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Bipolar Steady And Strong Blog
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This blog was created to share my journey with bipolar disorder and to raise awareness about mental illness in general.
2017-01-30 23:34
This online space has been created to explore mental illness and addiction, and the journeys and resources and grit it takes to manage and master them both.   Mental illness and ad… Read More
2017-01-25 14:00
I have a friend who is bipolar.  I have written about him on this blog before, in a post called “The Right Not To Medicate”.  At the time of that writing, he was accept… Read More
2017-01-23 14:00
I have done a lot of thinking in the months since I left treatment about the whole addiction rehabilitation system, especially since I have struggled to maintain continuous sobriety. Let me… Read More
2017-01-22 14:00
“The best thing you could do is MASTER the chaos in you.  You are not thrown into the fire, YOU ARE THE FIRE.” -Mama Indigo Read More
2017-01-20 21:52
I have been conspicuously absent from this blog for weeks now, because my life took a cool new turn in December when I decided to pursue a lifelong dream of a career as a medical office… Read More
2017-01-08 14:00
Somebody Like You There’s a new wind blowin’ like I’ve never known. I’m breathin’ deeper than I’ve ever done. And it sure feels good, to finally feel the… Read More
2017-01-03 18:26
Well, 2016 wasn’t the greatest.  It was one of the worst years of my life, that’s for sure.  But it was also a year of hardscrabble gifts, tiny glints of gold in p… Read More
2016-12-25 14:00
“Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all hist… Read More
2016-12-24 14:00
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas… Read More
2016-12-18 14:00
A Baby Changes Everything Teenage girl, much too young Unprepared for what’s to come A Baby changes everything. Not a ring on her hand All her dreams and all her plans. A Baby changes… Read More
2016-12-11 14:00
Amazing Grace Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear. An… Read More
2016-12-04 14:00
Where Are You Christmas? Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you? Why have you gone away? Where is the laughter You used to bring me? Why can’t I hear music play? My world… Read More
2016-12-02 14:00
Have you ever wondered why you’re bipolar?  Wondered why your moods fluctuate so wildly between two such opposite extremes?  The Mayo Clinic ( says that wh… Read More
2016-12-01 00:40
Addiction kills.  We all know this.  Anyone who has watched a season of Intervention or watched the news knows this.  But it’s always a tragedy out there, a sad story so… Read More
2016-11-27 14:00
Believe It Or Not (Theme From “Greatest American Hero”) Look at what’s happened to me I can’t believe it myself Suddenly I’m up on top of the world It sh… Read More
Remembering Rainbow
2016-11-25 23:17
You loved popcorn, sitting on my jeans, and playing “follow Mama”.  We so admired your dignity, your loyalty, your fierce protectiveness.  As an animal in our hom… Read More
2016-11-20 14:00
Catch A Falling Star Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket Never let it fade away, Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket Save it for a rainy day. For love may come and tap… Read More
2016-11-16 14:00
Hallelujah Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord That David played, and it pleased the Lord But you don’t really care for music, do you? It goes like this The fourth, the fifth… Read More
2016-11-15 14:00
There are a number of telephone helplines across Canada and the United States, some of which are staffed by volunteers and some of which are staffed by trained counselors.  Not everyone… Read More
2016-11-14 14:00
I recently returned to the treatment centre I spent 30 days at in the summer, for the free week any clients are eligible for once they have completed the program.  A  number of rec… Read More
2016-10-31 13:00
I am  beginning to receive requests to write guest posts on my blog, and I am humbled and thrilled.  My mission for this blog from the outset has been that it be a safe and loving… Read More
Sunday Quote: I Have A Dream
2016-10-30 13:00
I Have A Dream I have a dream, a song to sing To help me cope with anything If you see the wonder of a fairy tale You can take the future even if you fail I believe in angels Something good… Read More
2016-10-24 13:00
A situation has been brought to my attention recently about the frightening disappearance of someone with a mental illness.  Out of respect for the family in question, who would not app… Read More
2016-10-23 13:00
“When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that… Read More
2016-10-21 13:00
My post yesterday was memorial tribute to our beloved Thunder, who died unexpectedly at only a year old.  Around 11 o’clock on Tuesday morning, he had a series of massive seizures… Read More
Remembering Thunder
2016-10-20 11:05
“Rain comes over the grey hills, And on the air, a soft goodbye. Hear the song that I sing to you When the time has come to fly.” (Celtic Woman, The Soft Goodbye) Rest in peace… Read More
2016-10-19 13:00
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to… Read More
2016-10-17 18:38
I recently learned of an important website called  This is a comprehensive online resource funded by Advanced Recovery Systems in the United States.  I use the word… Read More
Sunday Quote: The Rose
2016-10-16 13:00
The Rose Some say love, it is a river That drowns the tender reed. Some say love, it is a razor That leaves your soul to bleed. Some say love, it is a hunger, An endless aching need. I say l… Read More
2016-10-15 13:00
Fifteen years my husband and I have been together, thirteen of them married. In our vows, we promised to share laughter, comfort each other in sorrow, and grow together in love.  That w… Read More
2016-10-14 13:00
This song was popular when my brother was going through a particularly difficult time in his life.  I don’t even recall the details anymore.  But long after his trials ended… Read More
2016-10-13 19:02
My parents’ house is a flurry of activity, and my daughter and I, a bridesmaid and flower girl, are at the center of the excitement.  Weddings are always special occasions, but th… Read More
2016-10-09 13:00
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most HighShall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;My God, in Him I will tru… Read More
2016-10-06 13:00
I have always been interested in human behavior.  In university, I majored in sociology, which is the study of human society, or, more simply, group life.  I find the complex inter… Read More
2016-10-05 13:00
Trips to the store to buy alcohol used to be a part of the daily life of our family (and our finances).   I would go the liquor store, or send my husband.  I would go to the w… Read More
2016-10-04 13:00
On Friday afternoon, I was glaring at my daughter as she ran along ahead of me, thinking she would very likely trip moving at such a high speed in her rubber boots.  It had been raining… Read More
2016-10-03 13:00
The rain begins sometime in the night, and is falling hard as I wake in the morning darkness.  The forecast says this is the first of four days that will be like this.  Complain as… Read More
Sunday Quote: What A Wonderful World
2016-10-02 13:00
What A Wonderful World I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom, for me and you. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue, And clouds of white. The br… Read More
2016-09-29 14:58
Sending thoughts and prayers to all those affected by and responding to the train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey. “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath… Read More
2016-09-29 13:00
On Monday, I had a horrible day.  It was the kind of day that fell into the category of “twilight zone of crap” a title I use for days when everything that could possibly go… Read More
My Hope Song: Hello World
2016-09-28 13:00
Hello World Traffic crawls, cell phone calls Talk radio screams at me Through my tinted window I see A little girl, rust red minivan She’s got chocolate on her face Got little hands, a… Read More
2016-09-27 13:00
A friend of mine recently revealed that he has been diagnosed as bipolar.  He has Bipolar II, the milder form, which perhaps explains why he is only being diagnosed in his 30s.  I… Read More
Why I Didn’t Write Last Week
2016-09-26 13:00
Since I began this blog, I have posted something nearly every day, with few exceptions.  Last week, I didn’t write a thing.  Why?  Not because something was wrong, but b… Read More
2016-09-25 13:00
Yesterday Today and Tomorrow There are two days in every week about which we should not worry, Two days which should be kept free of fear and apprehension. One of these days is YESTERDAY, Wi… Read More
2016-09-18 13:00
Salutation To The Dawn Look to this day! For it is life, the very life of life. In its brief course Lie all the verities and realities of your existence: The bliss of growth, The glory of a… Read More
2016-09-15 13:00
Moderation Management is a sexy idea.  It’s particularly sexy if, like me and most alcoholics, you have moments of fondly remembering the good times you had with alcohol in t… Read More
Pieces Of Life
2016-09-14 13:00
While I was in treatment, it was hard for me to gauge how much better I was (or was not).  Controls were many, and tests were few.  Granted, there were many stresses associated wit… Read More
2016-09-12 13:00
Wellbriety is a recovery movement created by and for Native peoples.  It comes from the White Bison organization, which has its home base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  For the le… Read More
2016-09-11 11:58
“No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” -Virgil Read More
2016-09-09 13:00
Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not look for allies in life… Read More
2016-09-08 13:00
In treatment, our Monday night group session became known as “Letters with Troy”.  It was an hour-long session when we would share letters that we had written with the group… Read More
2016-09-07 13:00
Warning: This is incredibly rude.  But keepin’ it real, right? Step 1: I’m f#$%ed. Step 2: There might be a way out of this f#$%ing mess. Step 3: Decide to level the f#… Read More
2016-09-06 13:00
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse is based in Ottawa, Ontario and has been around for over 25 years.  Its genesis was in a piece of federal legislation created in the 1980’s… Read More
2016-09-05 13:00
As I write this, a friend I met in treatment is in the throes of a horrendous relapse.  Our sober dates were the same.  This person is bright, highly educated, and left treatment m… Read More
2016-09-03 13:00
Social support is essential in recovery.  Whether you have been sober for a day or a decade, you need other people in your life who understand addiction and understand recovery.  T… Read More
2016-09-02 13:00
Every recovering addict has their own path.  There is no single formula, no one way that works for everyone.  AA and NA and CA and other fellowships help many people, but don&rsquo&hell…Read More
2016-09-01 13:00
Monsters In Your Head You fought the good fight And you thought you won all of the battles That left you here The armor your wore and the shield you held up Didn’t matter You still liv… Read More
2016-08-31 13:00
I thought I understood a fair amount about addiction.  I’ve had my own experience with it, after all, and watched every episode of Intervention.  Twice.  Then I arrived… Read More
2016-08-30 13:00
Residential treatment for addiction is not for the faint of heart.  The place I went to was a rambling house in a rural location, with a huge backyard and woods surrounding the property… Read More
2016-08-29 13:00
I thought about trying to come up with some gimmicky, catchy, fun title for this post, but there is nothing gimmicky or catchy or fun whatsoever about addiction.  So far, most of the di… Read More
2016-08-28 13:00
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eatin… Read More
2016-08-25 13:00
Recently, I had a number of stressors pile up in a very short period of time.  Among them were a trip to Emergency for my daughter’s severe abdominal pain, an awkward situati… Read More
2016-08-24 13:00
I have gained and lost a lot of friends along the way.  Two of these losses were devastating and unexpected, and I doubt I will ever fully get over them.  One friendship deteriorat… Read More
2016-08-21 13:00
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually… Read More
2016-08-14 13:00
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too: If you can… Read More
2016-08-13 13:00
I continue this battle.  I do it for my paternal great grandfather, about whom little is known, except the worst or the essential facts about his life.  He was a raging alcoholic… Read More
2016-08-12 13:00
“Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed?… Read More
2016-08-11 13:00
It has been a long, hot summer.  I love summer, but generally can’t handle the heat very well.  Go figure.  I am handling the heat even less well this summer, as my… Read More
“The Almost Effect” Books
2016-08-09 13:00
“The Almost Effect” books are a series of books that were created by psychiatrists at Harvard Medical School.  The first book in the series was released in 2012.  &ldqu&hell…Read More
2016-08-08 13:00
My bipolar history is rich with a lot of stories, some of them funny, many of them ridiculous, and a few of them, like this one, downright scary. On this particular afternoon, I had just fin… Read More
2016-08-07 13:00
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill, When funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile but you have to sigh, Whe… Read More
2016-08-06 13:00
Side effects are ever so much fun, aren’t they?  Yeah right.  They’re about as much fun as hemorrhoids or unwanted facial hair.  I have a long, sordid history with… Read More
2016-08-05 13:00
Therapy isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.  It isn’t always mine either, but it’s almost always helpful. Over the years, I have seen a variety of therapists, for a va… Read More
2016-08-04 13:00
I came into the world on January 6, 1979, after making my poor mother throw up for fourteen hours of labor.  Not one to make anything easy, ever, I got stuck at the last minute and… Read More
Bipolar Marriage
2016-08-03 13:00
This old house is falling down around my ears I’m drowning in a river of my tears When all my will is gone you hold me sway I need you at the dimming of the day You pulled me like the… Read More
2016-08-02 13:00
Last summer, my husband I flew on a second honeymoon to the Riviera Maya, Mexico.  We actually landed 24 hours apart.  My husband was deplaned when WestJet, in its inimitable wisdo… Read More
2016-08-01 13:00
Mental illness and addiction are having a moment in mainstream cinema.  Thank God.  It’s about damn time. Touched With Fire is written and directed by Paul Dalio, who has sev… Read More
Sunday Quote: Desiderata
2016-07-31 13:00
 Desiderata Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your tru… Read More
What Shakespeare Knew
2016-07-30 13:00
Antonio In sooth, I know not why I am so sad. It wearies me; you say it wearies you. But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born, I am to… Read More
2016-07-29 13:00
From the moment my daughter was born, I felt guilty.  I blamed myself for her early birth and small size, thinking my body had failed her by not nourishing her properly and then going i… Read More
Safe Injection Sites
2016-07-28 13:00
InSite,the first legal supervised injection site, was opened in 2003 in East Vancouver, British Columbia, where there is a significant drug problem.  Dr. Gabor Maté writes candid… Read More
2016-07-27 13:00
“Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.” – Kathy Hadley, Life Coach I spend a lot of time arguing for my limitations.  An awful lot of time.  I stru… Read More
2016-07-26 13:00
Dear Little Brother, On September 3, 1986, you were born in the wee hours of the morning.  I met you after school that day, swaddled in hospital linens, all fuzzy head and navy blue eye… Read More
2016-07-23 13:00
I became a runner on May 12, 1985.  I was six years old.  That was the day my father ran his first marathon, the National Capital Marathon in Ottawa, Canada.  I was electrifie… Read More
2016-07-22 13:00
I was in Ottawa for Canada Day, at the house where my parents have lived since I was eighteen months old.  I reportedly welcomed myself to this house by making myself comfortable in&nbs&hell…Read More
2016-07-21 13:00
Are you bored?  I used to be.  I was bored for approximately 36 years and 10 months, until I was put on a mood stabilizer that changed a whole lot about my life, including the fact… Read More
2016-07-20 13:00
When I started this blog, I wanted it to be a safe, open, inclusive online space, where no stone is left unturned, as it were, meaning no addiction or mental illness is left undiscussed.&nbs&hell…Read More

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