Those are the last thoughts expressed in my recent interview with Mark Herz on WSHU, a Connecticut affiliate of NPR. Listen to the WSHU/NPR interview here ( 4 minutes)
Yes, ordinary can be miraculous. Cooking a dinner together. Driving your child to work. Nagging you son to finish his Shakespeare essay, when only three months ago he was wandering the floor of a psychiatric unit, unable to focus on conversation for more than a moment.
Our tendency as adaptable beings is to adjust to new situations so quickly that we may forget to notice the joys. Like that first night when you can actually breathe through your nose again after a cold…or the moment the fridge hummed back to life after the power blackout. The first time you see your memoir displayed at the bookstore. Pure joy! But days or hours later we shift our gaze to the next hurdles and may forget to be happy. It only takes a moment to step back and reignite appreciation. I want to remember to do that more often.
Awareness. And especially this week, which is designated as “Mental Illness Awareness Week.” Not just mental illness, but mental health. As I look back on the book launch party on Sept. 20th, the miracle of Ben’s attendance at the event, and the support he chose to show, is indeed miraculous to me. As the next events unfold (more interviews, upcoming appearances – see the news/events page) I hope that while Ben Behind His Voices does spread awareness about mental illness, it will also spread the messages of understanding, respect, hope, and the value of a therapeutic alliance between families, patients and healthcare providers.
And I hope I never forget to value the precious good days that are beautifully ordinary – and that the book helps reignite that spark in its readers.