Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Let Go, Let Life

This is all I have to give you: my story, my books. I have nothing else. That would be a lie. So I talk about recovery as if it's something possible for you, because of my experiences living well with the SZ.

A frightening word, a scary diagnosis. And in the end what matters is how you approach life, with the courage to fight stigma by being true to yourself.

We are not our symptoms. The reality is, if someone gets help immediately, it's possible the symptoms will go away and not return.

So how can I preach to those people outside the choir? Ordinary folk watching clothes go round in a laundry center. Lonely people waiting at a bus stop or on a train platform. Your three-hour airplane buddy.

R. feels, as I do, that it's our duty as recovered individuals to educate others. I have only this to give: a message of hope, a positive tale of what happens when psychiatry gets it right.

To act like I can barely roll out of bed, to deny that luck played a part, to discount these things, would be disingenuous.

Yet this year, in 2009, I want the focus to be on other people, meeting people of all stripes, to be active out in the world. Also, I risk painting the living room so that when I do come home, my soul is rejuvenated, my outlook brightened.

It's hard for me to take it on faith, all of this, especially the downturn, yet it's not rational, just something felt as true. You take it on faith when you don't believe. Faith is almost irrational. You're going out on a limb when there's no objective evidence that things will get better.

It's a hunch, an intuition.

Yet it's the best way I know to deal with the uncertainty, to let go of the need to be in control at all times. Faith. I like the sound of that even though I'm the kind of person who wants things signed and sealed and written in stone, I'm a doubting Thomas, a real skeptic.

This blog entry touches on my year of faith, because I'm going to "Let go, [and not necessarily Let God]" and embrace the possibilities, and Let Life guide me.

Let Go, Let Life.


Hallelujah, I'm cured. A quick trip to the podiatrist and I can walk again, whereas for two weeks I was limping. He did his thing, and now I can walk.

In what instance does waiting a long time to take action ever result in a favorable outcome when it comes to your health? Hmm? Hmm?

Now I can return to the gym and pound the treadmills, because it no longer hurts to bear down on my right foot. I will go on Saturday after work.

Imagine, a lot of people wait forever before seeking help or treatment. A lot of people also take their meds or vitamins or supplements whenever they remember, or whenever they feel like it. It's hard for some professionals to believe I take my meds every day, as prescribed, and haven't missed a single dose in 17 years. The reality is, most people engage in partial compliance or else stop taking their meds entirely.


The book title "Let Go and Let Life" exists, so I'd like to read it sometime.

I dreamed up the expression, "Let go, Let Life" and it's not original, boo-hoo. Oh, well.

I can't wrap my head around Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. It's presumptuous of him to assume most people are ego-centered and need to be told how to live, and that we have to go outside ourselves to seek fulfillment.

My take is that more people would benefit from being kind to themselves as well as others, and forgiving of themselves.

Tolle says what other people have already been saying, but he's rambling and unfocused and all over the place. It's been said before in a clearer, more direct way. I don't get what the fuss is about Tolle. I have my ideas, and I'll keep them to myself.

Lastly, who is he to tell us how to live our lives? To give up the self is one thing, to be self-centered is another, and it sounds like a judgment to tell us we're all universally self-centered and need to let go of our bodies, our connection to the earth.

So what is A New Earth about? Darned if I know. I couldn't get past the first paragraph, and skimming other parts of the book left me wondering, "And his point is? And when will he get to the point?"

Oprah's star-making talent could turn a pet rock into a warm-and-fuzzy love guru. I take with a healthy dose of skepticism anything she professes.

In the O magazine, a freelance writer proclaimed, "The atypicals appear to be weight-neutral," and I hit the floor, I wrote a letter to the editor stating that all atypicals cause weight gain except Abilify and Geodon, and that Zyprexa caused people to gain 80, 90, 100 pounds or more and thus caused diabetes. A retraction of the writer's comment was published a month later, stating that only Abilify and Geodon are weight-neutral.

As you can see, sloppy copy editing abounds at some magazines.

So it eludes me as to why Tolle is being touted as a spiritual leader or guide.

That's all I'll say on the topic.


We had a holiday lunch at work, and I ate so much that I'm still full at seven o'clock in the evening even though we finished eating lunch at noon. I simply can't eat anything else, and will wait until nine o'clock when I'll pour a bowl of cereal and take the Geodon.

One sweet woman saw me eating the chocolates and she said, "You're skinny, you can eat chocolates," so I left it at that though I don't consider myself to be thin, not at all. To me, Kate Moss is thin. Everyone else tells me, "You're skinny," and I don't know why.

I'm going to the gym tomorrow to pound the treadmill, so I'll burn off the calories.

I can't eat one more bite tonight, so I wait until later.


Already, there's been an improvement: I dressed well at work this week except for Monday when I wore the faded Loft jeans [though with a black turtleneck and black jacket]. Today I wore a skirt I bought three years ago and hadn't worn until now, with black tights and a black wool sweater; the skirt is a nubby weave.

I want to be taken seriously, and I feel better when I dress better.

That's how it is, plain and simple.

You get treated better when you're dressed sharp. It's also a sign of respect for the person you're talking with or interacting with if you're well-groomed. Sometimes, a person doesn't have control over how they look, and people are supposed to accept them anyway, yet the truth is, shabby clothing conveys the wrong impression. It also gives the idea that you're shabby towards yourself.

Ah, I've skirted this in here.

Please forgive me if this sounds a certain way.

I admit I'm envious of those "living museum" women I see on the streets of Manhattan. I secretly wish I could be dressed like that all the time. Yet the truth is, I have a Trendy accent style and traditional clothes bore me, and I don't have the kind of lifestyle that requires I go outside looking like an executive 24/7.

I can dream, can't I?

Oh, well.

Philosophy, diet, fashion: I've covered across the divide today in Joyful Music.

So I'll leave you now and turn on Sophie radio, and give equal time to my spiral-bound notebook.


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