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.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Plans for Fall

Well, again, there was a misunderstanding on my last post. I seem to be prone to that. I really am working on it. It involves seeing myself and the environment through the eyes of others and I have a lot of trouble doing that. I'm not talking about being a people pleaser but of being aware of other realities, other than my own, that is.

I've withdrawn from the charity for the time being, anyhow. I think that's fair to them. But at least it's on good terms and I think we understand one another. They didn't ask me to withdraw. I did it voluntarily. Part of it is time, as well. I've been volunteering regularly for almost four years now and I'm working on a booklet for the lady I volunteer with, which involves many hours of taping and then transcription. We'll have more time to work on the booklet if she can find someone else to read her mail and address her cards, too. And I find I have to shake up my life a bit every now and then to see if it's still appropriate to where I am on my journey. I like to volunteer but I'll keep up the friendship with the lady I volunteer with, and so far I'm putting in just as many hours as she hasn't found someone to take my place yet.

I'm thinking if I volunteer again at some point I'll look for something completely different, maybe something that involves groups. I'm good at one on one but a group would be fun, maybe volunteering in an extended care centre or a community league or athletics or something like that. Nothing that involves writing or computer work as I do that all day anyhow.

I wrote a tribute to my mom, who died four years ago this August, but it won't be published for a couple of months. It was supposed to be in the September issue of "Edmonton Senior" but they apparently didn't have room for it, and there's an article on sports and the disabled or elderly that I'd rather have in there for October. So maybe mom's story will run at Christmas time, which would be nice.

A friend from Nebraska sent me a calendar that has a special section for fall and how we feel more creative in the fall, want to make something, scrapbook, sew, or bake, and that's true for me now. I haven't felt that way for many years but I seem to be energized this fall and am doing a lot of baking, caricatures, and writing, as well as just planning for the winter. I suffer from SAD in the winters, have for about 30 years now before it was even a diagnosis, and found last year that an antidepressant just taken for the winter months was very helpful as well as a light box and trying to get out more during the day. It's hard to get outdoors here due to icy sidewalks, snow and cold, and the short dark days which are sometimes unsafe to venture out into (I don't drive so do a lot of walking and take the bus). But like my dad always said, "I refuse to let them make me live in fear".

I plan to go swimming a bit this fall and also take up jujitsu again as soon as I get a monthly pass. I walk quite a bit, sometimes 10,000 or more steps a day, sometimes only half that. The apartment building in which I live has a gym which is nice, with a treadmill and a recumbent bike. There are walking areas nearby and a little park.

So plans for fall.

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