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

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

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

Hope for Troubled Minds: I Didn’t Marry Bipolar Disorder

Dear Tony, I love you. I knew from the start of our relationship that you had bipolar disorder. I appreciated your openness and candor about your illness. In the beginning, we talked for hours on end. Your laugh was (and is) infectious. I don't regret that our relationship moved quickly.  After being on my own for seven years, I was happy with my independence but I missed companionship.  You became my companion. It was easy to be with you and to love you. You are complex, just like any other human being. Ironically, I fell in love with your mind. You have a keen ability to observe people and offer insight into their circumstances. You are helpful in offering me an objective perspective whenever I am frustrated by life's circumstances.  You are very intelligent and a deep thinker. You inspire me to do things I never thought I could do. [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: I Didn’t Marry Bipolar Disorder2021-09-25T16:32:45-04:00

The Bittersweet Blessing of Bipolar

“Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum. ― Vincent van Gogh; The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh Now that the human genome project can draw the DNA map of our bodies, gene therapy becomes an ever increasing reality. We can restructure our bodies and minds such that debilitating conditions could disappear. The question we now face is what goes and what stays? And, who decides? One of the persons who serves on the human genome project is Kay Redfield Jamison. Jamison has both a professional interest and a personal perspective in genetic mapping. First, she is a psychiatric researcher. She is certainly concerned about the tools medical science can use to alleviate unnecessary suffering. [...]

The Bittersweet Blessing of Bipolar2021-08-19T22:46:15-04:00

“We’re going to be okay.”

One of the labels for the mental illness I have is bipolar disorder 1, rapid cycler. This means that my mood state constantly changes. I often go from abject despair to supreme elevation, and back again in less than the time it takes to complete a sentence. It is exhausting. It's like running a marathon at a sprinter's pace, with no water stations to rest. The body can't take this for long, much less the mind and spirit. The challenges we have faced in 2020 have tried the souls of many, even those with no mental health diagnosis. Added to this the death of both my parents and it is little wonder that the First Quarter of 2021 has hit me like a horrendous hangover. But there is hope. Even when circumstances around us seem bleak, there is a glimmer of hope. As a follower of Christ, I celebrate this [...]

“We’re going to be okay.”2021-04-04T20:10:37-04:00

Hear the Good News: When Despair Meets Delight Audiobook Launches Ash Wednesday

Most pastors would be shocked to know how many people in their church family live with or are directly impacted by mental illness. Stigma continues to keep mental illness silent in the church. Parents who sit in church pews week after week feel completely alone in bearing the pain of their son’s or daughter’s mental illness because they are embarrassed or afraid to say anything. The person sitting next to them may be carrying the same burden but who would know. And they will continue to carry these burdens alone until the church is willing to talk about it. -- Mark Teike, Pastor; St. Peter's Lutheran LCMS (Columbus, IN), from the Foreword of When Despair Meets Delight. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. This year it lands on February 17 -- this week! Lent is a season to take spiritual inventory of our relationship with God, others, and self. [...]

Hear the Good News: When Despair Meets Delight Audiobook Launches Ash Wednesday2021-02-16T17:17:32-05:00

From One Generation to the Next by Lindsay & Landon McIntosh

I was raised in a loving Christian home. We went to church every Wednesday, and twice on Sunday. Youth group, choir, and bell choir were part of my life and I loved it…. socially that is…I never really dived into the Bible, I did not know all the books of the Bible, and I could not have quoted a verse if my life depended on it. Church was a safe place to go and have fun with friends. However, the older I got the more things began to change. I noticed that while my friends were still wanting to have fun and socialize, I wanted to listen to the sermon, and I wanted to learn about the Bible. So, I began to sit with some of the older kids, and my parents and really listened to the sermons.  Throughout the next several years I worked on building my faith and [...]

From One Generation to the Next by Lindsay & Landon McIntosh2021-01-16T17:38:56-05:00

A Bipolar Blessing in 27 words.

A bipolar's blessing: What comes up, must come down. Every now and then, however, the crash occurs in safe waves and people are there with life rafts.

A Bipolar Blessing in 27 words.2021-01-14T15:38:43-05:00

When Despair Meets Delight: Growing Closer Each Day

Things are speeding up as I progress toward the publication of When Despair Meets Delight. This week I have: Messaged prospective buyers about advance orders. Conducted an interview with a local reporter for an feature article. Met with a librarian about an upcoming virtual book launch. Spoke with a Christian radio station about appearing on one of their programs. Scheduled appearances on two Facebook live podcasts. All this while attending to my dying father and coordinating his funeral service. Am I manic? Perhaps. Should I slow down? Maybe. What happens if/when I crash? I don't know. One thing I'm sure of is I'm not manufacturing my mania. I am getting plenty of sleep. I'm taking my prescribed medication on time. I have a relatively good rhythm of work and rest. There are certainly improvements I could make in such areas as diet and exercise, but I'm doing my best. I'm [...]

When Despair Meets Delight: Growing Closer Each Day2020-08-07T15:28:38-04:00
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