Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dinner at Carmine's

It feels as if my life is moving as slow as the model trains my brother and I would set up on the ping pong table at Christmas when I was a kid.

I've begun organizing the documents that contain the information for my second book. Next weekend I buy file folders and place the contents of each chapter into their own folder. I begin writing the first chapter of the new book. The table of contents is all set to go and so is the introduction. I went on and no other title exists that is the same or similar to the title of my second book so I'm quite pleased. I'll keep this under wraps until the publication date nears. Also I have the ideas for two fiction books whose plots came to me in dreams when I first moved into this apartment.

OK now: I bought a new belt today and going home on the train I discovered a way to wear it: I can remove the matching fabric belt from my brown Benetton summer skirt and replace it with the belt that is black leather with silver concho ornamentation around it. You see the gears in my head are always turning and this is the latest fashion flash. A friend said she has not ever seen me wear the same thing twice. Interesting.

Today I wore the turquoise necklace and green wool jacket to dinner at Carmine's. Tuesday I return to the gym and do the treadmill for 50 minutes if I can keep up that long. Tomorrow I give a talk on recovery for NAMI.

The friend said: what I do is not unusual because other people with schizophrenia do their own thing too. This instantly cheered me. It brought things down to earth. I could understand that I resist the stigma because I'm a rebel with a kind heart. I live out loud and speak my mind because I don't seek other people's approval. I have no fear of going it alone. I will do what I feel is the right thing to do and not cave in to other people's expectations.

I'm reminded of the life of the Widow Clicquot: a truly memorable woman who ruled the champagne empire at a time when woman were relegated to being housewives.

So I would rather regal you with tales of life in the real world and my unending obsessions with fashion and music and writing and books. Just now I realize I have another belt I could substitute for the fabric belt on the summer skirt to change up the look. To border on these details is certainly more virtuous if record-skipping than to go down the dead end of a hell-and-OK I won't go there-story.

The porter took out the air conditioner and placed it on the floor under the other window in the bedroom so now there's no cold air escaping into the room. I will see if the air conditioner can fit on the top shelf of one of my closets instead. He also installed a light bulb in the overhead fixture. Sometimes I walk around this apartment with such glee at living here that I shriek at my good fortune. Luckily no one hears me.

I'm going to host a dinner party at the end of December. My mother gave me a turkey breast I can defrost that serves four people and I can make stuffing and broccoli and cranberry sauce. Could I melt cheese on the broccoli? I'll order the organic kind and also buy Martinelli's sparkling cider that also comes in an organic version.

Really nothing is gained from talking about the heartache unless you can brainstorm coping techniques. Wallowing in a pity party serves no purpose and only keeps you stuck. To move forward you need to mourn and let go and embrace your new life. It can be a better life than you imagined.

Besides: talking about the fashions is a coping skill. Dressing well is the ultimate tool for recovery. Here goes the record skipping again though I'm compelled to trace this groove now: I would rather my diagnosis be invisible to the naked eye. Dressing well is the best revenge. You can go far and you can be a star in a pair of killer heels.

Also: to rev up the dopamine by doing new things makes you feel good. So taking one new fashion risk each day could indeed make us feel good. My risk tomorrow will be not wearing the dark jeans to work and choosing instead the black pants and black lycra turtleneck and green wool jacket.

Fashion does it for me. I urge you to find and follow your own bliss. Surely life becomes inspiring when we reach for a new shirt or tube of lipstick that promises hope.

That is all I can give you in Joyful Music: hope.

To do otherwise I would be complicit in spreading misery.

Just remember that like the song tells us when all hope is gone:

Move along.

Life will continue.

What a beautiful life it is.

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