Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Bridge - and a poem

The Bridge - and a poem
Originally uploaded by creativity+.
This day is a bridge
To the next year.
Each night is a bridge
To the next day.
As we travel, there is no future.
Just the present - with
A roadmap of possibilities.
The past no longer exists
Except in our memories.
Looking with regret
in the rear view mirror
Only keeps our attention away
From the JOY of watching the
Scenery go by.
Looking back keeps us from going
Forward, safely, and with focus.
Let us cross each bridge with
Fortitude, awareness, and gratitude.
That we have bridges yet to cross,
And a path still ahead.

Timothy K. Hamilton
copyright 2005

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The direction we face counts

Originally uploaded by astrocruzan.
The sun is always there, even during the night. During the day, sometimes we have our backs to the sun and can't see the sun. That's because we may be looking backwards instead of forwards. Kathleen Crowley in her book "Procovery - just start anywhere" helps us realize that instead of looking backwards we need to first look inwards and accept who we are and the disorder we have. Then we must turn and face the sun. Face forwards instead of backwards. Make plans, dream dreams, learn to enjoy the small things in life.

Today, put on some cozy slippers, sip some warm tea with lemon, and grab a favorite book. Something that simple is reaching forward; turning towards the sun!

Monday, December 26, 2005

strange cloud

strange cloud
Originally uploaded by mkm3d.
The dark times and feelings can often fuel our procovery. Why do we call it Procovery? Because Recovery implies returning to a former state of wellness. People who have cancer, diabetes, who are paraplegic, and who have a chemical disorder in their brain cannot return to what they once were. So in Procovery, we try to do at least these things :
1) Accept that we have an disorder (not an illness) that is permanent.
2) Find ways to manage the disorder properly with medicine, and support from peers, health professionals, and family.
3) Look forward, not backward. Make plans, discover possibilities, re-create your life and yourself.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Are you gonna let me in or what?

Are you gonna let me in or what?
Originally uploaded by -Nat.
Sometimes it's simply our point of view that makes all the difference. How many of us have looked at cats in ordinary ways, or lived our lives in ordinary ways.
Find a fresh viewpoint, or at least a different one, and see how things that looked old and familiar change. As someone said: "it's not the world that changes, It is simply our view of it".
Have a very Merry Christmas, or a Happy Chanukah, everyone.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Christmastime prayer

You can substitute ( Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, Great Spirit, etc. for the word God)

Dear father/mother God:
Thank you that we can always count on your love.
Thank you for making such a wonderful world for us to enjoy.
Thank you for letting us make our own choices freely.
Thank you that when we make a wrong choice, it's still OK,
Because you have let us know through your Son
That you will love us
No matter what.
Help us not to be afraid to make new choices in our lives.
Help us find friends who have wisdom.
Give us the courage to try new things.
Keep us from fear,
And guard us in your great and Holy Love.

Timothy K. Hamilton

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Nine Wreaths

Nine Wreaths
Originally uploaded by creativity+.
I photographed these at the Missouri Botanical Garden ( and made a collage.

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to you all!

This is a tough time of the year, so make sure you have a plan for the holidays!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Setting Favorable Conditions for Procovery # 8

8) Keep hope alive. Positive emotions create positive reactions in the body, and negative emotions create negative reactions. While the biology of this is in dispute, the fact of it is not: hope is an enormous factor in healing. There is always reason to hope, and it is a central factor in successful procovery—both as a broadly underlying condition and as an active strategy.

Clearly, hope is a life force in and of itself. A little hope —a remote chance for survival or a small improvement in one’s condition—can give the strength to carry on.—Ernest H. Rosenbaum, M.D. and Isadora R. Rosenbaum, M.A.

from The Power of Procovery in Healing Mental Illness: Just Start Anywhere, by Kathleen Crowley (c) Copyright 2000. Used with permission.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Originally uploaded by creativity+.
Guess what this says. Just one sentence. But it's something to think about. Put your "guess" in the comments section. The first one to guess it will get a prize!!! For real!!!
Several choices. . .

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Setting Favorable Conditions for Procovery # 7

7) Accept backsliding. The process of procovery is often two steps forward and one backward—or sometimes one step forward and two back. If we don’t expect someone to make a perfect soufflĂ© the first time, or win a marathon, or play a song on the piano, how can we expect an individual to procover from serious illness without setbacks or relapses? Backsliding is to be expected in any really difficult matter; it can be an indication of the difficulty of the task. Society applauds a persistent person who succeeds after repeated failure "against all odds," but beats the heck out of people while they are "failing."

The real challenge of rehabilitation programs is to create fail-proof program models. A program is fail-proof when participants are always able to come back, pick up where they left off, and try again. —Patricia Deegan, Ph.D.

from The Power of Procovery in Healing Mental Illness: Just Start Anywhere, by Kathleen Crowley (c) Copyright 2000. Used with permission.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Take time to ponder

My motivator
Originally uploaded by Anyaka.
How about getting out in nature on a cold winter day? Wander into the woods and just find a place to sit or stand and just look. Really look. You are alive and able to see all that beauty.
I don't want any excuses. . .You can bundle up warmly if you really want to!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Get Some Sleep

Dreaming of Truffles
Originally uploaded by Just Jo.
"Remember that the shortest distance between despair and hope is often a good night's sleep."
- Hope Heart Institute

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Teddy Gift

Teddy Gift
Originally uploaded by jeffclow.
Giving. It's one of the best things you can do. Listening quietly and intently to a friend when (s)he's hurting is a gift. Especially when you listen without giving advice, and just let them know that you have heard their feelings.

You don't have to give "things" to give a gift.

You are a gift to the world. It may not feel like it at times. . . How can you use the gift you ARE today?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Setting Favorable Conditions for Procovery # 6

6) Just start anywhere. There are as many paths to healing as there are paths to illness. The process of procovery begins by moving forward in any area, in any increment. Often our lives are so fragmented; just the thought of repair seems overwhelming. "Where do we start?" we wonder. Whether it’s No. 1 or No. 5 or No. 30 on the task list, whether it’s getting a goldfish or getting a job, just start anywhere.

Streams pour into creeks, creeks into rivers, and suddenly you have a Mississippi. —Carol Flinders, Ph.D.

From The Power of Procovery in Healing Mental Illness: Just Start Anywhere, by Kathleen Crowley, copyright 2000, used with permission.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Beauty out of disaster

the awful beauty in disaster
Originally uploaded by algo.
A great photographer, Alex, who goes by Algo on took this after a disaster. He was able to find beauty even in the tragedy of a poluting oil explosion. It is up to us to do the same with our lives. Mental disorder is not something we wanted or deserved. It is just something we have. We can feel sorry for ourselves and wallow in self-pity, of course. Or we can take another path. A path that leads to satisfaction, worth, and a beautiful life. It is simply a CHOICE. What will you choose today?

Monday, December 12, 2005

How's your spiritual life?

Light & Smoke
Originally uploaded by Spunfunkster.
We are mental, physical, and spiritual beings. Neglecting any one of these leaves us less that we can be, and unbalanced. Some ways to be spiritual include:
- a kind act for anyone
- listening intently to a friend
- reading a book that encourages and uplifts
- joining with others in worship
- meditating
- silence in the midst of nature.
And many more. Make it your aim to have a spiritual time daily!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Setting Favorable Conditions for Procovery # 5

5) Recognize that big problems don’t necessarily need big solutions. It would be nice if there were one answer to feeling better, one exercise to do or one pill to take. But procovery is generally reached by an accumulation of helpful things. Small changes can have big impact.

"I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of human pride." —William James

From The Power of Procovery in Healing Mental Illness: Just Start Anywhere, by Kathleen Crowley, copyright 2000, used with permission.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Rose colored glasses

Rose colored glasses
Originally uploaded by kelsana.
How we see the world depend on the lens we see through. When we are depressed, we see only through drab, sad, gray colored glasses. If we are manic, we see through glasses that are more like a kaleidescope. Everything seems brighter and more wonderful than it truly is. This is what a mood disorder is all about, and why we have trouble trusting our perceptions. It helps to have some trusted friends and supporters. It also helps to be seriously involved in a program like Procovery.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by [2]rokbot[2]y.
Don't forget that JOY is out there. No matter how far down into a deep hole of depression you go, there's always a time when you will feel better.

You WILL feel JOY again. I promise. The world is just built that way. Have hope that the universe is not just an accident, and that JOY is ringing from flower to flower, from start to shining star.

Two of a kind

Two of a kind
Originally uploaded by nexus6.
How about a nice BATH today?? It seems funny to talk about this, but most of us who get severe depression tend to neglect self-care. Taking time to "preen" and savor the warm, soapy water ALWAYS makes me feel better. It's a mystery why I/we don't do it more often.
I'm sure our friends would appreciate it, too!

Peeking out at the World

cat no. 28 -Peek a Boo
Originally uploaded by miss pupik.
The world is waiting. It's the same exact world with the same sky, and clouds and sun as it is for everyone else. Take time to figure out why you aren't out there PLAYING and exploring.
Don't make excuses about how you look or feel. DO something with a friend. GO someplace fun. TRY something new. EXPECT something different. . .

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Neuter your Pets

Originally uploaded by fishbert.
and weird friends and relatives. Just thought you might like something to chuckly about today. . .
Remember, you can "start anywhere", relatives, pets, or friends.

Shadow of Love

Shadow of Love
Originally uploaded by jeffclow.
My friend Jeff Clow on made this lovely photo of a ring casting a heart-shaped shadow on an open book. I like the image of being like an open book, with heart and care, and neverending unity (the ring).

Think for a moment about what unites you to others, and I think you will find that caring is one of them.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Setting Favorable Conditions for Procovery # 4

4) Focus on life rather than illness, and strengths rather than weaknesses, identifying and building on what is available. It has been said that teaching to draw is teaching to see; teaching procovery is teaching to recognize what is available in life.

In the final analysis, the question of why bad things happen to good people translates itself into some very different questions, no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it has happened. —Harold S. Kushner

From The Power of Procovery in Healing Mental Illness: Just Start Anywhere, by Kathleen Crowley, copyright 2000, used with permission.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Someone Loves You

sheep still safely graze
Originally uploaded by algo.
It's hard to feel it, sometimes. But whatever you want to call It,Him,or Her (God, Allah, Yahweh, Higher Power, and more) some force is out there. And not just a cold impersonal force. A kind, gracious, loving, understanding, forgiving, warm, generous, strong, creative, joyful, and transforming Force.
Take some time today to focus on the magic of the universe. . .on the fact that Someone loves you.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Setting Favorable Conditions for Procovery #3

3) Focus forward, not backward. Much can be accomplished when we let go of who we were and get to know who we are now and who we can become. Instead of trying to figure out, "Why did this happen to me?" "What could I have done to prevent it?" "What did I do to deserve it?" it is often more productive to ask, "What can I do about it?" and to move forward. This is not intended in any way to downplay the role of therapy and analyzing one's past, which can be a critical factor in procovery; it is intended only to suggest that focusing backward, looking at all one has lost, can be an overwhelming barrier to procovery.

From The Power of Procovery in Healing Mental Illness: Just Start Anywhere, by Kathleen Crowley, copyright 2000, used with permission.

Friday, December 02, 2005

i will survive!

i will survive!
Originally uploaded by virgu.
I hope you find this humorous! There are days when I certainly feel like this. Not even my head is above water. What can and do you reach out for in times when you feel like this?
Do you have a written plan in place BEFORE things get this out of control?

On page 214 of "The Power of Procovery" there is a heading that reads:
"Try not to let a crisis escalate; take early steps you know will help." This whole chapter, WHEN THE GOING GETS ROUGH, has a number of good ideas and options worth reviewing.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Setting Favorable Conditions for Procovery # 2

2) Recognize the power of the individual. As William Anthony, Ph.D., has said, "recovery can be facilitated by any one person." Because procovery can be initiated or contributed to by any individual, at any time, procovery is most easily reached in a climate that fosters individual initiative—whether that of consumer, family, or staff.

From The Power of Procovery in Healing Mental Illness: Just Start Anywhere, by Kathleen Crowley, copyright 2000, used with permission.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Originally uploaded by omnia.
If you look closely, the world speaks to you in voluminous whispers. The secret is to observe, and to be present to the moment.
Life is caught quite unawares by the ability to focus and to pay attention.
What can you find today that is beautiful, and worth giving up one day of your life for????

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Maybe. . .

Maybe. . .
Originally uploaded by creativity+.
A motivational poster I made. I think our focus as a country and a world should be on the causes of world distress. . . and not so much on fruits of that distress.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Suga is blu

Suga is blu
Originally uploaded by Kitten.
Feeling "blue" is not restricted to people. Here's a cute kitty to brighten up your day!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Flower Portrait #44

Flower Portrait #44
Originally uploaded by pinhole.
Another day, another opportunity to find delight in life. Yes, I know what it feels like to be so depressed that nothing seems inviting, interesting, or involving. That's where WILL comes in. . and FRIENDSHIP. You've helped people when they were down. . cash in a few "chips" and ask them to visit, or go fo a walk, or visit the botanical garden. Life IS wonderful, you've GOT to try and see it.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by nikaboyce.
This is a photo of a watercolor of a closeup of a bacterium. What's that got to do with anything??
Fresh eyes, that's what.
Find ways to keep expanding your vision, your appreciation, and your imagination. It pays of in that the world becomes an ever more interesting, exciting place.
"Those who have eyes to see, let them see" said an ancient Galilean.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


Originally uploaded by andertho.
I thought this photo (besides being an excellent composition) was an excellent example of a positive, forward-looking approach to life. Whether we are up, down, or in the "comfort zone", we can be about "Painting our Life". Rather than concentrating on the drab, lifeless parts of our existence, we can choose to concentrate so much on what's good that we almost forget about the pain. Not that we're trying to ignore the hurt. . .

To paraphrase Saint Paul: "Whatever is good, whatever is worthy, whatever is of good repute, think about those things".

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Focus is important

Originally uploaded by deborah lattimore.
Are we focused on the important things in life? Focus is a choice, even though it is partially learned. Are we focused on the past: what was, what can't be changed? Perhaps our attention should be on the present, and also be forward-looking. It helps to be aware of what's good in the present. Try also to act in ways that will make future moments wonderful and rewarding.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Little "Toot"

Originally uploaded by Hilary (curioush).
I'm sure you remember the story. . It's similar to the "Little Engine that Could".
Looking at yesterday's post, you can see that the FIRST step is to believe that possibility exists for you. For wholeness, contentment, peace of mind, and health. We can't achieve ANYTHING we don't believe is possible. It will never happen.
Leave room in your heart, mind, and spirit possibility.
Thanks to Hilary for the stunning photo!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Setting Favorable Conditions for Procovery

Favorable conditions are those that singly or together can significantly ease the path to healing. Like procovery itself, the conditions that are most favorable will differ among individuals. Here are eight conditions that I have seen to be important:

1) Believe that procovery is possible, that an individual diagnosed with serious or chronic illness can overcome it, integrating illness into a productive and fulfilling life.

From The Power of Procovery in Healing Mental Illness: Just Start Anywhere, by Kathleen Crowley, copyright 2000, used with permission.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What does your life reflect?

Originally uploaded by apreussler.
"We don't see things as THEY are; we see them as WE are" Anais Nin.

How you see the world is a direct reflection of who you are. For the world to be brighter, more wonderful, you will need to become more full of joy. The world doesn't change when we are depressed or up, just we do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A New Beginning

A New Beginning
Originally uploaded by Kyle Slattery.
Life is full of contrasts. The flower would not seem as bright were it not for the darkness. The dark is itself made even darker by the presence of the golden petals.
Each day is a new begining. Yesterday is over and done with. Tomorrow doesn't exist.
Cherish the contrasts, as they make life interesting.
Love each day, and your life will be grand.

Monday, October 17, 2005

We don't start out depressed, do we??

Originally uploaded by uaeadorable.
At some point in our lives, a physical, chemical change occurs. Amazingly, we now have wonderful medicines to combat this imbalance. Don't forget though, that YOUR efforts make a difference. You can:
- surround yourself with good things
- develop a support group of friends and family
- Put wonderful events on your calendar that draw you forward
- Participate in a Procovery circle

Sunday, October 16, 2005

yin yang

yin yang
Originally uploaded by Doctor Beef.
This lovely photo is titled "yin yang" the Chinese term for the balance of opposites. A balanced life is quite difficult to achieve. Especially if you are up (manic) or down (depressed).
One of the important tools for maintaining balance is a journal. As you reflect on your day at the end of the day, think about what was balanced and what was unbalanced in your life.
- time alone vs. time with others
- passive rest time and active time
- time spent developing mind, body and/or spirit
- time with old friends and time making new ones

You get the idea.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Life is fragile

Beautifully delicate
Originally uploaded by Liesje.
You can still see the live-giving veins on this leaf/blossom. Life is extreemely short. What will you do with this day? What dreams will you dream? Whose life will you brighten with something as simple as being present to them, smiling, or listening.

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives"
Annie Dillard

Be sure and visit the main Procovery site:

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Taking a spill

california lounge chair
Originally uploaded by astrocruzan.
When mental disorder hits us, it often upsets our lives completely. Sometimes it's catastrophic. At first we swim desperately, trying to keep our head above water. Later, tales from other "survivors" help us to know that there CAN be life after mental illness. Acceptance of what is, and facing forward are essential to reclaiming a productive fulfilling life.

No surfer I know rides facing backward. . .It just won't work.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

It's Not Easy to Be Green

It's Not Easy to Be Green IV
Originally uploaded by CaritoJames.
Nor is it easy having a mental disorder. But I don't have to tell YOU that. Ah, but the important thing is how we use our eyes. . .how we choose to SEE the world. Our attitude can transform the way we view the world, which in turn can transform US. As we take positive control over our lives, our vision spills over onto our friends and anyone with whom we come in contact.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The seasons start to change. .

Snow Mandarin on Orange
Originally uploaded by DigiPub.
Already in parts of the world the snows have arrived. Denver just got 8 inches yesterday.
If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder, are you making plans NOW, while you are not depressed?
Things like:
- A lightbox to help you get the light your body needs.
- Some positive and interesting stuff to read.
- A Procovery Circle to help you have a positive, forward-looking place to be.
- What else? Leave a comment. . .

Monday, October 10, 2005

Falling Apart and Keeping Faith

 Have you ever seen a cracked cloud before? Sometimes our lives are shattered by a mental disorder. We will NEVER be the same again. Learning to accept the change is extreemely important. Then take a look a how you can make your life meaningful, worthwhile, and joyful. It IS possible, but you must look FORWARD, not backward.
So try to be like a cloud,  clouds don't crack or break, they just float!!
Photo by Timothy K. Hamilton, Creativity+ Photography, all rights reserved

Still procovering without formal ties

I am coaching a group of people in which procovery is our common goal but I am out of the formal picture of procovery - institutionally speaking.

For some people the book with detailed steps is helpful. For us, direct communication on taking proper steps and making healthy decisions is working.

Helping others make healthy choices is what I do. Procovery may be the formal name of it.

I hope God and Kathy won't mind if I am a little out of step formally but still quite spiritually in the picture. Direct confrontation is the method I like to use. Can it work? I hope so.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Procovery Strategies - #s nine & ten

Sticking with procovery when the going gets rough. Sometimes in the midst of crisis, all procovery efforts are abandoned or forgotten. But procovery efforts during crisis can greatly determine whether this particular crisis will be just part of the procovery process, a detour on the way to procovery, a turning point toward procovery, or a loss of will in getting there at all.

Self-care actions to take and choices to make. Illness can loom so deadening, so debilitating, so destructive that we assume it requires something strong, powerful, and exceptional to beat it. Self-care may seem too “anecdotal,” too incidental to have an impact. But in fact self-care makes use of the most powerful medicine of all—the active participation of the individual.

Copyright 2000 by Kathleen Crowley. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The sun is always there. . .

Originally uploaded by The Tables Have Turned..
It's just a matter of facing up to it. If we search, we can find that spark, that joy that makes life worthwhile. It requires getting to or finding the right vantage point. And that takes effort we don't feel like making at times.
New perspectives can enhance our experience. Looking at things a new way makes them fresh and new again.

Monday, October 03, 2005

How are you doing at the end of the day?

sunset clouds
Originally uploaded by strollers.
"A single day is enough to make us a little larger, or, another time, a little smaller"

Paul Klee

From the "Procovery Cards" by Kathleen Crowley

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Not happy

It's sad the sometimes we can be so sad in the midst of what normally would be a happy situation. Sometimes we're ridiculously enjoying life when the situation seems so normal to everyone else.
I'ts important to remember that we can see life through glasses that are dark or kaliedoscopic. Neither one is quite real.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Even cats need company

I've been struggling this week with depression, and it's difficult to force myself to be with other people. I skipped choir, and have pretty much been at home, except for facilitating the Procovery meeting.
This photo reminds me that we all need others for warmth, companionship, survival, and happiness.
Spooning for Cats Originally uploaded by txkimmers.

Monday, September 26, 2005

PROCOVERY - The goal of this BLOG

This is a group weblog devoted to :

  • People everywhere who have a Mental Disorder
  • People who have a Mental Disorder AND who are working at PROCOVERY
  • My Friends at the Self-Help Center
  • Helping eliminate the stigma of Mental Disorder
  • Giving people with a Mental Disorder a voice and a forum for self-expression.

Procovery, by the way, is a relatively new concept developed by Kathleen Crowley. She has written a book called The Power of Procovery in healing mental illness. Here's a short definition of PROCOVERY, from the book's jacket liner:

Procovery / n: attaining a productive and fulfilling life regardless of the level of health assumed attainable [vs. recovery, returning to a prior state of health].

Sunday, September 25, 2005

biPolar - What's Up? - Donno, I'm kinda Down

I took this photo myself, and couldn't resist the title. It reminds me of myself.

At times looking down at my feet with nothing worthwile to say or do. Afraid that no one loves me or cares about me. Ashamed of things I need not be ashamed of.

Other times, looking up, with the limitless sky above me. No barriers, no limitations, fearless and (too) self assured.
biPolar - What's Up? - Donno, I'm kinda Down Originally uploaded by creativity+.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Wake up and smell the flowers

Hey, if this little guy could slowly slide up on slime to explore the world, why not you?
Feelings follow actions. You may not FEEL like getting up and going outside, but getting up and going outside will almost certainly make you feel better.

Depression makes everything look worse than it actually is. Remember that, and "just start anywhere" (tm

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Things are not always what they seem!

Originally uploaded by Zsaj.
When I first saw this, I thought it was a caterpillar. Then I realized it was a closeup of a mushroom.
When we're depressed or manic, we often don't realize that the disorder is making us view the world not as it is, but with a strange filter. The filter makes us see things as gloomy, sad, and hopeless if we're depressed. The disorder makes us see the world as way TOO happy, and our vision of ourselves more wonderful than we really are.
It's important to know this and remember that our perceptions can be false during the extreemes.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

New eyes make seeing clearly a possibility

bug eye
Originally uploaded by fly_tosser.
We must see in new ways to overcome the obstacles of the present. Seeing things the way we always have means we will experience more of the same.
So how do we see with fresh vision? Through the eyes of a friend, or a mentor. Through the experience of someone further along the path. Find places and people who stretch your imagination and your view of the world.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Turning towards the sun

Originally uploaded by rockymountainhigh.
If everyone just did what he or she FELT like doing, the world would be a pretty disorganized, unsafe, unkempt place. People wouldn't go to work, wouldn't wash the dishes or mow the lawn.
It's important to remember, even when we are down that: "Doing something good comes before feeling good" (I'm pretty sure that's original).
Even though you don't feel like it, get up, take that shower, and go for a walk. You'll be glad you did!
And turn your face towards the sun - whatever it is for you. You know, the things that make your eyes sparkle and your heart warm.

Passing Storm

Passing Storm
Originally uploaded by nailbender.
If you are depressed, just remember: it will not last forever. Think of the happier times in your life. Hold on to the fact that after other depressions, there was again the light of JOY. Yes, it feels bleak now. But an ordinary day when we're not depressed feels like a GREAT day instead.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Procovery Strategies - #s seven & eight

Using feelings as fuel. The anger, guilt, frustration, and other feelings experienced along the path to procovery are too often seen as symptoms, rather than consequences of illness and/or the procovery process. Taking a procovery-oriented approach of moving forward through ordinary, individual actions, much can be done not only to cope with feelings but also to use feelings as fuel for procovery.

Gathering support. Procovery may or may not involve a health "system", but it is generally not done alone. Finding ways to effectively invite and accept support, as well as match the support to the supporter, can make an enormous difference. William Anthony, Ph.D., writes, “A common denominator of recovery is the presence of people who believe in and stand by the person in need of recovery.”

Copyright 2000 by Kathleen Crowley. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Are you as glad as this glad(iola)?

Glad Abstract Too
Originally uploaded by auntiebs.
Here's some sunshine to start your day. Remember that no matter how down you feel, the world is still a wonderful, magical place. Explore, dream, and discover the beauty and magic. I, too, know what it's like to be unable to feel JOY for months at a time. Be certain in your heart and mind that JOY will return, for it runs deeply in all of us.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Harvest on the Journey

From discussion at the Maplewood procovery meeting last evening I learned an insight. A woman from the group shared her discovery of the word 'perception'! What Kathleen Crowley means in her book is that procovery is about perception. If you perceive that your disorder experience is negative - then just try to perceive that your experience is positive. Take the larger perspective and count your blessings!

Dave :)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Procovery Strategies - #s five & six

Creating change. Sometimes in the face of illness our dreams blow up in our face. It is important to dream a new dream, and once you’ve done this to pick some aspect of it and begin working toward it in any increment.

Dissolving stigma. There is a great deal of talk about stigma, meaning negative judgments and discrimination by others. But the most powerful and destructive stigma of all is inner stigma. People diagnosed with severe or chronic illness often come to see themselves as damaged merchandise, not as strong, or deserving, or likely to succeed as others. Individuals can significantly move toward procovery by addressing inner stigma first. It is often easier to have an impact on yourself than on others, and helping yourself strengthens you to impact others.

Copyright 2000 by Kathleen Crowley. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Trust, risk, and disclosure

It was not until I trusted a friend that I was able to take a risk. Without this trusted friend I had to remain silent about my experience. All of my experiences were only human but growing up in a silent family and a silent culture I had no way of knowing that! The risk of disclosure was met with a loyal confidentiality. Thus my procovery was begun! Knowing that I was not alone in my experience was a tremendous catharsis and relief. I had carried the burden of silence for years and the burden was lifted when I disclosed my experience to first one confidant, then another, and another. Now that my experience is told and I do not stand condemned by either God or my fellow human confidences I am free. I choose to use my freedom to help others reach a similar level of procovery that I enjoy. Maybe others will help me procover to be a greater resource of openness and trust. There is no sanctuary for fear when fear is the enemy.
Dave :)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tranquility - and rest well earned

Apia Harbor Sunset DSC01596
Originally uploaded by -Andrew-.
What can you DO today that will make you feel peaceful this evening? How can you BE that will make you feel satisfied with your life? Who can you reach out to with care and empathy? What is the difference in the world that only YOU can make?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Procovery Strategies - 3 and 4

Medication management. Medication management is a two-way street. Although the physician has the power to “order” or write a prescription, the consumer (other than in the case of forced medication) has the ultimate power to take it or not. Yet in large part, consumers are left out of medication planning—choices, dosage, and timing—and frequently have their reported side effects invalidated or downplayed. Developing a collaborative medication management approach can increase compliance and greatly support the path to procovery.

Uncovering hope. The intangibility of hope is in its measurement and not its effect. Hope can be found in what a person can do and what is available. Growing hope involves having faith in what is possible; recognizing and building on seeds of hope when they appear; and—most critically—not extinguishing it.

Copyright 2000 by Kathleen Crowley, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Monday, July 25, 2005

different lives, working together.

another flying beauty
Originally uploaded by snapshots of life.
It's always amazing to me how creatures that developed so differently have found ways to help each other live and thrive. The butterfly gets food, the coneflower gets another generation of coneflowers. Amidst all the fears of war and terrorism, it helps me feel safer to know that living things can cooperate. What makes you feel safer?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Procovery Strategies - # one & two

Detoxifying the diagnosis. Use diagnosis only to the extent helpful. Individuals are not defined by their diagnoses. A diagnosis can be helpful, for example, to provide a starting point for treatments, can help put individuals in touch with each other for support, and can provide a label for further research. But at a certain point, a diagnosis becomes tremendously self-limiting.

Practical partnering in health care. Bernie Siegel, M.D., notes, “the most important kind of assertiveness a patient can demonstrate is in the formation of a participatory relationship with the doctor. Most patients don’t talk to their doctors or ask a lot of questions for fear of angering this person who is going to ‘make’ them well.” In health care, compliance and choice are often mirror images, and active partnering steps by professionals, consumers, and family members, within current systems, can radically improve the procovery process.

Friday, July 22, 2005

One secret to life. . .part 2

There is something I want you all to know. It is one of the powerful things I have ever discovered in my life. It has been in front of you for many years, in many forms. "Ability is based more on desire and will than on anything else." to quote myself. Here's your final clue. If you still need another, leave a comment, please.