Thursday, October 18, 2007

SPIRITUAL SUPPORTS

PROJECT DREAM AGAIN HOMEPAGE
[A New Thought Each Day Can Be Found Here As Well As Other Important Info]
www.projectdreamagain.com
RESOURCES
[Being on this resource list does not imply their endorsement of this blog. The writer Ed Cooper is fully responsible for the content of this blog.]
www.mentalhealthministries.net
www.pathways2promise.org
faithnet.nami.org.

YOU CAN HELP PROJECT DREAM AGAIN BY ORDERING NOW: You can now order the 2007 Special Edition of the 136 page book “When Even the Devil Deserts You” by Ed Cooper with Patty Cooper . Just go to the ORDER NOW page at
www.projectdreamagain.com
The review in the NAMI Advocate in 1993 said this about the book "Living with and caring for a person with a mental illness does not necessarily lead to a direct understanding of the experience of mental illness itself. It does not automatically tell you what to say or what to do that would be kind or helpful. For this reason I find the new book, When Even The Devil Deserts You, invaluable. The book features many vivid descriptions and an occasional touch of humor. The author has a remarkable ability to understand and describe not only his own experience, but its impact on family members." (The book was first published by Dream Again Press in 1992, but it is as relevant today as it was then.)
[From the book review done by Carol Rees]

Spiritual Supports/ October 18, 2007

I was sitting reading about mountain top removal while waiting on it to be time for my therapy session. Mountain top removal is exactly what it sounds like. They remove the top of a mountain to get to the coal. It is a ruthless method to get at cheap energy so we can go on living our consumer driven lives. It has destroyed many mountains, streams, and valleys in my home state of Kentucky and other Appalachian states.

One day I was sitting on the poach with my wife’s father who died last year and we were watching a train go through the little town of Glen Alpine, North Carolina where I now live. It was loaded with coal. At the time Patty and I lived on a farm in coal country in Kentucky. He remarked, “I don’t see how there could be any coal left in Kentucky because I have been watching them bring it down these tracks all my life.”

Our way of life destroys the beauty of God’s creation and whether we want to acknowledge it or not it destroys a part of our souls. The beauty of nature and its wonders is one of our spiritual supports.

Another spiritual support is our family. Today is the birthday of my wife and my daughter-in-law. It is a special day because these two women are important in my life and I am glad they were born. To celebrate their birth is my honor.

Sometimes we forget to say thanks to the people around us who make our lives easier. Everyone needs a support system. When earlier this year I faced having to have a traditional abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery, these where two of the women I leaned on the most along with my two sisters. They came through for me.

My wife has had to live with the ups and downs of my bipolar illness since 1989 when we got together. My daughter-in-law I call my “worry wart”. Not as a derogatory term, but because I know I can count on her to listen to me and care about what is happening to me. She will worry right along with me and that feels good.

Last night when I came home from my therapy session Patty was at prayer meeting. My sister-in-law sat with me a short time while I just relaxed from having to talk about tough stuff. She was there for me. My step-son had made the trip to the mental health clinic with me.

Some mornings I take coffee and a sausage and egg biscuit over to my mother-in-law’s house and we have breakfast together. We may talk half the morning. The breakfast food is not what is important. It is the soul food I get there that makes the morning so meaningful. Family feeds the inner being.

The friends I made when I lived in Florida keep feeding my soul. When one of them writes and says we miss you, it feels good. One of the women I respect the most from down there wrote “I used to think I didn’t want you. I learned better. You are sorely missed here.” I will not tell you her name, but I will simply say she is one of the strongest people I have ever met. I dearly love her as a person and what she has done for folks like me.

My new church family feeds me each time I am around them. They have embraced me with the Grace God offers all of us. The pastor speaks with me often and I never have a conversation with him that I don’t laugh. For those of you who know me you know I don’t laugh often.

I believe everyone needs a natural support system. The main mission of Project Dream Again is to help the church, other faith communities, community organizations, mental health providers, and individuals come to understand how important a natural support system is to the recovery journey. WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE.

You can reach me directly at edcooper@projectdreamagain.com

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