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, February 20, 2018

Keeping Focused

"Don't be swayed by external circumstances."
                          Tibetan Lojong Slogan #50

Because I have a psychotic disorder that includes voices, I have "external circumstances" inside of my mind.  There is me, what feels like me inside, and then close by there are the voices, and I interact with the voices and can be influenced by them.  It is like living with someone with several personality parts I cannot fully detach from.  I have become accustomed to having no privacy with them and in many ways we are friends, so the lack of privacy is not so damaging.  But we are both mentally ill and sometimes his illness threatens to unbalance me mentally and emotionally.

I am learning to identify what boundaries I need to set with him.  I am learning to use affirmations to tell myself that it is okay to love and take care of myself, that it is okay to trust myself.  I can identify when he is uncomfortable.  He becomes reactive and defensive.  If he is trying to label and judge me, sometimes I become reactive and defensive.  That's what happened last night.  Yet my anger is okay.  It lets me know that my boundaries have been crossed and that I am hurting.  And when I express the anger to him, it lets him know that I am not accepting his label and judgment.

So I was swayed by external circumstances and need to be temporarily to learn the lesson that I must work to stay focused on my recovery, which is my spiritual path.  This Lojong slogan gives me permission to detach with kindness in order to continue the work of defining myself to myself in order to grow.

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