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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. 

I write because my mother gave me wonderful books to read as a child, and she always believed in my writing ability - she still does at age 78! 

I write because it grounds me.

I write because the act of writing restores me to the self I was before a mental illness almost destroyed me.

I write to prove to myself that all the bipolar medications I’ve taken didn’t kill my creativity after all.

I write because writing has given me the opportunity to interview extraordinary people.  Before I was diagnosed with bipolar, I interviewed Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, author of An Unquiet Mind.  My topic was about women, depression and exercise.  Thanks to her input, I sold my first magazine article. (Little did I know I would share the same diagnosis with her just a few years later)

I write because I can write, even after I had electricity pulse through my brain during two rounds of electroconvulsive treatments (ECT). My long-term memory is still intact, and the ECT helped me recover - I have no regrets.

I write because it stimulates some mysterious part of my brain and makes me feel better.

I write because it’s free therapy.

I write to share and connect with other people worldwide who have suffered like me.

I write to help other moms know they aren’t alone with their postpartum mood disorders.

I write because no one, not even bipolar disorder, can take away the fact that I’m a Writer.

The picture shows me with the Newbery Medal-winning author Madeleine L'Engle at her writing workshop in 1997.  Madeleine L'Engle wrote A Wrinkle In Time and over sixty other books.  Madeleine L'Engle is one of my all-time favorite authors, and I count spending time with this amazing writer as one of the most meaningful highlights of my life.

Comments

I am very grateful that you give me the opportunity to share my innermost thoughts with your followers!

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for all you do to help those of us affected by bipolar disorder.

Dyane :)

I just came across your blog and I really liked reading this one. I also write and am thinking of doing my own blog, (once I figure out how, lol). It will take time but that is what I have on my hands, lots of time. I hope to read more of your blog soon. Take care and Love the pic by the way. :)

I loved your comment! I really like using WordPress for my blog, but yes, as you wrote, it takes time to learn it. It's really easy to get started. They have tutorials & it's free! :) Let me know how it goes - you can leave a comment on my blog with an update. I am so happy you enjoyed reading this post. I'm currently posting 2/x/week on my blog, on Mondays & Fridays, in order to complete writing my book 'Birth of a New Brain - Healing from Bipolar Disorder". (I used to blog daily - I still can't believe I did it that often!) ;) I wish you the best & I look forward to reading your blog once it's up and running.

take care, Dyane

www.proudlybipolar.wordpress.com

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