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.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Car Trouble And Prayers

My brother Rob and I leave for Florida early on Thursday morning. I'll be away for a little over a week. I don't like this time of year. I don't like the short days, the bad weather and the traveling. I don't like leaving the cats alone (though a friend keeps an eye on them). But I do like seeing my parents. Last year I didn't go visit them, so this year I absolutely must go. I know I should think of the trip as a little adventure and I will try to do just that. But today I encountered an obstacle: the car wouldn't start. I called Triple A, but they didn't get to my house for a couple of hours and then the man started the car without having to do anything. I let the car run for 15 minutes and then turned it off. Waited, then turned it on again to check it--no problem. And then off. Tomorrow I will get up early and try to turn it on again. I did make an appointment to bring the car in Wednesday morning. I've been praying that there's nothing major wrong with the car because tomorrow I need to pick up my meds and get more catfood. Fortunately our friend Richard is willing to drive us up.

I was able to call Triple A, but I had such trouble calling the car repair office. It took me at least 10 minutes to get myself to make the call. I've been having this problem making calls for years, mainly since I became ill. There was a time when I was not able to carry on a conversation. Somehow I managed to get through that stage. Now, I can have a conversation, but I have trouble asking for help from relative strangers on the phone. I feel so self-conscious, worried that I will sound dumb or incoherent. It's hard to describe. I just feel incompetent, helpless, vulnerable. But some phone calls have to be made, like today and I have to make them regardless of how I'm feeling.

I prayed today for help, for guidance from God. I got so uptight. It took me a couple of hours to wind down. I worried what should I do if the car doesn't start? I'd get it towed. How could I get to the bank, pharmacy, post office and store without a car? I'd have to impose of Richard or his wife. I hate bothering people, that's one reason why I keep to myself, but there are times when it can't be helped. But for a few minutes I did Let Go and Let God. I tried to accept the idea that I am being watched over by God, that as long as I remain open and willing to do my part, I will have a measure of protection. I counted myself fortunate that the car didn't break down in some out of the way place, far from people. And I have thought before that it's amazing how right things go most of the time. So during the times when things aren't going well, it's good to be grateful for all the times when everything has gone smoothly.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday this year. Love yourself, your family and your friends, love strangers. Spread the word: Peace on Earth.
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