A Recovery Blog

This blog is about my continuing recovery from severe mental illness. I celebrate this recovery by continuing to write, by sharing my music and artwork and by exploring Buddhist ideas and concepts. I claim that the yin/yang symbol is representative of all of us because I have found that even in the midst of acute psychosis there is still sense, method and even a kind of balance. We are more resilient than we think. We can cross beyond the edge of the sane world and return to tell the tale. A deeper kind of balance takes hold when we get honest, when we reach out for help, when we tell our stories.

Saturday, January 20, 2018


"Stop trying so hard to do better, be better, be more.  Who we are and the way we do things is good enough for today.  Who we were and the way we did things yesterday was good enough for that day.  Ease up on ourselves.  Let go.  Stop trying so hard."
                                                                    Language Of Letting Go, July 27

Over and over I have read in support books that it is essential to accept myself as I am.  That is the starting point for healing.  I have also just read in the Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families big book that adult children are extremely hard on themselves.  Adult children internalize the Inner Critical Parent.  The way to heal that part of the self is to cultivate an Inner Loving Parent.  ACA suggests incorporating spoken affirmations into one's daily practice.  It helps me to say to myself "Who I am is good enough for today."  It helps me to say to myself "I am doing the best I can."

Friday, January 19, 2018


"Courage is fear that has said its prayers."
                                    One Day at a Time in Al-Anon

"The first thing to do is to admit to ourselves that we're afraid.  The second is to find out why."
                                    Answers In The Heart, January 19

What I have found through my experience with domestic violence and psychosis is that fear distorts reality.  When I was with my addicted boyfriend, I would anticipate all kinds of coming problems and act accordingly.  I would not give him the benefit of the doubt.  And I know there were times when he was full of good intentions and I was blind to see it because I was motivated by fear.  I knew I was afraid of him and I knew why I was afraid of him, but I allowed the fear to take control and direct my attitudes and actions.  My fear blocked me from reaching out to him and to others, blocked me from changing the direction of our relationship.

My fear while experiencing acute psychosis also distorted reality, fed my delusions and controlled my attitudes and actions.  I did admit to fear when I felt it, but I didn't always know why I was afraid.  There was no one in my life; it was all inside my head and the voices kept shifting and expressing different points of view.  And, of course, the voices worked hard to encourage me towards accepting the delusional story lines.

I've been learning lately to rely on prayer.  I turn my will and my life over to God when I say my prayers in the morning and I reassert that orientation repeatedly throughout the day and night when I ask for direction, when I say thank you.  When a fear comes up, I pray.  When I pray, I let go and let God come in and help me.  

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Real Communication

"Most real communication actually creates the opposite of what we fear."
                                                                           Touchstones, January 18

Despite my social anorexia, my reclusiveness, I have connected with some people and this quote rings true for me.  When I have been honest and vulnerable, I have been received with kindness and generosity and not judgment and rejection.  The problem with my previous love addicted, abusive relationship was that I stopped practicing honesty.  Instead, I repressed and became resentful and this blocked my ability to practice "real communication".

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


"Being honest is how we finally come to know what used to baffle us about our addiction.  When we create a unity between honest feelings, honest thinking, and honest action, we find that we have become honest people."
                                                                          Answers In The Heart, November 3

I see honesty as the life's blood of my spiritual practice.  Without it, I am lost.  Honesty is the prerequisite for communing with my Higher Power.  Sometimes I feel as if I am in denial and that is very uncomfortable for me.  I feel as if denial is a form of dishonesty.  I want so badly to be honest in what I say and do, in how I interact with others.  I need to realize then that I will find the truths I need to understand my experience when I am ready.  Sometimes denial is there for a very good reason.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


"Too often we lose our way by forgetting that we are part of a community, a society, a world.  When we were in our addiction, we closed ourselves off from others and drifted along alone."
                                                                                 Answers In The Heart, January 16

Social anorexia, or depriving oneself of human contact, is an addiction.  I have been practicing this addiction for so long that I lose sight that it is an addiction.  It has become "normal" but it is not healthy for me.  I have hurt myself over the decades by withdrawing from community, society, the world.

I recently discovered another 12 Step group called Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families or ACA.  So many people showed up for this group identifying with the 14 traits, or what the group calls "The Laundry List", who did not have drug using parents or caretakers.  ACA, as a group, decided to include anyone coming from a dysfunctional home.

I come from a dysfunctional home where my parents did not abuse drugs or alcohol.  Yesterday I went over the 14 traits and I found myself answering yes to all of them, if not in the present, then in my past.  I am an adult child.  I've used the label for myself over many years and I have used the label for my brother, who was also so affected by the way he was brought up by our parents.  My addiction to isolation stems from my experiences as a child.

I have come to believe in the reality that there are many, many groups of recovering people all over the world.  I make a daily commitment to join those people when I call my sponsor, join a meeting, read support books and listen to support audio.

My daily call:

The Inspiration Line:  215-574-2120

My weekly call:

The Inspirational Story Line:  215-574-2121

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Work In Progress

Most of the work that I've been doing has taken me a day or two to do, but this one is going to take longer.  I worked on this for an hour or so changing the girl on the left's face and trying to get a likeness for the mother's face, which I didn't succeed at doing.  The proportions may be wrong now and the figure on the side of the painting I'm not sure if I can fit.  It needs a lot of work and that's what I've been wanting lately, a challenge.  Well I've got it.  But I know when I say to myself to stop painting, I should listen and put it aside, which I'm doing now.  I had an excellent teacher in the 1980s who put out a book on painting and in her book she said that it was a good idea to work on several different projects at the same general time, so I have to look for something else to concentrate on....

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mother, Daughters & A Friend

Just started this painting yesterday with a charcoal drawing and with the oil paint today.  The girl on the left side does not look the way I want her to look based on the reference photo I'm using.  Her face and the color of her jacket will change, but I like the contrast between the two girls' expressions right now and I'd like to see the transformation, which is why I've taken pictures as I progress through the process of painting.