Writing Heals My Brain



Writing Heals My Brain

I write because I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was eight-years-old.

I write because my mother gave me wonderful books to read as a child, and she always believed in my writing ability – she continues encouraging my writing as she approaches her eighth decade!

I write because it grounds me.

I write because the act of writing restores me; it helps me remember the person I was before a mental illness almost destroyed me.

I write to prove to myself that all the soul-sucking medications I’ve taken didn’t kill my creativity after all.

I write because writing has given me the opportunity to interview extraordinary people. Before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was a freelance writer. I interviewed Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, author of the bestselling book An Unquiet Mind, for a magazine article I was writing. Little did I know I would eventually share the same diagnosis with Dr. Jamison.

I write because I can write, even after I had electricity pulse through my brain over fifty times during electroconvulsive treatments (ECT). My long-term memory is still intact.

I write because it stimulates some mysterious part of my brain and makes me feel better.

I write because it’s free therapy.

I write to share and connect with other people worldwide who have suffered with bipolar disorder like I have.

I write to help other moms know they aren’t alone with their perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.

I write because no one, not even bipolar disorder, can take away the fact that I’m a Writer



Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth)will be published by   Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017.


47 thoughts on “Writing Heals My Brain

    • I will , honey – I am planning to read your latest post this weekend by the way – it looks like we both still have the creeping crud????? Ugh!!!!!! Love you!!!!

  1. Well done, as always, Dyane.

    I have to wonder what’s happened to the writer in me since I was re-evaluated, cleared of the bipolar diagnosis, and stopped taking medication almost four years ago. These days I have no impulse to write at all. I haven’t been able to commit to a longterm project since WAAAAY BEYOND LEMONADE was published in January 2014. Did Depakote kill my right brain? Was writing a solely therapeutic outlet that no longer serves a purpose? Am I merely in a period of deep rest?

    I cannot say.

    Any insights would be greatly appreciated. I’m in awe of this; at times, mournful.

    Lots of love and admiration to you, Honey Pot!

    • I’d like to think you’re in a period of deep rest until another project comes to mind, my dear Merry! Writing WAAAAY BEYOND LEMONADE was a huge accomplishment!!!!!!! I keep telling people that when I’m done with my book, that’s it. There won’t be another one! (They’ve laughed at me.) But proved to be true with my husband; he wrote a book that took him 7 years to research & write, and that was it for him.

      I also want to believe that our brains can truly heal even from the most intense meds. Miracles happen, yes?? So I’m hoping for a miracle that your right brain was able to recover from any damage it suffered. I wish I had solid answers or insights to share, my sweet. I haven’t written for years at a time and then it just changes. You never know. I send you all my love and hopes that you find something, whether it be writing or anything that stimulates you and allows you to be creative, SOON! XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOO always, your Honey Pot! 💕

      • Thanks so much for this. I copied and saved. It means so much to me. I do believe in that kind of healing. Just knowing you didn’t write for years and then came back to it is very comforting. Love&Hugs!!

  2. I may be partial as your mother but may I add: You write because you are a talented and gifted woman. You are a loving and kind and forgiving woman. You are forever thinking of others. You are your father’s daughter and have inherited his extraordinary gifts of creativity and expression whether it be the violin or words.
    You are a delight to all who know you.
    Keep writing. 🎵🎵🎵

  3. That’s absolutely the best quote for bipolar writers: “I write because no one, not even bipolar disorder, can take away the fact that I’m a Writer.”


    • Great to hear from you as always, dear Susan! It makes me happy that you enjoyed the piece. I wish you a wonderful New Year and I’m sending you lots of love and a hug. I’m now an emoji fan, so I can’t resist adding this for you:💗💖💕

      • Hah! Thank you, Dyane. BTW, loved the photo of you and doggy. So precious. (And I’m going to have to figure out where to get those emojis and how to use them.)

      • I use Safari these days as my browser, just in case you use it too, it’s really easy to use the emojis – go up to Edit, select that and scroll all the way down to “Special Characters” and select that – then you will see them.

  4. Keep on writing, you are a wonderful, expressive writer!! Love and hugs. And I’m back, going to be doing some major writing if my own 😊

    • Welcome home, beautiful – I can’t wait to read of your travels and anything else you wish to write about!!!! Love you, Dyane “Proud Helmet Head” Harwood! ;)))) 😻

    • That means A LOT coming from YOU! :))) (Whenever I use “a lot” I cringe because one of my junior high English teachers said to never, ever use it! 😉 Why? I can’t remember exactly!

      • Maybe she meant you shouldn’t use “alot”, which isn’t a word. One of my high school English teachers said never to write one-sentence paragraphs. I do it all the time now.

      • I remember she loathed both versions – it was something along the lines about being a wimpy word that was devoid of meaning. I wish I could her remember exact words! And as for one-sentence paragraphs, if it feels right to you, just do it! You’re an awesome writer!!!

    • Many thanks, my lovely one! Your comment generated a big grin on this weary face ‘o mine. 💗💓😻 Fryane

    • Thanks my dear! Of course you know I could write another piece about how our canine & feline family members contribute to our brain’s healing/well being too, eh? And oh yes – we’re well aware that they edit our work when we’re not looking!!!!!

  5. I write for the same reasons. Thank you for reminding me that this part of me can’t be stolen by bipolar!

    • It was wonderful to read your comment last night – (((hugs))) right back at you, and thank you ! Keep the writing faith! 😉

  6. I love this post! It truly inspires me to think about what bipolar disorder can never take away from me. Thank you! Hope you are well. I miss seeing your posts on Facebook.

    • Thanks so much, Amy! It makes me very happy that you got inspired by this post. I’ll return to Facebook at some point, most likely next summer! As you might know, my being unfriended, which is what caused me to deactivate my account, turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

      Taking a Facebook break proved to be healthy for me, but I miss staying in touch with you there too and I look forward to reconnecting with you when I get back on Facebook. In the meantime, please take care and I wish you a Happy New Year!!! 🙂 Dyane

  7. Down to 45th comment again; aw it sucks!!! I guess I’ll stop paying attention to such numbers before I go awol 🙂 Afterall, you most are in or around the same time zone, and do enjoy free wifi and excellent data plans agrrrrrh
    Now I have whinned that out hopefully for the 90th time, so maybe 9.5 more chances left for one never knows; (and yes this writing heals too huh)

    Sorry Dy back to your awesome post. Hmm, how I love the way you tell BP who you are 🙂 am just cheering and saving my dimes for fall. I mean, Lucy and I have had a telepathic discussion and she is to guard and love and howl as you write on and bear all the editing and tuning until that memoir is published — on ‘time’ ( no pressure but reading does just as much to me too hahaha)

    I am coincidentally doing a blog post on writing, so let me go hurry … just had to leave this comment and the good data plan I thought I got a mere 3 days ago, doesn’t seem so well anymore agrrrrrh 🙂

    • Girl, 1/2 of the comments (actually much more) are MINE!!! So that 45 # is not accurate and it’s much lower…. I look at other bloggers vast numbers (75 comments, 100 comments, 200 comments, 500 comments ahhhh)as well as their 10,000 or 50,000 followers and feel bummed, and petty and lame. It’s such waste of time. Isn’t it? We won’t be thinking of any of that stuff on our deathbeds, eh? At least I sure as hell hope not! (That’s so morbid! Sorry! 😱) And you’re also right about how we all are near the same time zones, although I pay for wifi. Yuck.

      Anwyay, ha ha ha about you and Lucy having that telepathic discussion about my precious writing time! She often jumps up on me when I write which is dangerous if I am holding my beloved mug coffee in front of the laptop.

      She gets mad that I’m not giving HER the attention she so rightly deserves! Anyway, I look forward to reading your blog post on writing! I’m sorry that data plan is turning out to be a disappointment.

      Sending you love as always, my sweet Marie!💖 And Lucy 🐶 sends you some of her favorite peanut butter dog treats.

  8. Pingback: Aw: My Fourth and second toughest to write, now available on Kindle… | Marie Abanga's Blog

    • Thank you so much – that’s truly wonderful that writing helps you in the same positive ways. 👍
      I love “mental & emotional detox”!
      Have a great day and I hope you get to do a little “detoxing” of your own. 😊 take care, Dyane ✏️

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