The Guts (book outline expanded.)

The 365s found below are break-outs of the main subjects addressed by the 52s.  These are in no particular order.


Edited 4/28/2012

52:  What you wish you had known way back when.

  • Hindsight is 20/20
  • “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.”  Soren Kierkegaard.
  • Can you help others with your perspective?
  • “Start with what they know; build on what they have.”  Lao Tzu  100 BC
  • Ask, ask, ask.
  • Check twice, snip once.  The value of a second opinion.


52:  Mood Disorders 101.

  • Emotions:  from a liability to a strength.
  • Common features.
  • Finding resources.
  • Damned by the diagnosis, saved by the moods.
  • Not just neurotransmitters…also inner conflict.


52:  Let your voice be heard.

  • What do you deserve/need?
  • Communication with the decision-makers.
  • Negotiate.
  • Do you know what you have already?
  •  Know what you are asking for.


52:  In the eye of the maelstrom.

  • You are about to participate in a great adventure.
  • Axis of Emotion.
  • Don’t limit your options.
  •  Have an early warning system in place


52:  Self-management.

  • Plan for when it is ‘later.’
  • Why you should have control of your appetites.
  • Focus, determination, and dedication.
  • A constant series of decisions.
  • Developing your neuro possibilities.


52:  Co-0ccuring Disorders.


52:  Accountability

  • Actions.
  • Emotions.
  • Giving back.
  • Don’t give in.
  • “The true joy in life…”


52:  Breaking new ground

  • Breaking the cycles as an incredibly valiant thing we can do.
  • Making it up as you go.
  • Seek for effective role-models.
  • your take on life
  • A process of becoming.

52:  Things that make you go …Um….Um…

  • Medication and it’s impact on your memory.
  • Stress as a factor.
  • Social faux pas galore.
  • Keep your mind alive.
  • Tough choices


52:  Goals.

  • The time is going to pass anyway, why do hard time?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • Purpose, authenticity, legacy.
  • ID them, their challenges, and benefits.
  • Baby-steps.

52:  Stigma.

  • The myth that we don’t want to get better.
  • Separate yourself from what ails you.
  • We are not a threat
  • Empathetic vs. Apathetic = alienation.
  • “Get over it”:   Treatment of a mental illness compared to a physical malady.


52:  Making and keeping friends (support system.)

  • Building a watch.  What your friends are really asking.
  • Blind leading the blind.
  • Listening without opening your mouth.
  • Greatest conversationalist in the world.
  • Know when to cut off the ‘crazy-makers.’


52:  Self Esteem.

  • Formulation of self.
  • Image:  nature vs. nature.
  • pressures from others or self-imposed.
  • Faith and fear cannot co-exist.


52:  Compliance.

  • Mindfulness.
  • Push-me, pull-you.
  • The day I turn compliance into a quest…
  • non-compliance hurts everyone.
  • Vital part of mental hygiene.
  • Can clear the way for greatness.


52:  Equilibrium.

  • How do you know when you have reached that elusive state?
  • a state of adjustment between opposing or divergent influences or elements.
  • Is it the same as being normal?
  • What shakes your balance?
  • Tasks that must be done.


52:  Ally relations.

  • Moods effect your relationships.
  • You don’t have to go it alone.
  • When do they intervene?
  • Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
  • Supporters and allies may be able to see the bigger picture.
  • Teach your allies about your needs.  Do not expect them to read your mind.

52:  Tool Box

  • Mental/emotional survival kits are just as valid as an 72 hour kit.
  • You will need these tools when the hurricane comes.  And it will come.


52:  ESL – Emotions as a Second Language.

  • We need vocabulary and conversation classes as any foreign speakers have does.
  • Inability to understand the mental universe of each other.
  • It can be exhausting to learn the context and idioms vital to connecting.
  • Don’t ever assume that your ally can read your mind.


52:  Liar, Liar…pants on fire.

  • Why is money such a hot button issue, especially with the mentally ill?
  • What is lying anyway?
  • Does it really matter in the end?
  • Why are your lying?  White/Black lies.
  • Lying for survival.
  • Impact on relationships.


52:  When to say when.

  • What are boundaries?
  • Finding your own voice.
  • Creating your own space.
  • Over-stimulation / sensory overload.
  • Plan ahead.
  • Be vocal.


52:  What are your favorite sins?

  • Cognitive Dissonance applied to actions vs. beliefs.
  • Why are you holding on to them so fiercely.
  • Garden of Dark Thoughts.


52:  My life has been filled with tragedies…and some of them even happened.

  • [This is dedicated to my late father, Larry, and what he tried to get through my thick head as a child.]
  • Learning from youth.
  • The air you breathe.
  • Cutting free of the guilt trip snares.
  • Physical toll it takes.
  • What is the worse that could happen?


52:  Well, excuse me for living!

  • Sorry, sorry, sorry.
  • Your absolute rights.
  • Getting what you deserve.
  • Why put yourself down?
  • Others’ perceptions of you.


52:  Exiting the wardrobe.  (The title is an allusion to Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe.)

  • The surreal nature of mental illness.
  • Creating your own land where you can reign.
  • When life hits you smack in the face.
  • Being prepared to face the ‘real world.’
  • Finding your way through the ‘furs’ (in the wardrobe.)


52:  I’ll stop procrastinating…tomorrow.

  • The insidious nature of procrastination.
  • Why it is particularly distressing in mental illness.
  • “Nothing is more important than this day.” – Goethe
  • Seize the day. – on being pro-active.
  • Waiting for your life to begin.
  • Sleeping your life away.
  • What are you missing out on?

52:  Why I am in this predicament anyhow?

  • Theories on the origin of Mood Disorders.
  • Nature vs. Nurture.
  • What are you going to do about it?
  • How to educate yourself.
  • How to reach out to others.
  • This is not the end of the world.


52:  It is what it is.

  • Serenity prayer on speed.
  • The day I turn compliance into a quest instead of an irritation is the day I gain control over my disorder.
  • Making life bearable for yourself and those around you.
  • Preparing an avenue for tender mercies.


52:  Chronic pain.

  • The nature of chronic pain.
  • It’s impact on the sufferer.
  • Impact on society.
  • Cognitive Behavioral model.
  • One day at a time.

52:  Following your bliss:

  • “Love me for who I am, not who you hope I’ll be someday.”
  • The beating of the drums.
  • What is adaptive and that which is dross.
  • Explore your dreams.
  • How to move forward from where you are.


52:  Hello: my name is [NOT] my mental illness…..

  • What just happened to me?`
  • You are not your diagnosis.
  • “I am my bipolar”/”I have bipolar disorder.”
  • Self – fulfilling prophecies.
  • The damaging effects of labels.
  • Finding yourself amid the the flurry.


52:  Normal.

  • “Sometimes I pretend to be normal.  But it gets boring.  So I get back to being me.”
  • Different spectrum for everyone
  • So, what if that is what the surveys say?
  • Dynamic states
  • The dangers of feeling “normal.”
  • The battle to regain footing after a cycle.
  • The stigma of Websters definition.
  • Definitions of a few words that bug me:  normal, regular, typical, natural, usual, and average.
  • Some people are sure they are the only ones with the problem.  This tells them they are not isolated or alone


52:  This is your world.

  • Don’t abdicate your life.
  • Shape it or someone else will.
  • Your little corner of the world.
  • What messages are you sending and receiving?
  • Be an informed consumer.


52:  Hygiene –  physical, emotional, and mental dimensions.

  • First, and most important thing, to go when in a crisis.
  • Physical aspects that make a difference.  (Sleep, food, drink…)
  • Mental (keep appointments and med compliance…)
  • Emotional (crazy makers…)
  • Be pro-active, following pre-planned action plan.


52:  When your pocket is burning.

  • What are you hiding from your supporters?
  • What is your patterns when you go off the financial reservation?
  • How and why you can prevent financial crisis when the money is burning a hole in your pocket.

52:  Advocacy

  • What is an Advocate?
  • How to find and keep an advocate.
  • What are your responsibilities in that relationship?
  • Super though they may be, your advocate(s) cannot read your mind.
  • What to do with advice and counsel.

52:  Ants in my pants.

  • How and why you are feeling so edgy, irritable, fatigued, and buzzed all at the same time.
  • What you should have in your ‘tool box’ in preparation for this type of crisis.
  • What is means to have a mixed mood experience.
  • How anxiety takes its toll.
  • Simple steps to shake the ants out.

52:  Three little bears

  • Goldilocks’ dilemma
  • Learn the architecture of your mind and illness.
  • Prepare to do some experimenting & study to find your core, fundamental ability to manage your disorder.
  • How you can make Goldilocks methodology work for you.
  • Be prepared to try several (or many) medication regimes, therapists, and other supporters.


52:  My fridge door, keeper of the wisdom of the ages.

  • I have about 31 magnets on my fridge door.  In this section I will share some of them.


52:  When you just can’t get out of bed. (this is a very long one in first draft form. These are just the topics that will be covered on this subject.)

  • [What ideas and thoughts are paralyzing you – expanded as it’s own 52]
  • What are you thinking about when you can’t get your brain to turn off?
  • The worst is being unable to get out of bed, not being able to turn your brain off.
  • When you have extreme fatigue from depression or anxiety, but the thoughts won’t let you rest.  You get more and more depressed and anxious because you know what you SHOULD be doing or could be doing with your time.
  • What would help you get out of bed.
  • Methods to keep you out of bed.
  • Hygiene is one of the first things to go.  It is intimidating, and who has the energy?
  • Easy steps to hopeful hygiene that can get you back on track.


52:  Triggers  (this is also long in first draft form.  These are just the topics that will be covered on this subject.)

  • [This must be discussed in PTSD and BP shifts.]
  • The bowling example. (I was triggered because my performance was way below what it SHOULD have been.)
  • Understand what they are.
  • You can’t always avoid them.
  • What you CAN do.
  • ID them.
  • Once ID, avoid putting yourself in those situations whenever possible.
  • Give yourself permission to exit situations.  You will be much healthier and whole if you miss a few events, saving yourself from things you know will get to you.
  • You do not have to endure everything.
  • Invest the aid of your supporters.
  • Create an action plan.
  • They are valid for you; not figments of your imagination.


52:  Recovery

  • Definition of recovery.
  • The four dimensions of recovery.
  • Ten things that are associated with recovery.


52:  Living with yourself.

  • The idea of listening to yourself.
  • Bono, “I just want a melody I can sing in my own company.”
  • A time to reboot.


52:  On self-talk.

  • Do you talk to yourself the same way you speak to others?
  • Speaking to yourself as much as to others.


52:  Pick your battles.

  • How to identify what is important to you.
  • How to speak up for you.
  • How to get supporter help if need perspective.
  • Rate the battles in order of need/want/necessity/would be nice if….


52:  Insight, know thyself.

  • Enough education to know what is going on.
  • What to do with this self-awareness.
  • Dangers of self-evaluation.
  • How you cope with things.
  • How are you impacted by those around you.


52:  Your purpose in life.

  • What are your fierce gifts?
  • Pick 3 things.
  • How to advance them and apply them to your life problems.
  • You really aren’t starting from scratch.
  • Qualities that set you apart.
  • “Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours.”
  • Our responsibility to know and be known.
  • Paul Williams.  “Vote with your life.  Vote yes.”


52:  The poison of passive aggressive.

52:  If you are not getting the answers you want, ask a different question.

  • How to identify questions and answers.
  • What has been your strategy in the past? Did you get an answer? Is this unique?
  • What do you hope to hear? [Acknowledge that there are many different forms an answer can take.]
  • How to listen and hear the answer(s).
  • Ponder, understand.
  • actions

52: Getting off the fence.

  • If you are not going forward, you are going backward
  • Stuck in your tapes on a perpetual loop  (what are the tapes telling you?)
  • You live with anxiety all the time because you know there are things that you need to be doing are actually beyond your reach at this time.
  • Get off the fence, make a choice that is appropriate to your place on the continuum, and the Universe will conspire to make it happen.
  • Make a stand to progress (higher function.)

52: Why does it seem that we have to learn the same lessons over and over?

  • Damned progression is stalled progression.
  • Am I really that thick?
  • You never step into the same river twice.
  • Examine how much you have truly changed since the last time.
  • Line upon line, precept by precept.
  • Credit where credit is due.

52: What are you willing to do to take care of yourself?

  • What is reasonably expected of you to take care of others?
  • How can you identify self-care?
  • What it means to be aware of your needs.
  • What is getting in the way of your self-care?
  • Boundaries.
  • Give yourself permission to take care of yourself.


52:  Victim-ology

  • Real victim
  • Real past
  • Professional victims
  • Where do you want to fall?
  • How are you hanging on to the issues?
  • What would happen if you gave it back?
  • Understand that counseling is really very helpful, and what kind.
  • Martyrs.
  • Roll of support system
  • Flash-back first aid


52: How to magnify your lot in life.

  • how to approach a SMI (Serious Mental Illness)
  • PTSD
  • OCD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar
  • Clinical depression

52:  Coming out of the closet   (Have this linked with the Stigma 52)

  • What are your experiences with it?
  • Benefits of outing
  • Cons
  • Ways to protect yourself
  • (how much to disclose and to whom.)
  • Best practices

52:  Ferocious optimism

  • What are you passionate about enough to fight for it?
  • What is your mantra?  (Like mine is ferocious optimism.)
  • What is your ‘saying’ that defines your battle?  If you don’t have one, what would you like it to be?
  • What would it take to be ferocious about it?
  • What are some baby-steps you can take toward engaging in your passion
  • Celebrate things ways that you are already doing.

52: What is paralyzing you?

  • “My life has been filled with tragedies and some of them even happened.”
  • Why is it paralyzing?
  • How long have you lived with it?
  • How would your life be different if this was overcome?
  • What is the worse that can happen?
  • What is the best?

52: What would a  forgiving person do?

  • Do not let someone live rent-free in your head.
  • What extent would you go to in order to free yourself?
  • What would that freedom appear as?
  • How forgiving are you?
  • What happens if someone has threatened your peace?
  • What if it was your child’s  or other loved one?Can you find forgiveness?
  • The benefits of it.

52: What does it mean to be patient?

  • What kinds of things do you have to patient about?
  • What is the toughest aspect?
  • How do you get through it?
  • Strategies to become patient with your seemingly lack of progress or that of another’s.
  • Can you stand things that seem to be moving at a glacial pace?
  • What are things that are valuable enough to you for you to learn and apply patience?
  • How can you be kind to yourself in this process?


52Rent free in your head

  • What kind of tenants do you have?
  • Lease agreements.
  • How to evict them.
  • What to replace them with.
  • Are you paying for the privilege of having them in your brain?
  • What the new tenants be like?



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