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

 

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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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Validated!

 

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If we don’t ask for what we need, we usually won’t get it. ¬†Yes, that’s an simple truism, but when we start incorporating it into our lives and ask for what we need, awfully nice things can happen, both big and small.

It hasn’t been easy for me to ask for what I’ve needed, for I’ve often felt unworthy and I’ve feared rejection.

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Yesterday I blogged that¬†I emailed an Associated Press journalist named Frazier Moore. ¬†I contacted him to ask if he would consider changing his writing terminology in regard to bipolar disorder. ¬† His review of the new ABC television show¬†Black Box was¬†titled “Bipolar Doctor” and there were other phrases in the piece¬†such as “bipolar people”, etc. ¬†I explained in detail why I prefer to say ¬†“I have bipolar.” instead of “I am bipolar”.

My post about this topic can be found here:

http://www.ibpf.org/blog/i-am-bipolar-i-am-blessed-it-and-get-it-over-itis

After emailing the journalist, I got on with my day. ¬†I let the whole matter go – I didn’t even expect a reply. ¬†By simply writing my email, I experienced a nice¬†catharsis. ¬†As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, ¬†I received a courteous response from Frazier. ¬†He agreed with me! ¬†Frazier wrote that in his future articles he’d take my point and “aim to be more sensitive in writing about this subject in the future…”

Super-cool!

Every success inspires me, and my small victory with Frazier fired me up to ask people more often about matters important to my heart.

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This past month I asked  to have postpartum bipolar disorder (PPBD) be officially recognized by the most influential non-profit addressing pregnancy/postpartum issues facing mothers: Postpartum Progress.

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The Postpartum Progress website states:

“We offer in-depth information, community and hope for pregnant and new moms with¬†postpartum depression¬†and all other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth (including postpartum anxiety, postpartum OCD, depression during pregnancy, post-adoption depression, postpartum PTSD, depression after miscarriage or perinatal loss and postpartum psychosis)…. We are fiercely proud to be the world‚Äôs most widely-read blog dedicated to these illnesses, with more than 1.1 million pageviews annually.”¬†

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “pooh-poohed” when I’ve mentioned I have postpartum bipolar disorder to others, either face-to-face or through writing. ¬†Hardly anyone has heard about this postpartum mood disorder. ¬†However, I feel excluded that my mood disorder is not found in the list in the above paragraph. ¬†It’s nearly impossible for me to explain my feelings of feeling a sense of invalidation in the postpartum world to my family and friends.

What has helped me the most when it comes to my diagnosis is to bring my experience out into the open and write about it. ¬†Writing is not only validating; when I hear from another mother who has read my writing and has also experienced postpartum bipolar disorder, I feel like I’ve found a member of my tribe.

Last March Cristi Comes, a content editor for the Postpartum Progress website and founder of Motherhood Unadorned, gave me the opportunity to write for Postpartum Progress about PPBD.

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/story-postpartum-bipolar-disorder

This was the big break I had been wanting so badly!   I submitted my piece about postpartum bipolar disorder to Cristi, and she and Postpartum Progress founder Katherine Stone published it on the website.  I received great feedback and comments from other mothers with PPBD.

After my piece was published on Postpartum Progress, I stepped outside my comfort zone, and asked Katherine to please add PPBD to their list of mental illnesses afflicting mothers, and she did! ¬†That may seem like a minor triumph, but for me it was a giant step for humankind! ¬†If I didn’t force myself to ask, it wouldn’t have happened.

So I invite you to join me in moving forward¬†together to ask for something you normally wouldn’t ask for – services, favors, money, guidance – whatever we want! In the comments tell me what you want to ask for and I’ll support you in your vision. ¬†I’m currently asking for donations for my Postpartum Progress¬†Climb Out of the Darkness¬†walk that I’m doing on June 21, 2014.

I¬†loathe asking for money, but I’m doing it anyway because it truly is for a worthy cause; it’s not for me to spend on some fancy designer shoes. ¬†It’s easier for me to ask via social media, I must admit, so I’m going to challenge myself and ask three people face-to-face in the coming week if they care to donate. ¬†I’ll let you know what happens!

For more information about my June 21st walk for Climb Out of the Darkness and to donate please visit:

http://www.postpartumprogress.com/join-climb-out-of-the-darkness-2014#comment-18563

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