It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that what had been considered merely “depression” was properly diagnosed as “bi-polar disorder.” When I finally realized that it wasn’t just the lows that plagued me, but the highs as well, I finally began to understand the disorder and make it work with me in my life.
Like most people diagnosed with bi-polar, I was heavily medicated. Went to lots of doctors, took lots of pills, got lots of blood drawn.
And I hated it, completely despised the rigmarole I had to go through to be “normal.” I was a fully functioning bi-polar, as in, I could work, drive, take care of myself without help. I learned very quickly that many people with bi-polar who wound up becoming disabled, and let it run their lives.
I was not about to let that happen to me. I started making sweeping changes in my life--walked away from unhealthy, high-stress relationships, researched bi-polar and alternative therapies, and I started to write more.
A lot more. Both journaling as much as I could, and writing fiction stories.
I discovered an amazing thing.The more I wrote, the better I felt. I could push away all those dark thoughts and bad feelings, and I felt a great deal better about myself and my world.
As time passed, I was soon able to get off of all my heavy medications, using writing as a major therapy for me. I could channel the manic swings into huge blasts of writing and cleaning and the depressive turns were not as bad, because I didn’t have the panic attacks about bills, I could sit back and go “Yeah, I just wrote five-thousand words today. I friggin’ rock.” (Though, I must clarify, I don’t always write 5K a day--mostly it sticks around fifteen hundred words. The 5K happens about twice a year, or if I’m under a deadline.)
Adding to that, of course, is my ever-so-awesome husband who knows how I am, and can tell, just by looking at me, whether I’ve been writing like a good girl or not. He keeps me stable, and very often, keeps me on track. Periodically he says “Hey, I’ve got the kids. Go write.” Which I think translates to “Girl, you’re being a bee-with-an-itch, go write!” (He’s also been known to bring me chocolate and fancy coffee when I finish a book too, so I will keep him around.)
And I feel better. I always feel better when I’ve gotten some writing done. The weight of the world is not so heavy, and I’m a lot more relaxed.
My first professional business card I ever had made, I wanted some kind of tag line on it, so I put “If I don’t write, my head will explode.” I passed it out at a local RWA conference in Dallas back in 2006, and while I got a few chuckles, I got several knowing glances.
Evidently I’m not the only one with that problem.
Am I normal? Nope, and I don’t profess to be. But the writing helps me stay stable. The writing saved me, it really did. I don’t know where I’d be without it.
Probably in a padded cell, talking to fairies, witches, demons and vampires.
* * * *
Candice Gilmer leads a dangerous double life as a mommy and a writer. In between diaper changes and boo-boo healing, she writes stories usually to the tune of children’s television shows.
Growing up in the Midwest, Candice stays close to her family, especially the ones with basements when the tornadoes come around. She also works as a hairdresser, which she’s done for over fifteen years, and brings her laptop to work so she can write between clients.
When she’s not writing, styling hair and taking care of her family, she gets together with her girlfriends for gossip and coffee while her husband hunts ghosts with Wichita Paranormal Research Society. All in all, she stays very busy, but really, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Well, maybe a little less children’s television.
Rescuing Rapunzel @ Amazon
Rescuing Rapunzel @ Barnes and Noble
Rescuing Rapunzel @ Lyrical Press Site
Rescuing Rapunzel blurb:
The Charming Nobles Book 1
Getting Rapunzel out the tower is only half the problem...
Rapunzel longs to live in the world she sees through her window, but more than her tower keeps her trapped. Her mother has taught her obedience without question and filled her with fear. She knows she will never reach the ground. Then Lord Nicolas von Hohburg scales her wall, breaks into her life, and changes everything.
Nick has resigned himself to a life of duty when Rapunzel’s song calls him to her tower. Soon she has his heart wrapped in her lengthy tresses and he can think of nothing else. But his responsibilities and sense of duty threaten to come between them...
Warning: A scheming witch, a damsel in distress and a Charming Noble who just might save the day.