To Send or Not to Send? (A Self-Indulgent Fantasy!)

“Sometimes a fantasy is all you need…”  

Sometimes a Fantasy by Billy Joel is from the seminal album Glass Houses. I must have listened to that album hundreds of times in the 1970s!

Before I get into the nitty gritty, I wrote last week I’d update you about working with the editors on my book Birth of a New Brain. I’m reviewing their feedback, and I’m editing every day for hours until I speak in tongues, but please, I ask you for an extension, because something else came up! 

It all started yesterday with WhitePages Premium.

I was searching for author Martha Manning’s new email. She’s a psychologist who I interviewed via email in the 1990s for a magazine article. Manning wrote Undercurrents about her ECT experience, one of the best books I’ve read about ECT. I wanted to send her an ARC of my book to see if she might possibly endorse it. (I take breaks from editing to do that sort of thing.)

Well, it turned out that I found it impossible to find an active email for her, so I finally spent a whopping $1.00 for a five-day trial of WhitePages Premium. I plugged in Manning’s name and I was given not one, not two, but six emails for her, including the email that worked for me in the 90s, but all six emails are now stinkers! I was dismayed, to say the least. 

Had I wasted my precious dollar???

It turns out I did not. WhitePages Premium gave me surprisingly accurate contact information for other professionals and even celebrities I’ve been in touch with over the years, so it wasn’t a sham.

I tell you this because:

a) You might want to use this resource.

b) I used it in a moment of weakness which I’d like to share here. Just to be clear, I don’t recommend that you do anything like what I contemplated doing. I want you to learn from my wicked ways!

Si vous plait, allow me to explain.

Some of you might remember my Bad Manners post.

In a nutshell, last year I was excited to learn that my college writing instructor’s play was being produced near my home. Despite my severe social anxiety, I went to the matinee and listened to her speak about the play afterward. It looked like she was doing well. 

I made 100% sure she received a package I left for her at the box office.

I don’t usually do that kind of thing, but I had brought a letter and some gifts for her. After going to that trouble, I gave it to the stage manager because I didn’t want to bug my teacher, and I was freaked out in general.

I spent all afternoon writing that letter, thanking her for being a great influence on me as a writer. I filled her in on my writing career after college, my bipolar diagnosis & its harrowing aftermath, and my upcoming Post Hill Press book. I included my contact info.

I never got a thank-you, not even a one-liner email. 

I know that when we give someone a gift, we should have no expectations. It shouldn’t be “tit for tat.” (Sorry, that’s a dumb phrase you won’t catch me uttering out loud, or writing again for that matter.)  

But I still believe in my heart of hearts there’s no excuse for rudeness.

I wondered if my teacher now felt I wasn’t worth her time since she was no longer just my teacher, but someone who had partnered with one of the most famous and successful writers of our century. (By the way, I know how ridiculous this all sounds.) Maybe she didn’t want to associate with someone with bipolar, or someone who was a small potatoes writer like me. Maybe she had a crisis, right? Who knows.

I certainly don’t know.

I may be a mess of a human being, but I’ve tried my best to thank the kind people who popped up in my life no matter what their status has been.

So let’s go back to WhitePages Premium and see what all the fuss is about!

Believe it or not, I had forgotten about what happened with my teacher, but when I played around with WhitePages Premium, I put her name into the tabs. Up came several emails for her, plus her address which I already knew was accurate.

I wrote this draft:

Dear Teacher,

I want to thank you so much for not thanking me for my letter and gifts. I was shocked I never got a reply because I don’t think you would have ignored my letter in 1991.

However, I learned a valuable lesson – I must have learned a lesson since you were one of the best teachers I ever had, but I just don’t know what the hell it is.

All my best,

Dyane

PLEASE NOTE I DIDN’T SEND THAT GROSSLY IMMATURE EMAIL!

Plus, I read it to Craig and he talked me off the “I’m gonna press ‘send’ ledge.” Moreover, this teacher and I live in a small town, and I don’t think I should burn a bridge with her in that way. But dang, I was tempted to send it!

What would you do if this kooky scenario happened with a teacher you admired…who you connected with and never forgot even though you had sh*tloads of unilateral and bilateral ECT?

Let it go?

(That’s what my Frozen soundtrack-loving girls would sing at me!) 

Thanks for reading, and have a good week!

Love,

Your friend who loves to air her brain’s dirty laundry

 

The first two lines sum it up so well: 
“This is a story about two writers. A story, in other words, of envy.”

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Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.

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Sour Grapes, Rejection, and Perspective

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As I write today’s post, it’s a rainy, cold, and dreary day. The gloom depicts how I felt after I learned I wasn’t selected to be in a documentary called Be Vocal. The fifteen-minute film features people who live with bipolar disorder. It’s affiliated with singer Demi Lovato (who has bipolar), five national mental health agencies, and Sunovion.

I had been nominated by a Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) staffer to be a candidate. She read my Life Unlimited profile on the DBSA website in which I wrote about my postpartum bipolar diagnosis. I was honored; nothing like that had ever happened to me. Despite my anxiety at the prospect of the required  interview, I immediately scheduled it with the production team.

My hopes were high before my phone interview with the six-person panel. I bared my soul to those strangers (I eventually dubbed them “Team Voldemort”) during a nerve-wracking forty-five minutes. After I hung up the phone, my gut told me I wouldn’t make the cut. It was a sucky feeling that I couldn’t shake, and to be honest, I wish I hadn’t been nominated in the first place. As I wrote in last week’s post, this wasn’t a mere job interview but something much more personal; people were judging my personality, my way of speaking, and my life “story” instead of my typing speed.

While this post is basically “word vom,” I’m sharing it because this experience has tested me and triggered my ever-present insecurities. (By the way, I never heard of “word vom” until I read Raeyn’s The Scarlet B post “Death to Concern Trolls.” Thanks, Raeyn, for bringing a smile to my face. I needed it!)

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2017 will be a significant year for me. My memoir Birth of a New Brain, nine years in the making, will be published in October. With that in mind, you can see why I was tempted to interview for the documentary after I read the following email sent to me by a Voldemort:

“One of the key projects for Be Vocal this year is to create a documentary that will include the stories of three individuals living with a mental health condition who are vocal in unique and powerful ways. The Emmy-nominated documentary film director working on this project is Shaul Schwarz.

The documentary will be placed on Demi Lovato’s Be Vocal website and shared widely with news outlets, online, on social media, through advocacy organizations/support groups, etc.”

You might already be familiar with Be Vocal. Recently the campaign announced ten portraits of people living with mental illness that was blasted all over social media.

Mental health awareness is such a worthwhile cause, in part, because stigma is still pervasive in our society. However, I was put off by this mental health awareness-themed photo collection for a few reasons. For example, one of the subjects with bipolar disorder has gotten a TON of media attention to date. Please believe me when I tell you she didn’t need yet another photo session. It’s time for her to move over and let someone else take a turn in the spotlight.

SPLAT!!!!!

That was an imaginary sour grape I just flung at my innocent computer screen! 

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Here’s an excerpt of my rejection email:

“Hi Dyane,

Thank you for sharing your story with us. As you know, we want to ensure that the Be Vocal documentary features a mix of individuals with different stories, experiences, backgrounds, ages, etc. For this reason, unfortunately, we need to move forward with other candidates to ensure we have this diversity. 

We think your story is incredibly inspiring and hope you will continue to share it with others… 

Sincerely,

Team Voldemort”

Yuck! How I hate rejection letters! 

I’m going to have a hard time in February when Be Vocal is heavily promoted and released. I know the film will be all over the internet due to the Demi Lovato Factor. Did you know she has 30 million fans called Lovatics? Yes.

To that end, I’m planning on dialing down my bipolar social media subscriptions so I won’t see press releases everywhere. I don’t want Twitter and Facebook to remind on an hourly basis that, for whatever reason, I wasn’t interesting enough and my story wasn’t relevant to the Voldemorts.

After my blogging friend Vic read my last post he decided to write a post called Promotion? Perhaps about what helps him through rejection. He explains how it’s all about perspective. I encourage you to take a look. As you can see, I need to improve my perspective, and I’m glad Vic shared his positive, helpful insights.

Apart from developing a healthy perspective, something that helps me to lessen rejection’s sting is getting immersed in a new project. (And I’m not talking about “making a batch of brownies and eating all the batter” project!) 

I’m currently contacting authors and other notable movers and shakers about endorsing my book with a few lines known as “blurbs.” (How I love that word.) While this endeavor is guaranteed to involve plenty of rejection, I’m better-prepared thanks to the Voldemorts and Vic’s post.

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Finally, I’d like to send out a big, ‘ol thanks to those of you who wrote such supportive, kind posts last week. Every one of your comments helped me.

I apologize for this post being whiny and, at the end of the day, superficial compared to the problems we face in living with bipolar depression and mania, etc. I hope you’re still reading! If so, I’d like to create a blogging award & cute meme just for you, but I’m not sure what to call it. Hmmm.

Do you have any ideas for an award bestowed upon faithful readers who read your blog posts no matter what topic you ramble about???

Let me know!

Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

Love,

Dyane

 

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Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.

 

 

Validation – Who Needs It? I Wish I Didn’t…

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TW: Whining, a little ingratitude, & problemas del primer mundo

I’ll know by the end of the week if THEY want me!

Who are THEY and why would THEY want me?

I shall explain using general terms, my friends. You see, I’m not supposed to reveal THEY’s identity, so I’ll refer to them as the Voldemorts. 

Here’s the drama du jour. (Or, to be honest, the lack thereof.)

Last month the Voldemorts emailed me with exciting news! I had been nominated as a candidate for a bipolar-themed media project affiliated with a dynamic celebrity!

(For those of you on the edge of your seats, it’s NOT Tom Cruise!!!)

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As you can imagine, I was very honored to be nominated.

I’ll admit that my fragile ego began swelling just a wee bit!

Then the Sally Field Syndrome took hold of me. The actress Sally Field won an Academy Award for her role in Places in the Heart, and during her acceptance speech she unabashedly told the audience,

“I can’t deny the fact that you like me; right now, you like me!”

After my initial excitement about being nominated faded, I realized that the nomination didn’t guarantee I’d be selected. I was competing against other anonymous candidates and I was required to be interviewed by a panel. 

Yuck.

My interview was a conference call with six Voldemorts, and I tried my best to answer their questions in an articulate, relevant and interesting way. After I had finished I thought, “Oh sh*t, I blew it!”

Ugh. 

Now it’s the waiting game. For over thirty years I’ve been through the waiting game many times for various jobs. While this interview wasn’t for a position per se, the stakes were higher because I bared my soul to that panel. The Voldemorts weren’t analyzing my typing skills – they were examining my life and my personality. My intuition told me I didn’t “wow” them, but my intuition had occasionally made a few plenty of mistakes, and I hoped they’d choose me, warts and all.

At least I’m not totally naive. This project is designed to appeal to specific demographics and I can guess what they are. My “advanced” age of forty-six might be a reason they’ll pass. Other factors that could generate a “thanks, but no thanks” are my diagnosis of postpartum bipolar, my relatively humdrum occupation as a writer/mom, or something lame I said.

See how I’m already bracing for rejection? 

My most recent post about praying to the Unknown Angels comes to mind. I’ve been praying to them for this situation’s best outcome, and that’s all I can do. 

Even when I’m doing well and I’m stable as can be, I don’t handle rejection well.

I’ve written six posts about book proposal rejection and schadenfreudeas  you can see, these are topics that fascinate me. Rejection is rejection, whether it’s for a book proposal or a glitzy-sounding media project. Yes, they’re different degrees of rejection, but they are related. It’s important to remember that rejections can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

For today, I’m trying hard to psych myself up for whatever the Voldemorts decide.

I’ll keep praying to the Unknown Angels and probably drive them crazy, but I’ll be praying this week for extra strength to handle what comes my way. I can learn from this experience. I can look at it as preparation for more rejection because I’ve begun sending out requests for blurbs for my book. Next year I’ll deal with more rejection because as hard as it is to believe 😉 my book won’t get 100% glowing reviews – just kidding. That’s a given!!!

And you know I’ll blog about it again because that’s how I roll! 

What helps you through rejection?

Any experiences you care to share are welcome here!

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Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press in October 2017.

My Farmer’s Market Social Anxiety & “I Don’t Feel The Magic”!

 

Ever since I recently reached my goal of losing thirty pounds, I’ve felt like my old self in some significant ways.

Before I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder in 2007, I worked at a family-owned gym as an A.C.E.-certified personal trainer and circuit training instructor. I didn’t attend college with the intention of working in fitness, but I found that I loved helping gym members achieve their goals. During those years I maintained a healthy weight which was fairly easy to do as I didn’t take care of two kids and a dog! 

Then the shit hit the fan when my postpartum bipolar disorder erupted like a dormant volcano.

From then on, my weight went all over the place: up, down, backwards — you name it — thanks to my depression-fueled binge eating and meds, meds, meds galore – around 30 of them.

 

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This was me.

 

Now that I’m finally doing better, I decided to face one of my fears. Thanks to my post’s title, you already know what it is. (So much for creating suspense!)

Fear of the farmer’s market sounds ridiculous, but we all have our silly phobias, don’t we?  Although I don’t feel that my spider phobia (arachnophobia) is silly whatsoever! 

 

A Santa Cruz Mountains resident

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“If you want my body and you think I’m sexy, c’mon sugar let me know!”

 

Just for the heck of it I looked at the Wikipedia list of phobias to see if there was a specific one for farmer’s markets (you never know!), and the only phobias that fit are:

I planned my first farmer’s market foray of 2016 with my older daughter. She wanted to accompany me so we could buy fruit to make smoothies. Santa Cruz County has a thriving farmer’s market scene, so I picked the smallest one. It was in a town where the chances were extremely slim that I would run into anyone I knew, and that’s exactly what I wanted.

My intrepid girl was well aware of my social phobia, and she was awesome about that in every way. When we got to the farmer’s market at 9:00 a.m. there were very few people, and my eye immediately spotted someone I knew. 

“Oh, shit!” I blurted out.

The one person who I couldn’t handle seeing was there:

X

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X’s presence made absolutely no sense. X doesn’t live in that town; moreover he lives near the best, biggest farmer’s market in this area. Of all the people in the world, I never expected to see X.

I couldn’t help but surmise that this was a test by the Universe, and I got a big, ‘ol F! 

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Avi and I turned around and made a beeline for my car. We went to a park and a couple hours later we returned to the market without any incident. We got some yummy peaches and plums which didn’t even make it into the planned smoothie.

Although that farmer’s market experience didn’t go well (cough, cough – understatement!) I decided my next step would be to attend our local farmer’s market. I couldn’t imagine running into X again, but after a session with my counselor, I was prepared to stick around if that event occurred. 

On the appointed day we had a major heat wave. I love the heat, but this heat wave reached the mid-upper 90’s, and perhaps it wasn’t the ideal afternoon to face a phobia. I did so anyway, and this time both girls came with me. 

When we arrived I felt more relaxed than I expected. I saw a few familiar faces, but no one who triggered me, i.e. no reminders of blown-out friendships to wince over. (I’ve had quite a few of those since 2007, which merits another post or three.)

In the tradition of this blog, I digress.

So, there we were, strolling away in the heat and dripping sweat. We sipped ice water that was kindly given out for free by the market promoters. Despite the soaring temperature, I felt a nice sense of well being that I hadn’t felt in a LONG time.

Until I heard his voice….

Hey Dyane! Is that you?”

It had been over two decades since I last heard him say my name. I’ll call him “Spicoli” because the first time I encountered him he was stoned out of his mind.

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We met over twenty years ago, when my Sheltie dog Tara ran away from my studio. I frantically ran from door-to-door in the neighborhood asking people if they had seen her. Spicoli was one of my neighbors, and after he answered his door, he asked me for my phone number. At that point in my life I was single and very lonely, not to mention hysterical that my beloved dog was missing, and I gave my number to him.

We dated for only a few months. From the start I knew he wasn’t the one for me. Not by a long shot. He dropped hints that I wasn’t pretty enough for him, and that he had dated someone in the past who “looked like a supermodel”. That wasn’t great for my weak self esteem. Oh yes – he also frequently said some rather creepy things about how gorgeous one of my best friends was. Yep. A real winner!

One evening I made him a nice dinner and afterwards we sat on his couch.

“Dyane, I just don’t feel the magic,” he said.

And that was that.

So long, farewell.

I just wish I had been the one to say it instead of him.

Fast forward to the magical 95 degree Felton Farmer’s Market!

I had no idea Spicoli now lived in my neck of the woods. The good news is that I was able to talk to him without freaking out. It helped to have my beautiful girls by my side, wondering who the hell their Mommy was talking to – I must admit the scenario was pretty funny. Spicoli had been a talker when we dated, and he shared that he was divorced and dealing with a really sad situation. I felt sorry for him, to tell you the truth.

While Spicoli was not someone I loved, seeing him brought up a vivid memory of my being rejected. He commented on how good-looking my daughters were, but he didn’t make a peep about my appearance. After losing weight and carrying myself with renewed confidence, I didn’t feel like chopped liver like I did when we dated!

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“Spicoli, I ain’t no Cindy Crawford, but I ain’t no chopped liver! Put that in your pipe and smoke it!”

After he walked away and I caught my emotional breath, I told my girls a little bit about our past. Without thinking, I mentioned Spicoli’s “I don’t feel the magic” phrase and they found that absolutely hilarious! As we visited the various vendors, they took every opportunity to say “I don’t feel the magic about this carrot, Mommy!” and “That ice cream over there might make me feel the magic – can we get some please?”

Next week we’re going to the popular Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market located next to the gym where I used to work. Who knows who I’ll run into there? 

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thanks so much for reading!

love, Dyane

p.s. I started a  Lose It! Wondrous Writers Weight Loss Group. The insightful blogger Bradley of Insights From A Bipolar Bear is a group member. His encouragement has helped me so much – it’s far better than going it alone! I can send you an invite if you include your email in a comment, or sign up for free at www.loseit.com and find us under Groups. 

 

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

Shot Down By HuffPost!–What Can Help A Mom with Bipolar During Setbacks

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Today’s blog post contains a quiz! 

It’s called “Guess Why The Huffington Post Rejected My Submission?”

I’ll tell you some possible answers in advance; I guess that’s cheating, but I’ll make an exception.

I thought the editor passed due to:

a) It should be divided into two posts

b) It rambles

c) The essential oils section

d) Shitty writing

Hell, I don’t know the exact reason why it was rejected. Bloggers aren’t told why their submissions don’t make the cut.

Yesterday when I received The Huffington Post notification email, silly me – I thought my post was published! My heart soared with anticipation, but when I double-clicked the email it read:

Dear Dyane Leshin-Harwood,

We appreciate you taking the time to submit your most recent post. Unfortunately, we are going to pass on it for publication at this time, and will look forward to your next submission.

Thank you very much

The Very Mean Huffington Post blog team

I felt anything but hunky dory.

After the high of my first post being published without a hitch, I was bummed. 😦 Rejection is never, never fun – unless you’re a masochist.

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I thought that my Setbacks post, at the very least, contained helpful information. Moreover, I was excited that I could take the opportunity to promote two of my fave bloggers: Blahpolar and Kitt O’Malley.

I’ll try again, guys!

But in the meantime….please, a little feedback from you, my friends. I can take it! And I know I need feedback! I’d like my next submission to be a “yes”!

————–

SubmissionWhat Can Help A Mom with Bipolar During Setbacks

After I finally found effective medications for bipolar disorder and became stable, I knew that my stability would eventually be challenged by an awful situation such as illness or the death of a loved one. I fervently hoped that fate would forget to throw a trial my way, but those hopes were in vain.

Last month I was hit with a dilemma that sent me reeling, jeopardizing my hard-won stability. I received the bad news when my girls stood by me. I held my emotions in with all my might so as not to alarm them.

At first I considered my ability to contain myself in front of my kids to be tremendous progress.

From the point I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder in 2007, whenever I became upset, my typical reaction was to express rage. I often got angry around my children instead of taking a time-out. I never laid a hand on my girls, but my behavior was reprehensible. I was a total rageaholic.

I’ll regret the times when I lost my temper in front of my little ones until the day I die.

Fast forward to last month.

After I received the news, my attempt to keep my rage under wraps was just a temporary solution to a deep-seated problem. My anger needed to be released, and when my daughters were gone for the day, I erupted. I didn’t hurt anyone, including myself, but I “went there” to a place I loathe with every fiber of my being.

I raged until I became a monster version of myself. It took me two days for my emotional hangover to dissipate. I was mortified about how I acted. I thought I was doing so much better! My psychiatrist had recently said how well he thought I was doing. My therapist made similar remarks during many of our sessions.

After my setback I felt like a phony imposter. I didn’t contact my psychiatrist because it wasn’t a crisis per se. I thought that meeting with my therapist would be most helpful. (I could’ve called her for an emergency phone session, but I waited for our appointment because I was certain that I wouldn’t “go there” again so soon.)

I knew my therapist would help me process what happened so that I’d react in a healthier way the next time rage descended upon me. We’ve only just begun to work on this issue, and I’ll give an update about what I learn in an upcoming post.

NOTE FROM DYANE – THIS IS WHERE I THINK I SHOULD’VE SPLIT THIS POST INTO PART ONE AND PART TWO. 

Aside from therapy, there are people, activities and tools that have helped me during this time. When you face your next challenge, I encourage you to utilize one or more of these options:

1) I connected with an understanding friend and our talk helped me a great deal.

2) I worked out on my elliptical each day for half an hour or I walked outside and got fresh air at the local high school track. Activating my endorphins may have prevented me from spiraling into depression after my setback. I follow the guidelines of the acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan who has studied exercise for mood stability.

 

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Me with my “furry antidepressant”

3) I hung out with my dog Lucy and I hugged her a lot. (She seems to like hugs!)

4) I read a few of my favorite blogs every day. These eloquent writers often mention their own setbacks and how they react to them. Even when the bloggers’ subject matter is disturbing, I’m inspired by courageous bloggers such as Blahpolar and Kitt O’Malley.

5) I read memoirs. I welcome getting lost in the minutiae of another person’s fascinating life. I’m currently reading Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: A Life in Music by Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart.

6) I eat some high quality, snobbylicious organic milk chocolate – I know dark is healthier, but so be it.

7) I use high quality essential oils. Lavender and orange essential oils are two of my favorites; they’re calming and mood elevating, respectively. I worked at the College of the Botanical Healing Arts, an essential oil practitioner college where I studied the efficacy of essential oils for mood. I was taught by one of the world’s essential oil experts, college founder Elizabeth Jones.

To learn how to use essential oils safely, the website altMD is a great resource. I recommend referring to altMD for what I call “The Big Three”: depression, anxiety and insomnia. To learn how to use essential oils safely for depression visit here, for anxiety visit here, and for insomnia visit here

8) Music. Any music that soothes you, play it…immerse yourself in it. I love listening to music in my car since my family doesn’t share my love for 1980’s rock; I’m sure you have your favorite spot.

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80’s Music Forever!

9) Connecting with my girls and husband. Hanging out. Listening to them. Being present with them.

There’s no way to sugarcoat the fact that a setback feels like an emotional tsunami. But you will recover from unexpected stumbling blocks. Make sure you have emergency action plans established with the key professionals in your life such as a psychiatrist and/or therapist. Create your own list of activities that make you feel good, healthy and safe.

In her memoir An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison wrote,

We all build internal sea walls to keep at bay the sadness of life and the often overwhelming forces within our minds. In whatever way we do this – through love, work, family, faith, friends, denial, alcohol, drugs, or medication, we build these walls, stone by stone, over a lifetime.

To achieve mental stability with bipolar disorder is precious, so do all you can to protect it.

I wish you strength in building your internal sea wall, and resiliency for the times that sadness and overwhelming forces take hold.

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Perhaps if I wrote about something related to the subject of this scintillating article I would’ve had success, but no matter.

Now that I’m able to take risks again, I can’t let one “NO” stop me, especially after my The Huffington Post Rejection Saga! If you’re considering taking a risk, I invite you to comment – I’ll cheer you on, free of charge!

In any case, I think my skin has gotten a little bit thicker from this rejection, and that’s good, right?

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My new look!

See you next week, and please, take good care of yourselves!

 Love, Dyane

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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Facebook, Unfriending & Havoc Created: Part 1

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I rarely reblog, but I’m reblogging this post for several reasons. First, the blogger Grief Happens (So Does Joy) is a superb writer. I’m a huge fan, and I suggest you visit her blog and get to know her and of course follow the blog. She also writes at a new blog called Live. Snap. Write. – Exploring what moves us. Take a peek.

Another reason will be obvious to those of you who read my last post “Mommy, It’s Her Loss” about my being unfriended by someone I trusted, promoted and admired. I’m still giving the issue far too much attention in my head, but it has gotten better each day – much more quickly than I expected, as a matter of fact.

Why?

Well, after I got such empathic, insightful comments from you, my blogging friends, your support truly helped me. There’s no other explanation for it. 🙂 So thank you again! (I still plan on replying to a few comments, by the way. Each one is a gem.)

I’m so glad you’ve stopped by today. As always, I’m grateful to you for reading this blog! See you at the end of this week with my Friday post, and take good care of yourselves.

Love,
Dyane

Grief Happens

On Friday, I read a post on my friend Dyane’s blog that reminded me of a life-altering experience my friend, Tara, had several years ago.

I do a lot of thinking about social media — the connections, behaviors I see, the benefits, the drawbacks. I ponder how I prefer using various platforms, both personally and professionally, and often find myself weighing the pros and cons of meshing my professional life and personal life within virtual spaces. It’s a tricky thing. I have no firm answers, but I’ve determined that so much of it is a highly individual decision that varies depending on the situation.

I find myself frequently having these conversations with  real-life friends, often after they’ve had negative experiences and need to talk through them.

I commented on Dyane’s blog and shared that I wanted to add more but was pressed for time and would do my best to…

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“Mommy, It’s Her Loss!”

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Well, my friends, it has happened again.

After a six-month-long Facebook hiatus, I returned to it to promote the HuffPost Women article. In order to reply to the comments, Huffington Post requires that people use Facebook. I’ve been on Facebook for less than a month.

Yesterday I got unfriended by someone I trusted. I was hesitant to blog about it, but I’m not revealing her identity.

Most significantly, one of my wonderful followers once stated, “This blog is your living room. Your space!” Damn straight, and I’m going to hang out in my living room today and lick my wounds, for I feel…..wounded.

Yet I won’t play the innocent. I made a business decision that I knew might upset this person, but at the end of the day, I had a solid rationale for what I did. I stand by it. I definitely wasn’t trying to be hurtful or sadistic. 

In no way did I expect her reaction to be over-the-top and even cruel. When I noticed she unfriended me, a line in my heart had been crossed.

Because of her unfriending, I never want any contact with her again.I blocked her on all social media. I felt safer after doing that, but it totally sucked.

Ahhhh, the beauty of Facebook.

“Friendships” can end in 10 seconds, no fuss, no muss.

Ugh.

At one point during our several-year-long virtual correspondence, she reached out to me the way a real friend does. Repeatedly.

I tried to help her. I tried to be a good friend in other ways too. Our hot & cold dynamic eventually confused the hell out of me.  

Before yesterday’s unfriending, when I informed this person I had been through some awful events quite recently, I was told she “didn’t have enough bandwidth” for me, essentially.

Yet I was there for her when she messaged me and said she was struggling.

Fuck it. And I doubt she’s reading this, because she never was interested in my blog, but if I’m wrong about that, here’s my message to her:

Stay.

Away.

From.

Me. 

I will never name her publicly, but this is my space. My blog.

My place to share my pain.

As my eight-year-old daughter saw me cry over this situation yesterday, she hugged me and said “Mommy, it’s her loss.”

And you know what?

My girl’s right.

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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 Fall, 2017.

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