World Bipolar Day In A Confident Way!

In honor of World Bipolar Day, I have made a short video about who I am outside of my Bipolar II diagnosis.  Enjoy!

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A Star Finds Her Place in the Sky: Patty Duke, the first celebrity to go public about bipolar dies at age 69

Today, the mental health community lost one of its most cherished, and respected mental health advocates.  Patty Duke died at the age of 69 due to sepsis from a ruptured intestine.  She is known for her career as an actress on stage, in film and on television with popular shows such as The Patty Duke Show, and her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, in which she won Best Supporting Actress at the young age of 16. However, later in life, Duke’s role shifted from leading Hollywood actress to mental health advocate. Read more

7 Inspirational Books To Improve Your Mental Health and Inspire Your Imagination

The older I get, the more reading has become a daily habit, along with dying my grey hairs (just kidding).  Finding a book that suits your needs and/or current situation helps in more ways than you could imagine.  After time spent in the hospital, reading became a positive outlet that allowed me to use my imagination, while expanding my mind.  The following are my personal suggestions for some reads that you might enjoy.  Some are entertaining, interactive and deep.  These are great for when your feeling down, in need of some inspiration or just looking for a good read. Read more

The Interview: A Poem Written To Bring Awareness To The Stigma On Mental Illness

I wrote this poem on a piece of tissue paper, moments after I was interviewed by a bewildered young man…

The Interview

You thought today,

That the girl you would meet,

Would be a girl who is violent,

Who lives on the street,

Yes it is true,

I am diagnosed Bipolar Two,

But it seems as though,

By the swing of my hips,

The deep red of my lips,

A smile too kind,

This is a girl,

You hadn’t in mind,

You sit quietly puzzled,

Filled with feelings of guilt,

Because I’m not the girl society built,

You listen to others,

Persuading your views,

This is what has you,

Completely confused,

I see the ring on your finger,

A baby is on the way,

If this was your daughter,

What then would you say?

For people will judge her,

Take her ‘demons’ away’,

So this you must know,

And this I must say,

When you place judgement,

On those you don’t see,

Be aware of this my friend,

Your daughter may be me.

Hannah Blum

6 Astounding Must Watch Ted Talks About Mental Health!

There are two things in this world that inspire me:  A good glass of Vino and Ted Talk’s on mental health.  These listed Ted Talk’s helped me come forward about my own diagnosis of Bipolar II disorder.  Each Talk is completely different, and gives you a separate outlook on mental illness.  You won’t regret watching!  I would love to hear your comments about these Ted Talks.  I hope some of you can find useful information, and a little bit of inspiration from these unbelievable individuals. Read more

‘Okay To Say’ Famous Texans Standing Up To Mental Illness Stigma 

 Okay, I have to admit when I think of Texas, the images of big hats, cowboy boots, and a very conservative perspective on things appears instinctively. So you can imagine my surprise when I woke up this early morning, and saw a mental health movement started in Texas called ‘Okay To Say,’ a mental health campaign dedicated to fighting the stigma that surrounds mental illness.

The most interesting part?!  The article, attached to this post, discusses the comparison to the position women with breast cancer were in three decades ago.  This was a piece of knowledge totally missing from my pie.  So I did some research (yes it is 6 in the morning on the east coast…on a Saturday. Its a bipolar betch problem) and found that this is totally true.  Three decades ago, women diagnosed with breast cancer were embarrassed and ashamed to admit they had a disease that has devastated so many.  I cannot imagine what these women must have gone through.  The stigma these women faced created a path for breast cancer movements that are known worldwide today, such as ‘Think Pink.’

This is a great morning read!  Go Texas!  I knew y’all had it in you! Famous Texans Stand Against Mental Illness Stigma

The Moment I Realized Mental Illness Is Real

We were sitting in our room, and she lifted up her sleeve slowly.  “This is why I am here” she said.  Carved with a butchers knife into her arm and across her body, were the words, Help Me.  She was 13. Read more

9 Stars You Will Be Shocked To Learn Have Mental Illness

9 celebrities you may have thought had it all, almost lost it all when confronted with mental illness.  It holds true, “Stars Cannot Shine Without Darkness.”

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After her first marriage failed to Atlanta Braves baseball star, David Justice, actress Halle Barry came forward to People Magazine about her suicide attempt. “I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me.”
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Singer Demi Lovato was diagnosed with Bipolar II a few years ago after being hospitalized. She is now a mental health advocate fighting to reduce the stigma, “Our Society tends to shame or ignore those with mental illness, and I want to change that”
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Mad Men Actor John Hamm admits he suffers from Depression, “I did do therapy and antidepressants for a brief period, which helped me. Which is what therapy does: it gives you another perspective when you are so lost in your own spiral, your own bullshit. It helps. And honestly? Antidepressants help! If you can change your brain chemistry enough to think: ‘I want to get up in the morning; I don’t want to sleep until four in the afternoon. I want to get up and go do my shit and go to work and…’ Reset the auto-meter, kick-start the engine!”
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Actress Catherine Zeta Jones came forward about her diagnosis of Bipolar II saying, ” I’m not the kind of person who likes to shout out my personal issues from the rooftops, but with my bipolar becoming public, I hope fellow sufferers will know it’s completely controllable. I hope I can help remove any stigma attached to it, and that those who don’t have it under control will seek help with all that is available to treat it.”
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Actress Carrie Fisher, most famously known as Star Wars Princess Leila, is open about her diagnoses of Bipolar Disorder, ““I outlasted my problems,” she said. “I am mentally ill. I can say that. I am not ashamed of that. I survived that, I’m still surviving it, but bring it on. Better me than you.”
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Author of the infamous Harry Potter books, JK Rowling admits to suicidal thoughts after the separation to her first husband, “I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s there to be ashamed of? I went through a really tough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that.”
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Comedian/Actor Jim Carrey is open about his Depression, “I don’t think human beings learn anything without desperation,” Carrey told CBS of his early success. “Desperation is a necessary ingredient to learning anything, or creating anything. Period. If you ain’t desperate at some point, you ain’t interesting.”
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Actress Rene Russo came forward about her diagnosis of Bipolar II on the Queen Latifah Show in 2014, “For all the people that are having trouble and maybe feel bad about taking medication… it’s okay — you will make it through.”

 

 

Why Bipolar Has Kept Me Off Dating Apps!

“It’s the world we live in Hannah, face it” is what was said by my best friend when I told her I refused to get on a ‘dating’ application on my phone.  After a couple beers, she persuaded me to download one.  As you are aware, like with any social media, the profile picture and fio come first (fake bio).  The process begins…

Her: “You need a tagline”

Me: “okay…Don’t leave home without it

Her: “Hannah thats the fucking American Express tagline”

 …damnit I forgot she was in the marketing profession.  

Me: “Okay…Do you enjoy going to the circus?  Well if your answer is yes, you wont regret buying a ticket for this show (winky face)”

Her:  “They will totally think your slutty.  No we are going to say…college student who loves a good IPA beer and having fun with friends.”

Me:  “Um…I like not love IPA’s and I’m fucking allergic to cats”  

END of PART I

Okay so here is the deal, I am not saying I want to write, “My name is Hannah. I love writing my blog about having Bipolar II, drinking the occasional bottle of wine and taking selfies to boost my self esteem,” but what was written was so freaking cliche.  The thing is, it is hard for me to put on an act.  I do not like to talk about surface shit, because it is not exciting.  “So do you like animals?” “Don’t you enjoy this weather?”  No, I want to know, “If you could have your dream job what would be?”  “What is your shoe size?”   I guess this is a problem, but the moment someone views my primped up, photoshopped profile picture (not that it is not already), and reads the ‘about me’ they have created an image of what they want me to be, and I never live up to that expectation.  Im not a trophy wife, I am good glass of whiskey on a summer day at dusk.  I cannot go into a situation comfortable knowing that the only reason a person wants to meet me is because of my looks, the fact that I like IPA beers and cats aka I am a hot alcoholic cat lady who might be easy after a few 10% beers.  

I got on the dating app and began the ‘swiping’ process.  “Swipe left, no swipe right” was the conversation for a whole 125 seconds (I counted).  

Me: “I cant judge a person based on their picture, would if they are the love of my life but were having a bad hair day.”  

Her: “Come on Hannah, just have fun with it.”

Fun? Okay so here is what it comes down to.  I have a disease that a huge chunk of society is critical about.  “I cant swipe you because your not good looking” is translated as, “I cant hire you becuase you are mentally ill,”  “I cant marry you becuase you are mentally ill.”  I live with a mental illness that gets ‘swiped’ by society everyday.  Dating applications make us think that because someone didnt swipe us, we are not good enough.  We try so hard to appear as someone we are not, and it ends up backfiring when a person gets to know you.  The you that gets too drunk sometimes, or likes to sing to Backstreet Boys in the shower; the you that isn’t religious or is overly religious, the you that wakes up and looks like Lindsey Lohan…the mugshot version; the you that has a mental illness that can make life a rollercoaster at times.  My life can be complicated and I hold onto love being uncomplicated, natural and not judgmental.

 My best friend went to the bathroom and I deleted the app, looked to the sky and said, “thank you lord for making me insane enough to be sane.”  Sorry guys, no swiping for this bipolar betch ass any time soon.