Who am I?

MarisaI’m M. and I have bipolar disorder II. But more than that, I’m also a mental health advocate, reader, writer, and tweeter. I created Mad Girl’s Lament as a way to share my mental health story, bust stigma, and generally discuss the state of the mental health system. Hopefully it will become a space where you’ll feel safe enough to share your stories too! Busting mental health stigma is all about talking candidly about our experiences – the ups and downs – with mental illness.

Why Mad Girl’s Lament? It was a riff on the Sylvia Plath poem, Mad Girl’s Love SongPlath was a fellow ‘mad’ girl and I often find her writings resonate with my mental health struggles.

So grab a cup of tea and settle in!

–M xo

12 thoughts on “Who am I?

  1. I am the Mother of a son with bi-polar and other self-harming habits. This stigma is debilitating. It takes courage to share one’s story, so many thanks to you. It is my hope that my son will be able to embrace his unique gifts and live a fulfilling life. He is so intelligent, handsome and has the kindest heart of all. His suffering has made family life difficult over the years. I remember the beautiful child that he was and I see that little boy in my mind’s eye each and every day. I wish those who battle a mental illness the great courage it takes to move from dawn to dusk. No one is without a struggle of some sort. Empathy is key. Laugh, Dance and Whistle a Happy tune… have a great day!


    • Hi Maureen,

      Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog and share your son’s story. You are absolutely right – the stigma is debilitating and there’s a massive struggle.

      I hope you find my blog useful to yourself and your son. I don’t know how old he is but I wish you both the best.



  2. Hello Marisa ,
    You are the first sane insane blog I have read! My story is a long and deadly road. I found a common soul in your blog .As you ..during my freshman year at Syracuse university …I was a varsity athlete and had a 3.8 GPA in a core course load …not a jock track core lol.Anyway I had to take freshman English and one of my prescribed reading was Sylvia plath the bell jar .I read it at my usual reading time of after 12 pm or after my more strenuous studies ie calculus and bioscience etc.It was a way of widening down and try to enjoy what I was reading as a relaxation response instead of memorization project. Anyways I had played high school football and had many concussions from 9th grade on , by my second year I was getting punch drunk as they used to say .I would find myself Zoning during class..i was an 94 %student ..youngest varsity sports club member , honor role , key club etc.But I was having trouble concentrating and needing more and more sensory input to keep me going .Later after reading Sylvia plath the Bell Jar I had no other reference of mental depression.Later after I had a knee operation ,thumb, wrist and 2 vein stripping during my college years and some in high school due to sports.My junior year when after one of my vein stripping operations I got hepatitis , staff infection ,jaundice .bleeding out of every opening I had , my mom sent me to her hometown doctor and he said immediately I had hepatituis.I would have to drop out one semester and get healthy and go back in the fall .I was dead tired ,feeling weak and not totally with it …and like flowers for algeron I started feeling retarded because I used to teach calculus and other science and math courses to the other regular students and jokes ..but suddenly I couldn’t spell my name.This feeling of Lostness or zoning was very much like the Bell Jar .So at the time I didn’t understand it was my first real ongoing fight with depression .I only had the reference of the book the Bell Jar as anything close to what other people where feeling or understanding my true feelings .Remember this was 1980 and they doctors never even thought of depression or mental illness….let alone a 3.8 varsity division 1 jock.My father was a ww11 b-17 bomber pilot who never would show weakness or understand it because if you have food, a roof over your head .and clothes nothing is wrong ! Like he used to say ..before he died in my arms at 20 from being to tuff …did anybody put a gun to your head …if a write a few more comments I will explain how this came back to haunt me and my exwife..literally.
    So the summer of 1980 comes around and I an spending it at my parents cottage on a lovely lake by myself and my NEW girlfriend and future wife.MY first girlfriend of 13 to 19 had left me ..I wasn’t so sure why but with all my new bad luck I just let it go .OF course my new girlfriend smoked pot..drank a lot .had a real cool new firebird espirit and let me do whatever I wanted too.Well I drank that summer ..discoed and did a lot of risky behavior .Then when it was time to go back to school I went but just couldn’t hack it anymore .What used to be comfortable was now difficult ,,,I felt on the outside looking in.all my friends where a year a head and I didn’t have sports friends anymore.So I went to class for a month and started getting panic attacks during exams and was just to out of it to make it happen.My engineer brother who just made by the skin of his teeth said just get b and c ..but I couldn’t imagine that fate after being an A honor roll student ..and quite honestly I was scared .but who could I tell ..not my cum laude sister or my older brother or my war hero mother.So I just pretended I was going to party my way out of it .So mt new girlfriend who was a typical Saturday night john trovolta type with the big hair …I just went out with …danced at all the clubs and let her work while I played ..yes she was my first enabler .She wanted me so bad she would do anything ..and I was feeling so bad I let her.Well this went on for a year ..I would go to a local workout club and she would meet me at the local watering hole and let me dance with all her girlfriends and pay my way,This was the start of my first real manic depressive mode .But on the outside they all saw this big man on campus guy..well its better than seeing the confused depressed ME.I got in daily fights with my father because I dropped out and was using THAT girl.
    So by accident I worked construction in between semester at college and my boss called me up for a big job out of town.And since I did such a good job the previous year IE I could read prints and get along with the Govt Engineers on state jobs I got the position as superintendent without tring .
    This was probably gods hand in saving me from my father and drinking .In 1981 I was making 16 dollars an hour when people where making 3 and when interest rates climbed to 18%.
    I would work long hard dangerous 50 hour weeks ..but like football it tool my mind off of my racing thoughts .I would come home either late Fridays or noon Saturdays and would basically just go out to eat and date my future wife .She would continue to party on the weekdays but calm down for me on the weekends .AS I was out of town my friction with my family lessened and they couldn’t believe the DUMB money I was making inStupid construction.But as that one doctor in I think it was England had his mentall patients work in the fields all day for there mentall illness ..basically I was doing the samething .But it was terrible job in reality .I had bikers , rapist , thieves around me 24/7 giving me a hard time about being a college kid .They did things like you see on these popular biker shows and methane shows .One good thing I had going for me is I NEVER EVER used any kind of DRUGS.I would work 5AM to dusk and eat at mcdonalds and go to my hotel room and watch tv ..No more booze ,
    Well eventually I got a little better then one day ..I was working in the cold and I caught asthma and pnemounia .Well I was deadly sick and stayed in bed and started all kinds of drugs for breathing and started again going out drinking and clubbing with my girlfriend ,I was getting into more confrontations with my family and getting drunker and drunker and started going out with the OTHER Crowd.
    Well to hurry the story up a little my father became ill one day ..as I was already suffering dearly form the asthma .and my mom came into my roomearly in the morning to tell me I had to take my 57 year old father to the doctors .Well he went couple of times in the 22 years I had known him so I new something was up.So I go down stairs and he can hardly hold his head up and is BLUE .my stomach feels sick and I get him dresses and carry him in and out of the car to our local doctors clinic .He is ding of a heart attack and I am waiting in the office to get him in .finally I demand to get him in the waiting room and the doctor sees him in 5 minutes .H e has him breathe in and out for him and he has a heartattack and the doctor almost turns white .His last words where your a good son and take care of your mother ..then there the last gasp of air and he dies …..I am only telling you all this cause it leads up to my illness until I break at 44 for good .You know 5 hospitals , 3 suicide attempts .lucky faith steps in ,,,and finally the delayed diagnosis of manic depressive ,bi-polar,suicidal post traumatic stress syndrome and concussive disorder .Well now that I am labeled by everybody after 25 years …I go back to college and THE BELL JAR…that’s the closest to the way I felt or anybody ..doctors ,family ,friends could even understand.
    In my travels I have seen overdoses,suicides ,lost of family friends jobs houses everthing .I am a bad country song //they tool away my dog house wife job etc.lolBut I have lost girlfriends to this illness ..friends wives job mates .But that’s my story up to 22 …at 44 it gets much more deprived .It is nice to know that somebody but myself related to Sylvia plath..probably the greatest writer of mental illness of all times ..one has to truly experience the disease and then as I say have a type of remission to put if down in a thoughtful way.
    Thanks for listening and if you like I will write about the 44 and over Miami breakdown that was quite like sylvias in new york


  3. Wow, I’m really glad to have fallen across this blog! Well written, great perspectives on experiences familiar to me, just all-around cool. I look forward to your next instalment (and past ones too, when I get the chance to read them!)


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, I’m really glad to have fallen across this blog! Well written, great perspectives on experiences familiar to me, just all-around cool. I look forward to your next instalment (and past ones too, when I get the chance to read them!)


    P.S. I’ve tried to post this three times now; if you get it three times, I apologise but I’m beginning to think WordPress is broken today!


  5. Well, that’s not so tragic . . . if all your words go into the ether (aether?), then one day some aliens will read them as they propagate across the universe!


  6. Hi, How are you? I nominated you for the Liebster Award for blogging. It’s entirely up to you whether you want to accept it and participate or not. Although, the reason I nominated you was because I personally found your blog interesting. So keep writing, and you can add another follower to your checklist!


  7. Pingback: The Very Inspiring Blogger Award - Courtney's Voice

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