NEW T.V. SHOW!!! BIPOLAR HOUSE: Rapid Cyclers Edition

 Hosted by Adam Ant, Musical Superstar/Author of Stand & Deliver 

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1980:

Bold Adam Ant becomes an icon! 

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2016

Adam Ant, a mental health advocate still cutting albums, looks fab at 61!

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Join Bipolar House Leaders Carrie Fisher and Tom Cruise on a one-of-a-kind adventure you’ll never forget!

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What’s it like to be a fly on the wall in a small West Hollywood home occupied by ten celebrities who have bipolar disorder?

Bipolar House’s intrepid participants have been given the challenge to plan a benefit concert. Their goal: create a special event with the spirit of the seminal Live Aid Concerts to fight mental illness stigma!

Don’t miss the Solitary Confinement episode in which celebs who break the House Rules spend eight hours in a bathroom as the Enya catalogue is played in high-fidelity stereo!!!

Watch each house guest’s reactions to being placed on a vegan diet/detox cleanse made famous by Gywneth Paltrow!!!

Enjoy Carrie Fisher’s performances of her critically acclaimed one-woman shows to the housemates. She’ll also recite chapters from her upcoming book The Princess Diarist!!!

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Throughout the series, Carrie explains what it was really like working on the Star Wars movies, providing plenty of juicy details. Viewers are in for a treat as she falls in love with a special guest during the eight weeks of shooting, and has a new lease on life!

And in a truly stunning and moving revelation, Tom Cruise comes out to the world that he has bipolar disorder and takes fifteen psychiatric medications!!!

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In the bonus Scientology episode, Tom discusses how being a Thetan and signing a billion-year-long contract with his fellow Scientologists has helped him cope with bipolar disorder.  He closes this episode with a reprise of the song that made him famous in the film Risky Business: “Old Time Rock ‘N Roll” complete with his original costume.  (Or lack thereof.)

Guest Appearances by:

Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Demi Lovato, Jim Carrey and Jean-Claude Van Damme singing whatever their mood swings tell them to sing!

The Bipolar House finale includes a spirited group singalong of hits including “We Are the World”, the Captain and Tennille’s “Muskrat Love” and the entire Frozen soundtrack! 

Prepare yourself for evenings in front of your television where you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh, and maybe you’ll cry again!!!

But that’s okay.

We’ll still love you because you’re…

MORE THAN BIPOLAR!!!

(* Dyane’s original song – she wishes Adam Ant would cover it! Click this link to hear it.)

 While Bipolar House is a figment of my imagination, I wish this show was a reality, because if it was I’d go work on it!

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017, unless Bipolar House gets picked up by Bravo: Watch What Happens. 

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Super Secret Surprise!! Breaking News!!!

Super Secret Surprise!! Breaking News!!!

Hello my friends!

I’m so proud of my remarkable, resilient friend Jess, of Jess Melancholia, and I want to share her good news with you! Please read her post for details. (Jess, you better remember me when you hit the big time!) 😉

I’ll be back here at the end of the week – I’m cooking up a post for you, and so far all of my ideas have been too tame for my new vision! Stay tuned…

XOXOXO
Dyane

p.s. I promise you, there will be no nude memes in my next post, or any other for that matter! That comment was directed at Bipolar On Fire, a fabulous blogger. Take a peek at her “An Open Letter to Meme Posts” if you dare! 

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The Bipolar Compass

Ready. Set. Sail!

So far so good. I have to say that this is the longest I’ve been Stable in God knows how long. Years. Either it’s Depression or Mania with me. NOT THIS TIME!! I have been Stable for a solid 3 weeks. Thank God! That’s seriously the longest amount of time I haven’t felt undeniably horny or overwhelmingly distraught. I love it. I can think clearly and basically there is no sign of Mania on the horizon. I’m not bored either. Well. Work has been slow so there’s that. Other than that, no drama.

I want to just say how amazing this is. I want to treasure this while it lasts. God I don’t want to go back up again. I know I said that already but I mean it. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.

The only problem I keep facing is the constant reminders of what…

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Worrying Too Much About Other People

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I wish I was the one who took this photo, but I was home bedridden with bipolar depression on this beautiful, sunny day.

 

When I first started writing this blog, I didn’t care that much about who read it and I wrote about all kinds of subjects. I was blogging for myself, first and foremost, and as selfish as that sounds, it felt really good to get my thoughts onto the screen. Hell, it felt good to be writing again after a loooong hiatus due to good, ‘ol bipolar depression! 

As time passed by, I started thinking more about what I was putting out into the world. I began censoring myself because I fretted about offending people. I didn’t write about my benzodiazepine addiction and (after I quit benzos) alcoholism for fear of getting reported to Child Protective Services (C.P.S.). They have a file with my name on it due to my 5150 history, so I’m not being paranoid when it comes to CPS. (My publisher Post Hill Press isn’t concerned with my blog as long I don’t write something egregiously slanderous about them!)

My self-conscious, paranoid self-censorship began sucking the soul out of my writing, and out of me. 

I didn’t want to be a stream-of-consciousness blog where I’d write about anything that crossed my mind, throwing caution to the wind. I wanted a balance of mixing my personal experience and thoughts with more general observations.

But (there’s always that damn “but”!) I kept suppressing myself here more than I wanted to. Today I’ve decided to be more myself in this blog and if someone doesn’t like it, there about twenty billion other blogs to read! 🙂

While there is one close family member who reads Birth of a New Brain, apart from her, I’m not aware of anyone I know IRL who reads it. I’ve tried hard to not write anything that would freak out my close family member. I’ll continue to make that effort, and respect her wishes for privacy.

I think letting loose a bit more here will be the healthiest thing I’ve done in a while.

My husband doesn’t read my blog, although I’ve invited him to do so a few times over the years! He’s just not into my blog or anyone else’s blog, which is good, ha ha – I have a slight jealousy problem. 

Plus, I’m one to talk – I haven’t even read all of his award-winning book Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West yet and he’s not mad!

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(Nor have I attended any of his popular book signings. He’s very different than I am, thank God – he doesn’t hold a grudge against me about my passing on his book talks. I admit that I’d be pissed at him if the situation was reversed.)

Here’s what I’m at today:

My main problems are:

Anxiety/”the other shoe will drop” syndrome, blogged about here, fatigue (may be med side effect), raising two children, marriage (It’s NOT easy and anyone who tells you it’s easy is full of shit), compulsive overeating challenges, and last but not least, not being happy with my book draft, i.e. the writing quality. It’s sucking, but it’s not over until Oct. 1 when I submit the final draft!

My main problems used to be:

Feeling passively suicidal most of the time, feeling acutely suicidal some times, hating life, feeling hopeless, being bedridden, admitting myself to shitty psych hospitals  (7 visits total; I’m still paying for those bills!) 

I’ve come a long way, haven’t I?

But life remains hard and scary. It’s not a my My Little Pony world, let me tell you! My girls love this show so I hear those screeching ponies “sing” a lot.

My Little Pony could easily be redone as a horror movie complete with vampires, goblins and zombies! I bet someone will do it – you read it here first!

My psychiatrist thinks I’m doing well – he even used the “S” word (stable) to describe me during our last few visits. For many years I never thought anyone would call me stable again, so it’s nice to hear him say it.

I have good stuff going on, like these two girls who have seen the best and very worst of me, and they still love me:

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And this adorable Scottish Collie beast. She’s a two-in-one antidepressant/mood stabilizer and she doesn’t make me fat or tired!

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Miss Lucy

Now I’m going to go watch the rest of The Life of the Not So Secret Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry. I was finally able to watch it online for free by using Hola! It’s very good so far. Rachel’s story in particular (and noting  how she interacts with her mom/caregiver) has been a wake-up call. 

When all is said and done, blogging remains a joy, even when I write about the not-so-glossy aspects of life. And I’m going to be doing more of that! 

This afternoon I’m sending you my love, and my hope you have a good night!

Xo

Dyane

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017.

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I Could’ve Been A Clapper! (The Tao of Boston)

 

Okay, that title isn’t about what you might be thinking.

I’m not referring to someone with the dreadful disease known as “The Clap” nor to someone with an unsavory job…

I’m letting you all know, officially and with a chunk of chutzpah, that I can clap really well. I clap very clearly and loudly when it’s necessary to do so, i.e. in a noisy room. 

Because of this skill, I’ve believed I would’ve been a great member of the rock band Boston. If you’re a 70’s music lover, you may know that this super group featured loud claps in some of their songs – I’m talkin’ about real claps, not the fake-sounding, techie ones. You can hear these claps particularly well in Boston’s hit songs Peace of Mind and More Than A Feeling.

Remember those tunes, you ancient ones?

(I’m one of those ancient ones, by the way – I turn 46 in a month.) 

I’m insecure about so many things, but I know that when it comes to being a professional session clapper, I could do it. 

Here’s a weird thing. I write songs, both music and lyrics, I play some instruments (not well) and I usually remember my own lyrics. But I’m terrible at understanding what the lyrics are in 99% of the songs I listen to, even the ones I’ve listened to hundreds of times. I don’t have a hearing loss; I hear words, but they’re all kind of a blur. This is a bizarre habit that I wish I didn’t have. I envy those who can effortlessly memorize song lyrics.

You’ll understand why I’m grateful that today when I listened to Boston’s Peace of Mind, I heard — truly heard — the words to this song for the first time since I first listened to this song at age six.

Today Peace of Mind spoke to me. (A sidenote: I’m not manic. Ugh – that’s what sucks about having bipolar disorder…I feel like I have to be careful not to come across as too wacky in fear of others thinking oh, she’s manic – better 5150 her STAT!)

The truth is that I’ve been wacky for the 37 years that led up to my bipolar disorder diagnosis, so danger wackiness is my middle name.   

Back to Peace of Mind…I’m listening to Peace of Mind and I’m thinking,

Whoa, that’s profound stuff, even for a 70’s song. Peace of Mind – that’s what I want more than anything these days! 

My brain has been too “monkey mind” lately — it has been here, there and everywhere, with a tendency for me to loop on negative things such as the recent Facebook unfriending.

When I read the Boston song lyrics, I went over them slowly, word by word.

Peace of Mind 

lyrics by  Tom Scholz of Boston

Now if you’re feelin’ kinda low ’bout the dues you’ve been paying
Future’s coming much too slow
And you want to run but somehow you just keep on stayin’
Can’t decide on which way to go
Yeah, yeah, yeah  
Dyane says, “This sums up my life.”
I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind 
I’ve been ruminating about “getting behind” — i.e. my writing job. I’m weary of the competition in the writing world which seems to be growing fiercer every day. I know this field is not for the weak, but I could deal with it better if I could attain a little peace of mind. I need to stop caring so much about getting behind and perhaps emulate the philosophy of Ram Dass and Be Here Now.
Now you’re climbin’ to the top of the company ladder
Hope it doesn’t take too long
Can’tcha you see there’ll come a day when it won’t matter
Come a day when you’ll be gone
These words are very sobering – yes, I know there will come a day when the vicious competition and rat race won’t matter, Boston. I get it! All the more reason to seek more peace of mind while I’m above ground.
I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind
Take a look ahead, take a look ahead, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
 Now everybody’s got advice they just keep on givin’

Doesn’t mean too much to me
Lots of people out to make-believe they’re livin’
Can’t decide who they should be

I value advice from good sources. I think Boston got rich too fast and received unsolicited advice from many druggies wanting $ for their “wisdom”. As for the last two lines, I finally have an inkling about who I am, so I’m very happy about that!

I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead.

Look ahead.”

Okay, Boston songwriter Tom Scholz, you’re right.

I’ve been looking back far too much lately…I’ll look ahead for now.

Have a great weekend, my friends!
Rock on,
Dyane
 
Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017 unless she runs off to join a 70’s cover band.
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Dy’s Fave Blogger Blahpolar’s Bipolar Linkdump.

 

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Designed by the one & only Blahpolar

 

Friends, how are you?

I’m doing much better thanks to your support! Thank you!

As far as this recent flurry of blog posts goes, I try to stick to sharing one post a week, and I avoid reblogging. However, I’m publishing posts a whopping three times this week, and two of those posts are reblogs, LOL!

During 2014 I published a daily post for several months, but that’ll never happen again, I promise you. I’m still not sure how I was able to do it! I’m dead- serious. It might have been mild hypomania due to starting 100 mg of Seroquel a night, but I’ll never really know. Snooze-O-Quel certainly no longer has that affect on me anymore- I get groggy and sluggy when I take 25 mg PRN. 😦 Boo.

So, why another reblog within a few days?

Two words: Blahpolar Linkdump

Blahpolar is my favorite blogger. She’s brilliant, funny, heartbreaking at times. She shares all kinds of resources that will help you grapple with bipolarland.

She regularly features the linkdump in which she compiles all kinds of recent bipolar-related articles she has gathered from every corner of the world. I always find at least couple links I want to explore and that has been very satisfying and illuminating.

So please, do yourself a favor and start following Blahpolar. Enjoy this latest linkdump. Try not to let that grisly image of Charlie Sheen make you lose your appetite.

I promise Friday’s post will be short – i.e. under 500 words. Anyone want to bet me $1 that I can do it???

Be well,
Dyane

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Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017 unless she gets hit by a giant asteroid or eaten by Bigfoot.

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blahpolar

It was fair to call it depression. She felt like shit, all the time. If that was depression, she had it. It must have been contagious. She’d caught it from the world. Lev Grossman – The Magician’s Land

(Just a note about the quote – the Magicians trilogy has some interesting mental illness angles woven into it, in various minor ways. Not a reason to read the books necessarily, but a cool aspect of them.)

Okaaay… Nice quote, nice song… Now letsgosmackabitch!

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Facebook, Unfriending & Havoc Created: Part 1

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I rarely reblog, but I’m reblogging this post for several reasons. First, the blogger Grief Happens (So Does Joy) is a superb writer. I’m a huge fan, and I suggest you visit her blog and get to know her and of course follow the blog. She also writes at a new blog called Live. Snap. Write. – Exploring what moves us. Take a peek.

Another reason will be obvious to those of you who read my last post “Mommy, It’s Her Loss” about my being unfriended by someone I trusted, promoted and admired. I’m still giving the issue far too much attention in my head, but it has gotten better each day – much more quickly than I expected, as a matter of fact.

Why?

Well, after I got such empathic, insightful comments from you, my blogging friends, your support truly helped me. There’s no other explanation for it. 🙂 So thank you again! (I still plan on replying to a few comments, by the way. Each one is a gem.)

I’m so glad you’ve stopped by today. As always, I’m grateful to you for reading this blog! See you at the end of this week with my Friday post, and take good care of yourselves.

Love,
Dyane

Grief Happens

On Friday, I read a post on my friend Dyane’s blog that reminded me of a life-altering experience my friend, Tara, had several years ago.

I do a lot of thinking about social media — the connections, behaviors I see, the benefits, the drawbacks. I ponder how I prefer using various platforms, both personally and professionally, and often find myself weighing the pros and cons of meshing my professional life and personal life within virtual spaces. It’s a tricky thing. I have no firm answers, but I’ve determined that so much of it is a highly individual decision that varies depending on the situation.

I find myself frequently having these conversations with  real-life friends, often after they’ve had negative experiences and need to talk through them.

I commented on Dyane’s blog and shared that I wanted to add more but was pressed for time and would do my best to…

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“Mommy, It’s Her Loss!”

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Well, my friends, it has happened again.

After a six-month-long Facebook hiatus, I returned to it to promote the HuffPost Women article. In order to reply to the comments, Huffington Post requires that people use Facebook. I’ve been on Facebook for less than a month.

Yesterday I got unfriended by someone I trusted. I was hesitant to blog about it, but I’m not revealing her identity.

Most significantly, one of my wonderful followers once stated, “This blog is your living room. Your space!” Damn straight, and I’m going to hang out in my living room today and lick my wounds, for I feel…..wounded.

Yet I won’t play the innocent. I made a business decision that I knew might upset this person, but at the end of the day, I had a solid rationale for what I did. I stand by it. I definitely wasn’t trying to be hurtful or sadistic. 

In no way did I expect her reaction to be over-the-top and even cruel. When I noticed she unfriended me, a line in my heart had been crossed.

Because of her unfriending, I never want any contact with her again.I blocked her on all social media. I felt safer after doing that, but it totally sucked.

Ahhhh, the beauty of Facebook.

“Friendships” can end in 10 seconds, no fuss, no muss.

Ugh.

At one point during our several-year-long virtual correspondence, she reached out to me the way a real friend does. Repeatedly.

I tried to help her. I tried to be a good friend in other ways too. Our hot & cold dynamic eventually confused the hell out of me.  

Before yesterday’s unfriending, when I informed this person I had been through some awful events quite recently, I was told she “didn’t have enough bandwidth” for me, essentially.

Yet I was there for her when she messaged me and said she was struggling.

Fuck it. And I doubt she’s reading this, because she never was interested in my blog, but if I’m wrong about that, here’s my message to her:

Stay.

Away.

From.

Me. 

I will never name her publicly, but this is my space. My blog.

My place to share my pain.

As my eight-year-old daughter saw me cry over this situation yesterday, she hugged me and said “Mommy, it’s her loss.”

And you know what?

My girl’s right.

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Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017.

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