This Sunday January 8th at the Minnehaha free space there will be a meeting of the Icarus Project at 4pm. If you know what that means keep reading, if not there's probably not a lot to read here. Large portions of this post only there for people in the Crazy People group.
A friend of mine let me know about this upcoming meeting, it makes me really happy.
If you don't know what it is, the Icarus Project, it's basically a network for people living with mental illness that seeks to embrace the whole person and not just look at them as a symptom to be treated. When I first was diagnosed their Navigating the Space Between Brilliance and Madness (pdf) zine was really key in learning what my condition is and figuring out how to approach treatment and my doctors. I feel like I have a much greater control over my condition and my interactions with my care providers because of the insights into how treatment has gone for other people.
I tried connecting with the local chapter awhile back through the online forums on their website but nobody ever replied to my questions about the meeting schedules, it seemed like everything was pretty much dead.
From looking at the forum post about the free space it seems like it's kind of a temporary thing but they might be meeting up more often if they can get the space more often.
I'm really hopeful that this is the start of something good for Minneapolis, an actual group meeting of like minded individuals who all have to deal with different aspects of mental illness. I'd like to connect with other people and hear what their experiences are, especially with getting off of meds. I've been thinking about possibly getting off the meds at some point, I have the feeling that I'd have a lot more up time if I did it right, if I could figure out how to focus on the more manic, energetic aspects of my illness and use that energy to do creative and interesting things.
Or maybe it's just feeling like there's nothing interesting or creative about me without tapping into the madness. In a very real way, it is what makes me unique and special. I like being stable but it's so boring and tedious.
I wonder what the meeting will be like - if it will be like un-moderated group therapy or if it will be a collaborative strategy session for how to create self-help groups across the city? I'd love for it to be more like the latter, when I read the zine from the founder of the Icarus Project about what it was like setting up the initial group, reading the organizing emails and letters and forum posts it was really inspiring, having a project with that kind of energy. I have no idea if that energy will translate into the local group or not.