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.

For Liz and Anthony and Pete - Go Phillies

I am not a Phils fan. I am a Yankee fan. But  the Phils are my third favorite team, after the Mets. So in honor of my friends who are Phillies fans, a little something while they become unbearable to live with while their beloved team plays in the world series. Yes, it's 5 am. Yes, some idiots outside my apartment have been up celebrating and making way too much noise all night to sleep. ;-(

Go Phillies!

ETA: According to Stuff on My Cat, this cat's name is Joey. I wonder if they named it after Joey Vento.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Best Gift Ever- Repost

In honor of my 2nd blogoversary, I would like to take a page from the book of Bitter Animator, and re post a post. This is my most favorite post I think from this last year. Amazing how doing something small can make you feel so good even though you never did it to get anything out of it.

Life and gifts don't get better than this. Sometimes the best gifts in life are free- or are the cost of a first cent stamp.

Two years ago I worked on a suicide hotline. I cannot go into any more details than that.

I was on the phone one night- around twilight- with a very very suicidal man- who not only had a gun in his hand and was clicking the chambers, but he was very very very drunk.

I spent a long time talking to him, and when the call was over I went out in the pitch black night, no stars, overcast clouds blocking them. I bummed a cigarette, and a lighter, sat down on a bench and cried.

Fast forward to present day. I got a phone call from my former supervisor, and made a commitment to start again on the hotline in the fall, after completing 35 hours of class work this summer. Then she said she got a letter from someone I talked to eons ago, and wanted to mail it to me.

The letter arrived Monday. It had beautiful penmanship, but poor spelling. It went in kind, "thank you for helping me save my life that night, and the few things you have taught me have saved me again when life got that bad. Fortunately, it never got that bad again. I am working now, joined a church and dating a lovely woman.

I wrote this poem for you. I hope you like it and again, thank you.

"There is a rose in the garden
A Beauty with thorns adminst her leaves
If one desires to pick her
He must ask his hands to bleed"

You know, he says I saved his life, but he may have also saved mine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interesting:Antidepressant Sales Rise as Depression Falls

This goodie from the Neuroskeptic blog-
Antidepressant sales are rising in most Western countries, and they have been for at least a decade. Recently, we learned that the proportion of Americans taking antidepressants in any given year nearly doubled from 1996 to 2005.
The authors examined medical records from 1.7 million British patients in primary care (General Practice, i.e. family doctors.) They found that antidepressant sales rose strongly between 1993 and 2005, not because more people are taking these drugs, but entirely because of an increase in the duration of treatment amongst the antidepressant users. It's not that more people are taking them, it's that people are taking them for longer.

In fact, the number of people being diagnosed with depression and prescribed antidepressants has actually fallen over time. The rate of diagnosed depression remained steady from 1993 to about 2001, and then fell markedly, by about a third, up to 2005. This trend was seen in both men and women, but there were age differences. In 18-30 year olds, there was a gradual increase in diagnoses before the decrease. (Note that these graphs show the number of people getting their first ever diagnosis of depression in each year.)

More here. Worth a read. (Sorry for the colors and what not, blogger is acting up again!) 

It's My Second Anniversary

I never thought when, two years ago today, I started this blog, that;

1. Anyone would read it.

2. The people who read it actually liked it.

Two years, I am humbled by the people I have met through this blog, and who have added me to their readers, blogrolls,  and Facebook. I admit, I am still a relative newbie, and the blog is a living thing, still evolving. I still don't know where I am going with this, but I thank you for being with me on this marvelous journey.


Monday, October 19, 2009


I cannot resist not posting this.  I think it applies to most of us....From Non Breaking Space blog.

measuring yourself
by shallow expectations
diminishes you

More here.

Hello It's Me

Hello it's me.  I've thought about this blog entry for a long long time.....
(Apologies to Todd Rundgren).

I am finding it hard to write the last few days. My brain is swarming with ideas, and I write and I write and I write. But I cannot end these pieces.  Hence, they cannot be posted.

It doesn't help that it's almost time for the World Series- a stupid title, since it only involves the USA, and not the rest of the world- and I have to watch the Yankees. It's like in my blood. Must. Watch. Yankees.

I still have my cold, I have had for most of the month of September- low grade temperature, 100- 101 daily, but over the weekend it grew to 101-102, with the same cough I cannot get rid of,  lots of phegm, etc. etc.  I have been mobile though, but this weekend, the cold came back with a vengeance.Saw the doc this morning, another round of antibiotics, this time it's the 4 round in 7 weeks,  and a warning for bed rest and drink lots of fluids.

And a cautionary comment about my white blood count is probably going through the roof.

Called the blood doc when I got home, and yes, it seems that my white blood count is going through the roof again. Must come in next week for a blood draw,  and we will see from there about another bone marrow biopsy.

When it rains it pours.

So I am still here, going to take to my bed, and read, which is a treat, and snuggle with the kitty. Work on an application for a Psychiatric Guide Dog. And sleep sleep sleep since the antibiotics make me sleepy.  All that's missing is a Snuggie, and a cup of hot chocolate.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Having huge problems with blog template

Please bear with me. I went to update one thing and lost almost everything in my template including blogrolls, pictures, and cannot make things move from one part of the blog to another.

It is most frustrating and I don't know what to do. I am so sorry that it looks very plain and horrible right now.

Any help with new blogger would be appreciated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

the drowned and the saved

Blame Sleeping Beauty.  Fall asleep for 100 years, handsome prince wakes you up, and you live happily ever after.

Oh yes. The prince doesn't mind you have morning breath.

Damn you Walt Disney, for making these princesses- who show you need a man to be happy. Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella....

Let's throw Bettleheim out the window on this- is there something wrong that the Mouse taught several generations of women that they NEED a man in their lives to be complete?

After all, like the Virginia Slims advert, we've come a long way baby. In my grandmother's generation, women didn't work. And if they did, they were teachers, librarians, or nurses, or typists. Phone operators from the 40s .Women weren't doctors. They married them. Women didn't start going to med schools til the 50s and 60s. Women didn't become lawyers til then either, lets face it, women didn't really go to college at all until the 50s or 60s. And if they did, many of them were female only. And even then college was treated as a joke, a place to get a MRS degree.

I had a Professor for the Pre-Raphalities, and something she said stuck with me all these years. She had gone to an Ivy college- i don't recall which one- and mentioned that her roomate told her once- as she was homebound with 3 children under 5 'At least I studied Shakespeare once. I think of King Lear when I am cleaning the floor'.

Does that mean her children will grow up to be Regan, Goneril, and Cordelia? Or was she thinking it was sharper than a serpent's tooth to have children? Or was her life not what she thought it would be as she was cleaning the floor. Was that all there is? Wet diapers, runny noses, bruised knees, nightmares, and the satisfaction of knowing that despite that- she created something no one else has, three human beings who could grow up to be anything and everything they want?

I will be damned if I know. I thought my raison d'etre was to have children since I have a womb and ovaries. I am learning now, maybe there is more to do besides passing on my DNA to the next generation.  Biologically, I have some years left before that door closes, but lets face it- it's closed now. Now is the time to figure out how to rebuild dreams, go on with writing, which as always been a dream and a reason to get out of bed, and just continue. Like Faulkner's brilliant last sentence in "Sound and Fury"  "Dilsey preserved". I have to preserver too.  (I just hope this entry isn't full of Sound and Fury, signifying nothing, and I am an idiot, though I wouldn't mind being a bit more like Benjy).

Some home truths about the new heath care plan

Fellow New Jerseyean and blogger, Anthony has a very good take on the new health  care proposal after reading Time magazine. According to Anthony,
Who'd-a thunk big insurance companies would raise rates? Would you guess that, regardless of healthcare reform or none that rates would rise? I would. When is the last time your healthcare provider called and told you, "Hey - you know what? We're charging too much and we're going to pass the savings on to you." If that ever happened, you'd die from heart failure. Then you'd really need the insurance. What do you think the odds are that our rates will increase whether we get reform or not? Even money is a start. I think our federal government is about to find out who is really wearing the pants in this relationship.
According to Time-

Just two days before Tuesday's scheduled vote on the Senate Finance Committee's health bill, a report warning that the bill would result in sizable hikes in insurance premiums was released, and then widely panned as a flawed analysis of cherry-picked information. White House officials said they felt "misled" by the insurers, who they claimed gave no notice that they were about to release the study. And health-policy analysts fired out press releases all day Monday debunking various points made in the study, authored by consultants PriceWaterhouse Coopers, including its assertion that between 2010 and 2019 the Senate Finance Committee bill would cause the typical family health-insurance policy to rise $20,700more than if no reforms at all were enacted.

The article is worth reading and can be found here

Monday, October 12, 2009

Agoraphobia rules

I didn't realize it's been five days since I last posted.  Just trying to move files from one computer (Mac running Snow Leopard) to another one (Mac running Panther/Tiger to OS 9) and another computer, now almost dead that was running something between OS 7.5 and 8.1. Once that is done, I can turn my 22 year old mac into a fish tank!

 Also got a very bad patch of depression which transformed into agoraphobia, I haven't left the apartment since Friday, just afraid to. I need to somehow- I need to get food!  I want to walk to see the leaves turn. I just cannot open the door to do it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Moment of Truth - My First Post

I recently posted I just had my 13th AA anniversary. I dedicated my coin to Mary, who helps keep me sober by her blog. I am very proud of this piece and am dedicating it to her as well.....

The room was dimly lit, smelling of stale cigarette smoke and burnt coffee.  Twenty-some people were there, sitting on folding chairs, or the overstuffed navy blue couch.  Almost everyone was drinking black coffee from Styrofoam cups, with their legs crossed, listening intently to the speaker.  During the talk, a couple of people went to the coffee maker for refills, or grabbed stale powered donuts, so hard they had to be dipped in the coffee to be rendered edible.

I was sitting on the floor, legs crossed, Indian style.  The shag carpeting felt comfortable under my bottom, and was enjoying listening to the speaker. When he was finished, everyone clapped and someone else started talking. After several more speakers, it was my turn. I cleared my throat and looked nervously around the room. The words were coming out faster than I could think. "Hi, my name is Susan, and I am an alcoholic."

I am an alcoholic. I haven't had a drink since September 26, 1996. My last drink, ice tea and grain alcohol was the day before. This is something that I never thought about until I was reading a book on bipolar where the author stated that 60 percent of all people with bipolar have had a problem with substance dependency. My drinking  was different.  I wasn't drinking to control my moods, I was drinking because I was hell bent on destroying myself.  They say that alcohol is a depressant, but I can tell you when I drank, it was for the initial buzz of euphoria and sense of well being. I loved the way it made my insides melt. What I didn't like was the sad feeling that always came out after the first initial numbness.

Every alcoholic has a story. I had my first drink in college, the first weekend away from home. My roommate and I crashed a frat party.  This was the fall of 1980 and I had just turned 18 that weekend. Animal House was out the previous year, and every frat on campus was having a toga party. We went to one of the frats, thinking we were all grown up. I recall when I got there, I didn't want a beer. Someone handed me a cup of purple Kool Aid, and I found a couch inside and sat down and drank. Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon", was on the stereo, and I just recall that the album never sounded so good.

Guys kept refilling my glass, asking me "You're a freshman?". Finally the inevitable happened, my bladder was full. I tried to make it upstairs to the bathroom, but there was an incredible line. Instead my roommate found me and we left the party, walking back to our dorm cross campus. I recall I could barely walk, and neither could she. And I couldn't stop thinking when I fell on the ground "The lunatic is on the grass".

When we got back to the dorm, I signed in, and it became clear to my
RA that I was drunk, very drunk. I couldn't understand that, I had no beer, just grape Kool Aide. Roommate and I somehow collapsed into bed, and I recall the bed spinning. Then I got sick. Exorcist sick. I ended up in the infirmary. The next day the nurse told me I was drinking grape Kool Aide with grain alcohol in it. All I knew is I felt sick, hung over and ashamed.  I vowed never to drink again.

And I really didn't. Oh yes, I might have had a beer in the Rathskeller with my friends between classes but one was always my limit. Somehow, I must have sensed my birth family had a long line of alcoholics and I knew not to drink.

Fast forward to 1996.  I had come back from California a year before, broke. I had the misfortune of letting a friend's sister stay with me when her apartment was being fixed from the Northridge Quake.  No one told me she had a coke habit, and I had never met anyone who did drugs before. In the two months that she lived with me, she totalled my car, then totalled the rental car. She figured out my ATM number, went into my checking and savings accounts and wiped them both dry, stole my furniture, and my jewelry  and pawned it. I lost almost 40,000 that went up her nose before I realized what she had done and and at that point called the police and they involuntarily put her in rehab. And with no money left, no furniture, I had no choice but to move back home with mom and dad.

It wasn't a good situation. I found a job at a bookstore and moved out into an apartment. It wasn't a nice apartment, it was in the states capital, but it was mine and it was better than nothing. I remember my upstairs neighbor was a prostitute and my doorbell would ring at weird hours by drunken Johns  at the wrong door.

The downstairs neighbor sold pot, but the police stayed away because he never sold to minors. Another neighbor was constantly getting into trouble for beating his wife.

I didn't like working in that bookstore. I love books, and own close to a thousand in my own personal library. But this was a mega bookstore. I had worked in a mom and pop one ten years earlier for a few years, which I loved. But this was different, there was less emphasis on the customer and more on just selling books. They guy I was seeing was really disliked by my parents, and much to my chagrin, my father told him he would give him money to stop dating me. Of course, he took it.

I am sure this was done in my best interests, but I felt like I was a failure. One day a friend from the bookstore came over with a bottle of red wine as a housewarming gift. We drank the bottle and the next morning when I woke up, I wanted more. I went to work and on the way home, stopped at a licquor store and bought a bottle of the same vintage, and drank that in the evening. I did this every night for a week. And I discovered something. By the end of the week,I wasn't getting buzzed on the wine. Instead I was drinking vodka, pouring it in the wine to get drunk faster. I knew it was wrong, but I didn't care. I figured I didn't have the courage to kill myself outright, so I might as well drink myself to death. Besides, some of the best writers were alcoholics, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald and Steinbeck. A  genius that no one understood. My muse was telling me it was romantic to be drunk like them.

The only problem was what I was writing at this time was absolute crap. Alcohol might have made Faulkner or Hemingway more creative, but it was having the opposite affect on me. But I loved the warm feeling I would get when I drank, how the walls around me dissolved, melted and I became one with the universe.

In two short months I was a full blown alcoholic. I was drinking very every night, first pouring vodka in my wine coolers to get drunk, and when that didn't work anymore I graduated to wine and vodka. When that no longer worked I was pouring grain alcohol in my wine to get buzzed faster.

That would make me wake up in the morning with the shakes, and I needed an eye-opener. So I would have a glass of wine by itself. I didn't care, I figured I would be dead in six months. I figured I had nothing to live for, after all, I was persona non grata in my family. I had no boyfriend, I mean what kind of boyfriend would choose money over me? My self esteem was out the window, and I felt like shit. The alcohol bloated me up by thirty pounds and I was the heaviest I had ever been in my life.But I couldn't stop, every night I would take a bottle of Stoli I left in the fridge, pour a huge drink and watch British comedies on VHS tape. I knew I shouldn't be doing it. At the time I had an idea I was bipolar, but wouldn't acknowledge it. I had been diagnosed as bipolar 10 years earlier when I had my first hospitalization when I crashed and burned at the end of Grad school and would up first in the hospital for 2 days from the suicide attempt, and then a month in the other hospital.

All I knew now that my moods were going from manic- days without sleeping, to suicidal despair where I would try to top myself off with a drink and Asprin. One time I fell asleep , tripped over a bottle, broke it and wound up with glass embedded in my kneecap. Cute. Blood all over the carpet. I didn't care, I laughed when I saw the blood red streaks melt into the off white color. For months I had glass embedded in my skin.

And one day came when I woke up covered in vomit from head to toe, shaking so badly the bed was actually moving. I knew I had to stop. After all, didn't Janis Joplin die when she vomited in her sleep? Maybe something woke up that day inside of me and I knew I needed help. I had to stop. Something primal in my  brain told me the next time this happened I would be dead like Janis. And suddenly, I didn't want to die anymore.

I cleaned myself up, did the laundry. I felt awful. I was shaking,m but poured the rest of the booze down the drain. And went to my first AA meeting that day.

I realized that was what stopped me. I didn't want to die. I got sober, which was one of the hardest things I ever did. But I wanted to live. I didn't want to be a drunken writer. All of a sudden Hemingway and Fitzgerald as the troubled dipsomaniacs with the tortured souls wasn't appealing. Ray Carver got dry. I could do it too.  i didn't stay with AA but did it myself, substituting a Snapple for every time I wanted a drink.

So 60 percent of people with bipolar have a lifetime substance dependency problem. Maybe in my case it was just from a feeling of pain of being different, feeling different from everyone else, feeling like a failure because I felt like I was the only living person on the planet. I was in so much emotional pain back then I didn't know how to cope. I've learned sincethen to make closure with a lot of the issues I had back then. I have also learned that yes, I am bipolar. I have grown to accept it, and by accepting it work on my recovery. The only way I could get better, to start healing was to accept it. Whether it's alcohol or bipolar. It's something I still have issues with, dealing with, understanding and accepting. Even now. There are days where I wish I was normal and didn't have to take any meds, thinking there is nothing wrong with me. And I feel great until I go manic or depressed. Now I know I have to take my meds daily. Now I know my birth family comes from a long line of Irish alcoholics, my genes didn't escape that. I know if I have one drink, I die. Simple as that. I don't want to die, not now. I still have a lot more living to do.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sleep Glorious Sleep

Several days of positive energy, brain clear. Some domestic chores done, but then, as always, crash. Last two days in bed, wanting to sleep, and sleep doesn't come. Reading some old books on European royalty I found in the back of my bookshelf.

I think my moods have reverted back to the way they were in Junior High and High School- medium to low functioning, and petrified to be around people. Lying in bed for hours at night watching the moon move as the earth rotates through my bedroom window. Wanting to sleep, being so bone tired it doesn't come. Cursing to someone unseen for some Zzz's. Unlike High School- I don't have the energy to cook, if I do find myself in the kitchen, it's to grab a handful of cold cereal, or a piece of fruit.  I put fresh water and kibble in the cat bowls...and back to bed, turning on the bedside radio to a talk station, and stare at the ceiling. Eyes briming with unshed tears.

Which brings me to my family - who think I am doing this on purpose. I think not. Outside my apartment window, I can hear the children playing, the Seniors walking, or outside at my neighbors patio, drinking ice tea or lemonade and chatting about their grandchildren.  I can hear the sound of the commuters waiting at the bus stop as they wait for the bus to collect them and take them into the city. I long to go with them, spend a day walking around in the city, even just being able to pluck up the courage to get dressed, get in the car and get to Target where I can buy some much needed underwear.  Staying at home because you are too panicked to go outside- not having any energy to change your clothes, or do basic hygiene like showering, yes, this is living. This is great. The depression - this last bout has severed all my friendship ties. I just cannot even find energy to talk on the phone, the writing, one if not the only raison d'etre in my life, is labored if and when it comes.

I have spent the last hour and a half on this piece. I am beyond tired, and want to lie down in bed again. The cat will lie next to me, and maybe, just maybe when I wake up, I will feel energetic again. If i don't I shudder to think of the alternative.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blues Buster - One more incredible cute fix from the NY lottery-bunnies!

Their newest commercial, which premired on October 4, is way too cute as well, and it's all bunnies.

I really shouldn't be posting so many cute fixes, it really does take away from the professionalism of the blog...'s so cute, and these ads do cure the blues.....
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