Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fool's-Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction

I've been waiting to share this on April Fool's Day. Only it's half an April Fool's. This is what every drug company should change their name to.

The commercial is incredibly funny. The best part about the commercial, though, is that Butt Drugs is a real store, located in Corydon, Indiana; the kind of old-fashioned, small-town drug store that can rarely be found anymore. The store was founded in 1952 by businessman William Butt. Butt Drugs the store is now owned and operated by William’s son and granddaughter. The store has a pharmacy, general merchandise, liquor, and an old-fashioned soda fountain. The stuffed fishing trophies of the original store owner and his son still hang on the walls. When the store was first founded, the town was tiny – and as of the 2000 census, Corydon, Indiana only had 2,715 people. Beyond Butt Drugs, the one claim to fame that Croydon can take is that it was the original state capital of Indiana – before that capital was moved to Indianapolis in 1825.

If you can’t make the trip all the way to Corydon, Indiana, you can still have some fun with the punny excitement of Butt Drugs. The web site,, offers everything from T-shirts to bumper stickers.

Happy April Fools Day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Updating Blogroll-Links needed

I am in the process of revamping the blog, and need to update the blogrolls.

If you are a blogger and would like to be added to my blog, please use the comments below or pm me at hollythecat at gmail

I don't have to agree with the blogs on my blogroll, but I must like reading them. All I ask is that
1. The blogger has been blogging for at least three months
2. The blogger would consider adding my blog to their blog roll as well. Just for the record I am not on all the blogs on my roll. But it would be nice if I was.

I am trying to build back the lost readers for sporadic blogging over the last four months, and the best things for my mental health and make me happy are blogging and of course the cat.

Thank you!

ETA: It will take a bit of time, I am thinking of changing to the live blog feature that lets you know in order of when blogs are updated.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Remembering My Friend Kevin, Who Would Have been 31 Today

I wrote this piece three years ago when my friend Kevin died. Today he would have been 31. I miss him terribly, and wanted to share this with my readers and friends. Peace to you Kevin, where ever you are.

Monday night. It was past 11 o'clock, I was just watching the news, trying to wind down before I go to sleep. The phone rang. I would never get the phone after ten, but I noticed on caller ID that it was my friend G- and it must have been bad for him to call that late at night.

I picked up the phone. "Susan", he said, his voice choking with tears and sobs. "You better sit down, it's bad. It's really bad".

G's father has been ill for quite some time, so I sat back down on the couch, expecting him to tell me his dad passed. But no.. This was worse. Far worse. "Susan, um, when was the last time you spoke to Kevin?" 

" A few months ago" I assured him. G- continued. "Kevin died on Sunday morning". 

My mind couldn't grasp this. I was waiting for "April Fool", but G- was too upset. "He suicided on the Princeton Junction train". 

I started to cry. 

We talked for a half hour, deciding in a few small moments of clarity, who we needed to call. I was told to call N- a friend of ours, S- another friend, and my ex, John. And then our support group. Between calls made over the next 36 hours, I cried buckets, and tried in my own way to deal with this. And tried to understand what Kevin, the most alive person I have ever met in my entire life, could wind up at the train station on a moonlit Sunday morning. 

Mercer County, New Jersey is home to the state's capital Trenton. Years ago it was quite upscale, when the Roeblings lived there. It also contains the town of Princeton, where the university is located. It's a beautiful sleepy suburban town, comprising of the university, the Advanced Institute, set up for Albert Einstein, the Theological Institute, Westminster Choir College, and many large companies, including ETS, Squibb, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton Plasma, and many more.

And then there is the hospital. As hospitals go, Princeton is on the small side, it's claim to fame is that the singer Mary Chapin Carpenter was born there, and it served as the back drop on the current TV series "House". 

It was at this hospital where I and my ex husband first met Kevin Greim. He came into our support group, wearing a backwards baseball cap, leather jacket and jeans. What I noticed immediately about him, was his smile. It wasn't a perfect smile, but it lit up the room. He had one of those rare personalities, all magnetic; people just gravitated towards him. You couldn't help but like Kevin, he had this amazing aura around him, and a lust for life. 

Kevin was like a sponge. He wanted to learn everything, and as time went on, he contributed more and more to our meetings, eventually bringing his wife Jamie to our group. She too, made valuable contributions. What I recall most, is after the meetings, going to the Starbucks or Panera's on Nassau Street after our meetings. Kevin would talk to John, I would sit at a table and talk to Jamie. And just talk girl talk. About our weddings, the dresses we wore and how we felt. Our cats. When Kevin found out I loved cats ,he told me about one of his cats, six toed like one of Hemingway's. 

John and Kevin developed a kind of relationship, each seeing each other more as a friend, but also as a mentor. Sort of like Leopold Bloom and Stephen Daedelus. We would meet Kevin at Panera's for lunch and they would talk. Kevin would order a coffee, too proud to say he couldn't afford lunch that day. Of course, we would always treat. 

What people don't realize about Kevin is that he had so much love in his heart for other people. When his friend N- had car troubles and needed to purchase a car- he took her too his old car dealership and helped her purchase a beauty. He loved facilitating in our group, and helping other people when he worked at CSP. He was always there for his friend G. He was always there for me when my marriage ended. He gave freely of his time, offering and ear and never asked for anything in return, only to learn, more about human nature. 

And maybe that is what ultimately lead him on the last few hours of his short life to the Princeton Junction train station. His heart gave out. 

I understand the lure of the train. Back in 2001, at my most suicidal, I too went to the same train station, parked my car in the same parking lot, left my handbag and a note on the windshield, saying simply ":I am sorry". Locked the car, put the keys in my jeans pocket, and walked down the tunnel up to the train tracks. And waited for the train. 

About an hour later, I could see the headlight in the distance. I could hear the noise. It would have been so easy to jump down, and sit on the tracks. But then I looked up at the stars and strand of moon and changed my mind. Kevin didn't. I don't know in the last milliseconds if he stared at the headlight and said a silent prayer. i don't know if he looked at the full moon. We never will know. What I do know is so many of us, had we been there with him, would have pushed him out of harm's way quickly- and done the ultimate sacrifice so he might live. 

No one will forget how he loved to talk about his family, his wife, his animals. The glee he had one night when he was showing off a new ipod his brother had bought for him. How he would go to Taco Bell, order 10 tacos and eat 7 at one sitting. 

Between Sunday, September 14, and Monday September 15, Mercer County. New Jersey had two suicides. One was a 46 year old man who jumped off the overpass by Quaker Bridge Mall on to Route 1, in a perfect swan dive. And the other one was my friend Kevin.

My friend Kevin. Where ever you are now, may you find the peace you were looking for. I am truly blessed that for four years, I knew him. He will be missed by his mother, father, brother and wife Jamie, said the obituary. What it left out is all the other people Kevin touched in his 28 years on this planet. 

Bless you Kevin.

Rerun:Today is Respect Your Cat Day!

Maximum people love to celebrate cat day, if we spend a day on our lovely cat then it will became beautiful. For this reason every year we celebrate Respect Your Cat Day on 28th March, so just pamper your sweet cats with loads 'n loads of love. Take some time out of your busy schedules and cuddle up these cute, furry creatures. Spend some time with your loving pets and make others do so too. However don't miss this day without celebration make the day beautiful.

Animals do so much for us, the ones I have shared my life with have been my best friends. Do something nice for your best friend today. They do so much for us, shouldn't we do something nice for them? Today and every day.

If you don't have a best friend and would like one, the best place to look is your local animal shelter. I got my fur babies from here. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Update on Alison- She's Out!

From Gianna Kali's blog this morning...
This is an upate to let you all know that Alison Hymes was NOT sent to a long-term facility this morning. Our efforts were successful. I think this proves that when we all band together, we can fight the oppressive forces of psychiatry. Alison had very little family support, but she had the love and support of people whose lives she touched in Virginia, all across the States, and the world. This explanation was written by her friend, Tina.
OKAY! I just spoke to Alison’s doctor and he said she seemed great and that he wouldn’t even be concerned about her driving skills, but then tried to chalk it up to the high dose of seroquel. she just got better in the last 3 days because of us. i reminded him that those statements about her functioning aren’t compatible with commitment criteria. he agreed. I think he [is] going to discharge her.
And discharge her, he did. Tina is making the long trek down to Charlottesville to care for Alison around the clock as she recovers from iatrogenic trauma and medical torture. This threat of long-term institutionalization was a matter of life and death – NOT an exaggeration – she had organ system failure that was not being addressed by her psychiatric “care” and would not be addressed at the facility she would have been sent to. Those of us who have followed her story feared that she wouldn’t have survived.
Thank you to all who signed the petition. Alison credits her quick turnaround to the love and support she received. We pulled together, and we saved a life today! We expect Alison to recover and thrive, and are certain that she will continue to be a strong advocate in our community.
Hat tip: Stephany

Monday, March 14, 2011

Action Needed Urgently. Please Help A Fellow Blogger

This post is written by a friend of Alison Hymes, Tina. Please sign the petition here.
We need to get behind our sister psychiatric survivor, Alison Hymes of Charlottesville, VA. I just got off the the phone with Alison, and she authorized me to share her information to get support and assistance.
Alison is currently at Martha Jefferson Hospital. She had the independent psychiatric evaluation today, and they are definitely sending her to Western State Hospital. They didn’t have the commitment hearing yet…that’s Monday. But she says it’s just a formality. This is WSH, where they wish to send her for 6 months
Alison had a kidney transplant in October 2008 for loss of kidney function due to psychiatric malpractice many years ago. She was sucked back into the psych system at UVA by commitment  in 2009 when she had a reaction to the steroids prescribed for the kidney transplant. It was also due to neglect by her psychiatrist that the issues were not addressed. Instead of addressing it as a steroid reaction, they decided it was a “bipolar episode” and gave her drugs that nearly caused the loss of her transplanted kidney and bladder. She was totally re-traumatized.
She has been highly anxious ever since, and her outpatient doctor raised the klonopin to a high dose since that time, but she also lost her therapist of 9 years over the summer and had little or no family/friend support. Before she took this recent downturn, she was highly anxious, but still driving, shopping, cooking and taking care of herself, including daily walks. When her psychiatrist saw her mid-January, Alison reported anxiety and sleeplessness and was prescribed a low dose of Seroquel, and within 2 days, the round of ER visits, crisis center stays and threats of commitment began. She was suddenly unable to drive, cook, bathe properly or take care of herself, and it was directly caused by the addition of Seroquel. The response was to raise the dose, hospitalize her and keep raising the dose. They currently have her loaded up on Seroquel and made her cold turkey off klonopin last night.  This would be a six month commitment.
With her medical needs and her traumatic psych history, I fear Alison will not survive at Western State, especially not for six months. I have contacted her attorney, as well as a CCHR Representative, and I will request a Mindfreedom Shield Activation at her request, but we need all the support, assistance and suggestions of the survivor community right now.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bloody Hell

Bloody Hell!

I am angry. So angry I can taste it. I don’t get angry often, I cannot think of the last time I was this angry, honestly. Which is a newish emotion for me.

When I first got out of the hospital, I was grateful to be alive. Every day was a blessing, and everything was wonderful. It was like when I first stopped drinking all those years ago, and I had my first glass of orange juice without vodka in it, amazed how wonderful orange juice really tasted.

Now the bloom has gone off the rose. Part of me wishes I had died, questioning why I didn’t. Guardian angel perhaps? Nine lives?

I like the nine lives analog I have had nine lives from the first time where I almost died in delivery, until this past November when I had problems with my kidneys failing.

As a cat owner, I don’t believe I will be lucky the next time.

Going back to anger- what angers me- is this med cocktail- drugs to help my kidneys and bladder, lower my blood pressure- Amlodipine, Bethanechol, and Clonidine. I was on seven in January, so three is doable.

What has happened, either from the experience, the dialysis, the med cocktail, is this (men might want to stop here)… is I haven’t had had my period since Christmas. My mother mentions to me over lunch last Friday that menopause is wonderful, and think of all the money you will save by not buying napkins and tampons anymore.

But I don’t know. I have had Auntie Flo visit since 7th grade. My entire life, practically. I don’t have any friends in real life who have gone through this, just friends’ mothers. In my mothers generation they would automatically remove organs if they had painful periods and heavy bleeding, bringing on an early menopause. I have told my gynecologist over and over again, I would not go through that. Let it be the way nature intends.

I can’t help thinking it’s too early. I am not 50; it’s a while before I hit that milestone. I was still clinging to the hope I would be able to have a baby some day.

It’s a silly thought. No boyfriend, not in the way to do it myself, raising it as a single mom. Not now. Maybe 10 years ago I could have done that, but now.

When I first started therapy, back as a grad student when I was 21, the therapist worked out I needed to have a baby to make closure for the fact I was adopted, and spent the first seven months of my life in an over crowded system in NY. I was fostered out to a woman who had many other babies, and would lie in neglect, diapers wouldn’t be changed immediately, and I wouldn’t be cuddled like my friends did with their infants.

I recall something from a basic psychology class my freshman year in college. About a monkey and it’s mother, they had one monkey baby that stayed with it’s mother, and another one who was given a stuffed plush monkey mother, and bottles could be attached to her so the monkey could feed. The first baby monkey did fine, because his mother loved him and held him and fed him. The other baby monkey eventually died, because he was getting no love, even though his basic needs (food, someone to clean his wastes) were done. I was like that second monkey.

I suppose it could have been worse, when I became sexually active. I could have had one-night stands looking in vain for someone to love me, and never finding it. I’m lucky that by the time I was sexually active, AIDS was the big word on campus, and all of a sudden you had more to fear by a one-night stand besides accidentally getting pregnant, or getting VD. You could get AIDS. It was brand new; no one understood it, and all we knew is you would die. Horribly.

And I was selfish, spending the days as a librarian, bored out of my mind, and three nights a week working in a mom and pop bookstore. Weekends were spent getting drunk on Friday night with a pile of VHS movies freshly rented from Blockbuster, and I would stay on the couch the entire weekend, until Sunday night when it was time to stop drinking and get sober. I didn’t really date and it was lonely. I never minded being alone, it’s being lonely that’s difficult.

You know those  chick flicks movies aimed at women where there is always the pretty young, executive woman in her 20s or 30s that falls in love with the guy, and has the cute but not pretty BFF, who is usually smarter than her friend but never gets the guy. The guys always think of her as “one of them”. A friend but not a girl friend. Harry might have ended up with Sally but in my universe, it never happened.

And I longed for it. I even managed to save up 2000 dollars to go to a matchmaker in Staten Island who promised I would have a ring on my finger within two years. A real Yenta. I took an extensive questionnaire, talked to her for a bit, and gave her my hard earned money, and left her singing “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”, on the ride home.

I had two dates before she gave me my money back. There wasn’t anything wrong with me, it’s just the two men she hooked me up with thought I wasn’t Jewish enough or too Jewish, which was silly because I was non-practicing.  I was smart and witty, and they wanted – someone dumber. She said she couldn’t find someone for me, and gave me back the money. I took the money back, put it in the savings account, eventually buying some stocks with it. I dated a few guys for a years or so, but when push came to shove, I was a nice girl but they still wanted to “sow their wild oats”, or there wasn’t anything holding together other than sexual chemistry. Meanwhile I kept getting wedding invitations and baby shower invitations and it was like a dagger to my heart.

But I stayed optimistic, there is a lid for every pot, so they say, and my soul mate would be out there.

I never found him. Maybe I was looking too hard. It’s Ok; there are worse things in life than being single. But the baby! How I longed for the baby. I always thought it would happen.

Now it looks like Mother Nature is taking that option away from me and I want to cry. I want to scream. How dare you? Destroy my dream? My dream, my beautiful dream is dying like a raisin in the sun.

Do I go to a therapist and hash this out? No. It’s futile. Life is all about you can’t always get what you want. It is what it is, and I cannot change it no matter how my heart is breaking for what could have been. 

I just need to figure out, what does a woman do with her life if she cannot have a regular career, and is not a mother? What is my purpose?

I wish my guardian angel would tell me. 
Related Posts with Thumbnails