Introducing the Incognito Bipolar Mom



A friend of mine has been on the cusp of creating her own blog for some time.  She has bipolar one disorder, and she loves to write, so a blog might be a wonderful way for her to express herself and find community.  However, this mother of two has been hesitant to join the blogosphere.  She doesn’t want to use her real name for the people she wishes to write about live in her area.  She’s intimidated to learn a new medium such as WordPress.  While I understand her hesitancies, I just know it would be good for her try blogging on for size, even if she made her blog private.  

As the Incognito Bipolar Mom contemplates taking the blogging plunge, she has graciously allowed me to post a piece she wrote titled “A Message from the Incognito Bipolar Mom”.

Thanks for reading, & extra thanks to those of you who endorsed me for the WEGO Health Activist “Best n Show” Blog Award.  You can endorse me if you visit:

I wish you a lovely week!  





They say that blood is thicker than water.  Well, after I found out that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, neither “blood” nor “water” wanted to touch me with a ten-foot pole unless they were on my payroll, i.e. doctors, therapists, pharmacists and the like.  

Even though an incognito disease in my brain didn’t draw attention like an obvious skin rash or a snotty virus, my family and friends apparently thought I’d contaminate anyone who came near me with mental illness.

It hurt deep to feel that untouchable.  I felt rejected to my very core.  Even though it has been several years since the onset of my mood disorder, I continue to feel cast off by people who I never imagined would treat me so horribly.

My father lived an hour’s drive away from where I was first hospitalized.  We weren’t estranged before my diagnosis, and while we hadn’t been very close, we were in touch.  When I entered the mental health unit for my hospitalization, he was in fair health and he definitely had the ability to come visit me, yet I never saw him once.  I couldn’t believe that he didn’t visit his own child in such a situation.

I did nothing to deserve his abandonment except to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law were in the same boat as my father.  They were within completely reasonable driving distance from the hospital.  But they chose not to make the effort, nor offer caring for our young children even once.  Never mind the fact that my husband took care of their children many times, and even took their kids on camping trips so that their parents could have the weekend to themselves.  I can’t think of these relatives now without disgust in my stomach. 

Since my diagnosis I learned how to be bitter, and I’m not proud of it.

They say that living well is the best revenge.  As you can tell by my angry and cynical words, I’m quite far away from living well.  It’s also said that knowledge is power.  At least I’m finally learning and acquiring some knowledge…I’m learning about the latest in bipolar disorder research, I’m learning how to reach some semblance of stability, and I’m learning that I can’t get better alone.

I’m learning that while my family and friends can’t be there for me the way I wished they had been, I can be there for me along with my husband, my therapist and my psychiatrist.  

I can seek new friends who have bipolar disorder and who understand what it’s like to live with it.  I have my loving cat Ithaca who doesn’t care what mood disorder I have as long as I treat her with love.  

I’m not feeling completely hopeless about the future.  I’m “just” still mired in anger and resentment.  I believe that ostracism by one’s “blood and water” is a wound that never totally goes away.

I’m not the first to be shunned for having bipolar, and I won’t be the last person to be shunned either.  Perhaps through connecting with bloggers who share my diagnosis, I’ll find some inspiration.  

I hope to read about others’ experiences that focus upon healthy ways to cope with my “unacceptable feelings”.

I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with all this.  At the very least (and this is a big deal) writing about life with bipolar feels like a positive endeavor.  Seeking camaraderie through those who deal with the ups, downs, and further-downs of bipolar sounds positive and fulfilling.

Thank you so much for reading this.  I appreciate any insights that you seasoned bloggers may have!!!


The Incognito Bipolar Mom










39 thoughts on “Introducing the Incognito Bipolar Mom

  1. D, Tell her she is welcome, I may not have bipolar disorder (yet, cause never say never right?), but I do live in a disordered world and have my own mental challenges too. I trust you to lead her gently in to this awesome community of people maybe not related by blood nor water, but by empathy and much more.

    • What a beautiful comment, Marie – *thank you*! I hope you never have bp, by the way – God forbid if it happens, you are a strong & remarkable woman who would face it head-on.

      When the Incognito Mom’s reads your lovely, heartfelt comment, it will be the ideal way for her to feel welcomed by the blogging world. I’m so happy you took a moment to write. You’ve made my day. Have a wonderful weekend!!!!

  2. I, for one, think it would be wonderful if she created a blog. It’s easy to make up a new email address and fake name so as not to give anything away. As open as I am, I have to change some things to respect the people I write about.

    • Yes, I agree with you Tempest. That’s considerate of you to change certain details so you don’t hurt anyone. I think she’ll go for it, even with the possibility trolls! 😉 She can always shift their comments to describe the heartaching beauty of her big toe, right? (Ya gotta read Tempest’s hilarious blog for more about trolls and toes. I’m addicted to it! Come to think of it, “Trolls and Toes” has a certain ring to it, doesn’t it? for a blog title, perhaps?

      • Bwuahaha yes! The next troll post, if it ever comes, will be called that!

        And I have set ALL comments with the word “Nephila” in them to go straight to spam. So, this spams her comments immediately, and then I check my spam and change them before anyone else can read her hatred. There are a lot of options here on WordPress.

      • You are a wise woman!!!

        Wouldn’t it be amazing if Nephilia got a great therapist & pdoc and she healed her various afflictions?

        I just got a crazy vision of her sending you a huge flower arrangement & chocolates to make amends! Or maybe even $$$!!!! Life is miraculous when we least expect it – you never know! If she comments again, I’ll suggest that idea to her!

      • Every time I suggest therapy to her (I even told her Bipolar Parenting Project Foundation could help her, if she wanted us to), she tells me I’m “projecting”. Like, I KNOW I’m screwed up, I don’t need to project. Haha

      • Whhaaaat? That doesn’t even make sense on her part! She was, once again, trying to provoke you. She really needs to cut you a big, fatty check for internet “therapy” at this point! I know I sound harsh, but she has crossed the line in so many ways it’s ridiculous. You’ve been gracious to her way more than anyone else would be. And that’s a fact! XO

      • Many people have reached out to her — some of my fellow bloggers have written posts directly to her, simply trying to help. It seems she’s beyond help at this point.

  3. She absolutely should create a blog. It has been one of the most healing things ever for me. I began my blog completely anonymously, fake names and everything. I try my best to be as authentic as I can but have to change many details because of my desire for anonymity. I’ve been blogging for nearly three years now and only one person in real life knows about my blog. I’ve gotten a little slack lately and have been sharing more pictures that could make it relatively easy for people to figure out who I really am, plus as I get to know people in the blogging community and see them as friends, it sometimes feels wrong to not be more open. It’s a process, but for me only positive things have come from blogging. I wish her the best. As far as learning WordPress, there is so much I need to learn, but it’s amazing how quick you pick up the basics by posting regularly. I very much enjoyed reading her post and would love to read more from her.

    • Oh good – she’ll be reading these comments, and yours will be incredibly helpful to her. Good for you for blogging regularly for 3 years – that’s an achievement!

      Hopefully no one will figure out your identity (if they take time to do that, I think they have a little too much time on their hands ;)!) You are an inspiration, and once Incognito gets up & running with her blog ,I’ll note her blog url here & show her how to follow your blog too. Take care and once again, thank you so much for commenting!

  4. Welcome to the incognito bipolar mom. It sounds like you have a lot to say and writing is such a healing tool, it could be just what you need to help you deal with your hurts and resentments. No one came to visit me in the hospital either but I didn’t want them to, so it was a good thing. For you however, it sounds like it was very painful. I’m so sorry you had to go through that.

    As far as blogging goes, I blog anonymously because part of my mental illness is rooted in my childhood upbringing and I do not want to cause harm to my family by publicly disclosing such issues. I also blog anonymously so as not to worry my loved ones over every little bad day I may have. My mom would be calling me all of the time. Lol. Blogging has brought many lovely people into my circle and has positively impacted my life over the last 3 years. I dont feel alone in my illness anymore thanks to blogging. I definitely recommend it.

    • It’s wonderful how you explain your rationale for blogging anonymously, WiL. I should probably wait for Incognito’s reply, but I have a feeling she’ll have her own blog soon enough after she reviews these supportive, encouraging comments.

      Just by reading what you and the others have commented today, it’s obvious the blogging community is a positive place full of healing potential! I’m so happy that blogging has been a great addition to your life….thank you for bringing light into my own world! 🙂

  5. Incognito Bipolar Mom, please join us. There are many of us bipolar moms blogging on WordPress. Just use a template. Follow the tutorials, ask for advice. I’ll even walk you through it.

    • Dearest Kitt, the Incognito Mom will be flabbergasted by such positive, encouraging comments, especially by yours! The fact that you’re willing to help her get started is incredibly generous. I know you have nothing to do! 😉 (JUST KIDDING!!!) You are one of THE busiest gals I know, and even if you didn’t make your sweet offer, I’d handpick you to ask first.

      Incognito Bipolar Mom has heard me sing your praises and I know that has added to her desire to start a blog. I’ve shared with her that through my blog, you’ve made me feel heard, appreciated, understood and much more – all of it positive.

      Everyone deserves a “Kitt” in her life – I constantly give thanks that the blogosphere connected me with a friend/writer as amazing as you. 😉

      XOXO love, your unapologetically gushing friend & fan

  6. Your friend definitely has a talent for writing and hopefully she will have the courage to take the next step.

    My blog is a simple life style blog with nothing to deep and I am nervous about my friends, family and work collegues finding out about it. I am not sure why it makes me nervous but it does.

    The silver lining is my daughter and boyfriend are my biggest fans and love my it gives me encouragement. And though my blog is new, every time I get a new follower or someone shares or comments, I feel like I won the lottery!!

    Good luck to The Incognito Bipolar Mom!!

    • Welcome, Karen, and many thanks for taking a moment to write.

      Your compliment will definitely make Incognito’s day!

      I’m as “out as out can be” with my blog, and I knew that I’d be that way going into it. But I too am nervous about the possibility of certain people reading it (Hi Mom!) & getting hurt feelings. After a year of regular blogging I’ve accepted that at the end of the day, as long as what I write isn’t vindictive, I can sleep at night. (Well, as long as I take my bit of Seroquel & work out…and try not to eat 3 scoops of gelato before bedtime!)

      I digress. I think you are courageous to write openly. I totally understand why you’d feel nervous about people you know outside of the laptop reading your thoughts. There’s something about publishing one’s writing on the internet that can create a sense of vulnerability. You mentioned that your blog isn’t too deep, so I doubt you’d ever hurt anyone with your posts. Best of all, I’m so glad that your daughter and boyfriend are such big fans – that’s a major, major plus!

      It’s wonderful that when you get another follower, or a comment or a share, you appreciate it to the hilt & that it’s thrilling for you. I know the feeling! It doesn’t get old!!!

      I’ll check out your blog over the weekend and once again, thanks for stopping by. It’s great to hear from you! Happy Blogging!

  7. I’m pro-blogging as therapy, but that probably comes as no surprise to anyone that knows me. 😀 Come in, the water is fine!

    • Hey Raeyn – thanks for commenting! As a double Pisces I particularly love your analogy of a pool (or perhaps a hot tub or bath?) of soothing water.

      After reviewing these inviting comments, Incognito will want to jump into the blogosphere – I’m sure of it!

      My silly brain just attempting to coin a new word that’s a combination of blogging and therapy such as “blogopy”, or “theraplogging”.

      Nah. I’ll just leave it as “blogging as therapy”. 😉

  8. Tell her she’s welcome and that anything you feel is normal. That was a hard lesson for me to learn but feelings and emotions are normal. My own advice? Follow your intuition because what you feel is always right. For example, your frustration and abandonment from your family. Hurtful in ways that are very deep. If you don’t want to be in contact with them that’s ok. If you do, that’s ok too. Just take it slow and stop when you need a breather or don’t feel it’s right or safe for you. I’m not a therapist but through my own trials, I speak from experience

    • Hello Meredith!

      I think you offer Incognito Bipolar Mom and me (plus everyone else reading this) great advice! I’m a sensitive gal who used to follow her intuition, and then when bipolar entered the scene, I no longer trusted it. Eight years later I’m trusting it once more, and it feels good.

      I ***love*** what you wrote, “Follow your intuition because what you feel is always right. ” Yes! If I paid attention to some red flags I sensed over the past couple years but ignored, I would have avoided some unpleasant situations I find myself in now.

      I really appreciate your stopping by the blog. Incognito and I will both check out your blog soon. I’d like to read more about your perspectives on life. n just one paragraph I instantly connected with what you wrote, and I know your comment will strike a chord with Incognito as well.

      take good care of yourself, and thanks again for your kind & welcoming words!

  9. She should go for it! WordPress is fairly straight forward to use, and there are lots of ways to connect with other people, including non-bipolar but sympathetic and supportive people.

    Here’s my advice: go ahead and make up fake names for everyone you think you’ll talk about and write it down someplace secure, just so you don’t get mixed up. (Hmm, did I call my neighbor “Ernie” or “Bert”? You know, that sort of thing.)

    Have fun with the names, too. (When else are you gonna get to call your boss “Mr. Potato Head”? Certainly not to his face.) Just make sure no one else finds that list!

    Seriously, though, there are people who are supportive in this world. Not everyone will shun you. Lots of them will embrace you!

    • Laura, I agree with you that she should go for it. I feel a little guilty for replying on her behalf, but she’s a forgiving person…at least when it comes to me! :0 😉

      However, as I wrote in another reply, I think she’ll have her own blog soon enough!

      Great advice from you here! What warm, knowledgable & welcoming words. Reading each blogger’s comment makes me proud to “know” each and every one of you. It’s a blessing to have one another’s blog to read, and to have encouragement from you all that’s from the heart.

      I love your suggestion of using funny names too! Life is serious enough as it as – especially in the land of bipolar – so to call a psychiatrist “Mr. Potato Head” would liven up a post, to say the least, and bring some levity into the mix. Hey, if I didn’t like my pdoc so much, I’d be tempted to use “Mr. Potato Head” myself!

      wishing you a great weekend, and thanks again for your words of wisdom & your sense of humor! Dy

  10. She should definitely join the blogsphere, even if she doesn’t use her real name. There are many friends here.

    • Thank you so much, Timiarah, for your kind words! Who knew that the internet would be a place for friendship?? For a long time, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t have a lcue! I only wish I had found blogging earlier in my life and I bet the Incognito Mom will feel the same way. 🙂 take good care & happy (now belated) birthday to a beautiful & talented writer!

  11. There can never be too many blogs about mental illness. Each person has different experiences and their own story to tell. The more we tell our stories, the more we will (hopefully) be understood and accepted by those around us.
    I love reading other peoples stories because at least I know I am not alone – even though it often feels that way.

    • I’m so glad that you wrote this. Thank you so much for stopping by and taking time to comment & provide encouragement and positivity. There is room for everyone’s story when it comes to mental illness – I agree. That’s why the blogosphere is so amazing. I’m glad I live in a time when such a resource exists, as opposed to two hundred years ago when there was nada! Not to say the blogosphere is perfect, but for those of us who are so depressed we can’t leave our homes, at least we can find solace online until we’re doing better.

      Wishing you the best, and thanks again for your kind words!

    • Thank you so much – you are always incredibly kind & gracious with your comments. Sending you all the best and keep on sharing your beautiful music with the world!!!!

      • This is seriously one of the most beautiful, moving comments I’ve ever gotten, Mihran!

        I want to print it out and tape it on the wall next to where I write to lift my spirits!

        Thank you so much. I’m so glad you’re alive too, as you wrote on your blog today. We’ll shine together!

        (((hugs)))) from Dyane 🙂

  12. Since I started blogging about having a bi-polar spouse, my world has opened up to so many wonderful people (you included Dyane) and so many different perspectives. I essentially blog incognito and I can say that there are so many personal, therapeutic rewards to opening up to this form of therapy.

    So I say take that leap and blog your heart out!

    • What a lovely comment, Vic, and I’m SO glad you’re back in the blogosphere. I haven’t had a chance to read your post yet, but I will definitely will read it tonight. It will be good to know how you’re doing.

      I’m so glad you started blogging, particularly because I know it has helped you the way it has helped me in connecting with amazing people & being inspired/supported.

      I know it has been so rough lately and you & your family are in my thoughts. You’re truly an incredible person.

      ((Hugs)) to you, my friend!!!!

      • Dayne – thanks for the vote of confidence. I am always amazed at the diversity of experiences that I see here, but yet the diversity is what draws us together and we still manage to find shared experiences and beliefs. This has been a great experience, one I am glad to have started and hope to continue for a long while!

  13. Great image to highlight the story. It’s hard for others to understand what we are going through. And even harder when they make no attempt to obtain more information, or even take the time to talk to us. Some of my family members have done this to me; placed me in the too hard basket and simply ignore my emails. Maybe an anonymous blog is the first step for your friend? She can always “come out” later if she feel comfortable. The good thing about blogging is that you can be whatever you want to be.

    • Yes, the image is awesome, isn’t it? It’s pretty freaky & haunting! I think you’re the only one to note it and I was surprised no one else did because I find it really powerful!

      The blogging world continues to amaze me – it allows people to express themselves and feel heard in this often lonely & isolating world. Yes, as you say, she can blog anonymously at first – I’m not sure where she’s at with it.

      I’m so sorry that some of your family members put you in the “too hard” basket and ignored you, Glenn. You are such a precious soul, you’ve suffered for good reason, and these people are truly missing out on having an amazing person in their life by ignoring your emails. I’ve been through the same thing – I understand.

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