Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all who come by. Thank you for the over 100,000 hits this year- it is appreciated more than you can imagine.

I got a bit of bad news this morning, my best male friend in the universe- someone i dearly love, had a stroke on the doing well, but it makes me realize how fragile we all are and how much my friends mean to me.

Sending healing vibes to across the pond.



Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Senate Health Care Bill Contains $1.25 Billion Gift To Sen. Stabenow

I always said, when I grow up, I want to be a proper journalist, a journalist in the old style of journalists- before Woodward and Bernstein, when journalists were real hard hitters, going miles for a story, as well as their Camels. When they wore hats like this, and yelled phrases like "stop the presses". Journalists like Hemingway, Dreiser, and Anderson. Most of them are gone by now... or too old to write- but it's like if all the greats got together one night and had a love child , it would be Philip Dawdy of Seattle.

Philip is cut from that very cloth of what makes the old fashioned journalist- the way he seeks out stories, and writes them. True, he may not use the shoe leather the way the greats does- he uses a computer- but when he comes up with something, it's a goodie. A real diamond.

He posted such a gem yesterday, and it seems to have gotten lost in the annual Christmas/New Years, I'm not surfing the net, week- which is a shame. It's really a must read, especially if you are an American.

According to Philip's piece- Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) from Michigan, was given a "gift" of 1.25 billion dollars,because (she)
was a passionate advocate for the so-called public option who voted to support a bill without a public option in exchange for inclusion of $1.25 billion in new federal spending to support "centers of excellence" in depression treatment.

The article continues-

In October, Stabenow introduced the so-called ENHANCED Act of 2009 on the Senate floor. But the Act was not included in the original Senate health care reform bill. Instead, it showed up virtually unnoticed in the manager's amendment (as the Senate amendments are known) on December 19. Was this inclusion in exchange for Sen. Stabenow's vote? What would these depression centers do (the relevant text begins on page 277)? Are they really needed? Depression is, after all, a well-researched and understood phenomenon and has been for decades and billions of dollars federal, state and pharma have been focused upon it. Why does the Senator believe that depression and bipolar disorder exist at twice the rate as does NIH? Is she engaging in scare tactics? How would these centers improve access to health insurance coverage for uninsured Americans, which is what I thought health care reform was supposed to be about?

You can read the article in it's entirety here. I strongly suggest you do, especially if you are an American. This health bill is going to affect every one of us, and the jury (at least for me) is still out on if this is a good bill or a bad bill. Or just a bill sitting on Capitol Hill.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Farewell 2009

Jib Jab says farewell to 2009, as only they can....enjoy!!!

Why I Hate New Years Eve- Rewrite/Revision

This piece was written several years ago....This does not indicate my state of mind at the moment, but is rather a glimpse of why I hate New Years Eve, especially if you are alone on it.

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. Drink the bottle in the bath tub. And when the bottle is empty, crash it against the bathtub, shattering it. Taking the shards and 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. I am so lonely I might as well be dead.

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. 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.

(Original written in 2001, re written in December 2008, and December 2009).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sophie's Choice- To Med Or Not To Med

I have a bad back. So do lots of people. Mine stems from a bad fall, landing on my back as a summer camp counselor. Add to the fact that Mother Nature has, depending on your view, either blessed me or cursed me with a set of DDD's. So this past September, I threw out my back. Nothing new here. A couple days in bed with the heating pad, and I should be as good as new.

This one went from bad to worse. I could barely walk, crawling around from the bed to the toilet, into the kitchen to put out kibble and water for the cat... back to bed. I couldn't reach the cabinet to get my meds, so I went without. And during that time, I went cold turkey off my anti-depressant. I don't know if the pain and nausea I felt was from my back pain or the med withdrawal.

Eventually, a couple days later, I felt fine. And when I went to take my meds in the morning- I noticed the Cymbalta bottle was empty. And my brain, felt clearer than it had in over a year. I didn't think twice, took my lithium, and decided from that point on- no more Cymbalta. No more anti depressant in my cocktail.

I started running low on my lithium back in October. I was flying blind, no psychiatrist at the time- because she and I had a parting of the ways. I was on a dose of 3100 mg a day, and I realized- I better find another doc, and make the script last. So I weaned myself down, on my own. 3100 one day. the next day, 300 less. A week later another 300 less. And down down down til I got down to nothing. That was one fortnight- two weeks ago.

I feel wonderful. My brain is clear for the first time in years. I can write. I actually feel like I can talk to people. I am not afraid to leave my apartment. Other than massive cravings for sea food and sugar, (Anyone for chocolate covered shrimp?), I feel better than I have in years. I've gone down from sleeping 12-14 hours a day to a normal eight.

I have had periods of my life when I have been med free- the shortest one was about 2 or 3 months, the longest was slightly over a year. Mood swings, hanging pretty close to the middle, but no serious highs, or lows. What would happen is my brain would clear, and I would evaluate my life. And I wasn't happy with it. At various times, I was working at jobs that I was over qualified for and bored out of my mind. To the outside world, it seemed like a good job, i just felt my brain was atrophying and I just started hating it. Hating getting up in the morning, hating every part of work....hating coming home to an empty apartment with a cat, and no other company. I joined a dating service, no luck, and I was past the point where I would go to City Gardens or Zadar's or Katmandu, after spending an hour or more on makeup, hair and clothes, to have some drunken clod spill beer all over my clothes, or bump into me and make drunken sexist comments about my figure. Ugh.

I stopped drinking in clubs and started drinking at home, on the weekends. Really drinking. From Friday night, til Sunday night, drinking, passing out, anything to stop the lonliness I was feeling. I always had bad luck with men, they either were intimidated by me because I was "smart", was "one of the guys", or just "not pretty enough, too low maintance". Finally, I got tired of it all, decided to give up my weekends doing volunteer work and working in bookstores for extra pocket money. I love books. I love every aspect of them, feeling them, shelving them, reading the book flaps, opening them and just loosing myself in a world of words. But I was still suicidal, I just knew how to hide the ideation. I would go to the shrink- to the therapist, and just take what ever pills were given to me, not questioning. More lithium. More antidepressants. More more more.

And hate the way they would make me feel. But I was a good girl, I wanted people to like me, I wanted...... I wanted no trouble, and to be liked. Winding up in a Dickensian orphanage was my biggest childhood fear. I still act like a child around authority. Never questioning, never saying "please sir, can i have some more", while my tummy is rumbling.

Now, a new doctor. A script for a new med cocktail- back to lithium- a new anti depressant- Abilify- and Topamax. I put them in my wallet, shake hands with the doc, and leave. The scripts have stayed in my wallet for a few days. I don't feel like filling them, yet I finally do. And put them in the medicine cabinet, not taking them. I know my disability needs me to be on meds, but do I take them or not?

My mother cries. She wants me to take them. She is convinced I will suicide if I don't take them. I am convinced I will suicide if I do take them. Not now. But someday.

The other night at my local DBSA meeting ,I bring up a topic. Would you rather live two very good years, being able to be the best of your abilities, functioning as a real human being, and happy- but off meds- or on meds and live 20 years just existing, just breathing but unable to think as your brain is clouded in a sea of fog and miasma? All your life is reduced to a bunch of involuntary bodily functions?

I said I would rather live two more good years than exist in a prison of fog and miasma made possible from a clouded, broken brain. Some agreed with me, most did not.

Most did not. The story of my life. Not fitting in anywhere- and not knowing what to do, but following my heart, and soul. Tomorrow may rain. I'll follow the sun.
(Picture by Frieda Kahlo. She knew about a bad back too).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sleeping In the Bathroom - (Rewritten)

I am dreaming. I dream I am dead. I see myself, in the coffin, in the ground. Something comes out of my mouth, and ears. I wake up screaming, as I always do, praying I will be cremated. I realize I am alive. My heart is racing, my breath is fast. My cat stirs looks at me with her big copper eyes and closes them. It is 2:15 am.

I hear a knock and a doorbell ring about 20 minutes later. I look outside the window, and see a police car, the lights flashing red in the darkness. I realize the police are at my door. I don a bathrobe, and close the door, leaving the cat to slumber on my bed uninterrupted, and climb the steps downstairs to my front door. I am tired. I open the door, leaving the chain on. The cops shine their lights on me. Can we come in miss?

I open it wider to make sure they are police officers. They are. I close the door, remove the chain and let them come upstairs to my apartment. One starts talking to me, the other one takes the flashlight and starts poking around, “Don’t let the cat out! “ I scream.

“What the blue blazes is going on”, I want to say. The constable seems to read my mind. We had a 911 call that there were loud screams coming from this apartment. Are you alone?

Just me and the cat.

No other people, you aren’t hiding anyone?


He asks me to show him my neck. I do. I am fine.

Do you have a boyfriend?

Not at the moment

Did anyone hit you tonight? Hurt you?

No, I had a bad dream and woke up screaming.

The other cop tells his partner, no one else is here, and I checked, no alcohol. No drugs.

It was a bad dream. I dreamt I had died and there were worms. I am afraid of the worms.

They leave, assured that I am OK. And I am embarrassed. And wish the floor could swallow me. The love of my life was a constable, the one person who tore my heart asunder.The one I still sleep with parts of his uniform because they still smell of him. I respect policemen, but they make me nervous.

I am on a ledge. I am afraid I am going to fall.

I drove home from my parent’s house the other night, with a notion I wanted to take the car off the road and swerve it into a tree. The whole way home a police car was behind me, passing me about 500 yards from my apartment. I was mad.

Last night was the worst. Earlier this week I noticed my hair was coming out from the lithium, I am currently taking. Or a side effect from Leukocytosis I have developed from lithium. A visit to the hairdresser confirmed it; I have lost a great deal of hair. It was shorn - I lost over a foot. It had always been my pride and joy. Now it lay on the floor discarded. I spent the day after it was cut in bed, afraid to look in a mirror. It is hardly on my back now. I washed my hair today, more in the drain. It looks like I will be totally bald soon. At least my insurance pays for a wig.

I was too depressed to want to off myself. Today I felt good. And decided to try to hurt myself. I tried to get my boom box into the bathroom plug it in and drop it in the bath. To my dismay, it didn’t reach. I couldn’t get the blade out of the safety razor. So I did something I had promised a good friend I would never do. I went to an office supply store and got an exacto knife. And slit my wrists. Maybe with all the medication the blood didn’t come out. It didn’t. Or maybe I didn’t cut deep enough. It hurt like hell. I had a fantasy of perhaps saying “F**K You” in blood, I am mad.

I am PO'ed that I missed a promotion. That was given to a girl ten years younger than me who rumor has it slept into it. It makes me so mad, because she didn’t even swallow. I wanted it, worked as hard as her. It is not fair. Some people just have life fall into their laps and other people keep getting sh*t thrown at them. I am tired of shoveling sh*t. I am so tired. I want to sleep. I am so angry. Why do I have to have this?

A friend of mine, has told me I cannot get well until I accept I am a manic-depressive. Bipolar. I cannot accept it. I am fighting it, I have been fighting since I was born, being shoved in foster homes until I was adopted. I fought back when I was raped, and probably lived to tell the tale because of it. I fought the entire time I was living in my car, after being tossed out of my folks house when a roommate blew my entire life savings up her nose, going to a battered women’s shelter to shower and change. I could probably knock the s**t out of Mike Tyson.

Perhaps not.

I am getting more and more acutely suicidal. Do I want to hurt someone? No, but I want to scream. I have never tried to electrocute myself before. Would I have done it if the cord had reached? Yes. Would it hurt? Absolutely.

I have always fantasized about wrists and hanging. Obsessed. I finally gave into the fantasy, to that last taboo- and tried that. Obviously, it didn’t work, I am still here. Damn. Why?

A friend of mine, a wonderful man on the other coast told me if he had one wish in the world, he would wish that I could finish a novel, get it published, and live off the money from it, get famous, or slightly famous and live happily ever after. If he had one wish. He is a good friend. He could have easily wished that his children get full scholarships to his Ivy League Alma Mater. He could have wished for money, which I know he could use. He wished for me. He is one of the few people who have not left me during the last two months of hell during my leave of absence. Instead he calls me daily, letting me cry, as I rapid-cycle, up and down as often as 47 times in an hour.

And I repay him back by slitting my wrists. Nice one. I should care. But I don’t I am in so much pain. I just want it to end.
Make peace with this? I went into this world kicking and screaming, I am going to leave it the same way. Why does so much bad things have to happen to me.?

Why can’t I be like everyone else? Why can’t I have the little white house and the picket fence and 2 children, 2 cats and a dog? Why can’t I be a soccer mom? All the women I know my age are soccer moms.

I am a failure. I am the opposite of King Midas, instead of everything I touch turning to gold, everything I touch turns to s**t.
I want to curl up and die. I don’t care about work. I am sick from the medication. Is it worth it? Vomiting constantly, migraines, and hair loss? Rapid-cycling as often as 47 times in an hour? I lay down to sleep and I have nightmares? The sweats? I am keeping my apartment at sixty degrees and I still am sweating. Sleeping in the bathroom because I cannot stop vomiting. All to be normal?

But don’t we all want to be normal?

(Rewritten December 26, 2009. Original dates from either 2002 or 2003).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Very Happy Holiday To All

On behalf of Holly the cat and I, we would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday.
This is my holiday card sent out to friends and family- I wanted to share it with my readers....

(Made by Peter's Internet Designs)


Monday, December 21, 2009

Ex Drug Rep Wins Survivor Samoa

Ah, I love Andy Denhart. I missed the show last night- because I didn't want to see three hours of solid Russell planning and plotting- I can handle him for an hour- but not for three...but I am glad he won fan favorite. He was my favorite despite it all.

So Andy of course scoops the show like he has done for every year, and this morning I find out that Natalie White, the former drug rep, won the whole shebang. Good for her for outlasting, and out playing Russell.

So a former drug rep wins.... nothing new, a former drug rep, and imho the best woman to play Survivor, Stephanie was a drug rep. So were at least one or two others from every series.

But still it begs the question- I know how Big Pharma goes to colleges and universities and aIms for a certain type to be a drug rep. You cannot be stupid, you must be attractive, and it's great to be an athlete or a cheerleader. Especially a cheerleader.

I just wish they were going around with samples of chocolate, or puppies and/or kittens instead of Prozac. But the few reps I have met- when they come to my former shrink's office, they always had big boxes of Duncan Donuts with them- and they always offered me one.

Maybe the drug companies could come up with a pill that tastes exactly like a donut- with no calories. They can hire Willy Wonka to work on it.

Huge Hat tip to Pharma Gossip!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is this the perfect antidepressant?

Here's one anti depressant that won't put on weight or give you any other side effects..

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sometimes I feel like I can't even sing

Sometimes I feel like I can't even sing (say, say, the light)
I'm very scared for this world
I'm very scared for me (say, say, the light)
Eviscerate your memory

Why bother? Watching the evening news, i just don't understand. Tensions in the Middle East mounting, most likely a war next year. Every day another story of a mother or father murdering their children. Or a boyfriend murdering their girlfriend. Children in parts of the world, all parts going to bed hungry. Commercials on TV asking you to sponsor a hungry child. Another commercial for Polar Bears. Our Boys and Girls coming back from war and nothing there to help them once they arrive back here. People abusing animals.Tiger isn't a hero anymore. It's all too much.

My mother and I were watching the news and what made me even sadder than I was, was how she was talking about how almost everyone writes a book nowadays, what is the fine line between fiction and non fiction?

This brought up the discussion of my novel- I told my mother it is a NOVEL. I will send it out as a novel, even though most of it is true. Mom had just read a book about prison and she was upset about strip searching. I just looked at her and said, they do that at every hospital I have ever been at.

She looked at me and almost cried. No....

"Oh yes, and it 's the most horrible thing, evasive as hell. They do a body cavity search". She didn't believe me. I continued, "yes, they put you in a room with a nurse and another woman, they tell you to strip down to your bra and panties, then they remove the bra, one woman is checking out the bra to make sure there is no contraband sewn in, and the other one is checking your boobs to make sure there is no contraband there. Then they hand the bra back to you, you put it on, and they tell you to remove your panties and it's like having a gynecological exam, they stick a finger inside, and they check your rear end too." She got upset and said why?

Easy, I said. The second time I was at that hospital a girl OD'ed because she snuck sleeping pills up in her privates. They were finding the drug addicts were putting drugs up there or their rear ends.... And yes, it's humiliating, it's really humiliating. I am sure it's worse though for a guy.

Last night I dreamed of J- I had not dreamed pf him since he left over 3 years ago. I woke up in a cold dead sweat. I dreamed of Absinthe, something i have never had, but i feel like the girl in painting.

I want to sing again. i want to pick up my clarinet and wail hitting that high "F" in Tchaikovsky's 5th- and play jazz. Pick up a guitar with my surname on it- and play til my fingers bleed.

I want to be able to write, write write until my fingers bleed and my nails have all broken. I just don't know how to anymore. I have more ideas floating around in my head than I have in years, I just... I just.... I want to be great. It's all I got, it's my only dream. And I feel like I am that guy who gets to the Olympics, breaks his leg and comes in last with his father. I may be down and out, but I will cross the finish line. As he was dying, baseball great Tug McGraw signed a baseball for my father. "You Gotta Believe". I believe this. I will get my groove back. I just need patience, and that is something I have never had.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Hanukkah!

Been so busy running around getting things done for the holidays- just haven't had time to sit down and write.

Here is my favorite Hanukkah song- The Adam Sandler one- for all my friends who celebrate Hanukkah tonight. Come on over- I am making latkes.....but I need applesauce.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Eggs in a basket

This is a real gem, from Howard, who blogs at Non Breaking Space. I hope all enjoys it as much as I did. The original is here. For some strange reason, it really spoke to me today, perhaps it reminds me of Salinger's Seymour Glass.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

All He Was Saying....

Today, if you haven't heard is the 29th anniversary of John Lennon's death. Had he lived, he would have been 69 this past October.

I just cannot bring myself to write about it.... It still is like a raw wound. I no longer cry when I hear Beatles songs on the radio, but I could not listen to them for years and years. I gave away/sold all my Beatle albums, the Capitol ones, the Apple ones, even the Butcher Cover Album I had. By the time I fell in love with John and Paul- they had long since broken up- but the sweetness was still there. First slow dance with a guy- at a cousin's Bar Mitzvah. The song was "If I fell". My first real kiss with a guy- the kind with tongue- the song on the radio was "You're gonna to loose that girl".

I still recall that night he died, clear as crystal. One of the few memories I still have that wasn't destroyed. Studying for an final exam in American History. Listening to either WMMR or WYSP. Freaking out when the female DJ went on air and freaked out.
Running down the hall to find someone, anyone in the dorm still up with a TV.

Taking the exam and seeing the prof with a black band around his arm. The whole college crying. Going into the city 24 hours later... and hanging out in front of the Dakota along with all the other fans, crying so hard I put out my candle thrice.

I cannot write anymore, I will not be journeying to Strawberry Fields this year.The Gothamist has some nice background story and where to hear tributes.

I don't know if there is a Heaven, but I hope, where ever John Lennon is, he is playing guitar with George and all the other rockers. Thank you John for your music.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saturday Night Fever (on the brain)

Snow. Falling silently, softly, the neighbor's Christmas twinkle lights turning it all shades of blue, green, red, yellow. I lie in my bed, warm under five blankets, and the cat is near me. I have fresh washed flannel sheets on the bed, and to enjoy them even more, stripped down to my birthday suit, so I can feel flannel on my skin. It's a wonderful feeling. Window shade up, snow falling, I am lying in bed, propped up by two fluffy pillows, and one fluffy cat on my side, occasionally swiping a paw at an imaginary mousie she is chasing in her dreams. All I am missing is a cup of hot chocolate, on my night table.

Sounds nice, doesn't it? No. Not. My brain is going a million miles an hour. Since 2 pm the only thought in my head has been to change the lyrics on a popular song and sing it' - "Susan's got a gun".....but I don't have any. I do have a water pistol some where, but no... no gun. And again and again the thought goes through my brain- I wish I had one. But if I did, right at this moment, I would be too terrified these would be the last things I would be doing until I pointed it at my heart and pulled the trigger.

I am holding my AA coin in my right hand. Holding on to it for dear life. My 13 year coin. I have two- one for me and one I mailed to my blogging friend Mary. The last couple of days, I have been having drinking dreams, I dream of cool Long Island Ice Teas, White Russians, wine in slender glasses. I dream of getting high, feeling I can do no wrong, that I am indeed pretty, smart and a good person to be around. I have a trick up my sleeve- the same trick I used when I was first getting sober. Go to a 24 hour club, stay there all day if need be, and drink Diet Peach Snapple every time you want to drink.

So I am safe. Safe right now.... and trying to do every trick in the book to quiet my brain, hence, looking at snow and meditating. Giving into the purely hedonistic feel of flannel on an icy cold night against my warm skin. I'm staying alive.

In the morning, hopefully the thoughts will be quieter, and the loneliness I feel won't be so acute. Who knows? Maybe in the morning I will have something to look forward to, something to do that will take me away from my own existential angst. My own hell in my brain. Hopefully I will be able to eat something... and it will stay down. Hopefully I will be able to go to Sunday Dinner at my parents house. Hopefully, hopefully... it will be a good day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Evening Ramblings

Not depressed but overall sadness encompassing, feels weird. Don't know if I should embrace it and write through it, or just sit on the couch, wrap up in my snuggie and smoke and cry through it. Ideas?

I wish there was someone here to hold me, just hold me.

I think Paul Simon said it better than I am trying.

"All my words come back to me,
in shades of mediocrity.
Like emptiness and harmony,
I need someone to comfort me".

Beautiful full moon outside. Humbling. I think I am going to sit on the couch with my baby panda bear and just look at it.


FDA has issued serious warning regarding Depakote in pregnancy

Philip Dawdy at Furious Seasons was the first to publish this story today.

"The FDA notified health care professionals and patients about the increased risk of neural tube defects and other major birth defects, such as craniofacial defects and cardiovascular malformations, in babies exposed to valproate sodium and related products (valproic acid and divalproex sodium) during pregnancy. Healthcare practitioners should inform women of childbearing potential about these risks, and consider alternative therapies, especially if using valproate to treat migraines or other conditions not usually considered life-threatening.

“Women of childbearing potential should only use valproate if it is essential to manage their medical condition. Those who are not actively planning a pregnancy should use effective contraception, as birth defect risks are particularly high during the first trimester, before many women know they are pregnant.” (
FDA notice)

Philip brings up one very good point, why hasn't this hit the main stream press? As a former member of said main stream press, I want to know the same thing.

Thank you Gianna Kali and Fiddy for pointing this out to me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Best real shows on TV start tonight

There is a family crisis small, but time consuming. - which is why I haven't been blogging. That and a yearly turkey coma.

I just want to inform all out there - that A&E channel will be starting two new seasons tonight. That of Intervention, and Hoarders. I cannot say enough for these two shows- both are fascinating, and worth a view, or a place on your Tivo if you cannot watch them. Both are graphic, raw accounts of mental illness, those who are addicted to something, either drugs, alcohol, or have eating disorders, or a combination.... and those who cannot stop collecting things. (Follow the above hyperlinks for archived shows on line)

On a lighter side, for those who have the cable channel and cannot wait til January 29, for Fox to air the US version, the UK version of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares starts on December 2, on the BBC America channel. ( I love watching Gordon Ramsay for some reason).

And just for fun- the NFL announced the half time show for the next Super Bowl will be The Who. It's like, I don't care who is in the game this year, let me watch the half time show in peace!

Hopefully back soon.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

In honor of Thanksgiving, enjoy this turkey recipe, by celebrated chef and Jersey Boy, Anthony Bourdain! Have a happy holiday everyone.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Strange Week- and other thoughts, including turkeys

There is an old joke- you know you are old when...

This week I can answer that. You know you are old, when your parents can no longer do Thanksgiving, and ask you to take over.

Needless to say, I don't know if I am coming or going, and right now, cannot wait for Black Friday! Just too busy to write, blog, or do too much else.

On a sadder topic, blogger and one of my own personal muses, Philip Dawdy, of the Furious Seasons blog had to put down his beloved cat, Katie yesterday. I had to put down my beloved cat in December of 2002, and it was the hardest thing I ever did, and I still miss her muchly. Please stop by Philip's site and send condolences. It must be extremely sad to loose your friend right before the holiday season. Philip is also doing a fund drive, any spare change that can be sent is appreciated.

Back to the world of turkeys and trimmings.....and what to wear for dinner.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New NJ Law Reports on Ancora Incidents

Soon to be leaving Governor Corzine (D), signed nearly two dozen bills into laws on November 20, 2009, in an attempt to get his house in order before Governor-Elect Chris Christie (R) takes office in January. Most bills have been sitting on his desk for months. Among the new laws, Measures will be taken to restrict marketing of credit cards on college campuses, it's now illegai to sell and distribute novelty lighters, doctors can write several prescriptions at once for certain drugs, and police must now tell school principals when students commit certain crimes.

And according to NJ.Com:
One law, written after a series of violent incidents at the Ancora Psychiatric Hospital in Camden County, requires the Department of Human Services to report physical assaults and deaths at state-run psychiatric hospitals online and to the Public Advocate.

The law is "a direct response to delays in the release of statistics on assaults at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital (in Winslow)," the legislators said.

According to the Courier Post:
It requires the Department of Human Services to track the number of assaults and unexpected deaths at the hospitals. An online report is to be updated quarterly.

Another health bill, inspired by the death of a developmentally disabled woman who lived at a group home in Edison, requires facilities to give the medical examiner contact information for the deceased's relatives.

The sponsors included Assembly members Pamela Lampitt of Cherry Hill, Louis Greenwald of Voorhees, Sandra Love of Gloucester Township and Nilsa Cruz-Perez of Barrington, all Democrats.

Kudos to Corzine for signing these two mental health laws- but why did he have to wait until he was almost out of office to do it?

Schadenfreude?- (Rewrite)

I was driving home from my parent's house and turned on the radio to get the weather report. Instead I got a minute of a talk show , the host on a rave about big pharma destroying our souls with their pills.

I've always thought this guy was a jerk, but every now and then someone, anyone gets it. Even a radio personality who I have never agreed with can shoot a fish in a barrel once in his lifetime.

Since I am almost off meds, just on Lithium, I can tell you honestly I am sleeping a bit better. 5 hours of sleep a night average. One night this week was nine hours and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The humidity dropped a bit but it's still almost too hot to sleep. I want to get out of Dodge and move to Alaska, where it's cold and I might actually be able to catch some Z's.

My skin keeps acting like it's moulting. But it's not moulting, or even shedding. It itches constantly, and it's all on my back and neck. I can reach my neck, but I cannot reach the spot on my back. I've tried a back scratcher, I've rubbed up against walls, all to no avail. I've even put baby powder on it, which brings some relief until it wears off. Same with cold showers, and an exfoliating bath wash with my loofah.

What kills me now is the concept of schadenfreude. I never felt it personally until yesterday. I take referral calls from both my local mental health support group, and the state one. Usually they are pretty tame, when is the next meeting, how do I get there, where in NJ are the meetings, etc etc. I usually can answer the calls, or I refer them to NAMI. It's all good, NAMI refers their callers to me. Sometimes I get social workers and pdocs who are looking to get more help for their clients, and think a peer run group sounds great. Often the social workers will ask me about the types of training it takes to run a meeting, and again, I state that too.

But the woman I spoke to yesterday was different. I've spoken to many like her in the four years I have been doing this. A mother of a son in his twenties who was just diagnosed. Just started taking meds in February. He was having a hard time with side effects and developed ed. His girlfriend/fiance left him because of ed. He moved back home to his parents house, he was mopey, still grieving over the loss of what might have been and the fact that the meds were not only putting on weight, they had taken away his sexuality.

She asks if this is normal. I tell her I've seen my weight go up 50 lbs from different med cocktails since I was diagnosed back in 86. I am only 5 feet tall, so 50 lbs on me looks like 75 lbs on someone taller. I have had relationships end because of the illness. Either because I (and I am being candid here and I realize this may upset people and say you COULDN"T have been like that). I lost one boyfriend because I was hypersexual and wore him out. Yeah, it's true. I know most guys would love that , just as they wish for the four hour erections advertised on Viagra or Cialis. I've almost been engaged to someone who, finding out I was bipolar and it could be hereditary, dropped me, citing, he couldn't be responsible for a bipolar child. I've written here he said he could continue to fuck me, but marriage and relationship was off.

I can tell you it was the first time my heart was broken, and the pain hurt for months.

I can also tell you that my bipolar cost me my marriage. I don't like to talk about this in public, because I really don't believe in airring your dirty laundry in public. It takes two people to make a marriage, it should take two to end it. In my case, it didn't. While he accepted the fact I was a fellow Beeper, and embraced it!, he never could cope with it. My pdoc at the time sat down with him and told him I was one of the "sickest" bipolars he ever saw, and he didn't ever think I would be able to get off my meds and I would always suffer from things that didn't effect him ever, the hypersexuality, the suicidal ideation. He only took Depakote. I was on a med cocktail at that time of at least 4 or 5 different drugs.

I was a hero to my husband, i was working in a newsroom, doing all the grunt work for the reporters, and making a very good living at it. I was making a nice bit on the side by entertainment blogging, at one time I was considered one of the five best entertainment bloggers in the country. I was working on my third novel. He thought I would be able to keep my job, support him totally and we would live happily ever after. And at first, for the first 3 months it was fine. Every day we would ask each other if we had taken our meds. But then I started fllipping into mania, and it depressed him. Seeing him depressed depressed me, and I floated back to depression, mine worse than his because I would get suicidal ideation on top of it.

It wasn't anyone's fault, but it was a deal breaker. He could understand in theory what it was like to be bipolar, but living with one was not something he liked. He wouldn't go for marital counseling, he just felt I needed to try harder. Some days I couldn't get out of bed I was so blue, and he would get upset with me and not understand. Yet when he couldn't get out of bed, couldn't make his own writing deadlines, I would ghost write things for him, try to help him get out of the depression.

We grew apart as people do. Perhaps it was for the best, the marriage was concieved in mania and it was too fragile to last. The ironic part was when we met he was more in love with me than I him. I grew to love him more as his love for me faded. When he left I thought my world would end because at that time I loved him more than he did me.

Back to this lady. She asked how many meds I have been on and I replied I stopped counting at 30. She said she couldn't go through that with her son, is this normal? I told her I have met quite a number of people who have been on as many meds as me or more. I told her honestly, I had been in the hospital 4 times in 20 years, and have tried almost every type of therapy imaginable, Freudian, Jungian, Ericksonian, CBT, you name it I've tried it.

I've even tried ECT in a feeble attempt of living a semi normal and productive life.

"What a strong woman you are". She said. She got off the phone saying she would be there next Tuesday and could I talk to her son.

I've been hearing that a lot lately. I don't feel strong. I have done what needed to be done, but never thought it was anything remarkable. I had to learn to re use my muscles after a psych med made them all go to sleep, because I didn't want to wind up in a nursing home, hooked up to a catherter and unable to eat or dress myself at the ripe old age of 45. It wasn't anything wonderful or brave, it just WAS.

I take lithium because I don't want the kind of mood swings I would get if I didn't take it. It's not perfect but I would be rapid cycling and that's not livable.

I've dealt with crippling depression and suicide attempts, the last one came very close to succeeding. I am lucky. But what choice do I have? I can view my bipolar as either a blessing, a curse, or both. I don't feel extraordinary. I feel human. But I do feel like a fraud for someone to think I am inspirational, extraordinary. Maybe it's the depression talking.

All I know is last night, I couldn't sleep. I was upset about some things going on in my personal life, and kept dreaming the same dream, I was hanging from a tree, birds pecking out my eyes. I know why I was dreaming this, my last attempt, in November of 2002 was a hang, and as I lost Consciousness the rope broke. Had it not broke, I would not be here right now writing this. I know someone who has a gun, and I called him to see if I could borrow it. The old black dog had me by the short and curlies, saying he was boss of me.

I got so far as in my car to collect the gun, and tried to figure out if I would do the deed on my bed, or the couch. Would it look like a scene in Pulp Fiction? Could I really put gray matter and blood on my two favorite pictures? Over the couch hangs a framed print of "Wheatfield with Crows" by Van Gogh. The irony alone in that statement made me decide against it.

The painting over my bed is the famous Red Poppy print by Georgia O'Keefe, that they were selling right and left at the Met when her show was there. I always liked that print, even if it does look like a giant c**t.

I calmed down when I felt the air conditioning on my face and told myself my brain is playing tricks on me. Ignore the voices and you won't drown. You don't want to be like Prufrock, you want to be alive.

I went back to bed. Sleep did not come easy, but at least, as I counted each breath, I was grateful I didn't listen to the mermaids sing. Not this time. Instead I listened to the soft purr of the cat, and closed my eyes.

Maybe I am stronger than I give myself credit for. Who knew?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Gates- A Remembrance

The New York Times is reporting tonight that Jeanne- Claude, the wife of Christo, died today in Manhattan.

I just wanted to pass on the pictures I took of The Gates, back in February 2005. They were really stunning. Thank you Jeanne Claude and Christo, for this lovely day.

(Please click on the pictures to make them bigger).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Last Leaf, Part One

I was in the hospital two years ago, in November 2007. It still seems like yesterday somehow. I was depressed, but I was also on a seven med cocktail. I knew my brain was broken, I had spent the entire year doing major volunteer work with my local DBSA chapter, arranging for two "A-List" speakers to come to our struggling group, working on major hypomania, and a spell of extreme mania over the summer. Now it was November, and my brain was trying to come down from the high, and in doing so, was turning against me as it continually flashed suicidal images and thoughts in my head, much like the subliminal words and pictures put in movie theatres back in the Fifties for soda and popcorn.

I was scared and chagrined when my little stuffed panda was removed by the nurses, and I was strip searched before I was allowed into a pair of sweats and slippers. I told them to just take my sneakers, if they removed the shoe laces, they would have to cut leather and I would be out a pair of shoes. The nurse understood. A few minutes later, I was sitting on the bed assigned to me, crying into an old yellow T shirt with the image of Spongebob on it,rumpled up to serve as a makeshift stuffed animal and tear catcher.

I had a lovely, lovely roomate. An elderly woman, in her eighties, suffering from major depression. She was inconsolable about the death of her husband, someone she had been with over sixty five years, most of her entire life. She was a vibrant person before her depression hit her, hit her hard. She was involved in her church, had raised children, and was a grandmother and great grandmother. And she had volunteered for years with her church, ministering to those at Trenton Psychiatric Hospital.

Her minister came one night to visit with several women from her church. They were going to pray, and they asked me if I would like to stay and pray with them. I replied, yes, but I do not have a bible. No worries, sit next to one of the ladies with one. I felt good as the matronly lady made room for me, and gave me a hug. I needed that hug. I had never prayed like that before, but it was the right thing to do at the time, and I felt so much better.

I would spend hours in the bed. I wasn't depressed, but there was nothing else to do. This time, the hospital had been re done, pumped with money from Big Pharma. The TV being left on 24/7 was no more, it was only on from 6-11 in the evening. The rooms were sumptious, as luxurious as the Hyatt a few miles away. But there were no talk therapies, no breaks for the smokers- even if you don't smoke to go outside for five minutes an hour to get some fresh air. There were 30 people on the ward. 21 of them were getting ECT, and I thought of it as a production line. I tried to read the book I had brought in with me- a book by Ben Elton- and just couldn't concentrate enough to read. There wasn't anything to do, and even the monotony couldn't be broken by a smoke break, just to go outside, because the facility was now smoke free.

I would sit forever in a sterile, non-descript faux hotel/industry chair and look out the windows, watching the leaves fall. And as I watched the leaves, gorgeous in their hues of brown, orange and red, fall from their tree, I had a feeling of doom. The birds stopped coming, the squirrels too. Snow came in flurries, and I just watched sunrise after sunset from the chair, until I stuck to the plastic coating and shuffled off to night meds and bed.

(Part Two coming).

Failed anti depressant drug might be marketed as woman's viagra

Well they got the blue pill for men. I guess it was just a matter of time before they had one for women.

Monday, November 16, 2009

These folks aren't lion around

My very first blog award I was given was by a young woman in SF named PhC, who was struggling with HIV. She has dropped off the blogosphere for the last two years, but I want to replay her gift forward. I don't know if she has left this earth, or left the blogosphere, but I miss her.

Here are my awardees for the Golden Lion Award- for their shameless writing and muckraking and inspiration. In no particular order.

Mary, at Letting Go, because when I grow up I want to write like her, with the grace and humility she writes about unpopular things and the 12 Steps.

FP, at Writhe Safely, for the same reason as above, and her latest piece shows her to be a master of words and I wish I could write like her as well.

John at a Storied Mind, because he inspires me with his writing and story telling and enouragement.

Stephany, because she can write with courage and love while describing her youngest daughter struggling, and breaking your heart at the same time. (Bring Kleenex when you visit Stephany, as of late).

Harrad, at Access Denied, for writing so lovely about MS and helping me understand my friend G- who has been struggling with MS her entire life.

Ana, at Just Ana, for being all alone in Brazil by herself and still be able to raise hell.

Fiddy at Seroxat Sufferers for raising hell about the good, bad and ugly in the world, whether it's political or Big Pharma, and for introducing me to Beautiful South, a group I am liking almost as much as Lighthouse Family.

Mark, at Psych Survivor 2.0 because he gives me hope and cares about things, takes time to look at the roses and smell them and cares for squirrels.

Will, at Will Spirit, for writing about such deep complex things with absolute beauty and knowledge.

Bunker at Psychiatry.... for proving the buck stops here, and his first name is D, not Archie.

Stan at Is there something wrong- for having (at least in his blog) the largest set of brass ones I've ever seen to tackle what he tackles, without any sugar coating and using only spell check ( I think) to find some of the things he prints.

Anthony, at My Sick Mind, for having the guts to write about NJ with passion the way I wish I could write with, and for being an interesting guy and fellow (albeit brand new) stripey cat owner.

and Bitter, at My Medicated Cartoon life, for making me smile with his cartoons and then writing such beautiful posts on depression and life, I cannot help but wonder, how someone can draw and write so beautifully at the same time, but can he walk and chew gum at the same time? Please don't close your blog down Bitter. We need you.

I'm done for the year. I was only supposed to give six, but I couldn't narrow it down. Thank you all.

'Despair' gene linked to bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia

An interesting article from The Big News Network. Com.

Washington, Nov 14 : A gene, touted as the "despair" gene, which earlier had no relation with mood disorders, has now been found to have a link with bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenic conditions, according to pharmacy scientists at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

The researchers have identified antidepressant and anti-anxiety behaviours in tests of mice lacking the gene.

The story continues,
"The knockout mice [without the gene] displayed behaviours indicative of changes in mood function, such as increased perseverance and reduced anxiety in open spaces," said Wang.

"We don't yet know why the deletion of the gene altered the mood status of the mice," she added.

Probably a lot more research needs to be done on this.... it seems to be a study in it's infancy, but I am just putting it out there as food for thought, in case this gene does turn out to be a legitimate thing. It might help figure out is being bipolar environmental or biological?

I hope I can know the answer to this in my lifetime.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Blog Look

Every one deserves a new winter look, my blog just got a make over from my friend Peter. I hope my readers will like the cleaner look, blogroll updates, and streamline.

Thank you Peter!

He can be reached at Blogmakeovers, Inc. and accepts payment in either bullion or feline nom noms. (I paid him in fish flakes).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Depression is the inability to construct a future

I wish I had written this. It was actually written by Rollo May.

Anyway, this is how I feel, right now. I am writing for what it's worth, but cannot finish anything and wrap it up in a nice bow for the kind folks who read me. But I cannot. I don't even want to get out of bed, I don't want to eat. I just feel there is no future for me, nothing to look forward to. The only thing comforting right now is the cat, flipping her tail on my hip bone when I try to sleep, or her soft breathing on my arm if I am on the couch. I am not suicidal, I just feel for the first time in my whole life there is no future for me, no dreams, just banal existence.

Nothing is worse than reading the mediocre writings of someone struggling like this. So I am going to take a a few days, maybe a week from the blog, and just turn off the computer. This blog actually has been my raison d'etre for the last two years, but rather than posting cute fixes and taking away from the blog's theme, I am just going to take a few days off from writing and try to find myself and feel better.

One more blogger who gets it is Bitter Animator.  Check out his blog, if you haven't already.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

November 11. Veteran's Day.  May we never forget those who gave their lives for us, and those who are fighting right now for us.

Hat tip: Fiddy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I wish I could stop feeling like Percivale

 "Thereafter, the dark warning of our King,
That most of us would follow wandering fires,
Came like a driving gloom across my mind.
Then every evil word I had spoken once,
And every evil thought I had thought of old,
And every evil deed I ever did,
Awoke and cried, 'This Quest is not for thee.'
And lifting up mine eyes, I found myself
Alone, and in a land of sand and thorns,
And I was thirsty even unto death;
And I, too, cried, 'This Quest is not for thee.'

Tennyson, The Idylls of the King.

I have always thought I could be  Percivale the most true and noble of all of Arthur's knights. Going through life thinking you aren't good enough for anything, and if something good should happen to you you still aren't worthy.

Sometimes I feel like I am being punished for past sins. For  sins in this life and in past ones. I have stopped expecting anything good to happen to me. A good day is a day when my brain actually lets me read or watch TV, a bad day is a day where I have a migraine from my med cocktail and stay in bed most of the day. A good day is a day I can call my mother and conversate, a bad day is I cannot even talk.

I don't know what sins I must atone for, if I knew, I would write them down, weave them into a hair shirt and flagellate myself.  But I feel I must have done something, so bad, so horrible in this this life or a past one I cannot get better until I atone.

I once did see the Holy Grail- my version of it, what it would be to me. I saw it for a moment and it was gone.  In fact, here is my whole life put into one haunting song lyric.

"When I was a child,
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb"

Pink Floyd, "Comfortably Numb"

But I don't feel comfortably numb anymore. I feel dead, hollow, stuffed with straw, waiting for the worms or madness which ever comes first.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dona Noblis Pacem

November 5, 2009

The Peace Globe Gallery

Today, a group of bloggers have decided that today, November 5, 2009 is a blogblast for peace. It is a beautiful thought. I thought of a poster every teenager I knew had over their beds when I was a child. It went like this...

And then all of a sudden, this afternoon, I run out to get some milk, refills on prescriptions, and some nom noms for the cat- and come home. What do I see? In my mail box, "urgent news alerts" from major news organizations, Video news, Print news, American news, International news. All saying the same thing.

"Soldiers open fire at Fort Hood (Texas), 12 killed,  31 wounded."  This could be the biggest massacre the state of Texas has seen since Charles Whitman opened fire at UT-Austin and killed 14 and wounded 32.  The counts are still coming in and it will most likely be slightly higher as the night wears on, and more news is known. Right now they are saying the shooters are other Army soldiers, this might be from Post Traumatic Stress. Take the scene from "Full Metal Jacket"   where Private "Pyle" guns down his Sergeant with his gun, Charlene (that scene still gives me goosebumps), by ten or more soldiers, and you get the idea.

I am not the sharpest bulb in the drawer, but I know so many people who have family serving in this war, or who did serve in previous wars. My dad is a Veteran. But somewhere along the line, when my dad came marching home, and the next generation came marching home, people stopped, or seem to stop caring for Johnny and Janey. Medical help like M*A*S*H units were able to save soldiers and civilians where in previous battles they would have most likely died from their wounds.   Johnny might have gotten his gun, but came home this time, with broken bodies, slowly healing, and broken brains that needed healing.

Just like the intersection in town that claims two or three people a year from car accidents, nothing is done for years until either a very cute child or prominent citizen is killed there. Then it gets the traffic light.

It's time for the traffic light now. It's world peace day, and if it was possible, there wouldn't be anymore wars, people wouldn't judge others by their race or creed or religion and children wouldn't go to bed hungry or have people in their lives who abuse them. I don't know the answers, I just wish we all had that poster on all of our beds.

Peace to those who were murdered today and their families. Peace to us all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Do dreamers really live forever?

"Loose your dreams and you will loose your mind
In life unkind".
Rolling Stones, "Ruby Tuesday".

I never have had a problem not dreaming. I love dreaming. I keep a tape recorder and a note pad by bed when I wake so I can write down my dreams.

Lately, all my dreams have been like something out of a Jungian nightmare, old family trips, school, all surrounded  in symbols. But nothing about the future. No dreams, no hopes, no nothing.

The other day I got a piece of spam that said in the header 'Are you living or existing". Oh that was easy. Existing. Not living. Because I don't have any dreams to live for. Not anymore.

Or in other words, I do not know what dreams to dream to live for.  The ones I had as a child and a woman in my twenties are gone. I can re build them again, like the Six Million Dollar Man, stronger and better than they were.

"And if your hopes should pass away/
Simply pretend,
That you can build them again". 
Simon and Garfunkel,  "Hazy Shade of Winter".

I always was able to take shattered dreams and rebuild them. Not a problem. Easy.  But now, it's all the dreams have shattered my hands like holding on to broken glass. My writing, bits and pieces, lie in the trash can, like some type of abortion. Just a little mouse click, and they are gone, forever. Little whispy ghosts on the ethernet of the hard drive. I know my illness has turned me into a gifted and talented writer in my 20s, with so much promise and a book offer, to someone who can barely string two sentences together. I doubt now I can even write, let alone see that level again. What do I do if my brain turns on me and this last desire fails?

...Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build....
Anne Sexton, "Wanting to Die".

I'm not suicidal. I just don't know what to do with the remaining 40 years of my life.

How do you rebuild if you don't know what to rebuild in the first place?

Friday, October 30, 2009

In Honor of Mischief Night and Halloween

In honor of Mischief Night, and Halloween, I want to pass on two very good blogs to help you get in the spirit of things, pardon the pun.

One is a brilliant blog on Zombies,  which is like getting a daily Zombie a day.  They are drawn on an ipod, and just make you smile. Here is one. I personally love this blog, and find it great to see first thing in the am, with my morning cup of coffee.

I really think Zombies are cooler than Vampires.

The other site is about Martians. Yes, Martians! I am happy to say I live near where the Martians landed  71 years ago. This blog has been in existence since 2004, and it's fun that someone has so much to say about the "Night that panicked America".

(Monument at Grovers Mills, NJ, where the Martians landed in 1938.)

Lastly, if you never heard the Orson Welles  here is a link to hear the broadcast in it's entirety.

I cannot help but wonder what a Zombie and a Martian would do if they got together.

Have a great Halloween, Stay Safe, and enjoy.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Always look on the bright side of life

 I woke up early this morning, shaking off a dream I had about one of my best friends in the universe. Someone I have not seen since1998, but is still one of my dearest friends.  I was dreaming we were in his white Skoda, and his cell rang. His ring tone was at that time "Always look on the bright side of life".

I remember one night we were together, and it was raining and we were up all night talking. Just talking.  We were talking about our best days in life, and the worst. I told him about the first time I tried to kill myself- and he couldn't understand that. He just couldn't fathom why someone would want to go that route.

It's not that he wasn't familiar with it. Being in criminal justice, he has seen more than his fair share of suicides and sudden death. He told me about seeing the bodies of children dead, and one suicide victim that stayed with him for years. A young guy, a Uni student,  who was dumped over Spring Break, and hung himself. He wasn't found for several days later, with a note in his jeans pocket. While his partner cut the poor guy down, the body landed on my friend who was holding him. Liquids gushed on him, and for the few seconds it took for the body to be moved off my friend, he lay there staring at dead brown eyes, that haunted him for months afterwards as he slept.

"What girl was worth that?" he said.  I could see. He couldn't.

Maybe it's lucky he couldn't see, because he stepped through life which gave him mostly lemons for a decade. A relationship he wasn't happy in, a career he got bored with, his best friend and partner fell off the wagon after years of sobriety, and attempted suicide, ending up in hospital for several months to recover.  He told me if I was feeling sad, to go see "Toy Story". Watch "South Park" or "The Simpsons". Be a child. Have dessert first.  You never know when you get called to a domestic dispute and find a husband and wife, and one of them murdered their toddler. You never know when you get called into a situation and don't come out of it alive. He was working one day several years ago, when a fellow cop in that district was gunned down and they all heard the 999 call.

And when you get off work, you smell the sky and breathe and realize you are alive.

"Susan, why cannot you just be like that? Why do you have to analyze everything? Why does your brain constantly move too fast, even in the throws of passion you are multitasking!"

I don't know my friend. I don't know. That's the 64,000 dollar question. I just don't know.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thank You Psych Central

Psych Central posted their "Best Bipolar Blogs" of 2009 today. I am honored and gobsmacked to be an Honorable Mention, for the second year in a row.

 Some great blogs this year!

Thank You Psych Central!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Even Famous People Can Get the Blues

From yesterday's New York Daily News-

Hulk Hogan came "damn close" to killing himself after downing a cocktail of Xanax and rum, but an unexpected phone call saved his life.

In his new tell-ll book "My Life Outside the Ring", the notorious wrestler turned reality TV star admits he hit rock bottom after his divorce from his ex wife Linda, even reaching for a gun and putting his finger on the trigger. Fortunately, a phone call from his "Gladiators" co star Laila Ali, who noticed that Hogan was looking distracted earlier at work, prevented him from ending his life. 

It doesn't matter who you are, rich or poor , famous or not, we all get like that and the important thing to know is the feeling does pass. Listen to Elton John's song "Someone saved my life tonight", It does happen.  Good luck to Mr. Hogan. 

ETA: Blogger is really acting up right now....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Repost- Talking Baseball

In honor of the Phils getting into the world series, some childhood memories of seeing the Phils play at Veteran Stadium. 

What does the final game of the 1980 World Series have in common with the final game of the 2008 World Series? It was the only time in my father's life, where he, a die hard Yankee fan, wanted the Phillies to win the World Series.  

My father grew up in Brooklyn. And like all pre-teen boys, he lived to play baseball. Baseball was his passion. When he wasn't playing, he was with his friends at Ebbets field watching the Brooklyn Dodgers, or the Polo grounds. It was a treat when his mother, the woman I was named after, took him to a game at Yankee stadium when school was out. Dad rooted for the Dodgers and the Yankees, and to this day, will tell you what he was doing when Bobby Thompson fired the shot heard around the world. 

He played ball every waking moment as a boy, stopping only for a stretch when he was drafted into service during WW II. When he came back home, he settled down in NJ and played locally on a softball team, as pitcher. He was so good, that in the early 50s, he was approached by the local Negro league, as a reverse Jackie Robinson, to be the first white player on their team. Dad was humbled and accepted the post of pitcher for this team as well. 

Eventually dad met mom, they got married, and had a nice two bedroom house with a back yard in the suburbs of NJ. My mom, a Brooklyn girl, was thrilled to have a back yard to garden. She has, and still has, a green thumb, as does my father.  

But you can take the boy off the baseball diamond, you cannot take baseball out of the boy. My father became my father, and from the moment his girls were old enough, he bought us mitts, bats, (painted pink) and taught us how to throw and pitch softballs. My sister excelled at this, it was more difficult for me. But the time with my father was priceless, since dad often worked such long hours, time with him was wonderful. If he wasn't playing with his girls, he was sitting on "his" chair, watching the Yankees on WPIX. I use to crawl up and sit on his lap, smelling his Old Spice as I would watch the game with him. I had to be perfectly still and not move until commercials, but it was lovely. 

When the girls got a bit older, a client at my dad's laboratory, had season tickets for the Phillies at Veteran Stadium. My father would go 5 or 6 times a year with the whole family; mom, and the two girls. It was a treat. Dad was at his element, first bundling the entire family in one of those monsterous Pontiacs with white walls he use to drive. My father was a Pontiac man.  

We would get to Veteran's stadium early, so dad could see the players practice. He would get a score card, and mom would have one too. Dad taught mom how to fill out a score card when they were dating. Dad would point out the players to us, like the King entertaining his court. One time we saw Willie Mays warming up. Dad walked down to the fence with my sister, watching in awe. Mays saw dad and my sister, waving to him, and (this is a true story) picked up a baseball to throw at my sister to catch. Dad caught it, whipped out a pen, and asked Mays to sign it. Mays came over and said something like "I don't like signing autographs, but my sister was way too cute and he signed his name and handed her the ball.  

In Junior High my father was down sized and lost access to the games. There were no more live ball games until I went to college and would drive out to Yankee stadium with a friend.  

But in my Freshman year in college, dad was not only following his beloved Yankees, he was closely watching the Phils. Maybe because their line up was so fantastic, Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, Tug McGraw. I had gone to bed early that night they won the World Series, the dorm was quiet, and I had spent the evening studying. The next thing I knew i was in the fountain in front of the dorm. Seems like the guys were so excited (and drunk) that the Phils won, they went into the all girls dorm and raided it, dumping every girl they could find in the fountain. I had gone to bed that night as my wont, in a t shirt and panties. I woke up in the fountain, soaking wet, and when i raised up, one of the Frat boys, drunk as a skunk, said " First prize wet T shirt" and handed me a medal.  

Those were the days. I will let Terry Cashman take it from here.

Well, now it's the 80's, And Brett is the greatest, And Bobby Bonds can play for everyone. Rose is at the Vet, And Rusty again is a Met, And the great Alexander is pitchin' again in Washington.
Baseball. Fast foward to 2008. Phils are once again in the World Series. Rose still isn't in the Hall of Fame. Veteran's stadium is long gone, but the Phils are once again great, and the fans- let's put it this way. No other city has fans as devoted as Philadelphia, whether it's the Eagles or the Phils. As I start to write this, some high school boys are in my apartment complex parking lot setting up fireworks. They weren't even conceived when the Phils won in 80. The players, from that year, are ensconced in Cooperstown. The players of today will be there soon. And these boys, someday, will take their sons and daughters to the game and tell them what they were doing the last time the Phils won the Series. And have a drink and reminisce. Like I do when ever I hear about the players from the time I came of age in the 80s.

I'm talkin' baseball! Like Reggie, Quisenberry. Talkin' baseball! Carew and Gaylord Perry, Seaver, Garvey, Schmidt and Vida Blue, If Cooperstown is calling, it's no fluke. They'll be with Willie, Mickey, and the Duke.

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