The Big Picture

Yesterday my husband and I were ascending a hill nearby. The path was steep. I got tired even before we reached the peak of the hill. However after the magnificent views had opened up on the top of the hill my fatigue vanished. I was delighted to be able to see “the big picture” of our town and of the neighborhood. It was a very clear day. One could see very far away. At that point I understood how the landscape in the neighborhood was formed. I could see where our block of flats is situated and how you can get from one end of the town to the other.

The whole scene much resembled those moments in life, when you get “the big picture” of your problem and already see the solution. It usually happens just before you would have given up. After months or even years of trying to figure a way out of a difficult situation suddenly there is new hope. Sometimes you find new information that helps you solve the problem in a book or on the internet. Sometimes a specific new person comes into your life that is able to help you or show you the way. Or something else happens that helps solve the problem.

For example I wanted to live without antipsychotic medication for years. I thought: “If I can live without medication, it means I am cured.” I did not want to accept my mental illness. Thus I was not accepting the medication either. However about a year ago I finally accepted my schizoaffective disorder. I felt so relieved that I wanted to write a book about my experience with this mental illness. So I started writing in October 2008. While writing the book I always felt as if I was on the top of a hill. I got “the big picture” that enables me to write by reading a lot of self-help books, by attending self-help seminars. And also by analyzing my personality, my past and by doing a lot of mental exercises.

I received a comment to my previous blog per e-mail. The person who wrote it mentioned the importance of being as well informed about your illness as possible. I could not agree more with that way of thinking. All I can add is something I have read in the famous book by H. C. Cutler and His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness. A Handbook for Living. Chapter 8: Facing Suffering. Pages 133—148. Riverhead Books: 1998). The Dalai Lama names three causes of suffering. Ignorance is one of them. So enjoy researching in order to get “the big picture” of your situation. This will make it easier to find a solution to the problem.

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