Riding off the theme of the “Me Too Conversations” on stigma in mental health that took place in Vancouver last Friday, one of the ways to break stigma is by opening up a dialogue on it. And in the case highlighted by this blog today, MSW holding author (and CREST BD team member!) Raymond D. Tremblay shares a written dialogue on the personal experience of a twenty-nine year old Franco-Ontarien-Métis, a widow overcoming hurdles and opportunities with her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. This book is titled “Riding the Tides of Life”; a review on his book can be found here. Even after self-acceptance there is a struggle to regain post-diagnosis confidence that she had rebuilt only to have to fight to hold on, after a following turn of events. Although this is a fictitious novel, it is based off reality and more specifically based on Raymond Tremblay’s own personal experience with bipolar disorder.
Following the launch of his book, Raymond was interviewed on a radio program at Carleton University in Ottawa. You get the sense you are in for an interesting, unique perspective once you hear his interviewer express her own experiences as an individual with bipolar. This interview can be found here.
In the spirit of opening many dialogues, here is a brief written summary of said interview:
After some singing and introductions, Raymond and interviewer jump right into the topic of bipolar disorder by discussing manic episodes and how they can have particularly damaging effects to sense of self if the point of psychosis is reached. Other perspectives on manic episodes are explored, such as similarities and differences of manic episodes across personalities. It is mentioned just how hard of a hit a depressive episode is, once you fall out of mania.
Conversations move upwards to agreement between Raymond and interviewer on how big of an advantage it is to believe in yourself, believe in change, and believe that you can make it happen- when it comes to living with bipolar disorder. The different benefits of finding spirituality within oneself are also brought up — things like meditation, prayer. A sense of spirituality has the potential to shape one’s identity and aid oneself in finding one’s peace; it is noted that with or without this element it is likely that there will be changes in identity and acceptance of self when it comes to moving forward in time in accordance with one’s bipolar disorder. The wide array of personal notes on lived and authored experience of bipolar disorder come to a close with some rousing music and spoken poetry, also written by Raymond. To experience that pleasure, you are welcomed to take a listen to the interview yourself!
“Riding the Tides of Life” is available for purchase at a few outlets, and via online communication as indicated in the right hand column Raymond Tremblay’s blogspot homepage: http://raymondtremblay.blogspot.ca/
Read more about the work Raymond Tremblay has done, and continues to do for CREST.BD here