Two different kinds of prejudice and my inability to speak up one time

mental illness stigmaToday I read a story written by a compassionate and courageous woman on a bipolar support forum. I really admired how she, a non-psych nurse, treated a manic teen in a general hospital. The manic teen’s behavior to an outsider would have seemed shocking, but she knew that it was not his fault, but that he was ill and needed help and understanding. After encountering ignorance and prejudice against the mentally ill boy by other staff, she spoke up to defend him and challenge stigma. That reminded me of an occasion when I, on tenterhooks, didn’t speak up about two kinds of prejudice.   Continue reading

Another type of bravery worthy of recognition (surviving hardships)

Bravery

When I was a young girl, and then a young woman, nothing could stop me. I felt there was nothing to fear. As a child, I rode my bike alone throughout the town. As a young woman, I traveled alone in countries across the globe. I knew that things would always work out fine, even if I ran into trouble. 

Was it just the way I was raised that made me, a female, so confident and unintimidated? Or did a bit of my bipolar disorder contribute to that, too? After all, bipolar mania can make you feel on top of the world, indestructible, and all powerful. It can also make you more apt to taking risks because of an impulsivity that a stable mind would resist because of common sense, or general caution.  Continue reading

Dancing in the skies to dancing on the keyboard

dancing on keyboard

I have written over 200 blog posts since the end of February 2017. Of those blog posts, 20 (10%) include a reference to my love and history of dancing. This love seemed to be born in me, and nurtured throughout my youth. Even as I get older, if I’m not dancing on the floor to music, my mind is dancing to the music I create with words. That dance performance can be spied through the brisk movements of my hands as they quickly move upon my keyboard.   Continue reading

A Story of Musical Hallucinations (When music mostly died for me)

Music notes birdI don’t know how long it’s been exactly, but I’d say at least four years.  It was back then that for me the music stopped sounding good, or at least it stopped invigorating my soul. How to really explain it, I do not know.

I was a dancer from the first days that I remember. Music was central in my life. Live jazz played in my grandparents’ music room. Classical music in the dance studio. I liked Rock and Roll the whole time, too. Really any music satisfied me, and I could dance to almost anything, even the buzzing of the street lamp, or the sound of a rope slapping the flag pole in the wind. Continue reading

Why Jails And Prisons Shouldn’t Be Mental Asylums

prison cells

A few years ago, my husband stumbled upon a book written by a journalist father of a young man with bipolar disorder. The young man (a good kid) committed a crime during the midst of a manic episode and was arrested for the crime. As some people with bipolar mania experience, the young man didn’t even remember committing the crime. Continue reading

Bipolar and Energy Levels

I’ve been struggling to write in my blog lately, and haven’t been able to read as many other bloggers’ posts as I’d like. I’m sorry! Initially, the struggle had to do with my inability to concentrate due to various levels of bipolar mania (high energy). Now I just plain don’t have sufficient energy. Continue reading

Pluck me from this horrid place

key in door

Pluck me from this horrid place that I have lived in for so long. No, not from my literal home with you, my love, but from the jail of its inner rooms.

You know the jail itself is solely in my brain. Outside with you are miles of beauty. And yet you only ever look through my jail window at me, saturated by grey and black. Though I do see a glimpse of the outside beauty past your face, it seems surreal and distant. Your face looks sad and frustrated. I kiss it through the jail window, but we both want more. Continue reading

Sensory overload

curtains drawn

I am feeling far from sunny today. Grief fills my heart, mind and soul and everything around me looks grey and decaying. Even with my bedroom light turned on I feel overwhelmed. I shut my curtains for relief. It’s almost as if I have a migraine, but there is no headache, per se. No, my head doesn’t ache, but a great weight is bearing down on it, causing dullness in thinking, strain, and utter fatigue. Continue reading

When I was on the bottle self-medicating

alcoholic-beverages-1845295__340

I remember liking alcohol as far back as a kid, when I would steal sips of beer from my father’s bottle. My parents didn’t even mind if I had a taste of wine at dinner as a young teen. I know this is generally unaccepted in the United States, and yet not uncommon in some other countries around the world. My parents were pretty lax, so found no harm in letting me have a taste. Continue reading

Childhood interrupted (Part 2 of 2)

private school

Consider reading Childhood interrupted (Part 1) before reading this post.

I remember when I first met the replacement guidance counselor, I liked him immediately. Unlike the former counselor who acted like a disciplinarian, this new gentleman had kind eyes, a soft voice, and unlike most school officials, seemed to treat me like more than just a kid. He was genuinely concerned about what had happened to me. Continue reading