Spiders in the Night Make Me Tired

It’s 10:30 a.m. and I’m tired.

Yesterday evening I received a disturbing email from a relative. It was unsettling because its content indicated that the relative has some signs of Alzheimer’s. (Kitt, I plan on reading your Bipolar and Dementia blog post today!)

Later that night around 2:00 a.m., one of my girls woke me out of a deep-ish sleep (which in itself is extremely rare!) to tell me there was a big black spider by her bed and I needed to send it to Spider Heaven STAT!!!

When I got to her room,  I found not one, but two of the creepy crawlers, plus there were two other spiders in the hallway! (Bipolar on Fire, my fellow arachnophobist, I thought of you!) 

Ahhhhhh!!!  

I do not like spiders!

As Dr. Seuss wrote in Green Eggs and Ham,

“I would not like them
Here or there.
I would not like them
Anywhere.”

Sorry, spiders of the world, it’s nothing personal. 

At least I can look on  the bright side here – at least the spiders weren’t as big as this:

 

 

Did I mention I have poison oak…the second time this summer!  I guess I need to be more aware of those “leaves of three (and) let them be” once and for all!

These are small problems, well, except for the dementia issue, but I’ll be okay. When I take Lucy for her walk later this afternoon, that will give me an attitude adjustment.

As long as I keep away from the poison oak, ticks, and of course, spiders!

 

What is it about Alice Cooper that’s so gosh darn likable? Hmm, maybe I could dress up as him for Halloween this year!

 

Thanks for reading and an extra-big thanks for your encouragement over the past few weeks!!! Have a great weekend!

XOXO,

Dyane

 

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in early September.

Thanks For Your Support – Good News!

 

 

bp Magazine has come to its senses!

Let me begin by telling you I had given up all hope of bp Magazine seeing the postpartum bipolar light!

Ironically, after I had unsubscribed to bp‘s Twitter feed and their email newsletter and closed off my heart to them, I got an email from bp’editor.

Lo and behold, I was informed there would be an opportunity for me after all. I was invited to write about postpartum bipolar for the “On My Mind” column in bp‘s Winter 2018 issue!

I wish I could say it was my magical, powerful “I’m disappointed” email I had sent to bp’s publisher that did the trick. But I suspect other actions came into play.

What I believe had the most influence was that some of you contacted the editor. (THANK YOU Kitt O’Malley and thanks to everyone else who wrote the editor and who retweeted on my behalf including Samina of the Bipolar 1 Blog and Bipolar on Fire.) Please let me know if you helped out in the comments and I’ll give you credit in the next post!

After I sent the publisher my “I’m very disappointed” email and didn’t hear back, I wrote a lengthy email to the editor. Then I did something I was sure was going to have bp’s staff place my name on their sh*t list.

I conducted a week-long Twitter Tantrum. Every time a reputable organization such as the UCLA Semel Friends, Postpartum Support International, or DBSA tweeted my SELF postpartum bipolar article link (which they all did numerous times) I retweeted it and tagged @bpmag.

It was a helluva lot of tweets!

For the record, I do not recommend doing this if you’re upset with someone or with a group. Remember, I had given up on hearing from bp Magazine forever!

I mega-tweeted to prove a point to them.

I knew that chances were very high I’d be burning a bridge with their staff, but as you guessed, I was past the point of caring about consequences. 

When I spotted the editor’s email in my in-box yesterday, my hands turned cold and clammy and I started to freak out. I was sure the email would say something like this:

 

 

When I forced myself to read the email, it was a very pleasant surprise.

So there you have it! I guess the moral of the story is really about how awesome the blogosphere and Twittersphere can be in one’s time of need. If I didn’t have amazing virtual friends (you know who you are!) then this dramatic turn of events wouldn’t have occurred.

The magic of the “I’m Disappointed” email can only go so far…

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next Friday, perhaps even with the post I promised to share about rich people and dog poop!

Love,

Dyane

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in early September.

Should bp Magazine Publish A Postpartum Bipolar Article?

The original topic for today was going to be “Dog Poop & Rich People” and believe me, I’ll cover that subject soon! It’s a subject very close to my heart. But there’s another topic I’m passionate about & I could use your social media support

I’d be so grateful for your help!

Some of you may have heard of bp Magazine, the world’s largest magazine that focuses on all things bipolar.

bp Magazine’s publisher Joanne Doan was kind enough to contribute this endorsement for my book. She wrote:

There is a distinct need for Dyane Harwood’s book Birth of a New Brain. Although Dyane had a specific trigger for her bipolar disorder, peripartum onset after the birth of her second daughter, her story applies to anyone who has been affected by depression, mania and anxiety, either firsthand or through caring about someone who lives with a mood disorder. Dyane’s perseverance in finding treatments and strategies to regain stability will offer hope to those on the same journey, whether they’re at the very beginning or somewhere along the way.

Joanne M. Doan

Publisher of bp Magazine | hope and harmony for people with bipolar

In 2016, one of bp Magazine’s writers contacted me to be quoted in her article – I think it was about anger. I asked if she would pitch her editor about writing a bipolar, peripartum onset/postpartum bipolar story at some point, and she said yes. I sent her my press kit which included all the wonderful blurbs by Joanne Doan, Kay Redfield Jamison, Dr. Verinder Sharma, etc and asked her to forward it to her editor with the pitch.

Recently she pitched the editor. The editor passed.

I was shocked. This pitch wasn’t all about promoting my book – it was mainly about bringing attention to a form of bipolar in a magazine dedicated to bipolar disorder! (There has never been an article written about it before.) Of course, my book would be mentioned, but not in depth.

By the editor passing on her pitch, it can be implied she thinks that expert opinions such as Kay Redfield Jamison’s are meaningless:

Dyane Harwood’s Birth of a New Brain is a gripping account of the awful juxtaposition of childbirth and the onset of bipolar illness. Her book is an informative and important contribution to our understanding of this triggering of mental illness that happens more often than is generally recognized.

—Kay Redfield Jamison, author of An Unquiet Mind and Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire

Ironically, SELF magazine asked me to write an article about postpartum bipolar. The article was published online last Tuesday. While that was wonderful, I’m so disappointed (!)  bp Magazine finds this topic unworthy. I’ve gotten great feedback from the SELF piece and from organizations that have retweeted the article (Intl. Bipolar Foundation, UCLA Semel Friends, Postpartum Support International, DBSA, and many others) indicating there’s a strong interest in this subject.

ww.self.com/story/postpartum-bipolar-disorder

SO, my friends, I know I need to let it go, but before I do could you please consider contacting bp Magazine asking for a postpartum bipolar article? One idea is you could write something along the lines of:

“Hi. I read the SELF postpartum bipolar article and I’d like more information from the #1 bipolar magazine in the world!”  😉  

There’s nothing else I can do except ask you to help, please.

Here are the best ways to reach bp Magazine with your opinion:

TWITTER

@bpHopeMag

You can write a Letter to the Editor!!!

Either email: mailbag@bphope

or

http://www.bphope.com/connect/letter-to-the-editor/

Send a general comment to:

http://www.bphope.com/connect/contact/

If you’re a writer, pitch them YOUR idea about a postpartum bipolar article! (You will get paid!) Maybe you could interview me! 😉 Subtle hint, eh? 

How to query bp Magazine: Send your query letter in body of an email, not as an attachment. Your query should be accompanied by three recently published attached samples and a professional resume. Email queries all to mailbag@bphope.com

Look on their website for more details here. 

You can send a message on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/bpMagazine/

THANK YOU!!!

XO,

Dyane

P.S.This is the first time I’ve shared a GoFundMe link in this blog. My friend Julie Horner could use $ support to save her home. She’s a writer and a wonderful person, plus she’s promoting my book events through her volunteer work for the local paper.

Every $1 counts. If you can give anything and/’or share this link, thanks from the bottom of my heart!

https://www.gofundme.com/help-julie-horner-save-her-home

 

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is now available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in August.

 

The Magic of “I’m Disappointed” Part Deux

 

 You must listen to this entire song. I bet you’ll be very disappointed with me afterwards! 😉 I might wear a version of the lead singer’s outfit for my 1st book talk – what do you think? 

First, here’s some essential 1970s rock education since most of you are way younger than I am. The song “Magic” is by PILOT – isn’t that a groovy name? Pilot was a rock group formed during 1973 in Edinburgh, Scotland by former Bay City Rollers members, David Paton and Billy Lyall. “Magic” was their first hit single and it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975 in the US when yours truly was 5, and guess what? ECT didn’t erase any of it in my brain!!! Take that, anti-psychiatry folk!

Speaking of MAGIC…

Last week the magic of “I’m Disappointed” happened again! Here’s the latest disappointment drama!

It was a mellow afternoon in beautiful Lake Tahoe.  I allowed myself a little Twitter time (okay, I allowed myself too much Twitter time!) and I decided to search for any recent postpartum bipolar-related tweets. Occasionally I’ll discover a valuable contact or resource.

I spotted a tweet from a man I’ll call “Mike.” Mike had read one of my postpartum bipolar tweets and he responded by tweeting something slanderous about me. Mike had no idea that his tweet was about to get me Very Disappointed, but oh, was he to learn he shouldn’t mess with the one & only “Dyane Disappointment!”

I reported Mike’s tweet to Twitter.

Alas! Twitter disappointed me too!  They found nothing wrong with Mike’s tweet, so I sent Twitter this email:

Subject: DISAPPOINTED: Re: Case# 62591680: Report about @”Mike” 

From: Dyane Harwood
To: support@twitter.com
Dear Twitter Staff,
I was very disappointed with your lack of action regarding my complaint.
Please allow me to explain:
I have a significant problem with Mike’s tweet.
Anyone can view it if they do a topic search for “postpartum bipolar” which is my field of expertise. His tweet is rude and slanderous – it implies I have been unfaithful to my
husband because of my mental illness. That is a total lie, but others reading it
might think otherwise and it could affect my professional reputation.
I have bipolar disorder and I’m an author and a perinatal mental health
advocate. This person’s slanderous tweet has triggered alarming symptoms of my
bipolar disorder, causing me to lose sleep, which can potentially send me
to the hospital. His tweet upset my family members which also triggered my insomnia.
I demand that you take IMMEDIATE action against this individual and remove his tweet
and his account or I will be forced to consult with my attorney. *
Thank you,
Dyane Harwood, B.A., C.P.T. @DyaneHarwood
Santa Cruz, California

*This is my attorney, but Twitter didn’t need to know that!

Miss Lucy Harwood, JD (“Just Dog”)

Here’s Twitter’s reply:

"From:    "support@twitter.com" <support@twitter.com>
Date:    Sat, 15 July, 2017 1:21 am

Hello,

Thank you for contacting us about this issue.
We have reviewed the account you reported and have locked it 
because we found it to be in violation of the Twitter Rules:
https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311
<https://support.twitter.com/articles/18311>. If the account owner
complies with our requested actions and stated policies, the 
account will be unlocked.

If you would like more information on how to control your Twitter
experience, see this help article:
https://support.twitter.com/articles/20170134
<https://support.twitter.com/articles/20170134>

Please continue to report any future violations of the Twitter 
Rules to us. We appreciate your help making Twitter better for 
everyone.

Thank you,
Twitter"

Perhaps it wasn’t just the magic of “I’m very disappointed” but also the magic of “I’ll consult my attorney” that got Twitter to take a second look at my complaint and not brush me off like a flea. I was so happy they did the right thing in the end!

I haven’t looked to see if “Mike” is active on Twitter again and up to his old tricks, or if he has opened a new Twitter account. Who knows? But if he pulls the same thing with me, you can bet I’ll get disappointed. And if Mama is disappointed, everyone’s gonna get disappointed! (Groan, I know!) 

On a much happier note….

My friend Mel referred me to a very cool new site called BFFPetnet – a unique pet community. If you’re a pet lover like I am, check it out. I’m there under “Dyane” — if you could please tell your pet loving friends about it, I’d be grateful to you! (They’re on Facebook & Instagram too!)

Another happy note:

You can read the 1st Official Birth of a New Brain article here in Mental Health Treatment by journalist David Heitz!

Finally……….

For those of you who like to look at brief videos of my attorney dog, this twenty seconds of Lucy swimming in Lake Tahoe for the first time is too cute:

 

See you next Friday – I have some cool book-related updates as well as a section called “Dog Poop & Rich People” I want to share with you!

Have a great weekend, my friends!

XO,

Dyane

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is now available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in August.

Tahoe Bliss

 

Twilight beauty in Alpine Meadows

Tahoe Bliss is the name of my all-time favorite lip balm that’s made right here in Lake Tahoe, but it’s also a mellow state of mind. I haven’t had any grand adventures take place since I last posted – only small ones that occurred primarily on my walks and hikes, but small is good enough for me. 

During one of my daily walks, I noticed this roof was alive…
And on another stroll, I discovered this beautiful split tree trunk bridge 

Lucy chillin’ & experiencing Tahoe Bliss after her pond swim!

 

The girls playing large-scale chess at The Village at Squaw Valley. I couldn’t believe it when a crowd formed to watch their intense game! I took this shot when they were just getting started.

(Little sis won!)

I’ve been lazy during most of this trip, but I’ve made some progress with my book.

With the help of my former coworker at the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, the date for my first book event is set! It’ll be at one of the library branches on Thursday, October 19th at 7:00 p.m. – further details will be firmed up in early August.

The heat is now officially on – I have three months to get my presentation together, and you can bet my new Toastmaster friends are going to help me with it.

On the promotions front, Linda Joy Myers, President of the National Association of Memoir Writers, inspired me to create a “press kit.” My publisher has a 1-page standard press release, but I wanted a more extensive, professional-looking press kit I could share with certain individuals and organizations.

 

I started reading Linda’s new memoir Song of the Plains last week. It’s  beautifully written, and I love the cover!

 

I felt a little audacious asking Linda if she would let me see her press kit, but I pushed through my fear because I knew it would be excellent. After all, she’s a memoir and publishing expert. Linda graciously said yes, and her awesome layout has been a tremendous help!

Lastly, I’ve had a culinary grand adventure, come to think of it. I’ve found one of the best brownie mixes ever: Sutter Buttes Natural and Artisan Foods’ Blood Orange Olive Oil Brownies Baking Kit. I’ve tried many brownie mixes, and this mix blew me away.

If you’re a brownie lover and a blood orange lover, order this dream-come-true – you will thank me. (They have double chocolate flavor too.)

Isn’t the little bottle of extra virgin blood orange olive oil cute?

And on that sweet note, I bid you a wonderful weekend!

See you next week!

Love,

Dyane

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder,  foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is now available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available later this summer.

The Magic of “I’m Disappointed”

 My Dad, the Original “I’m Disappointed” Magician

 

I remember how much my father enjoyed going to various high-end West Los Angeles restaurants in the 1970s and 1980s. As a gourmand, he had high standards.

One evening Dad had a bummer of a meal at The Velvet Turtle. (By the way, turtle soup and anything else turtle-related or velvet-related was not served there!)

Dad didn’t go home to face indigestion of body and spirit. He wrote The Velvet Turtle’s manager a letter expressing his profound disappointment with his dining experience. This incident occurred long before the advent of email, so my father handwrote a double-sided letter explaining exactly what fell short at the establishment.

 

Lo and behold, Dad promptly received a profuse apology and a gift certificate for a full-course dinner for four. (I stole took his certificate and brought my then-boyfriend and grandmother out for dinner – the food and service were very good!)

I never forgot my father’s satisfaction with his informing the manager he had a less-than-magical experience, nor did I forget the end result.

 

Whenever I’ve been deeply perturbed by the actions of an individual or group, I get in front of my laptop to write my “I’m Disappointed” email.

My fond wish is that the“I’m Disappointed”email “technique” will work as well for you as it has worked for me. 

Here are two easy steps to take for your happy dance touchdown time.

  • The phrase “I’m disappointed with…blankety blank” always goes in the subject header and also the body of the email.
  • I never use foul language, despite having been very tempted to do so sometimes. I keep it short ‘n sweet and chock full of disappointment.

For you writers out there, here’s an example of an email I sent to BringChange2Mind. I asked for author/mental health advocate Jessie Close’s consideration to endorse my book. 

It’s followed by “I’m Disappointed” missive, & then the prompt, courteous reply I received from BringChange2Mind. 

 

--------------------------- Original Message ----------------------
Subject: Attn: Jessie Close/Book Endorsement Opportunity
From:    "Dyane Leshin-Harwood"
Date:    Tue, 7 March, 2017 2:23 pm
To:      information@bringchange2mind.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Jessie,

I hope you're doing well!

Like so many other readers, I bought "Resilience" and was deeply moved by your journey. I especially related to your love for dogs. I enjoyed seeing the photo of you with Redstone Rocket - I have a 
Sheltie/collie mix named Lucy, and her face looks a lot like Redstone Rocket's. I also loved the photos of your adorable Wowie and  
Snitz.

I'm a writer and mental health advocate.My memoir "Birth of a New Brain - Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder" will be publishedthis fall by Post Hill Press.

I'd be honored if you'd consider endorsing it.

You'd join other inspiring movers and shakers including:

--Dr. Verinder Sharma, Perinatal Psychiatrist
--Dr. Nancy Byatt, Psychiatrist/Professor, University of 
Massachusetts Medical School
--Mark Lukach ("My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward")
--Jay Mohr ("Gasping for Airtime," "No Wonder My Parents Drank," Podcast One's MohrStories, "Keep Oregon Well" Spokesman/Mental Health Advocate)

I've attached the front & back cover for your review. The book on Amazon for pre-sales and you can read its brief description here:

https://www.amazon.com/Birth-New-Brain-Postpartum-Disorder/dp/1618688014/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488918029&sr=1-1&keywords=Birth+of+a+New+Brain

I look forward to hearing from you very much!

Warm regards,

Dyane Harwood

 After two weeks with no reply, I sent the “I’m Disappointed” email:

Subject Header: Very Disappointed

“Dear Bring Change 2 Mind Staff,

On March 7th, I left a voicemail message at the website’s contact number
(for Annie) and I emailed that same day, but I never heard back from
anyone.

I realize that working at a nonprofit is demanding (I’ve worked at three
of them here in Santa Cruz!), but I’d really appreciate a confirmation
that you received my email and that my request is being considered.

Thanks so much,

Dyane Harwood”


The next day I received this response from BringChange2Mind’s Staff

Hi Dyane, thank you for your email, and please accept my sincerest apology for not responding sooner. It sounds as though you understand how time manages to slip by too quickly in the non-profit world! And, as a small staff of three, I am afraid that it’s always moving faster in the BC2M office than I would prefer!

Congratulations on your book! If you could send us a copy here at the office, I could put it in the mail to Jessie with the hope that she would be able to read it. She has been extremely busy lately so I can’t make any promises, but it’s always worth a try!

Thank you again for reaching out to us!

 ———–

I’m astounded at how quickly I usually receive a courteous response after I fire off the I’m Disappointed email. Oftentimes I’ve heard back from someone within 24 hours of sending it. Of course, I don’t always receive a reply or get what I want – although once in a while I do – but it feels good to get such a quick turnaround.

Try it the next time someone lets you down, and let me know if the magic happens for you!

Love,

Dyane

 

p.s. I’m writing this post at the Cliff Cafe which is down the street from the Munchkin Cabin in beautiful Alpine Meadows. My view of the Truckee River:

 

We’ve been coming up here for almost a decade. The cabin owner has become a friend and she gives us the “friend’s rate” that makes this trip possible.

Next Friday I’ll let you know about my latest adventures in this magnificent wilderness – hopefully I won’t have a bear come inside the cabin while I’m there (been there, done that!) or get lost in the Sierras (ditto!), or have Craig break his foot while walking down the stairs again, or ride Squaw Valley gondola when the staff fires off an avalanche-prevention explosive almost directly beneath the tram (yep!) – and hopefully I won’t need to write an “I’m Disappointed” email while we’re up here!

 

In this short video, I’m watching Lucy swim for the first time. She’s braving a pond that’s fed by snowmelt from the top of Alpine Meadows. I was so verklempt over my furry girl’s swimming prowess & her concern for Rilla! (Apologies for the loud “Oh my Gods” in the background!)

If you want another brief dose of Lucy’s cuteness, check this out! 

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is now available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available in August.

A Mellow Walk With Lucy, My Furry Antidepressant

Dear Friends,

When I referred to the tennis court I called it “chalk,” but I meant clay, LOL! (Sorry about the shaky camerawork!) 

Have a great weekend & 4th of July.

See you next Friday!

Love,

Dyane

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder,  foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw, will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. Birth of a New Brain is now available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales. Kindle pre-sales will be available later this summer.