Category: Family

My Symbol of Hope

My Symbol of Hope

For many months, I have been suffering from suicidal ideations. I was completely honest with my psychiatrist, my family and friends who support me. I told them that it was not something I wanted to act on, but I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. For more than...

Overcoming Fear With Understanding

Overcoming Fear With Understanding

After 11 years of suffering quietly, I resolved to speak out about something most of us decide is a secret to take to their early graves. For years, decades, lifetimes of silence makes the thing nonexistent to the world. The only reason for this silence is the fear of...

Happy Birthday to a Brilliant Father From Your #1 Fan

Happy Birthday to a Brilliant Father From Your #1 Fan

Dear Dad,  On your birthday, and on every day, you should know how appreciated and loved you are. I am your daughter that was shy, was afraid of strangers, had separation anxiety from Mom (from what I hear), and was afraid of my own shadow. I played it safe...

Family: My Circle of Support

Family: My Circle of Support

A good support system can mean the difference between living a possibly comfortable life and suffering alone without help. We who suffer know that support is important, but so many people just don’t have access to acceptable support or even a partial support...

5 Things Bipolar II Disorder Has Taught Me

5 Things Bipolar II Disorder Has Taught Me

This year my psychiatrist changed my initial diagnosis of severe depression to Bipolar II Disorder. For a moment I felt like my world had stopped spinning. I felt lost and betrayed because I did not know what this new diagnosis meant for me. For days I lived in denial...

Taking Out The Trash

Taking Out The Trash

Don’t let others’ negativity bring you down. Being diagnosed with and dealing with bipolar disorder on a daily basis is already a lot to handle. It’s hard enough to keep your moods in check and on an even level. It’s already difficult to have to take...

What My Parents Need To Know About Me

What My Parents Need To Know About Me

I do not say much about my parents. There is nothing to be said about my folks outside my therapy sessions. Out of a need for privacy I usually keep my family members out of any advice I give on this blog. This Christmas I decided not to visit my parents in their new...

Easing Gift Giving Anxiety

Easing Gift Giving Anxiety

In my family, as odd as it is, we have a tradition of on holidays attempting to make one person cry with the most sincere gift. Birthdays and Christmas are the times we do this the most, mainly because those are the two biggest gift giving days. It’s an odd tradition...

Putting Meaning to the Holidays When Your Family Changes Over Time

Putting Meaning to the Holidays When Your Family Changes Over Time

It is that time of year again. The holidays. People often think that they should be a happy time of year, what with the music and the lights and the gatherings. But, actually, they can be a difficult time of the year for many people, and I don’t just mean people who...

Finding Your Place: The Greatest Gift for the Holidays

Finding Your Place: The Greatest Gift for the Holidays

I don’t know if it’s because I’m the middle child with a large age gap between both my older and younger siblings, but I’ve always struggled with my place in my family. My older siblings always had each other, they were two years apart and my younger siblings had each...

The Generation Watchers

The Generation Watchers

Growing up, I was the one who looked up to everyone: 5 siblings, my parents, tons of older cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. I had idolized many of them. Now that I’m becoming an adult, despite 23 not being old (even though I feel it sometimes), I feel like...

She Sees Herself in Me

She Sees Herself in Me

I have Bipolar Disorder. That’s not unusual. I also have fibromyalgia. Having both of these diseases makes my life very hard to deal with sometimes, but somehow I always manage.  It takes a lot of endurance and I deal with a lot of pain, but I pull through...

Be The Village

Be The Village

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...

He’s Not Crazy, He’s My Dadda!

He’s Not Crazy, He’s My Dadda!

Editor’s Note: This was orginally a book and has been converted to a blog. Each paragraph was a different page in the book. Dedication: This book is dedicated to my dad. My dad has a daily struggle with his mental illnesses. But, he pushes through it, and...

Can’t Turn Back Time

Can’t Turn Back Time

My kids are growing up. I know it’s inevitable, but I want time to stop. I know there are many parents that feel that way, but for me it’s heartbreaking. You see, I missed out on a lot of precious time with my kids while they were growing up. For the...

Stickers on the Floor: Productivity in the Home, Part I

Stickers on the Floor: Productivity in the Home, Part I

Last night after the kids went to bed, I was mopping frantically looking at these spots on the kitchen floor. Why won’t these come up? I set the mop to the side, maneuvered my way – slipping and sliding – to take a closer look. Yep. Stickers. My two kids...

Understanding Me

Understanding Me

How far can my loved ones understand me when it comes to my disorder?  Sometimes I think they get it, other times…not so much.  When I am manic, for example, no one takes my credit card and tells me to stay in the house and not do “outrageous things” like...

When Others Don’t Seem To Care

When Others Don’t Seem To Care

“YOU DON’T CARE!” I shouted this at my mother the other day… and it was hurtful on so many levels. Because when I calmed down and thought about it, she DID care… in many other ways. In the vein of Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages, I want to thank my...

When We Value Things Differently

When We Value Things Differently

In my last blog entry I wrote about the art of giving space and the example I gave was more about physical space. Since then I have had a think about a different type of giving space – giving others the space to value things differently. I think it helps me to choose...

How to Deal with A Negative Person

How to Deal with A Negative Person

My daughter was having challenges with her boss.  Despite her best efforts all she got was verbal and non-verbal criticism. “I don’t like that…you need to do it my way…you’re not good enough.” Although she is naturally a positive person, every time her boss came...

Bipolar Mother, Bipolar Son

Bipolar Mother, Bipolar Son

I dreamed of having a child throughout my formative years.  When asked what I would be when I grew up, I readily answered “A Mommy!”  I doted on baby dolls, babysat throughout my teen years and dressed every cat we ever owned up as a baby.  I deeply...

I’m Not a Victim, I’m a Survivor

Around Christmas I got into an argument with my ex-husband, no big surprise there.  Communication has never been our strongest asset.  Anyway during the argument he said some things that really upset me and have really stayed with me.  He said, “Quit...

I Choose Life

I Choose Life

I am just going to come out and say it.  I, Nanieve, am relieved that I can finally rip down the gaudy Christmas baubles, fold up the tree, and wipe the stupid but, expected cheerful grin off my face. To me, the festive season feels unbearably stressful....

The Art of Giving Space

The Art of Giving Space

Recently I went to a private ward to be admitted just so I could sleep well for a few days. The irony was that it happened just a week after I had come back to Singapore to be with family – I had done that precisely so that I could have more stability in my housing...

Managing a Relapse When Your Child is Ill

Managing a Relapse When Your Child is Ill

Recently, my daughter had to have heart surgery to close a hole in her heart that should have closed on its own shortly after she was born. She is 18 months old and is now 7 weeks post surgery, healed quickly and is now considered to be healthy and normal.  But...

Life Preserver

Life Preserver

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) logo is a life preserver. I think the idea is that the organization brings people together who want to preserve life and prevent suicide. For those of us who have tried to help a loved one who has to navigate...

Family and Friends Who Mean Well But Really Have No Clue

Family and Friends Who Mean Well But Really Have No Clue

 We’ve all heard it before, or something similar, “This too shall pass”. “Just puts your big girl panties on”. “You’ve been here before, you can do it again”. While our loved ones mean well, in the throes of...

Why I Save My Dad’s Voicemails

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...

Out of the Dark

Out of the Dark

Mental Health Awareness Week occurred from October 5-11 and on October 11 I participated in one of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s ‘Out of the Darkness Walks’ in Northern California. I was planning to go alone because I had attempted to persuade...

Becoming a Mommy with Bipolar Part Three: Returning to Work

Becoming a Mommy with Bipolar Part Three: Returning to Work

This is part three of a three part series: Part One: Planning for a Family When You Have BipolarPart Two: From Pregnant to Mommy Part Three: Returning to Work The next hurdle was returning to work. I’ve been back to work for almost 6 months now, and was...

Genetic Overload!

Genetic Overload!

I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder over ten years ago. At the time, I wasn’t aware of any genetic component as I was an adopted child. Within my adopted family, there was a high incidence of alcoholism on my maternal mothers side, with most of her siblings having...

Tough Decisions!

Tough Decisions!

When I was a child, I always imagined myself living in the country when I was an adult. Living off the grid in a small cottage in the woods, completely self-sustainable surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and lush green fields and keeping a goat for company. As...

Profundity Is Not On Today’s Menu

Profundity Is Not On Today’s Menu

I had great aspirations to write a high-quality bipolar-themed blog post last weekend.  I envisioned typing a few paragraphs filled with a pearl of wisdom or two that I’ve learned since I started recovering from bipolar depression.It ain’t gonna happen....

Stigma from the Source

Stigma from the Source

“Stigma = a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one’s reputation”I was diagnosed with postpartum bipolar disorder in October of 2007, six weeks after the birth of my second daughter.  I was thirty-seven-years-old when I...

Mommy Has A Bug In Her Brain

Trying to explain Bipolar Disorder to a three year old and a five year old was one of the hardest things I have ever done. How was I going to put this into words that they could understand? Telling them that I was in the hospital because I was tired was more...

Getting Past Being Our Community Horror Story

On Presidents’ Day, a school holiday, I awoke to an unscheduled day. I needed something to do with my daughter Marilla, so I decided to take her to the park. (My other little girl, Avonlea, headed for her best friend’s house.) The weather was clear and sunny, but my...

Remembering Those In Mental Health Facilities

Remembering Those In Mental Health Facilities

I am going to touch upon a subject in which I might offend someone I know. I’m willing to take this chance, however, for if I influence anyone who may someday take action if given the chance, I will be thrilled. If someone you know is hospitalized in a...

Story Tradition

What is it about stories of past episodes in our life. We all love to tell them. The amazing thing is we retell and retell the same stories to our family and friends as if they constituted a fresh audience every time.My in-laws are well into their seventies and,...

A Mother’s Nightmare

I had been expecting the call. Finally, two and a half weeks ago it came. Not that I wanted it to come, but it didn’t surprise me. Over the last couple years, I’ve expected it. And dreaded it too.When I first heard the news, I was remarkably calm. All...

Bipolar Motherhood: What it Means to be “Mom Enough”

They come in threes.1. I spun out over Time Magazine’s controversial article Are You Mom Enough? extolling the virtues of attachment parenting, AKA, baby-centered parenting, which includes breastfeeding well into toddler years, co-sleeping and a strong distain for...

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