A Shameless Plea for Your Support! (Not $!) & Much More…

 

Dy & Lucy  kiss

Throughout my life I’ve been great at promoting others who I believe in with all my heart, whether it be their books, their causes, their blogs, their music, their food…whatever! ūüėČ

But when it comes to tooting my OWN horn,¬†it’s another story. ¬†However, today I’m in the mood to¬†toot away because Wendy W. Williamson, author of the bestselling memoir I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar and co-author with Honora Rose of the acclaimed¬†Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival: Tips for Living with Bipolar Disorder,¬†has nominated me for a WEGO Health Activist “Best in Show” Blog Award. ¬†

I normally post on Friday, but I’m so excited about this news that I’m firing off this post right now!!!

A WHAT-GO?  you might ask?

A WEGO!

Here’s more to know about WEGO: ¬†WEGO empowers health activists to help others. ¬†WEGO Health is a different kind of social network, built from the ground up for the community leaders, bloggers and tweeters who are actively involved in health online. WEGO Health is a platform for committed health advocates to foster new relationships, gain access to helpful resources, and to grow their communities.

To endorse me takes under thirty seconds. ¬†After you endorse me, you’re prompted to share the nice act you just did (and to ask for endorsements on my behalf) via your Facebook and Twitter accounts, etc.

To endorse me (and to nominate/check out other worthy candidates – check out the misc. categories on the Wego site!) please visit:

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4811

Wendy wrote an incredible nomination blurb that I might wind up having tattooed on my face…although it’s long, so my derriere would be a more fitting location – ¬†here it is in all its glory – my head swells up every time I read it:

Dyane’s site is the best out there. I love that she tells it like it is and supports her fellow followers. A gifted writer, she clearly conveys through humor and honesty what is happening in her world and the world around us. Dyane taps in to our feelings beautifully, saving us from emotional isolation. Activist, champion, Dyane is both and more.”

You may be wondering what does a WEGO winner actually get.  Well, they each get $50,000 and a lifetime supply of chocolate!  No, just kidding.  

Here’s what WEGO has to say on the matter:

“Winners will be publically announced during our ceremonies in March, 2015 and each winner will receive special Health Activist Awards business cards signifying them as the winner of this year’s program, a donation to their Health Activist, a feature on WEGO Health’s blog and social channels, special access to WEGO Health opportunities throughout the year – including chances to speak at or attend conferences.”

(This would be awesome because I haven’t had a business card in a decade! ūüėČ No, really, an association with WEGO would allow me to reach more women with postpartum bipolar disorder and beyond….it would be fantastic!)

So I’m a happy camper this morning. ¬†Once again, I’m amazed by what happens when we connect with others through the internet who inspire us. When I first read Wendy’s engrossing memoir I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar,¬†I found myself unable to put it down and I finished it the same day. I never imagined that I’d be in touch with this author, let alone be gifted with a wonderful friendship and writing mentorship with her. ¬†

The same thing happened to me in terms of inspiration when I contacted Jennifer Marshall of the Bipolar Mom Life blog. ¬†She’s also a 2013 WEGO Health Activist finalist and creator of the groundbreaking “This Is My Brave” Show. ¬†There are so many positive things I could write about Jenn & her mental health advocacy that it would take a glowing blog post to begin doing her justice, and that’s just what I did – I wrote one. ¬†See here for¬†my post about Jenn:

https://dyaneharwood.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/the-blog-that-ignited-my-writing-spark-bipolar-mom-life-and-the-this-is-my-brave-show/-

Jennifer and “This Is My Brave” co-executive producer Anne Marie Ames are bringing the show to other cities in 2015, & you might want to participate. ¬†

The show’s concept can be viewed here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=186WMMJI-xQ

The entire “This Is My Brave” premiere show is on YouTube and it features my friends Elaina J. Martin (“Being Beautifully Bipolar” blog on Psych Central & http://www.blog.elainaj.com/) and¬†Meagan Barnes (http://www.anxietyangel.com/) :

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uag3WVfRMZE

So I’d like to dedicate this post to four extraordinary women who have made a huge, positive difference in my life over the past year:

MY FRIEND WENDY K. WILLIAMSON, WRITER EXTRAORDINAIRE

MY FRIEND DR. WALKER KARRAA, FOUNDER OF STIGMAMA.COM, AND AUTHOR OF¬†TRANSFORMED BY POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: WOMEN’S STORIES OF TRAUMA AND GROWTH¬†TO BE PUBLISHED BY PRAECLARUS PRESS THIS FALL, 2014¬†

http://www.drwalkerkarraa.com/

MY FRIEND, THE BLOGGER KITT O’MALLEY ¬†

http://kittomalley.com/

AND MY FRIEND JENNIFER MARSHALL, ANOTHER WRITER EXTRAORDINAIRE, FOR HELPING IGNITE MY WRITING SPARK THAT WAS LATENT FOR YEARS THANKS TO BIPOLAR DEPRESSION!  

http://bipolarmomlife.com/

and a special thanks goes to Cristi Comes, creator of the “Motherhood Unadorned” blog (http://www.motherhoodunadorned.com/)and founder of the Mental Health Blogging Network. Cristi’s encouragement, advocacy, and networking have been invaluable to me.

Last but not least, I must thank¬†LUCY THE CANINE MUSE – I can’t leave my furry girl out because she sits on my foot while I write, and she makes me so happy! ¬† Lucy does not have a blog or website at this time, but watch out – she never ceases to amaze me with her puppy brilliance.

LOVE TO YOU ALL,

Dyane

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Hoping for a cure for bipolar – why the heck not?

imgres-3imgresimgres-2Last Thursday evening, I watched the first live episode of the “The Bipolar Panel Project”, an online series created by Jared Wilmer of “I Am Not Crazy” (www.not-crazy.org/)¬†.

The panel featured Jennifer Killi Marshall (“Bipolar Mom Life” blogger & the creator of the “This Is My Brave” show), Natasha Tracy (“The Bipolar Burble” blogger), Andy Behrman (author of the awesome memoir Electroboy) and Bret Bernhoft (founder of the “Being Bipolar” community & a medical cannabis advocate.). ¬†Each panelist discussed his/her background, and then Jared chose viewer-submitted questions for the panel to answer.

A question by “Kevin” was presented to the panel:

One of my big questions about bipolar disorder is because there is no true cure for the disorder, why should we go through a lifetime of perpetually trying to do the impossible…impossible being curing bipolar disorder?”

While I huffed, puffed and wondered, “huh?” (I was using my elliptical while watching the show) Natasha Tracy addressed Kevin’s question.

She replied,So we’re not trying to do the impossible; I’m not trying to cure bipolar disorder; I know that’s not possible and that’s not going to happen. ¬†What I’m trying to do is live my best life possible, so I’m trying to get the best treatment that I can, be as successful as I can, and live a life that I personally consider to be fulfilling. ¬†So the goal isn’t impossible – the goal is to live your best life.” ¬†

After listening to Natasha’s quote twelve times to make sure I typed it correctly, I believe that she was advising viewers not to get discouraged with a “cure” concept, and to focus on the here and now. ¬†However, I felt that her answer was incomplete. ¬†She could have mentioned how there¬†are¬†numerous major research organizations (The Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund @ the University of Michigan, CREST BD, and the UCLA Mood Disorders Research Program to name a few…) that are aggressively seeking a bona fide cure to this treacherous illness.

I know it’s unethical to lead people on with false hope about curing such a complex brain disorder. ¬†I’ve never even thought of a cure as being a possibility until quite recently, but I must admit it’s a nice subject to ponder. ¬†It’s particularly poignant for me to imagine a cure since I have two daughters with an approximately 25% chance of inheriting bipolar disorder.

You simply never know what to expect in life.  If you told me fifteen years ago about the existence of the internet and my precious Kindle, I would never have believed you!  Flight, the polio vaccine, and many other advances of all kinds were once thought to be impossible.

Why not a cure for bipolar disorder?  

A few days ago I was at my monthly check-in appointment with my psychiatrist. ¬†I felt so thankful that it was a “shooting the breeze” type of session rather than the crisis meetings we used to have. ¬†I brought up how ever since I was diagnosed with bipolar, I felt like I was “damaged goods”. ¬†Since we were almost out of time, my doctor suggested I explore the concept further with my therapist, as I see her more often.

I thought about this theme of “damaged goods” as I drove towards home. ¬†Let’s say a cure for bipolar comes our way. ¬†Would a cure increase my self-esteem? ¬†Would a cure give me back the past eight years since my postpartum bipolar disorder emerged? ¬†Would a cure make my life easy? ¬†Of course not. ¬†But it would be so nice to give up my fear of relapse, cease taking meds, and stop thinking about bipolar so much of the time. ¬†It really would be lovely.

So I’ll let myself dream a little. ¬†There’s a saying, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” ¬†I hope all those bipolar researchers are dreaming their little buns off!

You can watch the first Bipolar Panel Project episode here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSEvjUrJU9c