I knew that certain aspects of blogging were getting to me, and that's why I took some time off. And it's amazing how stepping away from a stressful activity as well as leaving town for a few days can make all the difference.
Now that I'm back, I've got a few "new rules" for writing and reading blogs that I'll share with you.
1. From now on, I don't plan on discussing certain philosophical aspects of bipolarity any more. What I mean by this is that there are topics I've already responded to in past posts that I'm unwilling to revisit. Since February of 2007, I've posted 357 times. And while some of you are new readers, there are topics I've responded to over and over, and I no longer wish to do that. It's not a good use of my limited time.
So, for example, I no longer wish to discuss whether a bipolar diagnosis is helpful. It may be for you; it wasn't for me, and that's that. I no longer wish to discuss whether taking medication is helpful. Again, it may be for you; it almost destroyed my life, and I'm done talking about it.
2. Perhaps I need to let some of my new readers know something more about my background so they understand that even though I have no medical credentials, I am a professional writer and researcher, and that's how I've earned my living for the last 20 years.
I have spent 15 years researching bipolar disorder and related topics. I have read more than 100 books on bipolar disorder, depression, different kinds of healing, complementary and alternative medicine, and so forth and so on. I have downloaded more than 1,000 pages of information.
So, feel free to disagree with me, but please don't lecture me about this illness. I have very strong feelings and they go against the grain of most of what is written on the subject. I believe the treatment is a travesty. I believe that the pharmaceutical industry has a lock on this illness and that's why psychiatrists prescribe medication rather than recommending other treatments--either in conjunction with medication or to replace it. I believe that most doctors don't think "outside-the-box" about treatment. And they are failing, which is evidenced by the high rate of suicide. And I believe that for many people, the treatment has caused untold suffering.
I also believe that many people--myself included--have been misdiagnosed. And as I have stated many times before, I also believe that the experience of those of us who have been misdiagnosed may be different than those who are truly bipolar.
Having said this, I have survived 120 depressive episodes since 1968. For the last few years, I have learned more and more about ways to lessen the severity of these episodes for me. I believe that by next year, I may be able to eliminate depression from my life.
My mission in writing this blog is to write about wellness, to share information I read about, and to present new ideas. If you're healing yourself in a different way, that's great. I have no opinion about what works for you. I can only speak about what works and doesn't work for me.
3. I have been spending a lot of time responding to every comment because I believe that if a person cares enough to write a comment, they should receive an answer. However, in the future I will not respond to philosophical comments I've addressed in the past. I have a limited time to spend online, and I wish to make the most of it.
4. I've also decided that I will not longer read bipolar blogs that are negative. I've experienced enough pain and suffering to last for a lifetime. I will always take the extra step to help people who want to be helped. But, I'm not interested in reading blogs where people either seem to celebrate their misery, or recount it in great detail--without working to change their situation. That doesn't mean I'm not interested in reading about people who are putting up the good fight--and have depressive episodes. Or putting up the good fight, and have manias. But I'm a problem-solver by nature, and an optimist, and I am only willing to invest energy in people who are trying to help themselves.
5. Finally, I am working on ways to continue to present important information, but spend less time doing it. I'm in the midst of writing another book, I have a family, and I have an entire life that has nothing to do with bipolarity. So, while I will continue to write about wellness, I am rethinking how to present information so that my experience writing this blog is uplifting for me.
I realize that we all feel differently about bipolarity and wellness. We also have different priorities in life. We blog for different reasons. We like different kinds of blogs, and we are either interested in spending more or less time online.
I spend a limited amount of time online because it doesn't make me feel good to stare at a computer screen for hours on end. And because I'm a writer, I spend a few hours each day working on other projects.
My top priority is my own health, and yet my mission is to help others heal as well. I am continually working on ways to accomplish both.
Best regards to all!
P.S. I will only be responding to comments once or twice a day--probably in the morning and at night. So, if you send a comment and it's not published until hours later, please don't resend it until the next day.