A Shameless Plea for Your Support! (Not $!) & Much More…

 

Dy & Lucy  kiss

Throughout my life I’ve been great at promoting others who I believe in with all my heart, whether it be their books, their causes, their blogs, their music, their food…whatever! ūüėČ

But when it comes to tooting my OWN horn,¬†it’s another story. ¬†However, today I’m in the mood to¬†toot away because Wendy W. Williamson, author of the bestselling memoir I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar and co-author with Honora Rose of the acclaimed¬†Two Bipolar Chicks Guide to Survival: Tips for Living with Bipolar Disorder,¬†has nominated me for a WEGO Health Activist “Best in Show” Blog Award. ¬†

I normally post on Friday, but I’m so excited about this news that I’m firing off this post right now!!!

A WHAT-GO?  you might ask?

A WEGO!

Here’s more to know about WEGO: ¬†WEGO empowers health activists to help others. ¬†WEGO Health is a different kind of social network, built from the ground up for the community leaders, bloggers and tweeters who are actively involved in health online. WEGO Health is a platform for committed health advocates to foster new relationships, gain access to helpful resources, and to grow their communities.

To endorse me takes under thirty seconds. ¬†After you endorse me, you’re prompted to share the nice act you just did (and to ask for endorsements on my behalf) via your Facebook and Twitter accounts, etc.

To endorse me (and to nominate/check out other worthy candidates – check out the misc. categories on the Wego site!) please visit:

https://awards.wegohealth.com/nominees/4811

Wendy wrote an incredible nomination blurb that I might wind up having tattooed on my face…although it’s long, so my derriere would be a more fitting location – ¬†here it is in all its glory – my head swells up every time I read it:

Dyane’s site is the best out there. I love that she tells it like it is and supports her fellow followers. A gifted writer, she clearly conveys through humor and honesty what is happening in her world and the world around us. Dyane taps in to our feelings beautifully, saving us from emotional isolation. Activist, champion, Dyane is both and more.”

You may be wondering what does a WEGO winner actually get.  Well, they each get $50,000 and a lifetime supply of chocolate!  No, just kidding.  

Here’s what WEGO has to say on the matter:

“Winners will be publically announced during our ceremonies in March, 2015 and each winner will receive special Health Activist Awards business cards signifying them as the winner of this year’s program, a donation to their Health Activist, a feature on WEGO Health’s blog and social channels, special access to WEGO Health opportunities throughout the year – including chances to speak at or attend conferences.”

(This would be awesome because I haven’t had a business card in a decade! ūüėČ No, really, an association with WEGO would allow me to reach more women with postpartum bipolar disorder and beyond….it would be fantastic!)

So I’m a happy camper this morning. ¬†Once again, I’m amazed by what happens when we connect with others through the internet who inspire us. When I first read Wendy’s engrossing memoir I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar,¬†I found myself unable to put it down and I finished it the same day. I never imagined that I’d be in touch with this author, let alone be gifted with a wonderful friendship and writing mentorship with her. ¬†

The same thing happened to me in terms of inspiration when I contacted Jennifer Marshall of the Bipolar Mom Life blog. ¬†She’s also a 2013 WEGO Health Activist finalist and creator of the groundbreaking “This Is My Brave” Show. ¬†There are so many positive things I could write about Jenn & her mental health advocacy that it would take a glowing blog post to begin doing her justice, and that’s just what I did – I wrote one. ¬†See here for¬†my post about Jenn:

https://dyaneharwood.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/the-blog-that-ignited-my-writing-spark-bipolar-mom-life-and-the-this-is-my-brave-show/-

Jennifer and “This Is My Brave” co-executive producer Anne Marie Ames are bringing the show to other cities in 2015, & you might want to participate. ¬†

The show’s concept can be viewed here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=186WMMJI-xQ

The entire “This Is My Brave” premiere show is on YouTube and it features my friends Elaina J. Martin (“Being Beautifully Bipolar” blog on Psych Central & http://www.blog.elainaj.com/) and¬†Meagan Barnes (http://www.anxietyangel.com/) :

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uag3WVfRMZE

So I’d like to dedicate this post to four extraordinary women who have made a huge, positive difference in my life over the past year:

MY FRIEND WENDY K. WILLIAMSON, WRITER EXTRAORDINAIRE

MY FRIEND DR. WALKER KARRAA, FOUNDER OF STIGMAMA.COM, AND AUTHOR OF¬†TRANSFORMED BY POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: WOMEN’S STORIES OF TRAUMA AND GROWTH¬†TO BE PUBLISHED BY PRAECLARUS PRESS THIS FALL, 2014¬†

http://www.drwalkerkarraa.com/

MY FRIEND, THE BLOGGER KITT O’MALLEY ¬†

http://kittomalley.com/

AND MY FRIEND JENNIFER MARSHALL, ANOTHER WRITER EXTRAORDINAIRE, FOR HELPING IGNITE MY WRITING SPARK THAT WAS LATENT FOR YEARS THANKS TO BIPOLAR DEPRESSION!  

http://bipolarmomlife.com/

and a special thanks goes to Cristi Comes, creator of the “Motherhood Unadorned” blog (http://www.motherhoodunadorned.com/)and founder of the Mental Health Blogging Network. Cristi’s encouragement, advocacy, and networking have been invaluable to me.

Last but not least, I must thank¬†LUCY THE CANINE MUSE – I can’t leave my furry girl out because she sits on my foot while I write, and she makes me so happy! ¬† Lucy does not have a blog or website at this time, but watch out – she never ceases to amaze me with her puppy brilliance.

LOVE TO YOU ALL,

Dyane

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TMI & UTI’s & 7 Cups of Tea!

 

Happy Freaky Friday everyone!

Did you watch¬†Black¬†Box¬†last night? ¬†I recorded it and plan to watch it over the weekend. ¬†Stay tuned for my humble opinion. Today I planned to be the day that I don’t write a meandering, 1200+ word blog post. ¬†I thought I’d l write 100-200 words and let my readers’ eyeballs and cerebellums relax a bit! ¬†Unfortunately I didn’t meet that goal just yet. ¬†Please bear with me.

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Yesterday, when I started writing this, I was under the weather – at least not mentally, but physically. ¬†I woke up at 3:00 a.m. due to my six-year-old daughter screaming at the top of her lungs from a nightmare. ¬†Poor thing – she crawled into bed with us, shaking like a leaf. ¬†I couldn’t get back to sleep afterwards, which is always frightening and frustrating since if when I experience sleep deprivation that can trigger bipolar mania.

When I crawled out of bed at 6:00 a.m., I suspected I had a urinary tract infection. ¬†I won’t go into detail. ¬†If you’ve experienced the pain of a U.T.I. you will know exactly how I felt. ¬†My husband left¬†for work at a job site two hours away. ¬†I worried that I’d have to bow out of my obligations for the day and make my girls miss yet more school. ¬†This was one of those times I wish I had a family member living close by who could rescue me.

Then, a miracle happened.  My pain and fear completely lifted and I was able to function once more.  I got the girls ready for school, I drove them in bumper-to-bumper traffic to their classes, and then I headed for the closest CVS to buy a U.T.I. pain medication and some cranberry juice.

I’ve rhapsodized¬†throughout this blog about how much I love my M.A.O.I. bipolar medication Parnate (tranylcypromine), which lifted my severe depression last fall. ¬† As wonderful as this medication is, Parnate does have its drawbacks such as food and alcohol restrictions and some medication contraindications.

Before I purchased the U.T.I. pain reliever AZO, I had to make absolutely sure that it would be okay to combine it with Parnate. ¬†Again, angels were smiling down upon me because the pharmacist told me it would be fine to take AZO. ¬†I also bought a¬†U.T.I. home testing kit, which was very convenient as it will indicate if I do indeed have the infection. ¬†(I didn’t even know these test kits were now available – it’s cool to see new items like this on the market.)

I didn’t plan on writing about my U.T.I. because I know it doesn’t make for exciting reading. ¬†But in contrast to that snoozy topic I discovered something I want to share with you that¬†is exciting and I hope you’ll agree.

It’s a website called¬†http://www.7cupsoftea.com/

active-listeners-therapy

 

Here’s the nutshell description:

7 Cups of Tea is an on-demand emotional health and well-being service. Our bridging technology anonymously & securely connects real people to real listeners in one-on-one chat sessions or phone calls.

Anyone who wants to talk about whatever is on their mind can quickly reach out to a trained, compassionate listener through our network. We have hundreds of listeners who come from all walks of life and have diverse experiences.

People connect with listeners on 7 Cups of Tea for all kinds of reasons, from big existential thoughts to small, day-to-day things that we all experience. Unlike talking to family or friends, a 7 Cups of Tea listener doesn’t judge or try to solve problems and say what to do. Our listeners just listen. They understand. They give you the space you need to help you clear your head.

The 7¬†Cups of Tea¬†website has much more relevant, fascinating information and I strongly encourage you to visit it and read the FAQ page. ¬†I had no idea this free internet service existed until last night. ¬†I was on Twitter participating in a “BraveChat” evening chat group. ¬†BraveChat is connected with the “This Is My Brave” project. One of the other participants, “Manic Medic” (an¬†EMT and mental health blogger)¬†mentioned 7 Cups of Tea as a helpful resource.

The categories that the listeners specialize in include anxiety, depression, bullying, eating disorders, managing emotions, panic attacks, surviving breakups, traumatic experiences and workplace stress. The ¬†listeners are available to talk to teens or adults.¬†I emailed the founder of 7 Cups, Glen Moriarty, to see if any of the listeners have a background in bipolar, because when I did a general search on his site, nothing came up. He replied to me that their search function is really slow and it’s not working the way it should; they do have some listeners with a background in bipolar, but he’d have to get back to me with the specifics, which I’ll share here in a later post.

I love love love my therapist, but she doesn’t have severe anxiety like I do. ¬†(Thank God!) ¬†It might be helpful to talk to a “trained listener” who¬†can discuss the anxiety from a different perspective. ¬†In any case,¬†I think this is a wonderful-sounding resource, and I love simply knowing it exists. ¬†If you decide to try it out, please let me know what your experience is like. ¬†And on that note, I wish you all a wonderful weekend!!!

 

 

The founder of¬†7 Cups of Tea “Glen”¬†explains where the site name comes from:

“7 Cups of Tea is actually the name of a famous Chinese poem. The suggestion is that each cup provides a different level of healing. It‚Äôs important that our community feels that 7 Cups of Tea is a place where you can sit down and have several cups of tea with a friend. It isn‚Äôt just a one-time meeting. You can touch base as much as you like.”

 

7 Cups of Tea, by Lu Tong (795 – 835 CE)
The first cup kisses away my thirst,
and my loneliness is quelled by the second.
The third gives insight worthy of ancient scrolls,
and the fourth exiles my troubles.
My body becomes lighter with the fifth,
and the sixth sends word from immortals.
But the seventh‚ÄĒoh the seventh cup‚ÄĒ
if I drink you, a wind will hurry my wings
toward the sacred island.
Translated by Christopher Nelson