Seventeen years ago

Tomorrow it will be seventeen years since our son Paul died by suicide. Tomorrow my husband and I will visit his grave, leave a small stone, as we do every year on his birthday and death day. Today like all days is a time to reflect. I wrote the following poem a few years after he died. It is included in my memoir Leaving the Hall Light On: A Mother's Memoir of Living with Her Son's Bipolar Disorder and Surviving His Suicide. Yes, we have survived all these years, but the grief has never gone away. I’ll Always Remember I’ll always remember he slept without closing his eyes all the way I’ll always remember he walked fast and way ahead of us I’ll always remember he had long, thick, black eyelashes surrounding clear blue eyes I’ll always remember he played the piano, legs crossed at the knees, leaning way down over the keyboard I’ll always remember he liked to wear second-hand clothes and didn’t mind if they were ripped I’ll always remember the way he stood at the pantry … [Read more...]

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Meet my guest, Tara Meissner, author of Stress Fracture

My son, a talented jazz composer and musician, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age twenty-one. As I got more and more informed about the disorder I heard that studies linked creativity with bipolar disorder, and my son's behavior seemed to indicate the studies were true. He refused to take his medications because they evened him out too much and hindered his ability to create his music. He, and I imagine others with bipolar disorder, very much liked their manic highs. However, I, like my guest today, Tara Meissner, author of Stress Fracture: A Memoir of Psychosis, never believed that all people with bipolar disorder are creative. It is also not true that all people with mental illness are violent, as so many people believe. Thank you Tara Meissner for being at Choices while on your WOW! Women on Writing book tour. I'm so glad you are here to share your views and bipolar experience with us. Being open about this disorder will go a long way to help erase stigma. Bipolar and the … [Read more...]

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What are you grateful for?

My blogging friend, Pam Young, wrote down her list of things she's grateful for, and I decided to copy her. This is the season to think about such things. Gratitude has been on my mind a lot lately - especially since my husband Bob of 42 years seems to be experiencing a lot a pain in his hip, and I worry about him. I don't want anything bad to happen to him, and I'm trying to be positive that nothing will. Our marriage and our friendship is something I am very grateful for. Here's my list - at least so far: My good health and healthy life style of a good diet and lots of exercise My happy marriage My wonderful son and daughter-in-law That I can continue to write and work toward ending the stigma of mental illness and preventing suicide Many loving friends and family members That I can still workout or take a walk every day of the week That I live in what I think is the most beautiful place in the world – only 10-minutes from the beach That we live comfortably i … [Read more...]

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