Grandmother/Mom/Wife of a Music Man/Diagnosed Bipolar 1 w/Generalized Anxiety & Agoraphobia at 50 in 2000/Writer/Mental Health Advocate/Music & Art Therapy Enthusiast/Film Fanatic & Book Lover/ Grateful Child of God/Savoring Life, Ups & Downs Included/Fighting to Smash Stigma!

Bipolar NanaNo Comments

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you know I’m back here on my obscure little blog. Been a long time..

I hope you’re doing alright today…if not, please get help.

Why? Because you’re precious and you’re worth it.

Peace of Mind, Heart, Soul & Spirit
Love, Nana

testerohlfNo Comments

Hi Everyone!  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but I’m will take me a bit of time to get everything updated, but I really missed posting my little blurbs.

Much Love, Nana xo

Bipolar NanaNo Comments

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

Bipolar NanaNo Comments

I’ve got only one more day of steroid treatment. In pill form. I still have to use an inhaler. My GP is monitoring me. I have to take two puffs, twice a day, with a new inhaler, which has a higher dose of steroid than my “as needed” one. It hasn’t been this bad since 1992, when my daughter and I had an apartment right around the corner from where I’m presently living, but the steroids do take away the deep wheezing and desperate breathing. What’s one more drug. Between steroids, thyroid pills, and all my psych meds, I’m having a ball! I was one of those people you had to beg to take an aspirin. Now I keep a bottle on my night stand.

There’s so much fauna and flora, here, I have friends that are in constant battle against allergens, and living at the edge of the Pacific keeps things damp. I’ve battled pneumonia twice in my life. Had to spend a month in bed and celebrated my 13th birthday with mustard plaster on my chest. The kids in the neighborhood felt sorry for me. They pooled their allowance money and bought me a bouquet of red roses and a box of Whitman’s chocolates. I remember them standing around my bed as I read the big card they all signed. They made me feel missed and loved.

Steroids are known to do strange things. For one, I’ll be sitting down and all of a sudden, their side effects just take me by surprise… my body is still, but my insides feel like they’re scrambling all over the place. I can’t really explain it, but it’s quite disturbing. It comes and goes. Haven’t felt it yet today. And then there are fits of anger. Actually, little spurts. I just throw things, but carefully. And no dishes anymore.

A few days ago, my husband called me from the grocery store, asking if there was anything else I wanted for dinner. The scrambling inside feeling came over me, along with the realization that it was time for my afternoon dose of a steroid pill, and I just threw the phone down and told him I didn’t want to think about food and what he needed to pick up at the store. Poor guy. My daughter asked me, “Don’t they make you crabby?” Oh yes, but at least I can breathe through my nose!

Bipolar NanaNo Comments

My father will be turning 96 in a few weeks. After living with us for almost three years, in 2009, he moved up north to his final residence, spending his days, in a 24/7 assisted living building, at a VA home, which is around a three hour drive from where I live.

We talk every day. He calls me from a phone in the hall. They have no private phones. It’s pretty bare bones there. I can’t get him a computer or even show him things online on my laptop when we visit except photos because only certain staff members have online access. At times, my father gets so bored, it almost drives him mad. Today, he shared some sad news. News that happens quite a bit, in the ward that he’s on. A, man, two doors down from his room passed away. In the morning. In his bed.

“You know, honey, you get to live as long as I have, and all your friends on the outside are gone. And just when I get to know this guy, and establish a real friendship, he dies. I just can’t believe it. I just talked to him yesterday, and now he’s gone.”

I spent the next hour grabbing words that would help him. All I could do was let him know that I understand. That I have friends who have died. With no warning. That I can probably count my closest living friends on one hand.

Death is something that a lot of people with mental health issues think of every day. Those with mental illness and those who are friends and loved ones. Hearing of the passing of someone I may not have known very well, or for a long time, can still be something that brings me to my knees. It’s just that way, for me. I don’t need to describe any further how it feels. Or how we process it. It’s one of the great (and hardest to accept) mysteries of the human experience.

I’m grateful that lately, when the thought of death comes,( pretty much on a daily basis) I’m able to let it sit before me for a moment so I can acknowledge it, then it moves on. Sometimes by itself, or with a little help from a power greater than myself.

Acceptance is usually the tool I use to control my sometimes desperate fear of death. In an ironic way, acceptance keeps me from slipping back into psychosis, which hasn’t come around for almost four and a half years.

My husband and I have lost a lot of friends and some family members, all in a span of a couple of years. It hurts. I grieve, and I accept. And somehow, I keep hanging on.

Peace of Mind & Love to You,

My Goal

Through blogging, I want to share my story, life experiences & give hope to others struggling with mental health issues & the stigma that goes with it.

Although diagnosed late in life, and with many challenges through the years, I'm finally living life fully and gratefully, with my grandchild, family & friends! I hope to make some new friends here.


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Feeling suicidal? Please dial 911 or contact the following:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline toll free:
1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Veteran's Suicide Prevention Hotline:

International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Psych Central
Mayo Clinic
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance


Information presented on this blog is not a substitution for professional medical care and a treatment program. If you or a loved one has bipolar disorder or any other mental illness or mental health issue, please immediately seek the services and advise of a medical doctor for accurate diagnosis and treatment.