Tonight I’ve changed the wording in a couple of sentences in the book description for Left of the Dial on Amazon.com.
You live–you change your mind. I deleted the reference to achieving a “pre-illness dream.” I replaced it with wording that you can have your own version of a full and robust life.
Going on over two years since the memoir was published I’ve learned something profound, more realistic, and hopeful in terms of what is possible:
That when we get older we can discover that we have a new talent that we didn’t have before we got sick.
This is the real hope. The truth is that the illness can attenuate for a lot of us in our older years. So the point isn’t that to be considered successful we must–or can–achieve our pre-illness dreams.
The point is that I didn’t achieve my pre-illness dream of getting a Masters’ in Journalism.
This is the far more remarkable thing: that a person can have better life after they’ve had a breakdown than before. And this life isn’t always the one we wanted or expected to have.
Nothing succeeds like persistence. Recovery isn’t quick and it isn’t easy–it’s challenging and hard at times. Yet it can be a beautiful expression of the potential within each of us to do some kind of personally meaningful “work”–paid or not.
There’s an ending to the expression: “When one door closes, another door opens.” It’s this: “Yet we often look so longingly at the door that closed that we don’t see the one opening before us.”
It’s a mistake to regret what cannot be. It’s a gift to embrace what life has in store for us when we dare to walk through the open door.
No one else has stated in these exact words what I’ll be the first person to tell you now:
Recovery is an open door.