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.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Caution To Be Tolerant

I've given my cd to my brother, my therapist and four friends so far. No feedback yet. I've been listening to the cd a lot and consulting the I Ching about people's response to it, which will be mixed. I just want to say to those who listen to it, try to be tolerant. I am far from perfect and some of the songs might offend you. Try and look to the songs that you like and leave the rest. I know I need to keep in mind that I can't please everyone. Some people will respond positively to what I've done and others will be critical, that's just the nature of life. But, of course, I'm hoping someone will get something from it and that my circle of friends will widen and deepen. I've been isolated for so long and I need the support of those who are comfortable enough to give it. For those who are not comfortable with the cd, just ignore it, let it go and move on. Or give me some constructive criticism, that would be welcome.

I'm not trying to make excuses for the music; it is what it is. It covers a certain time in my life--age 33 to 36. I had just escaped a very abusive relationship and I was full of sickness and attitude along with some righteous indignation. I became attracted to three different men, one after another--one who was single and I could have approached, but I wasn't ready to get involved. The next was a painting teacher of mine who was married. I imagined that he was attracted to me, but he probably wasn't and I didn't approach him either. Both of these attractions I now consider pre-psychotic ones, that is there were elements of sickness in them. The final man that I was attracted to was not really someone in my life, but a delusion and that was when I was just falling into psychosis. He was a rock star that I sent a tape to just before I became paranoid and delusional. He, too, was married at the time, but I thought he was in an abusive relationship with his wife. I thought he was following me and spying on me because he was attracted to me. That seems to be another theme, that I thought some men were attracted to me, when they obviously weren't. But regardless of that, I made up some heartfelt songs about all three of the men I became fixated on.

So there's a combination of romance and music and mental illness in all this. I don't have a clear perspective on it because I'm too close to it, but maybe those who listen to the cd will be able to see this more with more vision. But it's not just mental illness, there's also health and strength mixed in. There's something to be said for those who can take some attitude and walk with it. I think a lot of the best songwriters out there do just that, both talk the talk and walk the walk. By choosing to make songs, I was attempting to walk the walk. Sometimes I succeeded and other times I didn't, but I had the courage (and hopefully still have the courage) to take a stand within myself and now before you. Remember I was seriously abused in a romantic relationship and that colored my attitude, but it also gave me the right to have a voice and to speak out, if only to myself in my music room.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I am human, just like you. I've made my share of mistakes and I live with that. But I still hope that the music can make a bridge to somewhere good. Try to stay open minded.
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