In his autobiography "The Seven Story Mountain" Thomas Merton writes"Pubishers cannot create bestsellers. though few readers and (fewer authors believe it. there is always an element of mystery when it happens why this bok at this moment? I believe the most essential element is right timing which usually cannot be foreseen. " He believed "The Mountain" appeared at a great time of disillusionent after World War Two in America and everyone was looking for hope
His book "The Mountain" and several others would be best sellers. While I am not saying this book will be a bestseller. I do find myself in the same place as a lot of Americans who have been forced onto disability by a physical or mental condition. Mine were a total hip replacement at 57 and a diagnosis of major depression at the age of 60. Instead of disillusionent we are now suffering from an unusual amount of orthopedic surgeries at an earlier age and more cases of severe depression. Like Merton too I am telling my story to hep peope with their physical problems but psychological spiritual and persnal problems as well. For I believe too many of us may be receiving physical therapy, but nt psychoogical or spiritual help. while I a nlt a psychologist or priest I believe I have sufffered enough to hep others. I sha tell my persoonal story through my journals and seek advice from the professionals. lI believe this combination has never been offered before.
Since the story you are about to read begins in June, 2010 one of my sources for the book shall be my journals which I began keeping in the year 2000 as a writing tool,the author suggested that keeping a journal was an excellent way of making sure you write everyday. My inspiration for writing my journals was Thomas Merton. His life's joourna"The Seven Storey Mountain" was a best seller which I shall use as a resource and his last journal, The Asian Jounal," both inspired me so much, I shall use as spiritual resources.Then when my therapists began suggesting I keep "thought" jounals they only enhanced my daily journals so that today I have a complete record not only what happened on a particular day but what I was thinking. All of my diaries were dated for identification, but some were named like "The Blood Diaries," or like my 2010 diary named "The Purpose Driven Life." It was A Lenten program my church was having that year that came along with a book and group meetings.
In the beginning of the Journal the author, Rick Warren writes, "Your life is a journey an is a witness that will continue long after you d a journey deserves a journal. You owe it to future generations to preserve the testimony of how God helped you to fulfill his purposes on earth.It is a witness that will continue long after you were in heaven." The journals definitely made the writing of this story easier because most of what happened took place two or three years ago and a lot of the details would have been lost. When I started to write this story I thought I began in July 2010 when my family were at the beach. Actually it began on June 12, 2010 just after a visit to my girl friends. While that may seem like a small detail, the journal actually let me remember weeks of details I had forgotten. In my very first journal entry I write,"There is a purpose for what I am going thru,. The seizure, not being able to drive, not working. The pain I am in, the MRI coming up.There must be a point to all this and I hope during the next 40 days I can discover it."
The pain I was feeling in May of 2010 was not from the 10 elbow surgeries I was about to have, but from terrible back and sciatica pain . My pain doctor called me an "orthopedic nightmare" because I had bone spurs up and down my spine, one of which was pinching my Sciatica. He was recommending out patient surgery to take out that piece of bone which was giving me terrible radiating pain down my left leg I would eventually have the surgery The siezure I had in my Chiropractors office and was put on anti-seizzure medicine for a year and could not drive. So all this was going on that year before that fateful day in June Once that day happened the next entry in the journal is "Thinking about God, he has given me all the bad things as well as the good." And the next," All this was not an accident, but part of God's plan so I could help others in their difficult time." So at this point in my story I was thinking about God, but that would change
It was not until the week of my fall in June that my pain doctor would schedule my first epidural. I would actually have to call from the hospital and cancel the appoinment. On may 8th I wrote," I hope by believing my pain is for a greater purpose than suffering." Not to give the story away, but when the surgeries started, I would quickly turn to my self-pity, depression and my OCD would go rampant with drug and food obssesions ruling my life. The beginning of my two-year story of ten surgeries on my shoulder and elbow began with a fall from an OCD related incident. The surgeon who performed these surgeries is actually writing the forward to this book He has made such a big difference in these past three years I was proud to have him contribute to this book.
In his book "Brain Lock Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz writes "It is important to keep a thought journal of your behavioral-therapy successful Refocussing efforts. It need not be anything fancy. The idea is to have a written record of your successes in self-directed behavioral therapy. The journal is important because you can look back to it to see which behaviors most helped you refocus.....it helps you build confidence as you see your list of achievements grow." So even my self-help OCD doctor is recommending the keeping of a journal for much the same reason I started some thirteen years ago. I have a box full of note books of all sizes from throughout the years.When I started writing them I never thought I would be using them to tell my story.
Because this story involves complex Physical and Psychological issues I shall site Wikipedia.com as a reference and for my OCD issues I shall use Dr Jeffrey Schwartz and his book "Brain Lock." For my depression issues I shall consult Dr. Richard Carlson and the "Don't Sweat" series and Dr David Burns and his Book "The New Mood Therapy - Feeling Good" and its accompanying workbook. For my spiritual issues I shall use Rick Warren and "The Purpose Driven Journal" and the writings of Thomas Merton. With all this help I hope to tell as accurate a story as possible. My private journals shall provide as accurate a timeline as possible with the following chapter by chapter plan
Chapter 1 A Purpose for Everything
Discusses first Jounal "The Purpose Driven Life" to establish not only what happens in the year 2010 but also what I was feeling. Discusses the first 8 surgeries and my mental and physical health as well as my spiritual health during that year.
Chapter 2 MRSA
Discusses the discovery of MRSA in my elbow,admission to AL, and last 4 surgeries. including waiting time for MRSA clearance and my journal entries during that year.. Discusses self-detox after AL and searching for a new home
Chapter 3 A New Purpose.
Discusses my leaving home for monitored living facility and a new purpose in life. Help from the experts and my journal entries.
Chapter 4 The Psychological and Spiritual answers.
With help from the experts Carlson and Merton along with Burns and Schwartz, and my journal entries I shall discuss how the ten surgeries have affected my life..
Chapter 5 So Now What
What this story means for you and me.A one on one discussion of what this story can mean for you. and how you can learn from my mistakes,lessons and story.
Where do we go from here. A happy ending for both of us.