A Dose of Summer Fun After Bullsh*t-Induced Bingeing

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Avi and I chillin’ on the outdoor patio at Pono Hawaiian Grill

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The large patio was the perfect place to relax while Avi & Rilla enjoyed Da Lanikai Poke Stack. It has sashimi-grade ahi tuna, avocado, seaweed salad & more from “da poke bar”

Thanks and Mahalo to those of you who read my last novella post!

Special thanks to everyone who offered helpful insights. I’m extremely grateful for your support, wisdom, and humor.

I binged last Thursday and Friday night because I held my anger in for too many days in a row. I waited a week without expressing my rage until meeting with my counselor. (Um, that was not the greatest coping method!)

Before last Thursday, I had been binge-free during the past four months; it was a personal record, and one that was deeply meaningful.

After literally working my derrière off to lose 35 pounds, I was relieved I stopped bingeing after the second evening. I even told my family I binged – that was a first. (Previously, I was secretive about my compulsive overeating.) They encouraged me to go easy on myself, which I’ve tried my best to do since then.

What has helped my mood immensely is keeping busy and having fun with my two girls. 

I’ve been making up for all the summers I was unable to do a thing because my hospitalizations for bipolar depression. Those agonizing separations from my little ones will always haunt me. So you can understand how I can’t begin to explain how good it feels to get out and spend time with my daughters despite my social anxiety/generalized anxiety. (These natural lozenges help me when I’m really freaking out!)

I took Avi and her friend to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk while Rilla was petting snakes and tarantulas at Science Camp. (!) If you glance at these shots I took on their monitor (sorry for the blur), you’ll see that the girls had a bit more fun than I did on the Boardwalk’s famed, ninety-two-year old wooden rollercoaster, The Giant Dipper.

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What was more my style was driving an hour to gorgeous Pacific Grove to meet one of my best friends. (She plays a memorable role in my upcoming memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder.) 

Just before we arrived at the beach, I drove by Monterey Bay Urgent Care. That was where I used to go for my required physicals so I could receive my ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). As the great 80’s band Naked Eyes sang, there’s always something there to remind me!

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We caught up on life while the girls enjoyed all the beach had to offer…

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 Rilla was only a few feet away from a harbor seal!

Yesterday we strolled around Santa Cruz’s outdoor Pacific Garden Mall which is full of tourists, college students, yuppies, street performers, and sadly, many homeless people. We visited the indie Bookshop Santa Cruz to pick up our Harry Potter Festival tickets. (Yes.)

This “Staff Pick” display cracked me up!

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Bookshop Santa Cruz holds many positive memories for me. I’ve been visiting it since I moved here to attend college in 1989. Yesterday I watched their staff set up chairs for Julie Barton, the evening’s featured author. She was there to promote her bestselling memoir about her depression experience: Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me From Myself. (Yes, I’m jealous of her!)

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This topic has been covered years ago by BP (Bipolar) Magazine blogger Bruce Goldstein in his book Puppy Chow Is Better Than Prozac: The True Story of a Man and the Dog Who Saved His Life.

Sometimes I wonder if my book’s cover should have a big picture of my photogenic Scotch collie Lucy – who cares if she’s not central to the theme – it would sell a helluva lot more copies than if it had my visage on it! 😉 A SocialMediaToday article, “Put A Dog On It”, proves my point! 

Julie Barton’s book cover reminded me of a book I bought last year at the Catamaran Writing Conference titled The Wrong Dog Dream. I heard an acclaimed author/writing instructor speak named Jane Vandenburgh – she was incredible. Check out her book cover:

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Recently our most famous local author Jonathan Franzen spoke at Bookshop Santa Cruz about his latest book Purity. (He does not have nor needs a dog on the cover – he wrote a little book you may have heard of called The Corrections.)

Franzen’s longtime partner Kathryn Chetkovich was my college writing teacher, and get this – she actually liked my writing when I was nineteen and didn’t think I could ever write professionally! Chetkovich wrote Envy, a famous essay for Granta Magazine about how she reacted to her partner’s skyrocketing writerly fame – you should read it.

Now I wish I kept in touch with her. I admit I’m shameless when it comes to finding those who could help promote my book! Oh well.

I’ve seen quite a few amazing authors speak at Bookshop Santa Cruz over the decades. Who knows, maybe one day their picky staff will allow me to speak about my book. (I’ll bribe ’em!)

Apart from browsing bookstores, screaming on rollercoasters, and soaking up the sun at the beach, I have two items for the “Miracle of Miracles” category.

I took the girls roller skating (let me tell you….that’s a workout!)

The little, out-of-control skater kids who raced past me were the epitome of scary! And speaking of scary, I cleaned our decrepit fridge. (And no, I wasn’t manic. I was groggy as hell, LOL! I’m groggy every day!)

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It’s no lie! Hopefully it’ll stay clean for longer than two weeks!

Today I’m taking the girls to see a matinee (Ice Age: Collision Course in 3D – yikes! But they’re begging me to see it – I can’t resist their soft, little hugs – I’m a sucker!)

I also plan to catch up on your blogs and your comments sometime today and over the weekend – hurrah! Now you know why I haven’t had time to do much besides gallivant about town.

Sending you my love, & see you next week!

Dyane

I want to send a special shout-out to Bradley of the terrific blog Insights From a Bipolar Bear. We’ve been encouraging each other in our free online Lose It! group as we work on our weight loss/exercise goals. If you’re interested in joining us, mention it in the comments and I’ll send you an invite.

Thank you Bradley!!!

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

Got Internet Trolls? Meet Miss Lucy, J.D.!

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I’m Miss Lucy and I have a Juris Doctor degree! I’m ready to bring it on!

 

Internet Troll Defined: in internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, and by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Two studies published in 2013 and 2014 have found that people who are identified as trolls tend to have dark personality traits and show signs of sadism, antisocial behavior, psychopathy, and machiavellianism (the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or general conduct).

My recent Huffington Post article about how ECT saved my life brought out all kinds of nasties, which I fully expected. Their mission is to find people like me who write online about positive ECT experiences, and then they spew lots of heinous comments. 

Enter a person with a lot of free time on her hands. She hails from the  remote Australian outback. I’ll call her “Olivia Newton”.

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G’day, mate! Olivia Newton’s my name and trolling’s my game!

I proclaim Olivia Newton as the winner of the “Most HuffPost Comments Written Award” (20+) and “Most Bizarre HuffPost Comments, Many of Which Have ALL-CAPS” Award.

Olivia Newton’s remarks had the flavor of Dr. Evil’s introductory speech in the film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.

During a father-son therapy group brilliantly led by actress Carrie Fisher, Dr. Evil reveals his bizarre childhood in his group introduction. Dr. Evil depicts his father vividly and says, “He’d make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark.”

That line particularly reminded me of Olivia Newton’s comment which asserted that “Bipolar disorder was invented in 1995!” 

If you’ve never seen Dr. Evil in group therapy, it’s worth watching!  

Ever since my article was published, I was handling the negative comments fairly well. After reading the first two lines of a comment, I could tell which way it was going. If the comment seemed respectful, I’d read the whole thing and sometimes reply. If not, well, buh-bye! 

The day I read Olivia Newton’s first three Huffington Post comments, I tried to be compassionate and give her a chance.

At first I replied to her, although it was obvious that something was way off in her noggin. (I shouldn’t talk, but you know what I mean…) She left more comments the next day, and more after that, and more!!! One of Olivia Newton’s comments falsely claimed I was paid by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) to lead my free support group. (I wish!)

Then I got an email notifying me that someone replied in response to a three-year-old Amazon book review I wrote about Dr. Liz Miller’s Mood Mapping.

It was Olivia Newton! She found my review, that wily Aussie, and wrote that I was a liar because my book review mentioned I didn’t take medications. 

After I wrote the Mood Mapping review, like many people with bipolar disorder, I attempted the no-medication route and I relapsed so badly I asked for ECT and meds to save my life.

But Olivia didn’t put two and two together, although one of my chickens could do it in her sleep. Her comment calling me other names that I’ll leave to your imagination crossed a line. Of course it was no surprise that she used ALL-CAPS.

I consulted with my lawyer Miss Lucy, J.D. She barked that she’d work with me pro bono, I mean pro doggie bone!

I briefly replied to Olivia Newton on Amazon. I explained I was off meds when I wrote my review, and that her comments had become defamatory. I told her I hired a lawyer and if she wrote any further comments about me on the internet, she’d be hearing from the lawyer.

I didn’t expect that to do a thing, but it hurt so good to write it! 

I wouldn’t have written it if she lived down the street – just sayin’. If she lived here I’d set her up with The Kraken Lady!

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After that hullabaloo was over, I let it go. Then, yesterday I visited my Huffington Post ECT article to check if there were any new comments.

I noticed that half the comments I saw a few days ago were missing. Why could that be?

Olivia Newton had erased all her comments! 

I visited my Amazon Mood Mapping book review. Her comment? Gone!

Miss Lucy saved the day!

I know that hiring a canine lawyer won’t always work in these situations, but for a fleeting moment I savored a feeling of justice.

Have a great weekend, my friends!

XO,

Dyane

Lucy also moonlights as a therapist – this collie is multitalented!

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

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