Yes You Can

I’ve changed the quote at the top right of this blog.

Years ago circa 1989 when I was shunted into the day program a woman I met told me: “Not a lot of people with a disability could do what you do.”

It’s true that I took offense at this because I thought it was possible to do these things.

As of today the proof that Yes You Can really is that we are “individuals” living with a mental health challenge. Not “consumers” or “schizophrenics” or any other label.

Each of us has the potential to do the things that give us joy and happiness. Each of us has the potential to heal and have optimal mental health. Each of us has the potential to flourish doing what we love.

Harboring jealousy at other people isn’t the way to live our lives.

Today in 2017 I can adamantly rebut that woman’s decades-ago comment with this:

You don’t have to become an Ivy League lawyer or a famous writer to get on with  a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life after you receive your diagnosis.

That’s the distinction I’ve always made in the various incarnations of my blog:

Often our internal roadblocks limit us more than external factors.

The goal I dare say is to be happy and healthy–that’s the true aim of living in recovery.

Each of us gets to define what happy and healthy looks like for us in our own lives.

Again it goes back to what I’ve written about self-stigma. If you’re trashing yourself or someone else because they’re a cashier in Rite Aid, that’s NOT right.

The woman who commented to me that way in the mists of time was an exceptional baker. She could cook like you wouldn’t believe.

So if you are a creative chef creating culinary wonders that’s your version of happy and healthy.

I thought about this woman’s comment today because I was talking with my literary agent who’s as visionary as I am in championing mental health.

Years ago when I first started blogging I had the audacity to claim that most people could recover and go on to have your own version of a full and robust life.

Frankly I’m tired of so-called experts claiming that no one can recover. I’m tired of getting attacked because I choose to focus on on the positive instead of dwelling on symptoms and lack and deficits.

The point is: if you can bake a souffle you’ve got that over me.

Any questions?

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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