I feel like I am still continuing to improve steadily, day by day. I work on being more productive during the day which includes writing, grocery shopping, cooking meals, keeping the house clean, and taking Savannah for walks. So far, so good! I’ve been getting together once a week with a few other women from my Buddhist group to chant. We usually meet in the mornings, either at the Buddhist center or at someone’s house, depending on the amount of people. This is helping me stay connected with the women in my group, provides me with more support, and gives me the chance to offer support and encouragement to others. This way, I don’t feel quite so isolated. I found a great quote yesterday on illness from Buddhism Day By Day: Wisdom for Modern Life by SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. It reads:
Buddhism views illness as an opportunity to attain a higher, nobler state of life. It teaches that, instead of agonizing over a serious disease, or despairing of ever overcoming it, we should use illness as a means to build a strong, compassionate self, which in turn will make it possible for us to be truly victorious.
When I think about my illness and how it has affected me, my husband and the rest of my family, it certainly seems very negative. There really isn’t anything positive about hearing insulting and demeaning voices in my head. If I can look beyond the illness and the voices, and continue to ignore them, then I am able grow stronger as a person. I have more confidence in myself, I have more wisdom to encourage other people, and I have compassion for others that may be suffering from similar problems. Over the past few years, when I wasn’t functioning very well and I was terrified of the voices, it was hard for me to see past my own fears and difficulties. I was able to push through the darkness, however, and I came out alive and well on the other side even though initially I had no idea how I was going to do it. I did know that I didn’t have a choice but to overcome and win over the voices and my illness, even if I couldn’t imagine how I was going to make it happen. I struggled through not only for my sake, but also for my husband and our marriage. Faith played a big role.