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My Black Box: Flights of Bipolar

Michelle Murphy

Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-145753-452-2
List Price: 14.95
Available: January 2015
Edition: Perfectbound

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Imagine that you are a young adult, minding your own business, happily engaged in your activities and relationships, and enjoying all the milestones that come with such an exciting time of life. Perhaps you are in college, anticipating graduation, dreaming about your future, hoping to one day marry and have children, applying for jobs or making plans to start your own business. And then one night, you begin to hear voices in your head. You dismiss it, telling yourself it is nothing. And then it happens again. Unable to sleep for nights on end, you toss and turn, slowly losing your ability to control your thoughts as your mind travels at breakneck speed through a kaleidoscope of frightening images and sounds. Your mind is racing and yet, at the same time, all the strange things you are experiencing with such intensity have a slow-motion quality to them. You feel paralyzed. Who can you trust? Who can you turn to? How do you sort through all your thoughts and experiences to determine which are real and which are unreal? And where do you go when no place feels safe? My Black Box: Flights of Bipolar offers readers a rare, courageous, and candid look inside a bipolar mind as it takes flight from reality and enters the world of full-blown psychosis. Given the paranoia that often accompanies severe mental illness, it is not unusual for a psychotic individual to hide from strangers and outsiders the frightening and disturbing things going on in their mind and their life. In opening her black box and revealing its contents, Michelle Murphy gives us a tremendous gift—a context within which to understand our loved ones who suffer from bipolar, schizophrenic, and schizoaffective disorders. This book will also serve as a compass for those who may be hearing voices, experiencing paranoia, hallucinating, or suffering with other symptoms of psychosis, and attempting to navigate those frightening waters. Anyone who is living with a serious mental illness will identify with Michelle’s psychotic episodes, and in so doing, feel less alone. And everyone who reads this book will feel both encouraged and inspired by the determination with which the author continues to face her challenges, move forward, and excel in her life. This successful electrical engineer, wife, and active member of her community has done a tremendous service to us all by revealing to us her innermost demons and struggles—and sharing her victories and successes. She proves that with perseverance and proper medical attention, the mentally ill need not be defined by their illness, nor destined to live anything but rich, full, and productive lives.

Michelle Murphy holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). She is currently the owner of Murphy & Nicole LLC, which she formed in support of arc flash tables to provide an alternate method of meeting the requirements for the arc flash hazard while still utilizing the IEEE 1584 equations. Michelle spent eleven years in the EPC industry and has worked in the commercial and government sectors, including nuclear, waste treatment, chemical and energy projects. She is a Christian, a political activist, and a mental health advocate, and speaks on the subject of advanced technology and the rule of law. She served on the IEEE 1584 Committee from 2005—2008 and is now a board member of PESN (an exotic energy organization). She has been interviewed on Caravan to Midnight and Agenda 21 Radio and her articles have been published at various websites. She maintains a blog, and has received over fifteen hundred views to date on her post, The Gross Abuse of Advanced Technology. She is the author of Is It Just My Genes?, a technical IEEE paper entitled How to Form a Bounding Arc Flash Study for Your Site, science fiction short stories, poetry, meditations, song lyrics and music. The author has been married for nine years and considers her husband her best friend. At the moment, their only “child” is their cat, Skky. (Blue passed away during the writing of this book, and you will find in the back of this book a song lyric Michelle wrote for her). She enjoys cooking, international cuisine, and dining out. She believes we are meant to dance in life and not just sit it out. She encourages everyone to be an individual, accept who you are, and resist the pressure to conform to societal norms. However, she also warns, “Don’t reject morality and tradition. Incorporate these things into your worldview.” If there were one quote that best sums up her philosophy on life, it might be this quote by Virginia Woolf: “If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.”