Saturday, January 30, 2010


The silvered branches of trees dot the landscape in a pointillist way. I'm reminded of a cold Giverny. So bone-chilled this morning that I thought frostbite had claimed my fingers because even under my gloves they were icicles. Hard to believe it's spring in seven weeks. I hold out the hope for warmer weather soon.

Tonight I meet D. I have some extra money so will buy new hot pink towels to replace the grotty old celadon ones and beige ones. I will see if I can get some pink LaCoste towels too. To usher in the spring with good cheer.

I'm making Annie's Naturals organic whole wheat macaroni-and-cheese now. I steal minutes to type in here as the water boils. A watched pot never boils. I'll have this late lunch with some peach iced tea I poured into one of the stemless wine glasses. I bought a set of small and large stemless wine glasses seven years ago when I received a generous check for a speaking engagement.

Tomorrow I cook blueberry muffins from a recipe an amateur baker gave me to try. I'll see how they come out. I can have a warm one for lunch with milk. All I do tomorrow is the treadmill and laundry.

radio sophie is my companion now.

It feels like tonight is going to be good. I'll listen to Matt Pinfield on WRXP play good songs from the 1980s and today with a spattering of old rock and other eras. He was billed as the "bald music savant" by another disc jockey on that station. He used to spin records on FM 106.3 when it used to be Modern Rock at the Jersey Shore-a good station years ago. I listened to it until the station changed its format. I would stay up until three in the morning at my old apartment listening to the radio. Those days are gone. That is when the Stelazine was still working and I was much younger and could do those things.

Time changes us. Memory is my anchor that keeps me grounded. History would repeat itseslf should I forget the past and what happened to me. Instead I'm aware what I must do to stay healthy: get to bed early and eat healthful foods and work at the jobs I love and get physical activity every day. This is how now I do things.


I did 30 minutes on the treadmill at a 5.5 incline and 3.4 speed. I don't know if that is good or not however it's what I can do now. D. tells me I look athletic and this pleases me because I can fit into my clothes.

Bought: a pair of navy and a pair of black sweatpants plus a black Nike tee shirt with bold black letters that proclaim Just Do It plus a green I Love Brooklyn tee shirt.

Stayed up late working on a project to help get O. a job. He told me I was a real friend to help him with this. I sure hope he gets it because it is his dream job. Imagine if I were his girlfriend he'd have a sweetheart deal.

Tomorrow I wear a short skirt.

Friend indeed.

Now I will go sign off for the night as it nears eleven o'clock and I must wind down.


Friday, January 29, 2010


OK: Tonight I'm steamed like a little neck clam. Publishing the memoir requires strong tactics and I will employ them quickly.

I finished reading Lit by Mary Karr who is a prose stylist nonpareil. I read her memoirs The Liar's Club and Cherry years ago and bought them for my collection. She outdoes herself with Lit. I cried so hard at the end that I could taste the salt of my tears.

Oh: I would like to write one sentence as good as hers.

These days I have begun to spend refining and defining my life. The soundtrack to this soul-searching is "Just Breathe" by Pearl Jam that comes on the radio every day. Eddie Vedder croons about how he's a lucky man to count on both hands the ones he loves. In the coming years I hope to be so fortunate.

Yes: I will bend in the direction life dictates. I will love and lose people as we all do and I will walk on. It nears midnight as I write this swaddled in three layers because the apartment is so cold. The heat of the computer warms me whereas sitting at the dining table I was much colder eating dinner.

I have a theory that you can count on one hand the number of good friends you have.

I will do what I have to do to publish the memoir. I have a friend with an MBA who can help me write the marketing plan and I enlist his services in the spring.

My gosh: I wrote 30 blog entries in 30 days at the start of the 3 personal year so I've gotten off to a good start creatively. My mantra this year is: "Have fun!"

You will see universal themes touched on in JM. I choose not to blabber about insecurities and personal details though I could possibly do that as other bloggers have done so without qualms. Yet I won't. You can quote me on this.

Blogging your life it's like you're a fly in amber sealed in time and space that others peer at on the Internet. I have told you before I'm conflicted about the big reveal. Above all I want to entertain and educate you and do only this: word-by-word in living color.

My computer clock beckons 12:10 AM and so I will write for only a bit more and then go to bed. I urge you to listen to "Just Breathe" and even to download it on iTunes to your computer. I saw Pearl Jam live in concert at the Limelight in April 1992 just three months before I had to be hospitalized the second time. It was their first American concert and the former church was packed with an eclectic crowd. That event became a scene in the memoir.

Be grateful for what you have. Be grateful to count the ones you love. Read Lit and be transformed by the ending of Mary Karr's latest memoir.

This morning as I write the opposing forces of sadness and joy have loomed themselves into cloth like a jubilant sari.

Tell the people you love often that you love them.

That is why we are here: to love and be loved.

I see in my mind now pink and saffron and mint colors bursting into song.

These are the lyrics of my life: a pop song.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Secret of Life

Forgive others. To not forgive them is to give them power over you. Nobody wears anger well. When you are drenched in anger you remain stuck. Either get over it or you'll just keep wallowing in a pity party. Anger does not become us it imprisons us. Take control.
Choose to forgive. Forgive others. That is the secret of life.


One last thing:

I was listening without judgment to a friend on the phone and then while writing the last blog entry it came to me in a flash:

We must forgive God.

I believe that everything that happened to me was part of a plan. I do not question God whereas a lot of people pin down human suffering on him. The friend felt I had overcome the diagnosis and turned it to my advantage.

Some people blame God. I do not. I've read The Way of Thomas and have come to understand that human beings are flawed and Jesus tried to get us to see the error of our ways and we rejected his teachings.

The schizophrenia: having it and being given it seems so unfair yet I don't deal in fairness. I believe I can go out and make things fair by lobbying others to choose recovery. I can help level the playing field by working as a mental health activist.

Only this too: recovery is our number-one job. It is our job to better ourselves and in so doing we make the world a better place.

Truly healing begins when we decide to love ourselves and live our lives with empathy for others.

So I urge you:

Forgive God.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Geodon Baby Blues

Train is on the radio now.

This is going to be a short blog entry. I did 30 minutes on the treadmill tonight.

I'm reminded of a woman I stopped being friends with who told me: "I hope you find what you're looking for." It sounded like she was quoting U2 lyrics.

I'm not looking anymore. If this is as good as it gets so be it. So be it.

A woman must leave the era before it leaves her. I only reluctantly moved on in my mid thirties. Looking back I see it was a long road I took.

What could I tell you?

The atypical I'm on is like a miracle drug.

I don't believe your brain can change its tune quickly or even in five years or 10 years after you have a breakdown. I remember everything because I have a photographic memory. So I can tell you to wait patiently to see lasting results. The change won't come easy however it will come. I can honestly tell you that the Geodon is as close to a cure as I could ever have. Legally: I'm required at this point to tell you that no drug company pays me money or compensates me otherwise to make this claim. I'm not a spokesperson for Pfizer. Only: I'm a person who had near-miraculous success with that drug as soon as I was placed on it and over two years later it has gotten even better.

You can't expect immediate results. Also: sometimes cognitive therapy could be of benefit in conjunction with the medication. You MUST give time time to work its wonders. Nothing worth having comes without effort. I cannot tell you to give up the hope that things can change. You have to ask yourself if you fear change because in some way you might be blocked. Standing still is not an option for anyone who seeks to recover.

Do you understand what I'm trying to say? You must move forward. You must let go of the past. You must have faith even when recovery feels like a long shot.

Recovery is possible.

You might rightly ask me how I can say it took me nearly two decades to get here. You would think it isn't fair that someone has to wait that long. You would be tempted to give up and I would tell you not to settle for the status quo. I would tell you to expect a better tomorrow in a realistic way and to keep hopeful that change is possible.

Years ago I interviewed a woman who said that one day out of the blue she realized things were better. You would understand my worldview if you had walked in my shoes all these years: you would remember everything too and the details would flood your memory.

So I could pinpoint when this happened for me: when I went on the atypical.

I told a friend on the phone tonight that most people don't realize that recovery from schizophrenia is not only possible it's probable and we should reach beyond what's merely acceptable and aim for the stars instead of settling for less.

Possibly only someone with a matching set of hangers would parrot this philosophy. More likely I believe this to be true because I know one thing: memories don't lie. You're left holding the truth of what happened in your mind.

Quite frankly I'm someone for whom good enough was never good enough and I doubt good enough will ever be good enough for me. I'm like that Uncle Ben's housewife who keeps striving to cook the perfect rice that I alluded to in a previous blog entry.

So you see this is why I say it took me 20 years to cook the perfect recovery: I can remember how the schizophrenia played out in my twenties and early thirties and I know it wasn't until recently that things simmered down.

I wanted to write this blog entry to give you some hope that it isn't over until we're no longer here. Also because people with schizophrenia fight some kind of battle every day and we deserve recognition for the effort it takes to be well.

Right now I can tell you this: it gets better with time. That's all I'm saying. You cannot speed the process. Also: we cannot use external measures of success as the tape measure of how far we've come [like a career or house or car]. For someone with schizophrenia I can say my true victory came with freedom of the mind-and the Geodon gave me that freedom.

It is why I will not go back in time and continue to listen to music like the Alternate Side.

It is why I will go to my grave championing immediate intervention with medication and therapy when someone is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

It is why living in the middle appeals to me now.

You do not know the memories that brought me to this point because the details I will not share. Only know this: I have spent all my adult life living with the schizophrenia. I turn 45 in the spring. I don't want to spend the rest of my life immured to resentment or fear or anger or worry.

I propose for all of us a better way to live: with compassion and forgiveness.

It nears midnight and I will go wind down now.

Trust me: I can't get a certain memory out of my head. You might think this is a minor thing however to me it is not. And true: as the years pass we become ourselves only better. So wisdom itself is like a drug that helps us heal. We gain the insight and a light bulb goes off in our head.

I think I'm going to have a huge electric bill this month.

Peace out.

The Sea

Last night:
I fell asleep after 1 a.m. I cranked out work until midnight. Not good. I swam around in the music like I was colliding with atoms. This search might take some time: the shedding of my belief system and exposing new ideas for how to live.

One thing I know: I'm not a fan of the Alternate Side. That kind of music no longer holds an allure for me. Other things have fallen by the wayside too. I would rather listen to "Crash"by Dave Matthews Band than crashing noise.

Change is the order of the day. I would rather listen to vocalists or see a folk band perform in a coffeehouse. Keeping ordinary time is a thing of beauty. Living your life out of synch with the world can be frightening indeed. Finding common ground with others is the way to recover successfully. Always maintain a positive spirit. You can recover. You can have a life equal to the kind of life you want to live.

I choose not to go back in time. Some of us cannot move away from the past even though it has ended. I imagine a woman who dresses in a previous decade or pines for her party days sitting alone at her kitchen table dancing on the edge of a knife.

Do you see how it is? I seek to surround myself with beautiful things: to hear good music to dress in style to do good works. It is a life ethic. You will not recover if you live with a poverty of spirit. So you choose life.

Noise is not life-whether in your head or your iPod-noise takes you away from your center. That is the way I see it. I would like to obtain a quote about music that I can use in JM to express its passionate core.

You see for five days I've been struggling with this tug-of-war: how much of yourself do you let go of and what happens when you have to make a wholesale life change like a sea change? Swimming towards the horizon towards a new day you strive to accept that you will quake and shake leaving that other world behind.

The decision to forsake the Alternate Side wasn't hard. Embracing the replacement was easy: a life outside of the limelight lived in a quiet routine of ordinary days dressed in foolproof outfits.

As a young person I thought my life was about the music. It defined me along with the clothes I wore and the friends I kept. How did I give that up? The universe forced my hand. God had a plan for my life that I only realized when I was 35: to be in service to others.

Does it sound like I'm making a judgment? I understand a lot of people flirt with the alternative life even today. They listen to strange music and get off on being weird and dying their hair green and wearing combat boots. That is their prerogative and I wouldn't take it away from them. Most of those people live in Billyburg now. I wonder who among us 1980s folk chose to go down the road I have: to abandon their love of the weird.

In some ways it's all a marketing ploy to sell products: manic panic hair dye and piercings are industries too. How could a person profess to be creative if she's merely following what everybody else is doing? In a roomful of pierced noses you're hardly original.

Also: you might think I'm being critical of that way of life and that's OK. I realize there's no glory in living smack in the middle when acting strange is adored and glorified. Am I telling you that the middle is where I want to be? Well yes. Not on the fringe or the margin or the right or the far left though I will always be progressive in my politics. Funny how championing the underdog is looked down upon in certain circles.

In the 1980s: I knew a woman who wore a button that proclaimed Be different. Act normal. A counterpoint to that decade's dysfunctional decorum. The words on that pin are as relevant now as they were circa 1985. The Bowling for Soup song about 1985 says it all.

Today I'm bowling for normalcy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

High Tide

Tonight's soundtrack: the Alternate Side via streaming audio on the Internet.

I suspect I can't listen to 90.7 FM on HD-3 [the Alternate Side all the time] because 90.7 FM comes in on my HD radio in analog station format. So I've been listening to this new music program from my computer.

Today's dilemma: I have yet to find a radio station station as good as radio sophie that broadcasts out of San Diego. The last time I tuned in to them via their website the streaming audio shut off after ten or fifteen minutes. This weekend I will see if I'm able to listen to radio sophie now. It is a beautiful radio station that plays Pink and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and India.Arie and Amy Winehouse. No strange music or rap or classic rock or heavy metal which is why I love it: the songs they play are upbeat and uplifting.

This weekend: I've spent the last three days in memory of that musical road I traveled down. I admire the brave young girl who chose music over madness and lived to conquer her schizophrenia by marching to her own drummer.

Each one of us will have our day in the sun.

Listening to the modern rock I feel such hope stirring inside me. Do I worry I won't find someone who understands my beat?

Music changes the chemistry of a person's brain. Why does this force act in a profound way-my search for good music to listen to? The musical landscape has changed.

Earlier in Starbucks I bought the Corinne Bailey Rae CD The Sea and I like her song "Paris Nights - New York Mornings." She is a Grammy winner that has her own style-I wouldn't call it jazz or blues or smooth-she is an original.

OK: I switched over to radio sophie via the Internet and I hope it will not shut off this time around. To be honest I like it much better than the Alternate Side.

Also: WFMU is too unusual for my liking although it is one of the pre-set stations on my new radio. I used to like some of the FMU disc jockeys in the 1990s like Bill Kelly on Sunday afternoons. He played good 1960s rock not the same pablum you'd hear on CBS FM.

Now Lenny Kravitz is on the radio and he suits me just fine. I really like his music. I have a compilation CD circa 1990 with his song "Mr. Cabdriver" that talked about how cab drivers would not stop to pick him up in New York City. I would hope that nonsense doesn't happen anymore.

I'm not the same person I was all those years ago. As long as I take the medication my brain is compensated so that it can act like a normal brain. I'm no longer in love with the weird: be it fashion or music. I dance in the light now.

So I wonder: would I tone down my ambition if I met someone? Unwittingly lose myself? I sure hope not. That is how I recovered: I found my voice. O. is not intimidated by me and has expressed admiration for everything I do.

I would like to buy the Rihanna CD Good Girl Gone Bad. She looks so beautiful on the cover. Also the India.Arie CD with the song "Therapy" on it.

Music has been for me a life force and forgive me if I come back to this ethic again and again in here. Does anyone else feel the same way?

Right now U2 is on radio sophie. I always like to listen to U2. They are to me classic rock because I came of age with the band in the 1980s. Bono is a great humanitarian in his own right. I will listen to the streaming audio until it's time to wind down for the night.

Have I been going around and around in here about this?

It is like I've wanted to reconcile then and now and have been musing on this lately. Now is the time for my memoir to be published. My story needs to be read.

I've decided to be okay with how I live my life. Certainly I'm not a strange girl though I've professed to be one numerous times in JM. That is why I have given up on the Alternate Side after twenty minutes. People change and that is a good thing. I'm unconventional not a non-conformist. That is how it is: my quirky brain-the one that tripped me up-is also capable of beautiful thoughts and words that inspire people.

I have put too fine a point on it with fashion as well via the idea that being ill-groomed is a way of putting yourself down. The connection between my loosening mind and my unkempt wardrobe I feel was significant also. It was the same way with the music: I was pulled down into the vortex of noise as my mind erupted into chaos.

The tide has gone out on that life.

Am I the only one obsessed with finding good music to listen to?

I want to meet someone who would understand this devotion.

The psychic said I would meet a lot of turkeys. She told me: "You're a diamond not a rhinestone." Even if I had the best turkey detector I understand that sometimes you have to practice with the turkeys before you find someone who is true blue.

Alicia Keys is on radio sophie now.

I will listen for maybe ten or fifteen minutes longer and then go work on my second job. So far the streaming audio has not shut off and I'm glad. I'm in heaven now.

Log on to and click on listen if you want to hear what I consider to be the best radio station out there.

I will leave you now to either scratch your head in wonder or pull the cord as the light bulb goes off in your head. I'm hoping you can relate to my quest.

Good night.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Like the Weather

"Do the thing you think you cannot do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

She was the Queen of Quotes. I have that quote magnet stuck to my refrigerator door along with her other quote: "Do one thing every day that scares you."

It has come to this: change or die. To not change would be to wither. My mantra for this year is "Have fun."

I do not want to go out in the rain. I've been holed up listening to the radio like it's the end of the world. I can't resist listening to WRXP even though the disc jockeys [all guys] don't have a clue. I listen like a thief stealing the good music and waiting out the duds because unfortunately there are too many duds.

Music: I've been listening to the FM radio since I was 12. As a sophomore in high school I listened to college radio. I listened to WSIA and WFMU when I was a teen though all the other girls would go dancing at the Park Villa on a Saturday night. I stayed home listening to the music. I loved the underground life because it was there I felt like I was accepted: a glorious misfit who did not have to pretend she was someone other than who she was.

Well: reflecting on then and now I don't feel like the odd girl out. I could be different and that doesn't matter to me after all these years because I don't covet other people's approval. It is lovely to have the option. Living your life left of the dial is as much an attitude as it is a lifestyle. You can live in the mainstream and still do your own thing. That is why I have this apartment: living solo I can listen to the radio and answer to no one. I answer only to God.

This irony: that by all outward appearances I fit in and OK I do value this because it has enabled me to branch out as a mental health activist. Were I still composed in garish theater makeup and dressed in odd clothes I could not do what I do because I would not be taken seriously. You join the world ultimately so that you can do your own thing. To be closed off to others is not healthy: isolating in your apartment or lying on the couch all day watching those Gilligan's Island re-runs. You reach out because you need other people in order to achieve your goals. You cannot go it alone for the rest of your life.

It is not a point of pride for me to feel I'm different. I put too fine a point on it talking all the time about my left of the dial philosophy. You must understand that you can live in the mainstream and at the same time live your life left of the dial. You couldn't really be a strange girl and be in other people's face about your weirdness. That's how I see it: I don't get off on being different.

It comes down to this: you and I must act as if we deserve respect in order to command a good kind of attention. You will not always be respected by everyone despite your best effort to model self-respect. That is not something to be concerned with. You just have to reject the stigma. You do that by joining the world. You act with courage to take risks to better yourself in your recovery. You do it for yourself and if accidentally others approve of you that is an unintended side effect.

Oh: in the other blog entry I touched on this: feelings of self-doubt that could creep up. The antidote is to be true to yourself so that you can attract other people into your life who will admire you for who you are. You don't have to be rich. You don't have to be the CEO of a corporation. You just have to be you.

So be true and be you.

Let the sun shine in your heart on this rainy day.

"A sunnier disposition has nothing to do with the weather" - to quote a Liz Claiborne print ad.



Hello morning.

The woman at the Pearl Paint (800) number did not see that my order went through when I bought the table top easel online. I had told her I received no confirmation and the order seemed to disappear after I hit the submit button. So she took my information over the phone and I have an order number and I should get the easel shortly. Not immediately because it is shipped from the manufacturer. At least it was that easy to buy it over the phone so now I can wait patiently for the easel to arrive.

Today it rains. I can hear the cars slush down the street.

I've grown disenchanted with the FM radio already. I pre-set six radio stations: WRXP [rock], WKCR [jazz], WSIA [billed as alternative yet it plays mostly rock], WBGO [jazz out of Newark, NJ], WFMU [free-form] and WNYE [public radio plus music].

The 1980s were the heyday of college radio. WSIA is a sad radio station now because there are no disc jockeys and the song selections are boring. I listened to WFMU for awhile however the disc jockey talked like his mouth was full of cotton and every other word out of his mouth was uh and um. I realize WFMU prides itself on being unusual however I expect a level of professionalism even still. The disc jockey on WRXP last night also spoke atrociously with a mouthful of uhs and ums. I don't get it. Now if you want to hear poetry listen to Awilda Rivera on WBGO at night because she knows how to speak.

When people talk to me and they talk poorly I always feed back what they said with the correct grammar. I mirror what they say only I say it the way you're supposed to say it. Nobody knows I'm correcting their grammar in a subtle way. It's something I do to counteract what I hear coming out of people's mouths.

The point of having an HD radio is so that you can get stations you previously couldn't listen to. It does for sound what HD images do for TV. So that is why I can now tune in to WNYE, WSIA and WFMU whereas before I was lucky if I could. Though listening to WSIA is so sad now because it's like they're playing some kind of pre-programmed audio tapes that spit out music and you have no idea what the song titles and artists are even if you did want to buy what you hear. It is so sad.

The thing about WFMU is that it's 2010 and the disc jockeys there should get over playing discordant music. I wish there was a happy medium between WRXP and WFMU. I don't want to hear AC/DC on the radio. I want to hear only modern rock or what's called alternative. WRXP only has male disc jockeys which also irritates me. Take the cotton out of your mouth and speak properly fellas.

When I hear a person speak with perfect diction and grammar it is a thing of beauty and I'm in love with the sound of their voice. I cannot believe that even college-educated people fall down in the grammar department.

If I hear ain't got no and don't have no one more time I'm going to scream. Is it too much to ask that someone speak eloquently? Those disc jockeys are being paid good money and it is their job so they should learn how to speak or be sent to a voice coach.

That is all I can tell you in here. I will sign off and go write a separate entry that is not a rant.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tambourine Blues

On the radio:

The Pearl Jam song "Just Breathe" is slow and beautiful and it was on the radio now. I listen to 101.9 FM WRXP sometimes even though it plays too much classic rock-n-roll for my liking. I also heard "And She Was" by the Talking Heads and danced to it in my bedroom making sure not to be loud on the hardwood floor.

I was able to set the alarm clock to wake me at 9:00 AM. You can program the alarm to wake you up to music on your iPod. I've decided to hold off on upgrading to a 10,000-song iPod. I bought mine nine years ago it was the original Nano and only holds 500 songs. Since then the technology has become better and you can buy an iPod with 10,000 songs for $250-what I paid for mine.

I wear my navy cotton skullcap today because I'm having a bad hair day. I wear that and the mocha lipstick and my tee-shirt and gray lounge pants. This was the going-to-do-laundry outfit. When I was done I slept for three hours in the afternoon.

Alas: I'm not a big thrift store fan. I washed a pair of navy Dockers and placed then in the donations bag. I don't like how they fit even though they're petite because there is too much fabric in the seat.


Last night I listened to Matt Pinfield's radio show for four hours and he played cool music. I listened to the modern rock and wrote in the journal with my tee shirt and skull cap on wearing my black-rimmed eyeglasses and I wondered: what guy would understand me? A guy on e-Harmony once closed off his contact with me because we were incompatible. He was divorced with two kids and liked to play pool in his spare time and I attended and performed at poetry readings and was a little too counterculture for his taste.

So that is what I do: keep a journal and listen to modern rock and go about my life in a young at heart way. 5'0" tall and I could blow like a leaf in the wind I'm so petite. Thus I couldn't date someone who smothered me. That just isn't happening.

Sometimes I feel things in my bones. I wrote in the journal last night that my stomach was shaking like a tambourine. Another time I wrote that my stomach felt like an aquarium. What guy would want to romance a girl who lives her life left of the dial? It's not unusual for me to come up with such evocative images.

I once bought a teal shirt that on the website was called aquarium.

This is how I live my life: in living color. I don't want to just be here now. I want to be here passionately.

The Tiger ex just didn't get this.

Well: I don't have that kind of energy to order what I do around pleasing other people. I don't covet mainstream acceptance. It's a point of pride that I live my life left. Even though I've achieved success in the world that doesn't matter because it all comes down to this: living in my own apartment listening to modern rock on the radio on a Saturday night and writing in a journal.

With a few changed words to the Bob Dylan song I listened to last night:

Hey Ms. Tambourine Woman play a song for me in the jingle jangle morning.

D. once said we have a different way of seeing things. That most likely accounts for this: my way with language-the written word and the spoken word.

Oh: do you understand? Do you believe other people would understand?

As much as how far I've come my inner child is that young girl who feels she doesn't quite fit in. America is comprised of 95 percent Traditional women and I'm a Classic with a Trendy accent so that is most likely why I feel I go left when everyone else goes right.

You turn 45 soon and are grateful you no longer compare yourself to others like when you were a teen and envied the young girls who could afford both a leather jacket and a cloth coat in the winter. Your self-doubt was a thorn under your skin. You gradually drew away from everyone and retreated into your poetry and your music.

You could feel the music.

At an early age you boxed with your demons and left them down for the count.

That is all that matters now:

I live by the truth.

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty."


Saturday, January 23, 2010

53, or The Ultimate Cure for Sadness

"Red is the ultimate cure for sadness." - Bill Blass

Imagine: we fashion ourselves through clothes. Years ago a woman in Harper's Bazaar talked about being so depressed she had to clear out her closet and start from scratch with a new wardrobe. The end of the article: "Who am I today? Scarlet perhaps."

Like for any of us her psychiatrist knew she was getting better when her clothes were on the upswing too. I once on a day pass bought a pair of plaid walking shorts to wear on the ward as if to impress the staff. Certainly even today this is the antidote to the schizophrenia blues: fashion.

Consider taking photos of your clothes before you throw them out if you need a reminder of yourself instead of keeping on hand outdated expressions.

Suddenly now I remember my black Einsterzwende Neubaten tee shirt with the gold and red figure on it; the Sonic Youth tee shirt with the Roy Lichenstein graphics; the black Siouxsie tee with her face silk screened on it in white.

My self at 22: a chalked slate with a menu of longings in a far from the beaten path life. To travel to Greece. To be the different drummer other people marched to. The words written in my journal circa 1985: I want to hold my life up as a candle to other people who flounder. How could I have known even then? Two years before my breakdown? 25 years ago. I struggled with silent words scrawled at 3 a.m. That is how I met myself: in the pages of my diary.

It was all I had as a defense against the oncoming SZ: my words. I attended a journal workshop circa 2000 where a woman wrote: Truth is the sword of us all. Those words stayed with me.

My truth is justice as well as beauty: I recovered. That is how you change the world: you change your life. "Nothing succeeds like success" to quote a newspaper article on fighting stigma.

Though I keep time with others who are not on the same page as truly we are the one. A person could not accept me and not accept others. I consider recovery a package deal.


Red IS the ultimate cure for sadness.

As I began to make my way in the world I started to wear red. Before: I had a strong aversion to the color. Then: in college I bought a cotton red shirt with pockets. The brand was Gasoline if memory serves. I bought it in a store in the Woodbridge Mall. It was my favorite shirt and ever since then I haven't been without red in my closet. I now have a red jacket with big round silver buttons and the red military jacket as well as the red hooded sweater with toggles and the limited edition hand-stitched red J.Jill sweater that is number 53.

One of the cashmere tees I bought was rich red: so there you go sadness.

Now a dose of the blues every so often I submit could happen to anyone. My first published article talked about doing spring cleaning in January to beat the winter blues. It ended by saying that when we clear our minds of negative thoughts "we can imagine instead of agonize; we can do instead of dream."

Long before: I was a woman who even then sought to inspire people even though she was restricted. I judge whether it's better today by the kinds of jobs I have. That is the ultimate test of the cure. Once I told someone that the atypical I'm on was as close to a cure as I could possible have. Others criticized me for using the word cure.

I stand by my words.

Some people claim the drugs are mind control or that people who are homeless should have the right to be homeless. That the drugs don't work. I would love to see a poster of my face in an airport with the slogan: treatment works.

Treatment works. Red works too.



Good grief: it took me an hour yet I was able to upload photos from the new digital camera to my computer and then upload them to JM. The prints are new and so are the gold drapes which did not appear in the original photos I uploaded with the old camera.

The new camera allows me to shoot video. I hope to upload video interviews to the Connection sometime in the future.

Well: it is 12:25 AM by my computer clock.

Let me go sign off and view the blog to see how the photos look.


Thursday, January 21, 2010


Time changes us.

I'm reading another gorgeous book by Mary Karr: Lit-her latest memoir. She is a prose stylist nonpareil. I'm also wrapping up Traveling with Pomegranates at home. I will read Lit on the train. Next up I want to read Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult. Yes: I judge books by their covers and the copy on the book flap and then the words within. Picture Perfect has a yellow cover that beckons one to read the book.

You need to give time time.

I could not tell you about this. I feel what I do is just something I do. It is not miraculous. I do it to be well. Health is one of my core values thus I'm committed to a positive lifestyle. I would tell anyone who does not value their health not to make themselves miserable aspiring to be a gym rat. It might seem incredulous that someone would not want to eat healthful foods or exercise however this is how I see it: it's an individual choice.

I would give others a wide latitude in how they live their life even if it's not how I would act. As a young woman I learned what I would and would not do by seeing how other people acted. Their behavior was a litmus test: the shoe polish-haired men whose breath smelled of reefer on the Ferry. The morning women in mini skirts exiting the boat to go to some kind of job [in a mini skirt? that I did not understand]. The woman on the 3 a.m. Alice Austen telling us our fortunes. The young mother cutting into her daughter with cruel words. The father telling his son to get off the floor because your dad's not a washing machine. The folk singer strumming her guitar and singing on the boat every weekend for 15 years rising up every year like a new moon to greet the passengers. The shoe shine guys yelling out "Shine!" though no one ever took them up on the offer. You could learn a lot about people by commuting on a ferry every day.

Time changes us.

I'm sure glad the pages turned on that nomad's life: traveling from Saturday to Saturday with lipstick and a $20 bill. Your version of the world could fit into your purse when you are young. The Coerrs song about being so young resonated with me and I would play their Live In Dublin CD often when I moved to my first apartment.

Now: I will scan my CDs and see which ones I can donate to the Salvation Army along with the clothes and the housewares.

Do not be afraid to leave your old life behind: the new one is an empty bucket you can fill with hope and a thousand dazzling memories to carry yourself through.

Always dream big. I dream a world without stigma which I know is an impossible goal. A friend told me once: "So maybe your purpose here in this lifetime is to fight stigma."

Bono in a song on the U2 album The Dream Come True proclaims that all it takes is "three chords and the truth." I wrote about this in a blog entry here a couple of years ago.

You could log onto to read the blog of a woman who posted comments to JM. BlogSpot used to have a feature where it would stream the URLs of its blogs at the moment they were updated so that you could click on them and read whatever tickled your fancy. Where has that feature gone?

Alas: I bought the table top easel and received no confirmation yet so I'm not sure the order went through. Last night I was twitchy from boredom and told myself: "Do it-order the easel- or you'll just procrastinate again." So the purchase is in some kind of cyber limbo.

My article "The Dating Game" appears in the Fall 2009 New York City Voices advocacy journal that I only received in my mailbox today. It lists my Top 10 Tips for a First Date.

Will write an article about turning 45 for the winter 2010 issue. Most people write about turning 40 or 50 yet 45 is significant in its own way.

The time when I was so young is gone.

All I have is today. That is all any of us have.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Blue Shoes

So young.

The Coerr's song about being "so young" flashes through my mind now as I remember how young I was when I had the breakdown. Luckily I had my whole life before me and I dreamed of a better life. That is how it was to be so young and in love with the underground. Watching obscure bands at CBGB. Trawling Second Avenue street vendors at 2 a.m. So young. You know nothing of your life and how it will turn out.

I wonder about that: do you lose yourself? You can reclaim her. I pined for the gregarious me when my life was on hold. It was a pit stop. I've decided to freeze the memories in time and not look back. You do not know at 22 what is possible. The memories are dim now and don't carry the weight they once did. We'd go to Millard Fillmore's-a restaurant-and talk late into the night over Blooming Onions. Or hang out in each other's houses watching videos and eating Chinese food or pizza.

So young. Perhaps when I begin to write fiction I will write about that time. A dozen ideas come to me now. I kid you not I have seen my life flash before my eyes and it is all good. I have a list of decade-by-decade goals I want to accomplish. I have a five-year plan.

The miles I walked down a dusty cocoa road. Was I sleepwalking? Dancing along the edge of life in my blue shoes. You do not know. You do not know where the line on the horizon leads so far away it is.

Even today I am still a girl: a young girl inside my heart.

I feel the pull to speed miles ahead and break out into the mainstream in a bigger way.

Today I dined at Yaffa Cafe with a friend. I walked so fast heading back to Broadway that my shins hurt. Once I arrived home I fiddled with the new digital camera until I was successful. That seems my mode of living: until I'm successful. I was not going to quit until I figured out what was wrong and sure enough I made it right.

Now I'm all set to have pictures taken of me in various outfits for the image consultant to review. Oh heck: I used to waver between then and now and wonder if it were any better back then. On a night like tonight I know it is better now in a different way.

D. once told me I brought my A game when we gave a talk. I would like to bring my A game to everything I do. That is how competitive I am. I compete against myself and no one else. I'm not content to settle or to rest on my laurels.

The friend was amazed I had my life planned out. She is young herself and kind and beautiful: a brave soul.

You have to give time time to work its wonders.

Well: I had the melted mudd cake for dessert with whipped cream.

You do not know when you are younger that one day you will be sitting in Yaffa Cafe having the mudd cake and talking about O. You do not know you have it in you to wait patiently until you figure out how to upload photos to a computer.

You listened to the AM radio that your aunt screeched was acid rock and so she turned the station to Golden Oldies driving in the car: Doo Wop.

You wrote an article in the school paper about how you loved rock-n-roll and the little fish-faced girl who loved disco pushed you to the ground and said disco rules.

Your remember all of this because you have a vivid memory as clear as the 12.2 mega pixel camera.

What next?

how now.

One day at a time.

Life rules.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dare Beautiful Girl

Today I go to the gym and do 30 minutes on the treadmill.

I gave my friend the bag of wooden hangers and I still have two bags of hangers to donate to the Salvation Army along with the other stuff. I have four bags to send to Sal's and would like to do that early next week.

The woman who gave me the reading told me that when I was in my late forties I would be faced with a decision and the choice would be mine to make.

I went to the coffeehouse with O. last night and then we stayed in Starbuck's talking until nine o'clock. I'm kind of cool and haven't revealed much about my experiences living with the schizophrenia. I understand all too well how it is when you strive for some kind of professional career and then you get sick and have to do what it takes just to stay healthy. The woman said he likes me because I'm enthusiastic and a good listener and I smile. She said I have a beautiful smile. Two people independently over the years told me I have a smile that could light up a room.

The lyrics to that song come into my head about not hurrying love because you just have to wait and that it doesn't come easy because it's a game of give and take. Who sang that song? Phil Collins? It was popular years ago.

Today I finish the organizing project. I would like in March to hire the painter to come paint the inside of the closet. Most likely he will charge only $100 dollars though he might not come to do such a small job. Every day when I open the closet to choose my clothes I want to feel good looking inside it.

The young girl came yesterday to clean my apartment and I tipped her $15. While she was here I and the friend browsed the shops. Ana reminded me that it is Type A to be obsessed with having matching hangers.

Ana also said something interesting when we compared notes about our psychic readings. The woman said I lacked confidence in myself and I told my friend that it doesn't matter if you lack confidence because as long as you persist and keep taking action you'll gain confidence and achieve what you set out to do.

Ana commented in an astute way that people who are confident could tend not to be inspired to challenge themselves because they're satisfied with how things are. She believed people who had self-doubt were motivated to prove they could do something so kept trying to better themselves.

I believe this is true: people who are confident with how their lives are playing out could see no reason to change things whereas people for whom good enough isn't good enough will always strive for perfection. The Uncle Ben's rice advertisement [in which their spokesperson is now chairman of the board] said something to the effect that perfection cannot be obtained however you should keep trying.

That's why some people aren't satisfied with things the way things are and strive to continually improve themselves.

I look at my inspiration board now with pictures of modern Classic outfits on it and the profile of Audrey Hepburn and the dog tags that spell out dare beautiful girl. Would love to post a photo of O. on it.

I wish I could have the woman come every month to clean however it is expensive. I can live with a little dust however I cannot live in a mess.

Would love to invite O. to my birthday party. I'll use the HD radio to provide a radio station for the music soundtrack. Will serve pizza and toast 45 with champagne.


Good night.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Perfect Day

Today it rains. The cars rush down the street outside. I've come home from running errands. A sad day when it rains like this.

The afternoon project:

Sorting and hanging the clothes in the bedroom closet. I would like to paint the inside of that closet Benjamin Moore's Peppermint. One can of paint should do.

The blonde wood hangers will complement the pink walls should I get the closet painted. In the spring I will replace the fall shirts with the warm weather ones stored in the under bed box. I have just two under bed boxes for out of season pants and shirts. It always amazes me that some people have so much stuff that they need to vacuum everything into those frightful space bags sold on TV commercials.

It's possible I'd have more hanging space in the closet if I had one long rod from which I could hang my clothes left to right. In the closet now I have two separate rods on each side of the closet running from front to back. The closet is wider than it is deeper so I'm convinced the space is wasted in the middle. I could paint the walls and use wallpaper on the back wall. On the hat shelf above the rods I store my clear hat boxes and a Liz Claiborne tote I so rarely use now. On the floor I store the shoes on the shoe rack.

To me organizing and making things neat is as close to beauty as you could get.

Right now I would like to buy a blue boucle skirt I saw in a shop and if I did I would consider donating an old winter skirt to the Salvation Army. The zipper on the skirt was tricky when I tried it on the other day so I would ask for a discount on top of the half off price.

Today in a store the cashier asked if I wanted to add a dollar to the sale to help provide aid for the people in Haiti and I told her yes. I imagine that most people will do that when given the opportunity.

I finished writing chapter three of my second book. The woman who gave me the reading said she saw my memoir being published however it would take a long time to find an agent who was receptive to publishing a book on the topic of schizophrenia. She knew I would ultimately find an agent because she said she saw the second step: the book being published.

Would love to publish the books and become a motivational speaker and ditch my day job. Alas: that is not realistic as I want to keep my health insurance.

One can dream.


A friend and I went back to the shop and the owner called another store to send over the skirt in my size. I tried on a black satin dress with a sweetheart neckline and it looked ugly on me plus didn't fit so I placed it back on the rack. The blue skirt was a size 8 and it was too big on me even though it was wool.

I feel sad about the schizophrenia tonight. I have long since stopped being angry about what happened. Right now I feel a little sad.

Retail therapy helps. Today I bought a pair of gold suede ballet slippers I can wear with the new skirt. I will wear the outfit on Friday when I meet a friend after work.

You roll with life. You walk on. You trust your instinct.

Life will continue from here. You have to let life be your guide and not seek divine intervention. What you want will come to you if you have faith. You just have to believe.

Dealing with the uncertainty is hard. It is hard to let go of the need to be in control. You might not be certain of what the future holds and that is OK. You must embrace the uncertainty and welcome the not knowing.

When all else fails: I believe in the power of a gorgeous skirt to transform my life.

Thursday, January 14, 2010



You can log on to and click on the link on that website to donate money to Haiti via the Red Cross. I sure hope my $40 gets there because even though it's a drop in the bucket I wanted to do something.

Today I had the dry cleaner hem my new black pants and jogging pants. The jacket that came with the track suit I didn't get hemmed as the sleeves are not too long. That is all I did today.

I'm back to form: earlier I replaced the shirt hangers in my winter closet with a matching set that was lying on the floor in the foyer closet. Now I have a big shopping bag full of blonde wood hangers of various stripes suit skirt shirt and a friend is going to take them when I see her next. She reminded me that I'm Type A because who else but a true Type A personality would have matching hangers in her closet? That was my intent in switching the hangers: to make sure everything matched. A little obsessive, no?

Today I went in a shop and bought a sunny yellow scarf that is already tied that I can slip around my neck in the spring and summer. I can wear it with a black tee shirt and white pants. Where would I be able to buy white pants for summer? I suddenly want a pair of white pants because I can visualize this outfit in my mind.

That's how obsessed I am folks. I will put this item on the wish list for the image consultant to track down. She will give me the URLs or store locations where I can buy the items she recommends.

Why not? 45 truly is the "oh, hell" birthday. I'm reading Traveling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor. The author of The Secret Life of Bees and her daughter alternate chapters in this book written when her daughter graduated college and she turned 50. I want my mother to read this book too. All women should read this gorgeous book. I cried at times because I felt that with a slightly different change of circumstance Sue Monk Kidd could be talking about my mother and me.

Turning 50 you begin the Crone or Wise Woman years. Sue Monk Kidd mused on the loss of her fertility and the loss of her daughter who was becoming her own person and struggling to make her way in the world. The daughter is depressed after she gets a rejection letter from the school where she wanted to study Greek culture.

Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Taylor Kidd in the book are traveling in Greece months before the 50-year old begins writing The Secret Life of Bees. Imagine: 50 beckons. Yes I will re-invent myself again then. I have six years left. Okay? Do you understand? Each of those years I'm going to travel somewhere far away beginning this spring.

I wish I could tell you that life is nothing but blue skies and I cannot.

What I can tell you: you have the choice in how you respond to your trials.

Age with grace. There is nothing beautiful about a woman who is sad to be herself wrinkled and old. Hettie Jones wrote about this in her poem "Aftertune" that closes out her poetry book Drive. It is about "a crone in the marshes singing and singing." I love that book of poetry. Hettie Jones memoir How I Became Hettie Jones is also a great book about her marriage to Leroi Jones and life in the Beat Generation in 1950s and 1960s New York City. I met Hettie at a poetry event and she was impressed that I had bought and read her memoir. How could I not? I judged that book by its colorful red-and-yellow cover with her before-and-after photos and the inside did not disappoint. She went from pearls and a silk dress to gypsy earrings and a richly lived emotional and musical life. From a teacup college to the heart of the counterculture.

I'm reminded of an aunt whose birthday party I attended when she turned 80. I had given her an amethyst necklace not knowing purple was her favorite color and she was all aflutter over the necklace. More interestingly: she told us she looked forward to each new year that she got a chance to live. She looked the image of youth even in her late age. I remember her words now and tell myself this is what I must do: celebrate the life I live every year. Our birthdays are not endings they are the beginning of the next chapter in our life. We get to decide how we want to respond to the years.

Always be kind to yourself and gentle. Strive to maintain a positive spirit even in the face of hard times. It serves us no purpose to worry because worrying doesn't make us feel any better. Optimism inoculates us from full-blown depression. I was always lucky I could pick myself up.

I would not spend $20K or however much it costs on that miracle LifeStyle Lift surgery to take 10 years off my face. Once the face goes then your breasts go and everything else and it could take lots of money and effort and exhaust you trying to fix every part of you that you negate.

Celebrate: don't negate.

Life your life. Love your life.

Be grateful for what you have and what God has given you.

You have the right to make beautiful music in your golden years.

Sing it baby.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Organization by Design


I will be able to obtain the virtual consulting with a woman at Organization By Design.

Funny I have a new rule: only wear red or black shirts with jeans. Today I wore the soft worn Loft pair with the cashmere long tee shirt and the black jacket over that and the patent loafers.

My indispensable staple is the 3-pack of black socks you can buy in Rite Aid on the cheap. I bought two 3-packs last night. I get such a zing out of those socks.

Monday morning I buy the table top easel. I visualize in my mind a painting called Optimism done in yellow and orange oil paints. My goal is not to become a good artist [though that could happen with practice]. The goal is to relax and enjoy myself in my apartment-sure to be the hub of my creativity in this 3 Personal Year.

Alas: I fear Loft won't have any sweaters left if I go on Tuesday to redeem one of the gift cards. I'm still iffy on the purple wool turtleneck: do I donate it to the Salvation Army or do I get it cleaned and keep it?

My friend signed on to take pictures of me in outfits for the look book. We do this in early February. I'll treat her to dinner in return. We can make a night of it.

Forgive me: tonight I am sad about the earthquake in Haiti so I want to see if I can donate money to the Red Cross or to another relief agency specifically to help the people there. I will try to keep upbeat as I continue this blog entry. It just seems so unfair about the lack of equality in how people live: Haiti is one of the poorest countries if not the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

I feel angry that some people in the U.S. think their self-worth or their standing in society is determined by their material possessions when some people in the world would be grateful to have a bowl of soup and clean bed linens.

How could one not be moved by the images on the New York Times website? This tragedy affects everyone in the world. I worry it will be business as usual until the next natural disaster or act of human cruelty.

What would a child in Haiti know of a digital camera or iPod dock? I realize I'm fortunate that on Monday morning I can buy both of those things.

I feel-this is not right-that some people live in poverty.

It seems wrong to covet a new sweater when I most likely could do without one and use the gift cards for something else.

I do not have the right to anything except food clothing shelter. It is an accident of fate that I was born in America. That gives me the duty to be aware that my fortune comes at a cost.

Luckily I'm able to keep my clothes in good condition and they last for years and years so it's not like I'm a spendthrift and buy new things all the time.

Sometimes I think of this:

That if I were able to have kids I wouldn't let them eat candy and I'd serve them fruits and vegetables. I would teach my kids respect and to treat every living being with dignity. I would travel with them so they could witness other cultures.

The schizophrenia took that away from me. It is the greater consolation I believe that the people in the world are my children.

Today I have decided to always live conscious of the choices I make and how they affect other people as well as their effect on me.

You cannot be blind: I want to shake the ignorant and say Look: the whole of compassion lies in seeing what goes on and deciding to act.

I flip-flop in JM between the frivolous and the serious possibly because I'm a woman of contradictions. Yet I will not judge other people for the choices they've made and the lives they lead. I have only so much energy to give to my own recovery and that is all I have. So in my mid-thirties I knew I would not have kids in this lifetime.

Other things I can hope for: to find someone who I can look out into the world with and be on the same page. To walk together down this road.

Momentarily I have succumbed to the urge to live an ascetic life as if in defense of my good fortune. More likely I will always be aware of the suffering of others.

So please understand if I talk to you of socks and mundane bliss.

I could drink my tears tonight they flow so freely.

It is time to segue into something else that you're accustomed to:

I will ask the image consultant to give me suggestions as to where I could buy a pair of jeans that I'll actually look good in that aren't low rise and don't look grungy.

Oh no: I cannot continue in this vein. Not tonight when so many children go without shoes or other basic necessities.

Wait for me to return this weekend in a more cheerful mood.

Tonight I am grateful for this:
I can afford to buy a 3-pack of black socks.

You do not know how it cheers me to organize those socks in the plastic bin in the drawer so that I'm able to choose a pair every day.


I rest my case.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010



I do not see Oliver this week.

Tonight I have the shrimp parmigiana with a side of broccoli for dinner. It was a mistake not to have a salad for lunch because now I'm fatigued. All I had was a container of raspberries.

I've been wearing the black cashmere long sleeve tee shirt under my green wool jacket. Miraculously I found the black cotton-lycra turtleneck that I figured I'd discarded. It was bunched up on the bottom drawer of my dresser. Today I wear the turtleneck with my purple wool cardigan and I'm hot hot hot in the room where I am. would love to take off the cardigan. Luckily I found the turtleneck because now I can wear it in the spring with jeans or a short skirt and with the wood-and-metal circle necklace I bought in the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego. The Something Silver store also had a bead necklace yet I did not buy that I splurged on the silver necklace.

My birthday gift to myself [for the oh, hell 45] will be a virtual consultation with an image consultant. I would like to figure out once and for all what kind of jeans would flatter me and fit well. I could treat myself to a pair in the spring.

The thing is: I do not like to wear jeans because I'm convinced I don't look good in them. This has been the bane of my fashion existence: finding a great pair. Today I wear the Esprit pair that I bought in the fall.

I find nothing cool about whiskering or horizontally-creased thighs on jeans although that is the trend and jeans with those effects are sold in stores everywhere. Sunday I wore the faded pair from Loft. I know I know: most people see nothing wrong with wearing jeans everywhere. They go to the theater: they wear jeans. They go to a restaurant: they wear jeans. They go to a museum: they wear jeans.

Listen: I wear jeans sometimes it's just that I dislike doing so. I once responded to a guy on a dating website whose profile said he wanted to meet a woman who looked great in jeans. Why was I compelled to do this? He turned out to be incompatible. One thing you're not supposed to do: give a woman your phone number and tell her to call you before you've exchanged prelude niceties via e-mail. You just don't demand a woman do that if you're a stranger. Also women: run away if a guy on the Internet tells you he's separated that's a coy term because he's still married. Do yourself a favor and get a sense of the guy before you jump into a relationship with an online paramour. You don't want someone who is half in and half out. He should give you his undivided attention.

Log on to and subscribe to the Dressing Well Tip of the Week. I bought Mary Lou Andre's book Ready to Wear: An Expert's Guide to Choosing and Using Your Wardrobe over five years ago. She is the founder of Organization by Design--an image consulting firm that offers $299 virtual consultations via phone. You e-mail them up to 10 photos of yourself in outfits and they suggest improvements or additions.

In early February I'll have a friend take pictures of me in outfits to e-mail to Organization By Design for a critique. Mostly--and this is the truth--I just want someone who is a professional to vet my wardrobe. [I've found a cheaper good digital camera on the Best Buy website.] The consultant also tells you what kind of eyeglasses you'd look good in.

Oh no: this blog entry has devolved into fashion froth. I'm going to wind down now because I see no reason to continue in this vein. Once I get the digital camera I will take photos to place in a look book so I can style outfits and get inspiration for choosing clothes in the morning. Possibly I'll post the photos here in an online look book.

This is all I can give you today: a glimpse of my fashion strategy for the coming season.

What else is there to talk about? You just might see JM take a frivolous turn.


Monday, January 11, 2010


I'll take my fringe on boots, thank you.

Though you might think right now that I live on the fringe. I erased the original blog entry I was writing today because I wasn't comfortable continuing in a political vein. It riffed on the title of Public Enemy's album Fear of a Black Planet. That is all I can tell you without going into details. It is best left unsaid. I'm not that kind of person to be so graphic so I made the conscious decision to erase what I was writing.

Would rather talk about the fringe on boots.

Surf on over to Nancy's blog which I link to on the right. I could so commiserate with her about the back pain as I feel like I'm going to faint now and nothing but a cheddar burger will do for dinner tonight if you understand how it is. I'll ask to be given plenty o' packets of ketchup for the fries. Yes I want fries with that burger.

The winter 2010 issue of SZ magazine with my Living Life column about music and its effect on my recovery arrived in my mailbox today. The disconnect between where I am and the lives of a lot of people diagnosed with schizophrenia is never far from my mind when I read other people's stories in that magazine and elsewhere.

I feel exhausted writing about this. My work will never be done here in this lifetime. I do not shy away from it. I would not do this if recovery were not possible. My success would be an empty victory if I felt what Idid was not possible for others to achieve. If my achievement was a one-shot deal how could I profess to give people hope that they too could recover and do well?

What can I tell others? I certainly can't tell them to give up on ever hoping to reach their goals. I'm angry that most people face a disincentive to work because they'll lose their government health and drug benefits if they do.

One thing:

We need-every one of us-to set the bar.

I will tell you now and I would tell you a week from Tuesday or a year or 10 years from now: that I succeeded because my parents set that bar for me.

We might be limited in what we can do yet always we need to respond with dignity to our trials. We do not have to accept inferior treatment: we can work to institute justice in the world. We can set the bar in terms of what we will and will not accept from other people.

Act with courage in the face of your detractors to envision a better life for yourself.

Not everyone will respect you and there will undoubtedly be interference. First of all you will do well to face down your own limiting fears. This is easier said than done. Did I know that it would work out when I started my first job as an administrative assistant? Of course not. I incurred a $1,700 government disability check overpayment because SSA claimed I did not notify them right away that I found employment and so they kept sending me checks. This was an interest-free loan that gave me some security and I paid it back over two years giving the government $50 per month.

The number-one crying shame in the world is that people with disabilities like schizophrenia and other mental illnesses are penalized for wanting to work because they risk losing their Medicaid which would pay for health care and prescription drugs. In New York State the Medicaid Buy-In program allows people who work and make up to $44,000 the right to buy into Medicaid and continue their benefits while employed. I'm not sure if this buy-in is permanent or only lasts a certain number of years.

I was mistaken because I thought the Medicaid Buy-In existed in every state in the U.S. and it does not. The laws need to be changed even in Canada where the same hardship is faced for peers who want to work. That was the anger aroused in a reader whose letter-to-the-editor was published in SZ magazine. Her son had to quit his job so he could get dental work. She worried how he would be able to live when she and her husband were not alive to provide extra money for him.

What can we do to change these laws? It steams me. I'm not steamed over Reid's comments or anything else. The only thing I'm incensed about are injustices against people living with mental illnesses. This is the niche market I'm here to serve. Certainly the world has seen far greater atrocities yet the one I stake a claim to fight is the stigma surrounding schizophrenia.

"Violence and Schizophrenia: Taming the Criminal Myths"--the feature story in the winter 2010 issue of SZ magazine--tackled this issue. It talked about how people with schizophrenia fall through the cracks and are denied the treatment that would enable them to recover, thus creating criminals whose psychotic minds push them to commit suicide or homicide.

As regards Cho Seung-Hui who was the Virginia Tech murderer [quoted from The Insanity Offense by E. Fuller Torrey]: "Cho was court-mandated to be psychiatrically evaluated; he was held overnight in a local hospital but apparently not treated. He was ordered to get treatment as an outpatient, but did not do so. The counseling center at Virginia Tech received a copy of his court order mandating treatment, but it apparently did nothing. According to an official investigation, the center did not accept 'involuntary or ordered referrals from any source,' and even students with schizophrenia were treated only if they requested it. The Virginia state law for involuntary psychiatric commitment and treatment requires that the person be an 'imminent danger' to himself or others, or be 'substantially unable to care for himself.'"

The blood appears to be on the counseling center's hands.

The SZ magazine article ended with a quote by Barry Jones MD a Canadian psychiatrist:

"The solution lies in the area of public education. I have seen media reports of violent acts carried out by someone with mental illness constantly miss the point: they focus instead on gun control issues or school violence instead of the lack of services for the severely mentally ill. There should be more education about mental illness in schools and early detection. The legal system needs to find a way to deal more effectively with treatment orders for the mentally ill before the potential for violence has emerged. Stigma will always be present, but rational management of this illness can exist even in the presence of stigma."

Folks: stigma is not the issue we have bigger realities to deal with. I hear Andrew Goldstein--the psychotic individual whose pushed Kendra Webdale in front of an oncoming New York City subway train--sought treatment and was denied. Do I know this is true? It is what I've heard.

In the face of this reality how can an anti-drug guru like Peter Breggin and the anti-psychiatry contingent MindFreedom claim schizophrenia should not be treated with medication? They are the ones perpetrating stigma.

No: it is not OK to stand by and allow anyone in the Beloved Community to reach the point of no return.

Upon hearing the news that my first psychiatrist had died I hung up the phone and shouted to my father: "I want to see justice served for the last forsaken lot of misunderstood crazy people." Five years later I began my freelance writing and advocacy career.

Back to the refusal of basic human dignity for people with schizophrenia who want to work:

"My son got a job for two days a week, 6 hours per day, earning $8 an hour. Unfortunately, he had to give up his job because ODSP [Ontario Disability Support Program] cut him off. He had a very bad dental problem, and he had to cancel the appointment with the dentist because his dental card was canceled and then he had to fight to keep his drug card.

What kind of a crazy system allows this to happen? Do they want to get these unfortunate people back into the hospital, instead of helping them recover?"

--Anne, Ontario [SZ magazine letter-to-the-editor writer]

Make no bones about it: I have no choice in this matter but to champion the rights of people living with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.

We are not criminals. We are decent people who were unfortunate to get a burden we neither wanted nor deserved.

As John Mabry wrote about in The Way of Thomas no human being on earth is separate from any other human being even though we are distinct physical beings. God wouldn't want us to turn away. The ability of one person to recover from schizophrenia affects everyone else in the world.

There: I've told it like it is. What more could I say?

Oh: this--people with schizophrenia deserve to recover. We don't deserve to be treated like dogs. We are human beings just like anyone with needs wants desires feelings and frustrations insecurities hopes dreams and successes JUST LIKE ANYONE.

We Are the One.

Just do it:

Act with love.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

View From The 3rd Floor

This is going to be a rant.

What is scary: the idea that Sara Palin could become president. I've been reading the book Going Rouge which is not to be confused with Going Rogue [her autobiography]. Make no mistake she is not a dumb woman. She is a smart woman pretending to be stupid so she can advance her sick twisted agenda. She would deny you the right to have an abortion if you were raped regardless of the possibility that your baby would inherit the genetic risk for criminal behavior from the rapist father.

Palin is just a hateful woman who spoons people what they want to hear. To co-op an expression linked to feminism [and it was wrong then to do so], her brand of do-me politics is a real threat to Americans everywhere. I have no doubt she could be president: if George W. Bush could trash our economy and get involved in two unnecessary wars and create all kinds of impediments to providing humanitarian aid to other countries [based on his abstinence-only beliefs], I have no doubt the people who elected Bush could elect Palin to do these dirty deeds and not see anything wrong with her tenure at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The problem is: she's considered a babe in a suit so is taken more seriously than Hillary Clinton who stood by her man and wore the pantsuits in the relationship. People crucified Clinton for not walking away from her husband. How wrong to stand in judgment of someone if you haven't walked in her shoes.

The Religious Wrong and Christian Conservatives scare me because of the power they wield in politics. President Obama is doing the best he can and he's certainly doing better than his predecessor ever could. Don't get me started on Joe Lieberman. He and Palin are in the same camp. He has served to do real danger to America too by hampering the ability to include a public option in the national health care bill.

Obama won the White House folks. It's time to get real and get with the program circa 2010.

Bristol Palin is no poster child for abstinence-only education. Sara Palin could try to put a positive spin on her daughter getting pregnant however the reality for most teenage girls who become pregnant is far worse than the image of Bristol's baby swathed in an American flag. You can bet Sasha and Malia wouldn't end up like like Bristol because obviously Michelle Obama will be teaching them not to lift their skirts to any guy who sweet talks them on a Saturday night. The difference is her daughters would actually listen to her. She might even suggest birth control when her daughters turn 16. That is the reality in America: teenagers are having sex. Birth control is a necessity.

The other reality is that there is a double standard depending on where in the U.S. you live. You might not get the star treatment and a baby blanket spread in People magazine if you were Precious Jones. Luckily Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry brought Precious to movie theaters everywhere. Does Sarah Palin believe Precious Jones should give birth to a child her own father impregnated her with? Push was a grim book to read and I read it way back in 2000. I can't tell you whether the book has a happy ending because you should read it yourself.

Empty rhetoric from right-to-lifers merely puts a bandage on society's problems it doesn't cure them. Yes I believe abortion should be legal. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia and should I need to discontinue the medication because I'm pregnant and forced to carry the baby to term I could very well end up psychotic again. Palin: get out of my bedroom.

OK: I rest my case. Have I been preaching to the choir in this blog entry? I somehow doubt Sara Palin's fan club is reading Joyful Music. If you are a true believer in everything this scary Barbie Doll stands for do not clunk me on the head with a pocketbook--Coach or any other--I won't go down without a fight.

This has been the View From The 3rd Floor.

Now I'm going to sign off as I have to get ready to brave the cold outside.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Make Mine Coach


I did 40 minutes on the treadmill. It pleases me to sticker 9 saturday in the 2010 engagement calendar with four colorful smiley face stickers to mark that I exercised. I plan on returning to the gym three days a week. I bought a scale. While holding it up waiting in line it was so heavy I felt I lost 5 lbs just lifting it. I told this to the cashier who did not laugh at the joke. She did not make the connection between lifting a scale and losing weight. Am I the only one who would connect those dots? It seemed funny to me at the time.

The blog entry I began earlier in the day I trashed. It talked about how women are obsessed with how much they weigh. I do wonder whether this is a universal phenomenon. Or are there some women for whom the number on a scale doesn't dictate how they feel about themselves?

Secret: I gained 5 lbs over the holidays and I feel that's okay because I can get back on track in the new year. I refuse to stress over things like this. When I turned 40 my metabolism slowed so I knew I would have to watch what I eat and exercise more. I'm no longer a tulip stalk.

The new guy was sweet. In City Diner I ordered the mac-and-cheese for lunch and I couldn't finish it. He said: "That's OK you could eat the whole thing your metabolism would burn it off." Sweet.

A friend and other women tell me I'm skinny and I suppose this is true. I'm lucky I'm thin and sane. It would be another story if I took Zyprexa or one of the other weight-gaining culprits because I would likely have a ravenous appetite and be tempted to chow down at every opportunity. I feel for what other people go through living like that. I understand that could be me if my circumstance changed. This friend argues that I eat healthful foods and go to the gym and that I'm skinny through my own effort. Maybe so. That's of no comfort to me when I realize that with one slip of the mind I could become a candidate for another drug and pack on the pounds. Oh God I do feel for women who have to make the sanity versus vanity choice. I feel for anyone who struggles with her weight.

Sometimes: I'll be at an event and there will be a box of donuts on the table. I'll refuse and a well-meaning woman will take one look at me and say, "Go ahead--you can afford it." This irritates me. I don't have the doughnut because I can't afford to. If I ate a doughnut every time another woman told me to eat a doughnut I might weigh as much as she did.

Once: I was driving past one of those churches with a mini-sermon on its message board in front of the entrance. The message du jour touted: discipline is eating just one cookie. How that related to our lord Jesus I don't know. I thought it was quite insensitive even though it is true. The pastor most likely was reminding his flock that they are weak-willed and reining in their excesses involves self-control. I wondered what kind of food was served at that particular hallowed hall's church functions. Hopefully no tempting cookies.

Well: I ordered in shrimp scampi and broccoli rabe for dinner. I regret my weakness is that I love sweets. This year I'm going to try to eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains.


In April I turn 45. I can't complain if I weigh less than I did when I was 25. So there you go. 45 is the "oh, hell" birthday because you have only five more years until you're 50. Now is the time to make beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.

Sometimes I wonder how I got here. You have no concept of time and know nothing about your life when you're 22. You don't know what the future has in store. All you can think about is next Saturday. I published an article about turning 30 when I turned 30 in 1995 in which I wrote that the future wasn't so large and looming anymore. I talked about how that job interview question--"Where do you see yourself in five years?"--now applied to my personal life.

In 2005 I turned 40 and wanted to be married. I suppose most women set 40 as their deadline for finding Mr. Right. Today I'd be happy to settle for Mr. Right Now.

Two years ago I read Matchbook written by Samantha Daniels--a woman who was a professional matchmaker who set people up if they had $10,000 up front and were gorgeous and successful. She made a point of exclaiming that her matches were all good-looking and that was vain to say the least. One frightful match was a woman who was 39 1/2 and her marriage clock was ticking she was desperate to walk down the aisle before she turned 40.

It was a light fluffy read and yet it was scary that people could be so shallow. I suppose if you were ugly or overweight Daniels would not set you up. At last count she boasted 47 marriages made via Samantha's Table introductions. God forbid the hairline starts to recede on the guys do the women get a refund?

The title of [judge] Judy Scheindlin's book says it all: Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever. Which side of that equation would you rather be on? I thought so.


This is where someone is going to swat me with a pocketbook. Make it a Coach because then I won't mind being conked with it. One should go down to the floor in style.

I'm going to quite while I'm ahead.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Sunny Days


You must ask yourself "What am I supposed to do at this moment in time?"

The pizzeria beckoned for lunch and so I had a grandma slice and a fresh mozzarella slice with diced tomatoes.

Tonight is another moment and tomorrow is another moment.

I write in the spiral-bound notebook:

how now

as if to ask myself how am I supposed to live right now? What am I supposed to do? How now is exactly how it's supposed to be.

A zen approach to timekeeping.

It has been said before yet I wonder how many of us truly live this koan.

how now.

One of the five items for living in the e-mail sent to me was: let go. The idea that we can re-invent ourselves and our lives holds an alluring fascination for me. I'm not a Traditional. The natal chart I downloaded claimed "your flakiness and distrust of Tradition make you exciting to be around." I wondered about that yet I know I'm not a fan of doing things the same way forever.

In my neighborhood on New Year's Eve at midnight firecrackers popped. I could hear these bursts of good fortune as I lay in bed. A New Year A New You is the seductive theme. We can't let life pass us by we must join the world. For those of us with schizophrenia our medication allows us to become involved in life. You get to a point where other things are possible. Your life is not simply about popping pills. Medication enables you to recover yet it is what you do after the pills begin to work that determines how well you do in recovery.

With this in mind I'm posting in this blog entry below an e-mail that was forwarded to me. It is so true and I'll be taking it to heart. It is also interesting that a friend suggested I simplify things and that is exactly what my natal chart report told me is the theme of my life.

Here's the e-mail:

Zen Habits

How to Make the Most of the Fresh Start of a New Year

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” ~

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.

Were several days into the New Year, and many of us are still basking in
the glow of a fresh start.

Every year, January brings renewed optimism for change, for a better life,
for a better you. And thats a wonderful thing.

Its wonderful, because this fresh start gives us a chance to reinvent our
lives and ourselves. It allows us to reinvigorate ourselves, to shed the
baggage of the previous year and do anything. Anything is possible!

That is a gift, my friends, and I suggest we make the most of this gift.
Not just by creating and sticking to resolutions (heres my guide for doing
that), but by reinventing the way we live.

Heres how.

1. Let go.

Many times we are held back by the tangled web of previous failures,
commitments, emotions, barriers. We cannot change careers because were used
to what were doing and its too hard to change. We cannot find time to get
healthy and fit because we have all these other things to do. We cannot
find time for our loved ones because we have too many commitments.

This is all old baggage. A fresh start demands a clean slate. Let
everything from the past go (easier said than done, I know). Clear your
plate and your palate.

Let go of attachments to what youve been doing for the past year, or years.
Let go of failures. Let go of fears youve built up. Let go of reluctance.
Let go of your ideas about what your life has to be like, because thats the
way its evolved so far. Let go of long-held beliefs and habits.

You have a fresh start. Let go of last year, and start anew.

2. Decide what matters most today.

Forget about your goals for all of this year. Instead, decide: what do you
want to do today?

What matters most to you, to your life? What are you most passionate about,
right now? What excites and invigorates you? What would give you the most

Often the answer is in creating something, making something new, helping
other people, becoming a better person, working on a project that will be
an accomplishment to be proud of. But whatever your answer, have it clear
in your mind at the beginning of the day.

This might be something you work on all year, or it might just last a
month, or it might last a week or a few days, or just today. It doesnt
matter. What matters is today that youre going to work on this with all
your heart, today. Tomorrow well decide on that tomorrow.

3. Clear away distractions and focus.

Clear away email and Facebook and Twitter and your favorite blogs and news
websites and social forums, clear away the iPhone or Blackberry or Android
or cell phone, clear away all the little nagging work and chores and
errands that pull at your attention, clear away the clutter that surrounds
you (sweep it off to the side to deal with later).

In fact, if you can, shut off the Internet for awhile. You can come back to
it when you take a break.

Now, find focus. Even if only for 15 or 20 minutes at first, but preferably
for 30-60 minutes. You can take a break and check your email or whatever
after youve focused. Focus on the thing that matters most. Do it for as
long as you can, until youre done if possible. Feel free to take breaks,
but always return to your focus.

When youre done, focus on the next thing that matters most, and so on.

4. Find happiness now.

Dont look at happiness as something that will come when youre done with
this goal, or when youve attained a certain accomplishment or certain
amount of wealth or material goods. Dont look at happiness as a
destination, something that youll get later.

Happiness is possible right now. Always remember that. When you push it
back until later, itll never come. When you learn to be happy now, itll
always be here.

When youre doing whatever youre passionate about, whatever matters most,
whatever you decide is worthy of your time and heart and focus be happy!
Youre doing what you love. And that is truly a gift.

5. Reinvent yourself, every day.

Every day, you are reborn. Reinvent yourself and your life, every day. Do
what matters most to you, that day.

It might be the same thing that mattered most yesterday, or it might not
be. That isnt important. Whats important is today right now. Be
passionate, be happy, right now.

Youll have a fresh start every single day not just on January 1. And that,
my friends, is the best thing ever.

If you liked this guide, please bookmark it on Delicious or share on
Twitter. Thanks, my friends.

Read more about simplifying in my book, The Power of Less.

[The lack of apostrophes in the message above is exactly how the words appeared to me so I'm not going to correct this. It's the spirit of the message that counts.]

Imagine: each day is a fresh start. We can abandon one thing that does not work for us and do something else. We do not have to do things the same way we always did them. We can wear purple and not when we're old. We can do anything we set our minds to.

Today is a glorious day.

So live your life and love your life.

It's all good.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The evolution will not be televised


I understand the pull of my younger self to dress in that fashion.

It was a way to sublimate my creativity living in a vanilla world.

You have only your own limited sense of your persona when you are young. You think the clothes and the music and your friends are your true identity. You do not realize that you have your whole life ahead of you and that things will change.

One day you realize that those clothes are not you, the music is not you, and the friends you thought were your friends were only temporary.

Your knowledge of the world back then could fit on a dog tag.

Yet there is always hope.

Our lives are an evolution and surely the evolution will not be televised. You come to it in your own way and one day you realize that things have changed and there is only one direction you can move in: forward. Standing still is not an option.

My fashion was a way to express myself. A friend from long ago seemed to not understand this. She wore rust and beige and tan. Sometimes now I miss that young girl I was: the one whose moods dictated her wardrobe. The one who stayed up late listening to Jesus & Mary Chain albums on a record player. Who imagine she had started a revolution through music.

23 years later corrupted by schizophrenia I do not walk the straight and narrow. I've made the hard choice to publicly champion my vision that people can recover from this devastating illness. Even today circa 2010 the stigma is grim and total. I choose not to fight iron-bound instances of ignorance rather I seek to change the minds of those whose hearts are open to the possibility that people with schizophrenia are good people and can achieve great things if given the chance.

Well: I wasn't going to wait for someone to give me that chance. I fought to get ahead and I wouldn't quit until I got there. I wish more people with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses had this courageous drive. I wish society would welcome us and give us a fair shake.

OK: I abandoned that lifestyle it was a slow process yet one I ultimately knew would serve me well. I believe in changing things from the inside. I'm not a trendy person living on the outskirts. I could not advance my agenda if I continued to look like an extra in a Siouxsie Sioux movie. This about face was not sudden it occurred in subtle stages over the years.

The evolution will not be televised.

One day you realize there's no place you'd rather be and the future can only be better. That day is today.


Tonight it is not as cold as when the wind chill factor dipped us below 20 degrees. The weekend promises to be 20 or worse 15 degrees. How is it that the cold has come on out of the blue whereas we've had years without this kind of cold snap?

I sit at my desk typing and my mind is miles away.

A dear friend suggested that we can only live in the present moment and not worry over what the future will bring. We cannot know what's to be. Life will tell us if only we stop to listen. I keep time to a hopeful music. I will do what I must do right now and let the future take care of itself.

Only today I will not back down even though it seems I remain silent. The point is I'm not going to argue with someone who believes all people with schizophrenia are violent. I'm not going to duke it out with Perez Hilton or his ilk. Also: a lot of people have hellish experiences with their loved ones and it seems these hell-and-heartache stories have a platform. Yet those of us doing well toil away in anonymity with no recognition or praise for our efforts. Thus the myth of a schizophrenic hell is alive and well. The hell stories go off louder than bombs and are given more weight yet these very stories ravage you of all hope.

Listen: I know I'm going to get flak for what I just wrote. I posted it here rather than in the public forum I wanted to speak my peace / piece in because like I said I doubt it does any good to argue with people whose minds are closed by virtue of their experiences with their loved ones.

I once went to a support meeting where mothers of people with schizophrenia sat around commiserating and at the end of the night one woman told me: "You know a lot of people would be jealous of you." Jealousy does nothing. Seeking out role models who inspire you on your road of recovery is the only option. We can walk together side-by-side on this journey not miles ahead or miles behind each other. Feeling sorry for yourself is not the way to go. Do what you can always do your best knowing your best will change from day to day. As long as you're satisfied you've done your best there can be no shame. Compete against yourself and no one else.

This is in essence my left of the dial life philosophy:

Who cares what everyone else thinks. Be true to yourself.

I have framed the greeting card that boasts that quote and placed it on top of my bookcase. Comparison-itis is a destructive disease. The only truly level playing field is when you compete against yourself.

Yet: I would not judge someone who sat on the couch all day. That is their choice and I respect their decision even if it is not the choice I would make.

We all have limitations and insecurities and worries and fears. The secret is to take action even when we're quaking in our boots.

My core philosophy is that you must be brave and choose how you want to live your life in the face of people telling you what you should do. They don't always have your best interests at heart and they might want you to do something that doesn't jibe with what you know is the right thing to do.

Recovery takes courage. The courage to risk living with the uncertainty about your future and instead live in the now.

It can get better. You just have to believe.

Hold on to your memories of the way it was yet don't let the past cloud your ability to live for today.

Live for today.

It is the only way to live.