Saturday, August 30, 2008

After 40 years I've Become A Democrat.

My first election I paid attention to was Nixon in "68. I couldn't vote, but I was up most of the night watching returns come in as a Freshman in High School. I devoured and loved the first two books written by Rush Limbaugh. The republican philosophy galvanized my dream of overcoming my legal blindness to take my place in the American Dream.

Even after mental illness, spiritual bankrupsy and being unable to support myself broke my spirit, I hung on to the rhetoric of the Republican party. I tingled to "The Republican Revolution" and "The Contract For America". I slunk down in shame to see the shocking difference between the ideals and the reality of impotence delivered from Washington and elsewhere.

My own life got better as I came to terms with my reality. Thanks to several government programs, I am supported and cared for by God through the tax payers of this country. If the Republicans had there way, I'd have nothing, except private charity. A chill runs through me as I write.

When Bush II wove conservative religion into his inaugural, my heart again filled with hope for the Republican Ideas I still loved. 9/11 cemented me firmly as a republican. I rejoiced when Bush II got four more years. Sadly, I again fought through the bitter disillusionment of what appears to be corruption and incompetence dancing together within the Republican party.

Every time I hear McCain speak, I shudder at his age. Is this the best the GOP has? I just couldn't see myself voting at all in November. But as a U. S. citizen and a Christian, apaqthy isn't an option. I liked Obama's prepared speeches. Now this guy could give a speech!

But Obama without prepared notes is also an embarrassment. He needs to go to Toastmasters for nine months and dump the "ahs" and other problems he has when stalling for time to think of a reply. If I know about Toastmasters, don't Obama's handlers know about it?

But Obama being where he is AT ALL is historic. On the final night of the Democratic Convention I was hooked up live via the Internet to see and hear his acceptance speech. Conservative talk radio made much of the stage. Yeah, ornate, but not the regal set supposed. Nobody was carrying Obama in on a throne...

During that speech I switched parties. For the first time in my life I actually gave money to a candidate. When I hear and watch Obama, he brings back hope, optimism and a willingness to help him become president. When I hear McCain talk, I wonder how much longer he'll remain healthy enough to stand up.

So now McCain has picked a fiery woman from Alaska as his running mate.

Too little too late. I am moving on.

Since Thursday evening I've gotten four different emails from the campaign, Obama, Bidan and even Michelle Obama! Sure, they are trolling for money, but each email also has campaign news and friendliness. I like their style and will alert them to this blog, as part of my continuing contribution to the cause.

I hear my republican friends howling that I'm being taken down a river of rhetoric. Yeah, inflation is eating me alive and your people got us here.

Obama cries out: "Its time for a CHANGE"

and I join in the national reply: "YES WE CAN!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

After You're Done With Therapy, what's Next?

A friend has just started down that hard road of therapy. She's wiped out all the time and can't figure out why she doesn't want to do anything besides sit around and ... I informed her that right now therapy IS her life and there isn't much energy left over beyond that for awhile. How long? I can't answer that, but berating yourself for not progressing faster just saps energy better left available for the healing process.

I, on the other hand, have been through both the talking part of recovery and still take medication to manage my screwy brain chemistry. After therapy you begin to build a life. This blog is my example of that process, as it is happening. I stumbled along for awhile and slowly my "today" took shape. 

I have lots of work to do for my church. I am still working on not burning myself out doing the work-a-holic routine. It is so hard  to believe that I don't have to run myself into the ground to PROVE to God that I love Him. But I am getting much better at working at my job a few hours a day. Then I can enjoy other activities at will.

If you have come from a serious abuse history, your work is never totally done. I am now investigating some emotional issues. I have arranged to get into some short term group work for the problem. I was so relieved to finally find a place I can deal with my problems about emotions. Well, I came home and wept. Thanks to being on proper medication for my bi-polar disorder, I cried for maybe ten minutes and not several hours. What working your process gives you is this kind of control and freedom.

There was a time when being sad about a problem would hang my entire life up for days, weeks, or even months. It was just plain awful.

The wonderful part of being emotionally healthy is how life is always moving, changing and expanding. My church work keeps evolving. I now produce CD's of sermons I also put up on the web. So, I had to again dive into learning about how to make labels and packaging for CD's.

When I start something new, it feels like I'm dumb as a stump. Not a true evaluation. I ignore it and push on to produce labels and packaging. When I don't hassle myself for the learning "errors", the process almost becomes fun.

I am learning to apologize when necessary. Recently, I had an exam by a Dr.  She and I were both having a bad day. In my opinion she behaved badly, but for sure I behaved badly also. We basically sniped at one another.

Upon reflection, I felt bad for my part of the encounter. It was clear that my Dr. was having a bad day (before my entrance into her day). For sure I didn't make her day any better. So, I shot off a brief email of apology for my own snooty behavior. To my surprise, I got a very kind response. Probably made her feel better also. 

Another thing that begins to appear in a busy life is marvelous tech toys which solve problems.
I am totally addicted to my new Palm Z22. A little device I originally bought for reading all my eBooks. I have over 1,000 titles put together by a loving friend. The Z22 has a way to set it up so I can use reverse video. I can read anywhere and am no longer tied to my computer, or a stronger-than-normal light source.

I am also discovering other uses for this nifty gadget. I can take hand written notes on it, like I used to try and do with pen and paper. Notes never get crumpled up, or lost now. Oh, how sweet it it!

Finally, I bought a portable exercise machine, a ski-stepper. Actually use it too! Again, no marathon sessions, just a little exercise every few days.

So, for my dear friend just starting on the journey of recovery,  be PATIENT! Yeah, I know, I wasn't patient either, but I wish I had been able to hear that message when I was starting out in recovery.