Like the Apostle Paul, A Way With Words has been many things to many people (so that some may be saved).
It actually started as Will Write for Food (and maybe dental), a way to present a portfolio of my writing for prospective employers.
As it became A Way With Words, the focus expanded to creative work – essays, reviews, poems, and short stories.
As I move toward the completion of a working draft of my spiritual memoir – Delight in Disorder: Meditations from a Bipolar Mind, it has become a way for me to reach out to others with mental illnesses (as well as address mental health issues in the broader public).
This past week, I’ve made a good many new blogging friends. One of these, Bradley of How Is Bradley has inspired me to join the growing movement of bloggers promoting mental health. To this end, I place my right hand on my Grandmother’s Bible and say –
I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.
A Canvas of the Minds tells the story of the launching of the movement – here. There, she explains the terms –
1) Take the pledge by copying and pasting the following into a post featuring “Blog for Mental Health 2013″. (quote above)
2) Link back to the person who pledged you. (see Bradley above)
3) Write a short biography of your mental health, and what this means to you. (below)
4) Pledge five others, and be sure to let them know! (bottom)
I was born crazier than a loon. I come by it honestly. There are many loony limbs in my family tree.
I started self-medication at an early age, with the help of my parents’ friends who put beer in my bottle and laughed at the two-year old toddling tipsy to the turf.
I was able to escape the loud voices in my mind (and coming from my parents’ bedroom) by playing basketball and reading books. I was driven to succeed in sports and studies which helped carry me through my sophomore year of college, when I turned to various illicit drugs to produce a chemical composition in my brain with which I could live.
After college, I began a journey of recovery (dispensing with one drug at a time) until I was left to face my demons alone. That’s when all hell broke loose.
I was treated with second-generation anti-depressants until one of them induced a psychotic episode and I was, more appropriately, diagnosed with Bipolar.
With the aid of various psychotropics, counseling, much prayer, and a loving family, I was able to not only survive but thrive, functioning 18 years as a parish pastor. Recently, however, I have gone on disability and separated from my wife. I am now pursuing a second career as a writer and educator.
Blogging is itself an exercise toward mental health for me and writing about my life, I often touch on mental health issues. This does not mean I will use my readers as my therapists (I can’t afford more), but I will hopefully build more positive relations with folks like me who struggle with mental illness and give folks who don’t a better glimpse of what we can be.
Pledge five others (5 bloggers I follow you should check out)
timEbush : Art. Life. Writing. Channeled messages.
TeaTart : Loving, Laughing, Crying – and Writing About It All.
Unexpected Midlife Freedom! : Lover of books, reading, writing, and the pursuit of dreams.
Alexis Stone : Seeing in the dark.
For a list of bloggers participating in the movement, click – here.