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“You’re right, I’m a terrible mother, I’m a horrible wife, I just can’t do anything right!” I confessed as I faced my husband following his recital of my shortcomings after coming home to a messy house and 2 unkept daughters. That night I decided that my husband and daughters would be better off without me.  I left my home and began...

What Love Means Now

January 29, 2016
My version of love has changed from the past several years. When I was younger, love to me was an infatuation. When I was in my 20’s, love was lust – yes, there is a difference, but the label of love was used. Now, in my late 30’s, love is completely different than I ever thought possible. It is not trivial. It is not selfish. It...

Bell Let's Talk 2016

January 21, 2016

Melanie Luxenberg

International Bipolar Foundation is participating in the 2016 Bell Let’s Talk Initiative, which is taking place on January 27, 2016. How does it work? Bell Let’s Talk is a Canadian mental health initiative that encourages participants to have an open conversation about mental health using social media. For every text message, wireless...
Trigger Warning. This article talks explicitly about self-harm and different types. If you feel as though you may be triggered but still want the tips, read with a supportive person present. We feel out of control and in control at the same time. We hurt ourselves and for a moment there is relief. Shortly after we feel guilt, shame, and even...
This is the third article in a 3-part series. The blogger recommends reading the first article and second article before reading this one. When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder over 15 years ago, everything I read suggested that people with bipolar disorder should avoid stress as much as possible. As someone who had studied...
Sometimes mania seems like the ugly stepchild of the bipolar duo of mania and depression. Depression seems to get all the hype, all the attention. And mania sits in a corner like Baby from Dirty Dancing. But if any of you have seen a loved one (or you yourself) have experienced a manic episode, then you know mania is not some passive, quiet,...

Beauty Can Emerge

July 20, 2015
The other day I noticed that a plant in my cactus garden began to grow something that looked like horns and then like green candy canes!  At first I thought I should pluck them out because they were weird looking.  I asked a friend what she thought I should do.  She said that maybe that was my plant’s way of flowering. Within a week...

Who Do You Support?

June 22, 2015
In the past week I had an in-depth conversation about bipolar disorder with a friend of mine who knows very little about it. I appreciated her honesty and being open to learn about something that has been a big part of my life. One question that she asked me really stuck out. “What assisted you the most in getting out of depression?” ...
Recently a friend asked me what to do about someone that he suspects has bipolar. It was not someone I knew and as he was back in his home country, I could only give some pointers over Facebook message. Firstly, I asked him to read up about the condition, especially how to recognise possible symptoms. That’s the easy part. The difficult part...

Be The Village

May 26, 2015
Parenting isn’t easy. Anyone who’s ever parented, or has even just been parented well knows that. Don’t they say, “It takes a village to raise a child”? As if to say raising children well takes more than just one person, it takes a community, right?  Let’s suppose, God forbid, that your child has been diagnosed with a very serious illness,...
Last month, I wrote about my drop in center, Rebel’s Drop In, which offers peer mentoring, art classes, outings, and other activities.  What would it take to start one?  What is peer mentoring?A peer is someone who has personal experience living with mental illness.  Seventy eight comparative research studies that I read prove that...

Lift Me Up File

March 3, 2015
The purpose of this tool is to be reminded of good things that people have said about us.  When I've felt low in the past and taken a look through this file, it has helped to improve my mood.  This tool consists of both a physical file folder and a digital folder in your email, or somewhere in your computer.  Physical file - in a...