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.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Becoming more open about who we are - Part ONE

There must be more stigma about mendal disorders than almost anything else. (Note: Under the umbrella of "mental disorders" I'm including bulemia, anorexia, self-mutilation, schizophrenia, mania, depression, bipolar disorder, and more.) The reason I say this, is that millions (yes millions) of people are affected by these mostly genetic and chemical disorders, and yet only a tiny fraction feel they can be open with other people about their disorder.

"Coming out of the closet" is a term used by homosexual individuals to describe the process of self-revelation. Similarly to a mental disorder, people with same-sex preferences have had to "hide" a part of who they are, a part of their essential being and personhood. One way to become aware of what gays as well as mentally ill people go through is to imagine a world where heterosexuality was condemmed. In that scene, people who liked the opposite sex would be a minority. So they would likely be misunderstood, mistreated, and maligned. They could not be open about their "dirty little secret" because it would have severe social and employment consequences. To even consider becoming more "open" about who we actually are is a supreme act of courage. And yet, as one of my favorite therapists Mark Robinson once said: "There are very few true needs, but one of them is to be fully known".

Click on the title for a link to a great article discussing the "Risk in Emotional Disclosure"

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

One secret to life. . .part 1

Here's a little puzzle for you. It is one of the things I have found out about life. This is true especially as someone with a mental disorder. See if you can figure it out. If so, tell me what you think it means, and whether or not it has been true for you!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Procovery at the poverty level

"The experience of poverty magnifies the experience of self-stigma. People lose there sense of self-worth, their confidence, and their ability to hope or dream of a better future. Consumers describe this process as 'spirit breaking.' "
from The Power of Procovery - page 121
Copyright Kathleen Crowley, 2000, used with permission.

Many consumers have to live on a tight budget. This can be seriously restrictive: even 'spirit breaking'! It is sad that one's resources are limited to the point of - creatitivity shattered.

My coping method for limited income is gratefulnes for phone contact and people contact between us poverty level consumers. Even a poor man can use the phone or visit a friend. Let us find institutions in our selves and our relationships when we cannot depend on incomes and resources. Jesus says life does not consist in the abundance of our possessions. He knew the richness of 'humanity' alone. We risk our vulnerability when making friends but there is the chance of friendship for a life-time.

Dave :)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Alia - Hope, Confidence, and Love

Most of us barely remember the time when we had no fear, complete trust, and had no reason to believe that the world was anything but wonderful and safe. It was tremendous Love and dedicated care that gave us those feelings. Trust now that the future holds good things for you, that you CAN be content, free from worry, full of hope. Look at Alia's face, and reach deep inside for the Love that's there.
Alia Originally uploaded by photomiller.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Water lilies

Sometimes things in life actually come together: they meet in the same place, same time. Like this photo of mine. . .

Right place: Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Right time: waterlilies in fresh, full bloom.

Right moment: light wafting through their translucent petals.

But it won't happen if you stay at home. "90% of life is just showing up" - Woody Allen. Get out, meet a friend and go someplace inspiring!

2601-1k Water lilies - unretouched Originally uploaded by creativity+.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Facilitator not the star of the group

The second meeting of the maplewood procovery circle was very successful in that nine people attended and shared quite openly. We 'just started anywhere' since the group is in it's formative stage. I thought everyone shared very well being open and honest with each other. I admit that the one hitch in this meeting was my fault when I opened my big mouth once too often. I was the offending party and I hope the victim and the group will forgive me. Everyone is still welcome to attend and I hope to make amends next Monday. My lesson: sometimes the facilitator is weak in comparison and poor in judgement. Please give me another chance.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Attitude, baby!

Nobody can stand up for you like YOU can. It takes grit and determination to survive, let alone get healthy. This cat's not going to let anyone steamroller him. Look into those eyes and take courage. . .
The nice thing is, that Procovery reminds us that we can "just start anywhere"

attitude, baby! Originally uploaded by snapshots of life.

Monday, July 11, 2005

There are Choices every Day

neighbors VII
Originally uploaded by Liisa.
Which door will YOU choose? One leads to self pity, self-loathing, isolation, and possibly suicide. The other door leads to confidence, possibility, satisfaction, meaning, hope, friendship and life. Each day, you make a choice. What are your choices today? Procovery? Isolation? Self-pity? Moving forward? Wishing for a past that can NEVER be again?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

My nephew, who has traveled extensively told me. .

a story about Africa: Something I didn’t know. That when an elephant reaches puberty, the are driven away into the forrest by the herd to have a time of testing. “Sometimes,” he said, when they are in the forest, they mate with a rhino, because their urges are so strong. They often produce a hybrid offspring” he said. “kinda like a cross between a donkey and a horse (a mule)”. I asked him what they called the strange creature. “elephino!!” was his reply.

Friday, July 08, 2005

black swallowtail caterpillar

Sometimes life is an uphill climb. Sometimes it feels like there's no end to the climbing, and the effort. Taking time to find ways to enjoy where we are right now can keep us from being overwhelmed by the difficulty of the journey.

osmeterium (not tongue) of black swallowtail caterpillar Originally uploaded by mimbrava.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Crown Jewels

Crown Jewels
Originally uploaded by Lady-bug.
The beauty of this made me think of the ugly violence today in England. How very much we need to find beauty, trust, and acceptance as humans. It's out there for the taking.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

First mixer meeting July 6th

I facilitated my first procovery meeting and although their were only two of us, I felt it went well. The other attendant said she would like to return. Maybe next week we can lift this beginning off the ground with a few more attendees. She was invited to contribute to this blog since she is very computer savvy. I am a happy camper once again!

More later,


Monday, July 04, 2005

Up in the Air again?

Having a hard time keeping your feet on the ground?

Try looking up.

Try looking inside.

Try looking to others.

Try looking for hope.


João Pedro Originally uploaded by Um dia. Uma foto..

Saturday, July 02, 2005

1k-1899 - Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Happy Sleepy Furry Sunday!

Happy Sleepy Furry Sunday!
Originally uploaded by slight clutter.
Many of us with a mental disorder miss out on life by getting up way too late. When we are depressed, the desire to get up and be active in a lifeless, joyless world can really be tough.
Have you ever felt like this cat?