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.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I'm walking 2.5 km (a pittance, I know!) in the annual SSA "Walk and Run" at Rundle Park here in Edmonton on Saturday, September 22, 2012.

Please consider donating an amount of your choice on-line to this worthwhile cause. A receipt will be issued for $20 or more.

It should be a fun day. I'm looking forward to it. Won't you join me, those who can? I'll keep you updated on my journey.

So far I have $45 in donations and my goal is $300. I haven't started asking for pledges yet on a pledge sheet off-line.

The SSA has offered their assistance in fundraising and are giving out free purple hair dye for participants.  

Purple is their color, I think because of their flower the iris, which is adopted by the Canadian Schizophrenia Society because of Vincent Van Gogh's famous painting.

Some people think Vincent was schizophrenic. Also some people think Ernest Hemingway was schizophrenic or bipolar.

Many famous people may have had mental health problems, and I question whether their illnesses made them more creative and interesting people. Now anyone different or with behavioral concerns is set apart and a label given. I wonder if that is wise.

There seems to be a spectrum now of disorders, and I would question whether anyone really is normal.

Want to bet I can walk it? I'll jog, too, if I reach my goal of $300!!!

I'll be back with further updates. Comments are welcome. Would anyone like to join me, at least virtually, on this walk?

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Credit to Louis Armstrong for the ♫ ♫ ♫ song. It is a wonderful world, GO BUCKEYES, GO INDIANS!!!!

I wait for the next letter or phone call to set me free.

No, I amend that, I AM free. I wait for the next letter or phone call which will be wonderful I'm sure and if it doesn't make me happy, that's MY fault. I had loads of good friends when I first became ill, and now I'm normal and can help others heal.

Which might or might not be necessary, but I'm up for it.

Let the healing begin on all sides and to both parties and all parties.

Never forget to have fun, too. Heal and have fun. And love.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Enough is too much

I'm not doing anymore than I've done already to advocate. A letter to the editor of my daily newspaper, this blog, and what I've shared on My Fitness Pal, Facebook and Twitter is enough for now. I'll reassess later.

My good friends are happy for me and that's a treat. I've had dysfunctional friends in the past who certainly should have been left behind and are.

I want to address one other question, speaking of dysfunctional friends, there was 22 years ago a gay woman who drank too much and raised two grandchildren with the help of Social Assistance; they were children of her daughter, a prostitute. I tried to help that woman and her 11-year-old daughter and regret it very much. My one big fear is that she will come back in my life. Her name was Karen, and there are other dysfunctional people in my life whom I have left behind long ago. My daughter was neglected in favor of this woman and her daughter, and my other friends at the time, and my only excuse is my illness.

My name is quite public now in newspapers and magazines, and now a couple of books, and it isn't uncommon for vipers to latch onto public figures.

My father always said, "I refuse to let them make me live in fear."

My only recourse is to be honest and open, and avoid those emotional vampires from my past who would bring me down.

But that's enough about history.

Life goes on. I hope to continue with the good graces of friends and family, God and man.

I'm very fortunate to have good physical health. Now as I enter my 68th year in October, it's important to keep a good attitude as might I say, my friend Judi in Michigan displays, a woman who survived surgery for cancer the size of a grapefruit, and remains positive and loving. Kudos, Judi! Hope to see you again this fall.

I keep the number of my lawyer in mind, in case I need her. And depend on the good will and respect I've garnered during the past 20 years.

As my psych says, if negative thoughts arise, block them. I've dealt with them, now block them. It works pretty well.

Anyone else with a mental illness find that blocking or biofeedback or behavior mod works well?

A friend and neighbor in my apartment block is responding well to a decrease in meds. I recently had an increase but find that I sleep too much.

As I write, a fire alarm is sounding in the building next door. I'm also lucky to live in a fairly safe and clean building. I"ve owned my own house in the past and am happy to rent this little studio suite. Not a lot of room but it's my own and a lot can be said for that.

As Norman Vincent Peale once said, and the Secret tried to sound as though it was something just discovered, the power of positive thought.

Comments are welcome.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

U of A is OKAY but where's the Truth?

I posted a link on my Facebook page to a guest column and asked for feedback. The guest column is here and I sort of regret posting it. I wondered what my readers thought of the U of A's policy of encouraging students to "snitch" on other students who might have mental health concerns. This news release to which I refer was dated two years ago and I haven't heard anything of it since.

I was wondering if anyone had heard what's happening there at the U of A, my alma mater, and they probably wish they had never heard of me or that I had never entered their doors!

I made some trouble while I was there but it wasn't my fault. In my graduating year I developed a psychosis which involved a delusion of control and delusions of grandeur, to coin the psych's own phrases of yesteryear, which I think might be appropriate. I saw a psychologist at Students' Counseling for two or three years, with no diagnosis and no medication, and when I finished I was whisked away by Campus Security to the downtown police station, to jail, to court, and then to the forensic unit at Alberta Hospital with a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.

It seems something might have been done at the time to help me and the unfortunate professor who was at the helm trying to assist, but if this is a sample of the type of help offered there, then it didn't help me! Not until I got to Alberta Hospital, where I belonged in the first place, and then home, and now almost 40 years later, when I recognized that to get help I'd have to break the law and be referred to FACS (Forensic Assessment & Community Services). Which I did.

Unless of course, my delusions of control were correct.

I think the U of A has shown compassion in my case and vice versa. I could say that sending various post cards over the period of two weeks doesn't warrant jail time, when they weren't threatening in any way (asking for forgiveness), and apparently the judge agreed but the prosecutor didn't. I also could say that I took compassion on the accuser and dropped my "not guilty" plea to "guilty" immediately when I was told she was "frail", an accuser I suspect of being bipolar herself, but in a more powerful position than I was.

Whether or not I suffer from major delusions in this case is a thing I don't know and I will agree with the U of A that mental illness does pose a particular challenge, particularly if left unchecked.

I'd love to wear my U of A tee shirt. I'm proud of the institution and agree with the motto "Whatsoever things are true."

Truth may be relative. I don't believe it's absolute.

I'm still waiting for Truth. Anyone?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

This is a bit scary, but I'm walking to support the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta on Saturday September 22, 2012. Please consider supporting me by donating at my pledge page. Any amount would be welcome. Any donation over $20 will be issued a tax receipt, so be sure to include your name and address for that.

If you like, I'll run part of the way! It's for a great cause!
Thanks, Judy, for your generous donation!

Sunday, May 13, 2012


It's a scary word. Conjuring up media images and phrases of "former mental patient" and always with a violent context.

Lighten up, guys. High five to those of you who shoulder through the hype and misunderstanding.

I've written a book called The Insanity Machine. It's suitable for professionals and therapists (a lot of research went into it), also for intelligent and thoughtful voyagers on this strange and wonderful journey.

Austin Mardon co-authored it.

No publisher has taken us up on it yet, although I submitted it to a publication which specializes in information about schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, and other mental illnesses.

Time to get off my rocker and send it to those I think will be enthralled, as well they should be, because it's been estimated that 10 percent of the population in every country has this life changing illness.

We're not necessarily hidden, just ignored, labeled, and misunderstood.

We need a Martin Luther King for mental illness, someone who isn't afraid to get up and fight for us. Someone who tackles the tough questions and is intelligent/insightful enough to realize that yes, we can be difficult, and yes, we are our own worst enemy at times.

I recommend you read Jeff Emmerson's blog. He's fantastic, not so unusual in many ways, brave and insightful. Intelligent and articulate and cusses a lot, ha. Don't be offended, he talks like I think sometimes.

Jeff Emmerson is not schizophrenic. He's been through rough times, however. I think he's indicative of those of us who can truly be called survivors, warriors, and happy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Nick - "I am happy"

"I love living life. I am happy." A man with no limbs recovered from bitter to better. What about you?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Am I more creative with Schizophrenia?

Back of black tee from Schizophrenia Society of Alberta

Tee shirt from the Schizophrenia Society
I wonder if schizophrenia enhances my ability to write creatively? I thought creatively before the diagnosis in 1978, but my experiences as a result of mental illness took the stuffiness out of writing and honed the more bizarre thoughts and emotions.

As a consequence, I'm now writing Sci Fi, fantasy and horror with sometimes equally bizarre characters. It's a lot of fun and I enjoy it.

My experiences as a result of the illness also gave me a lot more to write about first hand that many people never even dream about. I know what the Devil looks like and acts like due to my hallucinations and delusions. Of course, I don't really know. It's pretty real to me, though.

I also think I'm a special agent of God. I think I've been playing in a sandbox for 40 years and everyone else is taking care of me, sometimes sticking me with pins to see if I'll jump, sometimes whacking me across the head with a 2'x4' to get my attention, but most of the time seeing to it that I'm well looked after, I don't want for anything, and my friends and family are sometimes proud of the kid in the sandbox.

Now I'm out of the sandbox. We're all sons and daughters of God, my fundamentalist friends notwithstanding (e.g. one of them told me I'm not a Christian because I believe Buddhists will go to heaven, lol, her interpretation of her scriptures is a bit suspect and lacking in the milk of human kindness, methinks).

Two things I write about:

  • Creativity (music, art, literature, independent thinking, science)
  • The world is a global village  
With a tip of the hat to Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian educator/philosopher who proposed such a thing as "the medium is the message" and "global village" in the wild and woolly and unforgetable 1960s, which I lived through as a young woman, a young bride, and a young mother. No hippy me back then, perhaps now?

I remember the drug induced books like Travels with Don Juan. I don't need drugs, have never needed drugs, although I medicated myself with alcohol for many years from 1978 - 1993.

I have my own altered reality, thanks to this wonderful mad mad thinking which brought me to my knees on many occasions, made my teachers, friends and family despair of me, and finally gave me a gift of compassion, tolerance, and understanding as well as a lucid and creative mind.

Thanks, Schizophrenia. I couldn't have done it without you.

Remember that, Professor who thought I was half cracked up. I was wholly and completely cracked up. Hands off, watch me fly!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bring your own flowers and forget the despair

I read two different blogs this morning, one about despair and one about hope. I chose to believe the words of hope, joy, and love.

We all have a choice. We choose every second, every day, every year our thoughts and actions. If we don't choose for ourselves, if we galumph through our own beautiful gardens with someone else's borrowed dirty boots, life chooses for us and swamps our birthing song with bitterness and death.

I choose to move on. My thanks to Joy Bing Fleming for the hope I borrowed from her this morning.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interview with Stephen King

I've been wondering how and why normal, nice people write horror. Like myself. I've just finished a horror anthology and will submit it to a publisher in a few days. Then I came across this interview with Stephen King.

The woman across the table from him asked if he'd ever seen a Psych, intimating there's something wrong with an author who writes horror. She snickered when he said he'd never read Jane Austen.

Is there something wrong with uptight people who don't allow creative juices to spatter their shower curtains?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Change and orchids and coping with delusions

I'm quite determined to continue changing but this time the change won't be forced on me from outside. Not that forcing change ever worked, ha ha. 

But I've found a clever way to seek help for my delusions. I call them delusions. That prevents the long arguments about whether my ideas are factual or not. I readily admit they're not. Then I can talk about them and sort them out with my psych. 

I'm here to help and take care of someone who's very fragile at times yet astonishingly strong. She looks a lot like me. I will let her lead so she may stoop to conquer.

I'm like a peacock. I like bright colors. Yet white is restful and soothing, and the color of most miniature orchids. This is a miniature orchid. Some like this are colorful and called a Peacock.

This is a bee. I wrote a book called the Jive Hive. It's coming out in summer/fall 2012. Look for it. The bee likes the orchid.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Fighting mental illness with luck and determination

Psych said I'm okay in my sandbox. But I think it's time to come in out of the rain.

I couldn't do any better than I did. The mind games I played kept me amused and helped me to grow, like a child. Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness. I've been reading authors and studies which say luck has a lot to do with our situation in life. My family was taught all it takes is hard work and brains to succeed. That's not true, though I believed it for most of my life, which kept me thinking there's something the matter with ME. 

That attitude implies there's something the matter with those less fortunate than we are, too. They're not as smart or not as hardworking or not as determined as those who succeed in life.

Dammit, luck has a lot to do with it, but...

I succeeded because I was determined. It's in my genes. I tried and failed, did everything wrong, had no insight, was misunderstood and abused by a charity for which I volunteered four years, when they found out my problems, my friends at one time were dysfunctional and abusive, my family had nothing to do with me for most of the 1980s, my brother's wife quit her job to look after my children in 1978, my brother sent me his paycheque for the month when my first husband died in 1971, I graduated from University with Distinction in 1975 although I was mentally ill at the end of it, and I suspect they squeaked me through with that honor, I had friends who helped and supported me, my sister gave me $500 as a gift with no strings attached in the 1980s, my mother helped me out when I owed taxes in 1991, the woman on the other end of the Canada Revenue phone attacked me verbally in 1991when I cried, a former friend (a clinical psychologist!) harangued me two years ago for an obsession and delusion I couldn't help, that led me into legal difficulties, I hung up on her and she hasn't spoken or written to me since, my other brother visited me almost every weekend from Cold Lake when I was admitted to a psych ward at Alberta Hospital in 1978, I've maintained a successful medical transcription business since 1999, am respected I think and give back to society, I give to charity, man, woman, and God, I've had many articles, poems, and a play published, have good intelligent and caring friends and supportive family, a book will be published by Imajin Books in summer/fall 2012, I've finished an anthology of three horror novellas which could be published, and am the most contented and lucky person I know.

Yes, luck has a lot to do with it, but that's not the whole story. Most people take a black and white position. It's a little of this and a little of that. But without good choices and determination there is no luck, and without luck there is no success.

Image by Stuart Miles

Some would say the length of time I took to recover is because I didn't listen to advice and I was disobedient. That's how I did recover -- I did it my way, and the luck of it is that it worked. Now I listen to advice and I'm not a Lone Ranger, I'm not an island, but before that there has to be good mental health to make good choices and to be able to choose who to listen to and which advice is good. I didn't always know that.

"Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered." - William Shakespeare

Monday, January 23, 2012


Especially in the winter time with dark cold days, I sleep much more and eat more carbs -- although this winter has been better, I think because we've had many more sunny days. However, I don't have as many problems with the mental difficulties come spring and summer.

The OCD isn't obvious to many people but it did result in a lot of problems for me in the past, obsessing about events and people who were for me in the past and should be either given a new life with new motivation, or let go.

I've determined to approach my excellent psychiatrist about these issues, some leading to a lot of anger that comes out sideways so to speak. That's her job, to help me through what led to the legal difficulties I experienced three years ago. She doesn't urge me to talk and I often spend only 10 minutes with her every three weeks, and she doesn't encourage me to talk about anything in particular, so it's up to me, as I prefer it, of course, and perhaps someone knows that. I like to do it my way.

But I need help. And I do want to start a new life with new motivation and no obsessions or delusions, perhaps for the first time to appreciate the past as it was, riddled with dysfunction and inaccuracies but also love.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

TV, Eh? Charity Auction

Great stuff and for a great cause, the Kids Help Phone Line, all proceeds go to charity. Check it out. Diane Kristine Wild's TV, Eh? website is having a charity auction. One more week to go and don't miss the really fantastic deals and merchandise, all Canadian TV related or show related, some wonderful stuff starting at $5.00 and up. Heartland DVD Season 4 $5.00, Much Music Tee shirt, flip flops, DVD and pin starting at $5.00, other stuff too much to mention. Watch the Rick Mercer rant about kids help line and help kids now!
Photo by Arvind Balaraman

Check it out now! And come back and let me know wot you got!!!