I’ll Take Goat Shit Pills If I Have To!

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Yes, here’s the uncensored Dyane in all her glory.  Most likely I’ll have some readers unfollow my blog, and maybe even an unfriending or two on Facebook as a result of this slightly profane post, but I’m starting to understand that I need to write my truth as long as I’m not being vindictive.  This post is most definitely my truth, and today I’m writing what I am most passionate about besides my family.

This morning I let my potty mouth loose after watching an extended eight-minute-long preview of a documentary film called “Crazywise”.

This documentary’s two filmmakers explain that they are comparing cultures and how each culture regards mental illness, which is fascinating to me.  I was very interested in their portrayal of several tribes which contain people who would be perceived as mentally ill in the United States.  But when the filmmakers showed glimpses of their interviews with American anti-psychiatric medication “gurus”; public figures I had closely studied when I decided to taper off my bipolar meds, my stomach turned.

Two of the subjects they featured in this preview unexpectedly triggered me big-time.  The first person was the author/lecturer Robert Whitaker, whose bestselling book Anatomy of An Epidemic (specifically his chapter on bipolar disorder) affected me profoundly. Whitaker’s book was one of several factors that influenced me to start tapering off my bipolar medications, which first caused acute mania and then I became acutely suicidal and required three weeks of hospitalization just a year ago.

Now, before I go any further, I know it’s not fair to blame an author or a book or a premise for almost killing me.  I want to be very clear that I’m not doing that.

However, if one is on the fence about taking bipolar psychiatric medications and reads Robert Whitaker’s work, specifically the bipolar chapter, his book is extremely convincing at making it seem like taking medications is not the way to go!  I was so hopeless and weary when I read that book.  I was ripe and vulnerable.  I honestly don’t know what exactly were his intentions with his book – it’s confusing to me given his smooth sound bites in the preview. I like to think that I’m not stupid or easily swayed by Whitaker and other so-called experts.  I’m just being honest with you because that’s what you, as my valued reader, deserve at the end of the day.

Another subject featured in this film is Will Hall, a famous personage in the anti-psych-med movement.  I was in touch with Hall at one point through his website, and he offers a free PDF “Harm Reduction Guide to Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs and Withdrawal”.   While I know he has a good heart, seeing his face in the preview basically made me want to barf.

I had tried so many fucking psychiatric medications year after year to no avail.  Two rounds of unilateral and bilateral ECT.  Seven, yes, seven hospitalizations, which still sickens me whenever I think of it.  It astounds me that no psychiatrist I saw since 2007 thought to mention the one, old-school MAOI medication called Parnate/tranylcypromine (known as the “last resort medication” for bipolar depression) that would ultimately restore me to a good quality of life and lift my bipolar depression when taken in tandem with lithium.  (Combining the two – an MAOI and lithium – is key according to two very impressive studies I located on the internet.  They were done in the 1970’s, but their findings are still valid as far as I’m concerned, since it worked so miraculously for me 100%!)

When I started considering tapering off bipolar medication, if I had found a book that spoke to my trepidations, who knows – maybe it might have made a difference.  If I had encountered a story that documented a mother’s journey with bipolar disorder who was considering going the “alternative, natural” route but experienced total disaster despite consulting experts from around the world, who knows – maybe I would have paused. I would have, at the very least, interviewed such a mother.  And, most importantly, I would have found out what did work for her.

If I can help ONE person not experience the hellhole that I did when I slowly, meticulously tapered off bipolar medication by writing my book about what happened to me, it will be worth it.

I know there are so many people living with bipolar disorder who are suffering…I know what it’s like.  I know that 99% of of them would try any medication that could truly help them. I now know that I’ll take any Big Pharma or Little Pharma, patented or generic medication for my mental illness (and it IS a mental illness at least for me – my bipolar disorder ain’t no sublime, bewitching psychic revelation!) as long as it helps me.

I’m willing to deal with the side effects.  I’ll take goat shit pills if I have to.  I’m not going to demonize meds ever again.  I’ll watch the entire “Crazywise” film when its released and if (as I suspect) they glamorize the anti-medication movement, you’ll be seeing me speak out actively against this film, as much as an indie film lover I am, because that’s just not cool.   There are too many vulnerable, desperate people with bipolar out there willing to believe in the Kool Aide promises.  After the war I’ve been through with bipolar disorder, (and yes, I consider it a war and I have PTSD from it – my counselor agrees with this) I’m no longer a milquetoast.

To watch the “Crazywise” preview

I wrote the following comment in response to the Crazywise YouTube clip – I just went off and as you’ll see, I didn’t edit it- I was too angry at the time….

I just watched this preview and feel compelled to write this comment. After reading “Anatomy of an Epidemic” (the author is interviewed in this doc: Robert Whitaker) I went the no-meds route, I corresponded with Will Hall, Peter Lehmann, read Dr. Peter Breggin (anti-meds shrink), you name it , I read it etc. etc. Meds got my life back after I almost died. Tapering slowly off meds almost killed me. I won’t be living in a Shamanic culture anytime soon. These are all nice, smooth sound bites and I want to see this film, but I can tell you that it is not all black or white. My two little girls don’t care if Mommy takes pills as long as she’s alive to be with them. I love my lithium and no one is making a whole lotta money off me, I guarantee it.

 

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A Bloody, Sweet & Bookish Friday the 13th

Tsunami w:Girls

The sign says: “SEAWALL CLOSED – SEAWALL TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO TSUNAMI DAMAGE – REPAIRS TO FOLLOW SOON”

If I can face my tsunami phobia, I can face this summer!!!

 

It has been summer break for less than forty-eight hours, and nothing too terrible has happened yet, thank God. We got through Friday the 13th/the full moon in one piece.  Although Lucy the puppy, in her playful way, bit Rilla on the lip with her razor-sharp teeth.  Although it was a tiny wound, Rilla bled profusely and the poor girl screamed like a banshee; the decibel range she hit was extreme.  I was folding laundry in another room. When I heard screams and tracked down Rilla, all I saw was bright red blood – it was on her clothes, hands, floor and of course her face.   I was amazed at the amount of blood I saw given the minute size of her scratch. That’s how my Friday the 13th began: with plenty ‘o blood, which was fitting, I suppose!

After the excitement of Rilla’s scratch, it was just one of those “blah” days where nothing much happened.  We went to buy ballet tights, got stuck in construction traffic, and the trip to the store took twice as long as usual. When finally arrived at the store, the staff measured Avonlea’s height so we could select the appropriate tights. At the register I was informed the store, which I had shopped at for over twenty years, no longer accepted checks.  I considered their policy to be rather ridiculous, but instead of throwing a hissy fit as I was tempted to do, I sighed and put the item back. ( In case you’re wondering, I didn’t have enough money in my other bank account to use my debit card for the tights.)

I felt nervous during our excursion because we left twelve-week-old Lucy “Vampire” Puppy alone at home.  I made sure she had plenty of water, food, and Pandora classical music playing softly in the background. I checked that the room was totally secure.  When we came back home, she was fine, but I wish she could have joined us during our errand.

We hung out around the house the rest of the day.  I forbade the girls to turn on the TV because we’ve all been watching it way too much.  We played “School”, in which Avonlea was our teacher and instructed us in my least-favorite subject: math.  Then I took a Facebook surfing break while they played “Chutes & Ladders” and chess.  

Afterwards we walked Lucy on what I refer to as our “death street”.  What could be a relaxing, enjoyable stroll with little Lucy is a scary risk when it comes to walking her on our road.   We live in one of the absolute worst neighborhoods for dog walking.  I was a desperate dumbshit during our search to buy this home.  (A ripe topic for another post, I promise you.)  Perhaps if I ‘d walk Lucy when I’m partially naked, that might get our unneighborly speeding drivers to slow the hell down for ten seconds when they pass us.  On second thought, that idea could backfire – they might speed up instead, because seeing me without clothes would frighten them! 😉

As the evening came to a close, I completed a book that I’ve wanted to finish for some time:  L.E. Henderson’s A Trail of Crumbs to Creative Freedom: One Author’s Journey Through Writer’s Block and Beyond.  I discovered Trail of Crumbs while searching my Kindle for bipolar-themed books.  I hit a goldmine when I found this book because I had also been searching for books about writing.  In the sample I downloaded, Henderson reveals that she has bipolar disorder and in the book she explains its influence upon her writing career.  In Trail of Crumbs, her third book, she vividly describes her experience with bipolar disorder interwoven with tried and true writing advice.  Apart from buying her book, I located Henderson’s blog and Twitter account, signed up to follow both, and we’ve been in touch ever since.  Henderson has been a wonderful source of encouragement and has inspired my writing process.

Henderson is a fantastic, imaginative fantasy novelist as well.  She is creative and original when sharing a variety of techniques to spark one’s writing.  Out of curiosity I read two Amazon reviews for Trail of Crumbs. One review made me feel wistful, for it was the review I wish I wrote for this book!  Here it is, in part, by “Carrie” of Ohio:

 5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for any writer March 27, 2014 by Carrie
 Although at first glance this book is a discussion of how the author rediscovered her writing after suffering crippling bouts of mania and depression, its pages go far beyond that. The advice is sound for any writer who has at some point struggled to maintain momentum. From presenting techniques such as ‘clustering’ to recommending the use of You Tube videos as visual research for unfamiliar experiences (such as hot-air balloon rides), fiction writers will find a wealth of information in this book. The author is obviously a gifted writer, and her strong analogies helped clarify more abstract concepts. If her non-fiction is this good, I can only imagine how good her fiction is! I easily read this book in one sitting and certainly recommend it to other writers, no matter where they are in their creative journey.
Unlike Carrie, who read the book in one sitting, I’ve been meaning to complete Henderson’s book for several months.  There are reasons for this that have nothing to do with the excellence of Trail of Crumbs.
Over the past year, I’ve been having difficulties with focusing while reading my beloved books.  For me, it takes way more energy and focus to read a book compared to reading the assorted blog posts in my WordPress Reader.  During my reading time, which is mainly in the evening just after the girls have gone to bed, I’m totally exhausted from the day and from my three meds, all of which have potentially sedating properties.  I think I can change this pattern by taking better care of myself, mainly by not eating so much sugar and caffeine, which I know has been blowing out my adrenals.  I exercise almost daily, and that helps me, but unfortunately it can’t compensate for a lousy diet.
Also, this may sound strange, but I think that I’ve been self-sabotaging in terms of finishing this specific book. The reason?  Well, I knew that Henderson’s book contains lots of juicy writing advice that could very well help me complete my own book which I’ve put on the back burner for weeks now.  I’ve begun examining this issue with my therapist as of last week. During our sessions we’ve discussed many experiences that I want to include in my book.  Because she has worked with me for years, my therapist can fill in certain significant blanks in my recollections; plus she provides invaluable perspective.  She suggested that from now on I tape record our sessions and see if that helps me with my writing.  I’m curious to see how that goes and I feel it’s definitely worth a try.
I’d love to read about your experiences with writer’s block/writer’s anxiety & (if it applies to you) how bipolar disorder has  affected  your writing- I think almost all writers face these challenges at one point or another.
.   

 

 

Friday Freak-Out & Mom Issues X 2

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I’m writing this post on Thursday and it’s the last day of school for Avonlea and Marilla.  I have mixed feelings about school ending today.  I’ve been launched into creating a new daily structure for our girls over the next few months.  It’s hard enough for me to get my own schedule in order, let alone a six-year-old and a nine-year-old’s, so I’m a bit freaked out.  The ironic fact that our summer officially begins on Friday the 13th is not lost upon me.

As many people with bipolar disorder know, structure can make all the difference between stability and its hellish opposite.  Now that I’ve had my taste of stability for the last year, I don’t want it to end anytime soon.  I’m going to give this summer my best shot so I stay the hell away from Hell.  (a.k.a. the hospital.)

I’m happy to say that I planned a few fairly substantial activities for the kids in advance.  Next week, I’ll get fifteen precious hours of child-free time while they attend the local (free!) vacation bible school.  They are technically Jewish, but no matter.  It’s still a good education for them! The following month we’re splurging on a two-week-long Science Sleuths day camp run by County Parks; it’s an excellent program that our older daughter has loved attending in the past.

We have a summer membership to our community pool, but that’s an activity I’ve placed my husband in charge of due to my still-intense social anxiety.   I hope that given my recent progress which I described in my “No Profundity” post, I’ll make an effort to visit the pool over the next month.  However, I’m not going to pressure myself because honestly, life is challenging enough right now.  There are other cool things to do in this area, which is visited by tourists from around the world, aside from the pool.

This morning both of my girls tearfully told me how much they will miss school – they said they’d miss their friends, their teachers and the fun activities.  Two nights ago they even begged us for a school yearbook.  I never had a yearbook in 1st or 3rd grade – how times have changed! $30 later, they got the yearbook and they’ve enjoyed pouring over its pages, fighting over who got to take a turn every ten minutes.  

I felt stunned regarding their positive attitude toward school because I had a completely different experience.  I was 100% elated to say goodbye to each school year, and I certainly never shed a single tear in June when I bid my teacher  and classmates farewell.  I never thought that the girls’ school would be such a hard act for me to follow, but in a few months they’ll return to their beloved school, so I won’t stress too much about it.

Meanwhile, come next week my Mom is visiting this area.  She’s excited to spend time with her grandchildren and meet the adorable Lucy puppy at last.  She’ll stay at beautiful hotel called the Chaminade which holds many happy memories for her,  including numerous stays with my Dad, and my wedding rehearsal dinner.   It’s hard for me to believe that my Mom has been a guest at this hotel for two decades because she started visiting here when I attended college at U.C. Santa Cruz.  The Chaminade used to be a monastery and it has stunning views of the Pacific Ocean/Monterey Peninsula.  Craig and I used to live in a tiny studio underneath the hotel property next to the infamous cemetery.  (See “Cemetery Days” for more about that.)

I haven’t seen my mother in a year.  The last time we were together I was almost med-free from my ill-fated lithium taper.  I was hypomanic during our visit and she wasn’t doing well emotionally.  My bipolar relapse had just begun, and culminated in another hospital stay. This upcoming visit, I hope, will be 100% better than the last one.  (I’d be thrilled with at least 80% better!)

I’ve written about my Mom’s shortcomings at length, especially in terms of the stigma towards my mental illness she has harbored. (My post “Stigma from the Source” covers this topic in depth.)  But she also has wonderful qualities – she even passed one or two of them down to me! 😉  Moreover,  Mom is great with children, especially since she worked with kids with special needs for many years as a speech pathologist in the public schools.  She was able to easily connect with the kids and her colleagues and they saw the best side of her.  Before that, she was a working actress in Los Angeles and had won the University of Michigan’s first award for television acting.  She’s very histrionic, to say the least.  

I look forward to watching my mother interact with my girls, and I’ll try my best to refrain from flipping out at her inevitable criticism of me.  There’s always something during every visit.  The usual comments include: “Your hair…what have you done with it?”, “I thought you said you were 140 pounds – you look much heavier than that!” and the classic: “What do you do all day, especially now that you have this summer break?”

The truth, although it’s hard for me to fully process it, is that my formidable Mom, the woman who drives all around Los Angeles on highways I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot-pole, is slowing down at seventy-eight-years old.  She could live another fourteen years like her robust Jewish grandmother did, or live another day.  Who knows?   I don’t have tranquilizers or alcohol to see me through the crunchy moments with her this time around.  I need to remain stable.  I need to be strong.  I know I need to give her a break, but that is much easier said than done.  I know I’ll have experiences to write about, that’s for sure.  

 

I Could Get Used to This Kind of Thing! (At First I Said No…)

Liebster

I am happy to share with you, my beloved readers, that I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award by Bipolarmama.

Thank you Bipolarmama!

Dankeschön!  

The enlightening Bipolarmama blogs at http://thebipolarmama.wordpress.com.  

Before I get into the nitty gritty about this distinction, forgive me for a slight digression, as I’m prone to do – at least it’s related to the concept of awards and what they mean to us.  

Most of you are too young to remember the actress Sally Field.  I knew who she was in part because her son Peter was in my L.A. high school chemistry class; her films were definitely out of my teenager scope of interest.  

Ms. Field gave a famous Academy Award acceptance speech for her second Best Actress award that she received for the film “Places In The Heart”.  During this speech she said twice that she didn’t “feel it” the first time she received an Academy Award for the role she played in “Norma Rae.  However, after winning her second award, she triumphantly declared to the audience,

“I haven’t had an orthodox career.  And I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect…YOU LIKE ME, RIGHT NOW, YOU LIKE ME!”

To watch go to http://www.ontheredcarpet.com/Sally-Field-finds-out-the-Academy-likes-her—Oscar-History-Video/8517653

Field has been parodied for this speech ever since she gave it, but I love how she’s so transparent with her insecurity, especially since she’s addressing such a ruthless, cynical, judgmental crowd.  Now, I’m no actress (although I’ve been told I’ma drama queen) but I relate to Field’s  insecurity in regard to my writing.  

I LOVE winning any award for writing because it makes me feel like you like me (well, you like my writing!), right now, you like it! 😉

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, guess what?  At first I declined the Liebster.  I said “thanks, but no thanks!” for several reasons.  The main reason was that it was one of those days where I felt completely overwhelmed with life. I wasn’t depressed, but I felt depleted from being woken up each day at 4:30 a.m. by a certain adorable fluff of a puppy.

I didn’t think I could handle doing one more task; you see, being nominated for a Liebster Award is easy, but earning it requires a bit of work – you can’t just rest on your laurels and spoon in the Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food like I was hoping I could do.

What is a Liebster Award?

In a nutshell, it’s a peer-appointed award that was “created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers, welcome them to the blogosphere, and build the blogging community.”  Of course the award also recognizes high-quality writing. 

The four rules are as follows:

1) I must provide 11 facts about myself (I know you just read some facts about me  if you read my Very Inspiring Blogger post – well, here are yet more facts, and then you’ll really know me!)

2) Answer 11 questions created by my nominating party Bipolarmama

3) Nominate 11 blogs

4) Provide them with 11 questions to answer

Okay, so I here I go again.  

Dyane’s Glorious 11 Facts

1) I’m terrified of spiders. (Isn’t everyone?)  But I can kill big, freaky ones if necessary.

2) If I could live anywhere else in the world it would be Kona-Kailua, Hawaii or the North Island of New Zealand.

3) I consider chocolate to be one of the four food groups.

4) I consider coffee to be another one of the four food groups.

5) I believe in psychics, although I’ve never met with one.

6) My favorite band is Crowded House.

7) I love essential oils such as orange, lavender and jasmine.

8) My Sheltie dog Tara was the flower girl at my wedding.

9) I have an IQ of 152. (or so I was told…)

10) I’m into namedropping as well as I.Q.-dropping.  (Ahem, Sally Field?)

11) After being around bipolar for 44 years (first with my Dad, then with me) I’ll never consider bipolar disorder to be a “blessing”, despite my usually wanting to see the good in everything.

Questions submitted to Dyane by Bipolarmama

1) What is your favorite color? Why?

It’s purple, because it makes me happy to look at it & I think it lowers my blood pressure!

2) If you could have one wish, what would it be? (Be Honest)

To finish my book and get a great publisher!  Honest!!!!

3) Pick a song that defines you. Why that song?

Neil Finn of Crowded House wrote “Nobody Wants To” which discusses the stigma he encountered after his best friend Paul Hester hung himself.  I relate to it because it applies to any kind of mental illness stigma, which I’ve faced time and time again, and it just speaks to me.

4) If you could travel to one place, where would you go?

Back to the Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii — when I’m not severely depressed like I was last year – I want my do-over!

5) Who is your hero? Why?

My husband, for putting up with me for the past sixteen years both pre-biplolar-diagnosis and post-bipolar-diagnosis, and for supporting my writing.

6) What makes you smile?

My American Collie mix puppy Lucy – she’s the apple of my eye, and my children aren’t even jealous because they adore her too.

7) What made you chose the topic you blog about?

Postpartum (childbirth-triggered/PPBD) bipolar disorder has been the predominant theme in my life for seven years, and I find it therapeutic to write about it.

8) If you could live in any time period, when you would you choose it to be?

After reading and loving Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon I’d live at the turn of the century, despite the fact there was no central heating or television.

9) If you had to give up one of your senses, which would you choose?

Smell – I actually went to high school with a young woman who lost her sense of smell and she had a great attitude.

10) What was your favorite movie as a child?

“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” had an amazingly profound influence upon me.

11) What is your favorite way to unwind?

Well, it used to be booze, but now it’s reading blogs on my WordPress reader.  I’d say that’s a positive change, wouldn’t you?  Thank God for the blogosphere!

THE ELEVEN BLOG NOMINEES ARE…

Note to anyone who declines, which I totally understand if you choose to do so – just let me know, for there are other worthy blogs I could contact in your honor!  Also, you can have more than one Liebster Award!  For more info. about the Liebster visit: http://wordingwell.com/the-liebster-award-the-official-rules-my-first-blog-award-and-a-few-personal-secrets-revealed 

1) Kitt O’Malley – Life with Bipolar Disorder and Thoughts About God

2) Passionate Reason – the blog of L.E. Henderson http://www.passionatereason.com/

3) A Bipolars Reality

4) Shedding Light on Mental Illness

5) WhyteKnucklez

6) The REVELATION of being BIPOLAR

7) Struggles of a Bipolar Woman

8) inthisisbeauty

9) Adrienne’s Chat Lounge

10) This bipolar mom – mama with training wheels

11) Come Unglued

Thank you for reading this, and I’ll “see” you here on Friday.  That’s the first day my two girls are out of school, and summer officially begins in our household.  God knows what I’ll be writing about! 

have a good day!!!

Dyane

 

 

 

Profundity Is Not On Today’s Menu ;)

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I had great aspirations to write a high-quality blog post over this weekend.  I envisioned typing a few paragraphs filled with a pearl of wisdom or two.

It ain’t gonna happen.  I’ve given up.

On Friday I started writing about topics that were very disturbing that I plan to complete at some point.  This morning I realized that I don’t want to focus on pain, terror and suicide today.  I need a levity break.  Summer is in the air and in my brain, and it’s going to be over 90 degrees where I live today! 

When I read fellow bloggers’ posts I don’t require each and every creation to be worthy of a Pulitzer.  I love the variety of writing that I encounter in the WordPress reader.  I bet you do too.  A simple description of a writer’s experience ordering a latte at a coffee shop appeals to me.  Each of you would write about your different impressions, sights, smells, sounds etc.  So I remind myself that even though I’ve tackled biggie bipolar topics in the past, there’s welcome room for the seemingly mundane moments and subjects as well.

This weekend it has been just me and my six-year-old Marilla and of course Lucy, who is now an eleven-week-old feisty, furry, adorable pup.  My husband and older daughter flew to San Diego so that he could receive the “People in Preservation Award” from the Save Our Heritage Organisation in North Park, San Diego.  He was honored with this award for his acclaimed book Quest for Flight – John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West.   This was the first time we’ve been apart since my last hospitalization a year ago.  While I felt steady about our brief separation, some anxiety came up for me all the same.  (I’m already a VERY anxious person!)

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Yesterday I planned for Marilla to spend the afternoon at her friend’s house.  I had met the parents a few times before, and I really liked them.  But my damn social anxiety got in the way during each of our interactions.  I used to be a very social person.  I was even selected for jobs because of how I interacted with all kinds of people face-to-face.  Now that I’m anxiety-medication free and alcohol-free, I’m 100% present with this angst that I loathe so much.  Lo and behold, my puppy has already been helping me to reduce those feelings, and I’ve brought her with me almost everywhere.  But Lucy can’t “fix” me.

When I dropped off Marilla at her buddy’s house, it was a quick “Hi there, thanks for having her!”chit-chat that lasted less than five minutes.  I wore my new sunglasses so I could feel more incognito.  (I took them off at the last minute, though, because I felt it was rude to wear them when speaking with this parent!)  

A few hours later when I went to pick her up it was different story.  I planned on a slightly longer interaction since picking up your child always takes longer than you think!  I held Lucy in my arms as my talisman although damn, at seventeen pounds she is getting HEAVY! Then I heard the dreaded words:

“Come on in!”

Fuck it.” I thought.    I gave up.  “I’m not going to try to come up with a feeble excuse.  Yes, I could go back home with Rilla and Lucy, and then stay glued to the computer the rest of the afternoon.  Or I could give this a chance.  I’ll wait and see how uncomfortable and panicked I get!”

To make a long story short, we left six hours later.

Yes!

This couple had a lovely backyard with a pool and hot tub.   They were friendly with their neighboring families, so much so that halfway through my social soiree, some of their neighbors stopped by to hang out and chat with us.  As I’ve written about in a previous post, I live surrounded by recluses for the most part.  This easygoing, delightful scene would NEVER happen on my street.  They have block parties there too – of course they do!  

Their three kids and mine were having a complete blast in their pool.  I felt more at ease than I had in a long time with “strangers”.  Plus the parents already knew about my bipolar disorder for I had disclosed it to them briefly in a previous conversation. (That was something that I regretted at first.  Later on I was relieved that I did it because I felt I could be myself and not worry about accidentally uttering the “b” word.)  

To top it off, I left with some beautiful clothes that the mom no longer needed, and which I sorely did.  It was a one-stop socializing and shopping experience.

Lucy loved being there as well, and received plenty of appreciative pats.

I wish I could have had a few glasses of wine or even better, a few strong Patron margaritas…I still had that anxious feeling lurking the whole time which alcohol can smooth out so well.  But I hope, as in weight training, that the more I do this kind of thing, the more confident I will feel in social settings.  

I doubt I’ll return to how I used to be in terms of social events, but then again, if you told me that I’d be spending  a whopping six hours at my daughter’s friend’s house with people I didn’t know well, I would have guffawed.

I hope that whatever you’re grappling with, you’ll make a positive breakthrough with it very soon, be it big or small.  We all have been through hell.  It’s time for a little joy, don’t you think? I’d love for you to comment about what you are presently grappling with in your life, aside from bipolar, even if it’s a “little thing”.  I find it all pretty fascinating. 

Thanks for reading as always!

Dyane

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p.s. watch me serenade my eleven-week-old American Farm collie mix Lucy with Kiss Them Where The Sun Don’t Shine!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=451352228334420&set=vb.100003789417669&type=2&theater

 

 

 

 

Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

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I got the happy news today that I’ve been nominated for a “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”!  

I want to thank Labeled Disabled for totally making my day in nominating me!!!

Here’s the link to her amazing blog:

http://breakdownchick.wordpress.com

 

The rules in accepting this award is as follows:

  • Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.  (You better believe I will!)

Seven (-ish) Facts About Dyane

1) I’ve written six original songs, sing and play a little guitar. (A clip of me singing my song “The End of the Day” is here: https://dyaneharwood.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/the-end-of-the-day-click-link-to-open-up-my-song)

2) I was filmed live for a New Zealand T.V. news program when I visited the North Island. (I was at  a music industry party.)

3) I studied for my pilot’s license when I was 23 and flew a Piper Cub airplane above Santa Cruz County.

4) I’ve sat on two toilet which were each used by two famous people I greatly admire! 🙂

5) I was an American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.) certified personal trainer.

6) I’ve met my all-time favorite author Madeleine L’Engle at her writing workshop – she said she liked my sonnet about dolphins!

7) I landed a publishing deal for a book in 2013, but I cancelled it due to bipolar relapse.  (I’m gonna get another one!;)

 

AND THE NOMINEES ARE... (Sorry if I left anyone out – I’m doing this in a rush!  I wish I could have listed 30 blogs!  The list is a tad bipolar-heavy, but hey – what can I say?  It’s my field of expertise, dont’cha know!  These are all truly wonderful, u nique and inspiring blogs that touch on all kinds of topics.)

1) Moorestorms Support for the Bipolar Parent

2) Kitt O’Malley

3) A Bipolars Reality

4) A Way With Words

5) Fleetiris

6) Struggles of Bipolar Woman

7) Passionate Reason (The blog of L.E. Henderson)

8) Come Unglued

9) Musings From A Ragged Soul

10) Bipolar, Unemployed and Lost

11) The bipolar mama

12) Motherhood Unadorned

13) Inside A Bipolar Mind

14) The REVELATION of Being BIPOLAR

15) Thinking about life