Lizard with a new skin

I haven’t posted for a while because (a) there hasn’t been much to say and (b) I am in writer’s slump re the sugggested edits on my book. The edits are going very, very slowly. I have completely dismantled some of the chapters, but don’t know how to put them back together again. So, I joined a gym yesterday in an attempt to shake away the lethargy.

Chris is like a lizard with a new skin. He’s really excited about the job with the artist. He takes a two hour train ride there and back and stays overnight. (Journeying is good for growth.) When he’s not helping the artist with his projects he helps the artist’s wife with her garden and communes with the animals on the farm next door. He is beginning to talk about plans for his future. I just let him talk. I don’t get caught up in it. When he’s ready, he’ll jump.

It’s going so well, I wonder why I doubted this kind of outcome in the past. Well, it’s easy enough to see why the doubts set in. The big culprit is the so-called “diseased brain.” There is absolutely nothing you can do with a diseased brain, is there? It’s like settled concrete.

Coincidentally, into my mail box seconds ago came the following epistle from Will Meecham, MD, MA, entitled The Death of Mental Illness.

Only during the past few years, as I took up meditation and began exploring holistic methods of healing, did I begin to feel well. In fact, the change occurred rather quickly once I started meditating, tapered off the cocktail of psychiatric drugs, and quit hanging out at the mental health clinic. My once rock-solid conviction that my mind was ill gradually dissolved, and I began to wonder if I’m perhaps one of the healthier persons around, simply because I’ve worked so hard to achieve balance and peace. And if my ‘symptoms’ forced me into this growth, shouldn’t I be glad they afflicted me? Should I still consider my mental health issues as diseases, or were they gifts?

I’ve already sketched how psychiatrists diagnosed as mania an experience that in another time and place would have been viewed as a divinely granted spiritual awakening. My epiphany landed battered and defamed in the charnel grounds of mental illness, when it could have been an elegant container of grace.

Although the biomedical doctrine of ‘mental illness’ caters nicely to pharmaceutical interests, it serves patients poorly. Let’s give the skullcap a nice burial, and start over with some more elegant and uplifting concepts.