Hi, there. Thanks for visiting. I'm starting this blog as an advocate for mental and physical health. I'm a freelance writer and also own a home based medical transcription business. I was diagnosed in 1978 with paranoid schizophrenia and started to become acutely ill three years prior to that, unmedicated, frightened, confused, and in trouble with the law. I graduated from university with distinction the year I became ill. I've never regretted learning how to think at university. I struggled with my illness for 35 years and have reached the top of the mountain now, I think, or the other side, where the grass is greener and the path easier. There's hope for all of us, the whole human race, and never think there isn't hope or joy no matter your circumstances. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with mental illness in all its forms: depression, brain injury, autism, schizophrenia, bipolar, anxiety disorders, etc. and your positive experiences as well as those lies and half truths society and even therapists would have us believe about ourselves.

We are different folks, and we are beautiful. The whole human race is beautiful. Let's celebrate life.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Is Alice in Wonderland alive and well?

I volunteer with a local charity and have sent them a link to my blog. They want to talk to me about it. I would guess they have concerns. Their reply was by email and not a request or a question but a statement that someone I don't know wants to meet with me next week or perhaps the coordinator will meet with me the week after. That's all I know. So I sent them a polite note withdrawing at least temporarily from my work as a "friendly visitor" and letting them know I'm not available for a meeting until after August 23rd. This is the first test of my efforts at advocating. I'm sure I did mention my diagnosis previously to the volunteer coordinator but perhaps not. I won't insist that I did. Interesting and not an unexpected development.

I want to contact the local paper again, too, to see if the life style editor is back and if he would be interested in publishing either one or a series of my articles. Another person who has schizophrenia writes for them occasionally.

I'm very grateful for my good friends and the people who do understand. The others must simply be educated. And it's true, people don't know what to think or what to say when confronted with someone who doesn't fit their idea of the "norm".

There must be a good quote to put in here but I can't think of one.

Thirty-four years ago when I was really ill the University of Alberta was more than understanding and I wish I were able now to go back and be then as well as I am now, if that makes sense. My efforts at advocating for those with a psychiatric condition seem akin to the physically disabled a couple of decades ago. The only difference is the behavior issues when the illness is untreated and I understand that. But treated, we are just like anyone else. It might be a long hard path to understanding and acceptance.

Do they really think I'm the Mad Hatter?


  1. "Do they really think I'm the Mad Hatter?"

    Perhaps. Remember the mad tea party in which someone occasionally yelled, "Clean cup! Move down!"? That's some people's response to what they perceive as imperfection, you know. Don't wash the cup; move on to a clean one.

    Note I said "perceive as imperfection". In no way are you imperfect, other than with the universal garden variety, that is -- certainly not because of your well-controlled illness.

    Uncloseting yourself is brave and admirable. Only when people have positive experience with those deemed different from themselves will acceptance happen.

    Remember Link in The Mod Squad? He was my first television experience of African-Americans in a positive light. It was shocking and provocative at first. Now? Ho-hum. It takes time and exposure.

    Keep it up.

  2. I totally agree with "Anonymous".

  3. What a wonderful thing you are doing! We need more representation by the likes of you, Kenna. Thank you!

  4. Thank you, but I welcome dissension, too. Does anyone have any different outlook on this subject? Any controversy? Any ideas as to why the charity would be alarmed? And who is this person they want me to meet with? It may be "off with her head"...I'll keep you posted and let you know. But thanks, Anon, Judi and Christine. Just don't let me get off balance with praise so that I'm easily knocked over.

  5. Are you sure they're alarmed? This may be a case of "Sue-itis", Kenna...thinking about what hasn't happened yet, and speculating off into infinity.

    I'm waiting to find out what it finally turns out to be. Wouldn't it be marvelous if they were just doing a due-diligence check to make sure everything's all right? Wouldn't that be a positive thing?

    They could also be living in a past century; that's entirely possible. I hope not, though.

  6. I totally agree with Sue. "thinking about what hasn't happened yet, and speculating off into infinity" AND deciding it'll be negative.

    It will either be negative or positive, right? Why borrow trouble?

  7. I also agree with Judi and Sue. I wouldn't worry about it. If the charity is enthused then this would be a great thing.

    But if the charity is upset, you can do the right thing and leave them. I'm sure there may be other charities in the area.

    And what a news story you could have. It's hard to believe that a charity would have beefs like this because they usually need the volunteers that have helped them. I would wait till I hear their story, and then demand a raise, that is a raise of respect, or go elsewhere with your talents!