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bipolar babe

Valleys – A Poem by Bipolar Babe

bipolar babe
As we travel in the boundless land of life,
We carry our baggage of sorrow, regret and strife.
We ask the ‘what ifs’ and lay in the valleys of doubt,
Allowing ourselves to feel turned inside out.

We look back at our shadow that taunts,
It paints ugliness and weakness – it haunts.
We can reach the top of the mountain and bask in the light,
We need to realize our shadows are not something to fight.

To wallow in shame will only bring regret,
Constant reminders are things we should forget.
My demons have chased me to a valley of peace,
And their taunting seems to have finally ceased.

I suppose I write this for I am a lot like you,
I have been shaken by the darkness too.
There is nothing your shadow could ever confess,
For you deserve never-ending happiness.

Turmoil in our souls urge us to grow like a flower,
And in our fragility, we fail to realize our power.
We have the choice to be a rose or a weed,
And sometimes the darkness is just what we need.

Musings of My Memoir Waiting to be Born

I have been writing a book…for 10 years. I know in my heart that this is one thing that I can and will achieve. This is one of my most valuable dreams – to write my own memoirs about my lived experience with bipolar disorder. 

I have written over 100 pages so far, mostly in 2005, and I wanted to share a small piece that I wrote over 10 years ago, after my second, and last hospitalization. This was before Bipolar Babe, the Bipolar Disorder Society of BC and even before I truly knew that I possessed an advocate's voice inside my heart.

Year 2005, age 28 years old. 

"I realize that some people will think that I am crazy to share my entire and unedited story with the world in the form of a book.  It would be just plain wrong to deny that I have been insane, and writing my memoirs has probably been the most sane thing that I have ever done.  If there is anything that I hope people will take away from my story is having them realize that they do not have to be afraid.  Many ask if I am angry with those that turned a blind eye. Angry?  No.  Disappointed, of course.  However, I finally have a will to live and offer a sincere thank-you to those few special people who were there to support me during the most difficult time of my life. 

For now, I will retreat to another country, but I will never let go of my political dreams.  I accept that I was just never meant to have a sugar coated life; instead, I am someone that has been given a life of adversity, which has actually created a drive within my being that cannot be overcome. I truly feel that I am blessed to have been equipped with impeccable survival skills and a true compassionate understanding of human nature. 

Many ask, why do I want to expose my story to the world?  It is not for the purpose of self-glorification, but I hope to inspire others to listen to the many more personal stories that exist, and help fight the stigma that people with mental illness are forced to endure. 

As I journey on to South Korea, I know that my travels will only add to my many valuable and colorful life experiences and I wait in great anticipation for my plane to soar into the skies.  I may be cursed by this illness, but I am blessed to know what it feels like to be a 'God', however; I also know the reality of experiencing a time where I was truly condemned to hell. I have faith that there is meaning in this living paradox."

…to be continued…

Thanks for reading… xo Andrea 

Blogging and Writing by a Bipolar Babe

What does a Bipolar Babe write about when she is lost for words and she has said so much already? I have shared so many words this month.

I have been blogging for HealthPlace.com’s website on my new Surviving Mental Health Stigma Blog. It has been amazing to say the least and I am astounded at the response, especially for the fact that I am new contributor. One of my latest pieces includes writing about ‘Mental Health Stigma in the Family.’ It received over 1700 likes on facebook and this is definitely a milestone in my writing career. I have also been writing for Beegreen.ca and my latest piece is on Mental Health Stigma and Recreating your World.

I also had the opportunity to be a guest blogger for Victoria Maxwell on her Psychology Today blog, which you can read here. I write about hope and mental health and how no matter what you just have to keep trying, fighting and of course to never lose hope.

Amidst all of this writing I have been traveling for work a lot lately. I was in Vancouver for a FamilySmart conference, a SPARK conference on knowledge translation for a few days and lastly I headed east to Calgary and Canmore for a CREST BD annual meeting. I am yet to go to Indiana for four days and attend a Clubhouse Workshop with Jackie Powell from the new mental health advocacy group in Victoria called ‘Moms Like Us.’

People ask me if the travel is burning me out and to be honest it has been a bit harder to stay awake and focus this week. I noticed my perseverance and will are not as strong and it has been extra hard to focus. Bipolar is not always the most welcome illness, especially when it comes to travel. I don’t intend to write a blog on tips for traveling as I have done that already in the past but refer to the latest link for a refresher.

I am so thankful to have a secret getaway coming up and will have a break from all the hustle and bustle; for two days anyway. I thoroughly enjoy my job though and feel blessed to have all these opportunities to grow, learn, and meet amazing people.

Maybe I am not at a loss for words after all. Big surprise! Have a lovely day.