Decades ago I set my life goals by using the book
“What Color is Your Parachute”, in combination with working with the State of Alaska Vocational Rehabilitation Department. By then I had finally been given affirmation that there really was something wrong with me, that I was not a hypochondriac. I always knew I was a little crazy. But just a little. Depression is probably better than some of the other brain malfunctions that are obvious in some of our homeless people here in Waikiki.
The goal setting gave some organization and a time frame to my life’s purpose. Getting through all the smaller life goals was key to finding the one thing that I want to be remembered for. My longest term life goal was to be able to create awareness of mental illness. Coincidentally, mental illness has become one of the most studied illnesses in the past 30 years.
And, yep, I came out of the closet. There’s a lot of prejudice about this topic still and maybe always will be. Not all of my friends and relative approve of my openness about my illness, but how are they going to know if no one will talk about it?
The first of the trilogy of my autobiographies
will touch on this topic towards the end, when I had my first huge episode of depression, and stayed in that state for most of my marriage to my first husband. Even though my mental state caused some really life changing problems, we have some incredible memories. We lost one son, and we had another son that lived. We traveled and drove to or through every state except Hawaii. We experienced life in northernmost Maine and southernmost Georgia and Missouri. I was welcomed into a wonderful family, my in-laws. We celebrated Christmas’s, birthdays, and anniversaries.
So here I am,
a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and still I fight. I can’t believe I lived this long. I am so grateful that there are now medicines that help. I have achieved a lot of my goals, and because of those educational and work and relationship goals, now I am working on that life long goal of spreading the word of mental illness. The second and third books will deal with my fall from grace and then my climb back up to a more normal life.