Mental Health

So, yes, I'm adorable. If you have any doubts, check this out:



You can find more on Youtube.

And I'm delighted to announce that DOGS AND GODDESSES has been on the New York Times Extended list for two weeks, which is really quite delightful. I love that book, and apparently other people do too (it got starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal).

I've been listening to my books on audio recently, and I find they're perfect for putting me to sleep. Lest you think my books are soporific, let me explain. When I was very young I'd tell myself romantic stories to put myself to sleep. As escape from the stress of a difficult home life, I'd make up complicated and wonderful tales (and then started writing them down in fifth grade). I can even remember back to kindergarten or first grade when I was in love with Peter Pan and wanted to be Wendy. Unfortunately I didn't realize Peter Pan was Mary Martin, or I might have had gender issues the rest of my life.

Ah, but back to my tale of mental health. (Can you tell I'm writing historicals? My language is becoming very arch). You can find a few of my books at iTunes. I'm just so hip! Anyway, I downloaded them, and it's been fascinating. I've discovered THE WIDOW is a much better book than I remembered, though the audio is disappointing. That one is abridged and I hate the stuff they cut. However, it was very interesting to see that they were able to cut there, meaning the stuff I'd originally put in that spot might have been redundant.
The version of ICE STORM is wonderful, with a great reader (though some of the voices are a little off and Reno sounds a bit like Charlie Chan), and ICE BLUE is almost as good. So I curl up next to my husband, put my earphones in, and fall asleep.
Yesterday I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (TMI, I know) and in the fog of sleep, as I pulled off the earphones, I thought first, "I love story." And then the words came into my mind, "I love me."
That surprised me enough to wake me entirely. When you're in that half-awake stage there aren't any lies, any defenses, and for that to come through is really astonishing. And comforting. And I realize, despite my flaws, that I do love me.
Most of all I love my books, with a grand passion. But I love that I'm generous, kind, unwilling to take shit, have the best husband in the world, live in a beautiful place, have fabulous cats. The list could go on forever.
In fact, I'm the person I wanted to be when I grew up. Except fatter.
But then, everyone's fatter than they want to be.
Loving oneself is an absolute prerequisite to mental health. Now I've never had a long-term relationship with mental health -- more a question of one-night stands, but I think I'm at the point where I can stand tall and let the craziness of life flow by me.
Which is quite wonderful. Who would have thought I'd finally get it together at the age of 60?

So I'm hoping you can love yourselves as well. It makes all sorts of things possible, and trust me, we're all magnificent, even if some of us cover it up more than others.

Throw your head back, look at yourself in the mirror and repeat after me -- "I'm fabulous! A goddess! I love me."

Trust me, it's good feeling.