One of the best ways to write a book is to practice writing everyday. I’ve been thinking about writing a book for a long time now. I want to write about my recovery from mental illness. I want to write a book, but I’m not sure why. I used to think it was because I wanted to help others. I now feel like someone who is “passing” for a normal person. That most people who know me now wouldn’t ever even dream of my struggle with mental illness. I have a lot of things I ‘ve done in my life that I am ashamed of, and I don’t know if I really want to write about those things. I wouldn’t want to embarrass my children or my parents. So, I wonder if I really want to write the book. I keep thinking I need to be just a little more successful before I can write the book.

How successful to I need to be? What is your definition of success?  For now, my definition is that I need to be off disability and holding down a full time job with benefits and also having a little status in my community. I know I was actually successful before I was off of disability. And in this economy defining success by a full time job with benies, isn’t really the best thing to do. Why does anyone have to be a success by how much money he or she makes?  Well, I just want others to see, “yes, it can be done, a doctor can diagnose you will a “genetic, brain disease, give you so much mediation that you are doped up beyond able to function, and yet, you can recover and lead a “successful”, “normal” life.
Writing also keeps me sane. I remember once, when I had been very depressed and the psych doc had recommended that I go into a pych unit…that one of the “excerises was for me ( all of the patients to write down their feelings.) I didn’t do it, not becuase I was noncomplient, no, rather, I didn’t have any feelings. Later, a freind of mine said “you sould have written, ‘Today, I feel nothing.'”  Yeah, I should have. We also  had art thearpy and I made a little plaster puppie. When I go out of the psych unit . I had that plaster puppy sitting on the ledge by my fireplace. But, whenever I looked at it, it just reminding me of my time in the psych unit an dwhat a awlful time it was for me. One day I picked up that plaster puppy and threw it in the garbage.

Which reminds me of another thing I did during that time period. I had a job in which I thought people picked on  me and treated me unfarily. I had the phone numbers of my colleagues written on a piece of paper. One day I picked up that paper and held it over the sink as I lit a match under it and watched it burn.