I don’t know how this relates to Jason (Opinionated Man..OM) but I’ll try to post anyway.

allicatMe…a blogger named Allison


wellsThe Wells Fargo Ad that is outdated, ludicrous. New horses won’t do it.

Go back to starting block guys. Think like Don Draper in ‘Man Men.’ He had to market cigs after the surgeon general finally made his warning. The jig was up and it was time to reinvent the game and make new rules. Enter the age of ‘lifestyle ads’ like the Marlboro Man. It all started with the surgeon general sharing his truth about how dangerous cigarettes were. Blunt Truth. That’s it. Like Jason.  And from the surgeon general’s truth…the “Mad Men” Ad Men on Madison avenue figured out more creative ways to lie with images, not words.

Oh, Jason. (OM)

He’s the most successful blogger (in my eyes…) I know. Can I be him in my next life? Multicultural, probably bilingual…look at me, giving him all these attributes I wish I had. I barely know him.

I do know he’s going to make a big difference in social media…he’s going to rewrite the rules just like Don Draper did with Lucky Strike Tobacco…distract from the dangers and focus on quality.

I first became aware of Jason through my friend Teresa. I was astounded that two personalities as seemingly different were compatible in the blogosphere. I came to lean deep down they’re similar. They believe. They’re both great bloggers on wordpress, our larger community of thinkers, truthers, writers and pranksters.

No one knows idea knows I’m alive. No ‘likes’ ‘comments’ or replies.


Then again, my social media skills are so weak, It’s possible If I got them, I’m not getting notifications.

I’ve subscribed to get notifications of many people’s wordpress posts and get them for a while and then don’t.

I also spend a lot of time ‘providing content’ to be of help to other people on bigger, commercial platforms. They have high standards. It takes time. A lot of my stuff they don’t run with. Sometimes I hit a home run like with the “Three Sizes of Clothes” series, both video and blog.

Therefore, I don’t spend time developing my platform. It’s a choice.

I also, like Jason, don’t niche.

I’m not like “Bipolar Bubble” because for me, as a reader, that stuff in my inbox gets old. I don’t like reading about how people wish to end themselves because it reminds me of stuff I deal with at times, but not now.

I need a break sometimes from bipolargroupthink. It’s a crowded field and no one ever shuts up about it.

I think about writing a book but am working my up the publishing ranks, hoping to attract an agent and or publisher. I need other pairs of eyes and ears, including attorneys.

This year marked the publication of my work in The Miami Herald and The Tribune(now ‘tronc’) outlet in Ft Lauderdale, The South Florida Sun Sentinel. I yearn for a Wash Post Newsletter like “Acts of Faith” but I don’t have anything both faith and election related.

I don’t want to self publish a book. I’ve read a few self published books this year and find them hard to read. I need a new car, not a book.

I’m too new at this, and am sitting on a boatload of scandalous info I haven’t seen anywhere else (shocking corruption, glamour, Hollywood, real life celebrities, throughbred horsetraining, modeling, acting, alternative radio and organized crime…stuff I’ve never written about)…behind the scenes entertainment stuff agents say they are looking for in prospective clients.

But do I really have anything to say?



Valentine’s Day and My Wonderful Man Michael



Not a huge valentine’s day person but just finished up a piece on being in a relationship with another person w/bipolar disorder and mistakes I would never make again. One relationship was with another person Dually Diagnosed like I am. And he refused psych meds, which I (unbelievably), let slide!!!


I wanted to jump from my 12th story balcony but he actually tried to.


Then I met Michael. We were all in AA at the time and Michael walked up to Paul and said, “I’m with Allison Now, and we’d appreciate it if you didn’t bother her anymore.” And that night, two years after Paul had tried to jump off my balcony, he overdosed on Xanax and had to go to the hospital again. I’ve been with Michael now for 17 years. I can’t imagine a life without him. I love him so much. He’s my other half, my better half. I don’t know what I would do without him. Here is a photo of us, back when I had money to have my hair cut regularly, and back when I also was struggling with antipsychotic weight gain. I’m skinny now but not any happier than when I had the dough and a doughier body. Michael, this one is for you! I love you forever. Allison Biszantz (aka bipolar brainiac or Allison Strong)

My friend Dyane (who also has a variant of bipolar disorder) is living my dream!

 This what I would have done if I’d been profiled in a publication so lofty they won’t publish my writing but they write about me!!!! That is what is happening to Dyane. Maybe they think she is ‘too good’ or ‘too serious’ for them. Or maybe they don’t want to have a moving, disturbing article in the first person on post partum onset bipolar disorder. They are just now wrapping their head around post partum depression and bipolar disorder! Have they covered Schizoaffective yet? I think NOT! By saying this of course I am blowing my chances of being published there, I’ve tried several times as well with no response. But that’s ok. Dyane is taking a page out of the Donald Trump playbook, any publicity, especially free publicity, is better than a commercial or a future advertisement for her upcoming book, “Birth of a New Brain.” I’m hot on her heals with my own, watching her learn and grow.

Dyane Leshin-Harwood, founding member of the Santa Cruz DBSA chapter, has advice for new mothers managing a mental disorder and a career. Her upcoming book is “Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder.” http://bit.ly/1PwKpo4




Stigma where it shouldn’t be: My local Nami.

This is a letter to another person who has tardive dyskinesia and is quiet about it. She’s smarter than me. She realizes it scares people. I’m writing her about being stigmatized and discriminated against by my local drop in center and local Nami. This is not the first time I’ve looked at this issue. For all of you people who are trying to advocate, help others, sometimes they don’t want our particular voice to be heard. I took her name out of the letter and am reprinting it and asking you…should I let NAMI national know about this situation or let it lie? I’ve already cried ‘foul’ locally in a very measured, calm manner. The problem is trouble begets trouble. What would it help? Would it result in more doors being shut in my face? My local Nami is Broward County Florida, by the way. This is my way of asking you: What should I do about this?


Dear M,


Buzzfeed published a list of thirty books on mental illness. My book is beginning to just come pouring out of me. I added bipolar hope blog and a one-off on Mindful Management of Mood Disorders-DBT to my list of publishers. When I saw this list, because I had gotten my first list of books from you, naturally I thought of you.


I have a thorny situation I thought I would ask your advice. I want to volunteer in mental health in more than just writing. I am doing a type of telephone outreach developing a database for IBPF and since I’m decent on the phone from years of being a disc jockey and know how to talk naturally, (you just talk and mumble and they get it..they don’t feel ‘slicked’ out..you know?) I am enjoying that.



Here is the situation. I wanted to write a second article about a drop in center that I’d written a first article about. In past, I volunteered for three years with high hospital clearance. I lead a good peer support meeting. I developed an eating disorder meeting, got us in newspaper, showed up until others began tooo..in short the meeting is still running today. I fell off their volunteer rolls. When I asked to be put back on and take the class, I was told I was too unstable. While it’s true I’m verbal, impulsive and sometimes dominant, especialy with people who have thought disorders and are going at a slower speed, I’ve worked on it and have gotten better.


AT that drop in center, there are peer volunteers who have offered me drugs in the parking lot. Others make professional appointments to fix the computer for example and don’t show or call to cancel. I even get calls from paranoid volunteers who think the CIA is after them. I don’t do things like this and I don’t report either. But I’ve run into the same problem with NAMI. I attended a few of their ‘connections’ meetings and was scolded for nodding my head and saying ‘uh huh,’ when someone was talking. They solicited volunteers to lead more support groups. I am really good at this. My calls go unanswered. I tried a third time and filled out a telephone application with the head office volunteer and told him about the problem at “Rebel’s Drop In.” He reassured me I’d done the right thing by confiding in him, as the information would have been relayed to him anyway. They vet us thoroughly. I have been told twice they have no one to do the newsletter. This would be so easy for me and I volunteered. My application has been ignored for two weeks. I followed up with a phone call a week ago and left a message about ‘starting slow and small to work towards a common goal.” it was also ignored.  I got an email from them yesterday and cooly responded that I’m aware I’m being discriminated against because “she’s got that.” she’s ‘trouble,’ ‘she’s angry.’


So my email just said, “I’m not angry, this happens to me a lot since I got Tardive and that I understand I’m the face of a fearsome statistic even though I’m asymptomatic. I think it’s the tardive. If I had never mentioned it in a “Connections” meeting I would have been warmly welcomed. I have a strong skill set.


Sometimes doctors won’t take me as a patient, and the ones willing to explain said it was because they viewed me as ‘trouble,’ ‘a walking lawsuit’ a ‘basketcase on too many drugs.’ My own psychiatrist of  17 years says I’m an ‘exotic’ and that people just don’t understand.


I feel good. I had bipolar depression last year from April to Mid july and it was tough. My new antidepressant is hard to keep down, side effect of nausea. But I’m a trouper.  I realize certain things aren’t meant to be. I was hoping to volunteer for the drop in center or Nami by facilitating ‘connections’ or a ‘mat pilates’ class. The nearest DBT class is held there. I don’t feel comfortable or supported there.


I wanted involvement with Nami to learn more about things like mental health parity, ballot initiatives, etc. I had wanted to do a series of articles called “Activism Made Easy” giving examples of petitions signable by the click of a mouse. I was hoping to soak up their expertise. I’d be a great grant writer. Maybe I’m meant to write my book and isolate. I crave human interaction, especially with my peers.


I’m at a fork in the road. I’m considering contacting Nami’s national branch and explaining the situation. I am continuing to work on my character defects and off putting personality traits. But I hurt deep inside at an organization dedicated to eliminating inequality and stigma stigmatizing me. It really hurts, M.


Allison Biszantz

So be clear: I’m being discriminated against and not allowed to contribute there in any way even though I could help fundraise, do the newsletter, start and nurture new “Connections” meetings and more. I’m also considered ‘not stable enough’ to volunteer again at the local drop in center. That is also a deteriorating situation. Question is…how far should I take this?



Gravatar not Mandatory & Keeps people Out!

Did you know that Gravatar actually keeps people out? There is not an email to punch and thank you. I have to go to one of your posts and leave a comment that’s not related to your post so I can respond appropriately. I personally got rid of gravatar as I think it just keeps people out and also because we got sold a bill of goods. We ‘think’ it helps us and that we have to have it. But what it does is put a sterile, distant physical presentation of another social mediaphile’s first impression of you. And you know how important that is. Also, I can’t just automatically ‘follow’ you. One option is to add a tab ‘contact’ and they would click on that tab and get a live email address.
Thanks again for the follow.

“Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.” (Morrissey and The Smiths)

The inspiration for the Song “heaven Knows I’m miserable Now” by the Smiths died last week. As a bipolar Moper and former alternative radio disc jockey and music person, The Smiths, and their frank display of depression and even hopeless suicidality gave me hope that you could express your sadness to the page and not have it eat you up inside.

About the Late Vivian Nicholson, she and her husband won the british equiv of lottery, full payout of 4.5 million. Within two years she was widowed and married to another rich guy. Notorious for being notorious…where have we been seeing a lot of that lately??? KKK? Anyway, she was tabloid, she was the subject of a West End Musical and her motto was spend, spend spend  I just hope she had a damn fine time. Because she died destitute.

between the spending, all the marriages, affairs, alcoholism (was mentioned in the obituary) for all I know, she might have had bipolar 1 or Bipolar 2, which often goes undetected.

The need for balance to banish the bad.

You guys know that I make a real effort to take in as much as I give out. In other words, I take my time to read my entire Facebook feed and just comment rather than post, sometimes. Sometimes it’s cool to be a supporting player and get the focus off of myself. A regular intake of Alternative Music, both new and old, and some great classic tunes, like Stealer’s Wheel, “Stuck in the Middle with You,” or Creedence, or the Rolling Stones rev up my workouts at the gym as I increase my weights and read about world events. I am a total film buff. On Sunday I put out my ‘new and notable’ list as well as a few that fell between the cracks and slipped away to streaming or video.

I left out a few movies!!!!

Also came out on Friday are:

“I smile Back”

Rock the Casbah with Bill Murray

Victoria (german Heist Film)

Heart of a Dog by alternative artist and singer Laurie Anderson

Beasts of no Nation, a Netflix original movie.

I also wanted to add that I really just want to sign up for Cinemax so I can watch the new episodes of Knick, the 1900’s medical/addiction/New York City drama…it’s “House on Heroin,” literally. Clive Owen is as good as when he played Ernest Hemingway in that HBO movie with Nicole Kidman. But back to Cinemax, it’s another twenty bucks a month and the episodes are not all streamed together, they are aired in typical fashion, once every Friday at 10pm. The black hole. They’ll win the ratings sweeps no doubt. I investigated and Cinemax has about five original series that look intriguing, if you are into crime/spy and supernatural stuff. The hubby says no. I need to watch Clive Owen destroy himself while he saves lives as a surgeon back when they were still ‘bleeding’ people and C-sections were a new idea. I also picked up “WordPress For Dummies” and Steven King “On Writing.”  An entire Sunday edition of The New York Times awaits me. I’m researching the researchers who are trying to come up with preventative treatment for the unfortunate side effects of antipsychotics, weight gain and diabetes type two, as I struggle with this progression. But wait….I meant this post to be about light and fluffy escape modalities so off I go.

Good intentions clobber Mental Health Writer and Volunteer.

I’ve hit a snag with mental health advocacy. I volunteered for years at the nearby drop in. I had high security clearance and brought meetings into the psych ward. I developed an eating disorder meeting for them. I got sick with depression and a three year struggle with trying to get Tardive Dyskinesia under control…with both conditions I couldn’t volunteer for about a year  and I fell off the volunteer rolls. Well again, well, well enough, I offered to bring a gentle Pilates Mat class and even get certified in group activity safety measures for them and for me. Well, as you can imagine, since the whole ‘story’ I tried to nicely write about them went south, they no longer think I’m ‘well’ enough to be a volunteer.

Despite this, I still tried to write a nice story about them and their services for International Bipolar Disorder. I interviewed the project director and took good notes. I gave her final editorial approval since I did want to quote her and wanted to improve our relationship. I guess I sent too many emails because as my deadline came and went, she was on vacation and I did not know. When she returned, I got a nasty email full of hypocritical ‘mindfulness’  telling me that her ‘intention’ is to show me kindness but I make it impossible by ‘bombarding’ her with emails. My deadline for the story had come and gone and I wanted to finish it. She works with the mentally ill so why should she expect so much out of me? Am I being discriminated against because I’m too high functioning? Let’s face it, I’m verbal, I’m not all doped up and docile and I ask questions. I try to express myself and spread the good news about treatment options, present and in the pipeline. And you would not believe how much is in the pipeline!!! Ketamine is a comin’!

#SayItForward & Listen as well.

The SayItForward week has had me stymied. People in my recovery circle, be it bipolar or depression or AA people, are already aware of how important it is to reduce stigma and get help early on, when shame is stronger than the pain and prevents us from speaking. My ‘regular’ facebook page, comprised of people I used to work with in the music business are more sympathetic to artists who have mood disorders than people on the air and in programming. It’s true that some of the most famous people in charge of putting new music, promotions and disc jockeys on the radio have been eccentric, for sure. But when I post something about mental health on my page, there might be one ‘like’ and it’s from a sympathetic relative. For me to Tweet to #SayItForward seemed like preaching to the choir. So how can I get the message out there so that it makes a dent in the universe? Just a little one? I know I can do it, but how?

One of the things that hit me is how important it is for people to be willing to listen. That’s why the Peer Movement and Drop In Centers and AA have been so successful. Those people suffer too, and want to listen!

But what about those who think Bipolar Disorder is a spiritual weakness, a form of neurotic self centeredness or a moral flaw? I’m not sure we will ever change their minds. What about the people who are uncomfortable with the whole topic of mental health because of one factor or another? What about the people in my family who have ‘had it up to here,’ with my occasional issues? The topic is clearly not of interest to them, and among them are hard core religionists who don’t buy into the reality of mood disorders, period. Some of them truly think if I went to church regularly and turned my life over to…that I would not need medication or a psychiatrist. Even though they’ve seen me when I’ve been psychotically depressed and under the impression I have two children when I have none.

I think it’s important to #SayItForward, but what can we do to open the door for people to be listeners and help us take action when we need to but aren’t sure of our options? Why can’t all those who blame random violence and other extreme behavior on us believe in our stuggles when there aren’t any headlines on the front pages or home pages? I wish I knew the answer. I just got off the phone with a girlfriend who doesn’t think she’s on the right antidepressant and I tend to agree with her. The manufacturers of this old generic tricyclic bought up all the other makers so they could have a monopoly on supply and drive the price up to 10.00 a pill. It’s too much for her to afford.

That’s why she’s off of it. Like me, she’s on disability and her finances are stretched thin. She drinks when she gets depressed and I’m worried about her. She’s having a tough time speaking up and Even though she’s in DBT treatment and has a psychiatrist who sees her on staff there, I don’t think they are listening. It just seems like it’s Lori against the world and the world is winning. I’m trying to help her, trying to be there for her. Last time we spoke she was in tears from the depression.

As much as we need to speak, we need to listen. Because by and large, we seem to be the only ones. That I know of.