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.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

City And Country

Thanks J.P., Nancy and Jen for posting comments on my blog. I really appreciate it.

I didn't smoke today. Didn't even want to, despite the fact that it was a cold, windy, even snowy! day. I did treat my brother to lunch and then I went and got my first 40 lb bag of sunflower seeds this season for the birds. When I got home I put out seed along with some plain peanuts. The birds love the peanuts. The only birds I've seen so far around the house are the blue jays and a couple of chickadees, but I'm sure more will come now that I'm putting out food. In fact, I think the blue jays are scouts for the other birds.

I feel a great sympathy for the birds and the deer in the late fall and through winter. They are part of what gets me through the season. Deer hunting season is coming up and I hate it, but can't do anything about it. Some people (mainly men) get drunk and go hunting--drunk men with guns is a frightening thought and not just for the deer. Someone always gets accidentally killed each year. But to be fair, some people hunt to feed their families during the winter. I live in a poor county of New York and this year money is going to be even tighter; I know there are quite a few people who hunt more out of necessity than for the sport of it. The other thing is that because there are not many predators killing the deer (except humans) there is overpopulation and the deer starve to death. Nature can be so brutal. Me, I just put out some birdseed, peanuts and apples to feed the birds and treat the deer and hope for the best for them and for me.

I used to be a city girl till I was 27, but now I've become a country woman. Next June will mark my 20th year here. I can barely recall what it was like living in the City. I've visited so infrequently over the last two decades, mainly because it is too far away and I lost touch with the people I used to know there (though Nancy has very graciously said I could come and visit her sometime). When I have visited the City, I've realized why I still love it. The people, the buildings, the museums, there's just so much to like about New York City. It's got a lot of character. It's also fast paced, often noisy, a bit dirty, somewhat dangerous in certain places, at certain times. You need to be somewhat tough to live there. I used to be tougher, more city savvy. It used to be my home. I never let myself miss it, but when I visit I know I left a part of myself behind with it. My family says I can't move back there because it's too expensive, but sometimes I wonder.

Right now, I'm staying put where I am, in a small college town in the country, but I don't always want to stay here. I want to move someplace with public transportation, medical care, culture--at least to a small city. Ideally I would live an hour and a half from the City in upstate New York--still too expensive. There's another place that I'm considering that is closer to where I live now, but I don't know. The economy is bad and will most likely get worse before it gets better. I'll just have to wait and see. Except for the driving, living in the country feels more restful to me. Being able to look outside and see the deer grazing is a little blessing along with the hills and trees and all the other animals and birds. But I really don't take advantage of it because I mostly stay inside my house. I'm hoping next spring I will get outside and paint the landscape. The only time I've done that is when I took a watercolor class just before I went back to school. That was quite a while ago.
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