• You may have wondered about my absence. I moved into a new apartment and expected to wind down the change on Friday night. Only it took a couple days longer because I wanted to cut up and flatten the packing boxes to take to the recycling room. Then, too, I assembled a new coffee table on my own and a friend helped me put together a neat bookcase. Now all my books are on shelves-in the old apartment they spilled onto the floor.

    I was lucky because my father owns a business so he commandeered one of his trucks and two muscular employees to move the furniture, resulting in no cost on my part as Dad paid for them to do the work. The TV unit arrived with some nicks and that's OK, I'm not the kind of person to care. We also enlisted a day laborer to help us.

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    The Question of the Week runs along the line of taking risks so look for it after I publish this SharePost. I would like to do another Recovery Café between a woman who also moved into her own apartment and me. I write about my big move because I feel I need to play catch up with you and to underscore that independent living is the way to go.


    To take pride in your home is a good feeling that carries you through your days. A home is a haven. Decorating is a way to express yourself. From 1988 until 1991, I lived in a residence. That's an option if you're unable to live solo right now. I'm going to investigate creating a directory of supported living options in the U.S. Unfortunately, it seems no master list exists and the best way to find a good residence is through word of mouth, often by networking with other mothers and fathers at NAMI family support groups.

    As our parents get older, we need to plan for our living arrangements. When I first was diagnosed, the "NAMI mommies" told my mother in no uncertain terms that I would have to live on my own. I started out in a halfway house, rose up to the next level where you saw a housing counselor only once a week, and ended my tour of duty in the highest independent residence before moving into my first apartment. It was a studio by the beach. I stayed there until I moved to Bailey Avenue, and then boomeranged to my parents' house for the four years I was at Pratt.

    Since July 1999, I've lived on my own. There's this idea that people in cities tend to have a higher percentage of the population diagnosed with SZ, and I'm not sure why or if this is true. I know that my recent hard time started after I moved to the City. All things being equal, I would rather live here than anywhere. My psychiatrist can see me in the evenings, a Gristede's is within walking distance, and I can attend the poetry readings in the West Village. So it's a trade-off: health care and culture at the risk of a not-so-well mind that needs medication and therapy to function on an even keel.

    In July, I plan to have a housewarming. I'm settling in now. All the boxes have been flattened and the remaining ones I take down to the recycling room on Tuesday morning. For views from the apartment, you can read my blog, Joyful Music, where I've posted photos.

  • I'm going to wrap up this SharePost so I can post the Question of the Week: Independent Living-Tips and Tricks. For now, I want to tell you what I learned living in this new apartment so far: nothing's perfect. Everything doesn't always fall into place until years later. I was stuck in the old apartment for ten years. The right opportunity presented itself this year and I took it. Before that I was kind of held back. Already there's a freeing energy in my new space.

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    You do not know when the tide is going to turn, you go out to meet it and hope it will turn sooner rather than later. Yet if it doesn't, and the wait is long, don't despair. Take whatever limited action you can now to move closer to your dream. Some things you may have to leave unfinished. When it's time to go, you will know.

Published On: June 14, 2009