Worrying Too Much About Other People

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I wish I was the one who took this photo, but I was home bedridden with bipolar depression on this beautiful, sunny day.

 

When I first started writing this blog, I didn’t care that much about who read it and I wrote about all kinds of subjects. I was blogging for myself, first and foremost, and as selfish as that sounds, it felt really good to get my thoughts onto the screen. Hell, it felt good to be writing again after a loooong hiatus due to good, ‘ol bipolar depression! 

As time passed by, I started thinking more about what I was putting out into the world. I began censoring myself because I fretted about offending people. I didn’t write about my benzodiazepine addiction and (after I quit benzos) alcoholism for fear of getting reported to Child Protective Services (C.P.S.). They have a file with my name on it due to my 5150 history, so I’m not being paranoid when it comes to CPS. (My publisher Post Hill Press isn’t concerned with my blog as long I don’t write something egregiously slanderous about them!)

My self-conscious, paranoid self-censorship began sucking the soul out of my writing, and out of me. 

I didn’t want to be a stream-of-consciousness blog where I’d write about anything that crossed my mind, throwing caution to the wind. I wanted a balance of mixing my personal experience and thoughts with more general observations.

But (there’s always that damn “but”!) I kept suppressing myself here more than I wanted to. Today I’ve decided to be more myself in this blog and if someone doesn’t like it, there about twenty billion other blogs to read! 🙂

While there is one close family member who reads Birth of a New Brain, apart from her, I’m not aware of anyone I know IRL who reads it. I’ve tried hard to not write anything that would freak out my close family member. I’ll continue to make that effort, and respect her wishes for privacy.

I think letting loose a bit more here will be the healthiest thing I’ve done in a while.

My husband doesn’t read my blog, although I’ve invited him to do so a few times over the years! He’s just not into my blog or anyone else’s blog, which is good, ha ha – I have a slight jealousy problem. 

Plus, I’m one to talk – I haven’t even read all of his award-winning book Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West yet and he’s not mad!

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(Nor have I attended any of his popular book signings. He’s very different than I am, thank God – he doesn’t hold a grudge against me about my passing on his book talks. I admit that I’d be pissed at him if the situation was reversed.)

Here’s what I’m at today:

My main problems are:

Anxiety/”the other shoe will drop” syndrome, blogged about here, fatigue (may be med side effect), raising two children, marriage (It’s NOT easy and anyone who tells you it’s easy is full of shit), compulsive overeating challenges, and last but not least, not being happy with my book draft, i.e. the writing quality. It’s sucking, but it’s not over until Oct. 1 when I submit the final draft!

My main problems used to be:

Feeling passively suicidal most of the time, feeling acutely suicidal some times, hating life, feeling hopeless, being bedridden, admitting myself to shitty psych hospitals  (7 visits total; I’m still paying for those bills!) 

I’ve come a long way, haven’t I?

But life remains hard and scary. It’s not a my My Little Pony world, let me tell you! My girls love this show so I hear those screeching ponies “sing” a lot.

My Little Pony could easily be redone as a horror movie complete with vampires, goblins and zombies! I bet someone will do it – you read it here first!

My psychiatrist thinks I’m doing well – he even used the “S” word (stable) to describe me during our last few visits. For many years I never thought anyone would call me stable again, so it’s nice to hear him say it.

I have good stuff going on, like these two girls who have seen the best and very worst of me, and they still love me:

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And this adorable Scottish Collie beast. She’s a two-in-one antidepressant/mood stabilizer and she doesn’t make me fat or tired!

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Miss Lucy

Now I’m going to go watch the rest of The Life of the Not So Secret Manic Depressive with Stephen Fry. I was finally able to watch it online for free by using Hola! It’s very good so far. Rachel’s story in particular (and noting  how she interacts with her mom/caregiver) has been a wake-up call. 

When all is said and done, blogging remains a joy, even when I write about the not-so-glossy aspects of life. And I’m going to be doing more of that! 

This afternoon I’m sending you my love, and my hope you have a good night!

Xo

Dyane

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017.

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I Could’ve Been A Clapper! (The Tao of Boston)

 

Okay, that title isn’t about what you might be thinking.

I’m not referring to someone with the dreadful disease known as “The Clap” nor to someone with an unsavory job…

I’m letting you all know, officially and with a chunk of chutzpah, that I can clap really well. I clap very clearly and loudly when it’s necessary to do so, i.e. in a noisy room. 

Because of this skill, I’ve believed I would’ve been a great member of the rock band Boston. If you’re a 70’s music lover, you may know that this super group featured loud claps in some of their songs – I’m talkin’ about real claps, not the fake-sounding, techie ones. You can hear these claps particularly well in Boston’s hit songs Peace of Mind and More Than A Feeling.

Remember those tunes, you ancient ones?

(I’m one of those ancient ones, by the way – I turn 46 in a month.) 

I’m insecure about so many things, but I know that when it comes to being a professional session clapper, I could do it. 

Here’s a weird thing. I write songs, both music and lyrics, I play some instruments (not well) and I usually remember my own lyrics. But I’m terrible at understanding what the lyrics are in 99% of the songs I listen to, even the ones I’ve listened to hundreds of times. I don’t have a hearing loss; I hear words, but they’re all kind of a blur. This is a bizarre habit that I wish I didn’t have. I envy those who can effortlessly memorize song lyrics.

You’ll understand why I’m grateful that today when I listened to Boston’s Peace of Mind, I heard — truly heard — the words to this song for the first time since I first listened to this song at age six.

Today Peace of Mind spoke to me. (A sidenote: I’m not manic. Ugh – that’s what sucks about having bipolar disorder…I feel like I have to be careful not to come across as too wacky in fear of others thinking oh, she’s manic – better 5150 her STAT!)

The truth is that I’ve been wacky for the 37 years that led up to my bipolar disorder diagnosis, so danger wackiness is my middle name.   

Back to Peace of Mind…I’m listening to Peace of Mind and I’m thinking,

Whoa, that’s profound stuff, even for a 70’s song. Peace of Mind – that’s what I want more than anything these days! 

My brain has been too “monkey mind” lately — it has been here, there and everywhere, with a tendency for me to loop on negative things such as the recent Facebook unfriending.

When I read the Boston song lyrics, I went over them slowly, word by word.

Peace of Mind 

lyrics by  Tom Scholz of Boston

Now if you’re feelin’ kinda low ’bout the dues you’ve been paying
Future’s coming much too slow
And you want to run but somehow you just keep on stayin’
Can’t decide on which way to go
Yeah, yeah, yeah  
Dyane says, “This sums up my life.”
I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind 
I’ve been ruminating about “getting behind” — i.e. my writing job. I’m weary of the competition in the writing world which seems to be growing fiercer every day. I know this field is not for the weak, but I could deal with it better if I could attain a little peace of mind. I need to stop caring so much about getting behind and perhaps emulate the philosophy of Ram Dass and Be Here Now.
Now you’re climbin’ to the top of the company ladder
Hope it doesn’t take too long
Can’tcha you see there’ll come a day when it won’t matter
Come a day when you’ll be gone
These words are very sobering – yes, I know there will come a day when the vicious competition and rat race won’t matter, Boston. I get it! All the more reason to seek more peace of mind while I’m above ground.
I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind
Take a look ahead, take a look ahead, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
 Now everybody’s got advice they just keep on givin’

Doesn’t mean too much to me
Lots of people out to make-believe they’re livin’
Can’t decide who they should be

I value advice from good sources. I think Boston got rich too fast and received unsolicited advice from many druggies wanting $ for their “wisdom”. As for the last two lines, I finally have an inkling about who I am, so I’m very happy about that!

I understand about indecision
But I don’t care if I get behind
People livin’ in competition
All I want is to have my peace of mind

Take a look ahead, take a look ahead.

Look ahead.”

Okay, Boston songwriter Tom Scholz, you’re right.

I’ve been looking back far too much lately…I’ll look ahead for now.

Have a great weekend, my friends!
Rock on,
Dyane
 
Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017 unless she runs off to join a 70’s cover band.
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