Check out this Amazon five-star review about Alexis’ remarkable novella “Brooklyn’s Song” here:
You can follow Alexis on Instagram @amileaminute.blog & she’s over at Facebook
and Twitter at @azinkerman.
I hope you have a good week!
p.s. Here’s yet another shameless plug for my book Birth of a New Brain—Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder. I’m honored I received an Amazon five-star review a few days ago.
Thanks to Kevin for this lovely review!
And now here’s part deux, once again reblogged from the super-awesome Stay-In-Bed-Mom!
This week the intrepid Stay-In-Bed-Mom shares her selections for the “Mommy and Me” Book Club. The theme is related to the Mommy book Birth of a New Brain. In her post, you’ll find books about bipolar disorder, depression, childhood depression, and childhood trauma/PTSD.
The club doesn’t solely focus on mental health; in fact, it has mainly featured fiction in previous posts. I love how Stay-In-Bed-Mom explains her unique book club. She writes,
“Here’s something I hope will make you smile. A favorite literature professor of mine once said, and I’m paraphrasing, people study literature “to one up someone at a cocktail party.” For all you stay-at-home moms and dads out there, the next time someone says, “what do you do all day?”, you can talk about all the great books you’re reading.
If you’re anything like me, reading is a big part of your identity. But lately, maybe you haven’t been able to read anything outside of laundry care instructions on your children’s clothing. Maybe you’ve been too tired, too busy, or feeling “a little blue”. I’m trying to reclaim reading, as it’s been a source of happiness in my life. Let’s ease back into reading or [fill in the blank with your favorite recreational activity].
For every “mommy book” read, I’ll suggest a “me book” for your children with a similar theme. It is my hope that this “mommy and me” book club is a fun activity for you and your children.
A wise person told me “more is caught than taught.” If your children see you reading, then they will read too. Model quiet time in your household where you read quietly or aloud. You may pick one book and read it together as a family, chapter by chapter. Or you may encourage each individual family member to pick out a book to read quietly and independently. The primary goal is for us to read to or with our children. The secondary goal? For you to have some stay in bed time!
By the way, I turn 50, yes FIFTY, in exactly one month from today. I do have crow’s feet, the “11,” and some other “bipolar wrinkles” (yep, that’s what I call ’em!) and while they don’t show up in this selfie, believe me, they’re there, alive and kicking!
In a beautiful coincidence, I share this birthdate with my beloved Scotch collie Lucy.
She’ll turn six!
I have a feeling I’ll be moved to write something here as that day approaches…stay tuned.
And most importantly, I hope each of you reading this is doing well.
If you’re struggling like I’ve been struggling, I hope our struggles ease as the spring approaches! 🌻🌞
I’m not a patient person by any means, but I liked this image/quote all the same:
Lots of XO (and patience) to you,
Thanks for joining my “Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my previous post on Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder for a book summary and “quotable quotes”.
As you’re reading Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder by Dyane Harwood in bed (or in your favorite armchair), feel free to share these picture books with your children.
For every “mommy book” read, I’ll suggest a “me book” for your children with a similar theme. It is my hope that this “Mommy and Me” book club is a fun activity for you and your children.
Picture Books About Overcoming Mental Illnesses; Bipolar Disorder
1. The Bipolar Bear Family: When a Parent Has Bipolar Disorder (2006) | Angela Holloway
A young cub struggles to make sense of his mother’s behavior and her…
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Hi everyone! I hope you’re doing well.
Yes, my blog is still on hiatus, but I had to share the awesome blogger Stay-in-Bed Mom’s thoughtful, wonderful post about “Birth of a New Brain.”
I’m honored “Birth of a New Brain” made the cut for her blog’s “Worth Staying Up Late” to Read Category – hurrah! (Stay-in-Bed Mom knows her check is in the mail….I’m just kidding; really, I am!)
I loved reading the “Quotable Quotes” she selected from my book— I totally forgot I had written most of them, LOL!.
Be sure to check out Stay-in-Bed Mom’s “Mommy and Me” Book Club to find out what book she suggests (the “me book”) for your children that has a theme connected with”Birth of a New Brain. “
This extraordinary mom is also on Instagram & Facebook.
Reading this beautifully written, educational post was the best part of my day – thanks again, Stay-in-Bed Mom! And to all of you, lots of love and take care.
Thanks for joining my“Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my thoughts on the previous book, Where the Crawdads Sing. While you’re reading Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder, don’t forget to share these picture books [coming soon!] with your children that relate in theme!
Title:Birth of a New Brain: Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder
Page No.:272 pages
Publisher:Post Hill Press
Price: $15.19 (Amazon)
Genres:nonfiction; mental health
When a new mother becomes manic overnight from a rare form of bipolar disorder, she stops at nothing to find the mental stability she needs to stay alive.
After the birth of her baby triggers a manic maelstrom, Dyane Harwood struggles to survive the bewildering highs and crippling lows of her brain’s turmoil. Birth of a…
View original post 1,299 more words
I hope you’re doing well.
Although I’m still on hiatus, I couldn’t resist sharing a Q & A I did last week with Mental Melissa. I hope you’ll visit Melissa’s awesome, compelling, and honest blog so you can get to know her.
I love her Instagram tagline:
“Bipolar, Depression & Anxiety. Mama bear who is stumbling, thriving & surviving.” (@mental_melisssa)
You can listen to Melissa’s podcast on ITunes or Spotify.
Here’s the link to our Q &A below — take care & lots of love,
p.s. I’m on Instagram—you can find me at @dyaneharwood
Please visit Brandy’s new blog Live Mentally Well. It’s another excellent blog and here’s an excerpt from her About page:
Welcome to Live Mentally Well. I’m Brandy. Like you, I struggle every day to get well and stay well, go to work, and take care of my family. I developed Dissociative Disorder as a young child. Like PTSD, Dissociative Disorder is a result of some form of trauma which for me was child abuse. Later in childhood, I developed Social Anxiety and finally Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Just when I thought I was out of the woods I was hit with a new diagnosis. I developed Postpartum Bipolar Disorder which later became Bipolar I Disorder. So 15 years ago I desperately began seeking mental wellness. I have been in recovery now for many years. Recovery means something different for many people. For me, it means making a commitment to mental wellness, learning about my mental illnesses, close monitoring, working with the mental health professionals, and using coping skills and tools to compensate for symptoms and medication side effects.
From my thrill-a-minute life, I want to bring you the knowledge of a former mental health nurse and the real life experience of a mental health consumer. I have been actively speaking out for years about mental health stigma by openly sharing my mental illness throughout life. I want to be a voice for all the mental health consumers out there that aren’t able to speak out.
I hope you enjoy reading Live Mentally Well. The areas I am focusing on are, Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression, Navigating Mental Health, Trauma, and Ramblings in Recovery. Ramblings in Recovery is an update of whatever I’m thinking about or dealing with.I hope you will share your stories with me as well. I look forward to hearing them. Leave questions, comments, and prayer requests down below. Suggestions for new posts are welcome as well.
I’m extremely grateful to receive two amazing reviews in one week from Samantha (My Bipolar Mind) and Brandy, who also had a father with bipolar disorder. Once again, thank you Brandy!!!!
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.
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 post “To 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,
Foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw. Please visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!
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!
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!
For a longer list of benefits, check out this link:
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 –
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!!!
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!
Foreword by the acclaimed perinatal psychiatrist and author Dr. Carol Henshaw.
Please visit Amazon to order a Kindle or paperback version—thank you!