Saturday, July 15, 2006

The path ahead

On her way home
Originally uploaded by Sdgard.
Perhaps we spend too much time looking at the ground, or looking backwards. One of the gifts of being childlike is awareness, and a delight and joy about so very many things around us. Notice that, just outside the frame, someone is carefully watching this child. Someone offering protection, care, and Love.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Mixed State ?

Another touch of Blue
Originally uploaded by Arnold Pouteau's.
I'm not sure I've ever had a "mixed state", a combination of depression and mania. Maybe this is what it's like visually. Blue, but with some bright lights of excitement as an accent. Usually, I hear from friends that there is some anger mixed in. Not surprising, since an old therapist once remarked "Anger is the antidote to depression" (Mark Robinson).

Whatever state your mind is in today, accept it, rage against it, but be aware of it. Know that it will pass.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

To the Editor of Bipolar Magazine

The following letter has just been sent, and hopefully will be published by the excellent "BP magazine":

Thanks so very much for your wonderful magazine dedicated to providing information and hope.

I've not seen any mention (or links on your RESOUCES page) to the PROCOVERY movement. Kathleen Crowley created the concept of Procovery.

"The Missouri Department of Mental Health (MDMH) announced on March 25, 2005 that it is adopting a Procovery treatment philosophy and rolling out through Missouri's service delivery system over the next three to five years." (Quotation from - a press release is available from that site.)

In just 15 months, there have been hundreds of Procovery facilitators trained in Missouri. There are now over 100 active circles across the state of Missouri.
People with a disorder, their support persons, and professional staff all can participate in Procovery circles.

The word Procovery means "attaining a productive and fulfilling life regardless of the level of health assumed attainable (vs. recovery, returning to a prior state of health)"*. The principles and strategies of the model of Procovery define a forward-focused, hope-centered, and practical approach for finding healing and building life with serious and chronic illnesses, injuries and trauma.

As someone who was fortunate enough to be trained as a facilitator 15 months ago, I've started two circles. One is at a Residential Care Facility with 38 residents. The circle there is completely voluntary, and we have about 1/4 of the community active and "Procovering" on a weekly basis.
I'm also starting two Procovery circles for homeless people at two downtown churches that have programs for the homeless. Procovery has been so very life giving for me, and I've seen many friends "blossom" because of the support and positive structure of the circles.

For more information, just visit

or my blog "Procovery - and Friends" at

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

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bipolar - illustrated

tool 2
Originally uploaded by parasites.
This photo isn't real. . . but it's very well done.

I thought this photo was disturbing and eye-catching.

It reminds me of how strange it is to be in the world of bipolar or unipolar disorder (unipolar is usually called depressive). I sometimes feel like I have three sets of eyes. It’s like they rotate in my head. They take turns being my main source of seeing and interpreting the world. I have the "down" me, the "up" me, and the "normal" me. Each "me" sees the world differently. My depressive eyes see gloom, doom, and disinterest. To my manic eyes, the world is uniformly marvelous, exciting, and at times chaotic.

When I'm up, I buy several of whatever needless thing I'm buying. Then I can share with friends who don't need the stuff either. And I do this whether or not I have the money.

It's not easy having strange eyes that I can only manage to some degree. People think, "Oh, all of us have up days and down days". Trust me, it's much more severe than that. And when I'm down, it seems to last forever . . . . . . . .

From the Mountaintop

vittorio sella
Originally uploaded by maisharefu.
Sometimes you feel like you have been climbing for a really, really long time. You are worn out, tired, barely able to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Take just a moment to look back at the place you came from, at the distance you've traveled. You might be surprised as well as encouraged.

It helps to talk your progress over with a friend. . or in your Procovery Circle. Others can help us see the view from our new "location" better than we can by ourselves.

Procovery means we don't look back to what cannot be changed. But it's OK to look back with pride to what we have accomplished, and accomplished with our friends.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Meeting Under The Sun

Meeting Under The Sun
Originally uploaded by * Honest *.
Honest is a woman with a great vision. In the caption for this photo she writes:

"Take time for yourself, take a break, look around, ask questions, be curious. Remember to breathe to truly breathe from the inside out."

Being aware of our Being, just being is a wonderful way to focus. Whether you are in pleasure or pain, depression or euthymia, just being aware takes you right to the CORE of life.