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.