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Bipolar-ish: Q&A with Musician Deidre Young

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A few months back, OC87 Recovery Diaries was sent a link to a song called “Bipolar-ish.” It was a funky, upbeat tune. The song was credited to an artist named H-Town Butta, and honestly, it caught me off guard. I loved the song’s friendly, pop sensibility, the layers of sound in the production, and the  playful — yet honest — lyrics about her lived experience. (I can’t lie, my moods do swing, but that’s OK, it’s an everyday thing, first comes the joy and then comes the sadness . . .”).  (more…)

Not For The Faint of Heart: Recovering From Co-Occurring Illnesses

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Living with bipolar disorder is not for the faint-hearted. It’s exhausting, and your will to live must be strong. You must win the same battle over and over again. The thing is, it doesn’t get easier. The brain is cunning. It turns right where it once went left. It’s slippery, elusive, and difficult to pin down. As soon as you think you’ve mastered it, the cycle repeats itself. Of course, I’m talking about when my bipolar is treated and well-managed. Undiagnosed bipolar disorder is a monster in its own right. It causes pain, destruction, and chaos. It rips apart families and it can be lethal. Frankly, I’m lucky to be alive.

Intense childhood panic attacks mark the beginning of my story. My family would push me out the front door toward the school bus as I would hysterically cry and push back. “Oh she’ll outgrow them,” my pediatrician said. So, instead of therapeutic intervention, spankings answered my literal cries for help.

Middle school brought with it depression and self-harm, which were also minimized. I believe that’s when I “toughened-up.” That is, I began wearing a figurative mask and learned to act as if nothing was wrong.

But it was in adulthood that living undiagnosed became most problematic.

Not even my mask could hide the madness within me. (more…)

A Spiritual Solution to a Mental Health Crisis

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What to say . . . what to say? This is my story. Part of it, anyhow . . . because how can I tell it all? It’s just revealing itself to me. Slowly. Like an iceberg melting. Like the barriers around my heart, melting.

Last year I wrote about not knowing how to write about my recovery. Next I wrote about my journey with cancer, depression, anxiety, and how the practice of Reiki saved my life.

Time has passed, and now I’m ready to write another chapter of my story. I write it with compassion, knowing that my perspective on life will change as time adds new relationships and emotions and tools to my unfolding life. I hope you find a nucleus of recovery somewhere in my story that ignites a sense of familiarity to your own journey — the desire to survive, to connect, to live.

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Getting Help With Medication And Therapy

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Editor’s note from Glenn Holsten:

A few months ago, Lauren Dicair submitted an essay about her life to OC87 Recovery Diaries. I was stunned by her story — it contained tremendously sad details of a traumatic childhood that was followed by years of wrestling with mental health issues.  I was also impressed by her resilience — the writer who had weathered so many emotional and physical storms was able to tell her story with quiet determination and thoughtful reflection.

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