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.

Looking for a Good Book?

The following authors graciously endorsed my memoir, and they have written fantastic books. I urge you to read their work!

  

 

“Birth of a New Brain is a gripping account of the awful juxtaposition of childbirth and the onset of bipolar illness. Dyane’s 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: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character

 

 

 

“This is a story of when love alone can and cannot heal in bipolar disorder. It is a story of mental illness seen through the eyes of a daughter, a wife, and a mother. Birth of a New Brain was a privilege to read.”

Dr. Greg de Moore

Author of Finding Sanity: John Cade, Lithium, and the Taming of Bipolar Disorder, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Westmead Hospital, Australia

 

“With artful prose and brutal honesty, Dyane Harwood depicts her struggle to have a stable, peaceful life as a wife and mother amidst the turmoil brought on by postpartum bipolar disorder in Birth of a New Brain. Despite many false starts, missteps, and even cruel and indifferent treatment at the hands of certain medical professionals she encountered, Harwood soldiered on and finally arrived at her own truth. The answers, for the most part, were inside her all along and consisted of self-care habits, including healthy eating, sufficient sleep, and consistent exercise. Thoroughly researched with a wealth of resources for mothers and families, Birth of a New Brain is an invaluable resource and reference point for mothers grappling with shifts in mood after the birth of their children.”

Matt Samet

Author, Death Grip: A Climber’s Escape from Benzo Madness

Editor, Climbing Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

“Dyane Harwood’s writing eloquently brings to life the complex interaction between the person, her world and the changes in how she how she perceives it wrought by the onset of mania following childbirth. She unpicks the essential conflict faced by all of us who experience chronic mood problems—between the pressure to follow sometimes uncertain ‘medical advice’ uncritically and the need to retain some sense of self-agency because with that comes the hope of being able to lead the kind of lives we want to live. She rightly challenges the doctors who project their own failings onto the ‘problem patient. Indeed, she highlights the importance for all of us of finding a doc in whose expertise one can really invest some respect and trust. We are all so much more than our ‘illness’ but can find that goal hard to achieve. Dyane Harwood’s extraordinary book shows us how to do it.”

Dr. Linda Gask

Author, The Other Side of Silence: A Psychiatrist’s Memoir of Depression, Emerita Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry at the University of Manchester

 

“Dyane’s journey through mental illness has taken an astonishing amount of twists and turns, and in Birth of a New Brain, she generously and courageously shares her experience so that others may learn from it. Birth of a New Brain is an invaluable and hopeful guide for anyone confronting mental illness so that they can get the help they need and deserve, from professionals and family, without shame.”

Mark Lukach

Author, My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

 

 

 

 

“Dyane Harwood’s new book Birth of a New Brain is a phenomenal gift to the mental illness community, especially for postpartum sufferers. Dyane’s clever weave of gut-wrenching honesty entwined with intricate storytelling illuminates an under-profiled mental illness. Birth of a New Brain is an important addition to the world’s mood disorder literature, and it will help those with perinatal and bipolar disorders of all kinds. Delve into Dyane’s incredible story, one that untangles the baffling and under-reported illness of postpartum bipolar disorder. Prepare to be moved. You won’t regret it.”

-Wendy K. Williamson
Author, I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar and co-author of Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival: Tips for Living with Bipolar Disorder http://www.wendykwilliamson.com

 

Dr. Carol Henshaw, who wrote my book’s foreword, co-authored The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry. 

Dr. Henshaw writes the wonderful travel blog On the Road Again – Wanderlust and the Need to See More of the World

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Toastmasters Humiliation & Kay R. Jamison Blurb Bliss

This is what I’m going for, T.S. Eliot!

 


Last Wednesday at Toastmasters, I turned on my laptop and spent a considerable amount of time placing it in the perfect position to record my speech #2.

I was so freaking nervous that I spaced out on pressing the “record” button so I can’t share the video as I had planned!

During the five minutes of my speech “The Dr. A. Way,” I was a shaking bundle of exposed nerve endings. I made a complete ass of myself.

I was hit particularly hard because I thought I had a chance at improving just a little bit. I spoke about a topic I knew well (“Exercise for Mood Stability” by Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan) and I even brought some fun props, but nope – I still blew it.

I won’t give up on these speeches! In five months I’m presenting my first book talk. I refuse to be a mass of quivering jello in front of my family, friends, and community members.

Now, I know I won’t conquer all of my anxiety – I’m realistic – but I’m going to work hard on dialing it down a notch or ten… 

The cool thing (or sadistic thing, depending on how you look at it) about belonging to Toastmasters is that I’ll face my public speaking fear every seven days. It’s up to me when I want to schedule the remaining eight speeches of the “Competent Communicator” program, but at each meeting I’ll be required to speak through various roles, i.e. Ah-Counter, Table Topics, etc.

Meanwhile…

I still can’t quite believe Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, author of the classic memoir An Unquiet Mind, is endorsing Birth of a New Brain!  It’s a wonderful feeling to think that someone like her will support my book. 

Last night Rilla told me to “stop bragging on Twitter” about the KRJ endorsement, so I erased a braggy tweet I was writing. I reluctantly admitted she was absolutely right. It’s humbling when your nine-year-old is more mature than you are. 

All is quiet here tonight, and I’m off to enjoy a late dinner and watch my new favorite show Rosewood.

Rosewood’s star Morris Chestnut is a fantastic actor. I wasn’t familiar with his work until I saw his performance as an ER doctor in Nurse Jackie. If you’re looking for a new show, I encourage you to check out Rosewood on Netflix.

I hope you have a good weekend!

Lots of love,

Dyane

 

 

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. It’s available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales; Kindle pre-sales will be available this summer.

 

Thank You Dr. Jamison & The Unknown Angels

 

Dear Friends, 

Last year, I wrote about Anthony William’s book Medical Medium

William explained how praying to a group called the “Unknown Angels” helped him a great deal. At first, I was quite skeptical. However, the thought of asking those mysterious-sounding Unknown Angels appealed to me so I went for it and I started talking to them.

Every day for the past six months I asked the Unknown Angels out loud (per Mr. Williams’ instructions) to help me in specific ways.

I spoke to them at least once a day, preferably where no one could see me! 

My requests were pragmatic and focused on safety and happiness for my kids and my husband. I prayed before walking my dog Lucy in the forest and asked that we wouldn’t encounter mountain lions. (So far, so good.)

At some point during each prayer, I asked that my “dream author” (clinical psychologist/bestselling author Kay Redfield Jamison) endorse my book. 

 

I knew Dr. Jamison’s endorsement wasn’t likely to happen, but I sent a letter to her staff anyway. If I didn’t take a chance, the phrase “nothing ventured, nothing gained” would haunt me forever.

Dr. Jamison wasn’t known to endorse books very often; in fact, I hadn’t seen any book endorsed by her except for the outstanding The Midnight Disease written by her friend Dr. Alice W. Flaherty.

Why would Dr. Jamison endorse a first-time author like me? (Well, I had some good reasons, but I was doubtful she’d agree with them!)

On Monday around 7:30 a.m., I found out that Dr. Jamison will supply my book’s cover blurb. My neighbors found out too — I screamed and sang obnoxiously loud for five minutes. Lucy, alarmed to see me act like such a freak, chimed in with her cacophonous howls.

Now, I don’t have Dr. Jamison’s exact words yet.

She could change her mind. 

Maybe I should’ve waited to share my happy news with you until I had her endorsement in hand, but I can’t help it.

I only wish I could tell my father about this wonderful honor.

In any case, I want you to remember my story when you’re on the fence about pursuing something you consider a major longshot.

I want you to go for it.

And even if you’re a skeptical agnostic like I am, take a look at my blog post about the Unknown Angels, or if you believe in something else, focus on connecting more with it.

If you talk to the Unknown Angels, you might get flak from family & friends. I sure did! At least it’s a positive focus, right?

You might even be happily surprised with what comes your way….

Have a good weekend, and thanks so much for reading & commenting!

Love,

Dyane

 

p.s. Remember the interview I was fretting about? It went absolutely ***fine**** & it was 100% drama free. When the link is up, I’ll share it with you here.

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th, 2017. It’s available on Amazon for paperback pre-sales; Kindle pre-sales will be available this summer.