Dammit, Begone “Sally Field Syndrome”!!!

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 Sally Field in one of my favorite movies “Mrs. Doubtfire” with my hero Robin Williams

 

I saw the Oscar-winning actress Sally Field in the flesh once.  The sighting took place when I was a teenager, during a time when I didn’t idolize older, gifted female celebrities the way I eventually would.

Sally Field appeared to me not on an exotic movie set, but in the mundane doorway of my 11th grade Chemistry class.

Her son, who I didn’t know except by face, was in my class.  For some reason his mom needed to see him and that was that.  This was the same class that my friend S. arrived at one day to tell our teacher she couldn’t take the exam as she just saw someone jump to her death from Ocean Avenue on to the Pacific Coast Highway.  I remember feeling deeply, deeply shocked at her news, and I almost couldn’t take the test myself.  S. was excused, but it turned out that S. lied about the suicide just to get out of the test.  (Our friendship melted away soon after that happened.)

That was a looong digression!  Please forgive me!  Sometimes I include kooky, off-topic anecdotes that I suddenly remember from my teen years, in part, because I get so excited that my ECT didn’t erase these memories.  I feel really good knowing that certain brain cells are alive and kicking.  Who cares about the fact that I recall S.’s crazy lie and not the lines to a Shakespeare sonnet I learned in college.  It just doesn’t matter!

While the Sally Field Incident is one of my “neither-here-nor-there” facts about my life, I always found Field intriguing for uttering a famous Academy Award acceptance speech that moved me.  Here’s a seven-second-long peek:

I checked out Sally Field’s Wikipedia entry, and I was surprised that while many recall her saying “You like me, you really like me!” she actually said “You like me, right now, you like me!”, and this speech was inspired by dialogue in the film Norma Rae.  Here’s what Wiki states,

“Then came a second Oscar for (Sally Field’s) starring role in the 1984 drama Places in the Heart. Field’s gushing acceptance speech is well remembered and has since been both admired as earnest and parodied as excessive. She said, “I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it—and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”Field was actually making a humorous reference to dialogue from her role in Norma Rae, but many people missed the connection. Field even parodied herself when she delivered the line (often misquoted as “You like me, you really like me!” in a Charles Schwab commercial.”

So where am I going with all this?

In my last post I wrote that I was thrilled to be nominated by the writing dynamo Wendy K. Williamson for a WEGO Health Award for “Best in Show” blog.  This is me:

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4811

I let my nomination completely go to my head and instead of enjoying the fleeting moment, I started obsessing about getting endorsements, which are needed in order to win the award.  I became a smarmy politician, so to speak, asking for endorsements wherever I could.

Wendy is going to kill me when she reads this, as she’s my writing mentor, but I spent more hours than I care to admit caught up in getting endorsements and learning about WEGO Health when I should have been writing as I had originally planned to do.  Even cleaning my house would have been a better way to spend my time than my WEGO-ing.

As I read many of the other nominees’ very moving profiles that detailed amazing accomlplishments despite their having chronic illness of all kinds, I thought to myself,

“I haven’t got a prayer to become a finalist.  Why the hell am I wasting my time and getting so obsessive???”

I made it into a popularity contest that I wanted to win.  My irrational thinking went along the lines of, ” If I get enough endorsements I’ll prove to the WORLD that….wait for it….

“YOU LIKE ME!  RIGHT NOW, YOU LIKE ME!”

OR

“YOU LIKE ME, YOU REALLY LIKE ME!”

Let me state for the record that I get really freaky and competitive when it comes to trying to win contests of all kinds. When I was fifteen I came across a contest in which ten Izusu Impulse cars were being given away, and that a postcard had to be filled out and sent for each entry.  I filled out and sent a whopping 500 postcards to win this car, paying for the considerable amount of postage with babysitting and office assistant money I had earned, and no, I didn’t win.

Within twenty-four hours after being nominated for the WEGO, I realized I had to stop asking for endorsements here, there, and everywhere.

I accepted the fact that I won’t win.  I can’t compete with the other nominees’ enormous followings and/or their incredible accomplishments.

AND that’s really, truly okay.   I need to be happy with my nomination and let it go, let it go….

That is all.  I’m forgiving myself for letting this nomination go to my head because I don’t get nominated for awards, you see.  It’s a novel event in my life.

I don’t need a bunch of votes to prove that I’m a good person, that I’m talented, that I’m likable, and so on.

I need to believe in myself first and foremost and realize that:

I’VE ALREADY WON!

I’ve made it through times of acute suicidal lows.

I’ve made it through many med side effects.

I’ve made it through both unilateral and bilateral ECT.

I’ve made it through chronic bipolar depression.

I’ve made it through the hospitalizations.

I’ve made it through my Dad’s death.

I don’t need to have an organization declare me a winner.

I’ve always loved what Saturday Night Live self-help guru Stuart Smalley (played by Senator Al Franken) said,

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!”

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I’m going to let the illustrious Stuart Smalley’s words of wisdom be my motto for 2015, and I’ll look within instead of to accolades.

Of course if there’s any kind of contest to win a lifetime supply of chocolate, all of this goes to the wayside!

 

 

A Shameless Plea for Your Support! (Not $!) & Much More…

 

Dy & Lucy  kiss

Throughout my life I’ve been great at promoting others who I believe in with all my heart, whether it be their books, their causes, their blogs, their music, their food…whatever! 😉

But when it comes to tooting my OWN horn, it’s another story.  However, today I’m in the mood to toot away because Wendy W. Williamson, author of the bestselling memoir I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar and co-author with Honora Rose of the acclaimed Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival: Tips for Living with Bipolar Disorder, has nominated me for a WEGO Health Activist “Best in Show” Blog Award.  

I normally post on Friday, but I’m so excited about this news that I’m firing off this post right now!!!

A WHAT-GO?  you might ask?

A WEGO!

Here’s more to know about WEGO:  WEGO empowers health activists to help others.  WEGO Health is a different kind of social network, built from the ground up for the community leaders, bloggers and tweeters who are actively involved in health online. WEGO Health is a platform for committed health advocates to foster new relationships, gain access to helpful resources, and to grow their communities.

To endorse me takes under thirty seconds.  After you endorse me, you’re prompted to share the nice act you just did (and to ask for endorsements on my behalf) via your Facebook and Twitter accounts, etc.

To endorse me (and to nominate/check out other worthy candidates – check out the misc. categories on the Wego site!) please visit:

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4811

Wendy wrote an incredible nomination blurb that I might wind up having tattooed on my face…although it’s long, so my derriere would be a more fitting location –  here it is in all its glory – my head swells up every time I read it:

Dyane’s site is the best out there. I love that she tells it like it is and supports her fellow followers. A gifted writer, she clearly conveys through humor and honesty what is happening in her world and the world around us. Dyane taps in to our feelings beautifully, saving us from emotional isolation. Activist, champion, Dyane is both and more.”

You may be wondering what does a WEGO winner actually get.  Well, they each get $50,000 and a lifetime supply of chocolate!  No, just kidding.  

Here’s what WEGO has to say on the matter:

“Winners will be publically announced during our ceremonies in March, 2015 and each winner will receive special Health Activist Awards business cards signifying them as the winner of this year’s program, a donation to their Health Activist, a feature on WEGO Health’s blog and social channels, special access to WEGO Health opportunities throughout the year – including chances to speak at or attend conferences.”

(This would be awesome because I haven’t had a business card in a decade! 😉 No, really, an association with WEGO would allow me to reach more women with postpartum bipolar disorder and beyond….it would be fantastic!)

So I’m a happy camper this morning.  Once again, I’m amazed by what happens when we connect with others through the internet who inspire us. When I first read Wendy’s engrossing memoir I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar, I found myself unable to put it down and I finished it the same day. I never imagined that I’d be in touch with this author, let alone be gifted with a wonderful friendship and writing mentorship with her.  

The same thing happened to me in terms of inspiration when I contacted Jennifer Marshall of the Bipolar Mom Life blog.  She’s also a 2013 WEGO Health Activist finalist and creator of the groundbreaking “This Is My Brave” Show.  There are so many positive things I could write about Jenn & her mental health advocacy that it would take a glowing blog post to begin doing her justice, and that’s just what I did – I wrote one.  See here for my post about Jenn:

http://dyaneharwood.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/the-blog-that-ignited-my-writing-spark-bipolar-mom-life-and-the-this-is-my-brave-show/-

Jennifer and “This Is My Brave” co-executive producer Anne Marie Ames are bringing the show to other cities in 2015, & you might want to participate.  

The show’s concept can be viewed here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=186WMMJI-xQ

The entire “This Is My Brave” premiere show is on YouTube and it features my friends Elaina J. Martin (“Being Beautifully Bipolar” blog on Psych Central & http://www.blog.elainaj.com/) and Meagan Barnes (http://www.anxietyangel.com/) :

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uag3WVfRMZE

So I’d like to dedicate this post to four extraordinary women who have made a huge, positive difference in my life over the past year:

MY FRIEND WENDY K. WILLIAMSON, WRITER EXTRAORDINAIRE

MY FRIEND DR. WALKER KARRAA, FOUNDER OF STIGMAMA.COM, AND AUTHOR OF TRANSFORMED BY POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: WOMEN’S STORIES OF TRAUMA AND GROWTH TO BE PUBLISHED BY PRAECLARUS PRESS THIS FALL, 2014 

http://www.drwalkerkarraa.com/

MY FRIEND, THE BLOGGER KITT O’MALLEY  

http://kittomalley.com/

AND MY FRIEND JENNIFER MARSHALL, ANOTHER WRITER EXTRAORDINAIRE, FOR HELPING IGNITE MY WRITING SPARK THAT WAS LATENT FOR YEARS THANKS TO BIPOLAR DEPRESSION!  

http://bipolarmomlife.com/

and a special thanks goes to Cristi Comes, creator of the “Motherhood Unadorned” blog (http://www.motherhoodunadorned.com/)and founder of the Mental Health Blogging Network. Cristi’s encouragement, advocacy, and networking have been invaluable to me.

Last but not least, I must thank LUCY THE CANINE MUSE – I can’t leave my furry girl out because she sits on my foot while I write, and she makes me so happy!   Lucy does not have a blog or website at this time, but watch out – she never ceases to amaze me with her puppy brilliance.

LOVE TO YOU ALL,

Dyane

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