I’ve had it on my heart to start a blog for years. I have bipolar disorder and have overcome a lot in the past ten years and while doing so have gained a lot of wisdom and strength. I have wanted to write about what I’ve learned but haven’t felt like I was in a place where I was healthy enough to do so; but I am now. I feel like I am now bursting at the seams with information and experience to share with the world. I don’t even know how to summarize what I want to say but I will try.
I have written in journals since I was a child and generally it is just my rambling thoughts on paper. I can’t help it – my mind races and journaling helps me sort out my thoughts. I anticipate my blogs may end up being ramblings but with my educational experience I have learned how to write “essays” and papers with “theses” and main points so I may try to go back and edit my writing to have more structure. I’m not really sure how this is going to play out – public writing is new to me.
I feel that I have a unique perspective on life that some may find interesting and hopefully insightful. I am a 30 year old woman from New Hampshire, a Christian, a single mother of a toddler, divorced, and have bipolar disorder (treated and currently stable). I have been fortunate enough to receive an excellent education, as difficult as it was, while I was trying to find effective treatment for my illness. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology in hopes of becoming a psychiatrist so that I could work towards improving healthcare. Instead of going to medical school after graduating college I got trapped in an abusive marriage and managed to escape after three years with a souvenir, my beautiful little boy.
I have been given immeasurable strength and peace in the midst of my struggles the last ten years – through the manias and depressions, through the many jobs that I couldn’t maintain because of my illness, through the emotional abuse, through the trials of a rigorous education, through becoming a single mother navigating the welfare system and trying to dig her way out of a hole after escaping an abusive marriage – the strength I’ve been given comes from Jesus. I have always been a believer in Jesus but didn’t grow up in church. I still don’t belong to any particular church but have a very strong relationship with God because I have been in such desperate situations that He was willing to meet me in. I have gained a lot of wisdom along the way – and I have a lot of passions and interests. I would like to have a place to share what I have learned and what I am learning.
I don’t pretend to be perfect. I try to be real and vulnerable so that I do not come across as pompous or hypocritical. I don’t believe I know it all – I am always questioning what I’ve learned previously with what I am learning now to see if perhaps there may be a better way of looking at something. And if the new way is not a better way then it only confirms my original belief and makes it stronger. I know that once I publish a blog post on the internet it becomes a snapshot of what I believe or who I am at that point in time but I may grow and my views may evolve and grow as people do and that original belief from a previous post would still be sitting there reflecting an older me. I believe that IT IS OKAY to change our minds because we are growing every day. I am only 30 years old; I am still learning and still gaining wisdom every day forever. So in certain areas that I talk about such as Christianity I will likely face conflict if I say something that is unconventional or discuss a controversial subject. This is why I am disabling comments for now; because I want to feel free and safe to share how I feel without having to anticipate what people will criticize me or argue with me for. I think it’s important for people to be able to express themselves without having to worry about getting tomatoes thrown at them. I am not interested in online debate or controversy; I am more interested in sharing ideas and alternative ways of looking at things. For now, the safest way for me to be able to continue to post without having to second guess everything I write and how it will be received is by disabling comments.
What I hope to achieve with my blog is to bring readers, particularly those in my generation and younger (millennial, gen Z, etc.) to a higher place – above the superficiality of the world, the political this-or-that of each day, whatever is trending on YouTube or Twitter or Instagram, the fleeting things that are less meaningful than the real meaty stuff about life that are not discussed regularly. I want to share my experiences that are unique that I feel many aren’t willing to share or maybe not healthy enough to share – particularly about mental illness and being a survivor of abuse. I don’t always want to talk about heavy things though. I have so many interests and will probably end up writing about many subjects. Here is a list of topics that I intend to write about:
- Mental illness
- The state of the mental health care system currently, why is it failing people, how can it be improved – including counseling and medication management
- Digging through current research being done (that I find on Google Scholar) using what I’ve learned in college as a Biology major to read and understand research papers. Trying to get an idea of where researchers are at with making breakthroughs in the treatment of mental illness
- I am currently studying Bioinformatics at Northeastern University (online format) and will probably write about what I am learning and how it applies to my interests in the medical field; I just started so this will probably not be a topic I write about for a while
- What it’s like to be invalidated because of my mental illness; what it’s like to be disabled and deal with the shame that comes with that; wrestling with the stigma that comes from popular movies and TV that portray mental illness inaccurately
- Compiling a concise set of resources that I think would be helpful for someone who is struggling with mental illness – there are so many resources it can be overwhelming
- Marital issues/emotional abuse and what I’ve learned and how I’ve overcome that, particularly how abuse relates to separation and divorce and how I dislike how some people in the Church deal with this
- Christian Theology
- The intersection of Science and Faith; such as dealing with Christianity and Evolution as I had learned about in college at a Christian university (Re: Language of God – Francis Collins)
- Book reviews – I am always reading and I feel like a great way to hold myself accountable to finish books is to commit to reviewing and/or summarizing them. Currently I am reading Alan Turing: The Enigma, Atomic Habits, Everybody Always, People of the Lie, Something Needs to Change, Love Wins, Does Jesus Really Love Me? and so many more. I have so many interests that I start reading new books and don’t finish the ones I’ve already read. This is a way that I think I can actually finish them.
- One particular project that I want to do is study the Bible on SparkNotes and summarize it. I am such a detail-oriented person that I have to try really hard to see the big picture of anything. I have read maybe 3/4 of the bible but still want to have a big picture of it. I think the historical stories bore me the most so my hope is that SparkNotes and other summaries I find can help me see the big picture of some of the more historical books particularly in the Old Testament. I want to create a concise summary of each book and also wrestle with what I’m learning in the books that are more applicable to my life.
- I also plan to research why the millennial generation is not going to church and write my opinion on the matter; this is obviously a huge topic and it would be more of a collection of ideas that I collect from researching online with a sprinkling of my own opinion. I am hugely interested in the topic as I am not interested in going to church myself – despite being a zealous follower of Jesus – and I hope to find a way to reach people in my generation in ways that the traditional church model has failed. I am one of many who are trying to figure this out so I guess my desire is to find those people, what they are saying, and compile it here
OK. I think that’s all for now. Thanks for reading.