Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

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I got the happy news today that I’ve been nominated for a “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”!  

I want to thank Labeled Disabled for totally making my day in nominating me!!!

Here’s the link to her amazing blog:

http://breakdownchick.wordpress.com

 

The rules in accepting this award is as follows:

  • Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
  • List the rules and display the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  • Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.  (You better believe I will!)

Seven (-ish) Facts About Dyane

1) I’ve written six original songs, sing and play a little guitar. (A clip of me singing my song “The End of the Day” is here: https://dyaneharwood.wordpress.com/2014/02/15/the-end-of-the-day-click-link-to-open-up-my-song)

2) I was filmed live for a New Zealand T.V. news program when I visited the North Island. (I was at  a music industry party.)

3) I studied for my pilot’s license when I was 23 and flew a Piper Cub airplane above Santa Cruz County.

4) I’ve sat on two toilet which were each used by two famous people I greatly admire! 🙂

5) I was an American Council on Exercise (A.C.E.) certified personal trainer.

6) I’ve met my all-time favorite author Madeleine L’Engle at her writing workshop – she said she liked my sonnet about dolphins!

7) I landed a publishing deal for a book in 2013, but I cancelled it due to bipolar relapse.  (I’m gonna get another one!;)

 

AND THE NOMINEES ARE... (Sorry if I left anyone out – I’m doing this in a rush!  I wish I could have listed 30 blogs!  The list is a tad bipolar-heavy, but hey – what can I say?  It’s my field of expertise, dont’cha know!  These are all truly wonderful, u nique and inspiring blogs that touch on all kinds of topics.)

1) Moorestorms Support for the Bipolar Parent

2) Kitt O’Malley

3) A Bipolars Reality

4) A Way With Words

5) Fleetiris

6) Struggles of Bipolar Woman

7) Passionate Reason (The blog of L.E. Henderson)

8) Come Unglued

9) Musings From A Ragged Soul

10) Bipolar, Unemployed and Lost

11) The bipolar mama

12) Motherhood Unadorned

13) Inside A Bipolar Mind

14) The REVELATION of Being BIPOLAR

15) Thinking about life

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The Lonely Calm Before the Puppy Storm

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This morning is the last morning our household will be dog-less for hopefully the next fifteen+ years.  Tonight we’ll pick up “Puppy”, name t.b.d.  I’m feeling really nervous about this change.  It’s silly, because I consider this to be a joyful occasion, and I’m excited to bring a puppy home.

There’s no need for me to feel insecure about my abilities as a dog owner.  I lovingly cared for my two dogs Shera and Tara for fifteen years, half of those years as a single gal.  I know I can be a great dog mom.  Despite my confidence, I’m freaked out all the same.

As I type away it occurs to me that change must be behind my anxiety.  I’ve read that positive change can be just as difficult as negative change.  I’m also wondering if PMS could be contributing to my uneasiness and heightened sensitivity.  While PMS could be a culprit, heck, I’m forty-four – for all I know, menopause might be heading on its merry way into my life.  But I hope NOT this year!!! Please God!

At the crack of dawn, my geologist husband jetted out the door to a work site.  I nagged and hurried our girls to get them ready for school.  Our home was filled with frenetic activity and LOTS of noise – our daughters are a handful, and they were amped up with anticipation about tonight’s furry arrival.

After I dropped them off at school, I realized I felt lonely and isolated; more than usual.  Returning to my cold, empty, dark, quiet home did not appeal to me at all.  Despite feeling on the verge of PMS-like tears, I visited one of my favorite coffee shops, Surf City Coffee Co., so I could sit around people and treat myself to a mocha.

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Surf City has a very mellow vibe which lends itself well to writing.  There’s free WiFi and I made sure to bring my laptop.  After I walked into Surf City, I received a providential sign from God that I was in the right place.  This event happened while I stood in line waiting to order.  The barista said loudly, out of the blue,

LITHIUM!

Some of you know that lithium is one of my primary meds for bipolar disorder.  My Dad took it long ago, although he suffered the classic side effect of shakiness.  That wasn’t good for his career as a professional violinist, but lithium helped him for a while.  I’ve taken lithium off and on during the past eight years.  My periodic blood level tests check out fine, my initial side effects (shakiness, some hair loss) subsided, and it has worked well for me, especially to prevent mania.  I’m still creative and I don’t feel flat while taking it, as some people unfortunately experience.  I also like the fact that it’s an “old-school” drug, it’s cheap and it comes in generic form.

I wondered why the barista said “lithium” so loudly for no apparent reason!  I laughed after she said it, as a matter of fact, because it simply tickled my fancy!

When it was my turn to order, I asked the barista why she belted out the word “lithium”.

“It’s the answer to our Question of the Day!” she answered cheerfully.

“Ahhhh.” I replied.  In my previous Surf City pitstops, I hadn’t noticed the obvious “Question of the Day” bulletin board hanging from the ceiling right in front of me.  This time I looked up at the board, which read, “At room temperature, what is the LIGHTEST solid element in terms of density?”  I didn’t know this fascinating fact about lithium until today!

After today, when I have my six-hour-long stretches alone at home, I’ll have some very-much-wanted, furry, loving company by my side.  It’s always nice to have quiet, solo time, and I’ll still arrange for that in the months ahead.  But I don’t think I’ll require 100%  alone time, sans dog, all that much.

As a longtime dog owner, I didn’t realize how much I missed having “dog energy” around me since Tara and Shera died six years ago.  Ever since then, I never openly acknowledged the fact that an important part of my life was missing: my pets.  My bipolar depression took over, similar to ooozing lava smothering the land, and depression obliterated my desire for a pet.  Last week I gave myself permission to open my heart to a pet again, and I’m counting the minutes to meeting our new family member.

As my fellow dog-loving friend Carrie said to me, “Spring is the perfect time to get a dog!” and she’s right. I’ve always considered spring to be a symbolic time of renewal.  (Carrie blog’s contains an intriguing animal telepathy post that can be found here: http://fleetiris.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/animal-telepathy/)

Having a pet also marks a positive step in my recovery with bipolar disorder.  I am strong and stable enough to be the primary caretaker of a puppy.  It feels really good to reach this point, and I’m excited to share with you what happens as I adjust to having a delightful “furry baby” charm her way into my heart…and shred some family heirlooms or what have you along the way! 😉

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Tired

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I’m tired today.  There’s no way around this fatigue.  I can only drink so much coffee until the caffeine infusion backfires and my stomach gets annoyed with me, so I’ve backed away from the coffee pot.  Luckily I don’t have to be “on” for any one, I don’t have to give any State of the Union speeches, and I don’t have to be at a job where I’m expected to perform.  I can be one with my banana slug neighbors.

I may have been bestowed with a Mental Health Hero Award yesterday, but today I feel like I’m just “regular folks”. Suffice it to say that I won’t be leaping over buildings in single bound wearing my pink cape anytime over this weekend.

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I think part of the reason I’m pooped out is due to the trigger I experienced regarding our friend’s suicide attempt on the first day of Mental Health Month.  We’ve also had quite a heat wave, with temperatures reaching the mid-80’s.  While I’ve made an effort to drink more water, the heat still affects me.  The final reason I’m so blahhh (and, my dear readers, you’ll be muttering “Duh!” after this part…) is that I had to take a little more Seroquel last night. I rarely do that, but once in a while it’s a necessity.  I’m grateful that I have Seroquel at my disposal because it has worked so well,  but it does have the sedating side effect.  It has helped me with both severe agitated insomnia and depression. So I’m not depressed.  Praise be!  I always get a little nervous writing that because I’ve been so used to saying how terribly depressed I am.  I’m just in low gear.

My feeling pooped out certainly doesn’t make for sparkling, dynamic, insightful writing.  Despite that fact, I’m following my beloved Madeleine L’Engle’s advice to write for thirty minutes a day. (Unless one is severely ill, of course!)  Which, thank the heavens, I’m not.  I apologize for this blog being so blah, but I’m sure you’ll understand and hopefully you’ll give me a reprieve of punishment!

When I read others’ blogs that are written when they’re having one of those days, I couldn’t care less about a post’s blahness if real feelings are revealed.  I actually prefer the “messy” blogs where innermost, raw feelings are exposed!  I connect with the “I feel like shit and I’m going to tell you why…” posts on a profoundly deep level. I love the fact that those kinds of posts aren’t sanitized like some of the glossy, cutesy, uber-witty blogs I’ve come across since exploring the blogosphere.

Yesterday I started following a spirited, brand-spankin’-new blogger MixtapeMasterJip-C. (Say that ten times fast!)  Mixtape apologized in the inaugural post for not having a “fancy” interface.  I commented that I didn’t require fanciness in order to follow a good blog – here’s Mixtape’s first post:

https://mixtapemasterjipc.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/the-mind-of-mixtape-master-jip-c/

As long as the blogger’s writing is authentic and the subjects are ones that I can relate to more or less, I’m going to read those posts.  I don’t demand beautiful graphics, charming fonts, or dazzling WordPress smoke and mirrors of any kind.  I like reading about the minutiae of one’s life.  I don’t need one’s blog to cheer me up or teach me or inspire me.  Self-care is my job, and sometimes it’s my therapist’s job to teach & inspire me, but I don’t require that of my beloved bloggers!

Although I’ve blogged for the past six months, the time has gone by in a flash, and I still feel like a neophyte blogger.  Sometimes I feel guilty that my posts do not educate others very much about bipolar disorder, specifically postpartum bipolar disorder, since that was the primary reason I began the blog.  I let go of that guilt as best as I can, and carry on.

Yesterday I had a valuable conversation with a very talented friend.  She’s a published author (Put Learning to Work: The Value of an Applied Pre-Vocational Curriculum for 6th-8th grade, At-risk and Special Needs Students), and blogger Carrie of Fleetiris. She shared with me how blogging primes her for her other creative work, which includes other forms of writing, art and other pursuits.  She blogs first, and then she’s able to move on to focus on her other projects.  She likes how blogging preps her before she moves on to working on a screenplay or novel.  If you have several writing projects going on, I suggest trying this technique out if you haven’t done so already!  To read Carrie’s eclectic blog posts and see her gorgeous, one-of-a-kind recycled artwork, visit this link:

http://fleetiris.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/these-3-photos-are-all-one-piece-entitled-point-of-no-return/

Blogging definitely serves as my warm-up before I work on my book.  Now that I’ve been blessed to have a few readers whose comments provide valuable, affirming feedback, I really am hooked on blogging – it’s a delight!

I knew there would be days like this where I’d feel drained, out of it, and blocked in terms of coming up with a useful blog topic. I’ll whine about it to you, dear readers (you can send me a bill for your virtual therapy!) but then I will move on and return to WordPress to wax poetically once more another day.

I would like to end on a high note.  Last night I was asked by one of my mentors Dr. Walker Karraa to be an editor for her new, cutting-edge website Stigmama.com.  Stigmama.com is dedicated to women’s experiences of stigma regarding mental illness and motherhood. I’ve contributed to Stigmama.com since its inception.  It’s a big honor for me to participate as an editor with Stigmama.com, and I am totally stoked!  (I’m Los Angeles born & bred, what more can I say?)

Please check it out & spread the word: http://www.stigmama.com or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/stigmama and

Twitter:  @Stigmama1

Dr. Karraa and I are on the lookout for Stigmama.com contributors, by the way, so if you’re interested in submitting a piece, please email my at dyane@baymoon.com.

HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY!!! AND THANKS FOR READING!!!

Dyane

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