Friday, July 31, 2009

From the mouths of babes...

Tonight Tara told me, "I rock! So why won't you buy me a horse?"

When is the weekend? Not soon enough.

I am discontinuing this week due to lack of interest.

This morning I woke up when St Timothy of the Manic Monday's alarm went off. And I rolled over, remembering that I did not have to be in the office until NOON. And that would give me time to meditate, have a leisurely cup of tea (cuppa tea) and basically finish off the two graphic novels I've been reading.

(For those who are interested they are:
Narcissa: Grapnic Novel (Doubleday Graphic Novels)


If you're not interested, I apologize for the digression. A little.)

However, this was not to be. Since I had lulled myself into semi-relaxation thinking last night about sleeping in, I actually was NOT plagued with my usual insomnia, and I fell asleep before the 11 o'clock news. And since I had actually gotten about 8 hours of sleep, my body will not allow me to nap further, protesting with a migraine (Day Three of waking up with one of those).

So I am awake. Wanting to write, wishing I could clean the kitchen and bake something. And basically feeling at at a loss for what to do.

Of course, there are the usual last minute demands upon my time. Two different agencies have asked me to do last minute trainings today. I love to train people, but there has been entirely too many last minute requests which have disrupted my life and zapped my energy. I am trying to discourage this at all costs. And by constantly accommodating this poor planning, I am enabling and encouraging it. So I have decided to do both the trainings, but schedule them at my convenience.

And of course, the house is a mess. I want to clean my bedroom. And I have laundry enough for a small army of messy children. But there it sits, and there it shall sit until I can make it happen this weekend.

Oh well, enough grousing. I'm off to see the, wizard, or something.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is it Wednesday?

Whoever christened Wednesday as "Hump Day" was a pretty linear thinker.

I mean, really. Today has been insane, from the standpoint that I have so much to do and so little time to do it. Yet the kids had shots, and shots make them feel crappy, and so I am home keeping an eye on them. Tara got up in my bed when we came home, asked for Tylenol and then fell asleep. She also called the dog in, so she fell asleep with Kruzer, our lab mix who is bigger than she is. It was very cute and made me wish the batteries in my camera were charged.

However, all this cuteness has caused me to get an even later start on the day than I was planning. And this drives me insane, because it means I will be working late again tonight. I had a project that I had planned, and through circumstances beyond my control, I did not get the keys or card to complete this project until late yesterday afternoon. So now I have to do the best I can to get it set up and completed by tomorrow. This will have me delegating quite a bit of responsibility, and this makes me nervous, as it has failed miserably in the past.

So today my lesson will be fortitude and trust..... I think.

More later.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dealing with decisions is rough, but feels good.

Yesterday morning I woke up and a decision that I have been ruminating over for MONTHS was made - kind of magically, in my head.

I have been homeschooling my daughters for the past year. I have enjoyed it, bemoaned lack of funds to do more field trips, and overall worked pretty hard at it. I brought my older daughter's math grade level from 3rd grade to 6th grade in about 3 months. And I taught my 3, now 4 year old to count, write her name, sing, dance, draw, some letters (although she recognizes them best on the computer keyboard, which makes me fear she will learn a QWERTY alphabet!), and basically be kinder to her fellow souls.

I am a huge champion of homeschooling. I think it is the absolute best way to go for SOME kids. And my kids thrive with it.

But my 13 year old wants to go to middle school. She will be in 7th grade, and yes, she should be in 8th but *I* chose to keep her back a year so she could actually learn rather than squeaking by. And I want to write. And I will be working full time again soon, hopefully.

In the past week I have thought alot about my wellness, or lack thereof. I discovered that I am chronically over-committed and this causes me to sink into depression, or freeze in place, unable to do anything positive or effect positive changes.

So I decided that I will send my daughters to school.

I spent yesterday feeling very guilty. Feeling as if I failed somehow as a parent.

Then I realized this is what most other people do. Most people are not concerned with playing any other role except that of parent with their chid(ren). And this is what other children do. They go to school, have semi-healthy relationships with peers, and someone else gets to be the bad guy when they don't know their math.

Today I feel okay. My mood is good without being over the top. And I am here. And trying not to freak out about all the school physicals, transportation, and other crappy details that go with beginning school. Well, back to the salt mines.

Monday, July 27, 2009

And it's Monday all over again...

Well, it is definitely Monday. In a big way.

It's 3 minutes after noon and I still haven't made it to the office. I was deflated to walk into my kitchen and discover that it has been trashed yet again by my husband and children.

And so I went back to bed and finished the crime novel instead. Overall, I liked it more than I would have thought, and I liked the ending. I had decided beforehand it really couldn't end any other way.

Now if I could get my day really started... oh well, I have tea happening. It will all fall into place after that.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Oh, I'm a good kind of tired.

I am exhausted. But I have this feeling of accomplishment that I a) stayed awake enough to pull off the blogathon and 2) BROKE THROUGH something in my mind, in my cognitive framework regarding my depression. I'm not saying I'll never get depressed again, but I am saying I now feel like I can use what tools I have a little more effectively.

I am seeing in my writing definite places where I am healing.

Wow, even writing that kind of takes my breath away. Those of you who know me (and there are probably waaaay more of you out there now that I have spilled my guts 50+ times in the last couple of days) know that I am NOT an optimist. I am a pessimist, a chronic complainer, and basically a misanthrope. So writing this is kind of groovy, in a pushes-way-against-my-comfort-zone kind of grooviness.

Today Tim and I gave Barb a ride back to Louisville to pick up her truck. After we met for lunch, we drove up to Louisville, Tim and Barb chatting away in the front seat as I sat in back with Tara, listening to my iPod. The soundtrack for the trip was Justin Timberlake (FutureSexLoveSounds), the Glen Miller Orchestra (In the Mood), and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes ("Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Tomorrow"). When we got there I realized that just by my musical selection I am a hopeless geek and freak. And then it dawned on me: I am okay with that. In fact, I am more than okay with that. The breakthrough I experienced (but sadly cannot put into words) is that I am okay with all my freakishness and my foibles. I will be forty this year. And they ain't going away. So it's either embrace who I am now, or spend the next forty years like the first: full of self-loathing and feeding the darkness.

And the other part of the breakthrough? The words are coming a bit easier now. I can see the light, and the channel is getting way better reception.

So off to sleep and hopefully not to dream. I am reading a British crime mystery novel (winner of the Crime Writer's Association Silver Dagger Award), Morag Joss' Half Broken Things. It is way creepy and I've had to suspend my disbelief a few times. It's not taking my breath away or leaving me in awe, but I am still reading it. Half Broken Things

Just when you thought you were safe....

...I am back. Just caught a 2 hour nap and am feeling much better. I could sleep all day, but then I would be up all night and I am really not interested in that.

I am getting ready to go give a friend a ride back to Louisville. And then I will come home and try to get my life in some semblance of order.

I want to thank everyone again for the support and encouragement.

Thank you for caring enough to read my words.

#49 Blogathon 2009. The Blog that Ate...Something

Having come to the end of this I am upset that I don't have a monster horror movie poster of some kind to commemorate the end. You know, like one with Godzilla and the Blog Monster fighting it out over Tokyo. Or some bizarre crap like that. But I do present to you the numbers, as I checked them at 9:02AM:

Number of blogs: 146 Total pledges: 41,461.45

I also present you with the photo of me below, which is me with no sleep for the last 27 or so hours. That is scarier than any horror movie poster.

A side note: There is one fly in this room. And it appears to need to buzz past my ears every 15 or 20 seconds or so. Times like these I want to do harm.... are flies considered sentient beings? But I digress.

I am flattered, honored and all good things by the opportunity to do this. I will definitely do it next year, and learn from my mistakes.

With that I leave you with not one BUT TWO of my lovely lists:

Top Five Things I Will Do Differently Concerning Blogathon Next Year:

1. I will start trolling for donations waaaay in advance. I will be very pushy.

2. I will look into doing a team blog so there can be other voices besides mine, to make it more interesting to read.

3. I will go to bed way early the night before Blogathon.

4. I will lay off the caffeine, drink more water, and basically have food I like that is not bad for me in close proximity ,

5. I will have more of a theme concerning my overall posting.

And for the second list.....

Top Five Things I Have Learned by Participating in Blogathon this First Year (for me):

1. I still like words.

2. Catnaps are really not my friend.

3. It is way more fun to blog with friends.

4. You can write if forced to.

5. I need to blog more, blog better, and kick it up a notch - Quantity can improve quality.

Thanks for the opportunity to do this. Please continue to support the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
And please, join us next year for Blogathon 2010!

#48 Blogathon 2009

It's almost over. As in we have one more half.....zzz... hour....zzz... to go.. Actually I am more awake now after a catnap in which I had a really bizarre dream. I was in a bus or airport terminal and there was this guy walking around who kept doing this weird contortionist tricks.

I'm sure that is loaded with meaning. But I'm not touching it now with a 10 foot pole.

Not to load down this last post, but there are some things that I don't feel I said or touched on enough.

Being depressed is real. We aren't just doing it to bring you down.

Being depressed is a self-fulfilling condition. By that I mean that people with depression have a harder time working, finding and keeping employment and managing the sometimes overwhelming tedious and necessary details of daily life. When we can't manage them, we lose jobs, homes, friends, you name it. And this further isolates us and complicates our lives. This disease costs us more than just money.

Would you tell someone with diabetes or arthritis to just snap out of it? Of course not. And depression/bipolar/anxiety is just as much a disease and requires just as much care - and selfcare - as these other diseases do.

Finally, people with depression may feel so overwhelmed that they cannot advocate or speak up for themselves. The way to remedy this is NOT to speak FOR them but to allow more opportunities for them to speak or express themselves other ways. And most of all, to foster an atmosphere that is kind and gentle with us all as we try to survive this thing called life.

#47 Blogathon 2009

Will write for money.
I will.
Although, considering this experience, I may have to say I will STOP writing for money. Yep, you will not be exposed to any more of my drivel if you just donate big bucks to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
I encourage you, in this late hour, to visit Blogathon and make a donation through them. If anything you have read in this blog touched you, please consider donating so others can continue to access the great resources of DBSA.
It's 8:00 AM, do you know where your bloggers are?

#46 Blogathon 2009

7:30 am and all is .... well.... it is something. I would be lying if I said I was not ready for this to be over. And my brain is pretty much useless at the moment. But I fear some kind of breakthrough is imminent. as the inner critic is all but napping on the beach in Jamaica, and something decent may yet come from fingertips.

Freewriting is the process by which one writes with a flow and does not stop and edit or criticize the process in any way. Once again the idea is to produce words, sentences, thoughts, where from jewels may be culled. Or not.

I am at once wonderful and crappy at freewriting. I love the idea of it, and totally get the concept. But I am so angry and terse with my own process and words that I have to almost tie the inner critic up and threaten her with a visit from the local mafia.

Whew, that's a pretty image. I have to stop now, before I produce more messes to contemplate in the wee hours of this day with my Very Small and Very Tired Brain.

#45 Blogathon 2009

Count 'em down... In only 2 more hours you will not have to read any more of these posts.... On the second thought, you can bypass them now and go read something fluffy on iVillage instead. What? Still here? My goodness, you are a glutton for punishment.

It's 7:00am here in the beautiful bluegrass state (that's Kentucky for you out of towners), and the doves are cooing in the trees outside my window. After catching a very small nap this morning,I will be giving a friend of mine a ride back to Louisville.

It's amazing that after 22 hours I don't have anything to say. A miracle has occurred, for Terre is shutting up. For the moment.

#44 Blogathon 2009

Well, it's 6:30 and I am finally feeling a little rough. This feeling is only intensified by any catnapping I do... I am still going to do it though.

In another post I mentioned that I love my children and they are responsible for my being on this planet. Another aspect of depression is potential for suicide. My children are, for me, the best reason I have not to harm myself. I want to stick around and see how they grow up.

When I was 20 the guy I was going to marry killed himself. I was so angry at him for many years for leaving me alone. Since that time I have know some other people who have attempted suicide, and so I have some first hand experience with it. It is not pretty, glamorous or a good way to get attention. It is serious. And it is final.

If you feel like harming yourself, please contact a trusted friend, family member, or a professional.

Consult Depression and Bipolar Support Alliancee for assistance in managing mood disorders.

#43 Blogathon 2009

Looking over the past few posts is painful, to say the least. Sleep deprivation is no prettier on the page than it is in real life. The other unfortunate part of all this is that the last posts will be first, at least as displayed on my blog, so people seeing it for the first time will have read the most nonsensical first.

Well. here is my offering for 6:00am. Somewhere normal people are just waking up and having their coffee. I don't know any of them. Being normal is freakish.

#42 Blogathon 2009

Here's another attempt at some bad poetry. Remember,the key is to get the words upon the page. You can play with them from there.

at a loss, empty
there is nothing here now
words fail me once again.

Gotta the love the haiku. I can remember being in school and being forced to write them as an exercise in syllabilification.

It's 5:30 AM - spelling is officially gone.

Check out the DBSA and Blogathon.

Support the cause of your choice, or mine, just support something. There is still 3 1/2 more hours of Blogathon. Make it matter.

#41 Blogathon 2009

So far, so good.

I think I am going to rest a little. Please visit the blogathon website and check out the alliance's work here.

#40 Blogathon 2009

Wow, it's 4:30am and I am entering the last ten posts of this blogathon. What a ride.

I am sitting here watching Tara sleep, and I want to talk about the people I love more than anyone, my children. They are the reason I remain on this earth. More on this later.

Here's a picture of her sleeping peacefully. Wish I was sleeping too!

#39 Blogathon 2009

I am holding fast, but making less sense to myself. At this point I am going to set my kitchen timer for a 20 minute nap and hopefully know my own name when I wake up.

#38 Blogathon 2009

In June my grandmother died. She was 97 years old, and she was fabulous.
When she died people told me that she had lived a long life, and that her death was to be expected. I guess these types of comments were meant to be comforting. They weren't. They just pissed me off.
Most days I still cry when I think about her. There has been very little anyone has been able to do to make me "feel better" about her death. Even now as I type this, I still cry.

I want to do another blog post about faith/religion/spirituality, so I won't go into it at this time.

She had a Catholic funeral (I was raised Catholic.). It was beautiful and she would have loved it.

But what spiritual comfort I have felt since her death I felt while reading the Tibetan book of the Dead. I would like to share part of it here:

Masterfully narrated by Leonard Cohen:

Tibetan Book of the Dead: Great Liberation. 5 parts, about 10 minutes each.
Beautifully produced.

Just click each to watch…

Part a:

Part b:

Part c:

Part d:

Part e:

By the way, the last words my grandmother said to me were, "I know you love me."

I can't write anymore about this.

#37 Blogathon 2009

Back in the day, I was quite the night owl. For lots of years I worked third shift and loved it. Throughout grad school I worked third shift in an office by myself, and I read and worked on my homework throughout the night, between alarms and phone calls (it was in a security department).

Fast forward through having two kids. Now I am like the queen of naps. I could sleep on command. And the last third shift job I worked about killed me.
So this is pretty interesting. I am still awake and this is my 3:00AM post. I could lie down. But not without my trusty timer.

This brings me to another salient point about the management of depression.
Sleep. It's important. It's more than important. It can make or break the most successful recovery/wellness plan.

In my own life I have had lots of sleep issues. Trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep. Waking up in the middle of the night with my heart racing having an anxiety attack... You name it, if it has to do with poor sleep, I have experienced it.
Six years ago I had a sleep study. In that I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. And prescribed a C-PAP machine to use during sleep. When I use the machine, I sleep better, I feel better and I have fewer migraines. Do I use it regularly?

Why? Well, basically it is another aspect of self care which I neglect. When you hate yourself, hate life and feel as if you are in the depths of despair, you really don't feel like taking care of yourself. The extra effort is exhausting, and basically not a priority when you are in base survival mode. The problem is, such self neglect only perpetuates the depression.

Oh well, I'm off for a few minutes of being tortured by bad movies on late night network TV.

#36 Blogathon 2009

Here's my 2:30am post.

I encourage you, Dear Reader, to go check out the reason for this ton of blogging, the Blogathon website. We are 151 blogs strong, and our current donations raised equal $39,594.61. I am so proud of us.

I also want to talk some about the cause I have chosen, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. It is a wonderful resource for those of us who are living and/or struggling with depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety. Sometimes when I cannot face anyone, not even my therapist, I can log on to their website and suddenly I don't feel so alone or hopeless.

***Speaking of which, I just took my medication. That is one of the major items on my wellness plan. I know I need medication. I know that the medication makes me feel better. And I know there is no shame in taking the medications. However, sometimes I feel bleak and don't want to feel like I have to have medications to survive. Sometimes I feel bitter that I have to take medication, so I rebel and don't take it. And then the downward spiral begins; my mood starts to darken, and then I don't feel like taking care of myself at all, and miss more medication. It becomes more and more an issue. Finally I relent and go back on the meds, only to realize that it will be at least 2 to 3 weeks before my blood levels are up enough again to realize a difference.
Taking my meds is a major prevention item on my wellness plan. You can create your own wellness plan at the Facing Us website.

#35 Blogathon 2009

I am in bed and set up with the laptop on a tray. Tara is asleep in the bed next to me, and she is breathing all soft and sweet like little kids do. It's not quite a snore, more like an audible breath.
So far so good with the staying awake. I am jonesing for a snack though. That is about it. If I think about it, I could do a nap. If it persists I will perhaps set my timer for 20 minutes and catch a cat nap.
Oh well, off to grab a snack. Then maybe I can be more alert for the next post.

#34 Blogathon 2009

I am tired. I am so tired.
But not of blogging. Not physically. I am tired of living a lie. I want my life back. I want my dreams back. And I am no longer willing to let those who do not have my best interests in mind control my emotions.

When we love someone, we let them in. We let them have a piece of our existence and we hope they can be trusted not to abuse that trust. We give them power over some part of ourselves. And some people are not able to handle that power.

We are all flawed. No one is perfect. No relationship is perfect. But real love should at some point respect the feelings, emotions and personhood of the other.

You don't have to hit someone to hurt them.

At this point in time I want to stop blogging about this. Maybe later I will write more about this. But not now.

The lightning is firing back up and the thunder sounds like another round of storms is coming through. I've lost internet twice again, so I am going to post this before I lose it again.

#33 Blogathon 2009

It bears saying that support networks are invaluable. I've read some other blogs about them tonight, so I will try not to be repetitive. What is important however, is to not expect one person to fulfill all your needs whether you are living with a mental illness or not. It is not realistic or feasible, and it sets up any relationship for failure.

What makes it more difficult is when both partners have mental illness. People who are co-suffering may very well be able to understand each other more, and may have more empathy. But it is very hard to deal with your own illness when you are also handling the stress of being with someone else who has a mental illness or an addiction.

Another thing I worry about is how my illness affects my daughters. I already see my oldest showing signs of depression. And my youngest - well, I worry about her growing up in a house with me, a depressive person, and her father, an alcoholic who is undiagnosed with bipolar.
And there is the effect that my behavior, my dark moods have on my children. I feel like they are not as happy as other children and don't have the opportunity to enjoy themselves like other kids do.

At some point I may ask my oldest daughter to do a guest entry on how having a parent with depression has felt to her.

For more information, please consult Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

#32 Blogathon 2009

Poetry about motherhood -

motherhood does not come easily to me.
it is fierce within my chest
like sawdust it grains up my smooth plane.
fragile, she is, yet heart-breaking me in her obstinancy.
her mother a frustrated poet whose
freeloading roommate, pain, causes her to cringe,
dismember her dolls,
create kitty-litter sand dunes in the washroom,
and love her kittens fiercely, til mews interrupt.
yet somewhere in the maelstrom is a soft edge.
yet another tragic flaw birthed from me.
words are my only solace,
and that's all she cannot give me,
unless thrown in my face,
or spewing triteness, cliches gleaned from
the clay patriarch.
he has toppled.
how do i save her from the same fate?

Okay, I said it was BAD poetry. The point is to write, get it on the page and out of your head so you have something to work with. Bad writing is still writing.

#31 Blogathon 2009

Internet issues are making me post this a little later than I wanted to, but here is my midnight post!

Here is a poem from my old dark days. I was quite the little drama queen. Gotta love it.

or solidarity
what is it you have that i crave?
thoughts of untouchable
ghost memories
that i cannot make tangible
through my own thirst
desire -
what is it that i am jealous of?
that you have your memory
or that i don't -
or of that memory?
i will not equate.
-terre 5/27/02

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bonus Post - Blogathon 2009

My Internet has gone down twice in the last 10 minutes due to this storm. I will continue to write posts and post them as I have Internet service. Stay tuned, it may be a bumpy ride.

#30 Blogathon 2009

Thunder is rumbling outside and lightning is flashing in the loft windows of my bedroom.
Ever since I was a kid I have loved a thunderstorm.

As a very young child, I was terrified of storms. I distinctly remember being scared out of my wits and crying to my mother about it when I was about four. She told me to go in my room, be very quiet and listen to the storm. I did just that, and was lulled by the rain and the thunder which by that time was growing more and more faint as the storm moved away from us. I fell asleep to this sound. And from that moment forward, I have always loved storms. Especially when I am in bed and can pull the covers around me and listen to the rain.

There is a saying that is attributed to the Buddha which states with our minds we make the world. This simply means that our perceptions create our reality. Things are neither bad nor good until we attribute one or the other quality to them. I believe this in a *logical* sense. But it is hard and bitter pill to swallow when I am depressed already and something occurs that complicates my life further. It is a downward spiral at times like this.

It's true that more positive thoughts will bring about a more positive outlook. Which comes first, the outlook chicken or the thought egg?

#29 Blogathon 2009

Top Ten Things I am Embarrassed to Admit I Like. (In no particular order)

10. Pork rinds

9. Arbor Mist

8. Liza Minnelli

7. My Name is Earl

6. Limericks

5. Office supply stores

4. Tofu

3. Ramen noodles, raw

2. old Classics Illustrated comics

1. Justin Timberlake

Bring it on down to Crazyville! 'Cuz that's where I live!

#28 Blogathon 2009

Home safe and sound. On the way however, a pretty good thunderstorm blew up, and I drove the last half of the trip in the pouring rain. So I am happy to be home.

While driving I brainstormed (no pun intended) on some additional blog topics.

Be forewarned: I am going to do an embarrassing top ten list.

And yes, I am back at home, and back in bed. No matter what, this is my haven. I have been out of my shell enough today, and if I am to go on baring my soul, I gotta do it from my cave/shell where I am hermetically sealed in my own mess.

I am glad to have made it thus far in this blogathon. I owe it to my friends Renee and Matt, who introduced me to Blogathon and fed me tonight. And to you, for reading this. And continuing to read this.

Please support Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance by supporting this blogathon effort.

#27 Blogathon 2009

Well, I am getting ready to pack up my stuff and hightail it back home. I have spent the day Chez RIgdon but now I am feeling I need to be blogging from the house of Terre.

As I think of the reasons behind this, I am in awe of the fact that I have actually been semi-social for almost 12 hours now! Like in a place other than my house, and when I did not have to do it for work. This is actually a big deal for me with the depression. Even when I am doing well I have a hard time with extended face time with friends or family. Oh and I hate to talk on the phone - but that is another blog.

Depression causes me to isolate. It is hard for me to tell that I am isolating sometimes, because I am - believe it or not - pretty much of a loner.

Since I am getting ready to leave, I am going to post this 10:00PM entry early and then make it home - in the next county, no less - to do an entry for 10:30 by 10:50 or so. See how I have it all planned out?

See you in a bit, kittens! I will return momentarily.

#26 Blogathon 2009

Just took another stroll around the court and feeling somewhat better. Had a good chat with the author of one of my favorite books. She is Donna Ison, and her book (which I have mentioned in this blog before, a few months ago) is:
The Miracle Of Myrtle: Saint Gone Wild

It's amazing what getting away from the computer screen can do for my perspective.

Too much of a good thing can still be too much.

Although I would like to have too much money. But that is the subject of another blog.

#25 Blogathon 2009

Healing Through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair

This is a book that I have been using for a while, reading at random, not cover to cover.
It explodes some ideas of coping with depression, and while I may not agree with everything, she makes some valid points. If you are planning on using it, keep in mind it is written from a Buddhist perspective. I still feel it is very valid for people of all faiths.

I think it is important to become educated about any illness we live with. For some people that may be depression or diabetes or lupus or fibromyalgia or hypertension. Whatever the case may be, I feel we need to be educated and knowledgeable about how to live, survive or even thrive with conditions.

(Here I am gifting you with the absence of my soapbox views on health care. I will try to leave this out of this blogathon. But I make no promises about the future. )

This also includes being able to look at what works for you. What floats my boat may not float yours. But if we don't communicate with each other, we miss out on what could help each of us.

(I am also temporarily gifting you with the absence of my rants on disability rights. But these are going to come up later, so consider yourself forewarned.)

So look out in your world, find what works for you. And don't be selfish, share it with your depressed soul sistas and brothers. You won't regret it.

For more awesome resources on coping with depression:

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

They are doing an awesome job. Support them in honor of this blog at Blogathon 2009!

#24 Blogathon 2009


Thank you for sticking with me and reading me thus far. I know it is tedious to read through my juvenile ramblings. I feel your pain. I edit my own crap.

What have I learned through this process?

1. I am less scared to blog now - to write now. I have kicked the inner critic's ass for the time being.

2. I have learned that touching on the hard subjects makes it better, not worse.

3. I have discovered spilling my guts to be slightly therapeutic.

4. I have discovered I can be a background dancer in my chair as Renee does Karaoke to Blogathon.

5. I am full of exhaustion but general good will for my fellow creatures. For now. Don't expect this to last.

6. I have discovered that I miss writing.

7. I have learned to get past the idea that no one is reading my drivel, and get it out there.

8. I have discovered that the writing practice I have been doing lately will have to go cyber, because I lost the Ed Hardy journal I was doing writing practice in.

9. I have my hands full just dealing with my own issues. I can love you, and offer you support. But I can't fix you and I can't fix me.

10. And that is all okay.

#23 Blogathon 2009

Someone needs to buy me this book:

Tarot for Writers

Because I want it. And before today I did not know it existed.

I have a bad habit of trolling other people's bookshelves when I visit. (Although Renee showed me this one, I did not troll it.) It can be seen as rude and disconcerting. But I do it anyway.

Anyhow, here is my tarot spread for 8:00PM Eastern:

Past: Three of Wands: Established strength, business leadership and acumen, trade, commerce, cooperation, discovery

Present: Seven of Swords (reversed):Courage, Self-respect

Future: Queen of Pentacles (reversed): Evil, suspicion, suspense, fear, mistrust

Hmmm, maybe I drew someone else's reading. I definitely don't like the future scene. And I seriously wonder about the accuracy of the present scene. Oh well. Tea leaves anyone?

#22 Blogathon 2009

Finding Your Voice When You Are Surrounded by Loud Bastards

Writing is all about finding your voice, some damn writing professor told me. To which I replied, "What if your voice is the voice of a bitch on wheels?"

Lesson here - Less can be more.

Seriously, my voice has been silenced several times in my life. When I have failed to advocate for myself and my children. When I have taken it ("it" being whatever crap was foisted upon me) lying down. When I can no longer speak because I can no longer get out of bed. And when I was shamed into silence by not being good enough, smart enough, thin enough, pretty enough, or loud enough to be heard.

First, determine what you have to say. Is it pressing upon your soul to the point you need to be unburdened? Is it something that will enhance the truth or plight of those around you, including you? And what can it change? No matter what the answer, write.

Second, determine your audience. Will your pearls be cast among swine, or swine with deaf ears? Then let it go. Write.

Lastly, how loud do you have to be to be heard over the background noise? If a shout drowns out a whisper, write.

Voice is important to a writer, and it includes consideration of all of the above as well as syntax and context. But when you fear you can't be heard, write anyway.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has tools for creativity here at Facing Us. And you can write and have your voice be heard as you blog for your favorite cause at Blogathon!

#21 Blogathon 2009

Weeee, dinner is done and I am licking my chops. I also spent the last half hour looking at other blogs in Blogathon 2009, and I highly recommend you check them all out. Who knows what jewels lurk in cyberspace?

My [almost] constant companion today has been Hunter Rigdon. Here he is doing what I want to be doing - napping - and he has done quite a bit of it....

I will try not to be bitter and jealous.

And of course, he reminds me how much I miss my own ugly son, Kruzer Johnson:

Bonus #20 Post - Because I feel guilty

#20 Blogathon 2009

Even blogathoners have to eat. I am currently feeding my face with hot wings (mild) and potato wedges. Perhaps after receiving such sustenance I shall emerge back on the blogspot with renewed vigor and vivaciousness. Or not.
Either way, I'm eating.

Bonus Post - Blogathon 2009- Required cute kitten post

Those of you who know me, and those readers who are getting to know me, will understand why I like this, and why it is so fitting here.

#19 Blogathon 2009

Why the Not Right Writer? A 6:00pm Eastern navel gaze.

When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be right. I was wrong.
Being right was a temporary thing. Wait long enough and something will change. So now I embrace my not-rightness.

And it comes from several different places. The first is a reflection of my politics; I'm not right wing anything, I do not believe. I wouldn't know how to be. Life has made me this way, and I do not choose to discuss politics here or anywhere else.

The second reason is a colloquialism that some coworkers used to use. As in whenever I made an evil or brash comment the reply was, "You are not right." I took this as a compliment. Maybe it was not meant that way. I choose to believe that my wittiness was just too titillating for them.

The third reason I am not right is simply because I refuse to call myself an expert on any level, because I feel knowledge is not finite. As soon as I think I know something, I realize just what I don't know.

And finally, I want to be a writer when I grow up. Someday.

However, my concern is that when I grow up I will cease to be not right, and may just become right. That would kind of horrify me.


I am blogging for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance through Blogathon 2009. Please show some love and donate.

#18 Blogathon 2009

Some random ramblings about hope:

"Hope is the thing with wings."
-Emily Dickinson

"I have taken the pit as my home
and made my bed in the dark.
I have called the grave my father,
and the worm my mother, my sister.
And where now is my hope?"
-The Book of Job

"There is no sun without shadow, and it is essential to know the night." - Albert Camus

Do I have hope? I hope I do.

At one point in my life I would have answered this in the affirmative. I did have hope, if only for change. My entire life was before me, there were still possibilities left open to me.

Now? Well, there still are.
For example, the act of writing itself is an exercise in hope for me. By being brave enough to lay my guts out upon the page, I hope to realize some healing, or a feeling of connection between myself and others.
When I write I hope in the words I will find some essence of truth I am trying to impart.
And when I write I hope that my words mean something of some kind to someone.

And yet hope seems to me naive somehow. Like hope for the best, eager for a future that may not come. Or by allowing myself to hope, I open myself to greater and more drastic disappointments. By not hoping, I am not risking.

Hope does not insulate me from depression. It may give me a breath to grab a reprieve, but it is in no way a protective cloak.

Perhaps I will hope again for things that are bright. And not desperately dread the darkness.

Perhaps I will risk feeling, and then not feel so bad.

Perhaps life is about hope, because it causes us to risk reaching beyond what is in front of us into something better.

#17 Blogathon 2009

Do I look exhausted yet? I am working on my 5:00PM Blogathon entry. And if you look in the background you can see the Master of Rigdon Manor working on his blog, where I am squatting due to the good graces of the Mistress of Rigdon Manor.

Check out Mistress Rigdon's Blog here and her love slave's Blog here. They are blogging too for DBSA. See all the talent you get for free? You should really go to Blogathon and donate some money!

And if you don't have any money, the least you can do is read all our blogs and tell us how fabulous you think we are. It may not donate money to DBSA, but it will inflate our egos briefly.

And that makes all the difference.

#16 Blogathon 2009

For some bizarre reason I feel the need to talk about relationships now.
I am no expert on this either.
Why then, you may ask, do you want to talk about it so damn bad? To show your ignorance?

And my answer is, in a word, Yes.

Because I don't think anyone can be an "expert" on relationships. We are blessed/lucky or whatever to find those whose leanings and personalities work with our own. Or we are not.

I do think, however, that there needs to be an understanding that we treat our "loved ones" as well as we would a respected celebrity.

Do I always do this? No. Do I do it often? No, of course not.

Basically if you have chosen to have an intimate relationship with someone, you need to respect them, and trust them.
And if you don't, well, that is the subject of someone else's blog.

My life is not perfect. St. Timothy and I have had our ups and downs. But we keep coming back, to borrow a phrase from 12-Step literature, because something there works for us. We have gotten old, lost our childish idealistic ideas of the perfect relationship (which does not exist).

I bemoan the fact he does not spoil me, yet he bemoans the fact I don't let him spoil me.
See where this is going?

The bottom line is that it fits. And it works. And yes, we need to be nicer to one another. But we have been kind, for the most part. I am not an overly romantic person. He is, at least more than I am. But he is steady and real, while I am flighty and grandiose. He is a good person. Me, not so much.

We escape our family of origin simply to make new families and work through all the baggage of the original families.

In my house, I get called on this. I think St Timothy would call this free therapy.

And sometimes, it is exactly what I need.

I am blogging through Blogathon 2009 for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Please support the effort!

#15 Blogathon 2009

"Where does one go from a world of insanity?
Somewhere on the other side of despair."
-T.S. Eliot
Family Reunion

Many of my formative years were spent qualifying my depression. Feeling like total crap was the rational response to a world gone mad. I still do this. Woe is me, for I am underemployed, broke, miserable, married to an alcoholic, hated by my family, whatever, ad nauseaum.

But what really exists is this.

Depression is not a respecter of socioeconomic class, race, gender, nationality, religion or sexual orientation. Depression doesn't care if you are about to be evicted or drive a new sports car.

Sometimes we are depressed and there is no rhyme nor reason to it. We can be sad and it does mean we are depressed. We can grieve and it does not mean we are depressed. And we can be in a deep, dark pit when the sun shines brightly in our eyes.

Telling us the sun is shining does not make it go away. We don't give a rat's ass about the sun when we cannot feel the light of day. We cannot snap out of it. We cannot cheer up. We can not think about something else.

We can get better. We can survive.

Look to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance to learn more about how to support us. And to support me in my effort to raise money for DBSA, visit Blogathon 2009.

#14 Blogathon 2009

Feel the love. No, really. Feel it everywhere and nowhere, all at once.

This was going to be one of those sanctimonious posts that advises you to love yourself (Notice I'm using the second rather than the first person here.) and be awed by the increase of your lovability.

Problem is, I can't write that.

My ability to be hypocritical fell off long ago. I can't lambast someone else for lack of self-love when I find myself pretty repugnant on a daily basis. Nor can I give tips in this area.

My only advice is to find something you like or something you are good at and do it. Groove on the good feeling that comes from that. And surround yourself with people who think you are groovy. Maybe they can convince you that you are loved, or at the very least give you some of that love when you are feeling less than awesome.

So do I love myself today? Nope. I am pretty happy that I am doing this, pushing myself to stick with a marathon with an attainable goal. When I am finished I will feel somewhat more convinced that I am a decent person who accomplish things.

A caveat here : cognitive behavior therapy has proven that self-dialogue and changing negative thought patterns works. I just ain't good at it.

Go look at some real resources here or here. Donate some money for DSBA to keep those things happening for you and others here.

#13 Blogathon 2009

There is this bizarre dream I have where I have a clean house. And by clean I mean shiny and sparkly and deserving of Martha Stewart praise. My current kind of clean is no dirty laundry and no discernible dog hair, and getting to that point even has been beyond me for a while.

In my dream, there are no dirty dishes on the counter, and the dishwasher is empty and waiting to be used. In reality, the dishwasher is the standing room only cupboard in my comedy club kitchen. In my dream the folding doors in front of the washer and dryer are closed because the laundry is done. The washer is empty instead a fabric petri dish for mold spore colonization experimentation. And the dryer is empty, not a rumpled drum of laundry and laundry sheets entwined in some unholy union.
In my dream the trash can is out of sight. Trash miraculously takes itself out or has the class not to exist in the first place. In my all too real world however, it is missing and a bag hanging from a door knob is in its stead. The bag itself is either overflowing or under-utilized, as the mess trolls in my life think the kitchen counter is a treasure trove and virtual depository for trash, empty wrappers and fast food bags. And meaningless pieces of paper.
Meaningful papers are promptly thrown away; we can't have details like bills and notices getting in the way of our garbage. Our trash is special. I mean, it must be, as it takes up more room than I do.

Yes, inability to concentrate can lead to not being able to clean your house. And being depressed can make housework be less of a priority. But it can also mean that you live with messy people, and that can be depressing too.

Only slightly tongue in cheek, of course.

#12 Blogathon 2009

If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it make a sound?

If a blog is not read, does it exist?

Do words never read mean anything?

I am not sure.

Why do I write? Why do I feel the need to use words to express things that are never read or heard, or would be better left unspoken?

I use words constantly. Those who know me will tell you that I am continuously making some smart ass comment when I should shut up. And I work with words daily, using them to qualify and quantify the needs of people with disabilities, to advocate for better lives for them. And when I was younger, I wanted to be a writer.

However, words sometimes fail me.
Sometimes I am existing on some elemental level where all I sense is darkness, despair, emptiness and dread. At these times I find words forsake me. While I have written some of my best creative work while depressed, I lack the language at these times to ask for help, to ask for what I need, to get through it.

And when it passes? It passes due to chemical shifting, or things changing for the better in my world temporarily. Sometimes it passes because I force myself to put one foot in front of the other and just live through it. But it rarely passes because words brought me through it.

But when it passes, I am not left with a plethora of words for explanation, a good get-outta-jail-free-later plan. I am still left with the sadness and soreness of the darkness, and the will to write if not the talent.

So I write.

#11 Blogathon 2009

I just realized that all my writing is in my journals. Meaning, the only writing I have on my laptop is writing for work - clinical stuff, boring and it really should not be sucking up room on my personal laptop. My kingdom for a flash drive.

I also just realized that I would like to take a nap. Hey, that's who I am. Don't hate the napper.

It is Saturday, and I am awake, clothed and not in bed. These are a big deal because this is not always the case with depression. Many days it is a struggle to just get out of bed. Anything more than that seems to be insurmountable extra effort. As you can imagine, it makes getting just the "normal" stuff other people take for granted done next to impossible. And when I struggle through it, make it happen, get even a fraction of the "to-do list" accomplished I am left too exhausted to be exultant.

This is daily life with depression. If you know someone who lives with this disease, please keep this mind. Let it soften your heart and slow your criticism. And temper your judgement.


Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Blogathon 2009

Blogathon 2009 - Bonus Post - PIOG Breastfeeding Offensive!

PIOG Breastfeeding Offensive!

Posted using ShareThis

#10 Blogathon 2009

Okay, I promise to not subject you to any more of my artwork, at least for the time being.

The ironic part is that my daughter, who is 13 and both awesome and a pain, is a very talented artist. She is a magna goddess. It amazes me that the progeny of my loins possesses this talent, this ability to sketch something valid and important and recognizable.

I still want an easel. For some strange reason, I think that I would enjoy slapping some paint on a canvas, and the resulting product would be somehow recognizable as a work of genius. Maybe a safe bet? Or maybe it would just be stick animals on canvas. Who knows?

And I still have the creative urge to produce something visual. I guess that is why I knit. I knit sporadically and not perfectly, but I can follow a pattern, knit and purl, yarn over and the like.... I should rephrase that; I can follow a pattern if no one is speaking to me.

Part of depression is lack of concentration. This limits productivity as well frustrates the hell out of me.

Oh well, I will end this now. I am losing focusssss........

#9 Blogathon 2009

"I draw like I live life: pretty crudely, pretty sloppily and always for the cheap laugh." Aren't I witty?

I am feeling visual. Unfortunately my talents do not lie in that direction. Just ask any art teacher I have ever had. Seriously.

Bonus Post - Blogathon 2009 - Ruminatin' on da Porch

#8 Blogathon 2009

I have just found myself with a blank mind.

No, my meditation has not enabled me to achieve enlightenment and Nirvana, and transcend the samsara.

This is just garden variety writer's block. I went blank while ruminating over what the topic of this post should be. And it was scary and paralyzing. Just for a second.

Then in a fit of optimism I decided to write about the block itself. The feeling of scary and paralyzing. The sinking feeling that I have nothing to say, and no one to say it to. (Thank you, Natalie Goldberg, for

This is something I have felt transcend my writing life, and infect my relationships and how I interact with others. (I have stopped running with scissors, but I still do not play well with others.)
This feeling has caused me to accept less, interact less, catastrophize more, and basically give up for long periods of time. It has stunted my emotional and mental growth, and it has wreaked freaking havoc with what could have been a career as a writer. I am still bitter about that.

So I will ride the wave. It may make for less than stimulating reading but it will get me through. And it will be good practice. For life.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Blogathon 2009

#7 Blogathon 2009

Now I am thinking about the silver lining of every cloud, to borrow a trite and overused cliche.

There is some positive to the darkness of my depression.
This past May I cleaned out some of my old journals and writings and was amazed to find some stuff that does not actually suck. Some of the best writing I have done has come from some of my darkest nights.
In taking that week and a half to go through my old stuff I was able to spend more time with my grandmother than I had been able to in a while. Two weeks later, she was dead. If my depression had not prevented me from procrastinating cleaning that stuff out, I would have never gotten to spend those last weeks with her. My daughters also got some time to be with her as well.

I also think that being depressed has made me feel things more acutely. It has helped me have empathy and compassion for others on a level that might not have otherwise been possible for me. It has helped me forge friendships with others struggling in this illness that have helped me immeasurably. And hopefully, it has enriched someone else's life just a little. Because I have a sneaking suspicion that is what it is all about, making it better for someone. We are all surviving. And we are all beautiful.

As I wrote this last, the winds really came up and whipped the trees. I love affirmation.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

Blogathon 2009

#6 Blogathon 2009

So anyway, I puttered over here in the butter-knife mobile, my arrival heralded by the growl of at least 5 irritable hamsters under the hood. (The 1998 Dodge Neon horsepower is hamster power!) My ears are still ringing due to the lack of an exhaust system on said chariot, and the vibration of the entire vehicle. ( I did say those hamsters were irritable!)

Now I am sitting outside on the porch and enjoying the summer breeze you can only get in Kentucky. That sticky, almost refreshing rustle of leaves that still feels like summer.

I do love Kentucky. I do not disparage the state of my birth. There are enough people doing that already. I have spent enough time hiking the state and looking at its foothills, waterfalls and other groovy natural scenery. And I have met some awesome and inspiring people here.

And I have the ability to look at the natural world and use its beauty to help me move through the deep, dank holes and valleys.
I have found beauty even in the valleys.

More in 30.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Facing Us - A Toolkit from DBSA
Blogathon 2009! The few, the brave, the sturdy and persistent! Support us!

#5 Blogathon 2009

I made it safe and sound! I am now blogging from Chez Rigdon and got to see cuteness in the form of Cayden and Hunter. The parents ain't too bad either, but whatever.

This one will be short and sweet as the trek from Versailles made me a bit delayed.

I am overwhelmed with the support I am seeing thus far. So I am all about urging it to continue!

Go to the following; you shall not be sorry:
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance!
Blogathon 2009!

#4 Blogathon 2009

Ah, the simple pleasures of breakfast!
As I type this I am enjoying oatmeal with sliced almonds and a touch of honey, and of course, my Irish Breakfast tea (which does not include alcohol. This time anyway.).

Which brings me to another wellness tip -

When I do things like skip taking medications, live on junk food, or skip meals entirely, I find that my anxiety increases and I am much less likely to be able to cope with the crap that life sends my way.

Just my $0.02. Stimulating stimulus, isn't it?

Rock on, kittens. See you in 30.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has much more wisdom here.
Blogathon 2009: Check out what other people are blogging about. Support the cause(s).

#3 Blogathon 2009

Today is also the day another friend of mine is moving and St Timothy of Disillusion is helping her today. I am not, as I am here with you, Dear Reader, and blogging my little heart out. (For a great cause - see below!)

Also today is the birthday of two of my bestest friends in the entire world - Patrick Galvin and Greg Nordin. I love them both so much! I would marry them both but for St Timothy and the fact that Pat is already married and Greg is my soul sister. So a big shout out happy birthday to them!!!!!

I am collecting my diversions and packing my bag to go blog with friends. Not a solitary effort today.

Which reminds me -

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance has an awesome online resource called Facing Us where you can develop a wellness plan.

A wellness plan, for those of you who did not know, is a plan which outline triggers, warning signs and what to do when faced with an episode of depression. It can be quite debilitating, and I will talk more about that as the day goes on....

Anyway, the reminder is (drum roll please) a wellness tip from my own life:

When I begin to isolate and not want to talk to even my most loved friends and start giving my children and husband one word answers to essay questions, I know that I need to take action. Or that some intervention needs to happen, somewhere.

Thanks for reading.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Blogathon 2009 - check it out! You're not stuck just reading my blog alone!

#2 Blogathon 2009

After a shower and reading some earlier encouraging reader comments as well as my soul sister's blog (Click on the link on the side bar of this blog - Renee Rigdon is Genre-Impaired), I am feeling much more optimistic about my ability to do this.

Plans for today:
1. Decide what to write about. (Suggestions are welcomed!)
2. Hang with said soul sister, maybe do some baking.
3. Enjoy myself.
4. Maybe get some reading done (it is Saturday after all, and I am addicted).

My overall theme of life these days is Empowerment. By this I mean being empowered to ask for, demand, and otherwise make happen the changes and needs and wants and desires I have to make a better life.
Did I say I have achieved this? No way. But I am learning.

Right now I feel compelled to make tea. Another addiction I am feeding. Albeit less as I feel better.
And pack my stuff and head to the home of Baking Goddess Blogger where much hilarity and amazing writing will occur.

Stay tuned for an enjoyable and hopefully enlightening ride.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
Blogathon 2009: Check out other blogs and support one of these blogging writers!

#1 Blogathon 2009

My entire life I have been interested in making old things new again. Making things that others undervalue into something to be reckoned with. Taking that which is problematic and making it into an asset. This goes for delapidated houses as well as people damaged by life. Despite all the darkness in my soul, there is still some perverse optimism that there is value intrinsic in every living - and nonliving - thing. So without further ado, I am going to place myself on the revalued list.

Welcome to my piece of Blogathon 2009. This is my first year, so please bear with me.
The concept of Blogathon is worthy and valid; we blog every half hour in support of a charity of our choice.

My choice is the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Please check them out at

I will be touching on the valuable resource the Alliance is, along with some of their wellness resources for those of us who take up the sword (willingly or reluctantly) to cut through the fog of mood disorders and live.

And of course, stay tuned for my skewed view of life as I know it. Where can you get all this good stuff for free?

Speaking of free, please consider slapping down your credit/debit card and supporting the Alliance in honor of my bizarre blogging efforts. Check out

Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring. See in you in 30!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Recuperation is hard!

I've spent the last week or so getting over the surgery scene. Mostly in bed. I have worked and gotten things done. I have been very lucky to have a job where I can work at home sometimes and get things done. Also that I have been doing for so long that I have streamlined most of the processes and can be pretty efficient. I've also been fighting the depression pretty much throughout this past week too. No more than a couple of days ago, about a week after the surgery, when the pain returned and I surmised that the surgery was basically a waste of time, and all that had changed was that I have the additional annoyance of infected abdominal stitches to go along with this pain "of unknown etiology."

However, a friend sent me a nutritional supplement that she swears by. I received it yesterday, and so far I am seeing a bit of a positive change. I will keep you posted and if it makes an appreciable difference I will buy it instead of all the other crap I use to treat the nuisance symptoms of life.

TOMORROW I will be participating in Blogathon 2009, and I invite/welcome/encourage anyone who cares to go to the blogathon site and sponsor me. I will be blogging for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

So far I have only raised $15, and I would like to make as big a difference as possible.

Why the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance? Well, as I have made no secret, I have suffered and lived with depression most if not all of my life. I also have many friends and family members who have lived or are living with depression on a daily basis. Not to get into my thoughts on depression at this time, as I'm sure I will have ample time to post about it tomorrow starting at 9am Eastern (6am Pacific).

The process as I understand it is this: I will post every half hour for 24 hours straight. This is my goal, hoping I don't fall asleep or wax too stupid by the end. Basically that is 48 posts by Sunday morning. My poor readers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Reasons to Live: Stories by Reasons to Live: Stories by by Amy Hempel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Amy Hempel is a good writer. I am torn between wanting to be as good, and disdaining anything I write which at all resembles her work. I think this is because her stories force me to face things about myself and other humans, and it's not at all pretty.

Hmmm, sounds real, doesn't it? Therein lies her gift.

View all my reviews >>

Check out my review on goodreads, if you want to know what I have been reading the past 24 hours...

The Angel Maker The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I just finished this and I, to borrow from another reviewer, don't know quite what to make of it.

Overall, it was just the correct blend of creepy and mysterious. However, the plot rhythms were erratic in places, and the transitions from past to just past were not always smooth or seamless.

I am glad I read it, and I won't forget it. But I did not close the book sorry to be leaving the world of Brijs.

View all my reviews >>

Sunday, July 19, 2009

To all readers of this blog:

Please consider making a donation to the Depression and Bipolar SUpport Alliance, whom I will be blogging for this coming weekend during BLOGATHON!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Back to life

Wednesday's surgery is past, and I now sport a few Frankensteinian stitches in my stomach. One set is in my belly button, connecting me ubilically to the idea of a monster. Kind of fitting, actually.
Tomorrow I plan on going back to an Al-Anon meeting. It has been a long time, I have been only once in the past month, so I am missing it.
Otherwise I am fighting through the fog of painkillers. I feel as if I want to start accomplishing things again, but I am not sure how to begin.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Motivation, or lack thereof

Yesterday I had a semi-productive day of getting some medical stuff out of the way, had some medication changes, and overall made it through the day pretty well.
However, today I am feeling nothing more than the will to stay in bed, sleep for hours, and maybe a snack later. I have lots of things scheduled for work, and need to get there to get it all underway, but total lack of motivation and the strongest inertia I have ever experienced means I am still in bed and not dressed.
More later - maybe I will be motivated to blog further from the office.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Testing the bounds of good taste AND my patience... is fun, apparently.

Today was one of those days.

I was lulled into a sense of complacency because I went in to work, and was crazy-productive the first part of the day. I then decided to walk around the block (I work in downtown Frankfort) to eat some lunch by myself at the Lebanese restaurant (very good place), and as soon as I got there, my cell phone rang. My doctor's office was calling me to tell me to come in early because my doctor had an emergency surgery going to take place when my appointment was originally scheduled. So I walked back to work, packed up all my stuff, files and laptop, and got on the road to Winchester (a couple of counties over). When I got there (about an hour) the office staff told me that he had already left to do the surgery. They told me I would have to come back tomorrow and have my pre-op appointment then. I was upset because I wish they had just rescheduled me over the phone, and not made me make the hour trip there.

So I went to meet my mom at a local Mexican place, had a margarita, and then went to Goodwill and looked at junk for a while. Then I went to a friend's house and ran an errand with her, and then came home. SInce I've been home, it's been just like the old days when I came home to an alcoholic. Is he drinking again? Who knows? But I am not going to live like that ever again. Especially not now, when I have so much other stuff crashing down around me.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hangin out in the hills in a coffee shop!

Today I am spending the better part of my work day in Berea, KY, at Berea Coffee and Tea doing interviews for respite providers in this area for my job as the staff development director at an agency that serves adults with disabilities. This is what I do to pay the bills - or to attempt to pay the bills, as there is not alot of money in Medicaid, and one must wait extra to get the money.

So anyway, there all alot worse ways I can spend a day of work. However I am getting hopped up on caffeine and not getting any of the writing I envisioned doing on the sly when I booked this day. Oh well.

And interview habits are confusing me. I've done this alot in the past, so that does not bother me, but people bringing their boyfriend to an interview??? That is a red flag for me, what do you think, dear reader? Or applying for jobs that require a drivers license when they have none? Oh well. I must be confused.

I used to live in Berea, so this is alot like old homecoming for me. The Berea Coffee and Tea Co. has changed alot since I was here last. A major face lift, looks more like a coffee bar. The caramel latte was nice and frothy without being gassy, and the I am getting ready to sample a sandwich and some kind of lunch fare, so I will have more input in a bit. Or maybe not - they did not have change for my electric bill money, so I am getting a coke only - and now will have more caffeine floating through my body with no solid food to stem it, so it may get ugly in the land of hyperactivity and GERD/ulcers! Oy vey.

Of course, I am showing great restraint by not running out of here, forsaking the interviewees I have lined up, and going shopping at Berea College bookstore or the Robie & Robie bookstore . Yes, I am the picture of restraint. And a workaholic to boot. And a hungry workaholic. Whose last interviewee is late.

I am also kind of bitter because one of my best friends is moving today and I am not there to help her. I am going to head that way to help when I finish here, but I could have been helping all day. And she is the person I think of when I think of writing at a coffee shop all day. It is a habit for which two of my friends have instilled lots of respect in me! (Tip o' the hat to Renee and Kim!)

Oh well, perhaps my last interviewee is forsaking me... I wonder.

Ah, I could be taking pictures of the foothills. I have been inside long enough. Time to pack up my computer, take a look at the book I brought to get me through the day (which I haven't had a chance to even open) and put the finish on this very caffeinated day....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What color is Sunday morning?

Today's color is LAZY.
I want to lie in bed and read, a pastime I usually want to indulge in pretty much 75 to 95% of the time. But today I think I may be productive later, so I may give myself a break now with the understanding that I will get off my duff and actually accomplish something later.

My burst of creativity was short-lived last night, as I went to bed shortly after I posted last night's blog. I did dust off my writing practice notebook this morning, and actually wrote a few lines. It had been over a month, actually just a few days before my grandmother's fall since I had last done practice. My last practice was pretty good, so I hopefully can jump back on that inspiration and ride it out of the stable of ennui. Also this morning I made some tea and was going to enjoy some solitude, but Tim woke up and Mr Dog (AKA Kruzer) jumped in bed and so that was not to be. Needless to say, the actual writing practice is yet to come, but it is going to come soon - BEFORE the nap.

Other than that, I have no hard and fast plans for the day. I want to cook something. I also want to do something about all my books that are piling up all over my house.
I checked out One Skein Wonders from the library this week so I plan on determining a small knitting project I can work on in the next two weeks during my pre-op, surgery, and post-op recovery. As my daughter says, between the books, my laptop and some yarn and sticks, I might be able to get through this without smacking the crap out of someone.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

An urge to change...

Right now, this minute, I am feeling the urge to change. I credit/blame it on another very nice 2 hour afternoon nap. Those countries who observe the tradition of an afternoon siesta are *very wise.* The change I am feeling is to express myself in a way other than bitching and whining on my blog or to my long-suffering yet patient friends. I - who cannot draw a straight line - want to paint. I want to start really writing again. I want to make something other than myself. And no, I don't want to produce offspring. I think my body is sensing with the impending surgery that I will no longer have the reproductive capabilities so I want to produce in other, more various, and less needy ways.

I am also wanting to stop making excuses not to put myself out there, to stop not engaging except on the most mandatory levels of life.

A friend told me about blogathon, and I am going to try that this year.
Of course, I want to try my hand at the 24 hour comic thing too.... NOT the official title, to be sure. But after being inspired about the same friend's efforts in previous years, I want to do that as well.

Does this mean the fog of depression is trying to lift? I am not holding my breath. Tim is in a manic phase right now himself, as he has not slept in 40-some hours. Hopefully we are not going to bounce off each other's skulls by the end of the weekend. It's all good.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Freedom thoughts....

I'm already being bombarded with patriotic messages and questions of what I am going to do to celebrate this "holiday."

Due to the ongoing depression, lack of money, and general malaise in my life, I am making no plans.

But I do want to think about the idea of freedom, this nebulous idea which we celebrate once a year with loud firecrackers and cooking outside.
What if we were to celebrate our individual freedoms daily by exercising them, and exercising our rights, and fighting for the rights of others? Such as those who are disenfranchised by life, poverty, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, religion or lack thereof, or any number of other things.
Why not celebrate our relative freedoms more than once a year?

Lastly, can someone help me with that pursuit of happiness thing?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A new month

As July begins, I am hopeful. Hopeful that it is a better month than June was. In the past 30 days I feel like I have been blindsided by life. So I look toward things getting better.

Once again I am trying to figure out how to make all my bills get paid, get myself to work, and get through each day.

On the 7th I go for a pre-op appointment, and on the 15th I have a minor procedure and exploratory surgery done to get to the bottom of the pain I have been having for the past few months that has intensified in the last month or so. I am interested in finding answers, but am not sure I will like the answers, if that makes any sense.

Meanwhile, I am about as lonely as one person can be while living with people who do not connect - except perhaps to demand more of me.

Loose ends continue. Nothing new there.

Thanks for reading. Maybe later I will write and it will make sense.

Tomorrow starts my writing practice again - it was interrupted by the cycle of death that intruded in June.