Ssssetting My Sssights Lower for Ssssanity’s Sssake

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This post will sound like I’m getting worked up over something minor, but it’s not minor to me. While it’s another diatribe about an attitude I’ve been faced with by the bipolar & postpartum advocacy groups, there are a few new, juicy tidbits to explore. (I’ve written about this before here.)

This blog was created first and foremost to write about postpartum bipolar disorder (bipolar, peripartum onset) and it’s where I feel supported and understood by so many of you! Hence, this post.

I’ve been repeatedly burning myself out after contacting various bipolar & postpartum nonprofits to ask them to include PPBD on their websites, etc. They’ve made it clear they don’t give a damn about my form of bipolar/perinatal mood and anxiety disorder.

Sadly, if a celebrity comes out with PPBD or if PPBD appears in a soap opera storyline, I’ll get my queries returned…

 

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“Yes, I’ve been offered two roles in a feature film! I’ll be portraying a mother with postpartum bipolar disorder, as well as playing the role of her devoted husband!”

Here’s one example:

I asked a bipolar nonprofit to update its website by including a bit of information on bipolar, peripartum onset; in other words mention its existence. I was motivated to ask this group, in part, because I refer my blog followers to their website. I mentioned this fact.

No reply!

 

In general, after I reach out to bipolar/postpartum groups through an email, a tweet, a phone call, or Facebook message, I’m soundly ignored. I don’t even get the courtesy of a brief reply! What’s bizarre is that these organizations’ mission-  their raison d’être is to assist their followers, of which I am one!

Can you see how I have to cool it with my frustration?

Even my canine therapist Lucy told me that it’s not serving me anymore.

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The following situation happened a couple weeks ago. It finally convinced me to shift my reaction to being ignored.

I was rebuffed by an influential bipolar advocate who I’ve admired for a long time. I’ll call her “Dr. Disappointment”. She’s affiliated with a large bipolar organization.

Through a personal referral, my email was forwarded to her. That was truly great! My hopes were high!

In my email I asked that my HuffPost Women postpartum bipolar profile be shared via her organization’s social media. 

Things were looking good. Dr. Disappointment shared my email with her Communications Director, who then emailed me. She wrote that my story would be shared via their “social media”.

This high-visibility bipolar group tweeted once about my article and made no mention of my having postpartum bipolar. Here’s their tweet:

writes about balancing her career, family and mental health. Read her profile on “.

SNOOZEVILLE! Seriously, who gives a $&%&^% after reading that?

There was no accompanying image, which statistics show makes any tweet more inviting. But most significantly, there could have been the tweet I suggested:

“Did you know about an unusual form of postnatal bipolar?”

It’s no surprise that their tweet didn’t get a single retweet & two likes.

I figured,  Oh well…at least it’ll go on their Facebook feed.  But the HuffPost article wasn’t shared through their Facebook newsfeed or via any other outlets.

Why does this ridiculousness even matter?

Well, I noticed that their Facebook feed got a lot more attention than their Twitter feed did. I wanted to give it one last shot to see if my story could be posted on their Facebook page. I wasn’t asking for the moon. I wasn’t asking for money.

I just wanted to reach some other mothers who live with PPBD or who could be helped by knowing about its very existence…c’mon! 

 

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“I am a human being!”

My email from the Grand Poo Bah Communications Director stated that the article would be shared in their social media, not social medium. (Sidenote – I even called the Communications Director, who works in London. I think I’ve called London once before in my 45 years on this planet! It was a big, bloody deal for me to call overseas. That sounds silly, but it was. I left a message for the Communications Director with her charming assistant who sounded like she was racing off for high tea at Harrod’s. I was 100% professional, and I was even rather charming myself. Having worked in three successful nonprofits, I was used to behaving that way.)

 

The Communications Director totally blew me off.

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I wasn’t giving up just yet! (Can you believe this? In all honesty, I wanted to keep at pursuing my Grand Quest rather than sort piles of laundry, shelve clean dishes, and pick up dog poop…)

Back to Dr. Disappointment. She’s another mom with bipolar. Apart from holding a high office at the bipolar nonprofit, she’s studying mothers with bipolar disorder.  You think she’d be cool with my contacting her – not stalking her, but simply emailing her once. 

I emailed her directly explaining the importance of the article being shared through their Facebook feed, and I asked if she could help me see that through.

Now, I have no idea what is going on with Dr. Disappointment’s life.

That’s a very important point for me to keep in mind.

It’s not all me-me-me. (Or is it?) 😉

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But I was very surprised, given her personal and professional background and current research project, to be ignored. If she was overwhelmed, she could’ve delegated my email to someone else at her organization.

I had to let it go, of course. 

And in the “So what?” tradition of my English high school teacher Mrs. Mary Redclay:

What are the lessons to learn from having your cause, whatever that may be, get ignored, minimized, or disputed?

Do you hit the bottle?

No.

Do you binge on chocolate?

Yeah.

Do you talk to your dog, telling her how mean these people are?

Of course.

Do you set your sights lower and wait to promote this disorder until your book comes out next year? (My hopes are that my book about PPBD will give it a bit more credibility. It helps that highly respected perinatal psychiatrists, scholars and other movers & shakers have contributed to it.)

Yes.

So I’m going to try to hold back on the crusade for now…it won’t be a complete dissolution, but I’ll make a concerted effort.

I’ll follow up on this subject because it’s my personal nemesis…and writing about it always helps, as do your comments & likes.

I’m open to your advice too, as always! Can you please just charge me 5 cents?

 

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I’m now on Instagram! You can follow me here: birthofanewbrain

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth)will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017.

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55 thoughts on “Ssssetting My Sssights Lower for Ssssanity’s Sssake

  1. How absolutely frustrating, Dyane! As I’ve found out, there are always lots of ‘naysayers’ and sometimes things move slowly. But as you’re dealing with such an important subject and could make a huge difference to the lives of so many women, it’s such a shame you’re not getting the backing of all the relevant organisations. I’m guessing they have their own agendas that they prefer to push – and that’s very unfair when people could benefit from your expertise.

    I’m sure they’ll see the error of their ways soon enough. In the meantime, keep believing in what you’re doing and remember all the wonderful endorsements you already have – they’re worth so much more than a few negatives responses!

    Looking forward to your launch day in October (well, looking forward to hearing about it afterwards, as very sadly I won’t be able to be there!!) xxx

    1. Thank you for this wonderful, wonderful comment! I wish that a $ windfall could come my way so I could fly you out for a few weeks come Oct. and you could do a book tour in this Bay Area, taking a break to come to my talk, LOL! 😉 💗

  2. Reblogged this on Birth of a New Brain and commented:

    I re-read this blog post today because I’m preparing for my next Toastmasters speech: ” The Relationship Between Postpartum Bipolar Disorder and Postpartum Psychosis.” Some parts of it made me laugh & that felt good. It’s rare for me to read an older post and not want to change much, but I stand by this one.

    Things have changed so much since I wrote it — the book is done, I’ve received over 20 freaking amazing endorsements – every single one is from someone I think is brilliant — and with high octane brains backing up my writing including Dr. Verinder Sharma, Dr. Carol Henshaw, and Kay Redfield Jamison, I’m far more confident in my message and the veracity of my diagnosis.

    I haven’t contacted Dr. Disappointment since this post was published, but I’ll be sending her my press kit very soon. I’m going to contact her bipolar organization one more time & encourage them to let their many followers know about my book – and the diagnosis itself, since they specialize in freakin’ bipolar!! 😉

    Hope you like this one,

    Dyane

  3. Wow. I have never heard of this form of BP before. Thank you so much for checking out my blog so I could get to see yours. I’m still a newbie, just started in December. You’re amazing! Looking forward to reading more. Best wishes on your book! Brenda

    1. Hi Brenda, and thanks for your lovely comment!
      You’re doing so well for a newbie! I love the posts I’ve read on your blog so far, and I just left you a comment. I want to write some more in regard to the spirituality post – I have a story for you about my experience with Dr. Liz Miller. (It was a good experience! I admire her and own a copy of her book “Mood Matters”)

      You might be interested in joining the Bipolar Blogging Network if they are taking on new bloggers:

      http://www.bipolarbloggernetwork.com

      I’m not sure if you’re on Twitter. I love Twitter! (I even prefer it over Facebook)
      Let me know if you’re there & I’ll follow you. I suggest you connect with @Bipolar_Blogs, which will share your blog posts & is is great resource..

      take care & I’ll stay connected with you via your excellent blog.
      Welcome to the blogosphere!!!!
      (((hugs))),
      Dyane

      1. Thank you for the tips. You’re quite the supporter! 🙂 I’m @BeyondYourDiag1 on Twitter and would love to connect. I’ll be watching for your book to come out. That is so great!

      2. You are so welcome, Brenda! As you noticed, I followed you on Twitter and I’ll get back to you too (re: the direct message) Hope your day is going well!!

  4. I admire your tenacity. You’ve persevered long after many others would have given up. Another way to look at things is – if you keep hitting a brick wall, try knocking on a wooden door. Have faith that your message is reaching all the right people, no matter the medium/media

    1. Thank you so much for this astute comment!

      I love “if you keep hitting a brick wall, try knocking on a wooden door” – I’ll remember that!!!!!! It’s such a vivid image. And I’ll follow your wise advice about having faith that my message will reach the right people no matter what way it goes out!

      Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Pieces of Bipolar!!!

  5. OMG Dyane!

    You have fought so hard for what you know is right. It is truly so admirable. I actually have often thought about you and what you have been trying to do and feeling inspired and also wondering how you have been doing it. It makes me so sad to hear these things.

    I find it is often so much more hurtful to be “slighted” or whatever in a stigma kind of way by the very people who SHOULD be on the same side as us. Seriously, what is that?

    I think it makes total complete sense to take a break from it. It will renew and recharge you.

    Peace my dearest

    1. Thank you, thank you SOOOOOOO much for this comment, my friend.
      The situation is a serious WTF! It’s almost funny.

      I mean, if I ran a bipolar nonprofit (I’d hire YOU to work with me, of course!!!!) then I sure as hell would want to include every form of bipolar, especially if it affects moms, ya know?

      It baffles me that these groups think they’re so progressive and fantastic when they’re actually (mostly) a bunch of ignorant hypocrites. I would start my own nonprofit except that I’m overwhelmed with life….but I might do it at some point. You’re going to be one of my Board of Directors.

  6. Wow, you certainly are a crusader! Sometimes it takes more than one person screaming the same thing to get others to listen. But then again, if one person, just one, screams long enough, maybe, well, maybe someone’s bound to hear. Keep screaming and pursuing the goal! As I’ve come to know you from your blog, I know one thing’s for sure: you won’t give up until you’re heard! ❤ ❤ ❤

    1. Thank you SuperMommy. I’m a very good yeller!!!!!
      I’ll keep those yells and screeches going because I can’t ignore my gut feeling that I need to do it.

      We all have our callings…I know you understand this.
      XoXo
      Dy
      p.s. GORGEOUS FAMILY PHOTO ON YOUR LAST POST! I’m off to finally comment!

  7. Well, damn. I’m seeing one of those crazy road caution signs, you know, yellow with a big curve in the middle of the directional arrow…i.e., “Careful—you’re coming up on a huge boulder in the road!”

    That’s what these frustrations are, roadblocks and perhaps the signal for a major detour.

    Remember: Everyone has an agenda. ’nuff said.

    Let “setbacks” refine your purpose/crusade.

    And by all means, keep sssssanity’s ssssssake your #1 Priority!!

    1. I will do as you advise, beautiful Merry – when all is said and done, no one can sssssstop the ssssssssticky, sssssttttuborn Honey Pot!!!!! 😉 XOXO

  8. I’m so sorry you keep getting blown off by these bigwigs who think that your story isn’t worth telling; especially since there are websites out there dedicated to telling the story of women who go through postnatal symptoms. I wish I could go up to each one of them and smack them upside the head for you.

    1. Thanks, my dear!!! “Target”, “audience”….both work well for me! 😉 Gotta brush up on my archery and paint ball skills. ha ha ha!!!!!! just kidding XoXo

  9. I am not sure how much “good” advice I can give you, but I will toss in my two cents.

    One thing as a parent that I have learned (as I am sure you are very familiar with) is picking and choosing your battles wisely. So I guess what I am saying is step back and dispassionately (if you can) analyze what you are trying to accomplish and ask yourself if this is a battle worth fighting? If it is – then dive in head first and do not take no for an answer.

    Take Care!

    1. Hello my Voice of Reason, a.k.a. Vic.

      *Thanks* for writing; it always means a lot to me since you’ve been loyal & supportive for so long. I’m lucky you’re in my corner.

      So….I’m totally committed to keep fighting when it comes to spreading awareness of my cause, so the answer is YES.

      But I think I need to fight smarter. Use some good ‘ol “strategery”.

      The key is that I need to be more patient. I’ll have more credibility when I contact various groups/people when I promote my book. The book has a great publisher behind it, and its foreword is written by an amazing, respected PhD. Plus it has contributions by one of the world’s top psychiatrists. It’s special. And yeah, I’m biased.

      Seriously, when “Birth of a New Brain” comes out, I know in my gut that I’ll create more awareness in some significant ways. I’ve done PR for a lot of other organizations, both in the private and non-profit sectors.

      Just gotta be, what’s that word again???
      Patient.

      1. You ain’t no fool!!!!
        You be fiery hot…and cool!
        I’m a poet, dontcha know it?
        I love ya!!!! That’s what matters more than any of the bullshit!!! Xoxo

      2. Oh and I am your “voice of reason”?!?

        Can I put that on my resume? Any benefits come with that position??

        😉

    2. I think that “Just Plain Ol’ Vic” is right on. It’s especially important for those of us who are challenged in this way not to squander our energy. But so hard to not want to “get it all done right now or better yet, yesterday.”

      1. Thanks for reading, sweet Star! Vic really has been the voice of reason for a long time and you’ve been that way too! 😉 I’m feeling better after writing about it and getting these wonderful comments…they are worth their weight in chocolate! (GASP! Can you believe I actually wrote that???? I think I’ve officially lost it!) XOXOX

  10. This sounds terribly frustrating. Especially this attitude coming from someone like dr disappointment who is someone you would expect to give a crap.

    BTW I love Lucy’s logo!

    1. Hey Leslie!!! We all have our stuff. (I sound like George Carlin!)

      Yes, it’s a bummer, especially when it’s someone I put way high up on a golden pedestal. That’s my bad.

      Maybe I should have had my resident canine therapist LUCY contact her! Really! I mean, who could resist that fluffy Scottish Collie face???? I doubt Dr. Disappointment could be that strong – Lucy is like doggy kryptonite when it comes to disarming people and bringing out their warm & fuzzy side. 😉 I know you get it, Leslie! Xo

  11. How frustrating!! Personally, if someone privately contacts me after reading my blog, I try to answer them as soon as possible. I don’t really understand why people who are high up in organizations (at least large ones) don’t get volunteers to handle answering emails, letters, etc.

  12. DyDy, you’re a fireball for your cause and someone should HIRE YOU to do PR for this cause. I’m glad you have the perspective that this is a long game, and you keep doing what you’re doing. Awareness is a long damn process but you sure are contributing to it and I know you will continue to. Your book will go a long ways towards awareness too. ❤ Love that passion!!!

    1. I like that: “FIREBALL”! That’s me, coming from THE fireball of all fireballs, the unique, feisty,honest, raw, ever-fascinating Bipolar on Fire! 😉

      Go take a peek at what I replied to Vic, who (like you) has been a wonderful, loyal voice of reason.

      You both are so awesomesauce. I adore you guys. You’re going on the acknowledgement page – the thing is, will I write “Thanks to Bipolar On Fire” or your REAL name?????????

      1. I love how you turn things into a compliment for ME. Whatevs, you are swetter than chocolate sauce. And in the acknowledgements, I’d like to be know as The Eternal Bipolar on Fire because that sounds more grandiose and frankly, bipolar!

    1. I *love* your support! That’s enough, my dear!!!!!!! I appreciate knowing you’re out there rooting for me! You’re been fantastic by reblogging my posts, which is one of the coolest ways of support there is, as far as I’m concerned!

      I was doing the dishes now (I live such a glamorous life, eh? 😉
      and I thought, “If I sent them a chunky donation with a letter of ‘suggestions’ you could bet they’d take note.”

      I’m so jaded.

      Maybe I should buy one lotto ticket?
      XoXo

      1. I hardly ever buy tickets. And when I do I stick to one California SuperLotto Plus – it’s a tradition, and I’m superstitious. However, I made an exception to that rule when I was 16. I bought my friend 16 lotto tickets for her Sweet 16 birthday party. She won $100.00!!!!

  13. Hi Dyane, welcome back! So glad you’re back and fiery and dedicated to your cause. As they say, dear sister, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Just keep persisting, gently, and PPBD will be on everyone’s tongue, blog, article, and social media site! Even annoyed, you are funny!
    (And all those SSSS’s reminded me of the security code stamped on my brother’s ticket to come to Buffalo, apparently he is on an enhanced security list (they bothered him quite a bit) because he went to Pakistan then to Beirut, Paris, and Brussels, all for art projects. And he was born in Buffalo!) That’ll be 5 cents please!

    1. Eric – thank you, thank you! And I owe you five cents! ;)))))) I won’t give up! If a medical professional took me aside for less than 5 minutes when I was pregnant with Marilla and said, “Hey, since your Dad had bipolar, you might want to watch out for postpartum mania…” it would have been profoundly helpful!

  14. I can relate to your post having sent emails to politicians in Denmark ( I’m Danish) and never get the smallest little answer. But keep on knocking you will be heard at last.
    I am working on a blog draft on how it was to grew up with a mother who suffered from post partum depression though the girl’s mother wasn’t depressed but affected in another way

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much and “tak”! 🙂 (hope I got that right!) Good for you for sending emails to politicians – that takes guts. How lame that they couldn’t have someone in their office answer you! skam på dem! (I like trying to work Danish phrases in…) I really think there’s no excuse for that. Volunteers can be recruited for that (key) purpose alone: answering to the constituents. I would be interested to read your post about growing up with a mother with PPD and affected in ways apart from depression! Please feel free to post the link here at any blog…. :)) take care, Dyane

      1. Thank you so much for your interest in this Dyane. I am waiting to get my second interview with my young friend. I don’t know what diagnose her mother had. I am impressed by your “Danish”. I write in English because otherwise there would be very few readers. I am still battling with the thought that I became too overwhelmed becoming a mother first time 35 years ago. Were very afraid to hurt my child. Things doesn’t just pass by because of time ticking away. You have to work on the things

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