AuGres writer opens up in first book
AuGRES — Sharing your innermost thoughts with people you don’t know is something most people may shy way from, especially if they suffer from Bipolar Disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Jim McLachlan, of AuGres suffers from both. And in his penned book, “Living with Bipolar Disorder,” he shares actual journal entries he wrote as therapy.
“There’s a lot in the book that my family didn’t even know about me until they read the book,” McLachlan said.
He says he hopes his journal entries, which run right up to May 22 of this year, can help others struggling with Bipolar and PTSD as well as shed some light on the disorders.
“People with one of the disorders can see that they’re not alone,” McLachlan said, adding readers without the disorders can also learn from the book. “I’m hoping people can understand a little bit more about people who have this condition.”
And although the first-time author, who says he spent about three weeks gathering his journal entries and compiling them into the book says he is now “straightened out,” he stresses he’s not cured.
“There is no cure for Bipolar Disorder,” McLachlan said. “It’ll go into remission or be controlled by drugs and so forth, but you never know when it’ll resurface.”
He says compared to what readers will be exposed to regarding his conditions in the book, he is much more in control.
“I’m sill in treatment just to keep it that way,” McLachlan said.
McLachlan’s treatment, which spans back years ago when he lived in Tennessee, includes therapy, visits to psychologists and medication. Early in his struggles, though, he says it was difficult for him, and others in group therapy sessions, to get a grasp of their disorders.
“No one wants to admit that they have a problem,” he said. “Just like ‘Alcoholics Anonymous,’ the first step is admitting you have a problem.
“They (people with Bipolar Disorder or PTSD) need to remember that their therapy is about them and no one else.”
McLachlan says his struggles with Bipolar and PTSD also led him to deep bouts of depression and loneliness, especially when he was still living in Tennessee.
“One of the main advantages when I moved back up here with my brother was not being alone,” McLachlan said. “I can use his shoulder.”
But while McLachlan acknowledges progress has been made, he says the average day described in his book through journal entries hasn’t changed much.
“An average day that’s in the book is still an average day, it’s just with a brighter outlook,” he said. “I’m not having visions or nearly as many suicidal thoughts.”
However, McLachlan adds he is doing some activities he gave up during hard times, such as editing an online joke group through e-mails amongst him and friends.
The AuGres writer says he also wants to start lifting weights and working out, but is suffering from pain in his back that was magnified due to his condition.
“One of the symptoms of depression is an increased projection of any physical ailments you have,” McLachlan said.
But pain or no pain, McLachlan’s compilation may have ignited a bright future for him, as he plans to continue writing.
“I’m working on right now, a fiction novel,” he said, adding the second book will be unrelated to “Living with Bipolar Disorder.”
Being an author is something McLachlan says he was interested in for quite some time, but just now began pursuing the career.
“Back when I was in high school I thought I could be a writer but never followed through with it,” he said, also offering up some advice for striving authors. “If someone’s got ambition, give it a try, the worst that can happen in the publisher says ‘no.’”
“Living with Bipolar Disorder” is published by PublishAmerica. McLachlan says he received no up front payment, but will be paid royalties when his book sells. He says it’s currently available in bookstores. For more information, visit publishamerica.com.