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, 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?