John and I returned from Fort Collins on Wednesday, and today he went back to work. We’ve been going back and forth quite a bit, trying to decide if we want to buy a house or condo in South San Jose, or stick with the a manufactured house we like in Sunnyvale. It’s a tough decision for us, but I think we’ll be better off in Sunnyvale.
I’m still working on improving my communication and social skills. I met with my therapist last Thursday, and we talked about the difficulties I’ve had communicating with John. I explained to her that if John says something that makes me angry or frustrated, I often shut down, rather than telling him what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling at that particular moment. When I shut down and stop talking, John often doesn’t know why, or he thinks I’m hearing voices. My therapist said that I need to be more assertive, and work on verbalizing my thoughts.
My illness and the voices have put a big strain on our marriage. My schizoaffective disorder has affected us both emotionally, psychologically, and financially. We are both committed to our marriage, and we really want to be happy together. This year, I am going to focus on earning a stable income with my writing, as well as my mental health. I am managing my illness, and am able to ignore any voices that I do hear. We’re looking forward to the new year!
Today John & I drove to Estes Park with my mom & dad. We ate pizza for lunch, did some window shopping, and drove into Rocky Mountain National Park. My dad bought a few different flavors of saltwater taffy. I tried a lemon-flavored piece, and it wasn’t even sour! We also explored a Christmas store with a huge variety of Christmas tree ornaments. I really liked looking at all the unique types of tree ornaments the store had on display. There was a small collection of musical instrument ornaments toward the back of the store. I recognized a violin, an alto sax, a soprano sax, and a grand piano. The miniature violin ornament even came with its own miniature violin case!
While John was showing me an ornament that he wanted to buy for our tree, I heard the John Lennon song “Let It Be” playing in the background. This song reminds me of my husband, because his favorite band is the Beatles. John also bought an angel for our sister-in-law, a snowflake for his parents, and a Family Guy ornament for his brother. We’re doing most of our Christmas shopping while we’re here in Fort Collins!
We enjoyed ourselves, and had a good afternoon, but I seem to be having trouble communicating. I have always been a quiet person, and tend to listen to other people talk, rather than join the conversation. Now, I have trouble following my family’s conversation. I wait for the perfect moment to join the conversation, and after I’ve finally thought of something to say, the moment has passed. John worries about me when I am not talking, or if he thinks my mind is somewhere else (listening to voices). I heard one voice last night, but I ignored it. Now, I think John & I will move forward together. We have a few more days to enjoy here in Colorado, and when we return to Gilroy, I’m going to start working on my writing again. Hopefully, I’ll be able to earn money by writing!
Today my husband and I woke up earlier than we did yesterday. We ate breakfast, and went to the gym. We enjoyed ourselves playing basketball in the gym. The basketball was stuck in between the hoop and the backboard, so I used another basketball to knock it down. We finished our workout, and then went out to lunch with my mom and dad. My mom, dad, John and I thought that the soup and sandwiches we had were delicious. We walked around downtown window shopping for a half an hour or so, then we came back home.
A few months ago I started writing an article on Haiti that I’m still working on. I bought a book on Haiti written by Paul Farmer, and decided to finish writing the Haiti article when I finish reading the Haiti book. Last night I thought of another good article topic. I was watching a newscast on black holes, and it reminded me of a NOVA program that I was watching before we left Gilroy. The NOVA program was describing why physicists believe there are more than 4 dimensions in the universe. SGI President Ikeda has written in his essays that as science continues to progress, it starts to support Buddhist teachings. I decided to write an article to examine current physics research, and look at the similarities between Buddhism and what physicists have discovered about the nature of the universe.
We are enjoying ourselves at my parents house in Colorado. We woke up late today, and I decided to write a blog post since I didn’t write one yesterday. I want to keep writing for my website, so I think it’s a good idea to write every day. I chanted a little bit in the morning, and found a Buddhist quote that I like. The quote reads: I want you to understand the subtle workings of the mind. How you orient your mind, the kind of attitude you take, greatly influences both yourself and your environment. The Buddhist principle of a single life-moment encompassing 3,000 realms completely elucidates the true aspect of life’s inner workings. Through the power of strong inner resolve, we can transform ourselves, those around us, and the land in which we live. Last night I started thinking about how to communicate more clearly with my husband, so that we can be happier. I told him that I heard a voice say something about my book. He asked me if I was able to ignore the voice, and I told him I was able to ignore it. I still chant not to hear the voices. I believe that if I maintain a strong inner resolve, I will change my own life. I will be able to use my life to create value, and continue to enjoy my marriage with my husband.
Last night I finished my million daimoku (chanting/prayer) campaign. I started it in June, 2010. I completed my campaign in a year and a half, and was able to change my life. Today I started a new daimoku campaign, although I haven’t decided on my goals yet. Today is also our 3rd wedding anniversary! We’re leaving tomorrow to visit my parents in Colorado, so we’ll celebrate our anniversary over there. I couldn’t be happier!
The wreath my mom sent us came today. John’s mom opened the box, and we hung it on the front door. We all admired the wreath. It smells very fresh! Thank you mom for sending us the wreath! I am doing much better with the voices today. I continue to work on ignoring them. I don’t pay attention to what they say, and I don’t let them affect me. I designed an anniversary card for my husband, and I can’t wait to show it to him when he gets home from work. I love my husband more than anything.