Monday, March 23, 2009


Hey, y'all --

Just wanted to remind you that this is going to be my last post here - the next post will be at my new space at:

I hope everyone will follow me over there!

I think you'll like it. It's already up, and it looks a little bit different, but it'll be easier to post comments there, and easier to read. Also, all my old posts will follow over, too, so you can still read on any topic you want, all the way back to 2005!

So, c'mon down to: and join me on Thursday!!!

Ok, so on to today's topic.

Somebody was talking to me about friendship and bipolar disorder. She was saying how hard it was to have or keep a friend if you have the disorder.

At first I got real defensive, thinking that wasn't true, but then I started agreeing with her. I have found it to be true, for the most part, in my life.

I have one friend, but we have been friends since 10th grade (over 35 yrs ago). Then I have another friend, who is like my sister, but she only understands me because she also has a mental disorder. Neither one lives where I do.

Where I live, I have absolutely no one but my husband, and he is my best friend. I'm very lucky, and I count my blessings every day. Because, as most of you know, he also has bipolar disorder, so he understands what it's like to live with "the dragon."

We don't have any friends, tho. Nobody else we can go out with, just for dinner or whatever.

No one else seems to "get" us. And we're not even that weird! (just sorta)

It's a good thing we're best friends, because we have to hang around each other alot, and we are each other's best entertainment.

But I was thinking about all of you, wondering if you've run into the same thing. Do people treat you different when they find out that you have bipolar disorder?

Have you been able to find and make friends? Have you been able to keep friends?

Or does it seem to not matter to other people in your case?

I'd really like some feedback on this one.

Wishing you peace and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,
ps. See you next post at:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'M MOVING!!!!! The Blog is Moving Next Week!!!

Hey, y'all --

Just wanted to give you enough notice -- I'M MOVING!!! I should say, THIS BLOG IS MOVING NEXT WEEK!!! So write down the new address, which will be:

I hope everyone comes with me. Nothing will change. I promise you, everything will be the same. Same old me, same old blog. Just a different address. I'll blog one more time on here to make sure other people get the new blog address before I move, but get the word out:

I've been writing for for 4 years now. I can't believe I haven't done this sooner. I guess I just didn't know how (someone else did this one for me), then I just got comfortable here.


Well...have I done enough advertising yet? I hope so, because I'm tired. At least you'll only have one more blog to go through with this, then I'll be on the new website ( and will be there forever. I really hope everyone follows me there.

Anyway, it's amazing what a big difference a small change can make.

I had a week of a bit of depression (yeah, tell me you didn't notice)...

And I told my psychiatrist about it, and he tweaked one of my meds just a little bit, and you wouldn't believe the difference! Like I said, what a big difference a small change can make!

The depression was gone completely within 48 hours!!!

It taught me a lesson, though. I had gotten complacent. And a bit conceited, I think.

I thought, I guess, that it couldn't happen. And it certainly couldn't happen to ME!

I mean, I had been so stable for so long, and I never saw this depression coming. I was just feeling so good, you know? Like, what was there to be depressed about? My life is really good, I love what I do for, I love speaking for NAMI and touching others with my personal story, helping other people with bipolar disorder...

I have a fantasically wonderful husband...3 great kids...I love my house in the peaceful mountains...and I even have the cutest dog. I talk to my mom almost every day, and she really helps me with my stability, too, cuz she has bipolar too.

And I have this blog, and all of you!

Oh, and don't let me leave out my great doctor, psychiatrist, and therapist, and all those (ugh) wonderful bipolar medications that I'm on.

So what more could a gal ask for?

Yet I still found myself depressed.

So I went back to square one. Why does someone with bipolar disorder get depressed? (Sounds like a bad joke coming, doesn't it?) Because they have bipolar disorder!!!

It means they get depressed when it's sunny. They get depressed when it's raining. They get depressed when life is bad. They get depressed when life is good. They get depressed over everything. They get depressed over nothing.

They just plain get depressed.


So, anyway, with a little change in my medication, the depression lifted. Bipolar depressions have a tendency to do that, as we know.

Now today I'm happy-happy-joy-joy because...


Don't forget to write it down so we can all be together in our brand new house! :)

Wishing you peace and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,

Monday, March 16, 2009

Everything Happens for a Reason

Hey, y'all --

I've been thinking -- what if I didn't have bipolar disorder? Seriously, I mean, don't get me wrong, I would LOVE it if I didn't have the disorder, but think about it -- what would I be doing with my life? I've been writing for and helping other people with bipolar disorder for 4 years now! I just can't imagine doing anything else so rewarding and fulfilling with my life.

What if they found a cure? What would I do? Go back to work? And do what? Be a medical transcriptionist or respiratory therapist again? No thank you, don't think I could handle the stress, bipolar or not.

But just think about it. The idea of not having bipolar disorder any more. No more mood swings. No more episodes...


That would be one of the greatest parts of all for me. I hate taking all that medication every single day. Wow -- medication free. Woohoo!!

Ah, but no more security, either. Disability isn't the greatest, but at least its been some type of financial security, and Medicare has paid all my medical bills. But if I didn't have BP, I wouldn't have those bills, now, either, would I? No more doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist! No more drugs!

Gosh, what freedom! I could probably go off disability and get a real job again.

But what would I WANT to do? I want to help people.

You want to know the real truth? I don't want to do anything other than what I'm doing right now. I wouldn't want things any other way than the way they are now.

Ok, so I have to take medication every day, but I'm stable. And I'm not a millionaire (I never would have been, anyway) -- but I'm rich in other ways. And I help people, people that wouldn't have gotten help if I didn't have bipolar disorder and the ability and willingness to help them with my experiences and this blog. And with the writing I do on

You know, everything happens for a reason. I really believe that.

I would never have been happy married to anyone else, having any other children than the wonderful 3 boys that I have, living anywhere else, in any other house than I have, driving any other car than I do...

I can't imagine being happy being anyone else or living anyone else's life.

Mine is just fine, thank you very much. Bipolar disorder or not, everything happens for a reason, and there's a reason that I have it. If for none other than to help other people with it.

And that's good enough for me.

Wishing you peace and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,

Monday, March 09, 2009

Bipolar Meds and Health Insurance

Hey, y'all --

Well, first of all, the NAMI Day-on-the-Hill in Nashville was great! There were 300-400 people who all met at the state's capitol building and saw our senators and representatives about bills surrounding mental health issues. I met with Senator Overbey, my state senator, about his bill regarding crisis services for people who can't afford them, which is something I really believe in.

He was so receptive and even kind to me! I told him some of my testimony about how crisis services had helped me and my son (who was 12 at the time) when I was a single mom and couldn't afford it. Well, he's 19 now, and stable with his bipolar disorder.

The senator sent me an email thanking me for my visit and my testimony. His email crossed with my snail mail letter with an enclosure of a front-page article from our local newspaper about the homeless, and how they wouldn't be so, if there were crisis services to help them!

I think early intervention is important when it comes to mental illness. I know in my own case, I believe I always had bipolar disorder -- I just didn't get formally diagnosed until I was 44 or 45. Until then, I self-medicated my symptoms with alcohol and drugs. Had there been early intervention for me (like there was for my son), I know I wouldn't have done those things.

I also wouldn't have ended up sleeping in my car, or marrying several husbands, either! To say nothing about all the money I spent (that I didn't have to spend)! Or any one of a number of bipolar behaviors from countless episodes that would never have taken place had I been diagnosed earlier than I was. Can I get an amen???

Sorry, didn't mean to preach -- I know I'm preaching to the choir anyway. I know there's a lot of people who don't have insurance and, even those who have it, many of them are under-insured. I've been told that many health insurances won't even cover behavioral health, and that is an outrage!

Hubby and mysef were even turned down for life insurance because of our bipolar disorder.

Even with Medicare, some of my medications aren't covered, and even those that are have a co-pay. But I'm not complaining, because I know that just one of my bipolar meds costs $650 every month, so I am grateful for Medicare and Medicaid help. I don't know what I'd do without it.

Sometimes my husband and I kid around about winning the lottery, but the truth is, I can't afford to lose my disability, because I can't afford to lose my health insurance coverage! My bipolar meds add up to almost $2,000 each month! That'll eat up a lottery income pretty fast, won't it? No joke!

At any rate, I think there should be more help for people who have mental illness. Because of their situation, they end up on the street or in jail much of the time. That's even what this article said. And then, according to our local sheriff, they just get sicker. I know I did.

Well, here's wishing you peace and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,

Monday, March 02, 2009

Can't Get Too Excited with Bipolar Disorder

Hey, y'all --

I am so excited today! I'm going to Nashville for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to speak with my State Representative and Senator about mental health issues (i.e., "Don't cut off our funding!").

But I'm reminded (by the butterflies in my stomach) that those of us with bipolar disorder have to watch it when we get excited. What I mean is that we can't get TOO excited, or we may trigger ourselves over that oh-so-fragile bridge to mania.

And I can't afford to be manic. I do stupid things, like go shopping. And more shopping. Too much shopping. :)

And stay up way too late for me. I guess that's the first sign that I'm manic. My sleep schedule changes. In spite of having nighttime medication that should put me to sleep, in a manic state, my mind won't shut off (rambling thoughts), so my body won't shut off, either. And there you go. I'm off and running... manic again.

I'm not saying I'm manic now, by any means. Rollercoaster or not.

I'm just saying that I have to watch myself very carefully in situations like this when I get nervous energy and get excited, that I DON'T get manicky, that's all.

But we all need to watch our signs and symptoms, so I know I'm preaching to the choir here.

Well, I'm excited anyway, and about to leave. Just wanted to drop y'all a quick note. I'll let you know what happens.

Wishing you peace and stability,

Remember that God loves you and so do I,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

On the Merry-Go-Round

Hey, y'all --

Remember when we were kids, how when we went on the merry-go-round, we'd grab which horse we thought would be the "fastest," or go the "highest" (what did we know, right?) :)

We thought the people who sat in the seats that didn't move weren't going to have as good a time as WE were, didn't we?

Well, lately I feel like I'm back on that merry-go-round again -- the bipolar merry-go-round, that is. I've been so up and down lately, I wonder when I'm going to meet myself in the middle! Now I envy those people in the seats that don't move.

It's not that I'm not stable, just that I've been very emotional lately. I just wonder what's up with that. I've ruled out several physical things, so I know it isn't "female-related," or anything, so I think it has to be related to my bipolar, and that bothers me more.

I hate not having control over my own brain. Know what I mean?

I always thought I had control over myself and my life (turns out I really never did). But I really hate this. I hate not having control over the chemical imbalance of bipolar disorder -- those cute little buggers they call synapses in my brain that can fire off at will and cause me to have mood swings just like that!

To top it off, I'm a rapid-cycler, so things can really be fun sometimes. Yeah, real fun.

Mood swings and bipolar disorder are like this (crossing fingers). They just go together. And usually I can be very cool about it all. Just accept it. But lately, with the merry-go-round going off in my head, I don't think so.

It's these times that I really hate this disorder. Don't get me wrong, I accept that I have BP. But I don't have to like it. That's nowhere in the rule book. Nobody ever said I had to like it. I just have to accept it.

So I have to manage it, in order to stay stable. And I do that.

So where are these conflicting emotions coming from, then? These ups and downs of late? I can even look back at my posts and see them manifested. I myself am confused by it, so I feel sorry for y'all! :)

But the point is, there is absolutely nothing wrong with me, my work, my marriage, or my life in general! Nothing to point a finger at and blame for these mood swings!

Nothing that I can say is definitely responsible for this overwhelming feeling one minute so bad that I want to have a crying jag, and the next minute I want to scream my head off!

Have any of you ever felt like this?

I sure wish you'd tell me about it if you have. I'd hate to think I'm the only one.

Usually I just laugh it off. Humor is one of my greatest coping techniques. But it seems to be failing me the past couple of days.

Well, if anyone has any feedback, I'd sure like to hear it.

Wishing you peace and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bipolar Disorder Makes Us Stronger

Hey, y'all --

You know the expression, "Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger," right? Well, obviously, my bipolar disorder hasn't done me in yet, so as crazy as it sounds, I'm going to tell you that it's actually made me stronger.

In my morning reading, I found "pearls" that back up what I'm saying. Lines like:

"When I face a fear, I am given courage; when I support a brother or sister, my capacity to love myself is increased; when I accept pain as part of the growing experience of life, I realize a greater happiness; when I look at my dark side, I am brought into a new light..."

I can relate to the "dark side" part as the depressive side to my bipolar, but also as part of some of my manias as well. My manic brain, with its delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia at times, has taken me places I wouldn't want my worst enemy to go.

But I have survived every one of those experiences, and have emerged a stronger woman for it -- because every bipolar episode leaves me with an even stronger resolve not to let the "dragon" (my bipolar disorder) get the better of me.

This blog means so much to me. The chance to use my experiences, bad or good, up and down, to hep other people, offers a gratification like no other.

Again my morning's "pearls" ring true, as they say:

"Showing others who suffer how we were given help is the very thing which makes life seem so worthwhile to us now."

Over the many years that I've been writing to you, I've shared much of my past openly and honestly -- the suicide attempts, institutionalizations, multiple marriages, substance abuse, etc. -- behaviors before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and became stable. (And many of you have shared the same openness and honesty with me, and I appreciate your trust in me.)

But now let me share the greatest "pearls" of all from my reading this morning, lest you mistakenly believe, as I did, that those were all "wasted years." Read these words with your heart:

"What a gift it is for me to realize that all those seemingly useless years were not wasted. The most degrading and humiliating experiences turn out to be the most powerful tools in helping others to recover. In knowing the depths of shame and despair, I can reach out with a loving and compassionate hand, and know that the grace of God is available to me...Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish..."

I hope these words touch you as much as they touched me.

For those who have followed my writings over all these years, I hope you will respond.

Wishing you peace and stability,

Remember God loves you and so do I,