About Me

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Hello! I'm a writer from central New York who has bipolar disorder. Among other topics, I write about mental illness and writing. I have short stories published in Lynx Eye, Lost Coast Review, The Outrider Review, Sliver of Stone Magazine, The Mondegreen, The Linnet's Wings, Cobalt Review, Breath & Shadow, The Round Up, Postscripts to Darkness, Masque & Spectacle, and several other journals. I have essays about mental illness in The Ram Boutique and Amygdala Literary Magazine, and an essay in Parts Unbound: Narratives of Mental Illness & Health, a book that was published by Lime Hawk Literary Arts Collective. In December of 2016, The Mondegreen nominated my story "Santa Lucia" for a Pushcart Prize. I've written a novel entitled Purple Loosestrife and a novel entitled Hoping It Might Be So, both of which I am submitting to agents and publishers. I'm working on a novel called Dark and Bright as well as a book called Violets Are Blue: Essays About My Bipolar Life. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Buffalo and an M.A. in English from SUNY College at Brockport. I hope you enjoy your visit to my blog!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Loss of Time

With mental illness comes a loss of time. I have lost days, weeks, and months to my bipolar disorder. But I try to look at what I've gained through these losses. Strength. Determination. A fighting spirit. Wisdom. But nevertheless, it's difficult to think of the times when I couldn't get out of bed, or when I was manic and out of control, and I missed out on "normal life", for lack of a better phrase. I had about eleven years (1995 to 2006) during which I struggled and lost time. But I try to look back on the good things that occurred during that time. Even though there are black holes of loss, I had my son, and he kept me going and always brought me joy. I had family and friends who cared deeply about me. From 1995 to about 2001, I had a wonderful psychiatrist. I had the most trouble from 2001 to 2003 and landed in the psychiatric ward four times, including in 2003 with a severe manic episode. But then I broke free in a number of ways and changed my life. I would still struggle until I truly came to terms with my bipolar disorder and until I found the awesome psychiatrist I presently see.

I'm not saying that everything became magically better in 2006. I still have ups and downs and difficult times. But overall, I have learned a lot about coping with this illness and about what to do when episodes begin to come on. I've learned the skills of dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), and these have helped me tremendously. I've also become an advocate for mental illness and try to educate and enlighten others about these conditions. This helps with my own condition.

So while I've lost time, I've also gained. I guess you can't dwell on losses. We all have loss in our lives due to one thing or another. I just happen to have specific losses because of a mental illness. But it's taught me to value time and revel in good times. 

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