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.

Saturday, July 02, 2011


Happy Canada Day to all Canucks on July 1st. And Happy Fourth of July to all you Yanks and Southern Belles and Gentlemen.

My family didn't celebrate Dominion Day when I was growing up, as it was called then, and I remember only mention of it in school when we saluted the flag. Do others have better memories, perhaps of barbecues and picnics, fireworks, ice cream, Watkins orange drink, hotdogs or something distinctive to your community or family? My parents didn't participate much in the life of the small community in which we lived so there may have been picnics I don't remember or picnics we didn't go to. I do remember a picnic when school ended, with orange juice, hot dogs, and ice cream, and fudge in a little bag. All homemade, of course, and the men took turns turning the crank of the ice cream makers. We may have had to pay a nickel or so for some of it and so didn't get a lot of the drink, I remember, or more than one hotdog. That could have been a First of July picnic but I don't remember any fireworks. My parents would have left before the end, though...

Do you have memories of holidays spent with family and friends growing up?

I hope my children have good memories of holidays. I don't know. I was a single mom for most of them.

My mother used to bake a cake for every birthday, though, a round double layer chocolate cake with jam in the middle and a thin layer of icing on the top. There'd be candles. I grew up thinking every birthday had to have a cake. My second husband didn't even get a cake for my 40th birthday. I made such a fuss that he bought a cake for the next birthday, left it in the box and banged it on the table!

Once I was sick for my birthday but my mother still made a cake that day and I couldn't eat it although everyone else did. I think some of my siblings felt bad about that, particularly one of my brothers who was always very soft hearted. I remember once my mother wrapped a small penknife for his birthday in little  boxes that were put in bigger boxes and then wrapped an enormous box. He was so excited until the boxes kept getting smaller and he got a penknife. That was all. No bicycle in the garage or anything.

So maybe that explains why I thought presents and cakes were important for birthdays.

Let's face it, I'm a character. And I just thought tonight that all my close friends are characters, which explains a lot. I guess I just don't find people interesting or compatible unless they are. But I should shut my mouth then about frustrations with them because I myself am outspoken and eccentric. And my friends make my heart sing. Next time I'm frustrated with anyone's behavior I'll simply tell them "you're quite a character. Like me." And that should explain a lot.

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