Blogosphere Angels: Kitt O’Malley & Glenn Archibald

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While brainstorming for today’s topic, I wanted to focus on something resoundingly positive to counter disturbing events that have occurred in my town this past week.  I’m posting today rather than my usual Monday so you can check out these positive resources sooner rather than later!

But first, here’s a bit of a backstory…

On Wednesday I woke up, uber-groggy as usual, and over a cup of coffee I checked out my Facebook newsfeed.  My neighborhood’s Facebook group reported that a fatal car accident a few minutes down the street from my house had just occurred.  An hour later I received news that the high school where I taught received a threat of a mass shooting.  The FBI were involved and the school shut down for the day.  To add to the general sense of gloom I felt, the weather was rainy, foggy and cold.  While we’ve definitely needed the rain, the grim weather was not my cup of tea!

Today, Friday, I wanted to counter the negativity that I’ve felt increasing since Wednesday.  I pondered about what has consistently uplifted my spirit.  I wanted to share whatever came to mind in this blog so you could benefit too!  The answer came while I brushed my teeth: I wanted to write about how the bloggers Kitt O’Malley of California and Glenn Archibald of Australia have helped me this past year.  

When I became a consistent blog reader,  I noticed that a fellow named Glenn Archibald and I followed many of the same blogs.  His cheery gravatar that accompanied his comments popped up on practically everything in my Reader.  I also spotted that Glenn almost always left a compassionate, helpful reply on those blog posts.  The comments weren’t usually that lengthy, but every single one was heartfelt.  

I kept thinking, “I wish I had someone like that reading my blog.  I should start following Glenn’s blog; hopefully then he’ll read mine and comment away!” but I was lazy, and for some silly reason I kept putting such a simple thing off.  

Thank God Glenn was proactive, for he noticed that we were fans of the same bloggers and he began following “Birth of a New Brain”.  At last, I located his “Glenn 2.0: Opinions on Life, the Universe and Mental Things” blog, and pressed “follow”.  Despite the thousands of miles between us we’ve developed a lovely internet friendship.  I never know what topics to expect from Glenn 2.0 – this is quite a diverse blog. His life story (like all of yours) is profoundly inspiring, (and like most of you) he lives with a mental illness.  He has a unique, clear writing style all his own, and it’s easy for me to follow whatever he expounds on even if they’re about subjects I’ve never contemplated.  Thank you Glenn!

Kitt O’Malley has also been a truly amazing contributor to the blogosphere.  Like Glenn, she usually replies to almost any blog post she reads, and her comments have a certain depth and soulfulness to them.  I’ve often thought of Kitt as doing a “blogging ministry” so to speak because she has religious training and it’s beautifully clear that she wants to help others.  Kitt’s comments contain the utmost respect and empathy.  She designs her responses to help and encourage the many bloggers she follows. Kitt’s also honest and she won’t placate any blogger with useless platitudes.  Kitt is the best kind of follower to have, in my humble opinion.  

As an active mental health advocate who recently completed NAMI’s extensive Peer-t0-Peer Course, Kitt has a wealth of practical information to share with those living with bipolar disorder. She also disseminates mental health information through her blog, which covers a variety of topics apart from mental health. 

So there you have it.  Two awesome, inspiring bloggers in recovery, helping others who have bipolar disorder live better lives.  Here’s how to reach them:  

 http://glenn2point0.wordpress.com/

kittomalley.com

Oh, I almost forgot to write, “Happy Thanksgiving!” my friends!!!  Take care next week, be extra-good to yourselves, and try to take a little time out for yourself amidst all the hubbub.  

(Isn’t hubbub a great word?)

XO

Dyane

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Please endorse me for the WEGO Health Activist Award

I was nominated by the bestselling author/bipolar advocate

Wendy K.  Williamson. It takes  about 20 seconds to endorse. Visit:  

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4811

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I’m Trying

I’m Trying

I can’t resist reblogging this post “I’m Trying”! 🙂 Tempest Rose of Nonsense & Shenanigans is enormously talented and creative. This is her guest post at Thoughtful Minds United and the subject matter relates to what I wrote on Monday about the humdrums! Enjoy! Dyane

Humdrumming Along!

Humdrumming Along!

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The past week has been so mundane that I was tempted to skip today’s post as I didn’t want to put you to sleep.  But as a fervent blog reader, I appreciate other bloggers’ “blah” posts sometimes even more than the impressive, erudite “Fresh Pressed”-esque ones.  However, I don’t feel a sense of schadenfreude when I read about a blogger’s dreary, everyday struggles.  What happens is that I often connect with that writing on a deeper level.  It also feels good to know I’m not the only one plodding along with often bipolar-related challenges that few people in my life understand.

My groggylicious fatigue didn’t magically disappear last week.  I received my psychiatrist’s blessing to lower my already-low dose of quetiapine (Seroquel), a medication associated with fatigue.  Dr. D. suggested that I chart daily how I’m affected by the med change.  It’s too soon for me to tell if lowering the amount is helping or hindering; I’ll need at least another week to sort it out.

I’ve been dragging despite doing (mostly) healthy habits.  Worst of all, I haven’t felt like working on my book.  This scares me more than any zombie movie or True Tori Season II episode could.  

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Verrrrrrry scary!

While I allowed myself to have two days off (per my writing mentor Wendy K. Williamson’s advice), I didn’t jump back into my writing routine as I had planned.  

It’s not too late to jump back in…the day is still young.  I can still open my Word file and start tapping away – no one is stopping me.  It takes all of, what, ten seconds to double click the icon?  Even if I write for a measly ten minutes I’ll feel better.  I always do.  Every writing book I’ve read, such as the Natalie Goldberg bestseller “Writing Down the Bones” or the more recent SARK book “Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper” asserts that what matters is to keep the writing momentum going whether I’m feeling fired up about it or not. (It turns out that I did write for a little while, which was a triumph!)

Throughout my life I’ve been an “all or nothing” gal in many respects.  When “nothing” describes my writing output, I start to panic.  Since this has been a dismal writing week, I’ve had niggling thoughts such as “Just give it up –  you’re never going to finish!”  and “F*ck it.”

Then I tell those thoughts to go where the sun don’t shine!!!

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Although my writing drive has dampened, there remains a voice inside that says to keep going.  While my book isn’t going to be of Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison-caliber, or possibly “Sweet Valley High: Double Love”, that’s okay; I resigned myself to that fact long ago.  

That’s where I’m at on a cold, quiet Monday morning.  

One thing I know for sure:

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JUST KIDDING!

One thing I know for sure is that the humdrums * too shall pass!  If you’re also going through the humdrums, feel free to vent below.  I won’t bill you for it. 😉

Take good care of yourselves, my friends,

XO Dyane

* “humdrums” is defined as “lacking variety, boring, dull”, and “humdrumming” isn’t an actual word as far as I know, but I like the sound of it!

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Please endorse me for the WEGO Health Activist Award

If you want to share the link that’s fine too!

I was nominated by the bestselling author/bipolar advocate

Wendy K.  Williamson. It takes  about 20 seconds to endorse nominees. Visit:  

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4811

Groggylicious

 

Bobs #!

 

Good Monday morning, everyone,  how are you?

This past week I’ve gotten off to such a slooooow start in the mornings.  If it wasn’t for the roaring LifeFlight rescue helicopter I heard at 5:00 a.m. (we live across the street from its landing field) I wouldn’t be up right now.

The time change threw me off, which I expected, but I still hoped it wouldn’t affect me to the extent that it did.  Despite using my cheery Sunbox light as soon as I get up, I resemble a cast member from the film “Dawn of the Dead”.  I kind of look like this fellow, but with long brown hair.

imagesIt ain’t a pretty sight!

I suspect another culprit for my sluggification is the change of seasons.  I’m simply not a cold-weather gal; I was born and bred in balmy, 70 degree Los Angeles for heaven’s sake.  Although I still live in California, it gets very chilly up here.

Adding to the fun is the advent of “Leak Week”.  As my husband lovingly told me the other day, our bed looked like the setting of a hunting accident.  A visit from Auntie Flo always makes me tired.  (Sorry for T.M.I., but please believe me, this post could be much worse.)  

Case in point:

https://proudlybipolar.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/my-freaky-malodorous-urgent-care-life-lesson/

I’ve been trying harder to be healthy in order to boost my energy level.  I work out almost daily on my elliptical and  I usually get enough sleep.  While I take lithium, tranylcypromine and quetiapine, all notorious for causing fatigue, I haven’t made any med changes up to now.  

But I’m still exhausted.

I need to reduce my sugar intake, as I know that causes “sugar crashing” and I eat too much of it. It seems like there’s always something new, sugary and tempting that hooks me in.  The latest product is Marley’s One Drops with Jamaican coffee.  I could rhapsodize all day about how tasty these One Drops are. (I don’t work for the Marley Beverage Company, LLC.  I’m not being paid to advertise for them – I wish!  I could use a little cash to buy a new laptop.)  

Anyway, apart from that, I promised to report on how the book writing is going.  I’ve been plugging away.  It helps immensely to have a virtual writing mentor in Wendy K. Williamson (bestselling author of “I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar” and “Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival”). Wendy holds me accountable.  Moreover, she truly understands the challenges of writing a bipolar-themed memoir.  But as wonderful as she is, Wendy can’t write my book for me.  She’s writing two or three of her own books at the moment, and promoting her most recent book “Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival” so she’s a bit busy.

If any of you have energy-boosting tips, I’d love to read about them.  Also, if you’re participating in “NaNoWriMo”  (National Novel Writing Month, an annual writing project in which writers complete a novel in a measly month!) I want to know how the hell you do it, especially if you have young children running around your house.  

I wish you all an energy-infused week in which you make progress on the creative projects close to your heart.  

take care & thanks for reading as always,

Dyane 

Bobs #2

Please endorse me for the WEGO Health Award – if you want to share the link that’s fine too. 😉

I was nominated by the super-awesome bestselling author/bipolar advocate

Wendy K.  Williamson. It takes  about 20 seconds to endorse nominees. Visit:  

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4811

Slowing Down

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Over the past few weeks  I’ve noticed bloggers are taking hiatuses or giving up blogging.  Reasons for this include S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder), blogging burn-out, and depression to name a few.  Some bloggers disappear without any reason, of course, and I miss them.  While I hope they’ll return to posting, I completely understand the need to leave the blogosphere since I’ve done it myself.

I love blogging and the blogosphere so much that I don’t want to sever my connections, but I’ve decided to post once a week.   After speaking with my friend Kitt O’Malley, (www.kittomalley.com) she suggested I blog about my progress and frustrations while writing “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Bipolar Disorder”, a book I’ve wanted to finish writing for years.  (Thanks again, Kitt, you blogger extraordinaire!)

In 2013 I submitted a book proposal to a publisher.  I was thrilled to secure a contract, and I thought that it would be my magic charm to write the rest of the book before I turned 80.  But I had to cancel the agreement due to bipolar depression that was triggered by my tapering off lithium.  As devastating as that experience was, I learned so much that it will be useful to write about it in “Birth of a New Brain”. 

Someday I’ll blog every day if I want to!  I only want to write one book – that’s plenty for me.  I’m not like my two favorite female authors, L.M. Montgomery and Madeleine L’Engle, who were amazingly prolific and wrote scads and scads of books!   (Before computers!)

I still can’t believe I used to blog every day, even when feeling under the weather (writing usually made me feel better!). Those weren’t just hundred-word posts, but 1000+ word rambles.  I wasn’t hypomanic or manic back then; if anything I was going down the opposite direction.  I don’t know how I carved out the time to write for hours every day, even on weekends and with a family.  The entire phenomenon remains an enigma to me, but that four-month-long stretch of daily writing taught me that I have the ability to be a more disciplined writer.  I need only to tap into that potential.

I haven’t been doing much “tapping” lately, and it bums me out.  There are a couple excuses:

Sickness in our household – not only mine, but my two children’s nasty bugs obliterated my writing schedule.  

Here’s my second excuse: I’ve become a social media addict.  

Facebook.

Twitter.

That’s it, but as some of you know, that’s plenty to distract anyone.  When Kitt and I had our heart-to-heart, she understood my social media plight as she too gets hooked into black holes of tweets and status updates.

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Sure, I could impose upon myself a stringent rule to complete writing a certain amount of words or pages a session before I check Facebook & Twitter.  I’ve tried doing that…it hasn’t gone so well!

Kitt suggested going hardcore and turning off the internet router!  I write the book on Word so I don’t need the router on.  That’s a great idea…except my husband often works at home and he needs to use internet.

Enough of my bellyaching.  I’ll figure it out, and I’ll share how it’s going in my next post.

I hope you’ll keep following this blog.  I want to stay connected with you!  For those of you writing books, I’d love for you to comment about what helps or hinders you.  Same thing goes for social media addiction! 😉  

take care and have wonderful week!

Dyane

  Please endorse me for the WEGO Health Activist “Best in Show” Blog Award –

endorsements are accepted until January 31, 2015. I’m having WordPress link troubles,

so please copy & paste this link into your browser  – thanks!

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4811