Sunday, 13 February 2011

Schizophrenia and Self-Help

Hi all

I was re-organizing my 'favourites' list on my laptop yesterday and found something called 'Living Life to the Full' - a free CBT online programme, supported by the NHS. I must have added it long ago and forgotten, but it looks like a really useful resource, and I am going to give it a try very soon. I will let you know how I get on - meanwhile, take a look yourselves!

I am a firm believer in self-help (partly because I am suspicious of the motives of other people - NB this is not so good). There are loads of books out there, and now even more stuff online, that can be helpful in the quest to self-improvement of all sorts. Key to it all, I think, is learning to like oneself. It may be useful for the guilt ridden among you to bear in mind that nobody is pure of thought and deed; we all have bad thoughts and impulses but as long as you don't act on any of them, and always try to be the best person that you can, that is usually fine.

I was watching my daughter at a concert last night, and started to feel a panic attack coming on. It was awful. But I reasoned my way through it and it passed. Which was great. I did it mainly by trying to look outside myself (important, this, because is is often the feeling that you are the centre of attention that brings these things on, and it is entirely illusory) and by trying to concentrate on the music itself, which was wonderful and deserved all the attention I could give it. And my wonderful, beautiful daughter too - she is a star.

It has been raining a lot today. The other half has been out, helping somebody to fix something, and the kids have been restless. I really should have taken them out somewhere - but then again maybe it is good for them to be bored sometimes. After all, life is not a constant series of entertainment... They have made a tent, watched some TV, I have read Toddler a series of books. A normal quiet Sunday.

But I always feel that I could be doing more. My sister-in-law, who always speaks her mind, told me quite firmly the other day that I should stop thinking like this, 'Because you are the best mother there could be. And what does that say for the rest of us if you think you don't do enough?' I was touched by this, because she is not the sort to give unnecessary compliments. But then, there is a lot she doesn't know about me - she met and married my brother after all my breakdowns, he never told her I had been ill and asked me not to (there is a lot more to the story than this, but here is not the place). So she doesn't have any prejudice - but I still think if she knew my diagnosis her perception of me would shift dramatically, a light would go on, 'Ah, that's why...' and suddenly I would be pidgeonholed as a nutcase.

Anyway, I am still working on the self-help, as you can tell. Maybe it's an ongoing process, or maybe I need an external point of focus in my life. But for now, I am a bit inward, because the memoir is raking up a lot of memories and I am looking at them afresh almost every day - not easy. It's up to 52,000 words now, so by the summer the bones should be done, then I can work through for a month or two, then hopefully lay the thing to rest. Somebody told me it would take a year, and it looks as though she is spot on - but that somebody has written numerous books herself and so obviously understands the process.

Enough for now. More anon.


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