Monday, November 12, 2007

Bipolar Blogging (Part 1)

Thank you to all of the people who have been so kind and supportive these past few months, particularly: Sydney and JayPeeFreely as well as Marja, Marie, Dream Writer, AKA Cate, Cindy, Daily Dose, and Howard.
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What's in a name? I've finally decided to change my blog from Bipolar Wellness Writer to Susan Bernard. Why? There are three primary reasons.

1. Bipolar wellness is just one of the issues I write about. For the last few months, I've been focusing on my experiences caring for my mother...and then her death. Although I'm now moving on, I've got to tell you that scattering my mother's ashes was truly a wonderfully healing experience --aside from the fact that I thought I might be arrested, that I had a lengthy talk about biodegradable urns with the mortuary guy who told me about the one he sold that looked like a Frisbee, and when all was said and done...the only person who would have laughed as loudly about my experiences as I did--was my mother, who I truly miss!

2. Most bipolar blogs are too downbeat for me. I apologize to anyone I may offend by this comment but as far as I'm concerned, it's true. Having survived more than 120 depressive episodes, I feel I'm entitled to my opinion. The fact is that, for the most part, if I've learned anything about avoiding depression--and quite honestly, I've learned a lot--I believe that dwelling on the negative makes you feel worse.

There is a difference between "writing to make sense of one's experience and to try and heal," and "writing to dump." While I occasionally engage in the latter, it's truly with the goal of trying to understand the triggers or people who have caused me to feel depressed in the past, and to rid myself of the anger I feel toward them so that I can move on.

I strongly believe that "writing to dump" on a daily basis provokes negative emotions and causes depressive episodes.

(to be continued)


JayPeeFreely said...

I think it works either way for you.

Because you included WELLNESS in your title, it made it a priority not to just vent or dump.

I sometimes dump too much...last post and quite a few others.

Course, I am not consider BIPOLAR, medically, but I think it is a safe bet I have tendencies...

I hopefully will have something useful to say tomorrow..gotta go!

Syd said...

Hi Susan,
I like the name change and as I've said before, I love the way you write about whatever is on your mind, whether it has anything to do with being bipolar or note. You and your blog help me remember that life is about so much more than that diagnosis.

I couldn't agree with you more about writing as path towards healing. I feel so much better when I surround myself with things and people that are uplifting. Even something as simple as the type of music I listen to has a big impact on my mood.

I look forward to seeing all the great changes you have in store as your blog evolves. Keep up the great work!


marja said...

Hi Susan, I try to be positive on my blog and think I usually am. I want to encourage people with my writing. It feels good to do that. By encouraging others I encourage myself.

But you know, sometimes a person needs to vent, and sometimes the best place is my blog. I did some of that today and I truly think it was the healthiest thing I did for myself. Better than keeping it all inside.

SBWRITES said...

I agree with you, and I certainly feel that your blog is one of the positive ones. We all have our sad, unhappy, and angry days and I agree that it's important to vent rather than to hold those feelings inside.

What I'm talking about are the blogs that are rarely--if ever--positive.

In the months I've been blogging, I have read any number of bipolar blogs where it would seem as if the writers never have any good days, any fulfilling relationships, or any joy in their lives.

I stopped reading them months ago. While I initially tried to be supportive, I finally realized that they didn't want support or advice--because, in fact, many of their readers offered both.

Rather, they seemed to ignore all opportunities to resolve problems and change behavioral patterns that were contributing to their unhappiness, and exacerbating their symptoms.

That is the antithesis of everything I believe in. For me, life is too short to try to help people who don't want help.

The people who interest me are those who have overcome adversity and truly seek happiness and wellness.