Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'm Not Waving, I Really Am Drowning

One of the therapist in my IOP program means to be kind, she tells me she is the same age as me. She tells me I look ten years older now than my age. I need to do something with my hair, update my wardrobe...... do my nails....

Doesn't she know how hard it is for me to get there? Sure I may wear the same clothes for a few days in a row. I am getting there. I can barely do my hygene, I cannot eat.... It's too overwhelming to cook so I don't eat. It's too overwhelming to wear clothes, so I wear my jammies and then change into a pair of sweats and a turtleneck. No make up. I cannot moisturize or do any of that. I cannot take care of the apartment. It's too much to feed and water the cat, and clean out her box daily. The meds make me feel like my brain is made of clouds. I need help. I need someone to come and help me with the simple stuff. And no one believes me. When I share in group, .... no one believes me.

Yet my DSM IV Axis 5 diagnosis says 30. That is pretty bad. Most days I just stay in my jammies now, and write, surf the internet, and maybe have a TV dinner or a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of milk. I cannot do more than that. I might watch TV, refilling my plastic glass with ice and ice tea that I made in a big container- but that is all I can do. I go to bed at night listening to the radio. I finally put clean sheets on the bed after six weeks, a record for me. I really need help with the little things, the house work, the mouse work, the grocery shopping, going to the laundrymat, putting the clothing away, going to the local mom and pop pet store across the street and getting a 20 lb bag of Hills for Holly, and another bag of litter-

I am not on the pity pot. I just hope, hope hope someone will see this and help me- let me have some0ne, a kind person to help me out of this rut til I get better and can help myself again. Because I am drowning here. I don't often ask for help for things. There is a saying in medical hospitals. See one, do one, teach one. I need someone to help me do one now.... so I can get better and help someone later down the road. Because I know this is my brain doing this to me, whether it's from the meds, or just my brain- I just want to get some semblance of sanity and normalcy back again, for Spring. Rebirth. Renewal. It can be done. I just need help this time.

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Call To Poets: Stay Alive

So Carolyn Kellogg writes in the Los Angeles Times Books section. She reminds of of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, John Berryman, and Rachel Wetzsteon, who recently suicided at the age of 42.

Writer Jennifer Michael Hecht, who teaches at the New School, knew Wetzsteon; her death got her thinking about artists grappling with suicide. "I’m issuing a rule," she writes. "You are not allowed to kill yourself.

Some part of you doesn’t want to end it all, and I’m talking to her or him, to that part of you. I’m throwing you a rope, you don’t have to explain it to the monster in you, just tell the monster it can do whatever it wants, but not that. Later we’ll get rid of the monster, for now just hang on to the rope. I know that this means a struggle from one second to the next, let alone one day at a time. Know that the rest of us know that among the faces we have met there are some right now who can barely take another minute of the pain and uncertainty. And we are in the room with you, going from one moment to the next, in whatever condition you manage to do it. Sobbing and useless is great! Sobbing and useless is a million times better than dead. A billion times. Thank you for choosing sobbing and useless over dead... Don’t kill yourself. Suffer here with us instead. We need you with us, we have not forgotten you, you are our hero. Stay.

Hat tip to Flawedplan- of WritheSafely Blog.... thank you.

Picture is of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. I don't know if the baby is Frieda or Nicholas, who suicided last year....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Memories-Of The Way I Was- Rewrite

A year ago, when my parents sold the house my sister and I grew up in, and moved into one of those new Over 55 retirement communities that are being built up around here, my mother asked me to come over to the house she found somethings she would like me to have, and if I didn't want them, she would toss them

I went over the next day, where she handed me a large Macy's bag with my childhood memories. Everything was neatly collected. I was amazed.

Mom had kept all things bright and beautiful from my childhood, K-12. There were finger paints, coloring, cut outs, reportcards, extra wallet sized photos, You name it, it was there. Writing exemplars when you first learn how to print, and then in 3rd grade when we learned script.

Stories I had written. It was really wonderful and weird at the same time.

I saw somethings that were amazing and strange. In first grade the teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up.

I wanted to be a mommy. And an astronaut. I was fascinated with the whole NASA program from about 67-69 or so.

Then in 3rd grade, the teacher asked us what we wanted to be.

I of course, still wanted to be a mommy. I drew a picture of me with my favorite dolly at the time.

But I wanted to grow up and write books.

it stayed like that for the rest of my life. Motherhood and books.

Strange. Well, motherhood is out of the question unless when and if I ever meet my soulmate and he is patient and wants to go for medical assistance and en vitro and things like that. Or adopt, or has children of his own already.

My mother was the perfect 60's-70's mother. A combination of June Cleaver, and Mrs. Brady. And she was the hottest mother in the PTA. I admire her so damn much.

It is from her I have nothing but respect for anyone who is a mother. Juggling work, a house, children (or child) and hubby is hard work.

I'm crying now. Bare with me.

I realize I, as someone who has not been blessed yet with children should or should not make the next comment.

It's true I don't know what it is like to be a mother. It is true while some part of my brain can only imagine what it must be like to do the 3 am feedings and diaper changes, I've never done it. I've changed diapers in my life, yeah, and I have been "christened" by several friend's baby boys.

I know I would honestly die for my friends' young sons, and I hope i live long enough to dance at their weddings, and see their college graduations.

But I do know in the animal kingdom, baby birds are kicked out of the nest by their momma and they have to fly or they go ker-plunk on the ground. That is nature.

Human beings usually don't experience this until they are about 17 or 18, graduate high school, and then it's either work or college.

I imagine cutting the cord is a hard thing to do.

I know that parents never stop loving their children, no matter how old they get,, and how many mistakes they might make.

By making mistakes only can we grow.

But some day love is... love is.... I always found this to be what I wanted love to be.

From "The Fountainhead", by Ayn Rand.

I love you, Dominique. As selfishly as the fact that I exist. As selfishly as my lungs breath air. I breathe for my own necessity, for the fuel of my body, for my survival. I've given you not my sacrifice or my pity, but my ego and my naked need. This is the only way you can wish to be loved. This is the only way I can want you to love me. If you married me now, I would become your whole existence. But I would not want you then. You would not want yourself-and so you would not love me long. To say 'I love you' one must first know how to say the 'I'. The kind of surrender I could have from you now would give me nothing but an empty hulk. If I demanded it, I'd destroy you. That's why I won't stop you. I'll let you go to your husband. I don't know how I'll live through tonight, but I will. I want you whole, as I am, as you'll remain in the battle you've chosen. A battle is never selfless. [...] You must learn not to be afraid of the world. Not to be held by it as you are now. Never to be hurt by it as you were in that courtroom. I must let you learn it. I can't help you. You must find your own way. When you have, you'll come back to me. They won't destroy me, Dominique. And they won't destroy you. You'll win, because you've chosen the hardest way of fighting for your freedom from the world. I'll wait for you. I love you. I'm saying this now for all the years we'll have to wait. I love you, Dominique." [Howard Roark]

I need to find my I. I need to be incharge of my life again, captain of my destiny.

If I fail it was not from something you did. You gave me the bike,and the training wheels. It's time to take the training wheels off. I realize you did that once before, before my diagnosis, and even during my diagnosis until it became abundantly clear in my 30s I was and always will be bipolar.

But it's time to take the training wheels off now. And like the momma bird, baby will be fine and soar beautifully.

See, mom and dad gave me beautiful wings to soar with.

And I love them with every breath I take and am grateful to have been blessed by them.

For Seymour Glass- Where Ever You May Be

My Favorite living author in the world- J. D. Salinger, has died this afternoon, at the ripe old age of 91. I am too gutted to write an obit- a beautiful one is here- and I have been working for months on a piece about Bananafish.. but I wanted to share my most favorite piece by J. D. Salinger with my readers, in hope they will like it too.

I always identified with Seymour Glass, maybe too much so.

From "Raise High The Roofbeam, Carpenters,":
"I have scars on my hands from touching certain people. Once, in the park, when Franny was still in the carriage, I put my hand on the downy pate of her head and left it there too long. Another time, at Loew's Seventy-Second Street, with Zooey during a spooky movie. He was about six or seven, and he went under the seat to avoid watching a scary scene. I put my hand on his head. Certain heads, certain colors and textures of human hair leave permanent marks on me. Other things, too. Charlotte once ran away from me, outside the studio, and I grabbed her dress to stop her, to keep her near me. A yellow cotton dress which I loved because it was too long for her. I still have a lemon-yellow mark on the palm of my right hand. Oh, God, if I'm anything by a clinical name, I'm kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How I Am Staying Alive While My Brain Is Trying To Kill Me- Part Two

So I am still in the same place as I was when I wrote the earlier piece, but I decided, let me sit down and write a "Bucket List", something to keep me going, things I still want see or do, when my brain clears. I didn't think I could think of anything, but surprisingly, there are a few things I still want to do, and I would like to share them with you...

In no particular order.

1. I would like to believe life can be beautiful again.

2. I would like to know that love exists- and real great sex can exist too. And that I can find a guy who really, really knows how to kiss......

3. I would like to spend New Year's Eve in Times Square.

4. I would like to spend Bloomsday in Dublin.

5. I would like to see London again. I would also like to see York again.

6. I would like to really get my writing groove back so I can get my novel polished and published. By a real publisher, not by a vanity press.

7. I would like to have a house so I can have a dog.

8. I would like to have friends again, and to be a good friend.... that is the important thing.

9. I would like to find Serenity again, and just peace with knowing my brain is different, whether I was born different, or made different with a lifetime of medication- my brain is shattered and damaged, and I just have to be gentle with it an accept it. My problem is I don't accept it, I want to be the girl I was eight years ago before the damage started and I miss that girl and I long to be that girl, the girl who had a job, the girl who had friends....I have to stop mourning, cause if I don't I will be like Queen Victoria who wore black and mourned and spent her whole life in mourning after Albert died. And that isn't living, and I am not in a position where I can have PM's no matter how capable, live my life for me.

10. I am sure there are other things, other places to see, I just cannot think of them right now.

Monday, January 25, 2010

How I Am Staying Alive While My Brain Is Trying To Kill Me

I am currently on two anti-depressants with black box warnings. And for the last three days, all I can think about is suicide. Namely, just crawling into bed, and stop breathing. Just not existing anymore. Yes, I know some how there might actually be people who will give a damn if I go-like my parents, but I just don't care, my brain is teasing me like the Sirens sang to Homer until he chained himself to the mast so he couldn't hear them.

The last time I actually got any sleep was Wednesday night/ Thursday morning, since then, I have been averaging about two hours a night. Not good. Mild hallucinations, both visual and audible. I begged the pdoc for something to make me sleep. Nothing doing, he doubled one of the anti-depressants. I told him the anti-depressants are making me manic. I don't know what to do. If this continues, I am scared to death I will go to the hospital.

It's a pretty hospital from the outside. It's just not nice from the inside, I cannot have my panda bear, my clothes I want...
a picture of my girl, a radio, my ipod, my cell phone. nothing......the only time I will be allowed outside after a one or two day hold- will be to smoke..... they will confiscate any shampoo, conditioners, sanitary napkins, or tampons, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, toothpastes, makeup, soap, the whole thing is ridiculous. It's like going to jail, not a hospital. No watches. No jewelry allowed cept a wedding band. I couldn't even have a scrunchie the last time I was in there, and my hair fell all over my face and into my food.

Speaking of food, since Monday til Friday I lost 6 pounds cause I cannot eat. I am living on Gatorade, I just cannot eat. I am not complaining about the weight loss, but that's a lot of weight to loose in five days,

The idea of being separated from Holly is too much to bear. She sleeps with me. When I write she lies next to me, on my right side or my left side, purring softly. When I look up, I see her. She knows I am depressed, when I take a bath to sooth me, she goes in the tub with me, balancing as like an Olympic gymnast as she puts her tail in the bath water. Right now I am on the couch watching "Cops" and she is by my side, half awake, no doubt thinking 'how stupid humans are".

We have been on the couch all afternoon, watching a marathon of one of my favorite sitcoms, "Arrested Development". Normally the show would have me laughing out loud, but I cannot. I had the San Diego Panda Cam open so I could watch baby Son of Cloud and his mom frolic, and it wasn't cheering me. The thoughts of death- my death, keep going through my head, and the only thing stopping me is, NO ONE, not even the people I would leave Holly to, would love her and care for her as much as I do. I have to buck it up, and get better for the striped one. For my readers. For my family, my friends. And for the most helpless, she who needs me to open the tuna.

So I keep breathing, deep breathing. I think of "Everybody Hurts", the good version, the one by R.E.M. Just think there are people worse off then you, and it's the voices in your head making you think this way. Breathe, keep breathing, relax, chillax, and as long as you keep breathing, you aren't dead. And as long as you keep breathing, you cannot go into the hospital. And you can get better.

It's an uphill climb. But you've done it so many times before. By now it should be second nature.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

She walks into my bipolar support meeting, with a big smile and perfect white teeth. She’s all apologetic- she’s a few minutes late and the group had just finished the check in. The leader hands her the checklist, she smiles, and in a manic burst of energy, checks in and joins the group.

Since she is seated next to me, I cannot look at her. I had a brief look at her when she came in, young, maybe 22 but under 25. Long brown hair tied in an immaculate ponytail, jeans, and a brown suede jacket. Manic – to the point that she is dancing on tables. And smelling like she just took a bath in Jack Daniels and beer. The smell makes me want to gag, so I turn my head and stare at my friend sitting on my other side instead.

I don’t say anything the rest of the meeting, nothing of consequence. A few desultory words. I drive home in silence playin with the radio tuner, and when arriving home, play with my cat, change and crawl into bed with my ipod, which has been recharging all day long while I have been away.

I feel like I have been cut open with my viscera exposed. I want to cry but my tear ducts are dry.

I realize I feel the way I do because of the girl. Everything she said, every idea she had, her suicide attempt- it was me at that age.

It was like going back in a time machine and seeing my younger self.

I was so embarrassed. No wonder why I wanted to hide.

Now, there was really nothing sinister in this girl. She smelt like alcohol- there was a time I had the same smell on me, on my clothes. I had a sponsor in AA who told me she could always tell if ANYONE had a drink, the alcohol would come out in sweat via the pores and land on someone’s clothes.

If it were just this I wouldn’t have bothered. It was what she said.

I know a lot of people don’t like having this illness. I know people wish they didn’t have it. I think I am one of them. If I didn’t have the illness, so much more would have happened with my life. I could have been something. Really been something. My interactions with others would have been better and I would not have had the problems I had at school with my peers.

She railed against being bipolar, and cursed God for making her that., as well as cursing God for not allowing her to die with her suicide attempt. I related to her arguments, she knew her stuff and executed as professionally and swiftly as a Prosecutor on “Law and Order”.

And then she dropped her bombshell. At this point in her life, she had just gotten out of the hospital. The meds weren’t working because her drinking was offsetting any benefits they might provide. What did she have to look forward to? Constant meds, meds adjustments, appointments with a p-doc to monitor meds. Constant up and downs. Nothing in life is good, so I might as well drink, and besides that again, what do I have to look forward to? Fifty more years of this? Sheeze. Maybe I should check out of this life.

I’ve come to the conclusion that some of what we start off in life is given to us. Some isn’t. It is assumed we will come out of our mother’s womb with two arms, two legs, five fingers and five toes on each appendage. Some babies aren’t born that way. It is assumed we are born with hearts that work, lungs that work. That isn’t always the case. And it isn’t always the case that baby will be born with a perfectly good brain that will serve him/her for the rest of their life. Babies can be born with low IQ’s, Autistic, and babies can be born with the genes to make them bipolar, unipolar or schizophrenic.

Life isn’t always good, great. Can you imagine what your life would be like if everyday was a 10? It would be, as Kurt Vonnegut wrote about Tralfamadore “Everything is beautiful and nothing hurt”. What would you do when you had your first real bad day- say the day JFK died, or John Lennon. Oklahoma City, 9/11. Awful days. If every was beautiful how would you react?

I don’t know. Today I had a talk with my psychiatrist. I hadn’t seen him in a month, and since I saw him I had backslid terribly. For the first time in several yers, I am thinking thinking about how my parents and friends, and even my cat, would be happier if I wasn’t here.

He surprised me, and said, “You aren’t depressed. You just need a dream”.

I was taken aback. Driving home, the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was correct. I needed a dream. It was exactly as the Stones prophesied, “Loose your dreams and you will loose your mind”.

I don’t have a dream. I feel like they have all been torn out of me, ripped asunder. What few dreams I had= a college professor, a mother living in a white house and picket fence, those my illness has taken away from me.

I don’t have a dream. I don’t know how to find one.

I don’t want anything. Don’t get me wrong, If I am at the mall, and I see something lovely, a blouse, a jacket, I will want it. I see a luxury car like a Jag on the road and for five seconds I fantasize I am in it. I think this is normal.

I would love to eat like I was 17 and not put on any weight.

But dreams? I just don’t think I have any, anymore. Maybe I hope I can find them again.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jim Is In Serious Trouble, Can You Help Him?

From Yoism-
James Gottstein, founder of PsychRights is in trouble. Because he did the right thing.

James B. Gottstein, Esq., President and CEO of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights), is a Harvard Law School alumnus, a 30+ year practicing attorney, and a psychiatric survivor.

And he is in trouble for doing the right thing.

We hope he will not be punished with loss of his law license, massive civil sanctions, and possibly even going to jail. However, the power of wealthy corporations to punish those who dare to oppose them even applies to whistleblowers like Jim Gottstein who have done what any moral person should do.

In a legal proceeding, Jim got hold of some secret Eli Lilly and Company documents, the Zyprexa Papers, that revealed terrible wrongdoing on Lilly’s part. This wrongdoing was destroying many thousands of lives. Drugs with serious side effects were being illegally marketed for the treatment of people for whom they had not demonstrated any effectiveness; and the dangerous side effects were actively downplayed and hidden. Eli Lilly, which, of course, always tries to deny any wrongdoing, has taken some responsibility for their misconduct by settling law suits for the terribly destructive medical complications — including death — that these illegally promoted drugs have caused. So far, they have paid out over two-and-a-half BILLION dollars to settle these suits.

So why is Jim Gottstein being punished?

Because he showed the documents to people. He sent the documents to a newspaper reporter at the The New York Times. Publication in The Times of information from these documents could and did help stop the fraud and helped make Eli Lilly accountable for what they had done. By bringing Lilly’s misconduct to light sooner, Jim has helped stop the destructive misuse of these dangerous drugs. By bringing Lilly’s misconduct to light sooner, Jim’s actions have prevented the destruction of hundreds, if not thousands of lives.

So, again, why is Jim Gottstein being punished?

Because the secret Zyprexa Papers had been obtained from Lilly in a case unrelated to Jim. Jim subpoenaed the documents from an expert who was examining them for that other case. The judge in that case ruled that Jim "conspired to steal" the Zyprexa Papers from Lilly when he subpoenaed them from Dr. Egilman in December of 2006, and then released them to the public, resulting in multiple front page articles in The New York Times.

Jim says, "I believe I did nothing wrong. When Lilly failed to object — after being given a reasonable opportunity to do so — and then Dr. Egilman sent the Zyprexa Papers to me, they had lost their secrecy protection."

But that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong. Lilly can punish Jim even if they are wrong and he is right. They can do this by suing Jim Gottstein for releasing their secret documents that revealed THEIR wrongdoing.
So, Jim needs our help.

"Ever since Judge Weinstein ruled against me on February 13, 2007, Lilly has threatened me with civil and criminal contempt sanctions and going after my license to practice law. My legal fees in defending against Lilly's legal onslaught have so far been just under $300,000, including estimated unbilled fees, of which I still owe over $121,000. This has put me financially under water."

You can help by sending a check to the Jim Gottstein Defense Fund, or make a tax deductible charitable contribution online to the Jim Gottstein Legal Defense Fund Facebook Cause.

Jim Gottstein Legal Defense Fund
c/o Dominick Riccio, Ph.D.
1036 Park Avenue, Suite 1B
New York, NY 10028

PS. Please note: Jim is in need, but he did not ask us to post this.
Sometimes, people just have to do the right thing.

Susan's note-Holly and I have contributed, and belong to the group on Facebook. Jim is a real great guy, he doesn't deserve what he is going through. I hope my readers can help.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream- Repost

Today started out like any other day. Blue sky, not a cloud. Humidity down a bit. I couldn't sleep last night, but that is not unusual.

Then the emails. Then the phone calls. People who love me, yes, they do I know they do. But don't understand me, what I have been through and what I am doing.

All I can say is I am taking steps to take back my life. They are not popular. it's causing pain.

To everyone.

Back in 98, I quit my meds, all my meds and for a period of about 6 months I thought I was fine. Perhaps I was. Perhaps I wasn't.

I was only on lithium, and I was between pdocs.

Someone in the news room said something about Beepers after Phil Hartman was murdered and the story was breaking and we were watching it break in real time.

In hindsight I should have gone to HR and made a complaint about this person.

Went to my parents house for supper, I was upset. In a previous lifetime I did voice work and knew some of the people who worked on The Simpsons.

The next day I called the pdoc and was back on Lithium that evening, as well as an anti depressant. I cannot recall if it was Paxil or Zoloft.

Flash forward about a fortnight.

My mother stood by the kitchen sink, scraping the skin off of potatoes for supper. She looked at me and said "I have my daughter back", Then the threat- if you ever go off your meds again, so help me I will do X Y and Z to you".

This was back?? I had cotton mouth. My brain felt like it was swabbed in cotton, I found it hard to string a coherent sentence together in the right time. I couldn't find the right words to express what I was feeling, and said umm a lot. I didn't ponder, I didn't day dream. I felt cow heavy from the lithium and the water retention that comes with it. I couldn't watch TV and I couldn't read or write. Doing these things were like climbing Mt. Everest to me. The poet/philosopher was dead. Dead and gone lady dead and gone.....

But I was a good girl and wanted to make everyone happy. By doing this I had an idea that I needed the lithium to control the mood swings, and keep me on an even keel. But the other, it was destroying my soul, it was destroying who I was. It was destroying ME, my essence and spirit.

I swallowed the meds and tried to be a good girl. I held down a job, made a nice salary, got my writing chops again, started 2 more novels over the next 10 years. But weekends I would just stay in bed and sleep for 18 hours a day, I was that tired. People made me tired, and I needed to avoid them at all costs. I wasn't alive anymore. The girl who existed in school, even in college who would play in the snow, run outside to look at rainbows, play midnight golf on the golf course and jump into the pool there and skinny dip, she was gone. I couldn't look at the stars anymore. That was heaven and my body was trapped in a hell on earth.

One set of great grandparents left a country under Nicholas and Alexandra because they wanted freedom, and America was the best place in the world to be free. I wasn't free. My body was, my brain wasn't. It was under a Tsar of my own making.

They say fake it til you make it in AA. I did that. That was my life. Keep swallowing those pills and everyone is happy.

Don't question. Doctors know best.

It didn't matter that doctors have almost killed me back in 85 when I had Lymes, and this past Spring with Haldol. They saved my life when I was born and should have died. Somehow that balanced out the other one (now two) on the Karma scale.

And now I am still that scared little girl. My brain is clearer than it's been in over a decade. I know that. The poet/philosopher that was me is back. At what price?

this price? It's too high on a lot of levels. It's too caustic, emotionally and physically.

"The curse is on me", said the Lady of Shallot as she left her tower and tried to row across the river.

The curse. The mark of Cain, the dreaded bipolar label and all it entails and is. The curse is on my brain.

I am swallowing hard to stay afloat. What I thirst for is 30 proof.

All I can do is sit on the couch, under the picture of Wheatfield with Crows and wait for the sun to rise. And pray that this new day is better than the day that went before it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

And Now For Something Completely Different- Puppies!

I know my last three entries have been beyond blue- they have been beyond black and despair. So in order to change the mood- how about the puppy cam??? These darlings were just born on January 17, 2010.

Free Videos by Ustream.TV
Warning- You can spend the entire day watching these darlings.

I will be taking a break from blogging for the next day or two, in order to write a piece I promised for a friend's site.

Happy Anniversary

"A ceremony with a bishop
who will tie the not and say
Do you agree to love and honour,
Love and honour yes, but not obey
(Irving Berlin, "Annie Get Your Gun")

Maybe things would have been different if I could have promised to "Obey". But in this day and age, what woman does? I mean, if he doesn't promise to obey me, why should I obey him? Everyone knows it's "She who must be obeyed".

As weddings goes, it was beautiful beyond words. Simple. And elegant. 26 guests. The most immediate family members from both sides, and my three closest friends from the international media agency I worked for at the time, and their spouses. A woman played piano who taught at Princeton. It was held in a tiny glass enclosed room at the Scanticon hotel, and it was lightly snowing. He remarked it looked like a snow globe. Indeed it did. The Rabbi had MS, and she leaned heavily on her helper dog. When the groom broke the glass, the dog barked; I guess he had fallen asleep. I recall my biggest fear was making sure it was grape juice in the wine glass, not wine, and ginger ale not champagne in my glass, for the toast but everything was fine.

And today, it would be six years. Six long years. I am over him, I know - we both know, the marriage was doomed from the start, even before we said "I do". We were too different in what we wanted in life- our goals, our desires, our dreams, that doesn't mean that either of us are bad people, it's just we didn't really have much in common, not enough to make it work.It's better this way, and he is genuinely happy where he is. I am not. Not with my life, not as it is, not where I am geographically living.

I just don't know why, today, I feel so lonely. I don't mind being alone. This is Ok. But the loneliness is destroying me, eating me up alive almost to the point where I just want to hurl myself out the window to make it stop. Only I am on the second floor so nothing will happen, other than breaking a few bones. I don't normally feel like this, but it's all acute, overwhelming. I am trying every trick I know from my CBT/DBT class, WRAP, but it's more than that. I't's the desire to be held. It's not sexual. It's more primal. It's the desire you feel when you are a child, sitting on your mother's or father's lap. Just being held. I want to be held like that, even for a few minutes. Someone just to hold me, rub my back, touch my hair, make me connected. This feeling will pass in time as well. But I just wish, someone, anyone, could just hold me. And never let me go.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I have finally hit bottom, moment of truth redux

I am going to start out by saying this happened a while (2 years) ago. It may be hard to read, I apologize in advance if it upsets or hurts anyone. I've moved on from the place in this piece and am doing better.

It was a very cold night, the thermometer was registering 15 degrees outside. My soul felt as cold as it was outside, I cannot stand it anymore. I cannot stand living in my skin. I hate this new med cocktail, and the side affects, the sleeping 16 hours a day, the grogginess, the nausea, the stupor and the fog on my brain.

It's another New Year, but what do I have to look forward to? Nothing, nothing. I cannot breathe. Years ago, I would go to the train station and trainspot, until the feeling passed. Now I am home too anxious to get in the car and go somewhere, anywhere til this feeling passes.

Or maybe I don't want it to pass. Maybe in my own warped brain, I want to hold on to it, to embrace it with every fibre of my being. I'm in serious psychic pain, what got me out of bed in my twenties is no longer working and I am living with these broken dreams, cutting my hands daily on them. I'm tired of the bleeding. I'm tired of living without a raison d'etre, without hope. I'm not living anymore, it's all automatic body functions. I cannot deal with it anymore.
I'm bored by TV, and too anxious to watch it. I wander into the kitchen for a glass of ice tea, and see the meds. I had just gotten all the meds renewed earlier that day at
CVS, something I found degrading. My hands shake so I cannot sign my name when I pick them up, or write out a check. I am lucky, there is a female pharmacist who sympathizes with me, and signs for me, with my permission, and takes the blank check, fills it out for me, and records the fee in the checkbook.

Now all the meds are staring me in the face....and maybe in a moment of weakness, maybe in a moment where it's "I don't give a fuck anymore", I go over to them, with my glass of ice tea, unscrew the top to one of them, lay them out on the kitchen table. 100 pills. That should be enough. The cat lies slumbering on my bed, snoring softly. My mother had just washed the comforter when I was hospitalized, and it smells linen fresh and clean. I love my bed, it's my own bed (with a different mattress) from my childhood, and it comforts me. My marital bed on the other hand, was too big to maintain, and has a lot of bad memories. I was glad to see it go.

Two pills down the hatch. I am optimistic, this doesn't seem to be so bad, I am looking forward to swallowing them all and lying down on the bed and just going to sleep. I choke on the third, it won't go down, but eventually it does. Four, five and six....when I get to seven the cat is rubbing up against my leg. I stop to pick her up, and she goes into purr overload. Then she bites my hand and runs over to the computer, daring me to get on it.

She puts her body on it, the screensaver wakes up and she hits a favorite button with her right paw. My first favorite is Google, the second and third favorite are the websites of my two of my several muses. One of them pops up, and I see it's been updated. So I read. I sit down and read.
And read and read.

Now let me explain about these two wonderful people in my life who are my muses One I know in real life, the other I have never met. Both people have encouraged me to write and believe in me not only as a writer, but a human being, and these are the two people have really motivated and challenged me to write again, when I have given it up as a broken dream. I've only had two other living muses, my first creative writing professor, and J.D. Salinger.

So, It was serendipitous that I stumbled across this little bit of writing written years ago and for some reason came up in a bookmark made long ago and forgotten.

Sometimes when you are that blue, that suicidal, you just need something, anything to get you out of the moment to help you get out of yourself til the feeling passed. And that was the gift this person gave to me with their gift of writing. They didn't know it, and I have never told them this. That one miserable cold horrible night, I read and read and read until the feeling passed and kept reading until the sun came up, and yes, I was still depressed, and yes, I still wished I was dead, but the feeling was passive, not active, and they may have saved my life.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Angel In Blue- Repost

Ideally, you should feel safe in cyberspace. I know from watching too many episodes of Law and Order that this is not true.

You take precautions.

I admit the Myers Briggs had me down as an introvert. From a family of mostly extroverts. I admit my idea of a perfect Saturday afternoon would be to sit in front of a roaring fire, listing to music and reading, the cat at my feet asleep.

That would be hell to most of my family who like to move and stay active.

I know I isolate too much.

I know my writing habits are strange. I've been hearing that since my first creative writing course as a Freshman in College.

My ex, and almost every other writer I know, professional and amateur, set a time of day to write and that is when they write.

I cannot do that. I have to wait for the bolt of lightning to strike, and then I write. And write and write and write, for days on end straight, til my fingers bleed. And I write. Then I rest, go back to what I write and edit.

Consider me both Eliot and Pound.

My ex, would always tell people I was the better writer. But at home, in private he would yell at me I wasn't writing enough. Because I was sinking down into depression and with depression the darker it gets, the more vast the waste land it is, and I cannot write.

When I cannot write for more than a day or two, look out. Send the men with the white jackets.

When I first set up this blog, I was urged to do so by two of my dearest friends in the cybersphere. The email address that goes out to people is in my cat's name. No one knows my surname. Less than 5 people in cyberspace know who I am in real life.

It was supposed to serve as therapy, a kind of letting my soul go, a safe place for me. It isn't anymore.

The whole goal of this blog was to help other people understand what the hell goes on in a bipolar's mind.

My ex, a published and respected writer in the field himself, once told me, :"No one can get inside the bipolar mind like you do. What you write is difficult to read, impossible to put down and brilliant."

That seems to be the opinion of another friend of mine in real life who said almost the same thing on his blog back in January.

I write, I write. I don't know how to do much else. I am not that good with people. I would rather be alone than in a group. I feel uncomfortable with them, I feel like I have to be "on".

I know this also was a deal breaker in my marriage, the ex would tell me I am too much of a homebody. Like I said, when the lightning strikes......that is the way I am.

I wish I was disciplined. I'm not, much to the wrath of my Creative Writing teachers and other writers I have met and befriended.

"I would suffer like Van Gogh to paint like Van Gogh. I would not suffer like Van Gogh, however, to paint like Gaugin." said Kurt Vonnegut in a New York Times interview.

I believed that. I wrote like Van Gogh painted at the end, painting after painting in the last few days of his life alive, before he put the gun to his chest and pulled the trigger.

Much to the detriment of my family who loves me. Because I don't answer the phone when I am on a roll. I don't get dressed. I stop every hour or so to put fresh ice in my water, or use the toilet.

I don't want to be disturbed. I just want to write, damn it. Leave me alone. The world can go to hell, I will write and write and write. And when I am done, then and only then will I make time for you.

It may be selfish. It probably is, considering I quoted Ayn Rand yesterday and her views on selfishness as a virtue.

It might be selfish to wish I was able to live my life without meds. I know in my heart that 23 years of over 40 different psychiatric meds must have done a number to my brain. How could it not have? It would be ridiculous to assume any thing else.

Besides, As Neil Simon said in the play "The Odd Couple", "When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me".

I went back on an antidepressant around noon yesterday. This morning I woke up with a splitting headache, nausea and diarrhea. I cannot sleep, my brain is going too fast. But I am depressed at the same time. I never had mixed states until this year. I try to write, the ideas are flowing but the hands won't type. I have my notebook out to jot down ideas, and a tape recorder if I cannot hand write fast enough to keep the words flowing.

My brain feels like it's covered with cotton balls. I lay in bed last night , listening to the air conditioner spit out a cold blast every now and then, and tried to sleep. And the thoughts raced, even with a Klonepin. At 2 am I can barely hear the traffic there are no cars on the highway.

I tried to work on my novel but my brain is too tired. Instead, I vegged out on the couch, watching daytime TV, and making trips to the toilet.

I feel this in my heart right now.

"And the song that I was writing
is left undone
I don't know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can't believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme"
(Paul Simon).

if my brain becomes lethargic, it won't write. I will try to discipline myself in the future, set aside a block of say , six hours a day and leave that to write. And if I only write a couple of sentences that day it's Ok. I have read enough books on the craft to know that is a verity with writers.

What do you do to a dream that is deferred? Let it die like a raisin in the sun???

What do you do if you cannot dream anymore? You don't feel safe anymore?

And she never had dreams
So they never came true
My fade away angel
Angel in blue
(J. Geils Band, 1981)

Lovely song. Dust off your vinyl records and listen to it. Really listen to it. It was supposed to be written about Faye Dunnaway, but it is so much like me it's scary.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I Cannot Get This Out Of My Mind- Haitian Earthquake-How to Help

Ever since I saw Mary's post this morning on her friend who is missing in Haiti, I cannot get this out of my mind. I checked the news wires a few minutes ago, at the top of the hour and Drudge is reporting 500. 000 may be dead, a figure he is getting from Breitbart, while other news wires are "conservatively" putting the death toll at 100,00 plus.

It's overwhelming to my broken brain, so many people lost, dead, buried.....
Haiti is the 4th poorest country in the world, these people have nothing, and to go through such a tragedy.....
I just stumbled across this gem of a piece- How To Help Haiti with Recovery- and wanted to pass it along, should anyone want to use it for a reference or PSA. I'll be back tomorrow with the regular stuff.

Donate to the Red Cross.
The Washington Post notes that people may text: HAITI to 90999 and a $10 donation will be made to the Red Cross for earthquake emergency response. This amount will be charged to your bill for cell phone.

Go to to learn more about how to donate the the Red Cross to send help to Haiti. The Red Cross has taken immediate action to start to send funding and supplies to Haiti to ensure that earthquake survivors get the help they need.


Learn about how to help Haiti recover from the Earthquake at or call 1-800-4UNICEF.

UNICEF helps children and families all over the world survive natural disasters and obtain urgently needed medical care.

Yele Haiti

Musician Wyclef Jean, whose homeland is Haiti, is asking people to donate to Yele Haiti to help with disaster relief for earthquake survivors.

Wyclef Jean asks people to please text: Yele to 501 501 and donate $5.

For more information go to:

Save the Children

This organization has been providing help to Haiti since the 1980s. For more information about how to help the Haiti recovery program with Save the Children go to:

World Vision

Go to to learn how to help the children in Haiti. This organization works to help with disaster response resources. The website also provides information about how to sponsor a child in Haiti or other locations.

Doctors Without Borders

This group has won a Nobel Prize for their work to save lives during times of disasters. For more information about how the doctors will work to help Haiti go to:

Mercy Corps

he Mercy Corps has created the Haiti Earthquake fund. Send donations to P.O. box 2669, Portland, OR 97208. Go to for more information. You may also call 1-888-256-1900.

Donate to Local Salvation Army or Goodwill

When a disaster strikes nearby countries, the Salvation Army and Goodwill will send items from America to those areas in need. So donate to your local stores. Items donated to Salvation Army and Goodwill help people in crisis to start a new life.

More 3 am Musings and Prayers

I just woke up, I have to at the doctor's office at 7:30 today for a blood draw- I went back on lithium because I didn't go off it correctly, and it's Ok. I don't mind. My white blood count is way too high, and they need to check it out before next month's scheduled bone marrow biopsy, and the lithium level needs to be checked. Doc also wants to check cholesterol-and thyroid. Last time thyroid was looked at, talk of adding Synthroid was discussed but nothing was done, I came down with pneumonia. So it's fun fun fun at the docs today, but the good news is, I will get a band aid with Bugs Bunny on it!! Hurray!

On a sad note, my blogger friend Mary in South Africa is reporting this morning, " A poster on my AA Loners mailing list is missing in Haiti. Please say a prayer for her." Absolutely. I hope you all can do the same.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday

Almost Two and a half days without sleep. Well, not quite right. I actually got one whole hour and ten minutes. Wow wee!

I cannot sleep. I toss and turn. I get up, I get out of bed. I make myself a glass of milk, warming it in the microwave. I lie back down in bed, counting sheep.

and in my dreams, they all look like Shaun, from Wallace and Gromit. Cute little guys. Then my bladder acts up, I go to the bathroom to rid the milk, and try to lie down again. To no avail. I turn on the radio to relax- and try the sheep again. Listen to the cat snore. Become one with the universe. Breathe in and out. It's one am.

I am still doing this at four am. I am still doing this at six am. I wake up at seven ten am. I cannot go back to sleep. Unlike most mania, my thoughts aren't racing. But I am sick to my stomach. My head feels like Hannibal's elephants are crossing the Alps in there. Not baby elephant's- big bull elephants, and pregnant elephants. I have a fever of 101, my hands are shaking, my whole body is shaking. If I don't get some sleep, I am going to switch to manic. And, if I go to manic, in the last three years, I will go from hypomanic, to full blown manic, to psychotic. I'm going to think I am Wonder Woman, only I wish I looked as good as Lynda Carter in the leotard, (too short in the leg department) and had a golden lasso to tie up the guy I have a crush on. Wrrrowwwrrr!

I am going to suggest something to put me to sleep, which is, well, not quite kosher. Short of asking someone to take Maxwell's Silver Hammer and gently bop it on my head so I can sleep for 12 hours- I don't use sleeping pills. They knock me out, but I don't stay asleep. I usually get up an hour or so later. Same with Benzos. So I bought some Benedryl. I am very sleepy as I write this. It works in a pinch- when in Rome, no?

But the thing is, it will stop me from going off to mania. And that is the important thing. After suffering from this illness more than half my life, I think I know what to do and what signs to look for. I know I cannot lapse into that- it's caustic and can be deadly. So an ounce of prevention-

And hopefully a good night sleep will happen.


I've published my first Haiku!

Howard, the brilliant webmaster at Non-Breaking Space, has published my first attempt at writing haiku since college, in his second hand haiku series! And he even gave it a title, "Frozen Lamentation"!

It's extremely apt for today, being 14 degrees outside....

Howard is also the author of Cool Menthol Woman, haiku and other verse, available at Amazon for the absolute cheap price of 7.50. I highly recommend it for your bookshelves.

Friday, January 8, 2010

There Will Come Soft Rains

I adore "Life After People" on the History Channel. If anyone reading this has not seen it, the new season has just started. Check your local listings for day and times. If you haven't read the book- highly recommended. Perfect thing to read on a snowy, snowy day like today.

And for some reason, on this snowy, snowy day, I thought of this poem I read eons ago in Junior High. For some reason I felt like sharing it. I don't know why, but it echoes the way I feel today. Like everyone has indeed left, and it's just me, the last survivor of the human race, drinking hot chocolate, watching the snow fall, and when I die, so does humanity.

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pool singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

(Sara Teasdale, 1920)

(pictures from History Channel's Life After People)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Something to cheer everyone up on a cold day

Currently, I am in the grips of a very bad, suicidal, existential depression, which is why I have been unable to write or blog, or even take care of myself. We all know the drill, we all have been there, done it, bought the tee- shirt. Just lie in bed listening to music or the radio, or lie on the couch, watching TV. Or listen to the cat purr.

Here is a little bit of Fry and Laurie to cheer up- acting like Psychiatrists. I love these guys. I hope you do too.

Hopefully back soon. Peace.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Some thoughts on US Health care

I hope everyone is enjoying the New Year.....Two great thoughts on US Healthcare from Pundit Kitchen.....

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