Coping Takes Work

I gave Ashley Smith the author of the book above a review of her book for the back cover.

I recommend you buy What’s on My Mind? Coping Takes Work. The book gives great information about coping with challenges while living in recovery.

While I do reveal details of my own life in my 3 blogs I carefully choose what I write to send out to everyone in the world.

Ashley Smith’s unvarnished honesty is the selling point of her blog and her books.

Coping Takes Work is even better than her first book that I wrote the Foreword to.

We need more peers like Ashley Smith who are willing to stand up and speak out to tell our stories

You can read her Overcoming Schizophrenia blog. I have been reading her blog since 2008 when she first starting keeping it with no photos and using an anonymous name.

For 12 years she’s been going strong as a go-to blogger on the topic of mental health and recovery.

Coping Takes Work Amazon page.

My Weekly Routine

While living indoors through the pandemic I’ve written down changes I want to make after I return to going outdoors every day.

I recommend reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear.

In the book the author outlines simple steps to execute to adopt healthy habits and make them stick.

Today I’ve adopted these tactics to power through this extraordinary time:

  1. Eat as healthfully as possible every day.
  2. Exercise at home 2x per week as often as possible.
  3. Go outdoors only 2x per week to reduce the risk of getting infected.
  4. Write down on sheets in a weekly To-Do’s pad the food I eat for lunch and dinner every day.
  5. Place tomorrow’s outfit on the other side of the bed to make it quick and easy to dress in day clothes in the morning.
  6. Typed up and taped to an index card the weekly routine I’m going to establish once I’m outdoors every day again.
  7. Telephone my mother often to talk to her.
  8. Talk to a friend on the telephone.
  9. Keep a journal in a 3-subject college-ruled spiral-bound notebook.
  10. Read books and magazines.

Perhaps these habits will empower you to create your own routine while living through this pandemic and following through after the shutdown ends.

Late Bloomers

Like the dark horses and late bloomers in these two books, I didn’t see my life take off until later. This happened when I turned thirty-five and started my librarian job.

 It’s precisely because most of us have experienced setbacks and taken detours that we have the freedom to decide for ourselves what our right path in life should be.

I didn’t publish my first book until I was forty-nine. Life is not a race to the finish line—we all know where that leads. The point is that you can make a comeback at any age.

I recommend you read the book Late Bloomers. I can attest to the validity of the tactics listed in this guide. This is because I’d been using these strategies long before I read about them in the book.

One thing I’d been doing before that was listed in the book was to write about myself using the third person. Using the word she.

As well I use my given name Chris Bruni in the Bruni in the City column I write for an independent mental health journal.

Late bloomers share these six traits: curiosity, compassion, resilience, insight, wisdom, and equanimity.

Reading this book should empower those of us who didn’t crash through the starting gate early in the horse race of life.

All hail the late bloomers.

Dark Horses

The number-one career book I’ve read is Dark Horse: Achieving Success through the Pursuit of Fulfillment.

It got me thinking about real life as it’s played out in America for most people.

It’s a mistake going after what everyone else has because you think you should have these things too.

In society we’re inculcated from an early age that to get ahead we have to get into a good school to get the right degree to get a coveted job.

Author Todd Rose in Dark Horse calls this flawed method “the standardization covenant.”

The dilemma is that everyone else is doing the identical thing. Competing against others has become the norm.

According to this copycat way of doing things once you achieve the goal of getting that job or position in life you’ll be happy.

The divergent careerists in Dark Horse weren’t happy chasing other people’s dreams of what success looked like. This set these Dark Horses up to fail.

The individuals in the book did 360-degree turnarounds.

A woman with a failed corporate job started up a successful supper club.

A woman with a doomed office career created a better livelihood as an inventive floral designer.

They prove the premise that your individuality should not be forsaken in the quest to earn income.

In a coming blog entry I’m going to talk about how having an illness can impact your identity in a positive way.

My recent CURESZ.org recovery profile got me thinking about this very thing.

Normal Gets You Nowhere

Years ago I picked up for free a copy of the Kelly Cutrone life-and-career guide Normal Gets You Nowhere.

The author is Sicilian like I am and works in the fashion industry.

Her book title should be taken to heart as a truism.

The definition of normal is:

“Of or having ordinary or average intelligence; conforming to a standard or type; free of mental defect.”

Does being ordinary or average sound appealing?

One of my mantras is: Be innovative. Not a copycat.

My contention is that you won’t get very far in this lifetime trying to change yourself to fit into a mold of what other people think is acceptable.

Doing this you’ll make yourself ill.

It’s the foolproof route to a doomed career trajectory to have to work at job where you must act false to yourself every day.

Dare to be unusual in your method for achieving fulfillment, which will lead to your inimitable version of success.

Enjoy your quirkiness. What makes you different gives you an advantage.

Finding and succeeding at having a job you love is possible.

I have had this kind of career for over 19 years.

In the next blog entry I’ll talk about the number-one book I’ve read that got me thinking about doing what you love on a job.