About tonyroberts

I am a man with an unquiet mind who delights in the One who delights in me.

Balance

When I am most imbalanced, I have taken many dangerous and foolish risks. Like driving 90 mph on the Interstate while reading a book and writing a review. Like dodging traffic as I walked through city streets recording what I considered brilliant thoughts. Like stuffing dozens of candy corn into my mouth until I couldn't swallow or breathe. Why would I do these things? When I am manic, I reply, "Why not?" When I am manic, I take on special powers; I can topple towers, read minds, and save souls. I have a direct line to God. I am God's special child. God has ordained me to create peace, provide help for the helpless, hope for those in despair. When I am manic, I am on top of the world. Better yet, I am the top of the world. But what goes up, must come down. And often the higher I [...]

Balance2021-10-21T19:00:37-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Living Our Wedding Vows by Janet Coburn

Born in Kentucky, Janet Coburn now lives in Ohio with her husband of 39 years, Dan Reily. She also lives with bipolar 2 disorder. Janet loves reading and country music. Dan loves gardening and archaeology. Together they love travel, science fiction, and cats (they have two at the moment, Toby and Dushenka). A graduate of Cornell University and the University of Dayton, Janet writes two blogs, bipolarme.blog and butidigress.blog, which she posts in every Sunday. She often contributes articles on mental health to The Mighty website. Janet has also written two books on bipolar disorder, Bipolar Me and Bipolar Us, which are based on her decades of experience with the disorder, and frequently answers questions about mental health on Quora.   The man I married didn’t know I had bipolar disorder. To be fair, I didn’t know either. I was famously moody and given to what would now be called [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Living Our Wedding Vows by Janet Coburn2021-10-17T04:04:01-04:00

Profiles in Advocacy – Janet Hays, Reimagining the Office of Sheriff

Janet Hays is reimagining the office of sheriff and has proven experience putting vision into practice. She is a New Orleans resident and national leader in the advocacy movement for those impacted by serious brain illnesses. In her work with Healing Minds NOLA and Mental Illness Policy Org she is putting broken bones together and breathing life into them. Now she is running for Sheriff in her Orleans parish. Kathy Day, Senior Family Liaison at Treatment Advocacy Center calls Hays, “... a passionate advocate who works harder than anyone I know. Her persistence often pays off in ways that help families dealing with serious and persistent brain illnesses.” Leslie Carpenter, a leading advocate for people with no fault serious brain diseases, cites the Zoomcast series Hays produced in 2020 and into 2021 as, “... one of the best compilations of both what is wrong with the present system and... what [...]

Profiles in Advocacy – Janet Hays, Reimagining the Office of Sheriff2021-10-14T14:03:34-04:00

What’s So Funny About Mental Illness?

Some time ago I posted a meme that has been going around in various places. It goes like this: Being popular on Facebook is like eating at the cool table in the cafeteria at a mental hospital. I posted it because I identified with the humor. Two of my goals in life have been to be popular on Facebook and sit at the cool table when I’m in the mental hospital. One of the things that keeps me relatively sane is my ability to laugh at myself and I find particular pleasure in making people laugh with me. Certainly, I have a serious mental illness; that's a part of who I am. Not taking myself too seriously diminishes the power of my disordered ego. Thus, more often than not, the things I find funny are self-deprecating jabs. But self-deprecating humor may be misleading when used in non-intimate settings such as [...]

What’s So Funny About Mental Illness?2021-10-10T13:53:38-04:00

The Relationship Between Creativity and Mental Illness

I start this post with one basic assumption. Not all persons with mental illness are creative. Some sit around all day playing video solitaire, watching episodes of Judge Judy, counting the cars that pass by. Some persons with mental illness have neither the desire or the capacity (or both) to do anything that resembles creative expression. (Though you never know the depths of creativity lodged in their brains.) At the same time, I find my mental illness plays out in a creative way, primarily in my way with words. I'm not Hemingway. It's not quality, but quantity for me. Most of my waking and sleeping hours are spent plotting how I can use my words to the best effect. When I am under unusual amounts of stress, you will likely find me tucked away in a corner, Pilot G-2 gel pen gliding across a composition journal, describing the world as [...]

The Relationship Between Creativity and Mental Illness2021-10-06T05:30:37-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Compassion Amid the Chaos

These letters are written by Vikki Plessinger. Vikki is Christian data clerk who hopes to retire in 7 months. She enjoys family vacations & get-togethers, gardening, fishing, hiking & puzzles.   I am a mother of 2 children with brain illnesses.  One is trying so desperately to save his life.  The other seems determined to end hers. My son has a very rare, Central Neurocytoma  tumor in the 3rd ventricle of his brain with malignancy.  And my daughter has a 17-year drug addiction that has led to psychosis. We'll start with my son.  My first-born baby.  He had a fall and hit his head & his symptoms led to a CT scan which has led to 8 months of appointments, scans, diagnoses, surgeries & gamma knife radiation.  He has lost cognitive abilities, memory, and well, a lot of his life.   Justin, This current journey of ours is so very difficult.  [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Compassion Amid the Chaos2021-10-03T16:10:01-04:00

So you want to marry someone who has bipolar?

I've been putting myself under a lot of stress lately. I say putting myself because really I have many, many good things going on. I am happily married, live in a comfortable home in a nice neighborhood, have plenty of friends and family who care about me, and spend my time pursuing a meaningful vocation with my loyal lab Briley by my side. So why am I stressed? Do I need a reason? It occurred to me some time ago that as one with bipolar disorder, not only am a more vulnerable to stress, but because others are more stressed relating to me. Not because of who I am, but because of what my illness does. If you love someone with a brain illness, what do you think? If you have a brain illness, do you accept this? For today's post, I thought I'd share a humorous piece I wrote [...]

So you want to marry someone who has bipolar?2021-09-29T16:36:53-04:00

Kicked to the Curb by Susan Lockwood Roberts Relaunch

In 2018, a wonderful thing happened that almost slid under the radar. Susan's book, Kicked to the Curb was released. But we were in no position for a party. Susan was at St. Vincent's hospital with countless leads going to her brain. She had been having seizures and they were trying to determine a cause. I tried to celebrate this momentous occasion with her and carry out a modest campaign with the help of her publisher Paper Raven Books, but things were more than a little subdued. Fast forward three years, much has happened. We got engaged, married, and bought our first (hopefully) forever home. Professionally, Susan contracted with American Prison Data Systems (APDS) as Director of Education, she is a court appointed expert consultant for a case involving the provision of Special Education services to individuals incarcerated in the New Jersey Department of Correction, she just completed a two-year term [...]

Kicked to the Curb by Susan Lockwood Roberts Relaunch2021-09-26T21:48:32-04:00

One Angel Who Did Not Fear to Tread

I want to tell a story I've told many times before. But I can't tell it enough. It's the story of what happens when someone with a mental illness falls into the pit of despair is lifted up by the loving faithfulness of one who cares. December 1, 2016. I am in the Goodman exit lane off I-490 in Rochester, New York. An unusual light shines in my rearview. In seconds, I hear a loud crack and feel a tremendous lurch. Someone traveling too close, going too fast, hit me. Hard. I called 911 and a policeman showed up, followed by an ambulance. I was taken to Strong Memorial hospital where they ran tests and found nothing conclusive. But I became increasingly agitated. I became convinced that I was paralyzed. Three doctors ran tests on me at separate times and concluded that nothing was wrong. Physically. That's when I called [...]

One Angel Who Did Not Fear to Tread2021-09-21T21:58:37-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: From a Whirlwind Romance to Lasting Love

This is my love letter to my wife Susan. We have been together now for three years and have experienced as much joy and sorrow than many couples together for fifty. We now live in our own home with our devoted lab Briley. We enjoy listening to music, Facetiming grandchildren, taking drives through Brown County state park, and visiting with family.     Susan, When we first met we went on a whirlwind romance that was magical. It also had some of the marks of a manic episode, but it was much more than this. I was not psychotic; we were crazy in love. We talked for hours on my trip to New York and back. I stayed up through the night making a playlist filled with your favorite music and selections that would soon become “our songs.” We still listen to it on quiet date nights, look over at [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: From a Whirlwind Romance to Lasting Love2021-09-19T03:46:54-04:00
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