Pat Deegan: ‘Loneliness: a call to generosity’

Here’s some wise words from one of my favourite people working in the mental health recovery field, Pat Deegan. This blog first appeared on Pat’s CommonGround website on 27 February 2011. Pat also reads the blog post to a slideshow. The post has appeared twice on Recovery Stories, in 2013 and 2014.

‘Like many people, I experienced periods of intense loneliness during my recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia. Over time, I learned that my loneliness was a call for me to be more generous and to give of myself. Here’s what I mean:

Loneliness and being alone are two different things. In my early recovery, being alone was an important self-care strategy for me.

At that time, being around people and being involved in the complexities of relationships was too much for me. I liked living in a single room in a boarding house. Closing my door, listening to music, and shutting people out helped me relax and feel safe.

Over time I learned that isolating for too long was not good and that I had to venture out into the world of people every few hours. In effect, I learned the right balance of being around people and being in my room.

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’18 Ways to Live a Successful Life (That Have Nothing to Do With Money)’ By Alexa Cortese

Geographical wonders travel picture quizHere’s an interesting article from the Huffington Post. Picture is from The Guardian.

‘People are always talking about success. It’s a word we hear often and an idea that seems to be constantly dangling in front of our faces – just out of reach.

But what does it mean? How, exactly, does one measure “success?”

We read articles that promise to enlighten us on “How to Be Successful.” They always tell us to work hard, ask for that raise, be innovative, not to waste time being unproductive, not to surround ourselves with those loser friends who have no interest in climbing the proverbial ladder. Someday, these articles promise, enough hard work and the right amount of luck will make us successful. (In other words, very rich and very powerful).

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‘Powering America’ by John McKnight

UnknownI want to follow up John McKnight’s video from the other day with one of his blogs, from March 2011.

‘In a neighborhood, people are empowered by the work they do together.  Often, they use this power to confront institutions and advocate for the neighborhood’s self-interest.  In this kind of action, power is understood as our ability to get someone else to do something for us.  This is the consumer power of confrontation.

The other kind of neighborhood power results when we come together to create something for ourselves – from ourselves.  This is the power of citizens engaged in community building.

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