Daily Archives: June 23, 2016

I Got Out of the House This Week!


My major achievement this week was to get out of the house TWICE for ME – not just driving my son to and from school or caring for my parents.

Monday: OC Writers Write-In

Monday I attended an OC Writers write-in where I wrote 3282 words freely. The words need editing. They need shape. They possibly need to be fictionalized. Not sure.

Wednesday: Brain Disease Advocacy

Yesterday I had a lovely lunch with Mary Palafox of FEDUP – Brain Disease Advocacy. FEDUP4Brain advocates uniting mental and physical health under ONE health care delivery system. Stop treating serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder differently than other brain disorders.

Folie à Deux

As for the writing I did Monday, my focus was a delusion shared (folie à deux) by my parents. The delusional thoughts originated from my mother, but my father backed her up, and in doing so failed to protect us from verbalized delusions better not shared with one’s children. The delusional thinking was and still is disturbing.

Understand that delusional thoughts are a SYMPTOM of mental illness, of a brain disorder. When a couple reinforces each other’s delusional thoughts, they get stuck in a reinforcing feedback loop. In isolating themselves from others, they fail to test their version of reality against outsiders’ views.

My mother lived with an unacknowledged, undiagnosed mental illness. As her daughter, I’m in no position to diagnose her. Loyal and devoted – adoring, in fact – my father always backed my mother up. He might agree (in secret) with us, but then he would make us apologize to our mother for something SHE said, explaining to us that our mother didn’t feel appreciated and it was up to us to give her the attention she needed.

Not a healthy dynamic, but by the time we were teenagers, we knew it was not healthy. Thank God, my sister and I had each other to tether ourselves to reality.

As an adult, as a mother, in many ways I identify with my mother. I can see myself in her. I can see my illness in her illness. So, I feel compassion for her. But we differ in how we have dealt with our disordered brains. I had insight and sought treatment early.

As it turns out, since my mother had her stroke, I learned that she was being treated for depression. She told me a few years ago that she took an SSRI for anxiety, for panic attacks, but she had told me she stopped cold turkey (dangerous). I was unaware that she had gone back on them for depression.

Filed under: Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Medication, Mental Illness, Motherhood, Psychosis, Stroke Tagged: anxiety, Brain Disease Advocacy, delusion, FEDUP4Brain, folie à deux, OCWriters, shared delusion

My Abba Mian <3

Abba MianAbba Mian 2

My dearest uncle, with a loving heart,  twinkly eyes, and a ready smile. He had a bass, booming voice. He was intelligent to the nth degree. He was a journalist for Pakistani newspapers as well the London Times. He had a lively sense of humor and usually a twinkle in his mischievous eyes. We would also get yelled at if we disturbed his afternoon siesta. Once, my brother, my two cousins and I were running around the house, and I mean really running, in the afternoon, we knocked over a wooden divan that was standing on its side in the veranda. It came down with a crash! And all four of us skidaddled, gone, out. of. sight! My aunt and uncle came out and couldn’t for the life of them understand how it fell. They assumed it was just a breeze or something that knocked it over. There are so many funny and livening stories like this, I will have to sit down and write them all down.

He was the grandson of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, who was an Indian Muslim pragmatist, Islamic modernist, philosopher and social activist of nineteenth century India. And the son of Mirza Mohammad Syed. He was truly a gem without compare, he loved us all, he had integrity and moral principles to no end. He is gone, and there will never be another. Such a loss, such an awful loss for all of us who loved him.


I got nothing to write.. oh I bet that makes the writers shudder. I mean I have nothing to write about.

Today I showered and cleaned the sheets and comforter for the bed so I got something accomplished.

Now I’m just stoned and watching Last Man Standing.

Huffington Post and IBPF Blogger Now!

Ready. Set. Sail! Hey guys. Thanks for the supportive comments. I’m feeling a little better today. Still in a funk but practicing mindfulness. Friends and followers helped talk me through the depression and I upped my antidepressants so I’m coming back up. Not as bad as yesterday. Need more mood stabilizer I think because I’ve… More Huffington Post and IBPF Blogger Now!


I finally finished my book project yesterday and sent it in to a contest for nonfiction manuscripts.  I titled it “Confessions of a Lazy Southern Cook: A Food Memoir”.  I finished up with an article about being thankful for all the blessings God gives us–food, family, etc. and began it with an article about the New Year tradition of cooking blackeyed peas and turnip greens for good fortune.  I talked about birthday cakes, Chinese food, wedding preparations, the entire year of events that I covered in my food column when I was writing it.  It came out to 100 pages without images–with images it would be just a niffy little cookbook I think.  And I can always continue working on it to flesh it out and put in more details, etc. if I decided to use it for my thesis.  So we will see what comes of it.

We’re getting ready to go to Disney World and let the younger girls dance in a parade in Epcot.  We’re packing and trying to get everything together for the drive.  Right now the children are picking out CD’s to listen to on the drive.  Hopefully the vehicle we’re renting has a CD player in it.  We’re also taking books and will hopefully get a lot of reading done.  I’m taking the rest of my scripts for my class and will read them,  then will read some other books I have picked out.  I’ve got everything done for my class that I can do up to this date and have gotten my A for my first paper so I am excited about that.

I have really felt well the past few days.  I’ve been busy and a little stressed but have handled it fine.  It makes me hopeful for the rest of the summer.   I hope this trip goes well–I’m taking along my Xanax just in case.  We’ve been making preparations for it since about January so we’ve really been anticipating it.  We leave Saturday and come back July 4.  I”ll be taking a hiatus from the blog for the trip, but don’t abandon me–take a look back through the archives and see how far I’ve come in the almost-two year I’ve been keeping this blog.  Hope everyone has a wonderful rest of June and goof Fourth of July weekend!


Pakistani Sufi Singer Amjad Sabri Murdered | Clarion Project

This breaks my heart.  Sufism, the mystical sect of Islam, is the inner core of true beauty in the Islamic faith.

Many of you have read the Sufi poet Rumi, or the Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam, or the poetry of Khalil Gibran, whose line “Drink of the same wine but not from the same cup” has enriched many a set of wedding vows.

Everyone has heard of the “whirling Dervishes,” but not everyone knows that a Darweesh is a mystical adept who spins through a complex pattern of movements in deep trance, in order to achieve synchrony with the Divine! 

And although this has been practiced since at least the 7th century c.e., and perhaps earlier, and even though Sufism has always been a deep and enduring branch of knowing God in the context of Islam, now it’s being branded as heresy and its practitioners are being killed.

Such a tragedy!

I have been associated with Sufis since 1990, when I studied African drumming with a black American Sufi and his white Jewish American Sufi wife.  While in Israel I hung out with Sufi musicians who were Jewish.  Yes, that happens in Israel.  You don’t hear about it on the news…the ecstatic music sessions on the streets and in the market places late at night, when Muslims and Jews gather to praise our mutual Creator with flutes, drums, and lyres…this too is taking a risk, now that the imams seem to be branding anything pleasurable as “haram” (forbidden).

Heaven help us.

In the meantime, please enjoy your life.  Dance.  Make music.  Howl at the moon!  Listen to music, read, pray.  Enjoy Nature!  Enjoy one another!

Live with joy, live the juice of life! 

Counter repression with expression!


Van Gogh – Throwback Thursday

If you are a new reader of mine. I must give you fair warning that I am obsessed with Vincent van Gogh and post about him often. This week’s Throwback Thursday comes from May 5, 2014. Most of my readers know my love for Vincent van Gogh. It’s been six months since I’ve written an […]

The post Van Gogh – Throwback Thursday appeared first on Insights From A Bipolar Bear.

My Uncle, he was always an angel and now he is with the angels. 

My Abba Mian is not in pain anymore. He is with the angels now. But how we will miss him. I’ll miss his humor, his wit, his charming and handsome face. But the greatest thing I will miss is his huge, loving heart. He not only lived his wife and two children unconditionally, but he showered his nieces (me being one) and nephews with all his love. He truly was an angel and we are all the sorrier, and poorer for his leaving. But we are also truly blessed that we had him in our lives. Truly blessed. 

Hasan Akhter January 13, 1927-June 23, 2016

Most loving husband, father, uncle. One of the truly great human beings in this world. Loved by his whole family and multitude of friends. 

Journalist for Dawn, Morning News, the London Times. 

He covered the war for Independence for Pakistan in 1947

My dearest Abba Mian,  I am so happy you are not in pain anymore. But I will miss you so much. The world is a much less loving and lovely place now that you’re not in it. I wish you would have recovered your health and been here with us for years to come. I so wish that. But I am so thankful that you are not suffering anymore. 

Giving Up Meat

I have decided to give up meat. I just like animals too much. I don’t enjoy the thought of them suffering so I can eat. There are tons of things for me to eat that don’t involve something getting hurt.

Hubby is at a steak house tonight for work. I swear he waited until I made up my mind to tell me lol. the shit.

It’s been a very lonely day.

SIL went out tonight so she’s not coming by. I could have had MIL over but she deserves some time to herself. Everyone that doesn’t constantly have it, needs it.