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Dyane Harwood

Why I Save My Dad's Voicemails

 I've been wanting to write about this topic for a while, but I kept putting it off.  It wasn't that I didn't want to do it, but more and more I found myself easily distracted. 

(Thank you social media!  I'm blaming you!) ;) 

I realized that the most inspiring time to reminisce would fall close to Halloween, my favorite day of the year.  I've loved Halloween ever since I was a little girl, and I've dressed up every year without fail - even during the bipolar depression years. 

Just Don't It

As I’m sure you noticed, I’m using a grammatically incorrect title, but I couldn’t resist.  (May my seventh grade English grammar teacher forgive me!)  

During the 1980's a trendy Nike ad campaign caught the world's attention with the tagline “JUST DO IT!”  Nike's message was loud and clear: there were no excuses when it came to exercise.  I think it was a brilliant campaign, as it motivated people to work out.  The catchphrase is just as true nowadays as it was a couple decades ago. 

Writing Heals My Brain

I've turned to writing during many times of bipolar depression.  I know that many of you are writers too.  We write in blogs and in our journals. 

We email, take notes for classes, and once in a while, we even handwrite letters the old-fashioned way! So many forms of writing exist, and they can all serve us well in terms of catharsis and self-expression.  The following is a free-form piece I wrote when I was asked by a dear friend, "Why do you write?" 

I write because I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was nine-years-old. 

A Great Divide

Lately I’ve been wondering about friendship, including what I can realistically offer as a friend now.  To be honest, I don’t have that much to give this summer.  It has only been a year since my last hospitalization for bipolar depression.   

I’ve had multiple hospitalizations for bipolar disorder since I was diagnosed in 2007 six weeks after the birth of my second daughter.  

Dyane Harwood

Dyane Leshin-Harwood holds a B.A. degree in English Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz.  Dyane was diagnosed with type I bipolar disorder in 2007 at age thirty-seven, six weeks postpartum after the birth of her second daughter. As a result, Dyane has developed a commitment to postpartum mood disorder education, and she's currently working on her book “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder”.

The Bipolar Identity Shift

Over tea, Dan recalled the young woman I had been at nineteen, long before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at thirty-seven.  He mentioned that, sure, I seemed moody at times, but he noted that my moods didn’t swing to either extreme.  While Dan isn’t a psychiatrist, I took his opinions as seriously as if they were the opinions belonging to a physician.

The Dreads Arrival

DogToday, despite it being summer and my not having to rush my two girls to school, I woke up in a big 'ol funk.  At 5:00 a.m. our precocious Lucy, now a thirteen-week-old bundle of energy, acted as a canine alarm clock and woke me up.  She was raring to go on a puppy ultra-marathon.  My husband rose early to let her outside, and he made enough noise in leaving our room that I couldn't get back to sleep.  

THE FURRY ANTIDEPRESSANT

As of this writing, I will be welcoming a puppy into our home tonight. Our family is totally freaking out about our new addition in the best way possible! And now more than ever, I believe in "furry antidepressants".  Please allow me to explain…

Lucy

CRAZY

“We’re never gonna survive, unless, we get a little crazy”

 Seal, “Crazy”

I used to love listening to Seal sing “Crazy” on my VW Jetta’s stereo while driving up and down San Francisco’s steep hills, a fitting backdrop for such a song. One must drive differently in San Francisco – it’s such a treacherous maze of streets, especially when driving a stick shift car like mine.  I was twenty-one years old at the time, a thrill seeker, and a bon vivant in the making.

Freaked to Meet with my PDOC

I never knew what "pdoc" meant until I was diagnosed with bipolar one disorder, and learned that it's a shorthand term used for psychiatrists by those in the bipolar community.

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