33 Comments

Thank you for writing this story. I have a similar one, but my first visit was in 1977. I was diagnosed as being in a manic phase of what is now called bipolar disorder. I was on top of the world, I had one hallucination that was a revelation.

My life since then has been mostly good, with a few episodes in ten year intervals, but none for many years now. I have an excellent doctor and I take care of myself.

I do believe that the brain is still something of a mystery as far as these types of mental illnesses. Mine is considered to be a chemical imbalance, and the med that works for me is used primarily as an anti seizure drug.

Expand full comment
Oct 10, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

Thanks for the candor, wisdom, and memories of Gordon Gammack and Harold Hughes.

Expand full comment
Sep 4, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

I have been intimately associated with this topic and lived with it in my family all my life. I knew of some of your history. You courageously sharing your story opens the door for others to do the same. I have followed in my family's difficult genetic history myself. Fortunately, as a nurse and counselor I've had the opportunity to work towards opening the door for mental health in Des Moines. My own family history has made it a personal passion for me.

Expand full comment

Thanks for hitting publish, Julie...

Expand full comment
Aug 7, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

What an incredible and brave piece. Thanks for sharing it!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, Melissa

Expand full comment
Jul 29, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

Julie, Tks for ur candor. We have know each other for years but not really. U have always been special and toMe and somewhat untouchable. Now u seem touchable . Love 💕

Expand full comment
author

Barb, that’s incredible! What a perfect reaction.

Expand full comment
Jul 29, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

Good for you, Jules, for sharing this!

Expand full comment
Jul 29, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

I just remembered, didn’t Jim Autrey have an experience remarkably similar to yours after his “open heart” surgery? (I just love the irony! The poetry of that.)

Expand full comment
author

He included me in his book about spiritual retirement. Not sure I’ve told him this story, though. I might have.

Expand full comment

There are a number of spiritual writers who line up with at-one-ment, St. Francis of Assisi, Matthew Fox, and Richard Rohr to name a few—Exceptionally kind and loving people. You probably know that when Native Americans refer to their ancestors, they mean Every Living (or past living) Creature. Lewis Mehl-Medrona, M.D., in “Coyote Medicine” asks why not study the miracle healings? They may be outside the realm of our normal experience, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t real. In his eyes, all healing involves the spirit. Regardless of your beliefs, thank you for being vulnerable and so honest. There’s a balm!

Expand full comment
author

This is very interesting! All my relations, indeed.

Expand full comment

💕

Expand full comment
founding
Jul 29, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

This is very powerful testimony, Julie. Thank you for telling us about you. It simply confirms my belief that you will always be one of the most genuine people I will ever know. Thank you for being you.

Expand full comment
author

Your comments dispel the reasons for hesitation I had before publishing this column.

Thank you. Thank you. And especially thank you to those who are sending me private messages of your own experiences. Wow. Just wow.

Expand full comment

Girl no longer interrupted?

Expand full comment
author

Good one!

Expand full comment

I got paid $15.05 an hour to be clever.

Expand full comment
Jul 29, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

As CBH said, some of this I knew, and some I didn't. Your story is amazing and I'm so thankful that you shared it in such detail. Keep hitting "publish." Love you.

Expand full comment

Wow. Excellent telling of your struggles. ❤️😘

Expand full comment
Jul 29, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

Julie, what an important piece at an important time. Thank you for sharing something so personal and poignant and helping us all better understand the experiences of those with mental illness in such an approachable, relatable way. Beautiful.

Expand full comment
author

so appreciate your feedback in all ways!

Expand full comment
author

Thanks, E. I guess we don't understand what we don't talk about. Maybe.

Expand full comment

Julie, this was just amazing. Some I knew, some I didn’t. And some day I’ll tell you about locking eyes with a young black boy sitting in class at Robert E Lee (I kid you not) elementary school while I was in a car going to the dentist. I must have been 16 or so. I love your writing, I love who you are.

Expand full comment
author

CBH...so much mystery around us. And us.

Expand full comment
Jul 29, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

You continue to amaze, impress, entertain, educate and in the end, reiterate each of us are human with your varied writings. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly.

Expand full comment
author

Carole, your words make hitting 'publish' all worth it. thank you so much.

Expand full comment
Jul 29, 2021Liked by Julie Gammack

You are a gift to all Julie.

Expand full comment