Hello Readers and fans. Well, it has been an interesting week to say the least. I apologize that I haven’t been producing as many blog posts as I could have, there has been so much for me to get done. Some of the things I have been doing may be of benefit to you my readers, one of them is that I have been attending a class called “WRAP” or Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and I am learning a lot of new things about mental health and recovery from it. I would encourage everyone who can get access to a WRAP class to take the 10 week course. When you complete it, there is a possibility of becoming a WRAP facilitator for pay as a peer counselor after you take another advanced course for those of you who have mental health issues and want to earn some extra money.
All the monetary stuff aside though, I wanted to share some of what I have been learning with my readers. Yesterday in the class, we watched a very interesting Ted Talk from a woman named I believe McGonigal through YouTube about stress that I would recommend you look into. It talked of a study that was done where people were surveyed as to whether or not they felt stress was bad for them and man of them thought stress and anxiety and all that is very bad, but some felt stress could be a good thing. The ones that thought it was bad had a seriously skewed mortality rate and the ones that thought it was good a much lower one. These are oversimplified of course. Actually, I think I will put a link to the video right here:
watch it and see about stress for yourself, the video is a great tool for people who want to get out and do more, feel better about themselves and challenge themselves.
Aside from that, I thought I would share a bit about my week. As some of you know, I am a writer and I have written and published about 8 or 9 books and I have also been writing for magazines and publishing poetry as well as newspaper articles. All my hard work seems to be paying off because I have been offered a job as a writing teacher for a community writing class. I will start work in June and give three classes, get paid a small amount and hopefully feel very pleased about myself as a result. Add that to the possibility of becoming a WRAP facilitator and the presentations I have been giving for the Schizophrenia Society and I will soon be doing well for myself. The most important thing I feel is to keep busy, and keep my creative energies flowing. I have been discovering new ways of doing this from simply having a car to get me around to taking correspondence courses, volunteering, studying Spanish, this blog and other things. The amazing thing is that if you do something you like, you will get good at it. Then, if you get good at something eventually you will get paid for it except in extreme exceptions. Then, before you know it you have a full and rewarding life.
An awesome example of this is a book I have just finished reading by a disabled Edmonton Journalist named Cam Tait. He wrote a book called “Disabled? Hell No, I’m a Sit-Down Comedian!” and it was very inspiring and emotional. Cam has Cerebral Palsy and had to go through extensive treatments to function from a very early age and has broken incredible boundaries to become a very well loved and well known writer. His Edmonton Sun Newspaper author page is here: http://www.edmontonsun.com/author/cam-tait
I was so inspired by the book I want to help promote the sale of it and will be putting up links to the amazon page when I find the time. I have spoken to Cam, he graciously tweeted about a book signing I had at a local independent bookstore (Audrey’s Books-Edmonton’s last independent book store) and he is planning to do a write up in the Edmonton Sun about me.
Anyhow, I don’t seem to really be able to say much without getting side tracked today. I am taking the WRAP class, I am getting set up to teach a writing class, I am taking writing. It all seems to indicate that I am on the manic side of my illness and need to slow down. Anyhow, maybe instead of getting carried away by the wave of energy, I can possibly surf it to the beach instead. All I want to really say though, is that anyone who reads this who is having a struggle finding meaning in life or has been in and out of hospitals, things really can get better. You definitely can get to a point where life is fun again, medication doesn’t have to take everything away from you. Sometimes it comes down to having a plan, writing down your thoughts each day, writing out what sets you off and laying out how you want to deal with your ‘triggers’ as they call them in my new class. I am really looking forward to taking more of these classes, and the advanced class. For a good part of my life I wanted to be a Psychologist and I think this is about as close as I’m going to get. Anyhow, I want to end things there. No poem for today, but I have one I wrote that is fairly good and really new that I will put in with the next entry, most likely on Sunday. Hope you enjoy the photos, I encourage you to follow the links to the video and to learn more about Cam Tait. Both will be of benefit to you, and as always I welcome you to email me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org
this is a shot of the Brownlee building (left) and the Stovell Block (right) in downtown Edmonton. I have friends who live or have lived in the Stovell Block and no one can really avoid the Brownlee Building. Luckily I have managed to avoid the Remand Centre (far left) which is now being used as a Homeless Shelter.