Jogging Through Jello!

Dear Friends,

As today’s blog post title implies, I’ve been dragging big-time the past week. Maybe my fatigue is due to the drastic cut in sugar I made last month, maybe it’s perimenopause making its spooky debut, maybe it’s a thyroid issue—maybe it’s all three! In any case, I’m sick of it, so I made an appointment with my doctor to get checked out. 

Have you ever wanted to write for BP Magazine?

 

You guys & gals are fab writers so I wanted to share this info. with you. Last week I emailed BP’s longtime editor Liz Forbes (who I recently worked with on my article) and got back this auto-reply: 

 

Please be advised that Tanya Hvilivitzky has taken the role of bp Magazine &
esperanza’s interim editor. Tanya will respond to your email and editorial
questions ASAP.

We thank you for your patience during this transitional phase.

If you’ve ever wanted to pitch BP an article idea, now’s the time to come up with your idea. (look at the BP website here for their guidelines) and write it down.

I’ll let you know if I find out anything as far as who the permanent hire will be—I could be totally wrong, but I don’t see a problem with pitching to an interim editor.

 

Then again, I’ve only written for ten magazines since 1997. Please let me know if you think otherwise! Do what feels right!  The email is used is: editor@hopetocope.com

 

Lose It! Update

(And no, I don’t get compensated by mentioning Lose It! – ha! I wish!!!)

Do you want to drop some lovely adipose tissue (a.k.a. fat) you don’t need dragging you down? Even 5 lbs is an awfully HEAVY load to carry around – pick up anything that weighs 5 lbs and you’ll see what I mean. 

 

Join me & my friend, the blogger Kitt O’Malley, in the free Lose It! program. We’re in the “Bipolar Battlers” community group which you can find on the Lose It! website under “Community.” Let me know if you have questions. 

 

By the way, you don’t need to be in a group; you can go solo or create your own group – visit this link to make it happen!

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What’s new with you?

Inquiring brains want to know…please share in the comments if you’re in the mood.

And be extra-good to yourself this weekend! 

Lots of love,

Dyane

 

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

by Dyane Harwood

Foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and bestselling author Dr. Carol Henshaw. Visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!

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Tired

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This blurry picture was taken with my ancient cell phone minutes before The Stinging occurred this afternoon

 

I’m tired.

Being around grief is draining. My husband’s only brother has been gone for less than two weeks, so his death is still very recent and shocking. I’m profoundly thankful that I’m not the one in deep grief, but it’s still challenging being around it. It’s not just tough on me; it’s hard on our two young girls, but the cliche “children are resilient” seems to ring true with them. They’ve been through far worse during the many times I was incapacitated with bipolar depression and when I was away in the hospital seven times for bipolar disorder. They’re keeping busy with school, ballet, The SpongeBob Lama and lest we forget, My Little Pony. (They’ll deny watching that, but they can’t resist watching those freaky, perky ponies prance about.)

Apart from the sadness, the fall is my absolute favorite time of year. I love autumn, and I love Halloween! (It’s my favorite holiday.) October is a powerful, weird, symbolic time as I was married in October of 2001 and I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in October, 2007. I just read on Therese Borchard’s blog Beyond Blue that fall can create excessive anxiety for people and that made me pause…it seems to be a very activating time in many kinds of ways, both good and yuck.

Speaking of anxiety, I experienced some of it this afternoon while relaxing on the deck with Lucy. This wacky collie (who has the one of the thickest coats you can imagine – it’s layer-upon-layer of softness) loves sitting in the sun whether it’s a mild 65 degrees or last week’s heat wave of 101+!  

I saw a bee flying around her and I gently waved it away, thinking nothing of it. We don’t have that many bees around here and I thought the bee flew off on its merry way. I proceeded to pet Lucy’s fluffy side and BOOYA!

Unbeknownst to me, the bee returned to burrow in Lucy’s honey-colored coat and it stung the side of my right hand. I thought I had a fairly high toleration for pain, but damn, it hurt! This was one big bee. I hadn’t been stung since I was a kid. Luckily I’m not allergic to bee stings or else it could have been a very scary situation. One of the first books I ever read was about a child who dies from a bee sting – talk about giving one a bee phobia, which is technically called melissophobia. I put ice on the swollen spot, which helped a lot, and then I followed up with calamine lotion. 

That was my excitement for the day!

Unfortunately this post isn’t too exciting, but I like to check in once a week on Thursdays or Fridays. I feel really off if I don’t post 1X/week. I even get a bit paranoid that if I start skipping my habit I’ll get lax about blogging and give it up. Ye olde black and white thinking! Perish that thought!

It’s okay if posts aren’t always Fresh Pressed-caliber, right? 😉 (By the way, I’m losing respect for F.P. – I can write about that another time, but for now let me just state for there record that I was shocked and disappointed that WordPress editors didn’t publish anything about World Suicide Prevention Day/suicide-related! Like we really need another post about paleo nutrition instead. Shameful!)

On a separate note, I want to apologize to some of you who commented on my last post about skipping my brother-in-law’s memorial and feeling hugely guilty about that. I wasn’t able to reply to everyone, and I took down the post to honor Craig’s wishes – he never read it because he never reads this blog, but a few nights ago he asked me if I wrote about his brother’s death. Before he could even finish his sentence I blurted out “I did write about it and I’ll take it down.” I didn’t want to make him uncomfortable, and I could tell he wanted me to refrain from posting lots of Don-related stuff. I had absolutely no problem taking it down, but I didn’t get a chance to reply to Just Plain ‘Ol Vic, Kitt O’Malley, Blahpolar and Socialworker Angela

Thanks again for your wonderful comments – they really, really helped me because, as you know, I felt like shit about the whole thing. It was a wonderful case of the blogosphere coming to me at my time of need. I only had that post up for less than a day and I got immediate, high-quality support. That, my friends, is what I love about blogging. To have bloggers who take the time to share their insights and encouragement makes me want to stay connected with the blogosphere forever. 

I’m going to go drag my sorry butt to my elliptical machine because it really does help keep my evil bipolar depression at bay. I still have the Seroquel spider belly, but as soon as I stop inhaling a pint of gelato every day and drink more water, it’ll start to shrink.  I’ll keep you posted on that. 🙂

I wish you a wonderful week ahead!

XOXOXO

Dyane

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

Tired

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I’m tired today.  There’s no way around this fatigue.  I can only drink so much coffee until the caffeine infusion backfires and my stomach gets annoyed with me, so I’ve backed away from the coffee pot.  Luckily I don’t have to be “on” for any one, I don’t have to give any State of the Union speeches, and I don’t have to be at a job where I’m expected to perform.  I can be one with my banana slug neighbors.

I may have been bestowed with a Mental Health Hero Award yesterday, but today I feel like I’m just “regular folks”. Suffice it to say that I won’t be leaping over buildings in single bound wearing my pink cape anytime over this weekend.

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I think part of the reason I’m pooped out is due to the trigger I experienced regarding our friend’s suicide attempt on the first day of Mental Health Month.  We’ve also had quite a heat wave, with temperatures reaching the mid-80’s.  While I’ve made an effort to drink more water, the heat still affects me.  The final reason I’m so blahhh (and, my dear readers, you’ll be muttering “Duh!” after this part…) is that I had to take a little more Seroquel last night. I rarely do that, but once in a while it’s a necessity.  I’m grateful that I have Seroquel at my disposal because it has worked so well,  but it does have the sedating side effect.  It has helped me with both severe agitated insomnia and depression. So I’m not depressed.  Praise be!  I always get a little nervous writing that because I’ve been so used to saying how terribly depressed I am.  I’m just in low gear.

My feeling pooped out certainly doesn’t make for sparkling, dynamic, insightful writing.  Despite that fact, I’m following my beloved Madeleine L’Engle’s advice to write for thirty minutes a day. (Unless one is severely ill, of course!)  Which, thank the heavens, I’m not.  I apologize for this blog being so blah, but I’m sure you’ll understand and hopefully you’ll give me a reprieve of punishment!

When I read others’ blogs that are written when they’re having one of those days, I couldn’t care less about a post’s blahness if real feelings are revealed.  I actually prefer the “messy” blogs where innermost, raw feelings are exposed!  I connect with the “I feel like shit and I’m going to tell you why…” posts on a profoundly deep level. I love the fact that those kinds of posts aren’t sanitized like some of the glossy, cutesy, uber-witty blogs I’ve come across since exploring the blogosphere.

Yesterday I started following a spirited, brand-spankin’-new blogger MixtapeMasterJip-C. (Say that ten times fast!)  Mixtape apologized in the inaugural post for not having a “fancy” interface.  I commented that I didn’t require fanciness in order to follow a good blog – here’s Mixtape’s first post:

https://mixtapemasterjipc.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/the-mind-of-mixtape-master-jip-c/

As long as the blogger’s writing is authentic and the subjects are ones that I can relate to more or less, I’m going to read those posts.  I don’t demand beautiful graphics, charming fonts, or dazzling WordPress smoke and mirrors of any kind.  I like reading about the minutiae of one’s life.  I don’t need one’s blog to cheer me up or teach me or inspire me.  Self-care is my job, and sometimes it’s my therapist’s job to teach & inspire me, but I don’t require that of my beloved bloggers!

Although I’ve blogged for the past six months, the time has gone by in a flash, and I still feel like a neophyte blogger.  Sometimes I feel guilty that my posts do not educate others very much about bipolar disorder, specifically postpartum bipolar disorder, since that was the primary reason I began the blog.  I let go of that guilt as best as I can, and carry on.

Yesterday I had a valuable conversation with a very talented friend.  She’s a published author (Put Learning to Work: The Value of an Applied Pre-Vocational Curriculum for 6th-8th grade, At-risk and Special Needs Students), and blogger Carrie of Fleetiris. She shared with me how blogging primes her for her other creative work, which includes other forms of writing, art and other pursuits.  She blogs first, and then she’s able to move on to focus on her other projects.  She likes how blogging preps her before she moves on to working on a screenplay or novel.  If you have several writing projects going on, I suggest trying this technique out if you haven’t done so already!  To read Carrie’s eclectic blog posts and see her gorgeous, one-of-a-kind recycled artwork, visit this link:

http://fleetiris.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/these-3-photos-are-all-one-piece-entitled-point-of-no-return/

Blogging definitely serves as my warm-up before I work on my book.  Now that I’ve been blessed to have a few readers whose comments provide valuable, affirming feedback, I really am hooked on blogging – it’s a delight!

I knew there would be days like this where I’d feel drained, out of it, and blocked in terms of coming up with a useful blog topic. I’ll whine about it to you, dear readers (you can send me a bill for your virtual therapy!) but then I will move on and return to WordPress to wax poetically once more another day.

I would like to end on a high note.  Last night I was asked by one of my mentors Dr. Walker Karraa to be an editor for her new, cutting-edge website Stigmama.com.  Stigmama.com is dedicated to women’s experiences of stigma regarding mental illness and motherhood. I’ve contributed to Stigmama.com since its inception.  It’s a big honor for me to participate as an editor with Stigmama.com, and I am totally stoked!  (I’m Los Angeles born & bred, what more can I say?)

Please check it out & spread the word: http://www.stigmama.com or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/stigmama and

Twitter:  @Stigmama1

Dr. Karraa and I are on the lookout for Stigmama.com contributors, by the way, so if you’re interested in submitting a piece, please email my at dyane@baymoon.com.

HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY!!! AND THANKS FOR READING!!!

Dyane

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