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.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Preparing For Charleston Visit

Pamela's back, so check out her blog and say hello.

I'll be off to Charleston, South Carolina early Monday morning and I'll be gone till Friday evening, so I'll be offline. I'm going to bring my looseleaf notebook with me and try to record some of my impressions so I'll have something to write to you about when I get home again. I'm looking forward to seeing my parents. I haven't seen them for about five months. My father turned 80 last year and my mother will turn 80 next year, so time spent with them is precious. For now they are both in fairly good health, may they stay that way for a long time to come. I'm barely able to face the fact they they will die someday, just as I will and I feel like I need a couple more years in recovery to start to come to terms with it. It's another stage of growing up, albeit an unpleasant one. So for now, I will enjoy myself and the company of my family and let all morbid thoughts go.

But first I have to get there, so for the next couple of days I'll be washing my clothes, changing the kitty litter boxes, watering the plants and doing various last minutes things. And so I'll be unsettled. I usually start to settle down when I'm in the airport and waiting to board. Then I can watch people while listening to an audiobook or read. I won't be able to smoke for about six or seven hours but I can handle it as I have no choice but to handle it. (Sometime in the next 12 months I'm going to make a serious attempt to quit...) I'm really a homebody right now, so traveling unnerves me but I will be traveling more in the next 6 months. I'll visit my parents in mid August and then I'll visit my uncle during the first week of October and then I'll be visiting my parents again for two weeks in December. I'm hoping we'll also all get together for my mother's 80th birthday in March. The main thing I don't like is leaving the cats. I'll have to bring Allie over to my brother's house for each trip because one of my other cats attacks her and I have to keep them separated. She's an old cat, about 15 though she could be older. She was left by some stranger on my front door step sometime in the early 90's and she was full grown then. I can live with being five days away from them, even a week but two weeks is too long, so I only do that once a year at Christmas time.

Charleston should be lovely though. As I've said before, I've been there several times. It's the kind of small city I've fantasized about living in and I recommend it to everyone, especially the Piccolo Spoleto festival each year at the end of May into early June. I know I couldn't really live there because it's too expensive but for a visit it's quite excellent. From what I remember it's got a tropical feel about it in late Spring, a little bit like Key West, though it's really not tropical but I believe there are palm trees. Growing up in New York City has made palm trees seem exotic in any season. It's one of the oldest cities in the U.S. and so the architecture is lovely to look at. And it's on the coast and I miss the east coast so I get to be near water again for a few days. I also like the colors in the city. Many of the older houses are painted in pastel colors which I think softens things and makes them appear elegant. I guess it's just that there's history to the place and even though I'm ignorant about much of the history (though I did read in my encyclopedia that the Civil War started on it's waterfront) I still suck it up in the general experience.

Well I've got my new clothes and my new shoes and today I got my hair trimmed which I've been meaning to do for months now. I even got a simple necklace that I've grown attached to these past two weeks. So I'm pretty ready to go. I'm looking forward to having my brother with us. I know he'll have a good time. Good food, good music, good company. Can't go wrong with that.

If I don't write again this week-end, I hope you all have a great week!
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