Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bipolar Insights: The man in the Fedora Hat

From page B2 | October 29, 2012 |

Marcia Rose Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

MARCIA ROSE Democrat photo by Pat Dollins

Frequently new people attend the weekly Bipolar Insights meetings. Some only attend one meeting while others might come from time to time. There are many who attend regularly.

Without question, though, those who attend are in pain, they are confused, and they are desperate to find an answer to the weight of their burdens. Each individual has his own story, and more often than not, that personal story is not shared.

Each week I arrive early for the meeting. It allows me to set up the refreshments and make certain that I am ready to personally greet everyone as they arrive.

One Tuesday evening which wasn’t particularly different from any other Tuesday, a gentleman walked into class wearing a fedora hat.

I greeted him as I do all new members. In return, he nodded his head and sat in the front row. He intertwined his fingers on his stomach and slightly leaned back in his chair.

The room began to fill with chatter and movement as people picked up refreshments and greeted other group members.

Our new friend in the front row did not speak to anyone nor did he show any interest in the homemade cookies.

Indicating it was time to begin, I walked to the front of the group. As usual, the room became silent with anticipation, as people come to the meetings looking for answers to their struggles.

While I led the class discussion, the new attendee never uttered a word. He did, however, watch my every move as I taught. When the class ended, he departed in the same manner as when he arrived — with a nod of his head.

No words were exchanged, and I wondered if he would return. I hoped he would.

The following week I found myself watching the door in hopes he would return.

Just as I was about to begin class, I heard the squeak of the opening door, and there he was in his fedora. With a nod of his head, he took a seat in the front row, intertwined his fingers on his stomach and slightly leaned back in his chair. Week after week he returned. He watched me as I paced back and forth while teaching, encouraging and trying to reach each attendee individually.

As I teach, my goal is to make eye contact with everyone at some point during the course of the evening. It is important that each person feel as if I am speaking to them individually and reinforcing repeatedly that they have value and worth.

They need to understand that others can not define them. That I believe in them no matter what they have done, what they are doing now or what they will do in the future.

After my friend in the fedora attended for a few months, he would smile at me as he entered and nod hello. He seemed to sit just a bit taller, and his demeanor was slightly softer.

One evening after announcing the start of the class and waiting for everyone to get settled, I noticed my friend in the fedora raise his hand. I turned to face him and he said, “I am a drug addict and a drug dealer.”

You could hear a pin drop in the room as he continued. He announced that he had been in and out of prison his entire life; the last time was for manslaughter. He dropped his head for a moment then continued, “I was put in isolation and left there. I was enraged, lost and forgotten. When I got out, I knew I never wanted to go back to that cell and I decided to move … I heard about Bipolar Insights … I was told I had bipolar disorder when I was a child — but I never believed it.”

He took a deep breath, sat straight in his chair and leaned forward with his eyes fixed directly on mine. His face softened; emotion showed as he continued, “In my whole life, no one ever told me I had value. No one has ever said, I was worthy, and for sure no one ever said to me, I believe in you. He nodded his head, his eyes moistened and he said, “Thank you, Marcia,” and he leaned back in his chair.

My friend completed his rehabilitation, moved to Southern California, and opened a transitional house for drug addicts.

From time to time when I check my phone messages, I hear that familiar voice, and visualize a fedora hat as I hear, “Hey Marcia, I will never forget you. You believed in me. I love you.”

When I get discouraged, I remember my friend.

Remember you have value, you are worthy, don’t let anyone define you. I believe in you!

The co-founder and facilitator of Bipolar Insights, Marcia Rose, can be reached at: Weekly meetings start at 7 p.m., on Monday, at Room 304, Green Valley Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road in Placerville, and on Tuesday at Marshall Medical Health Library, 681 Main St. in Placerville. The fee is $5 per person. Check for complete details and further information.





District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3

Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3



My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4



Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments



Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8



Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5



Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2



Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2


Real Estate




Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17