Friday, July 17, 2015

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,

I’ve been gone from the blog since well, January. So much has happened and the nature of this blog has changed. One where I things are going so insanely well that perhaps an update and the re-launching of this space is in order.

First of all, thank you for reading my letters. Your kind words have served to sustain me and center me in this hurricane force of change coming my way.

Second three different publishers have the revised version of Letters to Daniel the memoir on their desk. I could be hearing from one of them as soon as next week. Fingers crossed. It could be big in what’s already been a big month for me.

In this year I have signed a continuing series, ala James Bond meets the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with MuseItUp Publishing. The Cooke & Cooke series, the first book in Forget Me Not signed for publication.

Dead Reckoning is a self-published novella.

Another set of books set on two different publishers desks. And is on the review pile to be considered for a television series on Lifetime.

MuseItUp has asked me to write a non-fiction inspirational how to market book from a bipolar writer’s perspective.

And me and my writing partner scored 10 wins at The International Indie Gathering Film Festival.

Finally Healing Hands Ent (me and Missy) and RJ Productions are co-producing Letters to Daniel the dramatic screenplay Missy and I wrote. With plans to take it to Film-Com next summer.

So as you can see, things are rapidly changing for me. That being said I want to make this blog about helping others with bipolar disorder facing the same challenges I did and still do.

Discrimination is a beast anyone with something different about them can face. As someone with bipolar disorder I faced it with a daycare center. In a world where there is acceptance of some differences having a mental illness is something that people can’t taste, touch, or smell. Many people can’t quantify it. Therefore they don’t understand it.

As someone who has traveled a long road in her recovery I see bipolar disorder being defined for us by a sensationalistic media (both liberal and conservative) that paints millions of people struggling to get better, struggling to get by, attempting to be well with the same broad  that means all persons with bipolar disorder will do it. That’s the insinuation. That’s picture of damnation they paint every person with. And I for one have had enough of it.

Sixteen years is a long time. I’m not the person in many ways that I was at the beginning of my road to recovery. There were hardships overcome. I had to learn my limitations. I had to learn to know when to say when. I behaved terribly to those around me. I said and did things that were horrible. And I had to take responsibility for them. I had to make amends. I had to accept in some respects I had burned bridges. That a book like Letters to Daniel has the potential to piss people off.

But I’m at a point where I don’t care. I want the world to know people with a bipolar disorder don’t belong in a catch all crazy basket with others who broke the law. That a great majority of those with a bipolar diagnosis are not their disease. It is simply that. A part of them.

There are many like me who are simply at a different stage of their journey than I am. That doesn’t make them any less worthy, any less valuable, any less of a human being than me. Because in the end bipolar disorder includes relapse as part of the disease. Some relapses are more severe than others.

But that being said, RELAPSE does not equal CRIMINAL. Treatment is out there. Help is available and a lot of times many well meaning friends and loved ones urge their sick mother/father/brother/sister/cousin/aunt/uncle/friend not to seek treatment thinking that said person is being ‘dramatic’ or that ‘it will look bad on the family’. And while those fears are understandable, all they do is keep their loved one from getting the treatment they so desperately need.

I have a dual diagnosis. I suffer PTSD to from the sexual abuse I suffered as a kid. That’s another blog altogether, but the above paragraph applies to the person needing treatment.

Please understand, when one person in the house has the illness it affects everyone in the house. The sick individual needs treatment, not judgment and damnation. Because one of the most effective parts of treatment is the support and love of parents, sisters and brothers and the rest of the family.

The media is in my crosshairs these days a lot for their portrayal of mental illness equaling criminality. I don’t care for it. And I will no longer stand idly by while I, and many people I know and love are painted by that ugly, stigmatizing brush.


Amy McCorkle

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