by Franny Armstrong
All Rights Reserved


Striving For Normalcy

The Mental Illness Rollercoaster


"Mrs. Armstrong provides a well rounded perspective on, not only the challenges of living with a variety of mental illnesses that many struggle with, but also with a multi-modal approach on adjusting to and coping adaptively with those challenges."

 ~Dr. Paul Zimmerman MD, FRCP


You know... I realize everyone is very sad about Robin Williams', and believe me I shed real tears, but everyone is asking a really hurtful question... why? And it's not that the question is hurtful it's the tone. He had manic-bipolar depression. This is a disease, and if you say it's not then remove me from facebook and never speak to me again. I grew up with a beautiful soul that battled it for ...many years and continues to battle it today. My mother. It is not easily understood but let me let you in a little on it. It's a huge weight on their chest. The minute they wake up, if their body allows, to the minute they go to sleep, if their body allows. The weight is carried all day and all night, into every single endeavor. The weight pushes on them when they smile, when they frown, when they think, when the breathe. It's painful. Physically and emotionally. There is zero escape. Sure, you can take the medicine, but then you're left feeling hazy and dopey. You aren't you. You're never you. You're always pushed by the weight. And then there's the nights where you can't sleep, that's fantastic. Add exhaustion to the mix. Imagine a 30 pound weight on your chest all day every day. Throw in money problems, relationship problems, and you've got a deadly mix. It isn't a joke. It isn't them faking it. It's horrible, and often times the only way to get rid of that weight is to leave the planet. I'm not saying it's right, but sometimes it's just more then they can handle. I thank God every day that my mother is a fighter, every single day she keeps going it's a miracle. I'm so profoundly sorry for the loss of RobinWilliams but I hope to God he's found peace. I just hope the rest of the world can understand how terrible the illness is and how hard it is for the people around anyone suffering. It's a disease please don't tell me it's not. I've watched it decay a beautiful person my whole life, and I just hope that she continues to have the strength to keep going every day. Sometimes strength just isn't enough anymore. I love you mom keep going. Franny Armstrong. (PS, please do some research on Bipolar so you can save someone around you)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             ~Catherine Armstrong

STRIVING FOR NORMALCY: The Mental Health Rollercoaster By Frances R. Armstrong

Frances is a talented author of fictional paranormal romantic/suspense novels. However, she readily admits that writing her personal experiences about her nonfiction book, was both challenging and “healing” for her bipolar ll disorder. It is her truthful and honest approach of writing that will encourage the reader to understand BP ll and empathize with what she needed to cope with on a daily basis. She states that “honesty” is her key to understanding the struggles she experienced with the tremendous mood swings that her rollercoaster forced her to ride. One of the ways she learned how to control the “rollercoaster” of mood swings was the “Power of her Pen”. She states: “Journal all your negative episodes and experiences, for it will show you the positive way of continuing your life.” Creating this book has given her the secrets of positive insight to knowing what normalcy was needed to be in her life. And more than that, she states, “it has given me the insight to who I am”, and to be self-confident  in all aspects of her life. I highly recommend this book for understanding the nature of bipolar disorder. It will educate one in a positive way to forgive the stigma that surrounds this disorder and all mental disorders.  

Striving For Normalcy by Frances R. Armstrong is a layman’s guide to dealing with mental illness on a daily basis. The author, diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder, discusses her struggles to deal with everyday life and society’s perception of those similarly afflicted. There are chapters on the negative side effects of psychotherapy and the hazardous downslope of self-medicating through substance abuse. The book also touches upon the difficulties of weight control and issues of insomnia, agoraphobia and menopause. It is a first-person account that makes for an easier read than many technically-written books in the genre. This is a self-help book by one who’s been there, done that and is recommended by Dr. Paul Zimmerman, a friend and supporter.                                                                                                ~ John Reinhard Dizon - Author