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

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: 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

My Life Partnership: In Sickness and in Health

I'm writing this intro section shortly after midnight on Susan's birthday. She is reclining with her granddaughter Rose who is congested and unable to stay asleep in her crib. I'm praying we all get the rest we need to enjoy the day that lies ahead. The genesis of what follows was first published in February of 2019. I'll tack on an addendum to bring it up to date. Over Labor Day weekend in 2018, I met the woman who would soon become my wife. Susan is all I could ever ask for in a life partner. She is intelligent. She has a beautiful smile. She has a great sense of humor. And, most importantly, she loves me and shares my faith. She accepts my identity as one who has bipolar disorder and affirms my mental health ministry. She is a definitive example of “ezer,” a help-meet who enhances my life, [...]

My Life Partnership: In Sickness and in Health2021-11-20T06:26:35-05:00

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

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: 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

Faith Grows in Community by Lisa Jamieson

My growing up could read like a mashup novel from National Geographic, Little House on the Prairie and Epicurious magazine. Before kindergarten, I was riding my bike to a Minneapolis candy store several blocks from home. Later, I ice skated to elementary school on the James River in North Dakota. By the time I was 9 years old, we had moved to Canada where I was collecting sap from maple trees every spring, catching smelt in Thirty Mile Creek, building blanket forts surrounded by peach and cherry orchards in the summer, swimming to a rocky pier off the southern shore of Lake Ontario and stomping Niagara grapes with the neighbors every fall.   Woven between the lines of that idyllic childhood were some dark days too. I carried the grief of good-byes and struggled to make friends.    Attending weekly church developed my sense of God’s presence but I perceived him to be [...]

Faith Grows in Community by Lisa Jamieson2021-05-21T05:37:00-04:00

Prayers Answered and Unanswered: Yes? No? Wait?

At age 55, my father-in-law was diagnosed with an advanced stage of colon cancer. He received an aggressive round of chemotherapy. Inexplicably, he went into a coma. We recruited prayer warriors throughout the country. In just a few weeks, one of his medical interns happened to read a case study that perfectly fit my father-in-laws profile. They adapted his treatment. He returned to full function. He is now 85 and enjoying life to its fullest. Prayers answered, "Yes." Some time ago, my (then) wife and I separated after 20 years of marriage. I desperately wanted to reconcile. I sought intensive counseling for over a year.  I met with church elders and deacons. I prayed. My family prayed. My friends prayed. My church prayed. After 5 years, it became clear marriage reconciliation would not happen and we got a divorce. Prayers answered, "No." I served in pastoral ministry for twenty years [...]

Prayers Answered and Unanswered: Yes? No? Wait?2020-10-25T06:42:56-04:00
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