Butterfly Kisses

I rarely like to dance anymore at least not to the blaring dance music at weddings. At least we were not assaulted with the “YMCA” song. As I wrote in my memoir I would rather dance to Billy Idol or U2.

Today I decided to write an extra blog entry as a treat for readers. I had wanted to talk about a wedding I attended. A woman had the DJ play “Butterfly Kisses” as the father-and-daughter dance song.

My father saved my life. My mother told me a number of years ago that at first he was adamant against having me take medication when I wound up in the hospital. My mother thought “Chris can’t live like this–I don’t want this to be the rest of her life.”

In an interview she told me:

Dr. Miller-the head of psych at Veronica Lane-came down to see us. He told us:
“Mr. and Mrs. Bruni, she won’t be able to take care of herself, she knows nothing about her life, and she won’t be able to function in this world.”
Dr. Miller said you really had to be on medication, and he talked to us nicely, and it made sense then. I thought, “She can’t live like this. It’s worth trying medication.”
I’m strong in my conviction that those of us who need to take medication to be well and to have optimal health should be respected and supported in our decision. It’s our CHOICE.
Just like you wouldn’t verbally attack or assault LGBTQ individuals now: no one living on earth should attack or stigmatize individuals with mental conditions who take medication.
For some of us it’s not a choice: it’s simply what we HAVE TO do, regardless of whether we want to do it.
In a Boston University Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center Survey of Sustained Employment among individuals with psychiatric conditions: 95 percent were taking psychotropic medication at the time of entering Survey I.
The equation is simple for a significant number of us:
Taking medication=having a magnificent life.
It comes down to this for a lot of people:
Bring on the drugs. Bring on the paycheck.
That might sound crass yet it’s often true.
I will talk in the next blog entry about how my life changed forever when I was 42.
In recovery as in life nothing is guaranteed.
So if you need a little help from your chemical friends I say: there’s no shame in that.
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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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