I loved the amazingly helpful feedback I got in the Shot Down By HuffPost!–What Can Help A Mom with Bipolar During Setbacks post I published on Thursday.
Thanks to all of you for taking time to contribute such thoughtful replies!
Yesterday’s events turned out to be ironic in light of Thursday’s Huffington post rejection – it was so bizarre, in fact, that I couldn’t resist waiting until next Thursday to publish this post!
Yesterday, April Fool’s Day, I
Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head
After a cup of coffee, I sat down to check my email. I noticed a reply from an editor at The Mighty and my heart started to thump a bit faster. My cold palms became sweaty.
A couple weeks ago I submitted a post to The Mighty. It was about my postiive experience with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). I knew that due to ECT’s major controversy there was a strong chance it would be rejected, but after doing The Mighty site search I found two posts that only briefly touched upon ECT. There was nothing like my detailed account.
It was worth a try.
Taking a deep breath, I opened up The Mighty email and read,
Thanks for sharing your story! I’m going to pass on publishing this, but I hope you’ll submit again! Let me know if you have any questions.
That inevitable sting of rejection hit my solar plexus. At least it didn’t hurt as much as the other rejections, but it still, in a word, sucked. But this time I wanted to do something different besides simply sulk. The editor offered to answer my questions, so I was going to go for it!. I wrote,
Then I did my best to shake off the ‘ol rejection heebie jeebies and get on with my day. I helped my kids get ready, took them to school, and survived driving among the excessively aggressive parent drivers brandishing coffee mugs as they raced around the school’s parking lot.
I returned home intending to work on my book; I wanted to forget all about The Mighty.
Later on I checked my email and noticed a message from The Huffington Post.
First words that came to my mind?
Ah, shit. Another rejection….great.
I opened it up. It wasn’t a rejection.
They published my ECT post! I submitted the ECT post to Huffington the same day I sent it to The Mighty, as both outlets allow writers to submit previously published posts and sometimes they share content.
I screamed with triumphant glee. Poor Lucy, wondering what the hell was going on, began barking loud enough to wake the dead.
I knew that this ECT article would receive very different feedback than my postpartum bipolar article, and I was right. But I went into this with my eyes open. I’ve been on both sides of the psych fence: I’ve been anti-psychiatry before I became pro-psychiatry.
So I was fully prepared for the anti-psychiatry brigade, the Dr. Peter Breggin groupies, and a bevy of anti-ECT readers to descend and write all kinds of negative comments.
It didn’t matter to me what their comments said.
The bottom line was that I needed to share my truth, my experience.
In grade school I memorized the the Bill of Rights, in which our First Amendment states:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I treasure my freedom of speech more than ever and I worked hard to get this chance to use it.
So far I’ve only responded to certain comments. There are some seriously out-there comments that are a lost cause when it comes to my trying to explain anything.
I would love it if you could visit this article and see what I’m talking about.
One anti-ECT reader mentions that “bipolar was invented in 1995” and she asked me for a list of all my Dad’s doctors’ names. She also wrote other colorful comments – clearly this was the day’s excitement for her.
I shouldn’t be too glib – these are all human beings after all. I’m just grateful that I don’t need to be in the same room with those who oppose my point of view.
So that was my April Fool’s day – a rejection and acceptance of a hotly controversial subject close to my heart.
Without further adieu, here’s the link, and as long as you don’t tell me that bipolar was invented in 1995, and you’re respectful, I’m fine with your disagreeing with anything in the post!
I’ll see you ’round next Friday, if not sooner, because I had some other really weird, challenging things happen to me within the same twenty-four-hour period – these events brought out the Daenerys Targaryen in me!!!
I can’t wait to share with you what happened!
In the meantime, be well, dear bloggers!
Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.