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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Why I wrote Insanity: A Love Story

About Insanity: a love story--

My goal was to share what being mentally ill is like, because it is natural to wonder. I recognize what a scary idea it is to lose control of your mind and have to be in a mental hospital, even briefly. But the only way to de-stigmatize mental illness is to bring it into the light.

In my relationships with other patients, I developed a sense of belonging and understanding that put me on the path to sanity. I write about how, even after my moods stabilized, I didn't know how to relate to others and I didn't know who I was anymore. It was like learning to walk again after years of being in a body cast. I had to learn to be patient with myself. Everything involved baby steps, learning to live all over again without the boundaries of my moods.

One of the lessons I learned while in the hospital was how to forgive. A simmering undercurrent of shame and anger was intrinsically linked to my foray into insanity. Getting past shame meant forgiving myself; dealing with anger meant forgiving others.

After my hospitalization, I started to accept the upside of bipolar disorder—how, with my mood shifts, came a sensitivity and creativity I might not have otherwise had. It has made me more compassionate. These experiences also left me unafraid of mental illness, taking away the fear I might one day go crazy. With acceptance comes relief, which allows me the possibility of forgiveness.

My author page is at http://amazon.com/author/melissa and you can download the book from there. If you have amazon prime, it is free; you can get the book free on Thanksgiving day and other promotional days in the future. If you do download it for free, I would appreciate an Amazon review (even if it is just a "like"). The only way we can take te shame out of disabilities is to share our experiences.

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