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, 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

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