A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Short Update

I went to see my therapist today. I won't be seeing her for a month because she's having major surgery done on one of her feet and she'll be confined to a bed or chair for several weeks. I brought her two books to read that she had previously expressed an interest in, The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion and The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong. I also brought her a DVD of the film Babel. If you haven't seen Babel I encourage you to see it. It's not your standard fare and it's very well done. As the name suggests it's multinational. It takes place in Morocco, the U.S., Japan and Mexico and there are three interconnected story lines. Anyway, I had wanted J. to see it as she had heard it was good. She's dreading the surgery and also the month of having her foot propped up. I will miss her.

I told her how I had been writing a lot in this blog and that I sometimes got a little sick of myself, how I thought I was talking a good game but not putting my words into action. I mentioned that I wanted to go to the church across the street from her office on Sunday. Luckily she had met the pastor and said she was very approachable and encouraged me to try talking to her. Well, that was a bit of a relief and made me determine even more strongly to go this Sunday, if only just to hear the sermon. I have three reasons for choosing this church, one, it's right in town, just a few minutes from my house, two, I've been there once before and three because the pastor is a woman. I don't know if I'm a sexist because of it but I feel more comfortable approaching a female pastor. At least I assume I will. If I could have my way all my doctors would be female, too. So, I've kind of lucked out in this case. How many female ministers are there out there? Still, not enough I think but perhaps this is changing.

I decided yesterday that after my therapy session I would go to the local town library and ask if they needed any help. This library is quite small though not as small as the name of the library implies: Box Of Books, but they stay open now five days a week. Fortunately for me they do need help, so I will begin working there on Monday afternoons starting on the 14th. Then after that I can go to my Al-Anon meeting. I am pleased that I've taken the first step and I will be quite content to be around books, content to finally be useful. I notice on the NAMI message boards that a definite percentage of those suffering from mental illness work at volunteer jobs. Those people are an inspiration to me. And there are even those who work at paying jobs. It lifts my spirits to know this.

In a month I will go on a trip to Charleston, South Carolina with my family. Every Spring there is a two week (I think) festival called Piccolo Spoleto and it's lovely. We'll be there almost five days and four nights. There's music and theatre and art shows and good restaurants. This will be the first year that my brother's ever gone. I've gone about four times already and I've had an excellent time every time. I don't get to see my parents very often so this is a treat in more ways than one. So, I've decided to buy some new clothes for the trip. I've been putting off getting good clothes for several years because I was hoping that I would lose the weight I've put on. Well, I've lost some weight but still have more to lose but this year I'm just a bit too sick of what I usually wear. My mother is pleased that I will be getting some new clothes. She always dresses comfortably but with a lot of taste. I'm hoping to emulate her.

Not much more to say for tonight. Tomorrow is a shopping day with my brother which I know I'll enjoy, especially since I get to eat out at a Chinese restaurant. I hope you are all well (safe, healthy, happy and useful).
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