Trust Redux

This morning I sifted through the blog posts I’ve written over the past year in order to piece together some sections for my book. I came across a post titled “Trust” which was written in the early days of my blog. I decided to re-post it today since so much has happened since I published it, and I think (and hope) some of my newer readers might relate to it.

See you Monday, thanks for reading, & have a great weekend!!!

Dyane

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TRUST

Today is the first day that writing a blog post feels like a “have to” instead of a “want to” activity, in part because I know that hardly anyone (and oftentimes no one) reads these posts. I must admit that the prospect of having a chunky blog audience is alluring. Having a large readership would provide me with a powerful incentive to write even if I didn’t feel gung-ho when first creating each post. (Like exercise, I find that once I start writing, no matter how resistant I feel beforehand, I always feel better once I tap the keyboard for a measly few minutes.)

I’m barely promoting this blog. Truth be told, I’m using blogging more for a daily writing practice rather than as a lofty platform to reach hundreds of followers. Blogging is more gratifying than journaling these days; I used to keep journals for years and I got burned-out.

My blog is also a very convenient way for me to procrastinate focusing on the project of my heart: my book. So today instead of taking an hour or two to write a post, I’ll use this time to open my “Birth of a New Brain” file and read some of what I wrote over the past few years. I’ve only been able to read up to page eight, believe it or not, for it’s daunting material and it’s an intimidating task.

Oh, how I need to trust the process of writing and I want more than most anything to trust my capability as a writer.

As a voracious reader, I’ve noticed the rise of mediocre books now available complete with typos, syntax errors, crappy content, and amateur covers. (Yes, I sound like a snob, and I suppose I am one!) Virtually anyone can write a book and sell it to the public via Amazon and other internet avenues. If those books make it, why can’t mine? I must trust that my concept is valid; it’s also original, and while I won’t win awards anytime soon, my writing quality is solid. I remind myself that I didn’t buy my degree in English from the University of California; I earned it with blood, sweat, angst and a ton of writing.

Again, it all comes down to trust…self-trust. We can’t take our book accolades to the grave with us. I’ll give “Birth of a New Brain” my best shot over the next year, and if it works out, great, and if it doesn’t, I’ll know that I tried with all my heart, I trusted myself at long last, and that is what truly matters.

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Daily Unplugging – It Is Possible!

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Over the past week I’ve traded roughly the same amount of daily online time to be out of the house instead.  I’ve roamed the county with my children, Lucy the puppy, and a couple friends.  The mornings are gloomy and foggy up here in the mountains, and they’ve put me into a funk despite using my Sunbox bright light and drinking my beloved java.  I am thankful that these grim, drizzly mornings turn into beautiful afternoons complete with sunshine and clouds wafting across blue skies.  Good weather makes a huge difference in my ability to haul myself and the girls out the door.    

I’m excited to share with you that I attended my first puppy training class with my two daughters last night.  Although our Petsmart instructor is probably half my age, she’s a bona fide puppy whisperer – she’s simply awesome!  “B.” was skilled at explaining concepts clearly and while she was nice, she was stern, and I liked that about her.  At the start of class, B. asked us what other mammal is similar to dogs in terms of training techniques.  Somehow I knew the answer.  My arm shot up and I called out excitedly, “Dolphins!”  At one point during college I seriously considered studying dolphins.  B. informed us that she has actually worked with dolphins at my alma mater University of California at Santa Cruz.  I was thrilled when she told us that dolphins and dogs share training techniques in common, and it was fun to be in a class with puppies as my classmates.  

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As far as my unplugging goes, it has only been for three days to be exact, but it feels like a lot longer than that!  I still check out Facebook, email and Twitter each morning while drinking coffee.  In the evenings I love reading other blogs on my Kindle while I work out on my elliptical – I make cryptic comments using my index finger on the tiny screen.  But during the  day it has felt healthier for me to lessen the amount of time I’ve been glued to my MacBook Pro and Kindle.  I don’t have a smart phone, which for me is a very good thing.  I can’t check the internet once I leave the house unless I bring my Kindle to a friendly unlocked WiFi zone.  

I was further inspired by my blogging friend extraordinaire Kitt’s blog kittomalley.com.  (a.k.a. Kitt O’Malley – Living with Bipolar Disorder. Loved by God.)

Her post “Doctor’s Orders” was published this week, and its primary topic seemed like a great omen.   If you too find yourself challenged with spending an excessive amount of time online, you must read this post:

http://kittomalley.com/2014/07/09/doctors-orders/

As much as I despise labels, I know I’ve been obsessive-compulsive in checking emails, surfing Facebook, doing wacky Google searches and the like.   If I keep up this excessive behavior, I could see myself becoming burned out soon.  Then I would most likely cut myself off from the online communities and blogosphere that I’ve come to treasure.  I don’t want that to happen!  So if it takes a few days longer for me to reply to comments, to read blogs and contribute comments than I ideally would like, I realize it’s no big deal.  If I skip writing a blog post, no one is going to perish!  What matters is the total amount of time I spend each day wrapped up in the internet.  

I know the following statement is utterly obvious, but I haven’t internalized it until now:

The more I develop my life outside my laptop, the more I can bring back to share in my blog and other online outlets.

It won’t be easy to get out regularly, as my social anxiety continues to loom large, but I’m going to do it anyway.  Having children and a feisty, energetic puppy forces me to plan excursions.  We live near a ton of beautiful parks, and there’s locally owned Coffee 9 where the baristas are friendly, and Lucy can sit outside on the patio, loving the inevitable compliments from passerby.

What do you do for fun when you leave the house?  I’d love to know!  

Have a great weekend!!! 

Dyane

I took this photo of Lucy yesterday at the park.  Earlier that day I brought the girls to Petsmart where they begged me to buy Lucy this “dog dress” for $2.99.  I’ve always felt dogs shouldn’t wear clothes, but I caved this one time.  Mark my words, never again!!!

 

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Adventures in Seroquel Tapering for the Groggy Blogger and more…

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T.G.I.M.? Thank God  it’s Monday?  I think not!  Mondays are usually the toughest day of the week for me, but maybe this one will be different.  At least I don’t have to rush the kids to school, and that’s a big plus for this groggy blogger.  More on my grogginess follows in this post; oh yes, it’s a primary theme, although get ready – other topics will be discussed and an exam given at the end. 😉

I’m thankful to have a more leisurely pace in our household this week.  There was a steady buzz of frenetic activity over the past five days.  Between having my two young girls out of school, hosting family from out-of-town, and adjusting to our super-energetic puppy’s needs, last week was challenging and at times even heartbreaking.  One day was plain-old-Nightmare On Elm Street Part VI, but blogging about that awful day really helped me.  After I received wonderful comments of support in this blog, I was able to move on with my day better than I would have done in the past.

Now, as I type this post, there is a beautiful sort of quiet in the room.  I hear the sounds of cars and motorcycles off in the distance, for we live directly above a scenic mountain highway, but at this point the traffic sounds akin to a rushing stream.  For the next hour it’s just me and Lucy puppy, who is nibbling contentedly on a puppy chew.  My husband took the girls to swim at the community pool, and I’m so, so grateful to have this solitude.

Most of us bloggers need to have quiet time away from other noisy humans – you don’t realize how vital this alone time is until it’s gone!  If I want to write anything except maybe a grocery list, I must have quiet.  I wish with all my heart that I could be like the author Madeleine L’Engle, who was able to write well with all kinds of distractions.  She wrote backstage on Broadway when she worked as a character actress, she scribbled on trains, journaled in hotel lobbies, etc. Unfortunately, I can’t write if my two kids are around unless I have headphones on, and that usually hasn’t worked out for me.

Along the lines of writing and solitude, a few minutes ago I watched an interesting, brief YouTube video of the writer John Irving.  I’ve never read his work, but I’ve heard about this famous writer for many years.  The video is called “How to Tell if You’re A Writer”, and Irving validated certain points for me regarding writing in general.  It was an inspiring minute & twenty seconds, and it’s definitely worth the time to watch if you’re a writer!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYvOSrgvCrk

Meanwhile, in exciting medication management news, last night I dropped down from 100mg/night to 50 mg of Seroquel (quetiapine).  Seroquel has been a godsend to me.  When I had a terrible, bizarre type of agitated insomnia last fall, my psychiatrist prescribed Seroquel.  I was completely skeptical that it would help me, but I was desperate to get some sleep.  Not to sound like a drama queen, but from past experience I knew if I didn’t sleep, I’d wind up back in the hospital.  So I started taking the Seroquel and I was profoundly relieved to find that it worked very well.  The only side effect that has bugged me is mild-to-moderate daytime grogginess until noon or so.

I’ve been meaning to drop from 100mg to 50 mg of Seroquel for literally months now.  My psychiatrist was totally on board with my decision.  However, I procrastinated tapering because I felt paranoid that changing my dose would throw off the wonderful, antidepressant effect of the lithium and Parnate (MAOI) I’ve been taking since last fall.  I voiced my concern with my psychiatrist and he told me that it was highly unlikely that my reducing Seroquel would bring on depression. I trust this man literally with my life, so I decided to go for it.

The 50% reduction has worked well so far; I slept well last night, but it has been less than twenty-four hours since I changed my dose! Only time will tell if this adjustment is effective for me in the long run.  My fingers and toes and eyeballs are crossed that it works just fine.

One good omen is that today I only had one cup of coffee instead of my usual three (sometimes even more – yes, I admit it!) hefty-sized mugs.  I’ve been drinking all this coffee because I love the taste, but also the large amount of caffeine has cut my grogginess down a bit. What amazes me is that I didn’t even realize that I drank 2/3 less of my usual amount of coffee until just now, 2:30 p.m., so that’s an encouraging sign!

The past week has been different for me in other ways in terms of my daily routine.  I’ve cut down my Facebook notifications & “following” option (which I still don’t totally understand, I’m embarrassed to tell you!) Lately I’ve only wished to keep track of the doings and likings etc. of people I’m actively involved with.  I’ve reduced my Twitter surfing too.   (Did you know that you can “mute” people on Twitter?  If you don’t, write me a comment and I’ll explain it! 😉  Or someone else can explain it…and I bet they’ll do a better job of it.)

Changing my social media habits frees up more time for me to be with my family, read other blogs, read books, write, and play with Lucy Puppy. And, ahem, to watch my trashy television shows.  I don’t want to stop being on social media – no way! I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again –  I’ve been using Facebook & Twitter too much.  It’s going to take me all summer to figure out a happier medium between online fun, mundane real-life responsibilities, and real-life fun!  At least I have hope I can work out a better balance of virtual and real-life activity.

Finally, I can’t thank you enough for reading this blog.  It’s a joy to know that I have loyal readers who I consider to be kindred spirits. The other day I hopped on another blogger’s post and I noticed there were 162 comments made within a day.  At first my heart sank, and I seethed in emerald green jealousy.  But then I realized that if I was that mega-blogger, there would be no way I could ever reply to all those comments.  Moreover, I probably wouldn’t read them all unless I was on speed or something, and the lovely give & take between blogger and followers would be non-existent.  At least for me.

At any rate my point is I’m glad for your comments, and I read every one.  Sometimes I take more time than I’d like to reply to you, but I promise I will.  I love having you, my followers, and I wish each of you a fulfilling blogging experience and a great day –  you deserve it!

All my best to you!

Dyane

 

 

A Bloody, Sweet & Bookish Friday the 13th

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The sign says: “SEAWALL CLOSED – SEAWALL TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO TSUNAMI DAMAGE – REPAIRS TO FOLLOW SOON”

If I can face my tsunami phobia, I can face this summer!!!

 

It has been summer break for less than forty-eight hours, and nothing too terrible has happened yet, thank God. We got through Friday the 13th/the full moon in one piece.  Although Lucy the puppy, in her playful way, bit Rilla on the lip with her razor-sharp teeth.  Although it was a tiny wound, Rilla bled profusely and the poor girl screamed like a banshee; the decibel range she hit was extreme.  I was folding laundry in another room. When I heard screams and tracked down Rilla, all I saw was bright red blood – it was on her clothes, hands, floor and of course her face.   I was amazed at the amount of blood I saw given the minute size of her scratch. That’s how my Friday the 13th began: with plenty ‘o blood, which was fitting, I suppose!

After the excitement of Rilla’s scratch, it was just one of those “blah” days where nothing much happened.  We went to buy ballet tights, got stuck in construction traffic, and the trip to the store took twice as long as usual. When finally arrived at the store, the staff measured Avonlea’s height so we could select the appropriate tights. At the register I was informed the store, which I had shopped at for over twenty years, no longer accepted checks.  I considered their policy to be rather ridiculous, but instead of throwing a hissy fit as I was tempted to do, I sighed and put the item back. ( In case you’re wondering, I didn’t have enough money in my other bank account to use my debit card for the tights.)

I felt nervous during our excursion because we left twelve-week-old Lucy “Vampire” Puppy alone at home.  I made sure she had plenty of water, food, and Pandora classical music playing softly in the background. I checked that the room was totally secure.  When we came back home, she was fine, but I wish she could have joined us during our errand.

We hung out around the house the rest of the day.  I forbade the girls to turn on the TV because we’ve all been watching it way too much.  We played “School”, in which Avonlea was our teacher and instructed us in my least-favorite subject: math.  Then I took a Facebook surfing break while they played “Chutes & Ladders” and chess.  

Afterwards we walked Lucy on what I refer to as our “death street”.  What could be a relaxing, enjoyable stroll with little Lucy is a scary risk when it comes to walking her on our road.   We live in one of the absolute worst neighborhoods for dog walking.  I was a desperate dumbshit during our search to buy this home.  (A ripe topic for another post, I promise you.)  Perhaps if I ‘d walk Lucy when I’m partially naked, that might get our unneighborly speeding drivers to slow the hell down for ten seconds when they pass us.  On second thought, that idea could backfire – they might speed up instead, because seeing me without clothes would frighten them! 😉

As the evening came to a close, I completed a book that I’ve wanted to finish for some time:  L.E. Henderson’s A Trail of Crumbs to Creative Freedom: One Author’s Journey Through Writer’s Block and Beyond.  I discovered Trail of Crumbs while searching my Kindle for bipolar-themed books.  I hit a goldmine when I found this book because I had also been searching for books about writing.  In the sample I downloaded, Henderson reveals that she has bipolar disorder and in the book she explains its influence upon her writing career.  In Trail of Crumbs, her third book, she vividly describes her experience with bipolar disorder interwoven with tried and true writing advice.  Apart from buying her book, I located Henderson’s blog and Twitter account, signed up to follow both, and we’ve been in touch ever since.  Henderson has been a wonderful source of encouragement and has inspired my writing process.

Henderson is a fantastic, imaginative fantasy novelist as well.  She is creative and original when sharing a variety of techniques to spark one’s writing.  Out of curiosity I read two Amazon reviews for Trail of Crumbs. One review made me feel wistful, for it was the review I wish I wrote for this book!  Here it is, in part, by “Carrie” of Ohio:

 5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for any writer March 27, 2014 by Carrie
 Although at first glance this book is a discussion of how the author rediscovered her writing after suffering crippling bouts of mania and depression, its pages go far beyond that. The advice is sound for any writer who has at some point struggled to maintain momentum. From presenting techniques such as ‘clustering’ to recommending the use of You Tube videos as visual research for unfamiliar experiences (such as hot-air balloon rides), fiction writers will find a wealth of information in this book. The author is obviously a gifted writer, and her strong analogies helped clarify more abstract concepts. If her non-fiction is this good, I can only imagine how good her fiction is! I easily read this book in one sitting and certainly recommend it to other writers, no matter where they are in their creative journey.
Unlike Carrie, who read the book in one sitting, I’ve been meaning to complete Henderson’s book for several months.  There are reasons for this that have nothing to do with the excellence of Trail of Crumbs.
Over the past year, I’ve been having difficulties with focusing while reading my beloved books.  For me, it takes way more energy and focus to read a book compared to reading the assorted blog posts in my WordPress Reader.  During my reading time, which is mainly in the evening just after the girls have gone to bed, I’m totally exhausted from the day and from my three meds, all of which have potentially sedating properties.  I think I can change this pattern by taking better care of myself, mainly by not eating so much sugar and caffeine, which I know has been blowing out my adrenals.  I exercise almost daily, and that helps me, but unfortunately it can’t compensate for a lousy diet.
Also, this may sound strange, but I think that I’ve been self-sabotaging in terms of finishing this specific book. The reason?  Well, I knew that Henderson’s book contains lots of juicy writing advice that could very well help me complete my own book which I’ve put on the back burner for weeks now.  I’ve begun examining this issue with my therapist as of last week. During our sessions we’ve discussed many experiences that I want to include in my book.  Because she has worked with me for years, my therapist can fill in certain significant blanks in my recollections; plus she provides invaluable perspective.  She suggested that from now on I tape record our sessions and see if that helps me with my writing.  I’m curious to see how that goes and I feel it’s definitely worth a try.
I’d love to read about your experiences with writer’s block/writer’s anxiety & (if it applies to you) how bipolar disorder has  affected  your writing- I think almost all writers face these challenges at one point or another.
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The Commentologist

funnyThis week has been draining due to poor sleep and losing my patience with my two spirited young girls far too often.  Meanwhile. I’ve been sooooooo frustrated with writer’s block, which, coincidentally, happened as soon as I stopped writing over thirty minutes consistently.

Apart from reading L.E. Henderson’s book A Trail  of Crumbs to Creative Freedom: One Author’s Journey Through Writer’s Block and Beyond (the perfect book for me as she insightfully addresses bipolar disorder, creativity and writer’s block),  I’m following some well-known writing advice.  The advice is to simply write and not worry about what you’re producing.  It can all be trash, but the point of the exercise is to move the hands and engage the brain and one’s pen…or laptop keyboard, if you’re like me!

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As simple as that advice sounds, I can’t write gobbledygook – I need to write about something that interests me.  Today my topic focuses on Facebook friends, commenting, reading blogs, commenting on them and “liking” posts.

I’ve been thinking about all these things for some time now.  Last year I had deactivated my Facebook account.  After reactivating it last fall, I noticed I had no meaningful connection with hundreds of my “friends”, so I trimmed down my list.  My guiding rule was to unfriend people I had no contact with for over a year, with the exception of longtime friends and a few other people.

I had two fall-out experiences as a result of my choice.  One person I barely knew messaged me and wrote that she didn’t understand why I was no longer Facebook friends with her.  I explained my rationale and then I  friended her in a feeble attempt to people-please.  She accepted my invite, but I haven’t heard a peep from her since.  

The other person who messaged me gave me a harder time, and I wrote about that in a previous post because she acted so weird.  I totally stand by my decision, but unfortunately I know I’ll be seeing her this summer face-to-face.  My husband told me last weekend she showed up at the community pool and she’s an avid member, as is our family.  Oh well – if she’s angry, she can’t drown me there – there are too many lifeguards!  Plus I’m pretty strong these days and can kick some serious ass.  Don’t mess with a mom with bipolar!

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As far as Facebook goes, obviously there are pros and cons to using it, but so far the pros have outweighed the cons for me since I reactivated my account.  I’ve “met” some wonderful people, and lately  it has been the ideal vehicle to share my puppy pictures with everyone.  (I realize that these folks don’t need to see 30 pictures of me and Lucy within two weeks, but I figure they can give me a well-deserved break!) For now I’m remaining on Facebook.  I do spend far too much time using it; precious time that could be spent on writing my book or blog.  Maybe I should look into those programs that shut you down on Facebook after using your account for an hour!

(I most likely won’t do that.)

I had yet another Facebook-related snafu happen a few days ago.

It began with my sharing a post about an Australian news article that I thought sugarcoated bipolar disorder.  I wrote my opinion about it without apology.  I received a comment from one of my Facebook “friends” who I never see or have communications with.  I’ll refer to her as “Snafura”.  Snafura and I have barely anything in common except for being mothers with bipolar disorder and for living in the same area.  Her lengthy rebuttal to my Aussie article post and her subtle passive/aggressive tone frankly pissed me off!

Snafura generally appears out of nowhere every six months to comment on my Facebook account in her annoying, oppositional style.  I consider this to be a form of lurking.  Meanwhile, I never follow her feed, and I have no idea what’s going on in her life.  That’s just fine and dandy with me.

You’re probably wondering the obvious question: “Why haven’t you unfriended her?”

Well, I haven’t unfriended her because we live very close to one another, and I don’t want to rock the boat if I run into her, which will inevitably happen if I unfriend her according to Murphy’s Law.

I’m not losing any sleep over this, but it helps to “write it out”.  It feels invasive when someone with whom I have virtually (or literally) no contact decides to comment out-of-the-blue and be argumentative.  It also disturbs and annoys me because I would never do that to someone else.

There are different privacy settings on Facebook, and I was thrilled to find one called “Restrictive” in which I don’t unfriend a person, but I can keep her from viewing my newsfeed.  I signed Snafura up for that right away.

Perfect!

When it comes to Facebook and this blog, I’d prefer having fewer friends/followers who scan my newsfeed & blog posts, who “like” my posts, and who make comments at least once in a while, than have 1000 friends who never take a look at my feed once they friend me.  (Forgive me for using all this Facebook-ese and for that gruesome run-on sentence! )

I call today’s post “The Commentologist” because  I’ve decided to make more of an effort to comment in response to posts by the wonderful bloggers I follow.  I read their posts on my Kindle each day, during the forty minutes I work out on my NordicTrack.  

At the very least, I “like” the posts so I can let the author know, “Yes, I was here.  I read your work.”  Then, if time and energy level allows, I write a comment ranging from a couple words to a paragraph.  It’s hard to comment when I’m on the elliptical – my carpal tunnel syndrome acts up in my right wrist.  It’s also not easy to type on a Kindle when you’re sweating buckets!  If I want to write a lengthier comment I make a mental note to do it after my workout.

I want to support the writers I’m networking with, and foster our virtual relationships.  It makes me happy when I see the WordPress orange notification symbol letting me know that someone “liked” my blog post.  A comment makes me VERY happy.  (Yep, I haven’t gotten any mean comments yet!) Because of that, I like the color orange even more than I did before WordPress entered my life.  I know that most of the people who follow my blog don’t read it, which is a bummer.  However, the bloggers who take some time out of their hectic days to respond to my writing are the reasons why I’m blogging instead of privately journaling.

I continue to encounter the super-famous blogs.  I belong to a network in which a blogger has shared how “viral” her posts are. (I’ve held myself back from making a snarky comment. 😉  The bottom line is that I become insecure and jealous of the mega-blogs. I need to stop wallowing in those feelings as soon as they hit me, and move on.  It doesn’t help one bit.  For all I know, these super-famous bloggers might have their own serious problems I know nothing about, right?  I have friends related to world-famous people, and I know it’s not all wine and roses in their world.  Still, when I spot that a blogger has 88 likes on a post, or 100 comments, my face turns green.  I hate that!

Speaking of green, I’ll move on to focusing upon greener pastures…

I’ll continue my study of commentology.  Perhaps I’ll even earn an honorary doctorate in the field!  If I’m following your blog, my hopes are that you will see my comments more often.  At the very least I’ll gladly take a moment to “like” your work to let you know I’ve stopped by and read about what matters to you.

Have a great weekend, you awesome bloggers!

Dyane

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Too Careful

imgresLast week I was inspired by blogger Kitt O’Malley’s succinct-but-potent post titled “No Trigger Alerts Here”.  Her writing served as a welcome catalyst to change my blogging perspective .  Hopefully my altered views will be reflected in this blog in the weeks to come.  However, as usual, I digress!

I was intrigued to learn what Kitt thought of trigger alerts, for I had published a blog post containing a suicide trigger alert on that same day.

In “No Trigger Alerts Here” Kitt asserts:

“I write from my heart and from my mind, not heeding any internal or external censor. That is how I think.  That is who I am.  Each individual reader must decide for themselves whether they can handle reading potentially disturbing material.  The best writing is often disturbing, mining the extremes of human experience.  Reading such works challenges us.  We must challenge ourselves. We must challenge the perceptions of others.”

I posted the following comment in response:

“Hmmmm.  I do agree, without a shred of doubt, that some of the best, most influential writing is disturbing.  I gravitate towards reading that kind of writing when I’m stable.

When I’m depressed it’s a different story.  Give me cotton candy reading, or actually when I’m really down, I sleep and even books can’t drag me out from under the covers and release me from despair.

When I write about suicide in detail, I feel obligated to post a trigger alert.  That sense of obligation comes from reading other bloggers who post trigger alerts – I basically thought it was the ‘thing to do’ in the blogging community, of which I still consider myself to be a newbie.  I admire that fact that you write what you wish to write without internal or external censors – the word that comes to my mind is “freeing”.   I will read anything you write without reservation or hesitation, as long as I am stable!!!”

One of the true beauties of blogging is when we learn from one another and not simply pontificate from up on high.  After reading Kitt’s post, I realized I’ve been really afraid to write posts that may offend readers – readers whom for the most part I’ll never meet.  I’ve been caught up with writing in a politically correct way to the point where my cautiousness has shut me down rather than fire me up.  I’ve felt stilted writing this blog for a long time, and I knew I was holding myself back.  But I had become complacent.  I’m a lazy person and that’s what us lazies generally do – change is scary.

Moreover, I’ve been avoiding writing in depth about topics that are on my mind every day such as body image, sex and bipolar, judgement, binging, family relationships, writer’s block and much more.  I’ve held back because some of my opinions won’t be popular, pretty, p.c., and certainly not poetic!   I’ve enjoyed reading about these subjects in others’ blogs, so it’s rather ridiculous that I don’t allow myself the same opportunity to write about what matters most to me.

The thought that what I write here could turn off someone “important” and “influential” career-wise down the line has lurked in my brain from the moment I started blogging. As long as I’m not throwing around racist terms or write offensively on purpose, it seems perfectly reasonable to write more freely about complicated topics.  Perhaps I’ll include topics and details that might make some sensitive readers press the “unfollow” button, but so be it.

Here’s another truth.  Even though I love to curse, whenever I’ve wanted to insert a foul word here or there in a blog post, I usually don’t do it.  In turn, by tamping down my true self, that has taken juice out of my writing. I’m stopping that habit now.  It’s pointless to freak out about any of this – I’m not even a career blogger  or have a zillion followers, so I don’t need to fret about losing a lot of readers, sponsors or blighting my reputation.

Today, June 1st, it seems like a good day to officially worry less about writing this blog.  I’m more excited than frightened about my resolution.  I may be potty-mouthed, “bipolar-wrinkled” (a topic for another day), frizzy-haired, and anxious, but I’m also silly, compassionate, creative and unique.  I have something unique to offer to the almighty blogosphere.

As a born Jew, I grew up being told that I couldn’t be too careful, and I took in that worldview with every fiber of my being.  While I’ll continue to be too careful in the “real world” in many respects, I will no longer be too cautious in this blog.

Too careful no more! 😉

For more of Kitt’s writing please follow her blog Kitt O’Malley – Life with Bipolar Disorder and Thoughts about God at:

http://www.kittomalley.wordpress.com

 

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