How do you care?


how do you care

How do you care for yourself?

Do you care to spend some time with you?

Do you care to find out what’s up with you?

Do you care to try to care more for you?

And you, how do you care for me?

Do you care to listen to me?

Do you care to talk with me?

Do you care to show some empathy?

Do you care even for a little sympathy?

And you, yes you, how do you care?

About that child so sick in his mind

Their actions all flag read

They try to reach out to cry out

Even adults are not spared

Cause we all aren’t the same, some minds are healthier than other

So how would you care?

When a patient walks into your door?

When an e-mail comes into your inbox?

When you phone rings at odd hours?

When maybe the brave track you down the street?

Would you call the cops?

Or maybe the ambulance?

Prescribe more pills and send them off?

It’s good to know how you’d care

It makes all the difference how you care

The care you show the care you get elsewhere

I have tried and it works

And let’s be real: it could be anyone

Feeling the knack anyday

And so please all: think about how you care

How you care about you and others

Dare Dakar: Dare Life (An area girl in Dakar)


Infront of my poster, well others hadn’t put up theirs yet – trust me to be on time

I am back from 5 days in Dakar, where I was attending the 3rd African Epilepsy Conference –  I am so tired. I have equally been nominated to lead the national chapter of the IBE and so you can imagine.

This post was actually started while still in Dakar just so I don’t have much writing to do on my return.

Yes: I have Dared Dakar and I am more armoured to Dare Life or better put Dare the business of Living. Before I proceed, I want to say like all dynamic business men, I want to make a huge profit out of this business and invest in society starting with my family.

Daring Dakar Day 1 -3

I have to greatly summarize so as not to write this post in 3 parts.

Day one (Thursday 4/05/17) was literraly spent flying over Africa and doing Airport hopping. There are no direct flights to Senegal from my country; so –  I left my home at 6 am and finally checked into my hotel in Dakar at 10 pm thanks to the cab driver who knows no where and no French… The national language in Senegal is Wolof …

Day 2-3 (Fri&Sat 5&6/05/17)

That block is called the Confucius Language Centre – donated by the heavily present chinese

I start off very tired, curiously still jet lagged although the sports I get to do from 4-5 am on Saturday morning boost me up plenty. Friday morning was really tough and some emotionally taxing situation nearly nailed me down. I am so grateful for my support network and coping strategies. I learn a lot though and yes I make so many contacts. Some area people (from the doorman via the receptionost to the room cleaner etc these are my best); a student and some VIPs.

 The conference is at the famous Cheikh Anta Diop University by the Ocean and my my my…  I meet Falima and we click. She is a 3rd year student and in love with Cameroon ha – some things we think are despicable are other peoples dream… And you could refresh about my heroine Fati here, Couma on the right is her kid sister now my friend too ofcourse

On that friday evening, we have the official opening ceremony followed by a cocktail. I am very pleased to make friends with Ella & Lola

I keep stocking up on chicken to feed my friends

Day 4&5 (Sun&Mon 7&8/05/17)

I sleep much better and I go for sports at 5 am. Baam I run into a Petit gang arguing over their booty but I refuse to let fear take me back. I walk right through them with a dare me stare like a commando. It tells them, am an area girl minding my business, mind yours. One of them whistles at me “yowa (yes in their dialect) mama” but I dont smile back. I instead make the ‘buddy fist gesture’ and continue my way.

I zoom through the morning and soon it is closing ceremony. There is a planned city excursion with a restaurant reserved for those who opt. It ain’t free and nope am done with those 3/4 star stuffed scenes. I also have to be economical so I chart my way to Fati their family home. Going to such areas makes you know life indeed has several shades. Talk of bumpy ride…

To get there you just keep going right through the sea lol. The VIP friend who brought me here told me in all their life they’ve never been to this area nor where I am lodging…

It was already past 3 pm and I was scared lunch will be over; but nope just in time… See me enjoy famous Senegalese rice the Senegalese authentic way …

On my way back to the hotel I dare a scarpie and enjoy 2 hour plus of cheap sightseeing and listening to Wolof being rolled off from all angles. These people greet each other for at least 7 minutes. How romantic? Am loving it and today being a Sunday there aren’t that too many passengers… Wrong it pick as it goes, hop out as you wish… I sit, stand up for a grandma, sit again elsewhere when someone leaves, stand up again for a pregnant woman and when next I mange to squeeze somewhere I dare not look up again who comes in …and, I still treck for like 15 mins because the final bus stop is no where close to the hotel…

On Monday I quickly do sports and then check out of the idealistic hotel by the beach, to the area where I can drink chai by the road side. I can count on Coumba to go shopping for souvenir gifts. Here is the address Coumba gave me, sorry it is in French so use google translate maybe it’ll give you a more precise address:

“Bjr marie tu diras au chauffeur que tu vas au golf rond point marché jeudi terminus 38 à la cité des enseignants …”

Look my people, when a Senegalese tells you it ain’t far, hail a cab immediately. When they say they are just stopping by to greet, cancel other appointments! Simple

And I did it, dared dakar again one last time, dared to go to the infamous Goree Island. How could I come to Dakar and not visit that island? The emotions you leave that island with – am speechless

Tuesday 9/05/17

Flying until finally landing and getting back home in one Peace/Piece – Amen

I hope I have been able to visually take you to Dakar and back, inspiring and motivating you to Dare Life and Dare Yourself

Have a great midweek (as for me I am spending half of this day in bed – Ineed to chill out before I crash) leaving you with this short clip of someone excited at watching the waves

Mind your mental health (Mental illness or not)

Thank you so much

Be not Ashamed


no shame

Be not ashamed to cry

You can’t store it all forever

Crying is no sign of weakness

Humanness if you ask me

An emotion just like others

Be not ashamed to cry

When it hurts so bad

When the knee gets knocked

When the mind goes mad

Crying can help inside out

Be not ashamed to tell

When you’ve gone thru stuff

So shameful you want out

Telling could bring such help

And who knows who you help

Be not ashamed to write

Write it all for you or us

So much therapy if you try

You have to take a step

Ignore stigma and shame

Be not ashamed to read

Read yours and ours

Keeping the brain as busy

Just like you should your body

But be not ashamed of your pace

Be not ashamed to hope

Even when all seems hopeless

The last beat maybe bring a break

Hope that break could lead to a breakthrough

What is life without hope?

Be not ashamed to love

Love yourself and others

Try and try and try

You never can tell when

One more time could be deal

Be not ashamed to be You

P.S: This has personally helped me a lot. I remember hearing Obama and other big figures say asking, crying, reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness but of strenth

Mind Your Mind


Mind your mind
Mind my mind?
Sure this nightmare will go
If not I’ll get some pills
And the mind will go still
Why bother to mind that mind?
You have to mind
Mind your mind I urge
Feed it what you want
Out of the mind actions arise
And if you don’t mind your mind
Who I pray can mind it best for you?
Mind your mind
Mind what you think
Mind what you wish for
Mind because the mind is oh so powerful
Minds have messed many up
And you can tame your mind
That’s minding it all the way
Early in the morning
Late in the evening, ah at all times
All the mindfulness will pay big time
The earlier you start, the better

If & When you hear am dead…


This may be a weird poem, but It is a poem and honestly one of my best – am grateful for the inspiration; I think I’ll make it stick to my front page forever and when I do leave, leave your comments on this post. Death is for real, face it or not, think about it or not, wish it or not, avoid it or not, it’s the passage even for the US President. I wrote a small chapter on my fear of dying in my last memoir, check it out

If & when you hear am dead

Mourn not for me

am gone where I’ve long dreamt of

alas that’s our ride

think about you more than me

If & when you read am dead

smile because I say so

I have tried my best and wrote it all

The good, bad & ugly have I lived

I am grateful for the time I had 

And for all I met

If & when you see am dead

you may as well envious be

I have been envious of them too

all those gone ahead to toil no more

this life takes a toll

sometimes the mind loses it all

If & when you feel am dead

don’t wish I weren’t

some actually die still living

physical death ain’t not the worse

Maybe just maybe life after now is for real

This and other poems are in a poetry book I am finalizing to offer the universe for free by the end of this month. Stay tuned and have a nice weekend people. Take care of your mental wellbeing

When Royalty gets involved…


Today, I am presenting a poster on the need for epilepsy mobile clinic to plug the knowledge gap in rural settings…in Dakar Senegal. I will subsequently do a post on the corellation between epilepsy and mental challenges (my brother suffered from both and I have read from some who have had a challenging history with both)

Over to today’s post, I want to share an interesting post I read on the mental health writer’s guild aptly titled: Heads together a Right Royal Approach

The point of my post today is that mental health advocacy and sensitization is gaining more and more celeb attention: Yes; the cream of the creamIest Royalty are Putting their Heads Together and doing face time with stars like the one and only Lady Gaga…

So, if Royalty can talk about it and get involved – what holds you back?

We all have mental healths to take care of admit it or not, stop the stigma by putting your own heads together – thank you

Interview with Pamela Spiro-Wagner Author and Mental Health Advocate P2


Hello World, without much ado we continue with P2 of our interview started yesterday. It is Mental Health Awareness and my goal is to advocate with fresh content every day of the week my own mental health permitting 🙂

2017 MHM Horizontal Banner Image

  1. If you wouldn’t mind, can you tell us about your relationship with your twin sister today a few years after the book has been published?

Twelve years after DIVDED MINDS first came out, I have no relationship with my sister except in memory. I love her as my sister but I do not like her.

  1. How have you been coping with your mental illness and yet still been able to function at times enough to write and publish?

I do not believe in the concept of “mental illness” any longer, only in mental suffering. And I do not believe it is anything but calling people names when you label them bipolar or schizophrenic or anything else. I cope when I do, well, and when I dont cope I dont. But like anyone else I have my up times and I do what I do as well as I can. The medications are the real problem, disabling me and most people far more than we can possibly know. All the supposed symptoms of schizophrenia I believe can also be induced and are mostly induced by the antipsychotic medications. So how do you even begin to separate out which is which???

3) The Writing

  1. Did any books/memoirs influence your writing (style, presentation, content)? Not that I recall… No one particular book influences me but I must have read thousands of books. I tell anyone who wants to write to read, read, read, everything you can get your hands on, that way you will not be overly influenced or copy someone else when it comes time to write your own book.

  2. Did you have a writing mentor? No I never did.

  1. Which was the most difficult chapter to write in your memoir and why? The last one was difficult to write because I did not know where I would end it and how…and how to assess the present with an eye for the future is hard. Also to wind up a book I had spend almost a decade writing felt devastating. How to sum up all that in one half a chapter was not easy.

  1. How did you deal with that?

  2. Which was your favourite poem and why? I still like the first one and the last one in the book WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS… But I have no real favorites, My latest poem is usually my current favourite.

  3. Did you learn anything from writing your memoir and what was it?

    My notes please: Pammy didn’t have an answer for this question

  1. How long did it take you to write and get the memoir published? I wrote a memoir by myself that took ten years, then when my twin and I rewrote it to make DIVDED MINDS it took 3 years. Publication from start to finish took 2 years.

4) The Message

  1. Do you have any advice for other memoir writers?

Read memoir, first of all. if you do not like to read memoirs, it may be that you wont want to write memoir. But you probably can not write a decent memoir if you do not read it either.

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I really mean it when I say I no longer believe in diagnoses for mental illnesses, whether it is schizophrenia or bipolar illness or any personality disorder etc. I do not even care if someday they manage to find an anatomic or genetic “cause” or abnormality that “proves” that there is such a thing. You know, there are all sorts of genetic variants that happen in people but we choose we how we see it; nothing makes normal or abnormal until we define it that way. We have made up a category of behaviors and description of an experience called schizophrenia and defined it as a bad thing for so long we have forgotten that it was and is not always thought of as bad everywhere, nor must it end badly, except when we treat it badly and with medications! If we treat schizophrenia with medications we know almost for certain it will become chronic by definition. Look at the research. No one knows what schizophrenia is nor who really needs or would even slightly benefit from medication. Most antipsychotic medication does nothing good in the end but make people sicker…I mean this. All for very dubious benefit and no chance of cure. Medications harm people directly and deeply even with just the side effects, which are legion, ranging from terrible disfiguring movement disorders to loss of sexual function and desire, loss of all pleasure in life, to loss of teeth due to dry mouth and so. Would you want to take a chance on any of these because doctors have nothing better to offer you? Or would you too want to eschew medical care and try something that at least truly does no harm?

  1. Any other writing projects, blogging etc?

My first poetry book WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS, can still be bought from Cavankerrypress.org and my newest poetry book which includes my art LEARNING TO SEE IN THREE DIMENSIONS will be published in late May 2017. I try to keep my blog going at http://pamelaspirowagner.com

  1. Where can your memoir be found? DIVIDED MINDS can still be bought from Amazon.com but also used copies can be found and you can order it from any bookstore.

Thank you very much Pammy for answering our questions. We hope to stay informed of any updates with your projects. Kindly drop any questions you have for Pammy in the comments section and please do not hesitate to respectfully share any opinions on this interview too…

 And before I go to her bio, please do not hesitate to visit Pammy’s Blog for more on her writings and mental health advocacy

Pam’s Awesome Profile

An artist, writer and poet who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia for decades, Pamela Spiro Wagner attended Brown University from 1970-1975. She later went to medical school for one and a half years, before being hospitalized for the third time for psychiatric care. In 2010, she was also diagnosed with PTSD due to trauma resulting from deeply inappropriate and punitive use of seclusion and restraints in psychiatric hospitals.

  Wagner won First Place in the 2001/2 international BBC World Service Radio Poetry Competition, judged by Nobelist Wole Soyinke. In 2005, she co-authored, with her twin sister, a psychiatrist, DIVIDED MINDS: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia, which won the national NAMI Outstanding Literature Award and was a finalist for the Connecticut Book Award. Four years later,  Ms Wagner’s book of poems, WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS was published. Several poems won  honorable mentions at New Millennium Writings and two were short-listed for the Bridport Prize in the UK. Her writing has appeared in the The New York TimesSunday Magazine, the Hartford Courant, and Tikkunamong other places.

 Doing art under the name, Pamwagg, Ms Wagner was part of a group show in Hartford, Connecticut in 2011, and had two solo shows, one at the Otis Library in Norwich, Connecticut in 2012 and then at the Wethersfield Library in Connecticut. Two paintings and two poems appeared in the Collective DreamArtsMagazine in 2014. In June 2017, her art will be on display at the Hooker-Dunham Gallery in  Brattleboro, Vermont.

Despite experiencing much adversity in her 64 years, including the decades-long diagnosis of schizophrenia, Wagner has also been lucky enough to have had four life-changing miracles along the way. The passion to write poetry, starting in 1984, and then, quite suddenly, to take up art in 2008 at the age of 55, were just two of those miracles.  She currently resides along with her cat, Beanie Baby, in Brattleboro, Vermont, in northern New England, where she disavows all labels, including those of any mental illness.

 Wagner’s books include: DIVIDED MINDS: Twin Sisters and their Journey through Schizophrenia (St Martin’s Press, 2005)

WE MAD CLIMB SHAKY LADDERS, poems (Cavankerry Press, 2009)

LEARNING TO SEE IN THREE DIMENSIONS, poems and art (Green Writers Press/SunDog Poetry 2017)

At the end of this month, I will round up with a summary post of advocacy and my take on the different interviews and opinions and all – please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to be featured on my blog during this month (Mental health related only)

This interview is the longest post I am doing on this blog I promise… don’t unsubscribe please

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Interview with Pamela Spiro-Wagner author and Mental Health Advocate P1


ask-the-author-answers-edition

Mental illness is more often than not associated with incompetence, fragility, frugality, vulnerability, undesirability: And yet we all have minds, which minds could go ill and if poorly managed the illness runs a life time.

Mental health awareness is a call to the imperativeness of taking care of your mind just like you will do your body. It is equally in my opinion a call to demand an equal treatment of those with a mental illness just like those with a physical illness. I know this is an ideal!

And so here we go: Hello World, during this month of May which is Mental Health Awareness month, I also intend to feature authors who have written on mental health, especially about their personal experiences. An author to me is anyone who has written and published their writings be it on or offline, via a blog, magazine, book or etc.

My first author to be interviewed in this series is a dear friend and one old enough to be my mum actually. I clicked with Pamela Spiro Wagner around January 2014 via my blog. We have been friends since then and she is the only person from the US I met through the blog and have had the honour of meeting in real life.

I have done a modest review of her epic memoir on my blog, as co-authored with her twin sister, and have also read some of her poetry. Pammy did my portrait even though hospitalised, and it took 3 visits spanned over 6 – 9 hours. It is among my most precious possessions. Without much ado, I’ll interview her for your reading pleasure and let her tell us more about herself and her life journey, especially that to become this published author she is today today mindful of her Schizophrenia diagnosis.

Divided Minds
Pammy and Lynnie: sweet twin

1) The Profile

  1. Let’s Start with a brief introduction of yourself – your background – and a tiny bit about your Childhood:

I am an identical twin, the older one, and the slightly bigger one at birth. Pigeon-holed as stoical even in childhood, I was given the message, often voiced aloud, that I did not need anything and that I did not have feelings. My twin was given the opposite message, by the way. Nevertheless, my childhood was relatively uneventful until 6th grade when 2 things happened. First President Kennedy was assassinated, which changed my life in terrible ways: this was when I started hearing voices telling me that I was evil and that I had killed the president. Then a couple of months later I had a very traumatic accident while skiing. I broke my leg and lay on the freezing ski slopes for hours waiting for rescue. When they finally brought me down my leg was first set without anaesthesia, which I endured, as I knew I had to, without making a sound. Then only hours later it was set a second time. This time, the surgeon clamped a mask of anaesthetizing ether gas on my face but failed to initiate the air intake valve, in effect suffocating me. I tried to resist, because he was killing me, and was restrained. The last thing I heard before I passed out was him saying, “Oh my god, I forgot to turn on the gas…” Then all went black. I told my parents nothing about either of these events. Why? Because of course I was stoical and did not need anything. And because I also knew in my heart that no one would believe me or take my struggles seriously. Nevertheless, these things – believing I had no right to feel, hearing voices and the trauma of my accident, deeply affected me all my life.

  1. About your Memoir, how did you come up with the title?

Our publishers chose the name, DIVIDED MINDS, which was a title they had used before with success. We had nothing to do with it. Alas, our original title, which I had chosen and always prefered was SOLO FOR TWO.

2) The Soul Journey

  1. I read that schizophrenia affects 1 out of 100 Americans; what’s your take on that?

Well according to most statistics this holds true, pretty much world-wide, the 1 in 100 persons being affected by schizophrenia. But you know, I doubt the validity of this number. And I doubt it because it is really a matter of opinion and nothing more. What is schizophrenia? Can anyone tell me? It is not anywhere in the brain that one can point to and despite the lies we have been told , it is NOT a chemical imbalance or some overproduction of dopamine. No one HAS schizophrenia, , not the way you have malaria or measles. It is a matter of what you say and do that in the opinion of another person makes them judge you as psychotic and out of touch with reality. I do not in fact believe that a person with schizophrenia in the USA would be accounted as schizophreinic or “crazy” everywhere, not in say, India or Africa … and so forth… Times change, definitions of madness change. That does not happen with malaria or measles, does it? Because judgments change and opinions change so notions of so-called mental illness change too, but usually facts do not.

  1. How did you get your diagnosis and how have you fared since that diagnosis?

I was first informed of my schizophrenia diagnosis when I was about 28 or thirty, but that was the first time I was told any diagnosis at all. I had been hospitalized several times before then and as early as 18 but literally no one had ever spoken to me about diagnosis. This doctor came right out and told me, “You have schizophrenia”then he said, “You dont have to end up on the back wards if you take your medication, properly, and for the rest of your life.” Then he started me on Mellaril (Thioridazine), which I took at higher and higher doses and along with doses of Thorazine (Chlorpromazine) as high as 1500mg for years. These did not keep me well, not by any means, despite the medications I was hit with more and more frequent stays in the hospital. Knowing what I know now, that antipsychotic medications do not work and only increase the tendency to relapse, I would not say that the decision to put me on Mellaril was the best thing he could have done for me. In fact, I would say that it is possible that the diagnosis itself was the worst thing that could have happened to me, or the best, depending on how you look at things. Life is life and depending on where you are in your journey, things can seem like a mistake or a miracle. To me, now, despite my take on diagnoses being wrong and just name calling, I nevertheless believe that what happened to me at that point in time was possibly the best thing that could have happened. I do know it was inevitable and that it happened for a reason. And that things that subsequently occurred because of it have all led me to where I am today…And where I am today I would not change for the world.

  1. Can you tell if there was a difference in the way you were treated and the way you perceive stigma before and after you got a diagnosis?

I was never once put into four-point restraints until I was diagnosed and then they tied me to a bed with my arms stretched above my head and shackled to the bed posts and my ankles shackled to the lower bed posts and kept like that for three full days. Later I learned from an aide that the doctor told him “schizophrenics” do not feel restraints the way normal people do…they do not suffer the way WE do.” I did not know what to say to that. This aide had heard me beg and beg him to let me free and knew how I had suffered, so how could he make such a statement? It confused me terribly. Later on, they put me in restraints to punish me and knew perfectly well that I suffered for it, and I know they enjoyed hurting me. I did not know a thing about schizophrenia before I was diagnosed and little really after it except that people would talk about “crazy people” and make fun of them, but NO one was ever so crazy to me that I did not understand them. I am a poet, and I know that people sometimes have to be understood the way you understand a poem, not taking every word literally but just taking their words in whole, accepting them with your whole heart and mind and body, and knowing that you “grok” them. No body has ever been so psychotic to me that I did not “get” what they meant fundamentally. They just speak in poetry not prose.

PS: If you have read this far… wow thank you… P2 tommorrow, as Trevor Noah says on the epic Daily Show: So Much News So Little Time

Book Review: Birth of a New Brain by Dyane Leshin-Harwood


Birth of a new brain cover

 

Mental illness is more often than not associated with incompetence, fragility, frugality, vulnerability, undesirability: I don’t make that association however, and memoirs like Dyane’s make a pale of those who think a mentally ill is a ‘no good’! 

May is mental health awareness month and I have the honour of furthering my mental health awareness month with a book review. Dyane’s epic memoir of one of the ‘not so known’ mental illnesses is worth its weight in gold especially at this time when even Royalty is stepping up advocacy on mental health awareness.

Some stuffs I get from Dyane’s epic memoir:

We don’t care about those ‘lunatics’ because we are not them and no we can’t become them. Sometimes, and as in Dyane’s case, we so wish our sick ones well, but we don’t try to learn and understand what is going on. We don’t even know what or how to ask them any questions. It gets to a point where we look forward to either having them removed from our ‘normal’ existence, or forward to leaving them and going far away – be it for studies, work or just a fresh start. One thing I learnt from this memoir is that close or far, we can be so impacted by mental illness of a close one. Paradoxically, Dyane starts having troubling ‘mental issues’ after she’s left home and is on her own, although she had felt for so long before then that something ‘weird’ was going on.

And yet:

A lot of good things in my opinion happen to Dyane in between the time she leaves college and when her second child is born – the birth which sparks her postpartum bipolar disorder. She takes on different challenging jobs and meets a vast array of people most especially her ever supporting husband.

I am so interested to know what keeps her husband staying with her mindful of her seemingly ‘unappeasable’ mental illness and mental health altogether. Maybe she’ll write a second memoir about this. He from much indication in her memoir, is a care giver par excellence both to her and to the kids, juggling these all with his ever demanding job. People like her husband are to be celebrated because many with a mental illness are sooner or later abandoned even by their families and left at their own guise.

It is once more interesting to read in this memoir about the treatment mentally ill patients seem to attract. There are basically two types of treatment. You are either treated as a human being with an illness like every other (very rare), or most often, you treated with such stigma and near shunning altogether. Dyane even while very sick, can tell and appreciate when she is treated with empathy, and even sympathy. She also narrates the few times she’s treated like ‘one of them lunatics’. When you sometimes leave the hospital worse off than you get there; when you develop post hospitalizations trauma disorders which is another mental illness on its own.

All is not lost, after trying several different medications, nearly becoming a guinea pig of sorts; after trying to go off cold turkey not once but twice; after silently challenging one of her doctor’s sarcasm about alternative treatments; Dyane has come to find a balance between all of them. Even ECT wasn’t left out, she desperately needed a new brain – she’s courageously brought forth one and trying her best to nurture same.

My Appreciation:

Her narration is not only so funny at some points you wonder where she found some words and different styles she uses (oh yes she has a B.A. in English and American
Literature); her memoir also has helpful links and annexes. Her extensive biography below beats the ‘stigmatized notion of mentally ill as incompetent and losers’! I mean what dedication starting all over and over again, entering a contest hundreds of times, taking on difficult exams and the list goes on.

As some other advanced reviewers have already said, her memoir is a big bonus to the mental health community, – a community I dare advocate should concern all of ‘us’ because all the ‘thems’ we see today were once ‘us’ before. There is really no point for stigma which to me shows insecurity and fear of the unknown.

I without any reservation, recommend this memoir to all and sundry. I give it a 5/5 and can’t wait to receive my autographed copy come October. I need to have that physical copy on my shelf period!!!

About Dyane Leshin-Harwood

Dyane Harwood

Dyane Harwood is the author of the memoir “Birth of a New Brain – Healing
from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder” (Post Hill Press, October 10, 2017) with
a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw. She holds a B.A. in English and American
Literature from the University of California at Santa Cruz. A freelance
writer for over two decades, she has interviewed bestselling authors
including Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Anthony Bourdain, and SARK.


Dyane had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of attending a writing weekend
conference taught by her favorite author, the late Madeleine L’Engle,
author of “A Wrinkle in Time.”  Dyane has written for The Huffington Post,
The Mighty, Postpartum Support International, Postpartum Progress, Anchor
Magazine, Fit Magazine, The International Society for Bipolar Disorders,
The International Bipolar Foundation, and The Stigma Fighters Anthology.
After founding a chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
(DBSA), she facilitated free support groups for mothers with mood
disorders for nine years.


Dyane lives in Ben Lomond, California with her husband Craig, their
daughters Avonlea and Marilla and their collie Lucy who serves as a
writing muse and sits on Dyane foot when she writes.

Dyane’s website: www.dyaneharwood.com
She blogs every Friday at Birth of a New Brain: 
www.proudlybipolarwordpress.
Birth of a New Brain Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Birth-of-a-New-Brain

You can find Dyane tweeting away on Twitter: @DyaneHarwood

Imperative Scarifices (Launching Mental Health Awareness Month)


2017 MHM Horizontal Banner Image

Never been a coming without a going

A taking without a given

I may be losing touch

Seeing too much reality

———-

More of as I see

You have to sacrifice 

Even manna was prayed for

No good ain’t easy

—————-

You got to watch a lot

Watch what you eat

Watch what you drink

Watch what you smoke

Watch what you do

——————-

And then the people

You got to sacrifice some

Who you know

Who you don’t

Who you look up to

Who you look not to

———————-

If inspite you still crazy go

You got to try

Try to take dem meds

Try to do some sports

Try to sleep a sound

Try to try therapy

Try to eat right

Try to not give up

—————–

Cause in life as I see

Much depends on us 

Us before them

It may seem impossible

But with sacrifice

The ill can be buried

Imperative sacrifice

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