“Birth of a New Brain” awarded 5 stars by JenChaos Reviews!

 

Hello everyone! 

The following link will lead you to a unique review written by Jennifer, a blogger who specializes in book reviews and book news. 

https://jenchaosreviews.com/2018/11/14/book-reviewbirth-of-a-new-brain-healing-from-postpartum-bipolar-disorder-by-dyane-harwood/#comment-1560

Please go visit her blog, take a peek, and comment telling her she sure knew what she was doing when she reviewed my book. 😊  (Just kidding!) 

Take care and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Love,

Dyane 

 

Ah yes, here’s the latest Lucy picture wearing a scarf styled by yours truly.  

It stayed on her for about 10 seconds.

Lucy Scarf

 

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A Tale of 2 Breaks (My Broken Jaw & My Blogging Hiatus)

My jaw!

 

Last Saturday afternoon I was walking by myself on a flat, concrete surface a few blocks away from our house. It was a sunny, beautiful day. I finally felt healthy after having reached my weight loss goal. (I had gained twenty-five pounds after my book was published thanks to a daily dose of two high-end chocolate bars, chocolate gelato, and chocolate Italian pastries.) 

I was looking forward to a rare evening alone with my husband Craig while our girls were at a sleepover party.

All was well in my world—until I checked a text on my cell phone and tripped. 

In a matter of seconds, I fell forward and slammed down onto the concrete face-first, specifically jaw first. I felt the lower half of my face crunch and I knew I had broken something. I had also gashed my chin in what turned out to be a minor injury, but it was scary and painful nonetheless. At first, I had no idea how bad the gash was since I couldn’t see my face.

As I sat there on the ground, shaking and terrified, blood poured out of my lacerated chin. I reminded myself that a cut can often bleed heavily yet not be that bad. I pressed one hand hard against my chin to stanch the bleeding and my skin stung at the contact.

Not a soul was in sight and that was unusual. But I didn’t want anyone to see me that way—I only wanted one person’s presence: Craig. Luckily I had my cell phone and I was able to reach him. The reception sucked but he heard my crying and the words “fall,” “bleeding” and the street name.

He had just dropped our girls off at the sleepover and came to get me. Even though it took him less than 12 minutes to arrive, it felt like forever. As I sat there, I prayed. Yes, I prayed. I prayed to every spiritual figure and angel I could think of, I prayed to my father, I prayed to my grandmother, and then I visualized bright light healing whatever was wrong with my jaw and chin.

When Craig got there, he took one look at me and said, “We’re going to the E.R.” Four hours, several chin stitches and one CT scan later, I was told by the E.R. physician that he conferred with a maxillofacial surgeon. I didn’t even know what a maxillofacial surgeon was, exactly, but I’d soon find out. Here’s a nutshell definition: “Oral and maxillofacial surgeons focus on treating problems related to the hard and soft tissues of the face, mouth, and jaws (the upper jaw is referred to as the maxilla).”

You could say it wasn’t exactly the romantic evening date I had imagined. 

The surgeon offered to call me the next day, which was a Sunday, to offer his advice. I was extremely relieved to get his call. During our conversation, he gave me different options to consider, including treatment at other practices, and he patiently answered my questions. My intuition told me he was a good doctor. (God knows I’ve spoken to a gazillion doctors and I can tell a golden egg from a bad egg if you know what I mean!) 

I met with him for my consult last Monday since time was a big concern – I only had a two-week window to get the surgery done so my jaw would heal properly.

When I met him, he reminded me of the ECT anesthesiologist I wrote about in Birth of a New Brain. Once again, I encountered a doctor who was a lot younger than me who looked like he could be on the cover of Surfer Magazine! 

After we met, I booked him to do my surgery which will be on Monday the 19th. I’m having pins put in different places in my jaw. He’s attaching tight bands that will help the jaw and teeth alignment heal back into the right position; yes, bands, not wires.

I haven’t been able to chew any food but I love smoothies and pureed soups, so I’m not freaking out. I even throw in organic baby spinach in my vanilla Orgain & coconut milk smoothies since I can’t chew lettuce. (The smoothie actually tastes good because you can’t taste the spinach!)

I’ve been hypervigilant about walking carefully—I’m so scared I’ll trip again. I long for the time when I wasn’t worried about such a basic activity. And yes, I feel like a f*cking idiot this happened in the first place, but I can tell you I got the message loud and clear from the universe that I need to be more present. 

I wanted to return to the place where I tripped so I wouldn’t become phobic, so I went there two days after my accident and it was fine. (I think I walked in slow motion, but it was fine.)

In all seriousness, though, in light of the Parkland shootings and all the other horrible, tragic events we read and hear about day after day, my injury is teeny-tiny in comparison. Yet it’s my reality.

If my accident had happened before I found the meds that eradicated my treatment-resistant bipolar depression, I would’ve plummeted into an even deeper depression. However, after the pain and shock of the first 24 hours post-accident, I’ve been doing relatively well mentally. I haven’t binged, either – of course, not being able to chew certainly helps me avoid doing that, but I haven’t wanted to compulsively overeat at all—this is another positive surprise. I’m very thankful for these blessings and I’m relieved that my injuries weren’t worse, i.e. a head surgery or a serious illness.  

 

Thank God not all falls are bad. I’ve hiked up to Yosemite Falls and it was spectacular. The fall is one of my favorite seasons, and, of course, there’s the best fall of all: falling in love.

Singer/songwriter Sam Phillips, the former Christian pop artist and ex-wife of producer T Bone Burnett, has an unusual voice. She was originally promoted as the “Christian Cyndi Lauper” and composed the score for the television show Gilmore Girls.

I love Sam Phillips’ voice, in part, because Craig introduced me to her Martinis and Bikinis album when we first got together in 1998. Her song “When I Fall” (featured in The Last Supper film soundtrack) sums up my 20-year-long relationship with Craig.

She sings, “I think you’ll be there when I fall….”

And he was.

 

 

Parting Tidbits

I’ve published 441 posts on this blog and it has been a such a good run, to say the least! But I’ve been losing steam for blogging. I’ve neglected reading my beloved blogs and commenting, which feels plain-old-bad. It’s time to take a break from blogging and the blogosphere. 

Right after I made this decision, my good friend L.E. Henderson published the insightful postTo Blog or Not To Blog.Call me superstitious, but her post seemed like a sign I was making the right choice.

I’ve absolutely loved blogging and reading your blogs. It has been wonderful to make such amazing friends and to feel understood by many bloggers in the bipolar blogging community. To those of you who encouraged me as I approached my book’s publication date, your support helped me immensely. Before I take off, I’d like to share a few tidbits.

 

Tidbit #1 – Never Say Never

Two days before my accident, I attended a Meetup creative writing group for the first time. I used a lined notebook and a pen instead of my laptop. It turned out the founder of the group did the same thing—we were the only two members who showed up! (Meetup is kind of like that…)  Handwriting felt strange and painful as far as my wrist was concerned, but it was good, too.

Handwriting may have stirred up something in my brain. Some of you know I vowed I’d never write another book. Why? Reasons include: “I didn’t have a good idea,” “Aren’t there enough books in the world?,” “It’s so stressful,” and more. But after my Meetup, an idea came to me that got me excited. I relinquished my vow and I abandoned my reservations and I started writing a proposal! We’ll see where it goes…

 

Tidbit #2 – My Remote Presentation at the 2020 Mom Project’s 2018 Annual Forum 

If you watch this, please jump to where therapist and Mom and Mind podcast host Dr. Kat Kaeni appears at the 14.30 mark. She introduces my presentation.

 

Tidbit #3 Awesome Website/Blog/Resources & More

Laura Marchildon of Our Bipolar Family has an incredible website, including a great book review section. Check it out at this link. Laura wrote a book review about Birth of a New Brain here

Please keep in touch with me on Twitter (@DyaneHarwood) and check back here once in a while…

Take care, my friends!

Lots and lots of love,

Dyane

 

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

Foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw. Please visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!

JamisonBook

 

 

Bring It On, Sole Water—Show Us The Magic!

I grew up hearing this cheesy commercial often, but the song is catchy!

Yes, Bain de Soleil has a different spelling of “sole” (both refer to the sun) but it’s pronounced the same.

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

XOXOXOOX

 

Dear Friends,

 

Hi there! Below you’ll find the links I mentioned in the video that will explain how to make sole water and why you’d want to do it in the first place.

Even though this is just a small amount of water and Himalayan pink salt, please check with your doctor before embarking on this; better safe than sorry!

https://www.savorylotus.com/reason-why-i-drink-salt-water-sole/

For a longer list of benefits, check out this link:

https://wellnessmama.com/12158/make-sole/

 

Lose It! Update

Blogger Kitt O’Malley and I have been participating in the free Lose It! program. Today I was thrilled to learn our fellow blogging pal Bipolar On Fire has joined us in Lose It!’s “Bipolar Battlers” community group which you can find on the Lose It! website under “Community.”

I’ve lost 15 pounds, I stopped my nightly binges, and I’m figuring out with my therapist how I can break the insidious emotional overeating cycle.

Keep in mind you don’t need to be in a group; you can go solo or create your own group –

visit this link to make it happen!

Let me know if you have questions. 

 

As for that stressful situation I referred to in the video, I promise I’ll include it in next Friday’s post! (Hint: It involves a writer’s fragile ego…um, yeah, my ego. And there might be a silver lining to it. So y’all come back to my blog next Friday, ya hear?)

Speaking of stress, I wish you anything BUT a stressful weekend!!!

Love,

Dyane

p.s. Here’s the link to a British podcast I just started listening to during my walks with Lucy. I’m really enjoying listening to the insights of the hosts Sydney Timmins, a writer, and Becky Lawrence, a secondary school teacher. There’s even a rumor I might be a guest on it this spring!

MENTAL HEALTH BOOK CLUB PODCAST

Twitter: @MHBC_Podcast

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

Foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw.

Please visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!

 

 

I Like Being A Loser!

 

 

Lose It! Update

Last fall, I gained 30 pounds in less than three months.

 

Why?

 

I’ll boil it down to three words:

 

 

Book launch stress!    

 

I hit rock bottom in December. If I kept gaining weight, my fatigue would only worsen. I didn’t feel comfortable in my body and I felt plain-old-gross. 

 

It was time to take action and I’m so glad I did. Blogger Kitt O’Malley and I have been participating in the free Lose It! program. We’re in the “Bipolar Battlers” community group which you can find on the Lose It! website under “Community.” I’ve lost 15 pounds, I stopped my nightly binges, and I’m figuring out with my therapist how I can break the insidious emotional overeating cycle.

 

By the way, you don’t need to be in a group; you can go solo or create your own group –

visit this link to make it happen!

Let me know if you have questions. 

Dr. Ellen Vora

I want to tell you about another very cool holistic psychiatrist. In previous posts, I mentioned the holistic psychiatrist Dr. Denise McDermott who practices in southern California. (You can hear our podcast at this link.

Well, yesterday I came across Dr. Ellen Vora, a New York-based holistic psychiatrist. I think I spotted her name on Twitter. Anyway, she’s currently traveling around the world with her family for six months to visit cultures she believes are healthier than ours. She’s recording short-but-informative YouTube videos at each country she visits. Some of the topics are very relevant to those of us with bipolar and anxiety.

She has great handouts on her website that you can print out – for bipolar (mood stabilization), visit here.

I particularly liked watching Dr. Vora’s YouTube videos about insomnia, “caveman” sleep, lowering your standards for exercise, and being dehydrated even if you drink a lot of water.  There are 43 videos; I’m sure some of her other topics will appeal to you.

Here’s the YouTube link to get you started

See you next Friday! Enjoy your weekend!

Lots of love,

Dyane

 

 

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

Foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw.

Please visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!

Jogging Through Jello!

Dear Friends,

As today’s blog post title implies, I’ve been dragging big-time the past week. Maybe my fatigue is due to the drastic cut in sugar I made last month, maybe it’s perimenopause making its spooky debut, maybe it’s a thyroid issue—maybe it’s all three! In any case, I’m sick of it, so I made an appointment with my doctor to get checked out. 

Have you ever wanted to write for BP Magazine?

 

You guys & gals are fab writers so I wanted to share this info. with you. Last week I emailed BP’s longtime editor Liz Forbes (who I recently worked with on my article) and got back this auto-reply: 

 

Please be advised that Tanya Hvilivitzky has taken the role of bp Magazine &
esperanza’s interim editor. Tanya will respond to your email and editorial
questions ASAP.

We thank you for your patience during this transitional phase.

If you’ve ever wanted to pitch BP an article idea, now’s the time to come up with your idea. (look at the BP website here for their guidelines) and write it down.

I’ll let you know if I find out anything as far as who the permanent hire will be—I could be totally wrong, but I don’t see a problem with pitching to an interim editor.

 

Then again, I’ve only written for ten magazines since 1997. Please let me know if you think otherwise! Do what feels right!  The email is used is: editor@hopetocope.com

 

Lose It! Update

(And no, I don’t get compensated by mentioning Lose It! – ha! I wish!!!)

Do you want to drop some lovely adipose tissue (a.k.a. fat) you don’t need dragging you down? Even 5 lbs is an awfully HEAVY load to carry around – pick up anything that weighs 5 lbs and you’ll see what I mean. 

 

Join me & my friend, the blogger Kitt O’Malley, in the free Lose It! program. We’re in the “Bipolar Battlers” community group which you can find on the Lose It! website under “Community.” Let me know if you have questions. 

 

By the way, you don’t need to be in a group; you can go solo or create your own group – visit this link to make it happen!

images-1images-2Unknown

What’s new with you?

Inquiring brains want to know…please share in the comments if you’re in the mood.

And be extra-good to yourself this weekend! 

Lots of love,

Dyane

 

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

by Dyane Harwood

Foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and bestselling author Dr. Carol Henshaw. Visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!

Au Revoir, Fat & Dr. Benicio Frey’s Webinar

Dear Friends,

If you’ve read my book Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, you’ll know I was an A.C.E.-certified personal trainer and worked in a gym for a few years.

 

This was me, “B.B.D.” (Before Bipolar Diagnosis) 

At college, I gained the “Freshman 20+” instead of the typical “Freshman 15.” Ever since my uni days, my adipose tissue (the fancy term for fat) has fluctuated in quantity due to a variety of reasons; bipolar depression and stress/anxiety have been the main reasons for my weight gain.

 

Last year was one of the most stressful years I’ve ever experienced.

 

I was under a deadline with Post Hill Press to deliver my edited manuscript. At least writing my book didn’t almost kill me (During that same year, Bipolar Burble blogger Natasha Tracy published a post called Writing a Book about Bipolar and Depression Almost Killed Me), but what did happen was that I gained almost 30 pounds in only a couple months.

 

If I kept up that rate of weight gain, I’d turn into Jabba the Hutt!

Unknown-1

On a serious note, I’d risk developing very serious health conditions and complications.

 

 

I realized I had to come to terms with my emotional stress eating once and for all.

“Coming to terms” sounds nice and granola-y, but what does that really mean?

 

Well, for me, it begins with enlisting my counselor’s support and making a commitment to myself stop this vicious cycle.

 

It means bringing my shame out into the open, which is why I’m publishing this post despite having second, third, and fourth thoughts.

 

I’m also a fan of self-help books, although I admit I never do the exercises they usually require. Nevertheless, I just started reading a self-help book and a healthy food cookbook. Both of them are inspiring me and I’ll share those titles here after I finish reading them.

The only thing that has ever helped me lose weight has been using a free tracking app called Lose It!

Last year I wrote about using Lose It!:Losing a Mirror Carp Feels Good.

 

If you’re like me—an emotional, compulsive overeater/binger/midnight fridge marauder—and you’d like to join me and get healthier, please consider joining Lose It! I keep reading that pairing up with others when embarking on weight loss greatly increases your chance of success. 

 

On Lose It!, I belong to two groups where we cheer one another on. Once you’ve signed up, go to “Community”, then select”Find Groups” and type one (or both) of these in:

Moms with Bipolar group

Bipolar Battlers group

And now for something completely different….

Frey

Dr. Benicio Frey

Apart from my weight woes, I wanted to let you know psychiatrist Dr. Benicio Frey will present a free webinar about perinatal mood disorder research next Wednesday, January 17th from 9:00 a.m.- 10:00 a.m. PST.  

The webinar is sponsored by the International Bipolar Foundation and it’s not too late to sign up – just go to this link!

The following section is just part of Dr. Frey’s impressive bio.; you’ll find the rest of it on the IBPF link:

“Dr. Frey is Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, Academic Head of the Mood Disorders Program, and Director of the Women’s Health Concerns Clinic at St. Joseph’s Healthcare. 

In 2008, Dr. Frey received a CIHR postdoctoral fellowship award to study brain imaging in perimenopausal women with depression, at the Women’s Health Concerns Clinic, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Currently, Dr. Frey has over 100 articles published in peer-reviewed journals.”

Lastly, I want to share a cool new resource with you – it’s run by John Emotions, the charismatic podcaster and founder of Bipolar Style. John wanted a “private, more focused area to talk about Bipolar” that will surpass Facebook forums, etc. He created Bipolar Party on Yammer and I really like the layout – it’s original and it has great potential. 

Come join us! If you’re interested, email me your email address so I can send you an invitation: dyane@baymoon.com 

And on that note, have a good weekend, and I’ll see you next Friday. (I hope I’ll see some of you on Lose It! too. Feel free to ask me any questions about it in the comments!)

Take good care & lots of love,

Dyane

 

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder

Foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw.

Please visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!

A Down Under Review of My Book From “The Colour Of Madness”

Men At Work’s Down Under – 80s music forever!

(Did you know that Men At Work’s lead singer Colin Hay was born in Scotland, not Australia, so he’s related to Lucy!) 

“Colin and I go way back!”

 

Dear Friends,

I’ve made another great blog discovery and naturally, I want to share it with you.

Once in a while I’ll come across writing so remarkable, it strikes me deep in the heart. When that happens, I don’t even feel jealous of the author’s talent (those of you familiar with this blog know how green I can get!)—I just feel moved.

This phenomenon happened to me recently when I read Kate’s blog The Colour of MadnessI was truly honored she was willing to write a Birth of a New Brain review.

Apart from Kate’s book review, I encourage you to take a look at her blog. Here are two standouts:

Read Cliff Notes 

Read Death (trigger warning: suicide)

Here’s what Kate wrote about Birth of a New Brain:

 

 

I have been promising the wonderful author Dyane Harwood a review for her excellent memoir ‘Birth Of A New Brain’ for weeks now. Dyane and I started chatting on Twitter and she was kind enough to send me a copy of her book. The familiarity of Dyane’s experience hit home to me on so many levels […]

via Birth Of A New Brain – A Book Review — The Colour Of Madness

By the way, if you find yourself headed for a temper tantrum among your family, colleagues, etc., give yourself the gift of a bathroom time out. Stay in there at least a few minutes and take a few deep breaths; hopefully, it won’t be a nasty loo.

I know from personal experience doing this can help you avoid a Mt. Vesuvius moment!

Happy holidays and much love to you,

Dyane

p.s. In honor of Kate’s homeland, I’m featuring an Australian psychiatrist’s endorsement of my book. Dr. Greg de Moore lives in Sydney and he’s  the co-author of a fascinating book titled Finding Sanity: John Cade, Lithium and the Taming of Bipolar Disorder.

 

Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder With a foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw. Please visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!