“I was Bipolar. I AM Bipolar.” Danielle Workman, a once blogger turned author, was faced with what she deemed terminal in her ill mind; a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. In this book she details her adventures and her experiences with this mental illness, including the bouts of mania, depression and her current thoughts on living life with it. This is a raw and real collection of truths about Bipolar Disorder, and is a beautiful tell-all novel."
Hopeless. I felt hopeless.
That feeling tended to come back often. Hopelessness and I became good friends, long before I even considered that I could have a mental illness diagnosis. It’d sing me to sleep at night, tucking me in with my own hot tears. It’d kiss me goodnight with a knot in my stomach, feeling as if it was keeping me warm by holding me hostage. Hopelessness and I became best friends. And I found this friend sitting on my lap again as I sat in the psychiatrist's office, getting my official diagnosis.
When I went home that evening, I found myself on the computer, researching my diagnosis. I wanted so badly to find something to give me hope. Facebook groups seemed so dark and gloomy. Twitter had nothing good to say, as a celebrity had just had a major lapse with their Bipolar Disorder. Instagram was just moody people posing with knives and pills. Tumblr was worse than that. Finally I even resorted to Pinterest for some hope, and only found pins for some books, but all the ones I saw had typos in the previews and seemed so depressive.
Sighing, I leaned back against the couch and let out a massive sigh, my friend hopelessness entering the room again. I needed to find some hope.
“The book I want to write (or really, the book I need to write) is the tale of a girl who survived. Despite all disfunction, despite the Bipolar Disorder, despite the neurotic tendencies, despite all of the obstacles in my way - I survived. Other people need to know that they, too, can survive.”
Journal Entry - 2/29/16
Immediately I began journaling. I journaled every little thing that happened in my life, from the day's activities to the songs I liked on the radio. I’d make to-do lists, and write about my medications. Everything was documented in a sloppy yet satisfying way that I could rely on.
One evening in therapy I mentioned to my therapist that I absolutely hated the media out there for Bipolar Patients. He casually suggested that I change that - and I could only laugh. It took some coaxing from friends, mental health professionals and my mind as I got healthier, but as I did, I knew I had to do it.
On a incredibly difficult afternoon, with mascara streaked down my face and red eyes, I posted about my Bipolar disorder and about my diagnosis. I told my friends and family on facebook and shared my story. And something amazing happened.
“Me too.” One post read. And it was enough of a statement that I had a lightbulb moment. I had to write this book. Not just for me and for my own healing, but for the others that like me searched the internet in the hopes of finding something to heal them and couldn’t. It no longer was a dream or a hope. I had to do it.
So I did. I took my life, my stories, my journal entries and my mind and put it on paper. Like Ernest Hemingway said, “Writing is easy, all you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.” And I bled all over in the writing of this book. I poured my heart into it, even allowing my friend hopelessness to assist at times. I made it everything I needed, and then gave it away to the world. I only hope it helps others too.
Links to explore Dani's work: