5 Ways We Grieve

Back in the mid-twentieth century, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified the five stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—and they stuck. Heck, I just wrote about them last month. According to Susan Berger, researcher and practitioner in the health and mental health fields for over twenty-five years, those five stages may work well for the dying […]

I, Too, Have a Dream

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Some of you may recognize my dream, but I like to repost it every now and then to keep it alive and give it legs. In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.: I have a dream that one day I won’t hold my breath every time I tell a person that I suffer from bipolar […]

The Fern and the Bamboo

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A classic that I like to post on Beyond Blue every now and then … One day I decided to quit…I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality…. I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God. “God”, I said. “Can you give me one good […]

Give Up on Being Perfect

In “Being Perfect,” bestselling author Anna Quindlen advises high school and college graduates to work from a clean slate … to give up on being perfect. I keep the gift book beside my computer (with Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” and many other books, information hoarder that I am) as a constant reminder to be […]

In Sickness and In Health

“On Wednesday, I will leave my husband of twelve years. He is a depressive. He uses prescribed medication and has available to him a phalanx of good therapists. But he also self-medicates with alcohol. He disdains therapy. He refuses to confront his disease.” She communicated this partly as a response to my MLK piece (on […]

The Cracked Pot

I love this tale from India, retold here by Mary Dessein. What a beautiful way of thinking about our illness, frustrating life situations, or crosses we bear. A water-bearer carries two large pots on a yoke across his shoulders up the hill from the river to his master’s house each day. One has a crack […]

Label Me, Please

For a long while I was afraid to write things such as “I am mentally ill” or “I am bipolar.” I was afraid of labels. By calling myself a manic-depressive would I trap my psyche in “sick” mode? By accepting my diagnosis of bipolar disorder, would I prevent healing? By writing the words “I am […]

What Is Your Epiphany?

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An epiphany can mean several things: an “Aha!” moment after relentless searching and study, the first time you see something (or someone) in its natural form, or the Christian feast commemorating the visit and adoration of the Christ Child by the three wise men. As a child, I imagined I was a Wise Girl (not […]

Words of Hope for Despair

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I wrote this response to Beyond Blue reader Kate after reading her despondent comments, but I wanted to republish them in case any of you are in a similar state. You say that no one could understand your despair. I have no doubt you feel completely alone in your battle. But I’m pretty sure a […]

12 Winter Depression Busters

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We’ve officially entered the hard months, the “dark ages” as the midshipmen at the Naval Academy say: the time of the year when the sun disappears and the pale complexions of your friends remind you that you had better take your vitamins or else you’ll have a cold to go with your pasty look. I […]

5 Ways to Make Your Resolutions Stick

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I know what you’re thinking: another cheesy, goody-two-shoes article on how I can keep all those goals I’ve set going into 2010. If you abhor such articles (like 10 ways to de-clutter your bathroom), then keep on reading. I’m like you. Normal.   1. Bribe yourself. A so-called parenting expert that I read last week […]