Bipolar Firsthand My Journey from Depression and Hell
to Peace and Self-Love


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An Excerpt from Bipolar Firsthand

Enjoy this excerpt from Bipolar Firsthand.


I’ve been a surgical assistant for my dentist for the last couple of years. Last week a new patient came in for an evaluation and from the doctor’s office I could see a young teenaged girl slumped in the passenger seat of the blue Toyota he had just parked.  I said, “Michael, she’s welcome to come in and wait here.”

“No, thanks,” he said, “She wants to stay in the car.  Her boyfriend just broke up with her and she’s…“

“Very sad?” I offered.

He smiled and said, “Yes. Very sad.”

I want to give her something, but what?  I often write Messages in a Bottle and casually place them in the surf at the beach for people to find.  I have a couple in my car.  I wonder if I have time to go get one, give it to her and be back before Dr. Gums needs me?  I ran out the door.  I picked a bottle hoping the message would be right for her.  The bottles contain four different messages. I showed up at the Toyota’s window with the bottle and waited for it to glide down.  Thankfully it did.  I said, “Your dad said you weren’t feeling very well.  I write these “Messages in a Bottle” and put them in the surf for folks to find and I’d like you to have one.”  She began to bawl as soon as I opened my mouth.  Poor kid.  “Thank you!” she wailed as I ran back in the office. Smiling, I could see Brittney trying to shake the Message out of the Bottle.

We did the evaluation and Dr. Gums said, “Go get the wife.  She should hear this.”

I said, “It’s not the wife.  It’s the daughter.”

“That’s okay.  Go get her.”

Bending to the girl’s level at the car window, I said, “Brittney, Dr. Gums would like you to come in and listen to a story he needs to tell your dad about his condition.  It could give you something to think about besides what you’re sitting here thinking about.  Come on.”  She followed me in and sat in the waiting room.  I sat in a chair kitty-corner from her.  I said, “The reason you feel so bad is because you are trying to fill the big screaming hole within you from without.  When you were between 2 and 5 years old, somebody took something from you.  I don’t know who it was or what was taken, your trust, your innocence, something important, and it left behind a big screaming hole.

When someone has an organ transplant, you’ve heard of those, right, liver, kidney, heart?” She nodded her head, tears streaming.  “The people who receive the liver, heart, whatever, must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. Their body knows that no matter how close the match, the frequency of the organ is not the same as their own so their body will try to reject it.  It’s the same thing that happens when you try to fill the hole with something from the outside, like a boyfriend.  Your body will reject it and you’ll feel awful.  You have to fill the screaming hole from within yourself.”  I stood up and moved to the chair next to her, my hand on her sobbing shoulder.  I said, “The most important thing you can do right now is love yourself.  You’re so beautiful, look in the mirror at your eyes and fall in love with your precious self.  Act as if you know you’re worth it. You know, right?”

Through sobs and tears, I heard her say, “Thank you.  That’s exactly what I needed to hear.”

I gave her a tissue and said, “You’re very welcome sweetheart.  Let me go see if Dr. Gums is ready.”  We all listened to his story, an appointment was made for Michael’s surgery and they left, Brittney lagging behind still thanking me.

I felt even higher than I did after rescuing the pelican.

When Michael came back for his surgery appointment, he looked at me and said, “Thank you.  I don’t know how you knew what to say to my daughter.   You really got to her.  She told me, “Dad, it was like she knew me.”

I said, “Did she share the Message in a Bottle with you?”

Shaking his head yes, he said, “Oh yeah.  She shared everything she could remember.”

I tried really hard not to let out a big rooster crow.  I was over the moon happy.

The credit for my knowing what to say to Brittney goes to Christa Rae Pacheco and her Full Mastery Edelwize program.

Below, please find a sample of one of the Messages in a Bottle. 

Message in a Bottle

It was not by chance that you are the one who picked up this bottle and are reading this message now.  There are no accidents or coincidences in life.

The time I spent floating here, the sun glinting off my surface, bobbing in the vast ocean, crashing over waves to the sand, gave me time to know what you were ready to hear.

If you could see yourself through my eyes, the look on your face might be one of surprise.

I see your complete innocence.  I see your pure heart, your compassion. Your inherent worth and immeasurable value.  I see a light within you, brighter than any sun.  It is with you always.  You are a glowing, golden-white light in human form.  You are a powerful force for love on this planet. 

And you are free.  Free to ignore what I see and tell me you are not enough.  Someone convinced that you were less than precious.  You were free not to believe them, yet you bought their story.  It was a lie.

The truth is you are precious beyond measure.  The truth is you can choose to love yourself.  The degree to which you love yourself is the only measure of how much you can love anyone.  You matter. What you do is important.  Choose love because Love is who you really are.

© 2024 Patty Hansen. All rights reserved.

Bipolar Firsthand Back Cover

Back cover from Bipolar Firsthand

This compelling, heart-to-heart true story leaves its readers inspired with a speechless sense of wonder. Bipolar Firsthand is a gift to humanity.

People with manic depression are like the epicenter of an earthquake; no one nearby is left untouched. Living and breathing within these pages, the author shines light on her soul's darkest hours and highest highs. She states that bipolar illness can be a learned condition, not necessarily a genetic, inherited disease.

In Patty's own words, she says this:

The day I was born, I hit the ground running; so fast, so awake, so alive, I literally vibrated with excitement. I was given beatings, medication, guilt, and psychiatrists in an effort to calm me.

I fought back. I kicked and screamed and finally went crazy. I was diagnosed with manic depression, convinced my teachers were right. After all, there were so many of them, all looking out for my best interests. They said there was no hope for me, so l gave up. I wanted to die.

This book is about my journey back to life.

I am at peace after being beaten bloody as a child, experiencing the raw emotion of gang rape, dealing with decades of bulimia, having been married and divorced eight times, and attempting suicide more times than I can count.

Today, I am a healthy, happy, and powerful person. Everyone can be. An
unimaginable amount of deep work has saved my life. Falling down is inevitable. Getting back up is divine. Bipolar Firsthand tells the story of how I did it.

My greatest hope is that you become willing to see your innocence and that you come to love your life as much as I love mine. I anticipate that the people who love us will better understand us and come to know that we chose this life before we were born and that they chose this dance with us. We are all here to advance the evolution of our souls. We are quite literally one.


"Patty's frank and revealing book, Bipolar Firsthand, has been reviewed by the board of the National Alliance  on Mental Illness. We find it to be a brave and inspiring work that few people who have gone through a life like Patty has, are able to pull up the courage and persistence it takes to write about it. Thank you, Patty.  Well done!"
Aurora William. MPA NAMI Board President & Support Group Facilitator Mental Health Advocate
San Luis Obispo, Ca

"Transitions Mental Health Association is proud to announce their endorsement for Patty Hansen's new book Bipolar Firsthand. It's a brilliant example of the naked emotions connected with Bipolar Illness and its many challenges. Who could spend 7 months in a state mental institution, get married and divorced eight times, attempt suicide four times and then bare her soul, showing the world there's hope of peace and freedom from depression? Patty, now 73, lives a happy, fulfilling life and shows us how she did it."
Angela Alvarez, Clinical Director at Transitions Mental Health Association, San Luis Obispo, Ca.

Bipolar Firsthand is Published!

I'm thrilled to announce that Bipolar Firsthand is available for purchase!

You can purchase Bipolar Firsthand on Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, Google Play and other retailers.

Click the image below to purchase a copy from Amazon in either paperback or ebook.

Here are links for purchasing my book!

Bipolar Firsthand by Patty Hansen is Available for Purchase Now!

Paintings for Sale

I am an avid painter and love to paint portraits of people, horses, dogs, cats, and more.

Some paintings I have for sale are below. Contact me to purchase one.