Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One more thing before the New Year Comes

Just food for thought.

Two days ago, the USA saw it's largest baby ever born-coming in at 14 pounds. It was so big (how big was it?) it took 2 doctors to lift it out of it's mother's womb. And yes, it was a C section. I am in severe pain thinking pushing that baby out the other way.

On the same day the USA"s oldest person passed away at 112.

There has to be symbolism there, but it escapes me right now.

Happy New Year/Anno Horribilis


(New Years Revelers in Times Square, NYC, 2008)



As I said in an earlier post, I hate New Year's Eve. With all my heart and all my soul. I find myself curiously depressed, I know what to do, but still it's a day for mostly being in bed, listening to music or talk radio, snuggling with the cat. Dinner will be a hoagie and a rented movie from Redbox. It isn't going to the worst New Years, but it won't be the best .It I think of J- I will get mad. If I think of D- my heart will break.

This really has been my Anno Horribilis- the worst year of my life. It started with 2 stays in a Psychiatric Hospital- one to get a meds adjustment ,and the second longer one ,from suicidal ideation from Remeron. Then 10 days in hospital with Pneumonia in March. Then April and May, and June dealing with a near death reaction to Haldol- which made me spend 5 days in hospital and 3 weeks in a Rehab Hospital. learning how to walk and move my arms again.

I mean to write about it, but I will in a better place.


All I can do now is write to one friend and crawl back into bed, with the striped one and watch the snow. Oh yes, Expected 6-12 inches of the white stuff today.

I wish everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year.

I wish foe Peace on Earth- it seems that several areas of the world right now are in such turmoil, I cannot watch the evening news.

I wish there will be a cure for Cancer, Aids, and a broken heart.

I wish people took better care of their children and pets.

I wish children did not go to bed hungry, or afraid.

I wish next year I had someone to sit on the sofa with me on New Years Eve and give me a proper New Years Kiss.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Ray of Hope in New Brunswick, NJ

New Jersey has traditionally concentrated its mental health money on housing and medical care, not on programs like Laurel House, according to board members. “We gave them decent housing, but we didn’t give them hope, and they vegetated,” said another founder, Jackson Toby, 83, a retired sociology professor at Rutgers.


From Sunday, December 28, 2008 New York Times-Laurel House in New Brunswick is a great place to be with others. I can personally vouch for this place and am thrilled they got a beautiful article in the Times.

Doctor to Be Tried for Online Prescription of SSRI

A Colorado doctor who prescribed an anti-depressant to a patient over the Internet without ever seeing him will go on trial in California on charges of practicing medicine without a license in that state, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. The patient, a 19-year-old Stanford University student, committed suicide in 2005.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Requiescat in Pace



Cleopatra.

April ? 1987-December 30, 2002.


'She is a very fine cat, a very fine cat indeed.'

(Johnson to Boswell, gender changed for cat).

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Personal Writing Space


I have been writing almost non stop for the last couple of days. What I have are very personal pieces and I am debating with myself to post or not to post, that is the question. While I figure this out... and do some much needed clean up on my site with the blogroll- I will be taking a day off.

The picture is my writing space- in the kitchen- with my iBook G4, You can see my second hard drive, and the cookbooks and Beanie Babies that surround it. From the window I can see a big, very old Oak tree, which in Spring and Summer houses a bird family that come back every year, building a nest and raising baby birdies. Both my cats would watch this progression, like it was number one on the "Cat TV" list. Either that or they were dreaming of of ways to serve the new born baby birds.

I will give a brand new Beanie Baby to the first reader who can tell me the applications in that photo resting on the Dock application.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Why I Hate New Years-REPOST

This piece was written two years ago....This does not indicate my state of mind at the moment


New Years is a bad night for me. Part of me thinks of the old Barry Manilow song, "It's just another New Year's Eve/It's just a night like all the rest..."

Part of me is feeling sad. Depressed. Wanting to put a gun to my head and pull the trigger. I realized yesterday when I w as eating Chinese in the Village with a friend of mine, that I was conceived on New Years Eve by a 12 year old girl who had too much to drink. Could my earliest memory of consciousness be that of my conception between a drunk sperm and a drunk egg?


After all, drunken conception is nothing new, it has been happening as long as primal man slithered out of the the primal ooze that was the river Charybdis and became the genus Homo. John Lennon once made a comment about half the people in the world being conceived by too much alcohol on a Saturday night. I shouldn't be teasing these Saturday night specials, after all it made my father's side of the family multi multi millionaires. It is like the Bible says "the sins of the parents are passed down to their children?"


I am lonely. I feel lonely. Thinking about conception has made me horny. But I don't want to get laid. I don't know what I want. I have an urge to fly; I want to have one of those flying dreams I use to have when I was a child, but don't anymore. But I do not know where I would fly to. There is no where I want to go other than my bed. I want to sleep. I never want to wake up again. This horrible thing is depression, and it has me in it's sharp talons, not letting me go. I am screaming, and no one is listening. No one can hear my soul in pain.


I had my last drink on September 26, 1996. I can still recall it, sometimes I can still taste it. September 25, I had a bottle of red wine, adding grain (Everclear) to it so I could get buzzed faster. I passed out. I woke up the next day, no cottonmouth, but thirsty. I went to an AA meeting where being so thirsty, I couldn't even hold my glass of water. Finally got some down, got drunk again, and went into the DT's. I have not had a drink since then. Every time I get an urge, I recall that drink, the DT's; being strapped down to a bed and shaking so badly that the bed was moving, and the feeling passes. At the time I was drinking, I was hell bent on destroying myself. I was in pain, felt my life had not meaning, and it was easier to stay drunk than to actually live.

Now I have tonight.

I want to drink tonight. I want to take a bottle of vodka and take a long hot bath in my pajamas. Drinik the bottle in the bath tub. And when the bottle is empty, crash it against the bathtub, shattering it. Taking the shardsand slitting my wrists, my ankles, my throat. How long would it take to see the blood ebb out before going to sleep? I just want the pain to stop. I want the loneliness to stop. I feel all alone. I feel empty. I feel worthless. I feel like I should have been born dead. I don't know why I was conceived in the first place.

I'm hollow. I don't even feel alive anymore. I feel like a Basilisk. Dead. Empty.

I am not afraid of dying. That is easy. It is living that is hard, and living , so much of it sucks. I feel the loneliness the despair and it chokes me. I do not know who to ask for help. Maybe I don't want it. All I know when I feel like this, I want to curl up and never wake again.


Please God, grant me that one wish. Please. Because I am afraid of tomorrow. I feel as if I have been lied to, it does not get better. All the hard work I have done, that I am doing, back breaking work when I hit bottom to be where I am now, was it worth it? I do not mind being alone. I cannot handle lonely anymore. I feel so lonely I really could die.


All that hard work, and just now, when I feel the most vunerable, the most wounded, the one time I need someone I am alone. Like Tennyson's Percival, if I was to see the Holy Grail, I would know that this quest is not for me. Like Percival, the purest of Arthur's knights, , but still not pure enough to touch the Grail. I am not a knight in shining armor. The only dragons I have slain are of my own making.

And I just can't see this fairy tale ending happily. A long time ago I use to do tarot readings. They said I was psychic. I can often see how people will die in this lifetime. I have seen my own death, and know it will be by my own hand, 2 years from now give or take. And this prophesy I want to change. I just want not to be alone right now. I just want someone to hold me until this feeling passes. I s that asking so much? But as always, I am alone. YOu come into this world alone , you die alone, but I never thought this middle part called life would find me alone as well.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Even cats get the blues


I know I suffer from depression but I have been noticing the striped one has been hypersleeping as well. Could it be the rain and snow and sleet that has blanketed so much of the US has made her feel lethargic, or is she picking up signals from me, who is currently in the grips of my worst depression since 93? I don't know, but I found this article and it's fascinating.


Preventing feline wintertime blues.

Although cats might not be formally diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, the mood disorder that causes some people to experience symptoms of depression in the winter, veterinarians and feline fanciers say they do notice similar changes in some cats.

One in three cat owners finds that their pets seem more sad and less playful in the winter, according to a 2007 survey by People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), England's largest veterinary charity.

How Winter Can Affect Your Kitty's Behavior

Like their human counterparts, kitties can show changes in energy levels, appetite, sleep patterns and temperament when exposure to light decreases. Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, DVM, sees it every winter. Dr. Colleran maintains feline-only practices in both Chico, Calif., and Portland, Ore. The weather might be a bit gray in Portland, but it's fairly consistent year-round, says Dr. Colleran. Her feline clientele in Portland doesn't demonstrate noticeable seasonal changes. But Dr. Colleran has noted quite a seasonal shift in the kitties she sees in Chico, which is hot and sunny in the summer but far gloomier during the winter.

"I really do see a difference, I'm absolutely convinced of it," says Dr. Colleran. In the wild, other cat behaviors, such as mating, are related to exposure to light. It's therefore logical to assume that the onset of winter might have some effect on your kitty as well, Dr. Colleran explains.

Helping Kitty Cope
Fortunately, you can do plenty to perk up your moping feline. Simple changes in your behavior and activities in the winter might also play a role in how your cat is behaving, says Dr. Givin. If you and your veterinarian have ruled out medical causes for your kitty's malaise, here are several areas to consider when it comes to your cat's wintertime behavior:

Exposure to light All cats notice changes in light, so make sure you open curtains to let the sun in, says Dr. Givin. Natural light can be important for your cat's mood. You can also place a small lamp near your cat's bed, making sure your kitty isn't exposed to a hot bulb or isn't likely to knock the lamp over. Shorter winter days mean your kitty might be stuck in a dark, gloomy house, awaiting your return in the evening.

Temperature changes Houses can be a bit chillier as we try to trim energy bills. The ideal temperature for cats is 75 F, says Dr. Givin. Since it's unlikely you'll keep your house that warm, make sure your cat has warm options, such as a heated cat bed, a bed near a sunny window or a place to snooze near a safe heater. If you keep a litter box in a garage or basement, you might find a change in your cat's bathroom habits.

Sleep patterns "We shouldn't just assume it's OK to sleep 23 out of 24 hours a day," Dr. Colleran says. If your cat is sleeping more than usual, it could be a case of the wintertime blues.

Activity We tend to slow down in the winter, and it's easy to forget that cats still require our interaction, says Dr. Colleran. Remind yourself to interact with your cat, especially on those nights when you simply want to curl up on the sofa with a warm blanket. Add novelty to your kitty's life by changing toys, hanging a bird feeder near a window or simply moving around an assortment of cardboard boxes for your kitty to explore.

Eating habits Just like people, cats may eat out of boredom or for comfort. If you notice your cat eating more or gaining weight this winter, make sure to take control of its portions and to discuss with your veterinarian how much your kitty should be eating.

Knowing your cat well -- winter and summer -- is the best way to judge behavioral changes. As Dr. Colleran concludes, "You have to really be aware of what's going on with your cat."

Photo is Holly the Striped one with her favorite stuffed animal-taking a catnap

A Holiday Tragedy for "The Sopranos"




The Brooklyn actor who played Johnny Cakes - the gay-fireman lover of a mob capo on "The Sopranos" - killed himself in a holiday tragedy that has stunned family and friends.

From today's New York Post,


Costelloe, a former FDNY firefighter, shot himself in the head in his basement bedroom on Dec. 16, cops and pals said.

Costelloe had a crucial four-episode arc on "The Sopranos" in 2006, playing short-order cook Jim "Johnny Cakes" Witowski.

In the hit HBO series, actor Joseph Gannascoli - a longtime friend of Costelloe's - played mobster and closeted homosexual Vito Spatafore, who fled New Jersey after he was outed.

While on the run in New Hampshire, Vito met Witowski, whose specialty was Johnny cakes, a cornmeal pancake. "Sopranos" writers seemed to take a page from Costelloe's firefighting past and included it in the storyline.

In the show, Vito became attracted to Johnny Cakes once he learned the short-order cook was a volunteer firefighter, before being whacked by his homophobic rivals.

"I was shocked when I heard, and it still hasn't really sunk in," Gannascoli told the Post. "I never detected anything troubling about him. I enjoyed all the time I ever spent with him."

In real life, Costelloe worked 11 years at Ladder Cos. 109 and 110 in Brooklyn before retiring in 1998.


I love "The Sopranos", and my sympathies and prayers are with Mr. Costelloe's family. I don't think there is anyone who is reading this who hasn't been tempted to go into that Good Night- I know I have attempted- and every suicide is a tragedy- yet I cannot help but thinking, if he had just reached out to those that love us, he would still be with us.

Please, if you are reading this and you are suicidal, there are references on the side bar of sites to go and numbers to call. YOu are not alone. The feeling will pass, I promise you it does.

Peace.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Post for no reason other than I liked the photo



To celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, the Empire State Building's lights have been split: Two sides are blue and white (for Hanukkah) while the other two are red and green (for Christmas). The lights remain split through January 6, 2009

A HOLLY-Day Miracle


A story that bear repeating- for all those who love cats, or the book "The Cat Who Came for Christmas" by Cleveland Amory- the only person I have ever met who was born on my birthday.

My striped baby is going to be nine in February. She has a very comfortable life right now with an owner who dotes on her, lavishes lots of love and cuddles on her, spoils her rotten with a weekly can of Fancy Feast, and provides lots of catnip mousies, a very occasional saucer of milk, and Pounces.

But she didn't always have a good life. When she was about 11 months old, she was dumped off at an animal shelter by an owner that didn't want her anymore. The shelter was a kill shelter. And she was heavily pregnant, with kittens.

A very kind woman in Mercerville, got a call on December 23 that this cat was going to be put down the next day, unless someone claimed her. The cat was described as nice, but heavily pregnant. The next day the cat was adopted, brought back to this home in Mercerville, and made comfortable to give birth. And because it was Christmas Eve, she was named Holly.

A week or so later, but in time for the yearly tax deduction, six baby kittens came into this world. Holly had 6 kittens, two were white with black patches, one was white with grey patches, one was a grey tabby, and 2 looked like Holly.  Their names were, Kringle, Joy, Noel, Merry, Vixen, and Feliz.
 
That Holly is such a smart girl....

When the kittens were weaned, they were placed in loving homes. But Holly remained - for some strange reason, unadoptable. The kind lady who she lived with would take Holly and the other 14 cats she had given temporary housing to- to adoption fairs every weekend in Hillsboro, but no one wanted her. The other cats came and went, and Holly spent the next two years of her life living in a small Cape Cod house with cats that would come and go.

During this time, I was hospitalized and when I came back home after 30 days and several ECT treatments, I picked up my then fur baby, a blue gray darling named Cleo with a white heart on her neck. Cleo was almost 18, and in December of that year, her health deteriorated severely. When I picked her up at the cattery, she and I bonded, but I noticed something wasn't right with her. The next day after I got home I woke with her in the bed, and I noticed her coat had gone from blue gray to solid white. Her heart was not visible. I took her to the vet, and the vet told me she was dying, her kidneys were shutting down and I should put her down. I got a second opinion. I went back home with her, and watched her the rest of the day til the afternoon. Cleo was still alert and meowing and purring but I could see she was clearly in pain. That afternoon my mother, father, and I drove somberly to the vet, and stayed with her - she was in my arms, as she slipped out of this life and went to the Rainbow Bridge. I went home with my parents, crawled into bed and cried. I was inconsolable. It was like she had stayed alive on purpose just long enough so she and I could have one perfect day together before she left me.

A month or so later, my fuzz ball came to me in a dream. She told me to stop grieving, she was very happy and she needed me to move on. She would be waiting for me where she is. And she told me there was a tan tabby that needed a home ASAP and I needed to call the shelter tomorrow morning and adopt her.

All this struck me as weird, and I forgot it when I woke up. I went into the city to meet some friends from out of town, and during lunch they made a comment to me about a dream they had about me and a tan tabby. Strange.

I got home about 3 pm and opened my email. And saw a note from my mother about the shelter having a plethora of cats that needed homes. i called the number, and later that night a woman got back to me. After a few questions- do I have a home or an apartment, do I have children and other cats- she said she had the perfect cat for me- a tan tabby that was almost 3. I told her I would take her.

The next day I went to collect the tan tabby. She made an awful first impression, she was shy, she went under the sofa, howling uncontrollably. My parents were enamored by some of the younger cats- I remember one was black and white tuxedo, and one was a moggie. But the kind lady said she thought the striped tabby was for me, and made me a deal. I I could take this cat for a week and if it didn't work out, I could return her. If I liked her, then I needed to go to Hillsboro and write out a check for 75 dollars for the cat.

We got the cat in the carrier, and she wailed the whole car ride home. And when I opened up the carrier when she arrived, I showed her where the box was, where her food and water were- she ran under the bed and stayed there for a day or so. And eventually came out. And several days later, started to explore me. By the end of the week she would sleep in bed with me, and allow me to pet her until she became a purr machine, or jump on the couch with me while I was reading, or watching TV. By the end of the month she was my best friend and I became hers.

She is my little Christmas miracle. She is my best friend, and she keeps me sane and happy. I love her so much.

In this season of miracles, she and I would like to wish our readers miracles in their lives too.

(The picture above is Holly at her last birthday party).

ETA: Svasti has a beautiful tribute to her fur baby Cleopatra here Her Cleo is beautiful, it's worth a read.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays


(Cats in Manhattan are not scared of heights when looking at Christmas Trees. Click on picture for better viewing)




I may post later in the day, I don't know. If I don't I will be taking a mini-vacation until Boxing Day from blogging.

I wish all my readers, the faithful, the lurkers, and the ones who accidently drop by from Googling Sir Winston Churchill=a very very happy holiday- from Susan and striped cat Holly in NJ/NY.


Here is one website which I love this time of year. Norad tracks Santa. It's addicting

And yes, Virginia, I DO believe in Santa Claus.

Here is a teaser of Santa from last year. video

So Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy kwanzaa, and Merry Festivus.

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 am again, musings

It's 20 degrees outside. With the windchill factor, it's 2 degrees below.

I lie in my bed, happy. I had put on clean sheets earlier in the day, baby blue flannel. I adore flannel sheets in the winter. I tear off my clothes, and cuddle down under flannel sheet, electric blanket, and heavy quilt. The blinds are open on the bedroom window, and I can see neighbors holiday lights on the outside trees and windows. and I can see the parking lot, still covered in ice. It's a nice view.

The radio is on, softly. I can barely make out "Tom Sawyer" by Rush, as i wait for the weather on the eights.

The striped one jumps on the bed, does her little dance, a baby version of moonwalk, and snuggles down on top of the quilt. The purring is on overdrive, or maybe my hearing is more acute, now that my downstairs neighbor, who is a deaf octogenarian, has gone to sleep and is not blasting Tommy Dorsey's band tonight.

In the striped one's version of the moonwalk, she walks across my stomach, and something hits something hard. I shoo her away, and try to figure out what she it. My hands rest on my hips, and then it becomes crystal clear. I can feel my hip bones. I can feel my pelvic bones. I haven't felt these guys in a long, long time.

I knew I have have lost weight. The scale says I have lost 58 pounds since last January. I know most of my clothes no longer fit. But I don't see it. I know I was always slender- until two things happened to make me fat. One was being raped-and not being able to tell anyone. Comfort foods became my constant companion, and in a short 2 months, I put on almost 40 lbs. Then the med cocktails conspired to put an additional 50 lbs. I know when I am out running errands or what not, i know I am getting stares. I am fortunate in the fact I have always looked at least 10 years younger than my age. I was still being carded up til 35 or so.

But lying in bed, I could feel bones, and it was unnerving. And happy at the same time.
It's beautiful lying here, enjoying life, grateful, and listening to the cat snore. I gently move a pillow under my arms so I don't wake her, and wish the pillow was a partner- the urge not necessarily physical as in sex, though that would be nice since it's been over 2 years now and the longest I have ever been celibate. But this is more primal, just to have someone look at the window with me, and to enjoy the sheer bliss of being alive until we both fall blissfully asleep in warm flannel on a cold December night.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Inaugural A Hoy Awards




Several months back, I was contacted by Matthew Holford, of It's Quite An Experience, to work on a new internet blog award, called the A Hoy. I am a Co-Founder! How cool is that?

It's been my pleasure going through blogrolls, reading blogs left in hyperlinked comments over the the last three months.
I want to stay away from the usual suspects and find some really awesome blogs, worthy of these inaugural picks.

And I am pleased to give the brand new A Hoy, to these following blogs.

In no particular order-they are all fabulous. All are keepers to me.

1. Healing Philosophy
This blog is run by a Canadian named Alex. Alex's bio says he speaks English and French, and I am grateful he blogs in English because my French is poor.(faible). The blog discusses Eastern and Western philosophy and every time I read it I am amazed by what he knows and how succinct his entries are. I always feel uplifted when I read this blog.

2. Merely Me's Writing to Survive.
As Merely Me states on her redesigned blog-" From my mother's schizophrenia to my son's autism to my depression and Multiple Sclerosis, I can honestly say that I am a survivor. I write to heal but more importantly, to give back."

3. A New Beginning
I don't know why I love this blog so much. It's written by a guy in his Twenties, who just finished Graduate School and is now teaching. Maybe I love this blog so much because it's something everyone knows= now that I am out of school what am I going to do with my life? But G writes about it so eloquently, so very candidly you feel you are in Norway or Dublin with him.

4. Apocrypha
Mala is a writer in Africa. She writes of Africa so clearly, you can close your eyes and feel you are there in the heat. She writes of food, like a modern MK Fisher, and of everyday life with something silly like training her puppies. Mala says she writes to help her with her depression and cure her writer's block.

5. My Sick Mind
Anthony is a New Jersey boy, and he writes about everything and everything in NJ, Philadelphia, and society in the USA. It's a delight to read, and almost brilliant satire at times. And he is the best thing I have read from NJ since "The Sopranos" left the air. Preferably read with a Tastycake.

6. Doxieman's (Larry's) Blog

Another Jersey boy, though now he lives in FL with his soon to be fiance. The only one of three bloggers I know in person. Larry's blog runs the gamut- he writes about his struggles with depression, and toxic meds. On the other hand he also writes about politics, popular culture, religion- and Doxies. I don't always agree with him, but I respect him and learn from him. I am glad to call him a friend- and even happier I am getting an invite to the wedding.

7. My Medicated Cartoon Life
Cartoons! A depressed, bitter animator draws about life. Man, cartoons haven't been this good since "Doonesbury".

8. The Banana Peel Project
Brad is a graduate student at UC San Diego, He writes about science, technology, drugs, identity, feminist theory, and anthropology. This blog is a guilty pleasure, and enjoy his blog because I feel like I am back in school and learn something every time I read.

9. Don't Give Up! Giggle On!
Christa started a blog to deal with her friend's suicide, and writes about it, passionately. She educates with humor, and I know she is helping save lives.

10. Alcoholism-A Life Sentence
Alan has been through the mill. He is an alcoholic with long term sobriety, suffers from anxiety and depression and has had ECT. In other words, a kindred spirits. Alan seems better on his recovery than me, his marriage stays, and he is able to hold down a job. But I am still inspired by his story of a fellow alcoholic, and he writes about it with such passion I usually cry.

11. Quotidian Vicissitudes
This one I just discovered, and I love it. David loves classical music, and shares his house with 3 kitties, in Portland. Portland is supposed to have one of the best remaining Indy bookstores in the country, Powells. So anyone who writes about music, cats and books- and writes about them with eloquence and erudition, what is not to like?

And last but not least-

Furious Seasons
Because Philip inspired a lot of us on "A Hoy" to start blogging and his tireless journalism and professionalism brings out the best in us all.

Serendipity Dog
Koda is an Alaskan Husky who lives with Stephany and is her daughter's psychiatric helper dog. And Koda is my helper dog too, every time I see his beautiful face he makes me happy.

Rules for Making an Award

1. Pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award based upon any criteria - for example, the quality of the commentary, wit, humour, artwork, overall design, value to you of the information being provided, and so on.

2. The awarding blogger should choose at least two blogs not on his or her own blogroll, the purpose being to encourage variety of reading matter, and to have the person making the award think about what they like to see and read.

3. Your five choices must be published in a dedicated post on your own blog. This post must contain the name of the author (which may be their logon name), and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone. This post should contain brief details of what attracted you to the blog. Details may also be posted in the comments section of "What is a Hoy?"

4. In the same dedicated post, each winner has to show the award and acknowledge the blog that has given him or her the award.

5. Both those awarding and receiving A Hoy must show the link to A Hoy blog, so that everyone will know the origin of this award.

6. When publishing details of the blogs to which you have made your awards, these Rules must be published for recipients to follow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Hanukkah



Wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah. May everyone get lots of gelt, eat lots of latkes, and all good kitties play with draidels.

Love,

Susan and the striped cat

(picture of a present from this year. Holly would not sit still long enough in her Hanukkah Yamulke for a snapshot. )

Best. Shout. Out. Ever.

I want to thank Bob Fiddaman for this awesome shout out, and a really cool song by AC/DC I never heard before and now cannot get out of my head!

I am honored to be considered an awesome woman campaigner/advocate by you.


You Rock, Fiddy!

Friday, December 19, 2008

All I could think about is pain

Note: this is a journal entry from some time ago. Not present.

All I could think about is pain. My life was over, my SO of several years had left. I had no job, I had been taking care of him for so long.

I have tried suicide before, the last time I nearly died. Miraculously, I didn’t die, but I should have. Now, all I wanted to do is go trainspotting, waiting for the right opportunity to throw myself on the tracks of an oncoming train. As fortune would have it, the train station was too crowded. The longer I stayed, the more people showed up. I figured some good Samaritan in a business suit and faux Rolex would grab me before I hit the third rail.

A drive to the lake- and the university rowing team was there. I waited 3 hours. They didn’t leave.

Something was consipiring to keep me alive.

I went home. The next day, for six days I had the flu. I didn’t want to kill myself, I was dead already.

The first day the flu lifted I began researching a way to do it. My p-doc, knowing my suicidality, never would give me full prescriptions. If I got sleeping pills, he would give me four or five. Not enough to OD on. Regular meds cannot be overdosed on, all they will do is make me Exorcist sick. My doc knows me too well.

I crossed the river to a neighboring state and proceeded to buy a gun. They said it would take five days to process. I couldn’t wait five days. I left, driving back across the Delaware river, sun shining, geese over many grassy patches.

I felt dead inside. Hollow. I went home, took a sleeping pill and went to sleep.

Next morning, the pain was as acute as ever. I took the bus into Manhattan, and went to the Empire State Building and the observation deck. I stayed there all day, trying to get over my fear of heights, to walk over to the railing and jump. I couldn’t get over my fear of heights to go to the ledge. Shame.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The world is getting more confusing. And I am in the middle of it

One more day, with a migraine from the meds. At least the vomiting stopped, but the diarrhea continues. Well, it's a great way to loose weight.

One good thing about being sick is lying on the couch, covered up in this old afghan my grandmother made for me when I left for college. It's one of the few things I own that I treasure, along with a couple of pieces of furniture my great great grandmother brought over with her from Europe to Ellis Island. I lie on the couch, switching between different cable news channels, including the one I worked for.

The news stories are- strange for lack of a better word. Snow in Las Vegas. Snow in Malibu. The dollar had the biggest one day slide against the Euro since the Euro was invented. Chrysler is closing all it's plants for one calendar month. There is a pregnant man. Caroline Kennedy wants Senator Clinton's Senate seat, a seat held by her Uncle RFK 40 years ago. And the story that breaks my heart in two- they think they found the remains of baby Caylee Anthony.

But the weirdest one of all- Some idiot in Hunterdon County, NJ named his beautiful baby boy "Adolph Hitler Campbell".

Gotta hand it to my friend Anthony, fellow Jerseyian, blogging at his website, "
My Sick MInd
", who scooped this story before Baba Wawa and crew got it yesterday on "The View". I feel sorry for little baby boy Campbell, and his sisters, one named "Aryan Nation", and one named after Himmler. They are going to grow up and either change their names, when they hit 18, or spend chunks of their adult years on a shrink's couch, wondering why dad and mom did this to them. Or they will wind up as guests on Springer. Either way I feel bad for them.

I will be back later to repost a gem. Until then, stay warm everybody. And check out Anthony's article. It's really worth a read.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Med change

I know there are many bloggers closing shop til New Years. i am still here, I am just going through a med change and hope to be back in a day or so. I am behind on emails and hope to get that up to date too in the next day or so.

Meanwhile, one of our favorite writers in the blogosphere, Philip Dawdy, a wonderful journalist in his own right, finished his fundraiser and made his goal. Unfortunately, this time the cats have not appeared.

So for all of Philip's readers jonsing for a cat fix, I found an un published picture of my girl which I hope will tide everyone over.




(Click on photo to bring it up larger)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My miracle-A memoir in madness-REPOST

I normally do like this time of year. Autumn sounds so much nicer than fall. Watching the leaves fall in my part of the country is the most beautiful gift that Mother Nature provides. All the magnificent hues of reds, yellows, and oranges. But the leaves soon fall off the trees, withering, dying, reminding us of our own mortality as we watch children playing in the leaf piles. I watch the squirrels scampering around in a last minute of food collecting before the winter arrives. It always makes me smile at their antics. And I must confess, I feel lucky to live in a town that has both black and gray squirrels.

But with the change of scenery brings sadness. This is not a depression, this is a sadness that is overwhelming. It permeates my entire body, through each pore, worming it's way into my soul. I take extra care to make sure I am doing well, watching it carefully so it does not transmogrify into something more overwhelming and sinister. It is hard. There are changes at work, and many of us feel our jobs are not as secure as they were prior to September 2001. Yet I manage to stay optimistic, I am fortunate enough that I have saved up enough money that I could live for a year frugally and write if I lost my job. Not that many people have that luxury. Or perhaps it is me; I have once been homeless, so I watch my money carefully with a sense of dread that it can happen again.


Despite the best measures, I found myself slipping towards depression around Thanksgiving. I do not know why, after all, my heart's desire has always been two things, one of them looks like it will happen next year. I have always wanted two things in life, one is to be a published writer. I have an agent. It may happen. I just need the discipline to make it happen. The other heart's desire will not happen. That is to be a "normal" person, with a family. And real manic depressives should not be with other people, since we drive them crazy, as our moods washing over us and changing as easily as turning on and off like a water faucet , as mutable as the tides. And perhaps that is where the depression came, from sadness. A writer, like all artists, tends to be a solitary introvert. I find when I write, and I get on a roll, I do not want to be bothered. I take the phone off the hook. I walk around in a t-shirt that covers down to my knees, and just write. As a person with bipolar disorder, I find the bests writing I do is when I am slightly depressed, just somewhat sad, as you would feel after seeing a movie like "Titanic". Or slightly manic, just ever so slightly just as a normal person would feel after 3 cups of coffee. In these moods I have the discipline to sit and write for hours with a glass of water or a Snapple by my side. But no, this is down and out depression. I see the warning signs. Two days without showering. Three days without washing my hair. Two days without brushing my teeth. I tend to hypersleep when I am depressed. I am now sleeping 12 or more hours a day. I cannot concentrate. I cry at the drop of a hat. I take such things like St. John's Wort. This does not work. I call my shrink. He suggests I come back in to go back on meds after being off them for about a year. With trepidation, I do. I don't like meds, I really don't. But I have decided if it is between meds or suicide, I will take the meds every time. Suicide is not an option. I had Lyme disease so my body chemistry now does not allow some of the more standard drugs anymore. He and I discuss what options there are. He feels I am not in danger to myself, or others, so hospitalization isn't an option. So it comes down to lithium or Depakote. I've been on and off lithium for years, I personally don't like Depakote because it makes me fat. So I leave his office with a script for that and start taking it.


My body does not adjust to it well. I go several days unable to sleep, unable to keep food down. I have nightmares. I am fortunate enough to have a good friend on the same coast who is a hypnotist, and he helps me through the drug induced nightmares. I find as the lithium enters my bloodstream to normal levels, I get suicidal. Very suicidal. I decide to do the unforgivable. I want to die. And being a Virgo, I have to organize it. I paid off all my bills, checked my 401K and my will, and made sure the cat was taken care of. This makes me feel good. It's a fail-safe in knowing that I can do this if I choose to.


Then one night it gets bad. Very bad. I wake up in a cold sweat. I try to get back to bed, and I cannot. I feel alone. I do not mind being alone, but this time I do. Maybe it's my hormones. I feel lonely. That is overwhelming. The sense of despair which has been my constant companion for the last few weeks is sitting besides me, it's arms wrapped tightly around me. I cannot breathe. I sense a panic attack coming on. And then it hits. The suicidal feeling washes all over me. I am not thinking clearly. All I know s I want to die now , right now and ease this pain. I feel like it's not going to get better And I want, no NEED to end it now, and fast.


For my own safety, I have no sharp knives in my apartment, or razors.( I do shave but it is with a safety razor). I have no toxic things in the house like Drano, for two reasons, my safety and the cat's. There is no place in the apartment to hang a noose, unless I feel like hanging a stuffed anial. And I am on the 2nd floor, so if I jump, all will happen is broken bones. I took care of myself when I found a dwelling place. But then an idea occurs to me. Perhaps it was because I was reminiscing on a quote from Tolstoy "Happy families are all alike". I live near the train station. Every hour a train goes from NYC to Washington DC. I can throw myself under the train. I get in my old green Ford, and drive to the train station. And just missed the last train, as luck would have it. I sit on the outside, on the cement ledge looking down on the train tracks, my feet swinging softly on the track, my feet making imaginary circles. I look at the train tracks and I know when I see the train coming, I just have to jump down, walk to the thrid rail and lie down. It shouldn't hurt too much, what ever pain there will be will be fleeting. I feel somewhat at peace, very calm, an emotion I haven't felt in a long long time. I am at peace, knowing in less than an hour, I will be one with universe and the stars. I will be anywhere but New Jersey.


It is an absolutely beautiful night, lots of stars in the sky, and a sliver of moon. the air is clear. I
find tears streaming down my cheeks. I do not know why. I do not feel alone anymore. I feel some presence near me. It's 3 am and there are no other people around - cept for a cop. There is indeed a a person next to me, a police officer. He sits down next to me, his badge and belt buckle shining in the moonlight.

"Are you Ok?", he asks.

"Yes"

'What are you doing by yourself at 2 am here? Are you drunk?"

I assure him I am not drunk. he moves my blonde hair off my face, to get a better look at me. I am surprised that such a big man can do this so quickly I don't feel him do it.


We both look at each other with a hint of recognition in our eyes.
We knew each other in college. He was in one of my Lit classes when I was a Teachers Assistant. He makes small talk with me, and realizes I am sitting on the curbside because I want to jump. And a miracle happens. He does not talk to me anymore, we both just hear each other breathing and stare at the beauty of the stars. I feel totally at peace. What seems to be an eternity later, I hear the train coming. I can see the light. I know the police officer's breathing is now coming harder, his adrenaline kicking in. He thinks, no he KNOWS I am going to jump. I look at him, his brown eyes staring deeply into my blue ones. I get up, he is breathing real hard, staring at me. And then I offer my hand to him.

"Can you walk me to my car, please?" I ask him as the train rolls by.

The smile he smiles would light the entire Vegas strip. "Sure", he says and it is over. I am safe, aI am alive, and in the end, that is all that matters.


The suicidal feeling still stays with me, it's still here, it's overwhelming. But I am not going to act on it. I won't jump. And that, strangely enough gives me comfort.




Copyright- 2002, 2007, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My 5 Favorite Holiday Songs-From Sublime to Silly

I just got this, and thought it would be fun to pass on. If you like it, consider yourself tagged.
(As you can see, my musical taste is - different. I like everything!)


1. O Holy Night- Must be sung by a tenor. Will bring me to tears literally, if done by a tenor.

2. Chipmunk Christmas Carol. (I still want a hula=hoop).

3. Nutcracker Suite.

4. Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24- Trans Siberian Orchestra

5. Hanukkah song by Adam Sandler



Friday, December 12, 2008

This just spoke to me for some reason.


WHEN I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Though you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful
When rain bends down the bough;
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.



Sara Teasdale


(I am not suicidal this evening, just melancholy).

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I hate Thomas Bowdler, and this is ridiculous!



I hate Thomas Bowdler. From the moment he came into a Victorian Lit class, I realized this man was- um, well, I will let you be the judged. Changing "Out out damned spot", to "Out, out, crimson spot", just does not work for me. Taking objectionable words or scenes from books- it reminds me in this day and age, of Holden Caulfield. Holden is the protagonist of J.D. Salinger's epic "Catcher in the Rye". In one scene towards the end of the novel, Holden goes to the school bathroom where his sister Phoebe is a student. He sees the "F-bomb" written on the wall, and tries to erase it. And then he realizes that it was one of the children he wishes to protect who scrawled it in the first place.

Robert Cox has an interesting article about a book being sensored, that was picked up by "Gothamist" this morning.
It's a good article, reprinted below- but it's Angelina Jolie!

New Rochelle School District Censors Pages from Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen's harrowing memoir that inspired Academy Award-Winning Film starring Winona Ryder and Angela Jolie.

Students at New Rochelle School High School are going to find it difficult to complete their next assignment: comparing the film adaptation of "Girl, Interrupted" to the best-selling book. In the book, Kaysen recounts her confinement at a Massachussets mental hospital in the 1960's.

Pages from the middle of the book have been torn out by the school district after having been deemed "inappropriate" by school officials due to sexual content and strong language. Removed is a scene where the rebellious Lisa (played by Angela ((SIC) Jolie in the movie) encourages Susanna (played by Winona Ryder) to circumvent hospital rules against sexual intercourse by engaging in oral sex instead.

"The material was of a sexual nature that we deemed inappropriate for teachers to present to their students," said English Department Chariperson Leslie Altschul, "since the book has other redeeming features, we took the liberty of bowdlerizing."


Sources at the school says that after receiving complaints from an as yet-to-be-identified person or group, the school district ordered students to return the book to the chairperson of the English department who then personally tore out pages 64 through 70 before returning the books to students. Ironically, news of the school censorship first broke during the same week as the school district's annual Literary Festival.


"Bowdlerizing is a particularly disturbing form of censorship since it not only suppresses specific content deemed 'objectionable,' but also does violence to the work by removing material that the author thought integral," said Joan Bertin, Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Censorship. "It is a kind of literary fraud perpetrated on an unsuspecting audience."


The ultimate decision on whether to ban books rests with Cindy Babcock-Deutsch, the President of the School Board. Babcock-Deutsch has a well-documented history of practicing censorship in her role as chairperson of board of education meetings. She has repeatedly asserted that "privacy laws" bar criticism of senior school administrators at school board meetings. More recently she has resorted to threats, interruptions and physical intimidation to silence critics at what are public meetings in public buildings.


Ms. Babcock-Deutsch did not respond to repeated requests to explain the actions of the District in censoring the book by tearing out pages. Don Conetta, principal of the school, and Richard Organisciak, schools superintendent, did not respond to requests for comment.


Sources at the District who declined to be identified confirmed that the district does have a book selection and book challenge process but those same sources claim the district failed to follow those policies in this case.

"We should either teach a book or not teach book," said one New Rochelle teacher who disagreed with the District's decision. "What sort of message do we send our students when we vandalize books?" While agreeing the content is not be suitable for all students, the teacher pointed out that the student involved were mostly 12th graders including some who were over 18 years of age. "Does someone in the school think these kids don't know about sex?"


The book was originally added to the curriculum at the request of a teacher no longer employed by the district. It was taught without incident at least one year prior to the complaint. The chairperson has admitted she did not read the book before approving it for use and only acted after receiving a complaint.


"The most shocking part of this story," said Chris Finan, President of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, "is that an English teacher in the 21st century would consciously emulate the example of Thomas Bowdler, a 19th century man who is infamous for his expurgations of Shakespeare!"


For her performance as Lisa in the film "Girl, Interrupted", Angela (SIC) Jolie won an Oscar for best supporting actress. Jolie also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actor's Guild Award for the role.

If you would like to share your thoughts on the decision of the school district to censor Girl, Interrupted you can reach school district officials here:
Cindy Babcock Deutsch
President
Board of Education
City School District of New Rochelle
cindycsdnr@gmail.com
914-576-4300

Richard Organisciak
Superintendent of Schools
City School District of New Rochelle
rorganisciak@newrochelle.k12.ny.us
914-576-4300


Don Conetta
Principal
New Rochelle High School
Dconetta@newrochelle.k12.ny.us
914-576-4500



ETA: I want to thank Larry for mentioning this post in his blog today. I am going to miss having you here in my back yard bubbelah.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

ECT Redux

I got a letter from someone who asked me my views on ECT, regarding my posts on Ray Sanford.

It's simple. If you are an adult, and you want it, fine. Have it. If you don't you shouldn't have it, nor should you be forced into it.

My thoughts on it were first posted here, and on this blog, here. The piece was originally written at the request of Philip Dawdy, who wanted a companion piece to this piece he wrote on ECT a few days before.

Again, like I said in the piece, if you want it, fine. If you don't - it shouldn't be forced on you. My own experience is simply this. i was semi if not totally catatonic, when I was admitted to a mental hospital. I don't want to name the hospital, but it is the same one where Godel died. I was brought in by work with an ultimatum- I had almost suicided the previous day, and I went into work the next day wearing pancake makeup and a turtleneck. I thought I was a good actress, but I was called down by HR shortly and told if I was not admitted "voluntarily" to the emergency room for valuation within the next 24 hours, I would be sacked.

I did not want to be sacked! So I went the next day with my mother to the emergency room, after dropping the cat at the kennel. And spent 30 days there, the entire time on suicide watch- one on one.

I was extremely suicidal, yes, that is true. The meds were being put it me at high does, and I was getting more and more suicidal, alternating between wanting to die, and catatonic episodes. 20 days into the hospitalization, the doctors decided that the only thing would make me better was ECT and they did a very good PR job explaining it to my parents and convincing them I needed this. I was too out of it to have an opinion. I remember calling my ex, and asking him what i should do.

I had 6 rounds of ECT. The first one had complications- I felt every muscle in my body for about 48 hours after the first treatment, but no problems with my memory. After the second treatment I had to get a PIC line put in because the nurse could not find a vein on the second try. I started loosing memory from the second treatment on. By the end of the sixth, I signed off on the procedure. I had a treatment on Christmas Eve morning and Boxing Day. My next scheduled procedure was supposed to be on Dec 30. The doctor, who was voted the best psychiatrist by NJ Magazine, a year later- was adamant I should not stop- and if I did, he would not be responsible if I suicided. I told him as someone who has read Philosophy- and Existentialism, it was my right if i want to die by my own hand, and he should respect that.

So there it is in a nutshell. Mindfreedom is behind Mr. Stanford, as I am, because no one should have this forced on them if they don't want it. But if you want it, it's your right. And I support you on that. Just keep in mind, for every positive experience I have heard on this procedure I have also heard a negative. And a 50/50 shot on any medical procedure, I don't want to take that risk.

Monday, December 8, 2008

In Memory of John Lennon-

John Lennon was murdered 28 years ago tonight, at 11:15 in front of the Dakota Hotel.


I spent years going to Strawberry Fields in Central Park on Dec 8, and I was in front of the Dakota the night after he died with a candle, along with other people from college .It was, the only time I can recall classes were cancelled, because professors were as sad as the students.

I loved the Beatles, and still cannot believe that John and George are gone. Heaven really does have some great rock and roll band.


In memory of John Lennon- Give Peace a Chance, Merry Christmas (War is Over).


On Human Rights Day, Ray will be getting forced ECT

Ray's Next Scheduled Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock is:
10 December -- International Human Rights Day!

by David W. Oaks, Executive Director, MindFreedom International

This Wednesday, 10 December 2008, human rights activists all over the
world will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the signing of the
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

10 December is the UN's official International Human Rights Day.

10 December is also the day that Ray Sandford is scheduled to receive
his 35th involuntary outpatient electroshock.

NEW ON WEB: Learn Ray's story -- Frequently Asked Questions About Ray
Sandford Campaign, click here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/sandford-faq

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Latest News on Ray Campaign

Unless action is taken swiftly, then this Wednesday morning, as he
has been for most mornings in the last few months, Ray will be
awakened early by staff in his room at the group residence Victory
House near Minneapolis.

Once more an escort will bring him against his will the 15 miles to
Mercy Hospital, where once more -- under court order -- doctors will
place electrodes on his head for another electroconvulsive therapy
(ECT), or electroshock, that can and has wiped out precious memories
and cognitive abilities from Ray.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Good News About Ray Campaign:

Because of MindFreedom's campaign to support Ray Sandford:

* The Minnesota Governor's office reports receiving "hundreds" of
complaints. Thank you everyone!

* Three agencies are now working to replace Ray's non-responsive
court-appointed attorney with a new attorney.

* National media has finally interviewed Ray for an upcoming broadcast.

The Bad News: It is Not Enough! Speak Out Now!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

** ACTION ** ACTION ** ACTION **

It is time to take the Ray Campaign up a notch, peacefully but strongly!

Let this become a top issue in the Governor's office.

Telephone Governor Pawlenty's office *NOW*:

Call any day, but especially call *before* Ray's scheduled
electroshock next Wednesday, 10 December 2008.

Call from anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Central Time weekdays.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHY WON'T GOVERNOR PAWLENTY REPLY? Find out! Ask!

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has completely stone-walled!

* His office refuses to issue any statement on the policy of forced
electroshock.

* He claims he can do nothing, that the courts are in charge, when he
could at least make sure Ray gets better legal representation for a
stay or appeal.

* His office operators have been instructed to immediately redirect
calls about Ray into a voice mail. No one we know of has ever heard
back. Some operators have hung up on callers.

* Meanwhile, the Governor is sponsoring a $200-a-head luxury hotel
conference about International Human Rights Day!

It is time to get creative!

* Ray will not give up!

* We will not give up!

* Don't you give up!

Please be peaceful, but be CREATIVELY MALADJUSTED in your next
phone calls to Governor Pawlenty's office.

First, get the name of the operator and write it down. Then start by
asking polite but firm questions about advocacy...

* about citizen input...

* about who to talk to about mental health policy...

* about the names and phone numbers of the Ombudsman office

* about mental health policy and the mental health division...

* about how poor people can have adequate legal representation...

And only then ask about why the Governor is refusing to speak out
about Involuntary Outpatient Electroshock (IOE)?

Insist on speaking to a live real person about this issue.

If you do not get a real person with a real reply, CALL BACK.

If an operator hangs up on you, call back and ask to speak to a
manager and complain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

REMEMBER:

Telephone Governor Pawlenty's office *NOW*:

Call any day, but especially call *before* Ray's scheduled
electroshock next Wednesday, 10 December 2008.

Call from anywhere in the world phone (651) 296-3391.

From inside Minnesota phone toll free (800) 657-3717.

You have the best chance of reaching staff from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Central Time weekdays.

If you do receive any helpful information or leads, e-mail it to news-
at-mindfreedom.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Learn more about Ray on the all-new "Frequently Asked Questions"
page about the Ray Campaign.

Learn about:

* The back story about Ray.

* How MindFreedom filed an official torture complaint about the State
of Minnesota to the United Nations.

* And what else you can do to help.

Click on the Frequently Asked Questions page here:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A clickable version of above Ray Alert 5 is on web here:
http://www.mindfreedom.org/shield/ray/alert-5-sandford

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Get Around the Media Blackout! Forward this human rights alert to
all people who care about human rights, on and off the Internet!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Encourage Everyone to Join MindFreedom International During the Fall
2008 Support Drive

Build the people power it will take to stop the kind of torture that
Ray is experiencing!

For information about how you can join MindFreedom today, click here:

http://www.mindfreedom.org/join-donate

~~~~~~~~~~

MindFreedom International Office:

454 Willamette, Suite 216 - POB 11284; Eugene, OR 97440-3484 USA

web site: http://www.mindfreedom.org
e-mail: office@mindfreedom.org
MFI member services phone: (541) 345-9106
MFI member services toll free: 1-877-MAD-PRIDe or 1-877-623-7743
new fax: (480) 287-8833

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Migraine-quick post

For the 4th time this week I have woken up with a migraine. The weird thing is I usually get up between 3-4 am when the cat makes her nocturnal rounds, and walks across my full bladder.

I am fine then, I empty said bladder play with cat for a few minutes, and then go back to bed, shutting the bedroom door this time. I am fine. I go to sleep, lulled by the sound of the fan. It snowed last night, and I still had the fan going on and the heat at 65 degrees. Woke up covered in sweat.

I looked up side-effects for Cymbalta last night when my head was clearer. Migraines, common. Weight loss- common. Yeah, I am on one meal a day, I have no appetite. It says don't prescribe with lithium Sheeze. My lithium in the last 6 weeks has gone from 600 mg to 2800. Do doctors read this shit? This information is even on Wikipedia! and here.(SNRI's)

I am convinced the only med to make me better besides chocolate- is an animal. Here is a lovely video of a cat and a dog- who have unusual talents. They scuba dive,

Enjoy. Happy Sundae everyone.

video

Saturday, December 6, 2008

NJ's Greatest Poet


I have been trying for over half an hour to cut and paste this, but my computer is dying ,and for some reason will not lt me cut an paste to Blogger. I feel anxious, I was not planning on buying a new mac until next year, when money will be better.

This is the video- NJ's greatest Poet - and musician. Forget Whitman, Forget Joyce Kilmer, Forget Williams. Even (as much as I adore him) forget Ginzberg. (Do they even read "Howl" anymore?) My grandparents and parents had Sinatra.
We had the Boss.


.This video was made when I was in 10th grade, 2 years before "The River" came out and converted me to a Bruce fan. What is really amazing is this- the lyrics for the song- are after the second stanza, totally different then what appears on "The River", album. The music melody is the same. It's a good video- you can see Clarence Clemons and Stevie Van Zandt, and the Boss looking the way he looked in my teens an I had a crush on. To this day, if I was on a desert island and could only pick 5 songs to have with me, this would be on of the five.

I am indebted to Bob Fiddaman, for posting some Bruce clips on his blog yesterday for this. Lucky guy got to see him perform. Alas, I cannot say that. I have seen Clarence perform at the Stone Pony, but solo. I did see Bruce once on a vacation trip in LA, he and his wife were at the same Pizza restaurant I was eating it.
I almost choked on my pizza, I was so excited to see him.

Friday, December 5, 2008

And now for something completely different

I just came back from shopping with my mother, and we shared a coffee at Dunkin Donuts. I was really craving a Boston creme donut, but oh well.

I thought I would lighten things up from my last post which was a downer, it is Friday after all.

I turned on the TV to watch the news for a bit, and saw this commercial. For some reason, it's not allowing me to post it here, so here is the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZjKQLK4plo&feature=related


It's an ipod nano commercial, and the song is "Bruises" by Chairlift.Here is the link again, until I can get You Tube to cooperate and allow me to post this.


I cannot get it out of my head. It's mesmerizing. It's really a good song.






Ok. I just outed myself. I LOVE Monty Python. Dead Parrots, Lumberjacks, and funny walks everything.

Sometimes I think my heart is way too big and will break

Sometimes I think my heart is too big and will break. I care too much and worry too much about people. I cannot help it, I have been this way since childhood.

In real life (I hate that term) I have two good friends in the hospital. Each has their own demons they need to sort out, and hopefully things will be OK. One of these friends I am optimistic over, she is a warm, caring person, and I know once they figure out things with her, she will be back on her feet. The other friend, is someone with a history of illegal drug use, and in and out of rehab and NA. I am his sponsor from NA- even though I am sort of in AA. The good news is he hit rock bottom, and realizes this is his last chance to get clean and sober. The bad news is- he, like me, almost and should have died when he hit bottom recently.

His best friend suicided in September. I think my friend has a guardian angel.


The only real good news I had this week was a friend from real life/blogosphere is taking his relationship to the "next level" with his girlfriend, an I am so happy for them. They are both wonderful people.


In cyberspace- the friends I have made- many seem to be struggling Some of it is seasonal, overwhelmed by the holidays, their families, holiday commitments One just lost a parent. Having. Not enough money to pay some bills, scrimping here and there. (I can relate to that last one)> And some of it is malignant, stories that will break your heart in two and tear it asunder.


Some blogger friends I have had to read only cursory, because of my mental health. It doesn't mean I don't love them, it means reading about their pain, makes me sad, then I cry, or worse, I resort to going to bed , trying to get the cat to snuggle with me for comfort, or if that doesn't work, grab the pillow and cradle it like a friend or a lover, wetting it softly with my tears.


I try to write, I have a couple of paying writing proposals in the hopper- and my pen is dry. I don't usually get writer's block this bad. In fact, I only did 5K words this year in NaMoWriMo, which is the worst I have done since 2000, when I first started participating.

I don't know if all this lead to a change in my meds- or I am still feeling the residuals from being ill and near death this Spring. It might be both. I know lately I have been having migraines that are so bad, I want to put a screwdriver in my head and tear out my brain stem. I know it's from a side effect from my current med cocktail. I also know it is scary because the people I love the most want to declare me non compos mentis, and place me in a group home. In fact, I am set to tour said group home later today.

I haven't shared that with anyone. I don't think it will happen now- they are safeguarding their bets for a few years from now. And that scares me because I have always been independent, and even when this bipolar illness rendered me homeless, living in an a 86 Datsun and taking showers and the battered women's shelter- I still fought back and got back on my feet. It just gets harder each day- some days I want to just stay in bed, pull the covers up over my head and be like the cat and sleep 20 hours a day.


I look at the evening news, and lately have to turn it off. I don't understand how people murder people. Yes, I've read Cleckley, Samenow, et al.. and wish we were more like cats- who kill for different reasons. Those reasons I understand, yet, if my cat was an indoor/outdoor cat and presented me with a mouse, I may not be too understanding at that moment.

I don't understand how people could keep on shopping after they crushed a man to death on Black Friday, and I don't understand how a suicide in Philadelphia, could have people cavalierly taking pictures of a broken body with their cell phones instead of calling 911 first.

I don't want to understand. I want to keep my childlike innocence that people are intrinsically good, Clarence is my guardian angel, and it's a wonderful life. "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt", said Billy Pilgrim in "Slaughterhouse Five".

But for now all I can do is try to stop this headache from turning into a migraine, take two aspirin, and crawl back to bed, minus one cat. So ends tonight's dark night of the soul.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

HAPPINESS IS


(photo curtesy of Flickr)


The sky smiling last night as a rare configuration of the moon, Venus and Jupiter took place.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Around the Blogosphere-Prayers & Wishes, & Goodwin Edition

I have had a migraine most of the day, have not done anything but sleep and see the p-doc.

So I would like to mention and give a shout out to several wonderful blogs to read today, discover, and hopefully I will be back to full blogging tomorrow.


(In no particular order)

1. Philip Dawdy over at Furious Seasons, is starting a pledge drive. Try to give what you can to support this amazing writer via paypal - even a dollar or two is appreciated. Folks, I know the stock market went down the toilet today almost 700 points, but please, like I said, throw a couple of dollars his way- the price of your Starbucks.


2. It is World Aids Day. Gianna Kali, and Hymes both have written about it hauntingly, on their respective blogs.

3.
Liz Spikol would like prayers for a friend who was seriously injured on Friday night in Philly.

4. Stan Cavers is still looking for a lawyer.

5. Dr. Goodwin, among other things, the author of the book "Manic Depressive Illness" (with Kay Jamieson) has been making a lot of news in the mental health world. For some interesting reading Philip Dawdy here, and here, and Danny Carlat have this to say, while John McManamy has this to say.


6. Fiddy over at Seroxat (Paxil) Sufferers, has an a article about his meeting with the MHRA.

7. Stephanyhas another post about her daughter, who is an inspiration to me.


8.. And lastly, Dano just put her beloved kitty, Hello Newman down, and can use hugs.

And I would like to thank the wonderful people at the Cat Blogosphere for praying for my striped kitty.

That is enough links for today.


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