disorder’s role in your life.  It might be difficult to connect with or even understand my thoughts.  I’ll share this post in the spirit of the phrase “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” and take it from there!

Over the weekend I ruminated a lot about the person I was before I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder.    

My reminiscences were catalyzed by hanging out last Friday with my friend “Dan”.  I brought along my six-year-old daughter Marilla and Lucy the puppy.  In the late 1990’s I rented a studio from Dan in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains during my college days and we became friends during two years I lived on his property.  He’s now training to be a therapist, twenty-five years since we first met, and he’s hard at work earning the required three thousand hours for his license.

Over tea, Dan recalled the young woman I had been at nineteen, long before any doctor slapped me with the “B” label.  He mentioned that, sure, I seemed moody at times, but he noted that my moods didn’t swing to either extreme.  While Dan isn’t a psychiatrist, I took his opinions as seriously as if they were the opinions belonging to a pdoc.  

Marilla, a.k.a. the Old Soul, has been inquisitive about my personal history lately, and she asked to see the studio that I rented.  As I gazed around the studio, which had been renovated since I lived there, my memories of what it used to look like poured forth – vivid memories that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) didn’t erase.

During the three hours we visited Dan, Marilla and Lucy played in the garden with his dogs while Dan and I watched them from the patio.  He asked me a bunch of questions about how bipolar manifested in my life.  It wasn’t idle chit-chat; Dan truly wanted to know the details, so I reviewed many bipolar-related experiences I had.  Dan was very compassionate, and he gave me some excellent advice, but I felt drained after telling him about my life with mental illness.

That same evening it hit me how burned out I’ve become by the fact that I’ve made bipolar disorder my primary identity and my life’s work.  I can’t blame anyone but myself for making my life a bipolar disorder-dominated one.  An important side note is that I believe it has been essential for me to be consumed with bipolar research, the advocacy, the community service, and much more…to a point.  

It’s simply time for me to shift my focus and accept that I’m not going to become a version of the mover & shaker Muffy Walker, president of the International Bipolar Foundation.  As  much as I admire what the altruistic Walker does to help thousands of people, I don’t feel called to a long-term career related to bipolar disorder. (f.y.i. Muffy Walker does not have bipolar disorder; her adult son does.) 

Please understand that I realize that other people with bipolar disorder find so much  fulfillment in working with bipolar-related issues, organizations and careers.  I honestly thought that’s what I wanted to do, but at the ripe age of forty-four, I’m changing my (mercurial) mind.   And I might change it back – who knows?  

When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I not only wanted to help myself but I wanted to help others cope with bipolar disorder.  I founded the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) for my county.  To start a chapter one must pay annual dues of $125/year, so I raised hundreds of dollars on my own to keep the chapter running for several years.  (I don’t advise anyone to do this type of effort alone, by the way!  That’s a recipe for burnout!)

I arranged for extensive media promotion despite the fact my bipolar depression and anxiety never let up.  I participated in newspaper interviews about my personal experience with bipolar, as well as announcing the new, free support groups.  I “came out” about my stigmatized mental illness to my conservative mountain community in a big way.  

I’ve also helped people who have contacted me via the phone or internet.  I felt driven to take my mental illness and do something positive with it, but it was hard as hell.  Now I feel that it’s time to reframe my self-identity.  I hope to cut down on thinking how “bipolar-ish” I am all the time, which is what I’ve been doing for eight years.  It’s a deeply instilled habit.  Prior to my diagnosis, I grew up very close to my  father who had bipolar disorder, so I’ve been surrounded by this mood disorder virtually my whole life.  

Everyone is different, of course, in how they live with bipolar.  I’ve needed to make my life about bipolar disorder to a large degree up to now.  I hesitate to say I’m in “remission” because I’m superstitious and neurotic about that term.  HOWEVER, my life has been much, much improved ever since I’ve been taking effective medications. 

It seems like now is the right time to revise how I see myself in terms of being “mentally ill”.  I’m fed up with feeling like I’m damaged goods no matter how far I come along in my recovery.   I’m going to need my therapist’s help because I’m not going to be able to magically change my self-image in thirty days!

Here’s what my starting goal is – I’m going to think, really think, of myself as a writer and mother.   Ever since I was little I wanted to be a writer and a mother.  Not a bipolar writer nor a bipolar mother.  If someone asks me what I do (the dreaded question!) I’ll simply say writer and mom to begin with.

Now, bipolar disorder will remain firmly ensconced in my psyche.  I’m not ignoring my bipolar disorder.   I think about bipolar a minimum of four times a day when I must take my meds, and I discuss it when I see my therapist biweekly and psychiatrist every month.  Plus, there’s the small matter of my book-in-progress, Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder.  

I’ve given bipolar disorder more than enough attention, and  it will always clamor for a place in my head (literally and figuratively), but a healthier balance between the illness and who I am at the core needs to be made.  I’ve written about “how much more I am than bipolar”, but I haven’t internalized that belief because I haven’t been ready.  I think I’m at the threshold of recognizing and exploring the non-bipolar parts of myself now.

Thanks for reading!  

Dyane

p.s.  Yesterday I came across the following creative writing “prompt” titled {The 24 Hour Bipolar-Free Pill} on the blog Bipolar Beads.  Bipolar Beads is geared to writers, so this unique new blog offers its followers intriguing, provocative bipolar prompts and quotations.  

While reading the prompt, I felt wistful.  Although such a pill doesn’t exist, I like to dream about one anyway.  I think I yearn for a bipolar disorder cure not just for myself, but in case any of my children inherit the genetic tendencies for it.  

I’ll never ignore bipolar disorder’s presence in my life – I’m simply revising my self-image and cutting down my obsession with bipolar disorder, diet-style.  I’m betting  I’ll feel a little healthier…lighter…renewed.

 

{The 24 Hour Bipolar-Free Pill}

(mm garnes)

{Prompt}

You have one pill.

This pill will do exactly one thing.

For twenty-four hours, no more, no less, to the minute, you will not be bipolar.

But aren’t those my meds, you ask?

No.

This pill is different.

Anything you remember about your illness will be gone.

Tendencies towards melancholy. Morosities.

Isn’t this mania? You ask again. No. This pill will keep you balanced

Your voice is smooth.  Your mind fluid, flexible, at ease.

———

How would this pill feel to take? How would your body feel?  How would your mind feel?

Knowing you had only twenty four hours to live with a disorder-free mind and body, what would you plan?

Major life events?  Nothing at all?

Where would you go? Who would you be with?

————————

-xo

http://bipolarbeads.com/2014/07/10/the-24-hour-bipolar-free-pill/

 

 


		
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38 thoughts on “The Bipolar Identity Diet

  1. What a great post, thanks for sharing. It is a crucial balancing act in being focused on being bi-polar (and what you need to do to function with it) but not letting it be the sole defining factor of who you are.

    All I can say is having a great professional support structure and support of family/friends makes the difference. It is such a comfort to know that you do not have to go it alone!

    1. Sorry for the late reply, Vic! Thank you SO much for reading my post & for taking time to comment! You sound like a kindred spirit to me – you truly understand how having bipolar is a balancing act, which is where it all begins each and every day. It gets pretty exhausting sometimes, like a full-time job!

      Anyway, thanks once again. I hope this finds you well and I wish you a great day. :)))

      take good care,
      Dyane

  2. Dear Dyane, what I have honestly learned from myself over the past year in understanding my disorder for the first time, is that one tends to become so passionate about your illness once you learn about it. To finally be able to define who you are, gives you the desire to share it with the world to create the same understanding you have undergone. But without it ever setting out to be your intention, it starts defining ALL that you are. I am still in that place…feeling as though my entire life is defined with bipolar disorder. I think we as sufferers tend to make bipolar our world because we crave acceptance and even if we find it, we find it difficult to let go.

    1. Hey my friend! I owe you a private message, by the way, & I definitely haven’t forgotten about you. Sorry to be flaky as of late – the sickies in our house (Craig and Marilla) were distracting me, so I’m going to blame them! I started getting it to but thank God not nearly as bad as the colds they got.

      Anyway, so glad to see you’ve written a blog post after taking a short break, and I’ll check it out tonight!!!! As for what you wrote so beautifully here – your comment is just perfectly stated. I couldn’t say it or write it out any better. I was starting to ease away from bipolar just a little bit over the past week, only to have something unexpected come up that is making me think a lot about it all over again. Yuck! I know that I need to be the one in charge and not play the victim role, but sh*t, it’s hard. I wish so much that neither of us felt our entire life was defined by bp but miracles happen and hopefully one day bp will take a place in the background!

      All we can do is keep moving forward and do our best to live well in spite of it. And I must add how fun would it be if a cure was actually invented for bipolar? My Dad had polio and they cured polio, right? You never know. It’s free to dream!

      Sending you a big hug from far away. xoxoxoxoxoxxooxxo Dyane

  3. great post! I find the less symptomatic I am the more I am able to detach from my bipolar label. Once symptoms return I am then obsessed once again and tend to read and write more about it, which is my way of processing what is going on with me.

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting – I usually reply back much sooner, but the past few days I’ve dealt with some mundane tasks that drained me.

      Your comment hit the nail on the head!! That’s *exactly* what I do! Lately I’ve been longing for the days when I didn’t know what the word “bipolar” (or “manic depression”, the term used for my Dad) meant. It’s nice to dream a bit, but then reality comes back of course. Oh well. We all have our “things”.

      Now I’m trying to have more fun and do more of my favorite things: play with my new puppy, read, watch silly shows, write and make fattening sweets. My daughter and I made butterscotch for the first time today. For something that wasn’t chocolate, it was REEEEAAALLLLLY yummy! :))))

      Thanks again for following – it’s a honor and I’m very happy about it. take good care!!
      DYane

  4. Do you suppose there is a difference between BPD “defining you” and you are who you are is “because” of BPD? I am learning that things I’ve done, ways I’ve reacted, situations I’ve been in that are so irrational sometimes and leave me thinking “why in the heck did I ….” they are “because” of the BPD. Maybe it’s hypomania talking or blame shifting, or even just because this diagnosis is new but it really puts my last 40 years into such a clear perspective. I hope I dont regret attributing life to this disease of the mind.

    1. Hey sweetshann! You bring up such a great question!!! I pondered it for a while because it’s such an excellent thing to ask – I kept going back and forth about it, to tell you the truth. Just when I thought I had my answer, my mind (that silly organ! 😉 played tricks on me and I changed it. I think that I’m still the person I was before I was diagnosed. I view bipolar as being akin to a cancer of my mind, to be totally honest – a soul sucker that almost killed me. The fact that you are newly diagnosed and that you’re thinking about these matters is incredible to me – you sound very grounded, and old-soulish! I think it’s healthy you’re examining the role that this diagnosis plays in your life the way you’re doing. I wish you strength in dealing with bp. I am really glad I found your blog, & I look forward to reading about your journey in the months ahead!

      1. Girl yesterday I went to see a holistic doctor who did the iridiology reading.. SO crazy!! AND accurate! I am excited to be on this journey and have others like yourself to learn from as well.

    2. WOW about that iridology!!!!!!I I believe in the power of holistic healing too, and even got a slide done of my eye long, long ago at a workshop I went to about iridology, but I forgot what the iridologist said about me, ha ha ha!!!!! That’s so cool it was accurate and I hope you post about the juicy details! Thanks so much for your comment!

  5. Reblogged this on Depression Hub and commented:
    Lovely piece really addressed to all of us with mental health issues, not just bipolar. For me, Dyane’s key phrase is “I’ve given bipolar disorder more than enough attention…”

    Pretty much how I feel about depression.
    Down, bad dog, down!

  6. Beautifly written! I applaud u for your relentless efforts, yearning for knowledge, being an advocate for Bipolar and your incredible writing skills! Bipolar is only one chapter of your life and it certainly doesn’t define u! U are so much more! You are a beautiful person with a beautiful mind! Your empathy and kind heart has helped others more than u can fathom! You have now opened up a new chapter and u can begin to do what u love and love what u do! Life is more than the label of Bipolar! It’s what u make it! Make it great! I’ll be cheering u on!!

    1. Hey, bipolaraftermath, where should I send the payment cheque to thank you for writing such a stellar comment? 😉
      Thank you for making me giggle with glee while I read your words. It’s SO nice to be appreciated this way, and you inspire me to keep writing and to believe in myself.

      I’m so glad I found your blog – what a gift.

      I love how you express that I’ve opened up a “new chapter”….book analogies are awesome for this booky fiend! Bipolar took up too many chapters in my life, which I allowed to happen after a point, and I can’t whip myself day and night for that. I need to figure out other topics for my future life chapters, ya know? I’ll keep blogging, so please stay tuned, dear blogging friend, and I’ll be cheering for you right back, okay?

      Be well and take extra-good care of yourself – you ROCK! :)))))

      1. Hey Dyane, I am so glad u found my Blog as well! U are truly am inspiration for those dealing with Bipolar! U are not going to let the diagnosis beat u and ruin your quality of life by obsessing over it! You have made the choice to accept it but are not going to let it affect your dreams, goals and desire to live life to the fullest! You are a true testament that u can live life beyond the illness! I am so happy for u and congratulate u for looking beyond the illness! You are amazing! Thanks for your positive words, they mean the world to me! Keep in touch my friend:)!

  7. Whew! That’s one heck of a thing isn’t it? Because a mood disorder is so darned pervasive in one’s life it gets really hard to separate it from your own personality. It’s truly a tragedy for us when we look at what we were before and realise our illness has changed us in fundemental ways.
    I think we experience a greiving process for our former selves’ passing on, and having to live with the burden of what goes after. Pat of that is acceptance of our illnesses and identifying with it. But you address a vital point Dyane, when you reject bipolar AS your identity. After all, you’re a human first and foremost. I think my wife and I have gone through many of these same thoughts and experiences in our respective journeys. Sometimes you gain a perspective on something, only to throw it away later. I think sometimes the point is to travel the road itself. The view along the way is an awesome and scary thing… but I for one, wouldn’t miss it for the world.

    1. If someone takes one look at your comment, James, he or she will understand why I nagged you to start your own stupendous blog! You are a beacon of light and perspicacity. That word just came into my brain, seriously! When I looked it up on Dictionary.com to remind myself what it meant, it said “keenness of mental perception and understanding; discernment; penetration” – how perfect for you!

      This reply is one long digression. But I know you get me. Your comment was beautiful and spot-on in every way about bipolar’s influence upon our identities and how we grieve the loss of our old selves.

      So………I’m going to focus more on the road and the view from this point on. I’ve always been big about views ever since I hiked the spectacular Santa Monica Mountains as a teenager and found solace up there away from the craziness. As a small-town boy named Tim Finn titled his latest album, “The View Is Worth the Climb”, and it certainly is! 🙂

      Give my best to your wife – if she’s half as gifted at writing as you are, tell her I’m going to nag her to start her own blog next! :))))

  8. Hey Dy, I can understand where you are coming from, not wanting to be defined by your diagnosis. It makes a lot of sense. There is a lot of value in peer to peer work in mental health, as those who have been affected have something special, experience, to contribute.
    Good luck with the change in direction and I look forward to reading about your experiences.

    1. Hello there Glenn! You are so right – I don’t want to be defined by my diagnosis. That’s why I make a point of saying “I have bipolar” and instead of “I am bipolar”. I spent two years forming & leading free peer-to-peer support groups after I founded the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance chapter of Santa Cruz County. (DBSA) That experience was bittersweet. While I met some wonderful people, I was also adversely affected by becoming too enmeshed with several group members. My toxic relationships made my depression worse, and I ended my involvement with the chapter. It wasn’t the right time or fit for me to be in a peer-to-peer program. I know that NAMI has great peer training programs in my county; if I could do it again I’d take their class first before embarking on creating a support group.

  9. Dear Susan, in the words of the great Bono/The Edge-written song for a little band called U2, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, and I’m rather fuzzy-brained as I write this. (That hardly EVER happens! 😉

    I can’t begin to thank you without sounding like one of those drawn-out Academy Award thank-you speeches in which the winner acknowledges fifty people plus her pet turtle from 6th grade. Your comment and your reblog touched my heart and made me feel very happy. It was a great way to start a Monday morning.

    I felt particularly vulnerable in sharing this post and yours was the first comment I read – it was the perfect comment for me. I could have written much more on bipolar disorder and self-image – it could be a workshop! But for now I’m slowing down, making sure my girls have a present mom more often than before, and most of all, consciously accepting & taking better care of myself physically and psychologically.

    Sending you a bear hug! 🙂
    Dyane

  10. I have mixed feelings… are you still going to blog? just a little? or blog that focuses more on writing? Other than selfish reasons for wanting to read your blog, I’m totally excited about this change. 🙂 I do think it’s great that you are transitioning how you see yourself. My husband always tells me that I can do anything I put my mind to. I often remind him about my bipolar and how much harder it is for me to accomplish some things and he always has confidence in my abilities. He reminds me that just because the path that I’m on is much harder than other’s doesn’t mean I should quit and stop pursuing what I love. I think anyone that struggles with bipolar understands how some days are bipolar days and some days are just normal days. Either way we shouldn’t let that stop us from our passions and finding ourselves. I think that realizing that you are a mother and writer first can help you see that bipolar doesn’t own you, you may have it, but it’s not what defines you. I’m happy for you Dyane.

    1. Oh yes, I’m going to still blog, sweet mamawithtrainingwheels! Your comment made me grin and feel good. 🙂
      I’ll blog less frequently than before, but I love the blog world and wouldn’t want to leave it because I’d miss out on so much. I’m sure I’ll still spew a lot of bipolar-related material in the blog, but I’ll mix it up perhaps a bit more with other topics including writing and God-knows-what! 😉

      You have an AMAZING-sounding husband, and he’s 100% right – you absolutely can do anything you wish! I also really love the phrase you used: “Bipolar doesn’t own you.” Thanks for being happy for me, and for being such a ray of light.
      You made my day and I wish you the absolute best!

  11. I completely understand where you’re coming from. While I want to help people, I’m making it a point not to go beyond blogging because I know it will simply be too much for me to handle.

    I also have to work on thinking of myself as a human, not a mental health disorder. If I’m feeling some way or doing a certain action, sometimes it’s okay to realize I’m just having an average, human moment.

    1. Hi Tempest Rose & thanks for the follows – I followed ya back on your blog & Twitter! 😉 Your comment is awesome – I appreciate how you make it clear in what you can give. You are sharing so much with your readers through your personal blog and via The Bipolar Parenting Project! Blogging and that is more than enough, isn’t it? It is for me.

      The way I see it, there are so many wonderful mental health advocates and this”demographic” is growing. Many of these intrepid souls are giving in other ways than blogging, i.e. support groups, online support, phone support, etc., so we all balance one another out.

      I learned the hard way that I can’t give away too much in the spirit of do-goode-rness. (My word! :0 It doesn’t roll off the tongue, though, does it?) I overdid it when I created and led free support groups, and I bottomed out into a depressive relapse. Never again.

      Anyway, I am thrilled to be connected with you via the net and I look forward to getting to know you through your posts. Take good care of yourself, and thanks for stopping by & commenting. Getting support & true understanding from comments such as yours is like savoring a yummy oversize chocolate truffle, but even better and longer-lasting! :)))))

  12. This is great ! Ofcourse you are more than bipolar disorder. The ability to recognize this is a step towards a better life- a life that you want for yourself. Wish you all the best with it. I am with you on this. Much love. xoxoxox

    1. Thank you, my friend! I know you want the best for me…you always have encouraged me and made me feel good with every word. Bless you and your family always. Much love, Z-lady!!!

  13. Thanks for expressing this, Dyane. My husband recently asked me if I wanted to volunteer for some local groups that work with mentally ill people, and I had to say no. Realistically, I’d find it very depressing, and as depression is the major expression of the illness in my life, I need to avoid mood dampeners as much as I can. It’s one thing to read about it (say, in someone’s blog) but dealing with it in the flesh-and-blood is too difficult for me at this point. I just don’t want my entire life to be about bipolar stuff. 🙂

    1. H Laura! Thank you very much for commenting!

      I ***completely*** understand where you’re coming from. The bottom line is that you must put your mental health first before anything else. I believe we do absorb others’ “energy”, and if you’re susceptible to depression like we are, it’s easy to be adversely affected by others’ mental states. While attending peer groups for mood disorders, I made several friendships with other women with depression. Unfortunately I found these friendships bringing me down too much. I had to end them and that sucked. (For want of a better word!)

      I’ve been the volunteer coordinator at various non-profits (Friends of the State Parks, Friends of the Libraries, San Jose Jazz Society and more) and so I know there are a multitude of other volunteer positions you could try that immerse in nature, books, music. I’d seek out positive, mellow or upbeat environments if you are considering volunteering. And remember you can **always** quit a volunteer even after one shift if it feels unhealthy or the fit isn’t right.

      Best of luck to you & take good care!

      Dyane

    1. I KNEW I could count on you, Kitt, to write a comment that would give me not just warm fuzzies but also remind me of the Truth in your creative, unique way.

      I love that you mentioned my furbaby Lucy Puppy. She totally gives me free puppylicious therapy except I find no therapeutic benefits from her potty training snafus. In any case, you are right. Love is healing.

      I’m about to show Lucy the love by taking her to a field and letting her run around with all her puppy might. It will be so fun to observe her. Her vet instructed me to wait for her to roam freely in certain places until her shot schedule was complete. He said that the deadly Parvo virus can live up to 2 years in grass (with old fecal matter yuck!) or trails or wherever dogs poop! So I’ve been strict. (you probably know this info. but it was new to me!)

      I’ll think of you as you are most likely gallivanting on the trails of Mammoth, one of my favorite places on earth, while I watch Lucy run in frenetic circles at San Lorenzo Valley’s elementary school field! Thanks for being there for me. Remember to come super-hungry when I treat you to sushi, and we’ll get Craig’s book to you soon. I promise.

  14. I am trying to embody this attitude as well, and I am glad you expressed the need/desire for lots of us (I am sure) who struggle with this disorder to re-frame it, or focus on ourselves with different definitions. My latest “work” with it is to see it as a bum back or an old sports injury–in my case it just happens to be an emotional injury; it takes the stigma out of it a bit and lessens my tendency to dwell on the Me before this and the worry that IT will all happen again……I resonate with your sentiments. I don’t mean to make light of the severity of deep emotional pain, but when it has “cleared”, for however long that will last, looking forward (as much as possible) and not back has been essential for me. Thank you, Dyane

    1. Sweet Sara, as you can see, I’m 100% better in replying to you on the blog than on Cruzio! Forgive me – I think of you daily! At least you can tune in here, right?

      I like your latest “work” -your bum-back injury analogy. That’s a pretty cool way to shift perspective. I had a herniated disc & two major knee surgeries, so the physical injury angle speaks to me. It does take the stigma out of bp for a moment – and those moments can add up to actually create some kind of positive change, I’m sure!

      I think I’ll always worry about a relapse but I think that’s perfectly normal. (Unless there’s a cure. And I’m going to keep thinking along those lines because there’s nothing to lose!) You aren’t making light of anything, by the way. This is a great comment of yours – it provides plenty of food for thought.

      So yes, it’s time for me to take a breather from the intense scrutiny I’ve placed upon the mood disorder in general, and upon my brain. Life isn’t fair, but if we don’t try for what we want, we won’t get it. I’m gonna try….uh oh, I feel like a 70’s song is coming on. I Love you!!!

      XOXO the one & only S.T.

      p.s. today is the first day Lucy Puppy, your god dog, can roam free on the grass and beach! Her shots are finally done! I’ll answer that last email of yours and we’ll hook up with the hound. She’s getting cuter by the second. (and bigger!)

  15. Dyane,
    I applaud you for recognizing you are so much more than bipolar disorder. Though I can understand when you are writing about the illness and wanting to learn so much more, it starts to consume us. I can relate to that…because there are days when I just don’t want to be bothered with bipolar anymore than I have to be. It may take some time, but I am sure you can be a “writer and a mom” and that is so awesome! I wish you the best on this new path of your journey! 🙂

    1. Amy, thank you x 1000! It’s always a treat to get an Amy Gamble comment!!!
      I’ve been a freelance writer for seventeen years (national & regional articles, interviews with bestselling authors etc.) and a mom for the past nine years. But ever since the bipolar diagnosis in 2007, I’ve automatically thought “bipolar” before “writer”, and “bipolar” before mom. It’s hard to explain, but the actual word itself has lodged in my brain like an infected redwood splinter. I just would like to stop thinking about bipolar disorder & me obsessively as if it were a bizarre type of crush. Yeah, a crush – not the good kind!

      I was able to detach from bp after I left the house this morning. We went blackberry picking down the street and I had to focus on picking them “just so” because the thorns HURT. Wow, they really hurt! (This is the first time I’ve done it despite living on this street for almost a decade.) Obviously I wasn’t wearing good picking gear! So, I didn’t think the following silly thing I usually would think: “Here’s Dyane the Bipolar Blackberry Picker – isn’t she a total mess?” I stayed in the moment and I picked as many of those yummy fruits as I could without suffering the thorny pain! I want more of those times. I think it’s possible!

      1. Absolutely it is possible! You are so talented with such terrific experience I can not wait to read your book. Even though you may write about bipolar stuff. I hope you will find a happy balance between continuing to be that advocate and living life without BP occupying it 24/7. I have found that others don’t view me as BP I tend to view myself that way.

  16. Dyane, that was truly inspiring! You amaze me and you’ve given me quite a bit to think about. It is so easy to get wrapped up in this disorder be it positive or negative. Just awesome! I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to repost this on my blog as well. I’ll even tweet it. Everyone should see this!

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