Interview Series: Wendy K. Williamson

I’m thrilled to be sharing this interview with you! Wendy K. Williamson, author of I’m Not Crazy Just Bipolar is simply fabulous and has been a joy to work with. Check it out.

Wendy Williamson

Author, Wendy K. Williamson

1. Tell me, in your experience, what is the hardest part of a bipolar diagnosis?

The hardest part is managing, day by day, to stay in the middle. To make each choice, often against what I really want to do, to avoid mania and fight depression. It could mean taking a shower or leaving the apartment when I’m seriously depressed. It could be avoiding caffeine or getting to bed if I’m manic. In general, if I’m too up or down, it usually means doing the opposite of what I want to do.

2. What piece of advice would you offer a person struggling with bipolar disorder?

I would say educate yourselves and get involved in your treatment. Read the information that is out there, go online, buy a few good books; There are a lot of great resources these days that were not there twenty years ago. Get the best team of a doctor and psychologist that you can afford. Also, I would also suggest you join a local DBSA or NAMI group. I really found a compassionate group of people when I was severely depressed and suicidal at our local DBSA. They cared about me when they barely knew me. And it was probably the only place I felt I fit in socially. There is one book where they really bashed the people they met, but they were an integral part of my support system when I was at my lowest. I would also suggest once you do feel better, you find a way to volunteer and give back. Even if you are listening to someone else who is going through a crisis, or driving a friend to the hospital or taking care of a pet of someone who needs your help, bringing them a meal when they are barely eating, we get through this together.

There, how is that for not sticking to the question? You wanted one piece and you got a handful!

3. Share about a time when you’ve been targeted and hurt by the stigma of mental illness.

Honestly, I find it hurts most when it’s someone I love. Case in point: my family. My parents and rest of my family are amazing with one exception: my sister. She has given up on me with each passing episode and we no longer have the relationship we did before I was diagnosed. The way I deal with it is I minimize time spent with her and realize she has no idea what it’s like to walk in my shoes and vice-versa.

I'm Not Crazy Just Bipolar

4. I love the title of your book I’m not Crazy Just Bipolar. Tell me a little about how you came to chose that title?

Honestly, it came to me one day at the beach. I was thinking I wanted something funny, something de-stigmatizing and there it was one day. Poof: it came into my head. I don’t even know if I could have come up with that on my own! I can’t take full credit for it. Sometimes I think we get divine inspiration so not to sound trite, but I have to thank the big man for his help.

5. Who inspires you, and why?

My Mom for being strong throughout my illness and life. I have learned everything I know from her. And also my partner Nora for her grace, humor and intelligence. She has bipolar too, but she does what she needs to do and is an example to me of wellness. I look up to them both.

BIG thanks to this amazing author!

Mrs Bipolarity


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5 responses to “Interview Series: Wendy K. Williamson

  1. Glenda Austin

    This gives me so much insight on what those with bipolar disorder struggle with daily. Thank you.

  2. Robin Trebec

    Love that you continue to shine the light Laura! Carry on warrior!

  3. Great interview, Laura! Wendy, your suggestions for how to help someone else are great. You hit upon one of my greatest fears: What would happen to my dog if I had to go to the hospital? It would be great to know that someone would be there to take care of her. Take good care of yourself!

    • And I just bought your book on Kindle….can’t wait to read it! Also I commented on a review that was really very perceptive…the reviewer wanted to know why it was that you seemed to shy away from describing your deep depressions and suicide attempt in depth…I answered that in my own experience, there is a triggering effect to going very deeply into describing those terribly dark and terrifying places (I have been writing a memoir for the past 30 years and can’t seem to get past that myself), so it’s not always safe to go there in order to give the reader that experience. I don’t know if that would be your answer to that question, but I thought it might be helpful to have another bipolar person’s viewpoint in the comments.

  4. Pingback: Interview Series: Wendy K. Williamson | bipolartherapist

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