Kathryn Cohan and Sylvia Caras are collaboratively writing on what many people who experience mood swings, fear, voices and visions have come to know. They say:

For us, and in the intimate conversations we've had with other mindful people who experience mood swings, fear, voices and visions, our lives seem not to follow a traditional linear path; our lives appear more to be like advancing spirals. We relapse and recuperate, we decide and rebuild, we awaken to life and recover/discover, and then we spiral again. This spiral journey is one of renewal and integration.

For some of us, the dynamic nature of this process leads to what can only be described as transformation.

Transformation includes the integration of the "self-as-altered"states we move through with the "self-as-whole" states we also experience. Transformation is the certain knowledge that one experience is not personally valued more than the other. Transformation is a lack of judgment on these diverse parts, and an acceptance of the vulnerable, perhaps less developed parts of ourselves. Transformation is ownership of the fact of having been changed by complex multiple internal and external processes. Transformation is an experience of being "more" as a result of having had unusual perception and mood experiences and valuing that rather than trying to proceed through life "as if" these things never happened.

Recovery and rehabilitation imply that something was once broken and then was fixed. Transformation implies the proverbial making of lemonade after life hands you lemons... It is the lesson, hard learned, of the opportunity available in the midst of crisis that evokes a substantive change within ourselves.

September 28 1997 Ver 1.0