Hope for Troubled Minds: Ripples, Waves, and Heroic Measures

Diane has been a pioneer in sharing her story publicly to a wide variety of audiences including health professionals, students, city councils, church members peers and law enforcement since 2013. "In Sickness and in Mental Health" was one of a handful of biographies on bipolar disorder and is now on the top 100 Bipolar Books on BookAuthority.com. This is her letter to her husband and life partner Greg.     Lover, our life together has been like no other and we went through fires before we even met. We have had many challenges, yet so many victories and blessings along the way.  I thought that I finally had a grasp on our mental health conditions back in 2013 since it took me seven years of observing our recovery road to write our story In Sickness and in Mental Health: Living with and Loving Someone with Mental Illness. Since then, there [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Ripples, Waves, and Heroic Measures2022-06-01T18:05:35-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.

Dear Bobby, One of my greatest accomplishments in life was becoming your mother - I had hopes and dreams for the man you would become. Your intelligence, compassion and determination in everything you did brought me a great sense of pride. Bipolar disorder no doubt changed the way I see the world and what I now want for you, my loving son. This brain illness at times has made you say and do things uncharacteristic of the person that I know is deep inside of you.  It is an illness that has caused much turmoil for you, for this I am deeply sorry and only wish that as your mother I could take the pain away. Despite great suffering, despair and heartbreak, bipolar disorder has taught me so much. It has taught me that we live in a world where those with serious brain disorders are discriminated against.  We live [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.2022-05-07T17:49:20-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom

Jonna Terhune is a social worker living with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She writes, "... [my diagnosis] does not define me.  By the grace of God, I am still alive and blessed to have the support of my best friend/mother.  I know this letter cannot show the extent of sacrifice and love that my mother has given to help me live but I do hope that it gives a glimpse into our experience.  I pray that one day I can give back as well as pay it forward.  Thank you for spending a few moments to read my letter to my mom."   To my best friend, I call you mom, I never thought I would make it this far.  You stood by me through all the sleepless nights, not just as an infant but as a teenager and adult when mania engulfed me or depression strangled my heart [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom2022-04-13T14:32:55-04:00

Will you lay down your life for me?

Jesus asks his disciples and us this pivotal question of discipleship. It has often been interpreted as martyrdom. Will you die for me? But I learned this week that the Greek word translated life here is not bios, or physical life but psuche, which describes our inner life of thoughts and feelings. So Jesus is asking: Will you lay down your internal orientations and agendas? Are you weilling to pattern your life around my example? Will you let your heart come into sync with mine, until you care about the same things as I do. (from The Reservoir: A Fifteen-Month Weekday Spiritual Formation Devotional by Renovare). This insight makes all the difference in the world to me. It affirmed my decision to go on psychotropics, for instance, in an effort to experience relative balance and continue to provide and be present for my family. Had I not been a husband and a [...]

Will you lay down your life for me?2022-04-10T18:49:49-04:00

A Blessed Union: Sleepless in Columbus

April 6 I am facing a major dilemma in my mental health care. I am currently taking a prescribed medication that makes me extremely drowsy much of the day. I sleep 10-12 hours at night. I'm getting anxious about projects I've committed to do. I feel I'm letting people down, myself at the top of the list. Now I could talk to my Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner about weaning myself off this medicine but my dilemma is it is the one and only thing that has worked out of many dozens of psychotropics for curbing my mania. Manic episodes are great for energy, but they can also shorten life span. My choice? To be sedated, or To die young. What would you choose?   April 7 It's 3 am. My favorite time of day, though I would like it even better if I were getting up early refreshed from sleep. As [...]

A Blessed Union: Sleepless in Columbus2022-04-09T00:58:38-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: To My Dearest Ann from Your Honey Bunches of Oats

Kwee Ann Yap was born on March 31, 1963, in Selangor, Malaysia.  She is the youngest of 3 siblings.  Growing up, Ann was not keen on socializing, she mostly kept to herself to avoid any kind of social activity.  She loved reading and spending time with her family.   Steve was born Steven Nonaka on August 25, 1949, in a Sugar Plantation Hospital in Waipahu, Hawaii.  He is the oldest of 4 children, a brother and two sisters.  His stepfather adopted him and his younger sister, changing their last name to Fukunaga.  The family moved several times before finally settling in at Pauoa Valley located in Honolulu, Hawaii.   In late 1997 Steve decided to explore a forum for pen pals, and it was there he found Ann’s bio and started to correspond with her.  Steve felt Ann was a good and loving person in working with children with developmental disabilities.  They [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To My Dearest Ann from Your Honey Bunches of Oats2022-04-02T15:37:20-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Twisted Twin Sister Advocates

As an American Curbside Caregiver and SMI/SBD Advocate Linda Rippee Privatte supports her disabled blind brother with a serious brain disorder who has gone untreated for 34 years.  Since then, he has been homeless for 14 years.  She is one of two twin sisters who advocates for change in the United States, also known as 'Twin Tag Team' and more recently as Twisted Sisters Advocacy & Activism for Serious Brain Disorders. They each do things the other cannot.  Her twin, Catherine, is skilled at social media awareness, advocacy, and education, but Linda is the last family member capable of reaching Mark on the streets and providing him with the necessities of life.   To my younger and only brother, Mark; I grew up believing that love could fix anything…that love conquers all. That love would carry us through any situation.  I believed that family never gives up on family.  I [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Twisted Twin Sister Advocates2022-03-20T15:25:50-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Prayer to be Rooted in Love by Nancy Boucher

Nancy Boucher is the ninth of thirteen children born into a first generation Italian American family. The importance and value of family has been an enduring force in her life. She taught special education for 24 years in public schools, starting programs for children with behavioral challenges. Her responsibilities included screening, observation, and evaluation; developing and implementing goals with students; consulting with teachers, administrators, and parents; and providing in-service assistance to staff. She loved my job, and was always attentive to and thankful to each of her students who taught her how to become a better teacher. She is well aware of the challenges facing families and their children when dealing with a serious condition, not yet totally understood. Twenty four years ago her youngest son got sick with a serious mental illness and her family's life as they knew it veered off course. They were catapulted into a wilderness [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Prayer to be Rooted in Love by Nancy Boucher2022-02-27T15:31:56-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Heart’s Hero by Tina G.

Tina G. was raised a farm girl near Columbus, ND.  She spent many summer weekends at our lake cabin at White Bear Lake  Saskatchewan Canada.  She has loved the outdoors all her life.  She received a B.S. in Criminal Justice/Business Admin. She never cared much for indoor work so she spent about 20 years working with golf course landscaping.   During this time she raised 3 kids,  a daughter and 2 sons with their Dad.  They later divorced.   She then met Tim and he has a daughter.   They celebrated 12 years of marriage this year.   During that time all 4 of their kids graduated high school, their daughters have both married and they now have 2 granddaughters and are expecting a grandson in March!  They have 3 dogs that are theirs together!   Tina was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1 and borderline personality disorder at the age of 33.  However, she feels [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Heart’s Hero by Tina G.2022-02-20T16:08:22-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.

Dear Claudia, As I sit here anticipating the 2022 New Year and wondering what joys and sorrows it will bring, I remember you. Our world is in the midst of a deadly pandemic, that frankly, I never thought I would experience in my lifetime. It’s an experience akin to living in a sci-fi horror movie. I sometimes wonder if I could magically change the fact that you developed a serious mental illness when I was a child, if your brain had remained healthy and you were still alive, would you have been the kind of mother I could call and kavetch with about what a struggle the pandemic is for us all. However, you died seven years ago.  You were 74-years-old when you died alone with both serious mental illness and dementia in an Atlanta area nursing home. Even with the dementia, you always remembered both me and Chris (your [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.2022-02-13T18:21:35-05:00
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