Yes you read that right. I’m typing this in 2018, 9 years after 2009, but I actually started this blog in 2009.
In 2009, 7 years after I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and 9 years after my bipolar dad committed suicide, I decided I should write a memoir. So I started working on it. And with it, came a little blog called Darkness and Light.
And so much happened. I wrote hundreds of pages of the book. I wrote dozens of blog posts. I submitted query letters to agents and went to writing workshops and writing conferences. I contacted publishers and wrote more blog entries.
And somewhere in there I got married, divorced, started a new career, moved around a few times, lost my 2 beloved kitties, adopted 2 new ones, attempted suicide, survived, was hospitalized, and came out on the other end a much stronger person.
And I didn’t get agent representation. I didn’t get published. So what did I do? I gave up.
That’s kind of what I do. I decide I want to do something and I dive head first into the deep end and spend hours and days and months obsessively chasing my goal. And when I don’t get the results my delusional mind thought I would get immediately (i.e. published, a $10,000 advance, a lifelong career as a New York Times bestselling author who writes full time from a cozy cabin in the Swiss mountains) I drop everything.
If you have bipolar disorder, that pattern may sound familiar.
So I’m starting back where I left off, which is where I started, if that makes sense.
And here it is, 2018, 9 years after I started chasing this dream. And I’m trying again. I’m working on my book proposal (a proper one this time) and query letter and yes, the blog.
Now I’m 44. I’m older and I hate to sound cliché but it’s true—I am wiser. And I’m in menopause for christ’s sake, so I know I have an expiration date. I may not get published soon or ever. But that’s not why I originally started this process. I started writing down my life story because I had to get it out, and share it with other people. I felt alone and misunderstood for so many years, and if I’d read Manic: A Memoir or Madness: A Bipolar Life or even had DBSA or BP magazine or an inspirational blog written by someone like me, I may not have felt so isolated.
So here it is. I hope you, whether you have bipolar disorder, or you have a loved one who struggles with it, or you’re just curious about it, get something out of this. All I can do is tell my story the way I know how, and if it helps someone then I’ve given back somehow. And if it doesn’t, and no one is reading this, it still feels damned cathartic to be able to just put all this out there.
So thank you for reading and welcome to Darkness and Light V 2.0!