Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scar tales

* * * *TRIGGER WARNING: I will be discussing Self injury scars* * * *

This comment came from an e-mail response to my blog post "visible mental illness"

"WHAT????? Your scars aren't from pirates or an acid accident in the lab or torture while you were a prisoner of war? I hope you tell a good whopper now and again! Unless you run the risk of a psych hold!"

Thought I would fill you in on the answers that I feel are appropriate to tell people who ask about my scars.

Most Children:

Child: What happened to your arm?
Me: I got hurt along time ago, and it left some scars.
Child: how did you get hurt?
Me: It makes me sad, and I don't want to talk about it.

You can be truthful and honest with children...without really saying anything. I never tell anything beyond that info if parents are not present. If they are present and they and I feel it needs discussed further I will elaborate the appropriate info to there age level.

Certain Children:

Child: What happened to your arm?
Me: When I was little my mama never told me not to play with matches, so I did, and I got burned. Did your mama tell you not to play with matches?
Child: yes
Me: this is why you should listen to her.


The truth.

Family doctor:

The truth

OB doctors who have the power to take your baby away from you:

I was _______ in childhood, I took up SIV (self inflicted violence) to cope with it. I spent 4 years in therapy to learn and implement healthy coping skills and its been 15+ years since I last injured.

(but STILL be prepared to find this note printed in giant bold letters on the front of your chart...MAYBE A DANGER TO INFANT - WATCH CLOSELY POSTPARTUM, hello what part of "SELF" injury don't you understand?)

Adults I feel like educating:

The truth.


I look crazy eyed at my arm and exclaim: "HELLIFINO, but it looks like its spreading, must be contagious! I wouldn't get too close if I were you!"


So last month when I started this blog I was wondering what my mind would come up with to write about. That night on the 45 min commute home from work I saddled up and rode out into the wilderness of my writers mind to see what I could round up.

There were the usual stories that have been there for years that I occasionally pull in and try to break. There were the old polished stories that are dead broke. And there was an entire herd of young unbroke undisciplined colts. Who didn't need rounding up they came stampeding into my round pen with enthusiastic energy.

I sat for some time on the round pen fence watching this herd of cavorting horses. They jossled and spared with each other trying to catch my eye and force me to write more of their story. I will be happy to do so.

Today I am experiencing steroid induced MANIC LEVELS OF ENERGY, from the prednisone I am on for my arm injury....and I am flying soooooooooo freakin' high.

I have had no energy since I was newly pregnant with JUR in 2001 that was the last time I can recall feeling normal levels of energy. Then the hyperthyroidism got rolling really bad and issued in a whole new era of fatigue.

So add cortisone aka speed-for-old-people into my old worn out body and BAM!! WOW! HELLO!!

I wanna clean my house write another novel swim the English channel and race the Hadron Collider an sew costumes an write an opera an star in movies an invent spray on food an climb Mt Everest and sing an dance and set a new worlds record for single most blog entries in a single day and HEY CAN I COME OVER AND DO YOUR DISHES? DOES YOUR LAWN NEED MOWING? CAN I WALK YOUR DOG? HUH CAN I CAN CAN I?

What an interesting adventure this car accident has IS BEING.

bruised soles

He was a mean old man. His body lean and withered by time. He fought us when ever anyone had to get near him. His illness has disrupted his mind but his body strength remained in tact. He was as patients go, forgettable. Just another person who came and went and faded from memory as another person filled the bed in an endless assembly line of souls.

Yet I will never forget him. Can never forget him. I don't even remember his name anymore, But I carry him in my heart.

He tattooed me with bruises every chance he got. He beat on all the nurse's aides. Try as I might I was unable to like this man. Trying to like him was like hugging a roll of barbed wire. Oh my brain was able to separate the dementia that drove his actions from the man inflicted with this illness. But it isn't easy to reach past flying fists and help the person behind them.

Yet I did. I cared for him while he was on my wing for several months. Trying each morning to get him up, toileted, dressed and ready for breakfast while avoiding as many of his blows as I could.

Detatched professionalism that was me. I made sure all my residents were well taken care of while I was on duty. Him included.

The news filtered to the night shift my first day back. Mr Beatyouup was being discharged home in the morning.

Everyone's reaction was at first a sense of relief "Yeah! no more punches" followed quickly by the awful reality. "How are they going to handle him?"

Turned out his family was no longer able to pay for his stay in a nursing home. Money was forcing them to take him home and provide care.

I even mentioned aloud, "we divide him up between 6 people around the clock and he wears us out, I feel sorry for the family."

Next night his bed was empty and he slipped from my mind.

Two weeks later the PM shift nurse met us at the time clock. Her somber pose gave me worry right away.

"Mr Beatyouup is back." she said quietly. "his family couldn't handle him, they beat him head to toe."

She followed me down to his room.

I flipped on the little light and approached his bed.

He wasn't bruised. He was a bruise. Everything black and blue and green from the bald skin on his head on down. The nurse lifted the sheet and revealed his battered body. "and this I think, " she said uncovering his feet "is the worse of it."

I glanced at the soles of his feet. They were bruised. The stick or strap marks clearly visible. Do you know how much force you have to apply to bruise the sole of a human foot?

I gently tucked his feet back in and turned to him. His eyes flutter open, the fire was gone, something else there in its place. He reached up a shaky hand to me. I gently took it. He pulled me up closer to him and made a whimpery-sob sound and put his cheek on my hand and began to cry. He was broken...physically and mentally.

There are many events in my life that have level me to ground zero. That knock me from where ever I am to flat on my face on the floor. That reset all the things in my head and heart, that open doors into the mysteries of the universe and teach me what being a human is all about. This one was a doozy.

The vastness of this tragity is staggering. A family who knows they can't care for an elderly relative, do the right thing and get him into a nursing home where professionals can care for him. Only to forced to take him home because of money issues. Once again facing something so grave that it drove them to action in the first place they become stretched beyond human capacity, loose their grip on the "maintain your sanity" throttle and react with the darkness of the primal human DNA.

My heart breaks for that family, that man too and for me. This family DID the right thing, they knew they needed help, they got it and then something as stupid as money forced actions that ultamently lead to tragedy. People have coping limits. There is a line that exsists. Humans are not endless wells of compassion and understanding and coping.

Yet strangely we as a society feed ourselves lies to try to foster that idea. "If it doesn't kill you it makes you stronger" and the single most damaging one out there...."God doesn't put more on your plate then you can handle."

Wish I could trace back through the eons of time and find the origin of when the human race slid off the "we are in this together" to the "every man for himself" mentality.

I see many bruised souls out there. Who struggle and juggle things that could lead to bruised soles. Makes something well up in me and want to help. On the message boards I haunt, I do so now when I am able. My words I offer come from a deep place of compassion and echo that 'whimpery-sob sound and put his cheek on my hand and began to cry' moment in my past.

My words may help, or they may make no difference, I don't know. All I know is if my gut registers that feeling I reach out. At the very least, those I respond too know they are heard. At the very most, it has given me the knowledge that I can and I must reach out if I ever reach that end of coping, and to do so without shame.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dearly beloved...

I'm dying.

Would you stop that, you are not.

I'm not? dang it. Some days it would be easier to get up and go about my day if I was on hospice and my time was short. Makes the reality that I have years before my time is up a little more palatable.

Depression does that to you. Smothers your brain in a thick layer of soupy goo that slowly submerges you. When you realize you are in over your head and open your mouth to scream for help, it all runs in and drowns you.

My arm is not responding to the treatment. I am frustrated and angry and heading over the panicky-how-the-hell-am-going-to-function-with-one-arm falls.

I have an arsenal of medications to take and right now I am too afraid to take any of them. So I am blogging. Less side effects. I have to go to physical therapy to see if that will help with my arm.

Looks at one of you.

Doesn't this sound like our lives are weirdly syncing up in some bizarre way? cue the twilight zone music.

Anyway, time to haul the horses back in after they bolted out the corral door and settle them down and get back to writing. My arm has healed enough to do that. I can't comb my hair or wipe my arse but I can type.

I have one last night of work and then I will unleashed the kracken and see what lurks in my head after all this car accident stuff.

heh...usually awesomely wicked cool stuff...cause there is something about the night that just amplifies my writing...and the same is true of mental darkness.

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Visible mental illness


*@*&*^%$%-IN HELL!

This car accident and fall out from that has got me all messed up. It has my post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) flaring up.

I was in my early twenties when I got that diagnosis. I even argued with the doctor who label me with it. I have come to a peace with it over the years.

I tend to deal with trauma's by dissociating. Walling them off and watching them from a distance. I am very emotionally detached due to this, so I tend to be very very calm in crisis situations. I don't process stuff like other people.  I have done that all my life. I was finally diagnosed with a dissociative disorder in my mid-twenties.

Add all that to the existing seasonal affect disorder (SAD) and the neurotic depression and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)and I have a full bowl of psychiatric alphabet soup.

I am messed up.

To say the least.

As a child many years prior to seeking therapy I stumbled upon the unhealthy coping skill of self injury. Also known as self inflicted violence (SIV). Injuring myself kept me alive and safe until I was ready to enter therapy and heal. It took many years to learn healthy coping skills.

I will never be "normal". I am mentally ill. I have learned to function and exist in this head space. For the most part no one can tell I am mentally ill, its not something I wear on my sleeve. Most people pass off my oddness as just the" eccentric nuttiness of P."

The self inflicted violence however...I DO WEAR on my to speak.

(again warning to vulnerable readers: graphic photos of scars to follow)

This is my arm. You are looking at self inflicted third degree burn scars. That isn't something that I can hide/brush off as "nothing" they are very visible.

I do not hide my scars, I wear short sleeves. I also have worked many years as a advocate for men and women who self injure. I use my writing skill to reach out to others, to educate medical professionals who treat self injurers. Heck I am the author of the the only book on this planet to help parents who self injure, to educate their children about it.

I have been fighting for the SI community to be treated with dignity and respect since my 20's. I rarely turn down an offer to talk about SIV and to explain it to those who ask.

but you know what?

That is on my terms. I have control of when and where I disclose the information.

This bleeping car accident has upset my mental balance. It has my PTSD acting up. I am on high alert and every little noise has me jumping. I am on adrenaline overload and stressed.

Going back to the accident....My personal space had just been violated by a car. My body had just been violently tossed about and injured by another person's actions....the paramedic's approach me. I am forced to explain my scars to them.

At the urgent care, AGAIN I am forced to explain my scars against my will. Maybe I didn't feel like sharing all that info with 5 different people today. I am feeling vulnerable enough as it is.

I had to explain again just today about my scars. It left me with a sour feeling in my gut.

Years ago I mounted a welsh pony that reared up and flipped over backwards on me and injured my pelvis.
The ER doctor looked at my scars and then had the gall to ask me..."Is this injury self inflicted?"

"Yeah, Doc, I tossed the pony up in the air and then threw my self under her."

That is why I work  to educate the medical providers. So others don't have to be treated with disrespect and belittlement.

but today, this week, right now, I just want to be a frightened, injured car crash victim, who is treated with dignity, respect and compassion. I don't want to be the teacher/ advocate. I don't want my mental illness to be visible and talked about. I don't want to have to FIGHT for my right to be seen as a human being.

I didn't hurt myself this time. Someone else hurt me. Its upsetting to have to prove that every time I seek treatment.

(ps...yeah I know I said I was going to be quiet and let my arm heal up...but I needed to write today. Writing is a good coping skill for me. It was either write or go stuff myself with Chinese food, and this was healthier...and cheaper)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Well since my arm is out of commission there will be blog silence. I will leave you with pig porn to admire while I heal up.
Oh you're welcome, I just knew your day wasn't complete without some bacon....and some of my bull :)

(click on the image, you know you wanna see it closer )

and, no I am not on narcotics today...I am this weird normally.

speaking of large white lumps of bacon...

That's JUR trying to convince Hansolo to get out of her tauntaun cocoon and come play with him. (Sept 2006) poor feet were as swollen as Miss Piggy's belly up above.

Going back to doctors on Friday...hopefully my arm will be returned to me. Right now its sore as heck and having to be iced every couple of hours to maintain its function.

Oh and there is going to be a solar eclipse this weekend so if your in my neck of the woods, might wanna steer clear of my house....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

blogging under the influence of narcotics...

I had a funny mo-day story to blog about today. But life saw fit to mess with me a little bit yesterday. Okay mess with a LOT yesterday.

While crossing an intersection I was T-boned by a car that ran the light. The lady clipped the car in the next lane then barreled into me. She was ticketed and did have insurance.

Truck driveable, me in a heck of a lot of pain. Two trips to urgent care and 4 x-rays. Nothing broken just very very sore. Arthritis and a sheet-load of old ortho injuries jostled around in a car accident = ooh-ouchie-ouchie.

My Daddy put those running boards on there and his work is superb...It was like having an armored vehicle. I think the damage would have been much worse.

one good thing is the impact was so hard it spun my truck nearly completely around. The resulting centrifical force moved all the junk on the floor (fries/kid food droppings/all the popcorn /dirt/leaves etc) to the passenger side and when I opened that door it all fell out. Cleaned my truck with out even trying too. LOL.

Before you get scared at the sight of my trucks interior...I should tell you this. Cars are your getting you there an back. I do not keep my truck clean, we live in there and I have enough to deal with in my life without stressing about a messy car. Matter of a fact the only time S'more was regularly cleaned was while I lived on the farm and I would leave the door open and Harry, Lacey and Habeebinsan the goats would clean it for me. The greatest thing about a trashed vehicle is no one ever asks you to borrow it. LOL.

About the no door panel on the passenger's door...LOL no that's not to keep in my victims, that is a whole other funny blog topic for another day.

So this is what I got for mother's day....

Wish there was a way to show you the skeletal/muscular pain. Yikes.

Paramedic: Are you hurting anywhere?

P: (staring at him)

Paramedic: Ma'am?

P: I always hurt, so I am having a hard time answering that, trying to decipher what is the chronic pain and what is new.

after a very restless night it all got sorted out. Easy to pick out new vs the chronic. argh...i hurt really bad, ruined my whole day today.

Good old S'more. He's been a good truck. Hopefully when they check him next week there will be no serious structural damage.

Me on the other hand I think it time to declare me totaled.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Four leggeds

Been thinking about my animals lately. Wanted to share some memories.

Barnyard therapy was a coping tool I used often when I lived on the farm. I talked to the horses, I talked to the chicken, Turkeys, peacocks and guineas. The goat even would listen patiently and offer her version of "tough love", but my pigs, man they were the best!! what wonderful therapists.

I had a regular 1,000 pound BIG pig name Poop and 6 little pot bellies. I loved to go lay out with the pot bellies as they sunbathed and talk to them. Something about laying in the dirt in a mound of little bodies was very theraputic. They would snuggle close to me and offer reasuring "buff buff's " (thats Vetnemies for oink I guess LOL)

One stress filled day I sought them out for some group therapy and found them in the back pasture basking in the sun. I layed done with them and in seconds they had all inched closer and Ribble started using his snout to rub my shoulders. (they also are excellent masage therapist too LOL)

I felt the stress just drain out of me into the rich dark soil.

"you know," I said aloud "I"ll fess up, I can never pay your therapy bill guys"

and as soon as that left my lips all six of them screamed jumped up and went bolting off squealing in all different directions.

I laughed my butt off. It was so funny. Guess pigs dont like working for free.

Oh and ROTFLMAO there was the time my grey pycho antisocial cat Shyhaliud (I have yet to meet a sane grey cat, I wonder whats up with that) Crawled up on my friend John's chest and just starred at him with a mennising look. I mean she was STARRING him down.

He was laying on my bed with me watching movies. She sat there learing at him and he was getting nervous knowing she was not a normal cat. He finally asked me in a whisper..."she's not going to hurt me is she?"

I glanced over at her. "I dont think so..."

About that time she lifted a paw and flicked her claws out like there were switch blades (remined me of Freddie Kruger LOL) and very slowly cleaned her pads with claws exstened, as she continued to stare John down.

"....Uh," I continued "I think she wants you off my bed"

That was the fastest I ever saw my friend jump in my life. LOL

And there was the time my basenji Sirriojohn had accompanied for a walk down to the newstand. Our usual routine was to buy popcorn and share it. This trip was specifically to pick up a new magazine. I tied him to the parking meter and told him:

"Not getting popcorn today Rio, sorry."

I came back out of the store and he was in the EXACT same position I left him, but his leather leash was chewed up into like 900 peices.

He looked at me with a "that will teach you" look.

I miss having animals. They added a certain furry insanity to my life.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

life preserver

I will label this post today with a **TRIGGER WARNING** so if you are vulnerable you can opt to skip it.

Going to dig a little deeper into my life than the majority of you have been before. For some of you it will be a puzzle piece that will slip into place and you will go "that makes the picture of P more complete."

I am not sure why I feel like writing about it today. I have long ago given up trying to figure out somethings about my brain. If it says write, I write. So maybe my brain is writing this for you. Maybe its no accident you are here reading this.

I spent my whole life up to the age of 22 trying to make people hate me. Not just hate me, but hate me. I lived to be invisible and nonexistent. Perhaps it was done to justify the way I was cruelly taunted and harassed/bullied by strangers and classmates. Everyone knew of me, but didn't know me. I wore many labels in school. Weirdo, the horse, witch, dog, hickie...all bestowed upon me by my tormentors.

I never spoke to these people or looked any higher than their ankles. So what gave them the right to enter my miserable life and lay their abusive words on me? Couldn't they see how their slurs and barbed words were eating away at the strand of cobweb that anchored me to the crumbling edge of my sanity?

If they had for a moment stopped to look into my blue eyes they would have seen that the flame of my soul had  been extinguished long ago. I hated myself more then they ever could, so why did they bother? I surrounded my self with barbwire and I kept everyone out. Those who tried to be my friends knew only a sliver of me, and that I withdrew at any sign of danger. I was so closed off I was unreachable.

By the time I entered therapy when I was 22, I was beyond messed up. A gentle quiet man named Richard took me on as a client without knowing what he was getting into. His life syncing up with mine for a journey that changed us both. His job to reach past the layers of razor wire and help that girl/woman that sat before him; without tripping the mercury switch that would make me explode. My job to not get dead in the process.

March 1988

Its Wednesday and I am sitting in the tan chair in Richards office. He eyes me carefully trying to see who is dealing with before starting our session. At last he speaks to me.

"P do you still have plans to kill yourself on your birthday?"

"why do you want to know that?" I say in my flat monotone.

He sits quietly until he can look me straight in the eyes. "Because I care about you P."

The impact of his words throw me against the back of my skull. Agh, my soul twists around in its rusty chains. I shake my head and spat out a low "no" through clenched teeth. I mentally run until I come to the end of the rope and there I squirm and twist attempting to break free and dive back into the gaping cavernous crack that leads to the safety of my madness.

Exhausted at last my blazing eyes focus on his soft brown eyes.

"I care about you P." he repeats.

I listen to the tone he used, I can detect no lies or hidden traps. It rings true with honesty and genuine caring. It sends adrenaline sparking through my tense body like lightning.

"NO!" I snarl fighting for my life "I will not let you care about me! No one is supposed to care about me, I am unreachable - lost - evil! Why can't you hate me like everyone else?! I understand hate!!"

A unfamiliar emotion flickers across his face. I study him trying to decipher what it is. At last I see something in his eyes that I can identify.


By now the screaming chorus's in my head are deafening. All of me screaming and rebelling.

He sits quietly as I fight amongst my selves.

I examine the evidence. We have worked together nearly a year. This isn't a money issue, I had lost my insurance 6 months ago and he was seeing me for the ten dollar co-pay. He was taking a FIFTY dollar an hour pay cut to work with me. His actions backed up his words. He had never hurt me. He had no motive for lying to me. Could he really care about me? I didn't even care about me.

Tears spill over and the fight leaves me.

"That is hard for you to hear isn't it." he 1/2 whispers, the emotion shushing his voice.

I nod, sniff and drag my nose across my sleeve. "I didn't even care about me, how can you care? how can you even like me after hearing all the awful (deleted) that I have done / been though?"

He smiles. "I don't know why, I just do."

His smile and honest words shatter something inside me and the tears return. He hands me a box of tissues and sits back watching me sob.

Having been hidden and locked up so long in the darkness of my madness this little sliver of light burned like a laser right through me. Through the choking sobs I told him, "I guess I can let you care about me."

His eyes smile.

and another trap was disarmed.

He laid the groundwork to allow me to rejoin humanity. This man spent four years helping me apply healing salve to the festering wounds on my soul. He ripped off grown-in bandages and helped me clean the puss out. He cared about me until I was strong enough to care about myself. He helped me to save my life.

I am so glad he was there to fish me out of the sea and hold my head above water until I could swim.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Double Cranko with the kids

I love playing card games with kids. There is nothing like it in the world.

Farm kids and I played hours of poker and Bull(deleted). Lots of cheating and laughter. New kids and still lots of cheating and laughter.

Sat down and played Go Fish my kids the other night.

My turn...ugh, brain fart...I can't remember who I asked has a seahorse last turn, curse my foggy old brain. I eye each child trying to will the info to come to my brain. "Hanster do you have a sea horse?"

She smiles and scrunches up her face in a smug smirk. "Answer is still NO, I have a fish and a crab and a whale. Go fish!"

Brother and I  laugh. "Hanster your not supposed to tell us what you have."

"I can't help it. I have to tell you" she said. "Is it my turn?"

I draw my card and nod.

She turns to brother "do you have a crab?"

He wiggles like a excited puppy. "Nope, go fish!"

She draws and tucks it in her hand. Her eyes are bulging behind her cards. She lowers them to reveal her mouth. "I drew a squid." she exhales and slips back behind her cards.

"she did, I saw it when she drew." Confirms my son.

She turns angerly to her brother "stop giving away what I drew!"

I suppress my laughter "Sister, don't tell us what is in your hand and don't tell us what you draw."

"ok" she sighs and then looks at her hand then back to us. "Squid"

"Hansolo! Keep it to yourself!" I cackle. "JUR your turn."

"Mama hand over your seahorse."

I hand it over.

He places his pair on the table, looks at his remaining card and excitedly exclaims "UNO!"

I can suppress my laughter no more. "Well if we are playing Double Cranko then I win." I lay down my hand. "Gin!"

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Spray on food

Why does man kind insist on wasting bazillions of dollars on stuff like the hadron collider and space travel and military stuff, and building giant cities etc etc.

Good gosh man! lets solve some of the big problems on this planet first before advancing our species in other realms.

Like the need for spray on food for us poor parents of picky eaters with oral sensation issues. I would sell my soul for this invention.

As long as I am putting out my list of needed inventions they also need to make all children's antibiotics/medications in both patch form and stick form (like deodorant, one swipe in the armpit and you have had your dose of medication.)

I am not asking for much, am I? I mean we can put a man on the moon, bomb you silly from 1/2 a world away and send email all over this planet in a nano second, surely getting food into picky eaters should be an easy task.

how about fabric food? they absorb it through out the day?

Sigh. Alright, I will settle for candy with protein.

My son was breastfed for a year and half. Started eating normally and then when he was 1 just started getting picky. Food makes him feel sick. Its a constant struggle to make sure he eats enough. Even the stuff he does like he can only eat a little bit or it upsets his tummy or "feels weird in my mouth and I can't swallow it."

Sad thing is he is normal height/weight and BMI, yet next to all the other kids in his class he looks like he has anorexia. The normal weight for kids is getting chunkier. Kills me to see all the parents loading there carts with cheap food filled with high fructose corn syrup. Makes me angry that they have to do that to stretch there food budget.

Its expensive to eat healthy. Not long ago we were shopping and my son wanted something. I watched him read the labels and compare prices and then he picked a more expensive brand. I asked him why he choose that one.

He replied " it has no HFCS, it has 3 grams of protein and the least amount of ingredients, so that means it more food and less stuff."

That made me excited.

Of course it was chips he was looking at, but still he is taking responsibility for what he is choosing to eat; and he is making healthy choices.

Now if I could just get him to eat more than 5 things.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

CPR for depression

You can't will your way out of depression. You can't put on a smiley face and say, I am going to over come this. You just can't.

Oh sure you act like you have the upper hand and the illness isn't eating you up inside You can fool a lot of people this way. But you can't fool me.

*picks up my lantern and heads out into the murky darkness of depression.*

Finds her wallowing in the mud. Snuggled up close to the ground. Dangerously close to going under and being buried.

I set my lantern down in front of her eyes.

"I know you don't have the strength right now to hold on, so I will hold on for you." I grab her woody arm and lift it.

She resists and leans closer to the earth.

I violently jerk her to a sitting position. "DO NOT GET COMFORTABLE HERE!" I scream in her face. "The numbing nothingness of depression should not be comforting to you. You fight that feeling with all you got. Fight."

"How do I do that?" she asks slowly.

"Find yourself. Were did you loose yourself? When did the depression eat away and erode what makes you, you. What dreams did it devour?"

"It ate them all." she sighs and leans back toward the comfort of the madness.


Her hollow eyes stare at me without seeing.

"Look through pictures and find ones of you smiling, force yourself to awaken those brain memories, Your brain recalls those emotions just the same as it remembers the depression. Feed on that like an emotional vampire, let it nourish you."

"It's been to long" she says.

"STOP RESISTING" I squeeze her hand. "You can't think yourself out of depression, you can't cure this mental illness with wishful thinking, but you sure as hell can give it a fight."

"I wanted to be a paramedic" she said softly.

"Good girl." I say and drag her to her feet. "Next get up everyday."

Her shoulders droop, "everyday? that takes so much energy and effort."

"Your fighting for your life, its not going to be easy, Get up everyday and go outside and look up and see the world you are in. Depression sits on your eyes and darkens your vision. Force light into you eyes everyday."

Her lids raise up slightly.

"Don't let your mind be unchallenged. The depression tendrils will flay out like a destructive cancer in your brain. DO SOMETHING EVERYDAY. Read something, write something, sing something, kiss something, remind your brain there are other things in life besides that warm sufficating numbness of depression."

"Reinforcing other emotions." she says and nods her head. "But what about the days when the roar of the madness is so great I want to give in?"

"THEN YOU GET SOMEONE ELSE TO FIGHT FOR YOU." I scream at her. "therapist, friend, wife, husband, sister, brother, pastor. The depression is lying to you when it whispers to you that you are alone. DON'T LISTEN TO IT. You be noisy as all hell so everyone knows you are struggling."

I pick up my lantern and put in in her hand. "Do not get comfortable here. Because when you do the scales tip and this illness can be fatal."

She nods.

"You tell that woman who greets you in the mirror every day this..."Depression I'm not going down without a fight" and then you fight."

"everyday." she whispers.

"Everyday." I nod.

medication and my non-compliant mind

I have a rap sheet of psych diagnosis's.  Topping the list is depression. Its so common any more that people assume its no big thing. You take a pill and get happy, right?

For me its not that easy. First attempt to medicate my depression was in my twenties. It caused cardiac side effects. SCARY cardiac side effects. I would wake with a resting pulse of 140+. My face would flush in weird geometrical patterns. Like one 1/2 of it, or circles and strips.  It was many years before I attempted another medication trial.

Depression can be a fatal illness. Make no mistake about that. When mine again turned to the "I'm going to kill myself" end of the spectrum in my thirties I again tried an antidepressant.

The results were awful and the medication amplified the depression and I attempted suicide. Thankfully all that hard work I did in therapy paid off and I was able to pull myself out of that spin.

I simply can't take antidepressants.

ummm...that is what is prescribed for depression.

Yeah I know.

Great gravy trains.

Its awful to have a treatable illness and not be able to tolerate the medication.

To accompany the mental parade of illnesses and such, I have an equally impressive rap sheet of physical issues. Topping THAT hit parade are the numerous orthopedic injuries and resulting arthritis and nerve pain.

Last November I cracked. My tolerance for being in chronic pain coupled with the winter depression sent me crying to the doctors office to beg for help. I am not taking any thing for my chronic pain. The majority of the time I take aspirin or nothing at all.

I was prescribed Neurontin for the nerve pain.

and holy bleeping worked!

It eased my pain off the IMAGUNNAKILLYOU level down to the range of i'mgunnaannoythepoopouttayou. That level I could deal with.

Neurontin has a curious side effect. It can cause you to have "exaggerated feelings of well being."

Guess what? that simple side effect balanced out my depression and WOOHOO I started to feel like a human. I was waking up and instead of fighting my self to get through the day I was living. I had energy for the first time since having my thyroid radiated 4 years ago.

I thought I had found the cure for all the complexities of me.

Neurontin dulls your nerve endings. ALL your nerve endings. And as my hormones did there normal annoying female monthly thing I was having issues with my gut shutting down. The painful bloating and my intestinal tract basically stopping, forced me to stop the neurontin each month for a week.

Why can't I have a normal body/mind?

I had to stop the neurontin 2 weeks ago because I felt a shifting in my mind....a scary shift from the usual daily day to day "i want to die" to a very peaceful,  It's time to die thought pattern.

I will not, CAN NOT have those thoughts running amok in my brain with my history of suicide attempts. I came off the Neurontin and within two day the nerve pain was again in the IMAGUNNAKILLYOU range.


Whats truely disheartening about this is this:

Neurontin is THE drug for treating nerve pain. The only drug.


So you add mental pain and physical pain together and guess what you get?

A whole heap of $&^%&^$% that makes getting up each day and being a wife/mother/employee/human/ect really hard some days. I do not like who I see in the mirror each morning. Matter of a fact lately I really hate her.

Found this picture yesterday.

That happy smiling mama is missing in action. I am not sure where she is. I wish she would come back. I really wish she would come back. We all miss her.

I need to find my balance and peace within my messed up self again. It will probably be somewhere along the lines of finding humor in the fact that I am such a messed up freak that modern man has yet to find a cure for the common Paja.

Until then I will get up each day and keep living.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I am fighting a vicious upswing of my lower back arthritis and when I stand up and walk I go numb from the knees down. This fuels my anxiety and I recall the orthopedic surgeon's words. "You will be in a wheel chair by the time you are 50."

Dude I am 47 this year I still have THREE years left before I have to turn in my legs. I will not go down without a fight. The spasms were so bad last night I had to leave work early. I am not ready to be a disabled person yet. But have been so since my 20's.

Let me share with you that one second....yup that was all it took, just one second, to physically altered me for all eternity.

I worked night shift in a nursing home that had a locked geriatric psych/Alzheimer unit. I had been on that unit for nine years with minimal issues. I enjoyed being locked up at night.

I came to work that night to find I was training a brand new certified nurses aide (CNA). Fresh out of the CNA class and ready to hit the floor.

Before we entered the wing I stopped and looked at her. She looked nervous. "Listen," I said "Stay with me, and do everything I tell you and this will be a piece of cake. Sometimes the residents can get a little rowdy with people they do not know."

We entered the wing. The night passed without incident.

There was 30 min left of the shift when we got to room 10 to get those men up. I set up new girl with the easy resident and started working on the one that was the hardest.

"Mr ____, I called softly and touched his shoulder. "Good morning, its time to get up."

He grumbled but tossed back his blankets and sat up. I took off his pj top and as it slid off his right hand he grabbed it. I held the tension to see what he was going to do. Nothing. For a few seconds we just stood there. Then I felt him pull the shirt towards him.

Knowing this mans history and what he was capable of doing and the fact he had already injured people prior, my alarm bells rang out.

Without releasing the tension or taking my eyes off of him I spoke up. "New Girl?"

"Yes?" she replied.

"We've got trouble here."

MR. _____ stood up. I swiveled to put the door behind me.

"I need you to listen...go out the door and go directly across the hall and into that room. CLOSE the door behind you, STAY THERE. I will be right behind you."

The tension he was applying to the night shirt was now powerful, it took two hands and a lot of force to keep him from yanking me forward.

"Now?" she asked sounding unsure.

"NOW" I commanded.

She fled the room.

The game of tug of war continued as I slowly backed up to the door. His eyes now were a blaze of anger.
I squeezed out the door and before I let go of the shirt, I jerked it to off balance him, and give me a second or two head start. I shut the door and flew across the hall to the other room.

I closed the other door behind me and called out "New Girl?" It took all of maybe a nano second to scan the room and see she was not in there.

What went through my mind in that split second was this: Mr ____ is going to catch her in the hall way and hurt her. I opened the door to go find her.

I never got out the door.

As soon as it cracked open his hand shot through and grabbed my throat.

He shoved me violently back into the room and came in taking the time to shut the door behind him.

When that door clicked shut I thought, its over, he is going to kill me.

Not one to go down without a fight I let him back me up against the first bed so I could have some leverage. My pelvis ended up facing left while the rest of me he forced to the right. I had his free hand in my left hand.

Like some horrific game of twister we locked up.

I quickly set about removing his hand and restoring my air flow. After what seemed like and eternity I got his thumb pulled back and didn't have the strength to get the rest of his hand off my neck.

I knew if I screamed I would panic and loose what little control of the situation I had.

Mr. _____ started menacingly hissing in my face.

"NEW GIRL!" I called hoping she was near by.





At last a timid "yes" came from outside the door.

"Go - get  - the - day - shift." I said slowly and calmly.

"which one?" she asked peaking in the door.

My body started to shake as I surpassed the ability to maintain it in its current predicament. The world was starting to get fuzzy on the edges. He was going to succeed in choking me out.

I surrendered to the fear and screamed "GO GET THE DAY SHIFT!"

She shut the door.


Stay on your feet stay on your feet stay on your feet stay on your feet my mind shouted as I frantically thrashed in a pointless effort to get away.

The day shift burst through the door just as I lost my footing and he forced me to the floor.

The day shift tackled him off me like they were linebackers.

...and my life changed forever. All because I for one second put the safety of another before my own.

Would you jump on a grenade to save another?

In a way I did that day. There was no debating, or deciding if her life was worth more than mine etc. It was pure action. My body took over and did what it needed to do. Would I take it back if I knew the outcome? Oh heck yes. a thousand times yes.

I was off over 6 months on that OJI. I was diagnosed with herniated disks L-4-5-S1, my sacral-illiac joint on the left side was trashed. Sciatica, nerve damage in both legs...and later myofacial pain syndrome as  result of the injuries. Despite all the efforts they could not rehab me back to health. I was declared permanently partially disabled. I was retrained and stuffed into medical records.

Heck of souvenir to pick up from my days as a CNA.

Every once in a while someone will inquire "I would like to work in medical records, how did you get started in there?"

I always shake my head and tell them. "You don't want to get into medical records like I did, go to school."