Monday, August 20, 2012

Rerun and update: Susan an Introduction

I apologize if I haven't been writing. The mind is willing, the flesh is weak. I found a piece I wanted to share again, and just add a few updates. It was originally written in  2002. I re wrote it again for the blog in 2009. In 2003 I went back on meds after being off them for most of 2002,due to a hospitalization and family pressure. I stayed on them until November 2010.  Since then, I have become med free, because of the kidney failure. Still and all it's one of my most favorite pieces and it gives insight to who I am.

I could feel my blue eyes opening, and the light was harsh. I shielded them with my palm, trying to wake. I gradually accustomed myself, and noticed, this was a twin size bed I was in, not my normal full size. My beloved cat was not nestling besides me, nor did I have the teddy that served as a sentinel since I was four. I thought for a moment, I was back in time, back in Graduate School, where life was good, and I shared a house in my state’s capital with four other young women. But as I tried to move, I noticed I couldn’t move. There was an IV attached to my arm, and one of those heart monitors like you would see on ER. And I was strapped down to the bed. It was the present, 1994, and I had been out of school for seven years. I could hear the doctors and nurses running by me, ignoring me. I had no idea where I was, I figured it was in the emergency room of Princeton Hospital. I asked the nurse what day it was as she ran by me. It was a Sunday morning, at four or five in the morning, and I wondered what the heck had I done again, since I took all those pills on Friday night? and why in Heaven’s name, couldn’t I succeed in killing myself?
I am a manic-depressive. I was one of those people, first misdiagnosed in my early twenties as depressive, then a month later diagnosed as bipolar. But this hospitalization in my early thirties, would evaluate me as bipolar, with a difference, I was an ultra rapid cycler with schizoaffective features. 
This was not my first suicide attempt. This was one of many, starting with all the sturm und drang of adolescence. This would be my second to last serious attempt. I cannot begin to count all the times I have wanted to "shuffle off this mortal coil", as Hamlet said. I have tried pills, more times waking up to be Exorcist sick. I tried to use a hose to my car’s exhaust, not realizing I had a catalytic converter, which went on before I could fall asleep. I have thought of throwing myself off the Empire State Building, but I am deathly afraid of heights and have vertigo. And I have tried to slit my wrists, but could not get the razor blade out of that pink plastic Gillette razor. (Curse you Gillette!)
And I have been blessed with the mania, suffering for three years straight without crashing to anything other than mild depression. I was gifted then, doing two masters degrees and holding down three part time jobs. I had poems professionally published. Looking back they were nothing but masterful Sylvia Plath imitations. I was the belle of the English department, their golden girl about to go on for a PhD. And I was correct for the longest time. And then, just like the all time perfect day, it ended. It had to. A person cannot be manic for three years without illegal drugs, one has to crash eventually.

Continues here 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

World Cat Day 8/8/2012

Today is World Cat Day. It's a holiday where you must spoil your cats rotten. Oh wait, that's every day.  Still and all they say "every dog has his day" and today is the day where dogs are pushed aside and it's all about the fabulous feline.

Sparkle the cat has some really good suggestions how to spoil your cat on her blog.

  • Begin the day by serving breakfast in bed to your cat. In your bed, of course. But don’t bring her plain, old kibble or canned cat food. Make it a gourmet feast — finely chopped chicken and chicken livers, served in a cut glass bowl, or poached salmon with a couple of crickets as a tasty garnish. Or how about brunch for the late-risers? Sardines neatly laid out on fine china would be a simple but classy choice.
  • We cats are not big on cards — really! — so if you can’t find one that truly expresses your sentiments, don’t worry about it. We would much prefer gifts. What’s important here is the wrapping paper. Make sure you get extra-crinkly paper. Also make sure your gift requires a lot of it. If the World Cat Day presents you choose are small (which is perfectly acceptable — even kitties realize that “good things sometimes come in small packages”), then put them in big boxes so you have sufficient wrapping paper for playing in — plus the box serves as a bonus toy! Here is a tip on the right amount of wrapping paper: if there is so much that you could possibly lose your cat inside it, that is sufficient.
  • But just because we cats love wrapping paper, don’t skimp on the gifts. Hopefully you have been paying attention and you know which kind of toys your cat likes best. Some cats prefer small catnip mice that can fly through the air; others prefer something bulkier that can be bunny kicked into oblivion. Still other cats enjoy flying toys like Da Bird, or turbo scratcher type toys. If in doubt, get your cat a bunch of options, just to make sure that you hit pay dirt with at least one. A cat tree would be great if you want to splurge… but you still have to wrap it up.
  • Since this is such a special day, if you are going to get your cat treats as a present, get really special treats — real, freeze-dried meat, or maybe even fresh chicken or grilled salmon. These treats have the benefit of not only being yummy, but also being good for you! We cats are smarter than humans — we like food that is nutritious. If the treats are fresh, you don’t have to wrap them, but if they come in a package, the wrapping paper is de rigueur. I would suggest that you go out and catch some field mice or trap some moths or beetles, but that is probably beyond most humans.
  • Most importantly, here is the one thing your cats really want from you on World Cat Day: your time. Take time to play with your cats today. Don’t just toss a toy around for a couple of minutes. Make it a quality play session, and let your cat decide when she has had enough. If your cat is more of a couch potato, then let her doze on top of you without fidgeting, talking on the phone, or moving her because some body part of yours has fallen asleep. This will show your cat how much she really means to you, and that you really understand her needs. The more respect and regard you have for your cat, the more you will get in return. Or maybe not, but what did you expect?

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