Hear a story of resilience and perseverance, from the dark shadows of suicidal thoughts to the bright lights of a happy 40-year marriage. Listen to how to manage a bumpy road of life, from racing thoughts through multiple jobs. This presentation is developed for all ages.
As the father of five daughters, I never imagined our fifth child would be the biggest challenge. Our youngest took us through the mental health textbook. ADD; ADHD; Bipolar Disorder; and Personality Disorder. We have participated in many, many therapy sessions. The therapy of journaling has helped and has led to the writing of 8 books.
My own Bipolar-2 personality has carried me through a number of adventures. Racing thoughts. Multiple agendas. Sometimes being my own worst enemy. I have gone through two military Boot Camps. With the experience of 68 jobs, now in my "Golden Years, I have found comfort as a school bus driver, writer, commercial actor, podcaster, and wedding officiant. I have been described as gregarious and an energetic and dynamic speaker. I think it I the 'actor'' in me that helps.
Retired from 22 years of military service, I can tell military stories from both the Army and Navy. I am a retired Postmaster from U.S. Postal Service, having managed offices from a 5-person staff to the fourth largest post office in Wisconsin. Now into my 11th year as a school bus driver. Recently self-published a bus driving book on Amazon (BUS BIZ). Have served as USPS Communications Manager. plus two tours as a speechwriter for the Postmaster General, in Washington, D.C....US Navy Photojournalist, Atlantic Fleet Audiovisual Command -- primary talent on the news program "Telescope"...US Army Public Affairs Specialist, acting First Sergeant, 135th Public Affairs Detachment...Mental health advocate and self-published author of books dealing with life with Bipolar Disorder (Bipolar Dad; Scatterbrain; Bits & Pieces; Straggler; The KMA Syndrome; Send my Mail to the end of the Trail).
Podcaster with two podcasts currently online. Recently appeared in a number of commercials in the Des Moines area: Rob Sand for State Auditor; Deery Jeep; Wild Rose Casino; JDIFF promotion in Dubuque; Mental Health commercial in St. Paul, MN. I have appeared in a dozen TV commercials in Central Iowa...Closed out last year with three TV commercials. Currently in regional Iowa Public TV (IPTV) promotion for "Rewards Card"...Has been in an IPTV documentary, as Floyd County Sheriff W.H. White, in the reenactment of a real-life murder mystery (Unintended 1900).
Won a storytelling event recalling Spring Break trip to Florida...has appeared on stage as a storyteller for Des Moines Register "Storytelling Project". The story is on YOUTUBE: "James Stordahl: Why this man loves Spring Break"...Just completed work with British TV (Boundless Productions), having been selected by the Iowa Department of Economic Development to serve as a scouting assistant and RV driver.
Bipolar Disorder makes you sabotage your work habits by making poor decisions and making negative comments -- For me, I have lived a life full of significant episodes of aggression in response to perceived threats -- What I do best is "telling" the bipolar story -- from raising a daughter with BPD -- to my personal journey -- My "talks" are like nothing you have heard before -- they are first-person-personal -- From Army Boot Camp, followed by Navy Boot Camp! A variety of Lone Wolf activities! Thinking I was someone else!
Now that the STIGMA hurdle has been jumped, I talk about the awkward times. And I stand as a survivor of a disease that never goes away.