Thoughts from Sitting in Rosie's Green Room: My Two Minutes of Fame

Patient Expert

Some of you were kind enough to notice and comment on the fact that I had the opportunity to be on ABC's The View on Friday, March 9, as the talk show took on the subject of women and depression. The show covered three major areas:

● dysthymia

● major depression

● bipolar II disorder

So, to be clear, I was in The View'sgreen room, and I'm certain neither Rosie O'Donnell nor the other hostsof The View (Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and   Elisabeth Hasselbeck)would consider it "Rosie's green room." But Rosie used her ownexperience living with depression to create the one-hour show, so itfelt like her room that day.

Now, like most of you, the idea that I was sitting in any green room anywherewas more than a little surreal. The fact that I had a dressing roomwith my name on it (OK, it was a computer-generated piece of paper, buthey, it was my name), hadfull makeup done for the camera, ran into Rachael Ray in the hallway,admired soap star Linda Dano's jewelry and actually got to talk withRosie O'Donnell about something we have in common (our mood disorders)was just"well"amazing.

But here's the deal: the person I was most impressed with, most in awe of that day, was actually DBSA Baltimore County chapter leader, Sabitri "Lisa" Morris.   She went on The Viewand told the world her story of being a young wife and mother, workingas a nurse and not understanding, or being treated for, her bipolardisorder. As she talked about her numerous car accidents, her substanceabuse and her anger and irritability that led to spousal abuse, myrespect for this smart, beautiful survivor grew in leaps and bounds.She has gone through more and survived more than most of us ever will.

Andhere she is, now working her recovery strong, positive and engaged inhelping others. She leads groups in homeless shelters; she leads groupsfor teens; she educates people about the illnesses; and she works tobring hope, help and support everywhere she turns. Giving back iscentral to her recovery.   She went from a life in ruins to a full life where she is a gift to all those she meets.

Andthat brings me back to the green room. It was only about two months agothat I was so ill I could not work for several weeks. Where I had tofocus intently on breathing in and breathing out to stay here, to staypresent, to get through the pain our illness brings. Working mywellness strategies, finding a new doctor, aggressively working my talktherapy moved me through this bad time to a place where I found myselfdoing something kind of amazing.

Lisa moved from despair to anamazing life by doing what she needed to do to get help and work herwellness. She does more astonishing things in one day that I will in ayear. Rosie O'Donnell works her wellness in some unique ways, and she uses her role as a celebrity to raise awareness of our illness and help the millions who watch The View. Linda Dano used her experience with depression to work with the Support Partners program and give help to as many of us as she can touch.

Fromdespair to amazing acts, real recovery involves reaching out, givingback and providing hope, help and support to our peers in whatever waywe can. How are you embracing this in your journey? What is your GreenRoom revelation?