Monday, July 14, 2008

Kaufman House

Part One


Part Two


The woman interviewed in this story is Nancy Jensen, a friend and colleague of Beth Filson's. You may remember Beth from some of the videos I have posted here. Here is one and another one.

Kansas is the state where I spent a year in their state hospital. It could easily have been me in this story if I had stayed in Kansas after being discharged. I'm so sorry it happened to Nancy. I'm so sorry it happened at all.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Catching up

It has been FOREVER since I've written anything here. It's been a long time since I've had a peaceful block of time, too. But now it is 5:00am, and it is peaceful here, and I am writing.

I have been so busy. I can't believe how much I can get done in a day. I used to get the same amount done in two weeks. Life is a whirlwind, and every day is different. There is no time for ruts or comfort zones.

The Center is full most of the time. During the day, we have 15-25 people, and during the night we have three respite guests. I love the respite guests. It is fascinating to have three new roommates every single week. It's always a new house dynamic. Sometimes we have respite guests who become lifelong friends after the week is over, and other times we have guests who really don't like the other guests and keep to themselves. Other times we have lively debates and other times we have sheer silence. I swear, some of the best chefs come through here, and I am the lucky recipient of their cooking.

During the day we have so many people and activities going on, I can't keep up. The dynamics during the day are different every day too. We always have new people coming, and soon we will be turning people away. We were warned about this in the beginning when we only had a small handful come every day. We wanted more people! So we did presentations and handed out packets and invited everyone over for tours. We got what we wanted.

The best part about this Center are the miracles and transformations I get to witness every day. The stories are endless, and we are writing a book titled "Crisis as Opportunity: Stories of Personal Transformation at the Peer Support and Wellness Center." As I wrote in an earlier post, I am making a DVD about the Center. We'll be using it as a general introduction to the Center. I wanted to catch the spirit of this place, and after watching the first draft the other day, the people who were watching were in tears. They said I captured the spirit.

I have been experiencing much transformation in my own life. I never knew I could supervise, schedule, and delegate to 8 staff 24 hours a day. I never knew I could handle so much responsibility. I have always been the epitome of irresponsibility. I've always basked in my comfort zone and required enormous amounts of time alone. Now I am rarely alone, except at 5:00 in the morning.

I don't even recognize myself.

I can't really make any promises, but I think it would be wonderful to start writing here more often. I will try. Really. I want to keep a journal of my life now. There's too much going on to just let pass by without writing about it. Too much has already happened. I think it will be worth the effort. It's really just a matter of finding the time, and even then, the energy. My heart and soul is in my work now. Everything I do is all about this Center. It is my baby.

I never knew I could work like this, so consistently and enthusiastically. I never knew something so challenging could be so worthwhile.

I hope I still have readers! I hope everyone is thriving!