This Unexpected Road

Sept. 22, 2013

When I started this blog back in December of last year, it was a form of therapy. I was venting about the problems I was having with my 20 year old bipolar son. I poured my heart out into the anonymous abyss of the internet hoping to feel some kind of relief.

That early December morning I found and set up this page. I decided to call myself "Still Hopeful Mom" because I still had hope that my son would acknowledge his illness and finally seek treatment. Then I wondered how I could share my story without revealing it to my friends and/or family. How could I find others who may want to read my story while still remaining anonymous?

With very little experience using Twitter, I decided to give that a go and set up an account. Posting a link to my very first entry, I wondered if anyone would even read it. I checked my Twitter account over the next few hours. One. Two. Five. Ten. I was getting readers who then "followed" me on Twitter and I in turn "followed back." Within a few days I was up to about fifty followers. That felt good, like I was making a difference. Like something I was sharing may be positively impacting others' lives. I kept blogging and people kept reading.

It has been about nine months now. As I've continued on my blogging journey using Twitter and later Reddit as my vehicles, I have had the privilege to "meet" hundreds of people whom I consider cyber-friends. These people come from all over the world. They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters. They are mental health care workers, teachers, film makers, and writers, and most importantly they are stigma fighters. Because over time, this blog has morphed into one voice for ending the stigma of mental illness.

Through this blog, I've heard from people facing all sorts of challenges and I've been asked for advice on a variety of mental health related subjects. I have never pretended to be any kind of psychiatry expert. Who knows? Maybe that's a plus. All I have to offer is my own experience which seems to be actually helping other people.

I know I am merely a whisper in this vast cyber universe. And I'm so thankful that my whispers sometimes strike a chord with people. I've heard from mothers trying to connect with their bipolar sons and sons trying to detach from their emotionally abusive fathers. I've even heard from teenagers seeking a "mother's advice" while on the verge of self-harm. I never expected this blog to be anything more than a place for me to unload. And yet, somehow it has become so much more. Now I've found myself on an unexpected road traveling with courageous people who have stories of their own to tell. I feel so privileged to walk beside them.


  1. Annie. IPOY, I just am so grateful for you to be in my life.

  2. I found you on Twitter. I too have a son with bipolar 1. He was diagnosed when he was 20. He's had scores of hospitalizations and run in switch the law but fortunately never arrested. I hope you son get treatment while he's in jail. My heart just breaks for you. My son is 34 and doing well now, so know there is hope. He and I wrote a book together called Walks on the Margins: A Story of Bipolar Illness. You may find some comfort in the book. It's on Amazon. Like you, I blog about mental illness. I'm at I'm thinking of you and your family.

    1. Thank you so much. I will definitely check out your writing. You and your son are very brave. I'm so glad that you found me/us. Keep in touch.