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, October 15, 2010

My 66th Year

Saturday, October 23rd is my birthday and I'll be 66 then, in other words, I'll have lived 66 years and be entering my 67th, yes, that's right, isn't it?

I have wonderful children, wonderful friends, and a great life. I'm not a wealthy woman but I have enough to be comfortable. I live a simple life and I don't hurt anyone.

I'm blessed.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I've had 35 or more years of intermittent immersion in fundamentalist (evangelical) "Christianity." I really did enjoy the services at a mainstream church in the west end - quite a refreshing change - which a friend took me to for the past two Sundays, and of course, to each his/her own -- some people seem to enjoy the very small experiences with these "mom and pop" type evangelical churches and the opportunity they afford for friendships at least as long as they go to that particular congregation. I know there are some really good people out there who are embarrassed perhaps by the antics, hatred, and hypocrisy that goes on all over the world, but seems particularly prevalent in North America for some reason, where fundamentalism is almost political.

That's my fave hobbyhorse to ride at the moment but I'm not upset about it, just somewhat bemused.

There's a lot of fear, a lot of hatred, and a lot of misinformation. Will people ever change? Well, no. And that's my point. But we each can, in our own small way, attempt to shed light into darkness.

That being said, Judi's right, "there but for the grace of God go I..." I say that a lot with homeless and the downtrodden, and the misfits in society, but I didn't think to say it about the deluded. Of course, that includes me in recent past. Delusions are part of this illness, and how am I to know what untruths I harbor still? All the better to recognize those in others, which is a well known psychological trait - it's called projection, i.e. you hate and fear that which is in yourself.

Why I picked North America is because of the rise of the fundamentalist right in America from what I gather, but maybe they're just a very vocal minority. It seems that they've decided God is Hate, and miss the Spirit when pontificating about the Law - the only thing Christ really preached against in regards to the Pharisees which, if you'll recall, he relegated to hell in a handbasket. Not that hell in those days was meant to be eternal. The Greek word for "an age" was mistranslated as "eternity". Something like the priest who discovered in the vaults there had been a serious error in translation when the monks had copied the ancient scripts. "Oh, no,' the old priest sobbed, "It says Celebrate!".

It seems to me Islam has a very vocal minority, too. All this perhaps led to the rise of the Western extremes as well.

I prefer to believe in love.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Like autumn leaves

Voices, calling and laughing, were carried on the wind like fall leaves.

I got a call today from someone at the Schizophrenia Society here in Edmonton. He was calling me back about a call I made a week or two ago asking about advocacy. He left a message as I was away from the phone when he called. Austin Mardon, an advocate with schizophrenia whom I've mentioned here before (see link at side) told me I was an advocate just by being well and being open about my illness.

Certainly I'm well now, happy, and yesterday was a special day. I had a visitor who brought me small but significant gifts, and stayed for tea, and we chatted for two hours mainly about a different culture. Very interesting and a gracious lady.

I'm trying to be more clever in my words. My children are very clever. They write well and they both have a unique and charming sense of humor. They're smarter than I am. But I can train my brain. I've done so already to a certain extent. I've put a hold at the public library on The Brain That Changes Itself. A friend sent me a link to a radio broadcast featuring Dr. Norman Doidge, the author of that book. She suggested it may be a reference I could use in an article.

I'm going to try and get a fantasy novel published. So far I've concentrated on a mainstream novel, the first I wrote many years ago, and I may be more successful with a genre such as fantasy. I'll try to hone my inquiry letter and synopsis so they're acceptable and will try to send out inquiries myself. An editor who is a friend suggested I buy a copy of the 2011 Writer's Market and I'll do that. First I must do my homework and write an excellent letter and synopsis with what I've learned from hiring professional help to do so with my first book. I'll save money if I can find an agent myself rather than hire someone else to send out my inquiries. The friend said that it's as much work sometimes to get a book published as it is to write the darn thing. The book I'm trying to find an agent for is called Thunder and a Nest in Time. It's a time travel book involving the destruction of the earth at the end. Was fun to write.

Another friend is editing my most recent novel, which also is a fantasy. But she likes Thunder best, so I'll take her advice and work on trying to get that published. I think I'll stop writing books until I can get them published or at least find an agent for them.

I won't quit my day job just yet.

Back to why this month is special. October is a birthday month for two of my family including myself, at least two friends, and someone who was 70 yesterday. One of my friends is going to be 90 in a few days and she is on her way to Ontario to visit her son and his family. She does aquafit when the nearby pool is open and she tries to walk every day, although she uses a walker now since a car accident earlier this year. My other friend's birthday is a day before mine at the end of the month. An American couple we're close to who live in Nebraska have an anniversary the day after my birthday. And there are two birthdays in November, making fall a very busy season to send out cards and help celebrate. Of course, Canadian Thanksgiving is next Monday, too.

Like autumn leaves my thoughts are fluttering about my little pulsating brain tonight, tired but satisfied after a day in which I accomplished minor goals.

There are more major goals to set in place this month as well. Two of them my friends and family know, and there are more I've set myself.

I've had articles, poetry, and a play published, but my novels have not been published nor can I find an agent for them. I know they're good. I've been told they're good. I haven't tried until last year to attempt to find a publisher. I won't self publish. I can't afford it and I'm not prepared to fail at marketing them.

What motivates a person to persevere with a goal that seems elusive? I would say my motivation is stubbornness, but that's not a motivation. It's perseverance but that's not motivation.

I would say my motivation is love.

Without which I am a clanging gong, or the wind blowing through empty branches.