Progress Report (as posted on Facebook just now):
Progress Report: Today is my 56th birthday.
1. I am alive.
2. I have a roof over my head. I paid my rent this month.
3. I am able to speak English fluently. My speech is no longer slurred because I no longer take antipsychotic drugs.
4. I have amazingly healthy skin and hair. I don’t have to worry anymore about pimples or excessive sunburn, both side effects from medication I once took.
5. I still get my periods. Just about every month. Guess that means I’m not pregnant, eh?
6. I no longer suffer from any hand tremors nor do I have trouble keeping my balance the way I used to when I took psychiatric medications.
7. I recognized over the past year that after all these decades, I never had a mental illness. I believe that most that end up in mental health care aren’t as sick as they are led to believe. I myself was completely convinced I had a terrible, limiting illness for a long time. I am free of this false belief.
8. There’s enough food in the house for me and Puzzle. I cook some for us every day. I am no longer forced to follow a meal plan and no one babysits how much I eat or what I weigh. I have gotten rid of the excessive monitoring and am finally free to live my life as a responsible adult, and as a result, I am doing fine with eating.
8. I own a bathroom scale. I love that it’s my choice to own one or not. Now and then I dust it off and step on it. After 56 years, my own weight bores me, but I do have to keep an eye on Puzzle’s.
9. I am no longer enslaved to the Mental Health System in any way. I am liberated from the grind of weekly therapy sessions and forced weigh-ins, nor do I ever see a psychiatrist. I am free of all programs and support groups as well. I do not receive any visits from state workers or any type of “services,” only financial assistance.
10. I would like to get a job if I can find one. I would like to get more involved with other writers over the next year and work on a new long-term project.
So many people have reacted negatively to this new way I have chosen. So this shift, this change wasn’t easy. I cried a lot. I hear having a baby is rather tough, too, and you hear a bunch of screams, but I’ve never done that.
Happy birthday, me.