Lucy & I Celebrate Our Birthdays Today!

 

Lucy Soul

The birthday girl – I call this shot “Soulful Lucy” 

Two years ago on March 18th, a gorgeous, loving Scottish Collie was born!

Forty-six years ago on March 18th, I made my Earthly debut. 

Chillin’ with my Dad

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The words of Toni Childs (one of my favorite musicians) come to mind: 

Let me welcome you to this world

And let me tell you of my world

How it is and how it is

You want to know now?

I want to say that it’s a bad world

And tell you that it’s so, so bad

I don’t want to disappoint you my child

But this world is gonna take you gonna take you by storm, child

You will be hurt and there will be pain, yeah

But there will be love just the same, yeah

Welcome to the world, my boy and girl

Welcome to the world, welcome to the world

Toni Childs, Welcome to the World  

This song is from Toni’s amazing album The Woman’s Boat. The video of Welcome to the World is mega-surreal, to say the very least! Directed by the famous Italian Stefano Salivati, I guarantee you’ve never seen anything quite like it.

 

As a child I had some memorable birthday parties…

FIFTH BIRTHDAY

When I was five my parents hired “Archie”, a creepy clown who was a big hit!

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I look a tad perplexed, don’t I?

TWELFTH BIRTHDAY

When I turned twelve, I invited my closest friends to come over to my house for chocolate cake. On a whim, everyone except for latecomer Tina dressed up in my Mom’s eccentric 70’s outfits. We slathered on grease paint makeup left over from Halloween. Since we lived in Southern California, naturally we went to the beach. Along the edge of the Pacific Ocean we played in the sand like toddlers, and built sandcastles. It was one of my best, most carefree birthdays.

 

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My alter ego…I’m not sure what look I was going for, exactly, but I sure liked those black dots!

SWEET SIXTEENTH BIRTHDAY

My sixteenth birthday was a mess. It was 1986, the year I was a spoiled brat. I demanded that my parents throw me a birthday party at an expensive restaurant.

I bullied Mom and Dad into shelling out far too much money for mediocre Mexican food at Santa Monica’s Huntley Hotel. The management failed to tell us they were in the process of redecorating the dining room, so it was super-shabby instead of its usual state of super-sleek.  

FiveIf you stare hard you’ll note the blotchy walls; at that point I didn’t care what the room looked like; I wanted the excruciating thing over!

Single and lonely like many sixteen-year-olds, the one person I wanted to attend my shindig was nowhere to be seen. “Red”, my first real love, had dumped me a few weeks before my birthday. He decided to date one of my closest friends and she had no problem with it.

To top things off, my parents surprised me with what appeared to be a singing gigolo named “Mr Wonderful”. Mr. Wonderful was anything but wonderful. I would’ve preferred a singing gorilla, a singing banana slug, or even a singing clown.  

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Gotta sing! Mr. Wonderful, the singing telegram

 

FORTY-THIRD BIRTHDAY

Then there was my manic birthday party: March 18, 2013. While slowly tapering off meds (something I DO NOT recommend to anyone!) I dropped from 155 to 120 pounds. I couldn’t see that I had become almost skeletal. There’s a lot more I could add about this time in my life, but in a nutshell, I had taken my weight loss way too far. 

Here I am during the hypomanic phase of my tapering experiment. Four months later I’d be hospitalized for bipolar depression and ask for electroconvulsive therapy yet again.

Dyane H

 

Lesson learned! I never demonize my meds!

It’s going to be hard to top this year’s birthday after what happened on my 45th birthdaybut I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to forget about making comparisons, those odious things. 

And who knows what might happen?

***Awesome St. Patrick’s Day Update***

I received a fantastic gift this morning. I was notified by Huffington Post that my first article was published!

If you could visit this link to my article “Postpartum Bipolar: The Invisible Postpartum Mood Disorder” and comment/like/share/“Become A Fan”, that would be FANTASTIC!

(Not to sound greedy, but the more comments etc. I receive, the better.)

The article was chosen as a Featured Blog Post!

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As long as it’s a relatively drama-free day, there’s chocolate for me, and a dog treat for Lucy, I’ll be extremely grateful. 

 

Great show, catchy song, hip band…but what do you think of that dress???

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Thanks Mom for your encouragement & love!

Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in Fall, 2017.

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Random Acts of Kindness- Yes Please !

I couldn’t resist reblogging my friend Zephyr’s post “Random Acts of Kindness – Yes Please!”, not only because she pays me beautiful compliments, but I thought her sharing about her birthday will move you as it did with me.

I originally planned for my Monday post to examine my humiliating experiences which took place over the weekend.  It’s hard for me to type out the words, but here goes: my precious four-month-old American Farm Collie puppy Lucy got kicked out of her puppy training class at Petsmart.

The afternoon on which that fateful event occurred “brought up stuff” for me. It felt like a test of some kind; perhaps a test to see if I’d go freaky-deaky-ballistic in public or not!  (You’ll find out soon!)

Although the Petsmart incidents felt painful, I knew in the back of my bummed-out brain that I could blog about them and get feedback from my awesome blogger friends.  So stay tuned for that piece – it’ll hopefully show up in your WordPress Reader/email box this Friday.

In the meantime, please read on and feel welcome to comment – I’m a comment junkie and I will reply to every comment, although it takes me longer than I like to do so these days.

Have a good rest of your Monday!!!
Dyane 🙂

Struggles of a Bipolar Woman

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For all of those who read the bipolar blogs, they know the title is stolen. I stole it from my dear friend and one of the most accomplished writers I know, Dyane Harwood. Her blog provides us with an amazing experience.

On the 7th of July Dyane wrote an amazing piece called the random acts of kindness, in which she explains how people’s kindness had affected her. Here is a link to that amazing post “Random Acts of Kindness-Yes, Please!” (I don’t wanna explain more cz that would ruin her perfectly written posts)

While Dyane is looking at others act of kindness, she forgets how kind and awesome of a person she is. Recently she did a random act of kindness for me. I am new in the Michigan area and I do not have a lot of friends. Also I have a good degree of social anxiety…

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Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care – gimme some!

imgresI’ve always loved the very sound of the famous Shakespearean line from Macbeth:

“Sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care.”

Although I have a degree in English literature and I read Macbeth, that was over twenty years ago, so I’ve forgotten most of the play, but not that line.  “No Fear Shakespeare.com” and “italki.com” explained the full meaning of the words very well:

“Here Shakespeare means that sleep ‘knits up’ or secures what has become confused or tangled in our lives. (something that is raveled is tangled confused or knotted) Sleep brings loose ends together. It lets things settle down and smooths out what was giving us problems before we went to sleep.”

Oh wow, I’d kill for sleep like that.  My sleep has been much better since I started taking Seroquel at bedtime, but I often have what I call “Seroquel dreams” which are bizarre, slightly disturbing dreams.

I’m writing this post on my forty-fourth birthday.  I hoped that I’d wake up this morning after a decent’s night sleep, without too many freaky Seroquel dreams.  I was crossing fingers and toes that I’d leap out of bed refreshed and ready to start the day with a nice, sparkly attitude.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and as a result I’m a bit of a zombie.

Our two little girls like to take turns hopping into our bed at ungodly hours.  Time and time again, we lecture them about this, and explain how important it is for Mommy and Daddy to get enough sleep.  They promise us they’ll stop their interruptions, but their promises are made in vain.  We can’t lock them out of our room because our room is connected to theirs and there is no lock.  (Even if we had a lock, it wouldn’t solve the problem.)  When we insist that one or the other girl returns to her own bed, ear-splitting cries ensue and all in all, it’s not a pretty scenario.

It’s not a hopeless situation.  I know they will stop when they turn eighteen.

Meanwhile, besides the girls’ nighttime unpleasantries , my digestive system had unpleasantries of its own.  I had an upset tummy right before bedtime.  Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that I mussed up our bed at 2:00 a.m. Yes, me, not either of my children.

T.M.I.  Sorry.  Please forgive me.  (Can I blame my oversharing on my lack of sleep?)

Waking up at 2:00 a.m. scares me, because I know if I don’t go back to sleep, a bipolar mood swing could be triggered.  Like many people with bipolar disorder, I am incredibly sensitive to sleep loss.  I remember back in the early 1980’s my Dad, who also had bipolar, was prescribed sleep deprivation by his U.C.L.A. psychiatrist.  The doctors advised him to use sleep deprivation to lift his depression.  I don’t recall if sleep deprivation worked for Dad, but I know it would be absolutely disastrous for me.

Sleep deprivation actually triggered my bipolar mania.  In 2007, after I went into labor at 9:00 p.m., I didn’t sleep, and I became hypomanic.  Ultimately I became full-blown manic.  I experienced hypergraphia as well.  (Hypergraphia is compulsive writing triggered by changes in brain chemistry.  I’ve blogged about hypergraphia here: https://dyaneharwood.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/writerly-ramblings-and-hypergraphia-part-1/)

So, at 2:00 a.m. after cleaning up my mess, I was wide awake and I didn’t foresee sleep in my future anytime soon.  After hemming and hawing, I decided to take another 100 mg dose of Seroquel.  I thought that the extra amount would do the trick, although I was hesitant to pop the pill because I didn’t want to be super-groggy the next day.

It didn’t work.

I believe my insomnia culprit was a seemingly innocent cup of extra-strong Columbian coffee that I had a few hours after breakfast.  I grind our coffee beans daily, and yesterday I used a lot more than usual.  Not the smartest move.  I used the usual amount today and I’m hoping tonight is better on all counts.  I think I’ll sleep better as long as I don’t eat all of my velvety chocolate birthday cake and get high on sugar!

Thanks for reading, and please comment about what helps you sleep.

Sweet dreams!

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