Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beautifully Combined


In Starbucks I bought k.d. lang's Beautifully Combined CD that features songs she hand-picked as her greatest or favorite hits. I like "Black Coffee" a lot and of course "Constant Craving."

The idea that a person can beautifully combine with another person is not lost on me.

Elizabeth Gilbert makes peace with marrying Felipe in Committed-her book about the year leading up to her wedding that saw her researching the topic of marriage and interviewing her friends and the Asian women she met in her travels.

To me marriage is like buying another coffee mug: nice yet not necessary. I'm the last of the independents. I have too much work to do otherwise to be able to cater to someone's needs 100 percent of the time.

Gilbert was forced to marry Felipe because otherwise he couldn't enter the U.S. legally. They had already bought rings and gave them to each other in a commitment ceremony yet had no intention of officially tying the knot until the Department of Immigration tied their hands.

I'm almost done reading Committed- I have maybe 10 pages to go. About 20 pages left of Traveling with Pomegranates.


The thing about recovery haunts me now although I can work it a different way. It is true that for a lot of people the medication doesn't control their symptoms. OK then: what do you do? You do what you can do to make a good life for yourself even with the limitations presented to you. You choose recovery and soldier on in the face of someone like E. Fuller Torrey telling you you haven't recovered and have no chance of recovering.

Torrey's beef is that the recovery movement is not rooted in a scientific method or quantifiable outcomes. He is a dinosaur in that regard. What would he have to say about cancer patients who use creative visualization to help in their recovery? Creative visualization is not a scientifically-proven method.

Are we to infer from Torrey's medical model that the recovery movement is not a useful accompaniment to psychiatric treatment with medication? In the absence of the recovery movement a lot of people diagnosed with schizophrenia would live lives of despair with no hope that they could make their way in the world.

We cannot parrot Torrey's statistics about the number of people who completely recover versus the ones who don't versus the ones who fall somewhere in the middle. These figures are not based on research. Even were the numbers true that doesn't mean one should give up hope. You can live in supported living with dignity and attend a Clubhouse and consider yourself to be recovered even though E. Fuller Torrey doesn't believe you have.

Recovery is in the eye of the person living with schizophrenia-not in the eye of the beholder. This is how I see it and where my thinking could be considered radical. Torrey should not use the word recovery when he is talking about differing levels of remission. You can be in recovery and not be in remission. I'm clear on this when I give talks to mothers and fathers who want hope that their sons and daughters can recover.

That is why the recovery model is not and cannot be a medical model: remission is the accurate term that describes the medical model. Torrey would better serve his readers to make this true distinction because doing so he could offer real hope instead of striking out against those of us in recovery who believe others can recover too.

Not everyone in recovery would consider themselves to be in the recovery movement which is not a distinction E. Fuller Torrey is capable of making either.


My second book is now 112 pages long. I couldn't sleep and began working on it at six in the morning. I added content to one section that strengthens the message I was giving. Tonight I will add a new section to the chapter I've been working on this weekend. That chapter should be done by Saturday. The book is 32,000 words.

Now I will go sign off and get ready to go out.

Enjoy your day.

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