Mental health and wellness

I have been humbled by this mood disorder I live with. I figured That I had the upper hand for a long time. More than a decade. Guess I was wrong. I began this blog  coincidentally – or not, hypomania sees no limitations – just as I was heading for a serious breakdown. As I recovered much of my focus revolved around mental health, adding my voice of experience to the chorus, for whatever it may be worth.

I realize that I cannot be so easily defined. Over the years I have addressed many issues around identity, relationships and personal values that I believe allowed me to live with significant stability. I survived my children’s teenage years as a single parent. I also built a rewarding career in my 40s that I loved.

The breakdown is a setback, but it is also a chance to take stock and reassess values and goals. Maybe a chance to open new doors.

In the meantime, I have always been a voracious reader and some of the books I read I talk about on this blog. Reading and writing are both very therapeutic tools. And the more I write about books, the better I feel. Thus the blog has evolved.

Copyright JM Schreiber 2013
Copyright JM Schreiber 2013

9 thoughts on “Mental health and wellness”

  1. It is good that you have found an outlet for yourself. I, too, find that writing helps me (along with music). Keep well, I will follow your blog now, feel free to check mine out and maybe follow it back.

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  2. I also have the issues of dealing with children with mental disorders and learning disabilities. I wonder how many of us suffer from mental illness and have to care for children with mental issues as well. It is so hard sometimes. I have to take them both to therapists every week. The act of having to go to the therapist and sit in the waiting room is bad enough. I get severe anxiety from the moment my eyes open in the morning. I even have anxiety making the appointments for them on the phone.
    The worst part is the dread of getting called into the therapist office to speak with their therapist either with or without the child. I get called back at random times and i never know if this will be one of those days or not.
    I am afraid to be in a state of uncontrollable anxiety and have the therapist see me like that. I feel like I might appear too unstable to be a good parent. I am a good mom but I am always afraid of how I will look to them.
    The therapist my younger daughter sees, always has a video camera running and her supervisor (who I have not met) watches it. I want to ask her not to tape when I am in there because I feel my privacy is invaded.
    I can’t talk about personal feelings in a group setting. I feel like the video puts me in a group of people that are listening and watching my body language , even though the therapist is the only one in the room. They are still going to watch it later.

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    1. My children are adults now and my daughter (22) is doing really well. My son (25) has the serious issues but I keep reminding him that it is no longer my problem. It was tough being on my own and working full time but my illness was pretty stable at the time. I had other issues though (gender) that were sometimes used against me but the worst was just the lack of adequate services for the kids.

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  3. Hi, Joe, so glad to have found your blog, thanks to Melissa at Bookbinder’s daughter. She told me that you are a writer and that you also write about mental health issues. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog. And thank you for being open, honest, and sharing your experiences.

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    1. Hi Valorie. Bless her, but Melissa may have given you a slightly misleading impression. The early posts on my blog do address mental health more directly as they are closer to a serious breakdown I am still recovering from and pre-date the more focused literary direction my blog has taken. I do incorporate mini personal essays, in part as a writing exercise, in part to muse on things happening in my life. They are more likely to spin off into references to reading rather than mental health although I mention or refer to my breakdown or mood disorder openly. I am in truth very guarded about the most personal aspects of my life on my blog, and much more open on my comments on other people’s blogs. If I have something I need or want to say about mental health I occasionally contribute musings and photographs to a friend’s blog and have been meaning to write a more substantial to a collaborative bipolar blog the same friend contributes to. Both are based in South Africa.

      I think I try to avoid direct writing about mental health (my own or my son’s) because I am quite bitter at the moment. I don’t like to vent on-line (too much).

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      1. In a way, we’re similar, in that the mental health aspect is somewhat in the background of my blog – my main purpose in the blog is to write about books, and last week I began a page about the writing life as I try to complete a memoir. But I approach mental illness through books, and have used those as a springboard for writing a bit about myself and my mother in a few of my posts – interestingly, those have been among my most popular posts. But as with you, most of the blog doesn’t deal with mental illness. I also understand about not wanting to write so directly about yourself or your son. Writing the memoir has been so very difficult, it’s just hard to write about these things. At any rate, I’m so glad to have discovered a fellow writer, and I look forward to reading more. Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.

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