My next book, planning stages

Right now, it’s hard to get myself engaged in a large project of any sort given that I am easily fatigued.  It takes more careful planning than it did before, and I have to take into consideration that I need more daily rest than I did in the past, due to reduced kidney function.

I need to explain here.  When the kidneys are working at a lower rate, the blood isn’t as good quality.  Anemia is a given and red blood cells are generally inferior quality.  They don’t work as well as healthy cells.  At under 30% kidney functioning, there’s only so much you can do with diet to change this.  What I’ve found is that I do just fine simply knowing that I need more rest.

More rest isn’t the same as more sleep.  More rest isn’t the same as sitting around on my butt watching TV all day.  Hardly.

I honestly believe that if I’d spent the past 20 years spending three or four hours a day in front of the TV, like the average American, I’d probably not have lived this long.  Think about it.  How many hours a day do YOU watch TV?  How many hours a day is YOUR TV on?  I think TV shortens lives, but that’s just my extremely biased opinion.

I was discussing city living vs country living with a city-dwelling friend of mine recently. Which is healthier?  We agreed that living in the city without a car is far healthier despite those country-dwellers’ claims that the air is cleaner in the country.  The average country dwellers’ exercise consists of walking from their front door to the car and back.  City dwellers walk many blocks every day just to get by. Add a dog or kids to the mix and you’ve got an active person, even without joining a gym or taking up yoga or jogging.

So what do I mean by “rest”?  I mean I have “down time.”  Relaxing time with Puzzle.  I used to be on the go all the time, and now, I’m not.  I’m often tired.  I conk out.  I forgive myself when this happens.  I need to be loving toward myself and realize that conking out is okay.  Sometimes, I ignore the fatigue and carry on, but other times, I take off my clothes and shoes, lie down, invite Puzzle to lie with me, and the two of us veg out together in a darkened room, often for hours.  It feels good, too.  Then I get up again.

Sometimes, while we are lying together, I think up fantastic writing ideas.  I have a voice recorder within reach by my bed for those moments, so I can quickly take note of my ideas.  I also have pencils and a notebook available and a flashlight to see by so I don’t have to reach as far as the light switch.  If I fall asleep, fine.  I’m sure I needed it.

At any rate, I’m gathering steam for my next large project.  I’m wondering how I can get this accomplished.  Most likely I’ll have to do it in smaller chunks.  I plan to work from an outline because I feel that I work well this way.

I like some of the ideas I’ve used in previous unpublished works from the past few years.  I haven’t gotten into too much detail about all of these ideas and theories just yet.  I want to think about which of my ideas are unique to me and which ideas are simply reiterations of what others are saying.  There are many books out there that are only repetitions of what has already been said. They may be well articulated, but they don’t contain original ideas.  These books receive heavy criticism for that reason.  I certainly don’t want that!

There are some books that contain quite a bit of reiteration, but also contain a few original ideas or reword some ideas in new ways enough to certainly make the book a worthwhile read.  In fact, most of the  so-called self-help genre is repetition of what’s already been said.  It’s reworded and maybe people find the new versions more accessible, more humorous, or more easy understand, or sadly, written at a lower reading educational level, with shorter chapters, assuming we all cannot concentrate and are easily bored.  Or the books talk down to us like we’re in kindergarten.  Maybe you know some books like that?  I think we all do.

I like the idea of using memoir as a take-off point, which is how I write anyway.  I want to talk about awakening.  I feel that for me, the ONLY way that I’ve been able to rid myself of this so-called “eating disorder” is by recognizing my drastic dependency on the System (the mental health system, that is).  I realized that I never should have set foot into it in the first place.  It was only through complete reversal of the dependency that I was able to rid myself of my eating disorder.

Anyone trapped within the System ends up dependent.  It’s a given.  When you leave, it’s as tough as any divorce.  You hurt just like you hurt from any divorce.  It’s a nasty divorce just like any divorce is bound to be, and trust me, there are aftereffects.

Yes, I’m still suffering from PTS___ from psychiatric abuse.  I won’t call it “disorder,” because as I’ve stated, PTS___ is a natural fear reaction. It’s specifically from psychiatric abuse. But it’s fading now.  I don’t flinch as much like a scared animal, and I’m not as fearful and I’m not so panicked that I’m going to get randomly “sectioned.”  I’m not so scared anymore of someone threatening me or of people with stethoscopes like I used to be.

I do have nightmares of being taken away, or of people showing up at my apartment and trying to rope me into “programs” and various unwanted and invariably abusive situations that are disguised as “help.” I wake up from these nightmares but I feel good, not bad.  I like having nightmares.  I never slept so well before, so I celebrate having ANY dreams as victory over past insomnia.  I’m glad I didn’t fall for taking any sort of addicting benzos or psychiatric drugs to get to sleep.  I’m glad I didn’t fall for the argument that I was manic, cuz I was anything but!  I wasn’t “mixed,” either.  Such baloney! If you have bad kidneys you are bound to have a lot of trouble sleeping, and the last thing you should put into your mouth are psych meds!

Was I paranoid?  That was a flimsy argument.  Whenever I complained about bad care, my doc would pull the “paranoia” card.  So considering my doc’s track record, readers, judge for yourself.

In my next book, I want to talk about how it’s easy to fall for the System, and how it’s easy to be convinced that you have a psychiatric diagnosis “for life.” Patients are easily tricked using the “diabetes comparison,” when mental illness (if it exists at all) can’t be measured scientifically.  It’s all opinion, passed on from the time you are diagnosed till you die.

But these are not original ideas.  I want to talk about what ‘s original to me.  I think I have enough original ideas to fill an entire book.  Just watch.

2 thoughts on “My next book, planning stages”

  1. Julie, judging from what I’ve read of your blog posts here, (probably not even half of them…) I’d say you already have material for a book. And witnessing the (re?)akakening of your anger against the System has been very exciting. (If only other psych survivors were so pissed off!)
    About the “diabetes” line that they use to convince people to take their poison, Peter Breggin wrote in Toxic Psychiatry that there’s a standard text for shrinks- used at nearly every medical school in the US that trains headshrinkers- and he quotes it saying something to the effect of (and I’m only paraphrasing) “Of course it’s not true, we don’t know HOW lithium works, but those poor manics need something to beleive in.” I’ll dig it up and scan it if you’re interested.

    1. Hi John,
      I really need to verse myself in the literature. I’ve got a writing gig coming up, too, something local. I don’t want to talk about it till it’s up online then just put up a link to it once it’s posted. I’m in the process of writing it. It’s quite difficult to do. It’s a matter of “too much material.” Know what I mean? I need to decide what’s in, what isn’t. You’ll see. Anyway, super excited to again get myself out there. I have so little opportunity. Especially locally, as you know. No credibility ’round here. But I’ll show ’em.

      Julie

Feedback and comments welcome!