(July 21, 2008)

What do you do when you’re so happy that, waking up at 3:30 in the morning, you can’t get back to sleep again? This happened yesterday morning. I was too happy to sleep. I felt like there was something I should do with such happiness. Dance or something. But I mostly just sat around…feeling that flood of good feelings – not able to do a thing with it.

The reason for this great joy was the party on Saturday. It turned out beautifully. Seventy of my friends and acquaintances gathered in our yard to celebrate the launch of my new book, A Firm Place to Stand. The weather was beautiful, the food was great, the garden was full of flowers, and everyone was happy.

There were people who I had supported through hard times. And it was so neat to have them here for this occasion. So good to see them doing better. People from my church came, from my writer’s group, from Living Room, family members, neighbors and old friends. A couple of people from the Mood Disorders Association of BC came as well.

I was so fortunate to have friends helping me with this big event. My daughter-in-law, a cook who loves to experiment made some very interesting appetizers, including dates stuffed with goat cheese. Another friend made a variety of hot appetizers and sold books for me. And I don’t know what I would have done without the friend who made sure the food tables were always well stocked and was on her feet through the entire event. Several men worked hard the day before putting up seven canopies. What a lot of support I received!

Now – in the words of a good friend – a new chapter of my life will begin. I will need to promote the book, using it to encourage Christians who have mental illness and to get the word out about the importance of faith-based support. It’s time to get to work trying to make a further dent in the stigma that exists – my focus the Christian church.