Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Guess This Is Growing Up

This time of year, I often feel particularly introspective.  2015 is coming to a close, and I can’t help but look back on the past 10 months.  When October hits, I see myself becoming more somber, knowing what the holidays have historically had in store for me.  This year, I’m finding myself in a different place. 

I’ve really been thinking about how I’ve grown as a person.  I know in the past, I’ve changed in ways I wasn’t particularly proud of.  For a very long time, it seemed like as each year passed, I became more and more bitter.  I hated that about myself, but I didn’t think I could do much to change it.  I was stumbling through life, pretending I didn’t care that I was a miserable person. 

I cannot tell a lie.  Previously, if I found something particularly offensive, I wasn’t afraid to tell anyone and everyone just how pissed off I was.  I believe that I’ve blindsided people who were just going about their life, not ever knowing I was coming to unleash my misguided fury. I am grateful to be able to say that today, that is not who I am.  I saw this meme online the other day, and I loved it. 

I completely connected with it.  Sure, there are some reprehensible things on the internet.  I understand that.  If it’s a fight for a good cause, I’ll be the first one to throw my hat in the ring.  If it’s some stranger that I couldn’t care less about or even someone that I do know, talking about politics or giving an opinion on a movie that I don’t agree with, I move on.  I keep Bill tucked away in my brain. 

Don’t we all have enough on our plates?  Do we really have the energy to devote to all of this nonsense?  I know I don’t.  Why have I always gotten so riled up about people that say stupid, insensitive things?  If it’s directly about me or said to my face, well…it’s entirely possible that they’ll have a fight on their hands.  But if I can avoid the conflict, I think it’s essential to walk away...and quickly before I change my mind. 

It’s like most things, really.  It’s all about balance.  I don’t mean to say that I’ll just sit here quietly and let people walk all over me or anyone that I love for that matter.  Quite the contrary.  I do think that I’ve had to learn a difficult lesson about picking my battles.  I’ll be the first to admit that I have flown off the handle at people, too quickly and for absurd reasons.  I hate the fact that there are people that are no longer in my life because of that.  Yet, at the same time I know that perhaps my slightly hysterical nature helped me to thin out the herd, in a sense. 

I know I’ll never have all of the answers.  I understand that I’ll make mistakes along the way.  I’ve most assuredly put myself out in the public eye where I will often be judged or criticized.  I will want to fight back and sometimes I will fight back.  I just know that at my age, I don’t have time to sit around getting in ridiculous confrontations with even more ridiculous people. 

It’s a relief, really.  It’s been a long time coming.  I deserve to find peace and happiness.  We all do.  So, on this Thanksgiving, while I will still miss my loved ones dearly, I will feel grateful.  For the insight, for the love I do have in my life, and for how I hard I worked to just be me. 

Happy Holidays. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Q & A

I've decided to start taking questions from my readers.  I will do my best to answer any questions you may have about bipolar, writing, marriage, etc.  Just always keep in mind that I am not a licensed professional.  Any answers I give are based on my own personal experiences.  What worked for me, may not work for you.  

Here are a few questions I was asked recently:

1. What helped you find the impetus to start your blog?

I started writing my blog to help me relieve some of the pain, stress, and guilt from everything I have been through in my life up until now. I didn't even originally plan on publicizing it. I had always wanted to be a writer, but I gave up on that dream a long time ago. When I started to let people read it, I gained confidence from all of the positive feedback.  Once I made it public, the response was overwhelming. I started writing for me...I kept writing for everyone that was learning from it.

2. Over the last two years, what's kept you motivated to continue writing and posting to your blog?

Bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, suicide--all of these issues are widely misunderstood. Once I realized I was reaching people, I knew that I needed to keep going. It was scary because a lot of people didn't know that I had this disorder, and I didn't know what they would say or do. However, the outpouring of support was amazing. It feels incredible to know that you’ve helped someone.

3. What was the process like of shifting from writing a blog to writing a book?

It was difficult staying true to the premise of the book. I wanted it to read like a journal, which is why all of the chapters are dated. It was important to me that everyone understood that it was real and unfiltered.  I will admit, I wasn't entirely convinced that I wanted all of these stories out there for the world to see.  I can't even count the number of times I had to edit, rewrite, or eliminate chapters. Sometimes it was too overwhelming to be reliving all of these painful experiences over and over. I'm just glad I made it through.

4. What would you say to other people who are dealing with bipolar illness, depression, or other illnesses that can make it hard for them to be able to write and create?

I would say take it slow. Don't be hard on yourself if you don't write a best seller the first time you sit down in front of the computer. There are days when I can't write either. I don't get down on myself because I know that there will be a day when I can. I try to avoid deadlines if I can, but I know that isn't always realistic.
I worry that I'm setting myself up to fail. With the feeling of failure comes tremendous feelings of depression, and that's what we’re all trying to avoid. You may find that you're second guessing yourself, predicting that you won't be able to do it. If you're feeling that way, sit down in front of the computer or with a pen and paper and just see what happens. You might surprise yourself!

You can submit the questions to me via email
Or via Twitter @BekaLombardo  
Don't forget to check out my author website -

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