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On (not) Being a Mother

Today is Mother's Day. A wonderful day. Unfortunately I am not spending it with my mom, having  just visited her for Easter, but I did get her a few little gifts and made her a card.

Motherhood is a weird thing for me. You see, I don't expect to have my own children. That is my choice. I know that those of you trying to conceive may not understand. I know that those of you who...


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Coming Out of the Bipolar Closet

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in October 2008. I didn't know I was bipolar. I didn't know about mania or mixed episodes. I only knew my old friend depression. But a smart psychiatrist asked the right questions and got the right answer - bipolar 1. I believe my suicide attempt was the result of a mixed episode. I know now that I was manic before taking all those pills and know that...


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ABC’s “Black Box” – Take Two

So, I am a bit late to the dance, but I just finished watching last night's Black Box on ABC. (Forgive me for the delay - my beautifully bipolar life happened).

I found this episode So. Much. Better. More believable. More identifiable.

First off with the things I hated:
1. When Catherine tells her therapist she is "an emotional, impulsive, self-destructive lunatic." Now, I myself do not like being called a "lunatic." With that comes this...


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Hallucinations

I never knew that some people who live with bipolar disorder experience hallucinations - that is, until it happened to me.

I am seeing a new internal medicine doctor and she asked about my bipolar disorder. She asked if I had hallucinations. I said yes. She said "Auditory or visual?" I told her both - but not recently, recently I am well.

The first hallucinations I experienced were rats and bugs 5 years ago, not long after...


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Thoughts on ABC’s “Black Box”

In case you missed it, last night was the premier of ABC's new show, "Black Box." In the show a neurologist named Catherine Black, played by Kelly Reilly, has bipolar disorder - and sometimes she doesn't take her meds.

Here's what I like about the show so far:
1. She sees a therapist. I've said it in these blog posts a hundred times (and probably will a hundred more), but cognitive behavioral therapy is super helpful...


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Faith

This is going to be a short post - it being Easter and all. I wanted to say how important faith is when you are living with a mental illness. I believe in God. Maybe you don't. That's cool.

Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous focus on a "Higher Power." I think you need to find you higher power be that Jesus or a God or Allah or a un-religious Higher Power. I wouldn't have made it this...


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Dealing with Bipolar Criticism

I was just interviewed for an article that will appear here on Psych Central in the coming weeks. The topic was how to react to dismissive statements about mood disorders. I won't reveal what I had to say in response to the editor's questions (you'll have to wait for that), but thought I would approach it as a whole now.

Being accepted is hard. In kindergarten. In junior high. Freshman year of college. So why...


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Scars

My right wrist is tattooed with the word "Love." The tattoo faces me. It faces me because I need it to remind me to love myself because, you see, sometimes I forget. It reminds me that God means love. It is a symbol of strength. But if you look closely enough you will see a scar - a line that runs between the "o" and the "v" of the words. It is a...


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Brave

Brave:
Adjective: possessing or exhibiting courage or courageous endurance
Noun: a warrior
Verb: to meet or face courageously; to defy; challenge; dare
I am brave. You've told me so, but I also know it deep down in that part of my heart where hope also lives.

When I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder I was not brave. I was scared. I was depressed. I thought my life was over. I thought it was an end.

Turns out it was just a new beginning.

I had a photo shoot this past weekend for a headshot for This...


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I don’t mean to ruin things.

(This comes from a chapter titled "Her Arms" of my unpublished memoir).

I don’t mean to ruin things.

In my late twenties something happened. The crazy came. The madness came. A storm blew in and took with it parts of my mind. I haven’t been able to tell if all of it has returned.

I had a best friend. She knew me. She knew me. She hated all the guys I dated because they weren’t...