Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Pied Piper

Part of "finding my voice" in my personal journey of "self discovery" had been making it "ok" to have my own opinion or strong feelings about things and not being afraid to give voice to them.

Today then - in all respect to those who may view things differently, I've opted to publish my thoughts and feelings about my journey from "there" to "here" where I live my "best life" and opt to no longer blindly follow what I call the "Pied Piper".'s one of my gripes about what has become the current model of the mental health system....

It says "follow me" - blindly.

I mean - I "get" that the mental health and social welfare system is full of folks who want to help others and have really great intentions...

What I don't "get" is how those who have suffered the intense emotional and cognitive distress have been led to believe

that these issues are unchangeable.

Are these issues "real"??

Well, duh....YES.

AND many who have taken upon themselves to find life outside this inflexible view

have found that these issues can be overcome with

new information that

leads to seeing this from a different perspective

and creates an

"understanding" that leads to

the golden moment of


comes from
new information
leads us to
the awareness
that will
empower us
create our own change.”
~a zebism

I was told that I was "broken", "defective" and "disordered"

would need "meds" for the rest of my life.

I was discouraged from doing my own reading, research or from trying to create my own solutions, to find my own way out of that "dark place".

Told I was "intellectualizing", "difficult", "resistant"....

my hands were slapped and I was sent to the corner because I dared to


those in "authority".

And -

I did it anyway.

I went to school and became educated in "psychology" and took many classes on "philosophy", I read books and was

"non compliant" as I felt my way out of the darkness alone and blindly forging my way to the light - forward to the life

I chose for myself

instead of what I was told I could have.

I learned about my "issues"

what they were, what they looked like and through learning new information that led me to "insight" and "awareness" of my own thoughts, emotions and physical self

I kept plowing forward

refusing to return to "compliant".

And I just want to say that

these issues

of emotional and cognitive distress that can lead one down the road to hell on earth...

it is possible to learn how to create the change we want...

it is possible to learn how to manage the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that create what is termed "mental illness".

Was it as easy as taking a pill to calm the racing thoughts?


Was it is as simple as grabbing the Ativan to ease the feelings of panic?


Was it worth the effort, the time, the investment to learn how to create this change?

Hell yes.

I am not out to change anyones mind about the "bio genetic medical model" of what is termed "MI" or that "meds" don't have a place in this kind of journey...

But -

I believe that each of us has the right to be educated and completely, honestly and with complete transparency

informed that there is

another option

that we can learn how to create the change we want

that it is not as mystical, mysterious and magical to find this awareness and insight as I had been led to believe it was.

That it is possible to begin to live the life we want

not the diagnosis we were given.

We are a brilliant species. Our brain and body so much more capable than what we have often come to believe...

and it breaks my heart to see the potential that is lost to the belief that the only solution is to follow the Pied Piper.

You can read more behind my personal journey in the following posts....

And if you are looking for resources to support your own journey, I'd like to invite you to check the Resources page here.


Anonymous said...


(Some things just call for a little Italian!) :)

You know that I am right with you on this.

We are not adverse to looking back 50 years and saying, "OHMYGOD! Look how they treated those people..." in terms of the mental health system.

What is wrong with saying it in the NOW!?!?

I know far too many people on meds who are just as miserable as ever. And like I want to scream at the top of my lungs, THERE IS A REASON PEOPLE FEEL BADLY AND YOU CAN'T MEDICATE IT AWAY!!!!!!!!

Phew. There.

Unknown said...

*humbling* *bow*

Grazie, Christina!

I've often thought similar things - how is it that we have become as the toad in the boiling pot around this issue? *sigh*

I agree. There is a reason people feel badly and we need to first have our experiences and feelings validated rather than left as inconsequential and also be taught the natural process of emotional expression and healing rather than how to avoid emotion as a non issue in mental health.

This truly is more about "being" than about the focus on behaviors and "doing".

So yes; Phew. Thanks:)

Anonymous said...

Hey, Susan -

Three cheers for the non-compliant!!!

- Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

Paula said...

I was told all teh same and told them I dont care. I may overcome or I just may handle it differently, yet I will not remain broken.
Can relate so much. SO well written. THanks for reminding me how I had the strength to stand up for myself the very first time. Hugs to you

Unknown said...

Thanks Marie:) Good to know others who have considered rebellion to be a good thing:)

Unknown said...

Thanks Paula for sharing that with us! And yes... "I will not remain broken". And your are welcome! I"m glad this post served as a reminder of the strength you found:)

oneperson said...

Love this piece!

I ditto the BRAVOs!!!

Four of my favorite words from this one (at least today) are:
"I did it anyway."

Freedom. Courage. Instinct.

To life!
~carol (1person)

Unknown said...

Thanks Carol!

Here's to freedom. Courage. And Instinct.

And the best life possible!