Blogging in Sickness and in Health

I love this song “Hope Fell Down” from the album Difford & Tilbrook sung by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, the British duo from Squeeze. The phrase “Hope fell down” describes my past few days perfectly…and I’m not alluding to politics. Just my out-of-whack digestive system.

 

Hi everyone,

I’ll post Part Two of Afterlifethoughts and Angels next week; I’m not in the most angelic of moods today and the topic deserves to be written when I’m in a better state of mind & body. I got sidetracked this week by a stomach bug that struck Tuesday night and it made me feel inhuman, devoid of hope, and a big bitch to anyone crossing my path.

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I made the big mistake of not immediately getting ahold of my glorious liquid salvation (a.k.a. Pepto Bismol) which I can safely take with my meds. I have two bottles now and those puppies are worth their weight in gold.

The bug was weird because it would come and go unlike any other variety of ick I’ve had. I thought I was doing better yesterday, enough so that I took Lucy out for her late afternoon walk. While I seemed okay physically, I wasn’t thinking clearly, because I took her at the absolutely wrong time of day in the redwoods: dusk. 

Why is that wrong?

One word: mountainlions.

(Okay, okay, that’s two words, but you know what I mean!)

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A three-week-old puma cub – awwww! Like human babies, they’re so dang cute when they’re little, but when they grow up they say “I hate you!” or they eat you!

I know what to do if I see a mountain lion: I make myself appear bigger in size, i.e. raise my arms high, yell, throw rocks, and DON’T RUN! (That awesome info. is courtesy of the local Santa Cruz Puma Project.)  I should’ve known better! At least I got so freaked out and mad at myself for my stupidity that chances are high I won’t ever make the same mistake.

When I got home, I ate dinner on auto pilot – I wasn’t hungry. Big mistake. Then I was sick again, and I felt less than human into the wee hours of the morning.

Today I have the huge luxury of being able to stay home and take it easy. My husband dropped off the kids at school and he can pick them up too. This kind of help is something single parents often don’t have. I don’t forget how fortunate I am to have a partner to turn to for support when I’m sick.

Black Mirror’s Season Three, Episode One, Nosedive

Black Mirror

Being bedridden has been the perfect opportunity to binge watch a riveting, disturbing series called Black MirrorMake that Disturbing with a capital D, but it’s fascinating all the same. The British series has been compared to the Twilight Zone, but I think it’s a totally separate animal.

I’m up to Season Three’s first episode called Nosedive and it’s one of my favorites; I’d suggest watching this one first instead of Season One’s first episode about the Prime Minister. Trust me. (Each episode is a contained story so you don’t need to watch them in order.)

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Lastly, I want to share with you about my friends Jean Lee (Jean Lee’s World, author of Middler’s Pride on Wattpad) and Ann Preston Roselle’s (Bipolar & Me) inspiring, extraordinary blog posts.

Jean, one of the best writers I know, reveals facing “The Monster” who sexually abused her in “These Worlds Are Knives and Bridges.” She is coming to terms with being a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a family member. I can’t tell you how amazed I was at this woman’s strength after I read it. Even though she wrote about dealing with a horrific kind of abuse, her post brought me up, not down, because of her bravery. She has taken a road so high it’s touching the clouds. 

Ann’s post “Maintaining a Little Hope” beautifully, poignantly expresses how  she has gone through the sheer hell of depression, but she didn’t let bipolar disorder steal her goals or her hope. She’s a tremendous role model and power-house advocate. I can’t wait to call her Dr. Ann! 😉 

I’ll see you after Thanksgiving – in the meantime, I send you lots of love and strength as the holidaze begin. Be good to yourselves!

Love,

Dyane

 

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.

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Afterlifethoughts & Angels: Part One

What Dreams May Come is a film based on Richard Matheson’s book and stars Robin Williams, Annabella Sciorra and Cuba Gooding Jr. It’s one of my favorite movies, but I can only watch it when I’m feeling relatively stable (TW) as it contains themes of suicide and children’s deaths. An amazingly vivid, imaginative & groundbreaking film, it won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

 * I apologize for the spacing/formatting snafus – WordPress seems to have a glitch today!
I intended to post about the afterlife and angels the week before Halloween, but it simply didn’t happen. Since I’m unable to write coherently (or even incoherently) about the election (plus I’m sure you don’t need to read more about that) today’s the day to expound on the afterlife. Next week’s post will focus on the angels. 
As a special treat, I’m not writing about ten topics in one 2500 word post – hurrah!
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The Afterlife
I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility of life after death. However, I didn’t think about it constantly until after my father died in 2009.
I’m reminded of Prince’s solemn “sermon” in his classic song Let’s Go Crazy:
A world of never-ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night…
Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own.
I think Prince got that right.
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A few days ago I was walking Lucy among the peaceful redwoods…
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As we trudged along the muddy path, I thought about my friend Ulla who died by suicide not long ago. A wave of guilt hit me because I realized I had stopped thinking about her every day, and while that’s no crime, I felt like an ass. I began speaking to Ulla out loud, not caring if another hiker heard me. I told her I was sorry for placing her on my mental back burner. I said I hoped she was happy wherever she was. And then I begged her to give me a sign she was okay.
I thought a mountain lion sighting (far, far off in the distance) would be cool, or even a brush with the hirsute Bigfoot….yes, Bigfoot allegedly likes to hang out there too. But I settled on a deer sighting. 
As Train’s Pat Monahan sings in Calling All Angels,
I need a sign to let me know you’re here
‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me 
During the remainder of the hike, I didn’t see a deer or even a bit of deer scat. Even though the skeptic in me thought it was unlikely I’d get the sign I wanted, I was disappointed. I wanted to believe with all my heart, not just some of it, that we move on to a better existence, yet remain connected to those we care about here.
Although I didn’t get the sign I wanted this time around,that won’t stop me from asking her again on another next hike.
Psychic Mediums
An authentic psychic medium can see a client’s past, present, and future and communicates with those who have died. I’ve met with one affordable psychic medium who told me some details about my life that were accurate, but I didn’t have the transformative experience I yearned for: to communicate with my Dad. I wanted to receive a message from him that would prove it truly was him.
I could try another session with a different psychic medium, but our family doesn’t have the financial means to do so. The practitioners with stellar reputations charge astronomical amounts. Unless I’m blessed with an unexpected windfall, I’m not pursuing it.
Books
I love reading well-written books about the afterlife. I admit these works aren’t exactly up there with Shakespeare, so they are a bit of a guilty pleasure, but when I read them I relax. I relish escaping into another world – whether that world is a fantasy or reality, I guess I’ll eventually find out!
Some of my favorite authors include Dr. Raymond Moody, a psychiatrist with a colorful personal history, Maureen Hancock, James Van Praagh, Suzan Saxman and yes, Theresa Caputo, the wacky Long Island Medium. You can give me a hard time about her – I can take it! 🙂
Calling All Angels

This is such a great song, even if you’re not a Train fan! The lead singer Pat Monahan reminds me of a lizard.
Next week in Part Two, I’ll focus on the angels. I want to share something I learned about angels that affected my life for the better. I know that sounds like a dubious claim, perhaps fueled by a “special” brownie, but I’m sincere. When the post is up, please give me the benefit of the doubt and take a peek.
In the meantime, I want to thank you for reading this blog. I know it’s a particularly hard week, so please take care of yourselves. I hope you do something nice for yourself this weekend!
lots of love,

Dyane

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.

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