In 2017, this blog was viewed almost 17,000 times by over 10,000 visitors. Since I started writing this blog in September 2013, I’ve enjoyed almost 80,000 views from over 40,000 visitors. 2015 had the most blog activity with over 28,000 views from over 13,000 visitors.
When my mother had a stroke November of 2015, I took on increased responsibilities and wrote less about living with bipolar disorder. Starting September this year, I started organizing my posts into a book. As the holidays approached, I temporarily set aside that task, for this time of year exhausts me. Even though my parents are both still alive and happy, I miss them, as both have dementia.
Most readers (over 5,000 views) landed on my home page or searched my archives (Posts by Categories, My Blogging Journey, or using the Search box).
Top Five by the Numbers
- 35 Symptoms of Perimenopause — 671 views (Perennial favorite list shared from Healthline.com in 2015. I’m fully menopausal now. What a relief.)
- Freud and the Church — 550 views (I’m a psychodynamically-trained former psychotherapist and have attended Fuller Theological Seminary.)
- Mystic or Mentally Ill? — 489 views (Is it possible to be both mentally ill and a mystic? Perhaps. Perhaps, not.)
- Am I Still a Mental Health Blogger? — 443 views
- About Me & This Blog — 310 views
Favorites, Numbers Be Damned
- Barely Fiction: Kate.1
- Barely Fiction: Kate.2
- So Easily Broken
- I do not whisper. I ROAR.
- Bad Mom
Thank you, Readers! Hope you all have a Happy New Year! With love, Kitt.
I have not been up to writing recently. Just been binge watching TV and doing jigsaw puzzles on my iPad. This season is emotionally fraught for me, starting with my mother’s birthday in October, Thanksgiving, my father’s birthday in December, then my husband’s birthday, then Christmas, finally New Year’s (which we sleep through).
Never much liked the holidays, for they usually involved my parents getting drunk. Arguments often ensued. But they were better behaved at our homes, as we created new rituals with our own families. My parents didn’t want to risk not seeing their grandchildren. Thanks to my sister for putting her foot down and clearly defining that boundary.
Years ago, I would host Thanksgiving. Believe I quit about the time I was hospitalized for bipolar disorder. My sister has taken on the role of hostess, which I appreciate. Her sons are the closest thing my son has to siblings.
Now that my parents are both in memory care and not able to join us, I miss them. Sounds odd, but even alcoholic families can be loving. Our illnesses do not define us. I miss communicating with my mother who since her stroke has severe aphasia. She doesn’t understand language, cannot speak, read, or write. Carrying on a conversation with my father, who cannot remember what was said two minutes ago, takes patience. My parents live in a lovely community. They seem happy together. But I miss them both. They are simply not the same. Dementia, both alcohol-related and vascular, and aphasia have taken so much of them away.
October 2015, I last modified the import of my blog into Scrivener thinking I’d massage my writing into a book. The next month, my mother had a stroke. Never got back to the book or to figuring out Scrivener. Just finished the tutorial.
Enrolled in National Association of Memoir Writers‘ online memoir writing course and will be attending the Southern California Writers’ Conference later this month. The conference features memoir writing this year!
My first Scrivener project contains my outdated blog dump. Sometimes I edit old posts and pages, so I need to figure out how to import my current version of this site. Haven’t had luck so far today. I did create a blank new project into which I plan to organize my writing under four categories:
- Kate — fictionalized autobiography, starting at the beginning…
- Bipolar — mental health focus
- Parenting My Son — my son has struggled with migraines since he was two
- Parents with Dementia — both my parents have dementia and live in memory care
Wish me luck. I may go nowhere with putting together and publishing my writing. I may not. At least I’m writing here. Actually, I’m pretty happy with blog writing.
I fear dementia. Both of my parents have dementia and live in a memory care community. They love one another and seem happy where they are now, but it took a while to make that happen. They wanted to maintain their independence. Understandable.
I fear dementia. Though I hope by avoiding alcohol and taking my bipolar medications, I can stave it off. (Alcohol is a neurotoxin, and I have a family history of alcoholism.)
Still, I fear a downward spiral. That fear I want to overcome. Face it. Stand up to bipolar disorder and dementia. Take care of my brain.
Even if my bipolar disorder progresses, even if I get dementia, I can still love and be loved, just as my parents still love and are loved.
Bipolar Disorder & Dementia Research
Analyzing six studies, researchers concluded in “History of Bipolar Disorder and the Risk of Dementia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis“:
History of BD [bipolar disorder] is associated with significantly higher risk of dementia in older adults. Future studies are necessary to evaluate the potential mediators of this association and to evaluate interventions that may reduce the risk of dementia in this population.
Diniz BS, Teixeira AL, Cao F, Gildengers A, Soares JC, Butters MA, Reynolds CF 3rd
The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. 2017 Apr;25(4):357-362. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2016.11.014