Thursday, April 22, 2010



I'm working with a creativity coach to update the blog.

I'm reminded of the quote on a dessert plate that featured a fortune cookie: You Think It's A Secret But It's Not.

Certainly altruism isn't a dirty word: if Lauren Bush the model can be an activist I find nothing unusual about ordinary people seeking to change the world.

The handwritten sign found on the wall of Mother Teresa's room tells it all:

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; be successful anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous; be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will forget tomorrow; do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give your best anyway.

For you see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

That manifesto I placed on my desk in one of those black metal frames.

I'm sure mother Teresa only did what she felt was right not what the world thought was right. The poor were her version of a target market. She gave no credence to others who would give up on the neediest members of society.

Not everyone comes to altruism as a life ethic. Others drive BMWs and live in mansions. A life I would not be comfortable living.

Sure: you're young and your brother has a BMW and it's the coolest thing to you. A friend envisions you as the editor of a magazine zipping through the countryside in a convertible. You told this friend she would make a good food editor although the dream would not come true for her and yours would be only that: a dream.

Life goes on.

You turn 45. You realize that Mother Teresa had it right. You tango with today because you danced with your demons early on and they are gone. Another era of your life is gone again.

So you cherish what you have even when it seems you don't have much. You don't need much to be happy: your apartment a computer and a radio. Music sweet music is the soundtrack of your life.

What a life it has been: you can't say it's been like angels on toast yet you're satisfied with how things turned out. You will not grace the society pages of Town & Country and that is OK. You will not be some high-powered someone.

Most days you feel lucky just to be alive and other days you wonder if that is all that really matters: you're alive. You tell yourself it does matter.

You remember that Louis Pasteur is quoted: "chance favors the prepared mind" because you don't believe in luck. A friend wants to brass knuckle any clown who tells her you were lucky.

So you believe the best is yet to be. You realize in only one important way you are lucky: the medication worked as soon as you were placed on it. You know that this gives you the duty to help other people recover. You believe altruism is cool.

Like Mother Teresa I don't place my faith in people who are negative or try to bring others down. You need a certain kind of Teflon to weather the slings and arrows. I understand other people will question my motives and that is OK.

I hope to publish the memoir in due season.

When I wrote it I wanted to tell a good story first of all. I wanted to leave a doubt in the readers mind about how it was possible I have schizophrenia.

Also: I wrote the memoir in the vein of literary nonfiction so it differs from the other SZ memoirs out there. As I re-read the manuscript I kept seeing new facets or devices that were effective. The voice of a book is everything.

It took me a year-and-a-half to find a literary agent who wants to work with me. She got it about the premise of my memoir: healing through creativity.

So look to see this blog take off in a different direction and also for light reading surf on over to Absolute Rouge.

I'll end here by telling you that you have to believe that something is possible. I understand that you might waver in your confidence. I like the Adidas marquee slogan: Impossible is nothing. It hints that doing the impossible is an ordinary thing.

So you need to reach higher every day because recovery is not only possible today it is probable.

Recovery is cool.

Just Do It.

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