Airplane Crash

My heart goes out to the families of the victims of the Germanwings airplane crash that the pilot Andreas Lubtiz allegedly intentionally crashed after having psychiatric problems.

It greatly upsets me that this happened and I’m conflicted about using this news account to speak out to tell my story of how getting the right treatment right away results in a better outcome.

The news accounts claim the pilot had ripped up a medical note that barred him from flying that day. He was also thought to have eyesight problems along with possibly depression. Is it possible he had depression with psychotic features? Or a depression so severe he wanted to take his own life and that of others?

The investigators are diligently researching the options for why this horrific plane crash happened. They won’t rule anything out or settle on one of the options until they have exhausted the investigation.

A woman I consulted told me I could write about how I’ve been in remission from schizophrenia for over 22 years. How I’ve taken my medication every day as prescribed for over 22 years now. How I’ve been a public service librarian for going on 15 years.

As it stands, the intentional crash stigmatizes all over again individuals diagnosed with mental illnesses.

Yet one thing stands out that I can tell you and I will tell anyone when it comes to mental illness: taking a “wait-and-see” approach to see if the symptoms get worse is not the solution. Too often, doctors fear or simply refuse giving a diagnosis early in treatment and they don’t prescribe any kind of treatment at all: the wait-and-see if it gets worse tactic.

Only: by the time a person does get treatment it’s often too late to halt the symptoms and the person will remain symptomatic the rest of their lives.

What I just wrote in the above sentence is a contention I’m willing to state now and in the future over and over again: that early intervention results in a better outcome. That early intervention halts a person from revolving in and out hospitals for years and years like happens to a lot of people that don’t get the right treatment right away.

I met a person who delayed seeking help for a non-psychiatric medical condition until it was too late and the person’s condition had worsened. It’s not ever a good idea to delay treatment.

The list goes on and on of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, who didn’t get help until years after their symptoms first occurred, who continue to have major ongoing episodes.

Psychiatrists, in delaying treatment, are complicit in fostering disability.

I’ll end here on this note:

Take your medication if you need it to be well. You don’t have to be ashamed if you have a mental illness.

And that the Germanwings pilot is the exception not the rule.

More often that not individuals diagnosed with psychiatric conditions hide in plain sight.

We’re librarians, social workers, executive directors, CEOs and other citizens whose illnesses are kept in check because we’re getting the right treatment and we’re getting effective treatment.

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SSI and SSDI Trust Fund to Stop Payments in Two Years

You need to contact our elected officials in Washington to tell them to figure out how to temporarily transfer funds to the SSI and SSDI Trust Fund. The government disability system will not be able to pay benefits recipients in two years unless something is done.

Like I’ve always said: there isn’t a clown car big enough to hold all our elected officials. Our government is screwed up when it gets to point where individuals with disabilities, who live below the poverty line, will no longer receive their monthly checks.

Though Rep. Tim Murphy is a Republican so far I think we can count on him to do the right thing. Other members of the House and Senate also might do the right thing.

As well, the government wants to impose higher Medicaid co-pays on individuals with disabilities and limit the kinds of medication they can obtain with their benefits.

If this scares you, go on the http://www.nami.org website to read about this and to contact your elected officials.

We cannot be silent on this. Why don’t we have the money to pay individuals with disabilities?

All our money went to funding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

We fought wars instead of funding American priorities.

Closet Cleaning

I recommend weeding the contents of your closet in the winter.

The Salvation Army is the charity I send all my good-condition clothes to when I no longer wear them. Remember: only give to charity clothes that aren’t stained or in tatters and are in good condition for others to wear. The item should bring a smile to the face of a person when he or she is the recipient.

Get a tax receipt for you donations that lists every item you’ve donated. If you itemize things on your tax return, you can deduct the value of the donations.

After originally resisting, I went out and bought matching huggable hangers for the shirts hanging in my closet. I still use wooden hangers for blazers and wooden skirt and pant hangers for those items. Yet the flocked velvet thin hangers are visually neater. This could put you in a positive frame of mind when you view the contents of your closet.

The way to cut down the clutter is to not bring it into your house to begin with. Only buy items on sale that you would pay full-price for. You can get coupon codes for a lot of online clothing retailers to reduce the cost of buying the items.

I recommend reading the Life in Color book to figure out your ColorType and StyleType so that you’re able to choose and use clothes that flatter you and reinforce the image you want to project.

I have a 3-tiered shoe rack on the bottom left of my closet and four see-through storage bins on the bottom right of the closet. The bins store scarves of all kinds: each bin holds winter or spring or fall scarves. You can get these bins from The Container Store online.

A solution is to install a second rod above the lower rod to hang off-season clothes. This doubles your storage space in the closet.

You do not need a ton of clothes to be well-dressed and stylish. You only need to buy the clothes that fit your StyleType and are in colors that you look good in.

I will end here by telling readers that as hard as it can be: sometimes you just have to let go of those items you don’t wear anymore. If you can’t fit into them, donate them to charity and buy a couple new items in your current size that fit and flatter your body and suit your personality.

And too: an item of clothing might be past its prime. You might have gotten seasons of wear out of it only to no longer wear that item because it no longer suits you.

Arrange the items in your closet left to right from light to dark and hang like items together: skirts, pants, dresses, shirts and so on.

Organization upfront makes choosing and using your clothes easier each morning.

National Clean Out Your Closet Week

It’s National Clean Out Your Closet week.

I’ve always equated a neat apartment with a clear mind. Messy crib: crabbed thoughts. It might not be entirely true. Yet I’m convinced people diagnosed with mental illnesses need a clear path in our rooms to be able to enjoy our homes.

A home should be happy and healthy to live in.

I’ll share some feng shui tips that can clear your mind:

Only store clothes in bins under the bed. Storing papers and books and other things under the bed disrupts your thoughts.

As you search for an apartment, nix any building that is near electrical wires or a power station or on the side of a highway or on the dead end of a street or in the middle of the street where the street intersects another street.

Nix an apartment where you can see the door to the bathroom directly from the front door entrance of the house or apartment. And bathrooms at the front of the house or apartment are money-wasters. Put the lid of the toilet down not just the seat because in feng shui your money will go down the drain if the lid is left up. See about keeping the bathroom door closed too.

The flow of chi-pronounced chee-should be positive and flow beautifully not be stagnant or cut off. Sha chi or furniture or doorway configurations and doors that create sharp arrows against each other aren’t healthful.

The Chinese place woo foo dogs at the entrances of their homes to promote good fortune.

I will return on Thursday with closet storage techniques.

A Million Thanks Again

Hi everyone,

I want to thank all the readers of this blog for tuning in to hear my positive message of hope and healing.

I’ve reached a milestone: 1,000 views of my Flourish blog since I started writing here twice a week in August. That’s just over seven months of blogging so it’s an incredible feat to me to have so many listeners and readers in the audience.

Grazie. Infiniti grazie. Thanks. Endless thanks.

Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month as well as Women’s History Month.

I have an ongoing interest in clean living and will offer some information I’ve read in at least two places.

Divide your weight in half to arrive at the number of ounces of water you should drink each day.

Divide your weight in half to arrive at the grams of protein you should eat each day.

I’ll keep this blog entry short with a recommendation that Tera’s Whey Protein organic whey protein bourbon vanilla version tastes okay and has 20 grams or so of protein in a scoop.

Pour a cup of skim milk into a blender and add a scoop of the bourbon vanilla whey protein. “Blend” for about 30 seconds or so.

Voila: a cheaper post-workout shake you can make on your own in your apartment instead of paying $3.50/per pop for a shake at the gym.

Have Faith And Carry On

I firmly believe God doesn’t make junk and he doesn’t make mistakes.

Having faith in YOURSELF as well as in a higher power is the goal when you’re going through a hard time.

I didn’t ever ask: “Why me?” I thought: “OK so this happened. What am I supposed to do now?”

Find your purpose and go do that. Seek to be your own version of well. Embrace the struggle and remember that today is what it is and tomorrow can be different.

The most beautiful thing is for all of us to be alive in the world. To live in synch with our personalities and as Oprah Winfrey wrote in her magazine: “to use your personality to do your soul’s work.”

Life can get better. It can truly get better as you get older.

You don’t have to go to church by the way if that doesn’t suit you. You can go out and be in nature. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen.

Having faith can be as original as you are.

I turned away from organized religion after the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11. I chose to have a Christian life in word and deed. Not by warming a chair in a pew and pretending I agreed with the Catholic church’s views on women and LGBT members.

If going to church is your thing, more power to you.

Having faith can make the difference between achieving goals and remaining on the sidelines in your own life.

The Zen quote tells us:

Leap, and the net will appear.