Check out this Amazon five-star review about Alexis’ remarkable novella “Brooklyn’s Song” here:
You can follow Alexis on Instagram @amileaminute.blog & she’s over at Facebook
and Twitter at @azinkerman.
I hope you have a good week!
p.s. Here’s yet another shameless plug for my book Birth of a New Brain—Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder. I’m honored I received an Amazon five-star review a few days ago.
Thanks to Kevin for this lovely review!
And now here’s part deux, once again reblogged from the super-awesome Stay-In-Bed-Mom!
This week the intrepid Stay-In-Bed-Mom shares her selections for the “Mommy and Me” Book Club. The theme is related to the Mommy book Birth of a New Brain. In her post, you’ll find books about bipolar disorder, depression, childhood depression, and childhood trauma/PTSD.
The club doesn’t solely focus on mental health; in fact, it has mainly featured fiction in previous posts. I love how Stay-In-Bed-Mom explains her unique book club. She writes,
“Here’s something I hope will make you smile. A favorite literature professor of mine once said, and I’m paraphrasing, people study literature “to one up someone at a cocktail party.” For all you stay-at-home moms and dads out there, the next time someone says, “what do you do all day?”, you can talk about all the great books you’re reading.
If you’re anything like me, reading is a big part of your identity. But lately, maybe you haven’t been able to read anything outside of laundry care instructions on your children’s clothing. Maybe you’ve been too tired, too busy, or feeling “a little blue”. I’m trying to reclaim reading, as it’s been a source of happiness in my life. Let’s ease back into reading or [fill in the blank with your favorite recreational activity].
For every “mommy book” read, I’ll suggest a “me book” for your children with a similar theme. It is my hope that this “mommy and me” book club is a fun activity for you and your children.
A wise person told me “more is caught than taught.” If your children see you reading, then they will read too. Model quiet time in your household where you read quietly or aloud. You may pick one book and read it together as a family, chapter by chapter. Or you may encourage each individual family member to pick out a book to read quietly and independently. The primary goal is for us to read to or with our children. The secondary goal? For you to have some stay in bed time!
By the way, I turn 50, yes FIFTY, in exactly one month from today. I do have crow’s feet, the “11,” and some other “bipolar wrinkles” (yep, that’s what I call ’em!) and while they don’t show up in this selfie, believe me, they’re there, alive and kicking!
In a beautiful coincidence, I share this birthdate with my beloved Scotch collie Lucy.
She’ll turn six!
I have a feeling I’ll be moved to write something here as that day approaches…stay tuned.
And most importantly, I hope each of you reading this is doing well.
If you’re struggling like I’ve been struggling, I hope our struggles ease as the spring approaches! 🌻🌞
I’m not a patient person by any means, but I liked this image/quote all the same:
Lots of XO (and patience) to you,
Thanks for joining my “Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my previous post on Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder for a book summary and “quotable quotes”.
As you’re reading Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder by Dyane Harwood in bed (or in your favorite armchair), feel free to share these picture books with your children.
For every “mommy book” read, I’ll suggest a “me book” for your children with a similar theme. It is my hope that this “Mommy and Me” book club is a fun activity for you and your children.
Picture Books About Overcoming Mental Illnesses; Bipolar Disorder
1. The Bipolar Bear Family: When a Parent Has Bipolar Disorder (2006) | Angela Holloway
A young cub struggles to make sense of his mother’s behavior and her…
View original post 984 more words
Hi everyone! I hope you’re doing well.
Yes, my blog is still on hiatus, but I had to share the awesome blogger Stay-in-Bed Mom’s thoughtful, wonderful post about “Birth of a New Brain.”
I’m honored “Birth of a New Brain” made the cut for her blog’s “Worth Staying Up Late” to Read Category – hurrah! (Stay-in-Bed Mom knows her check is in the mail….I’m just kidding; really, I am!)
I loved reading the “Quotable Quotes” she selected from my book— I totally forgot I had written most of them, LOL!.
Be sure to check out Stay-in-Bed Mom’s “Mommy and Me” Book Club to find out what book she suggests (the “me book”) for your children that has a theme connected with”Birth of a New Brain. “
This extraordinary mom is also on Instagram & Facebook.
Reading this beautifully written, educational post was the best part of my day – thanks again, Stay-in-Bed Mom! And to all of you, lots of love and take care.
Thanks for joining my“Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my thoughts on the previous book, Where the Crawdads Sing. While you’re reading Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, don’t forget to share these picture books [coming soon!] with your children that relate in theme!
Title:Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder
Page No.:272 pages
Publisher:Post Hill Press
Price: $15.19 (Amazon)
Genres:nonfiction; mental health
When a new mother becomes manic overnight from a rare form of bipolar disorder, she stops at nothing to find the mental stability she needs to stay alive.
After the birth of her baby triggers a manic maelstrom, Dyane Harwood struggles to survive the bewildering highs and crippling lows of her brain’s turmoil. Birth of a…
View original post 1,299 more words
I hope you’re doing well.
Although I’m still on hiatus, I couldn’t resist sharing a Q & A I did last week with Mental Melissa. I hope you’ll visit Melissa’s awesome, compelling, and honest blog so you can get to know her.
I love her Instagram tagline:
“Bipolar, Depression & Anxiety. Mama bear who is stumbling, thriving & surviving.” (@mental_melisssa)
You can listen to Melissa’s podcast on ITunes or Spotify.
Here’s the link to our Q &A below — take care & lots of love,
p.s. I’m on Instagram—you can find me at @dyaneharwood
The following link will lead you to a unique review written by Jennifer, a blogger who specializes in book reviews and book news.
Please go visit her blog, take a peek, and comment telling her she sure knew what she was doing when she reviewed my book. 😊 (Just kidding!)
Take care and thanks for stopping by my blog.
Ah yes, here’s the latest Lucy picture wearing a scarf styled by yours truly.
It stayed on her for about 10 seconds.
Please visit Brandy’s new blog Live Mentally Well. It’s another excellent blog and here’s an excerpt from her About page:
Welcome to Live Mentally Well. I’m Brandy. Like you, I struggle every day to get well and stay well, go to work, and take care of my family. I developed Dissociative Disorder as a young child. Like PTSD, Dissociative Disorder is a result of some form of trauma which for me was child abuse. Later in childhood, I developed Social Anxiety and finally Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Just when I thought I was out of the woods I was hit with a new diagnosis. I developed Postpartum Bipolar Disorder which later became Bipolar I Disorder. So 15 years ago I desperately began seeking mental wellness. I have been in recovery now for many years. Recovery means something different for many people. For me, it means making a commitment to mental wellness, learning about my mental illnesses, close monitoring, working with the mental health professionals, and using coping skills and tools to compensate for symptoms and medication side effects.
From my thrill-a-minute life, I want to bring you the knowledge of a former mental health nurse and the real life experience of a mental health consumer. I have been actively speaking out for years about mental health stigma by openly sharing my mental illness throughout life. I want to be a voice for all the mental health consumers out there that aren’t able to speak out.
I hope you enjoy reading Live Mentally Well. The areas I am focusing on are, Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression, Navigating Mental Health, Trauma, and Ramblings in Recovery. Ramblings in Recovery is an update of whatever I’m thinking about or dealing with.I hope you will share your stories with me as well. I look forward to hearing them. Leave questions, comments, and prayer requests down below. Suggestions for new posts are welcome as well.
I’m extremely grateful to receive two amazing reviews in one week from Samantha (My Bipolar Mind) and Brandy, who also had a father with bipolar disorder. Once again, thank you Brandy!!!!
Hope this brief video of me and Lucy makes sense! I’m sorry that yesterday’s 300th post was confusing. I created my WordPress blog in 2008. I only wrote three posts and then I became too depressed to write. I didn’t blog again until 2011. Once again, I wrote a couple posts and took yet another depression-related hiatus.
I returned to blogging in December, 2013. Three time’s truly the charm…I was able to stick with it! Yesterday’s 300th post was a revised version of my very 1st blog post that I published in December, 2013. Today’s post is a revision of post #2. I’ll be publishing a couple more revised posts to complete the story. If you understand this, you get an A+! 😉 Thanks so much for reading and for your comments – I hope that you have a great day! Dyane
Hell in Paradise – Part One: Tsunamis of the Heart and Land
Our November, 2013 family trip to Kona, Hawaii was significant for several reasons. The first reason was that we had to postpone the trip three times due to my summer hospitalizations for a bipolar depression relapse. The relapse occurred while I was tapering off lithium. I became manic and then went in the opposite direction, down to the very bottom of hopelessness.
The second reason was that my mother-in-law had passed away a few months prior to our trip. We wanted to bring her ashes to Kona. She worked in the Kona area for over a decade, and it held a special place in her heart.
A week before we took off for Hawaii, my Parnate “miracle” had stopped working, and my bipolar depression returned. I couldn’t help but note the irony of the situation: here I was, about to visit one of the most magnificent places on Earth, and I was depressed yet again.
Once we settled in our rental in Holualoa, Kona I did some internet research. I found that some people took larger doses of Parnate than I was taking – up to twice as much. I was able to get ahold of Dr. D. while we were there.
(A sidenote: Holualoa means “long sled run” and is a fitting description of where we stayed. We were located in the Kona coffee region and our rental was a stunning coffee farm high above the coast.)
Anyway, I asked Dr. D. if I could raise the Parnate up 10 mg for a total of 40 mg a day. He gave me his go-ahead. It turned out the dosage made me feel much worse. I had terrible form of agitated insomnia.
The eighteen wild turkeys who roamed the coffee plantation were noisy each night. While their gobbling sounds were cute during the day, they kept me awake and were anything but charming at night. There were also plenty of tropical birds who loved to chirp the night away.
Meanwhile, my depression wasn’t going anywhere. I returned to 30 mg of Parnate/day.
I knew I should’ve felt grateful for being in Hawaii. The fact that I felt so bad did nothing to assuage my guilt. My brain synapses, which had been working so well at the beginning of the month, were stuck in a morass once again.
I couldn’t think of anything to say to anyone during the long car trips we took around the island. I couldn’t escape with a good book, which to me was pure torture.
When I started taking Parnate I stopped drinking alcohol cold-turkey, as alcohol is a deadly mix with this MAOI medication, so I couldn’t turn to margaritas to relax. (And that was a very good thing that I couldn’t drink my blues away!)
Although I went for a thirty-minute walk amongst the coffee trees each morning, I ate tons of unhealthy treats such as chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and Kona coffee ice cream. During some fleeting moments, I was able to appreciate the grandeur of the island. I noticed my girls’ joyful laughter when they went boogie boarding, but still…I wanted a do-over!
This photo of our girls was taken on Hilo’s beach on the Big Island. We visited Hilo twice during our trip. Due to its history of deadly tsunamis, Hilo was particularly significant to me.
Ever since I was a little girl growing up in Los Angeles, I was very aware of the existence of tsunamis. I asked my father if a tsunami could ever reach our home that was perched on the edge of the deep Las Pulgas Canyon near the ocean. He told me repeatedly that we would be safe, but deep down I didn’t believe him.
I had recurring tsunami dreams despite my Dad’s reassurance. When I was older, I pored over books about tsunami history and I watched documentaries about these terrifying “harbor waves” (Tsunami means harbor wave in Japanese). I was so fascinated and obsessed by this topic that sometimes I wondered whether I died in a tsunami in a past life!
When I moved to Santa Cruz and experienced the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, I was so terrified that I forgot about all my tsunami lore and did the worst thing possible in a tsunami zone – I sprinted to West Cliff Drive which overlooked the ocean. This scenic road (which is shown during the opening credits of the film The Lost Boys) was two blocks away from my apartment. I ran out of the building as soon as the first tremor ended. I felt drawn to the sea instead of safer, higher ground.
If there *had* been a tsunami, I would have been toast!
While in Hilo the first time, we visited one of its main beaches. Most of the Hilo beaches are nowhere as gorgeous as the beaches on the other side of the Big Island, but their warm water temperatures are awesome.
I felt so down that I didn’t even put on my brand-new, shimmery blue Speedo suit. I plopped down on the sand while my girls and husband frolicked in the water. It struck me that I was sitting in the very spot where the devastating 1946 and 1960 tsunamis had blasted in. I became morbid, thinking that maybe it would be okay to die in tsunami after all, since I had lost hope that my depression would lift.
I continued ruminating how people must have died in the very place where I was sitting. I’ve known for years that Hilo was the home of the Pacific Tsunami Museum, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to visit it. The first time we went to Hilo I was so apathetic and depressed that I told my husband we didn’t have to check out the museum. He was surprised, to say the least, as he was well-acquainted with my tsunami obsession. He had plenty of times to hear about it during our fifteen-year-long relationship.
When we returned to Hilo a second time, it seemed ridiculous not to visit the Tsunami Museum, so off we went. I didn’t think our girls would be interested in the subject. Moreover, I was concerned the Pacific Tsunami Museum might be too scary for them, but fortunately they were up for the visit.
A spirited retired docent who had been an elementary school principal spent time with the girls. She showed them kid-friendly exhibits about the science of earthquakes and waves. I shuffled around the rest of the museum, scared to make eye contact with anyone, wishing a wave would swallow me up then and there.
Update 9/23/15: Now that I’m doing well, I hope and pray that there won’t be any tsunamis in our area anytime soon! There was a tsunami in our harbor in 2011, but luckily I was high up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, safe and sound.
How did I get better? I promise to reveal more in the next installment.
To be continued…
Dyane Leshin-Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Walker Karraa (author of the acclaimed Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women’s Stories of Trauma and Growth) will be published by Post Hill Press next year.