#14 – When The Depression Returns

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I didn’t want to write this post especially–not during the public’s outcry n’ healing process over Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain’s suicides, I don’t wanna be a big fat downer…who needs more of those? But I feel I must since I write on this viscerally morbid subject and have for a while now. These suicides have been triggering for those who suffer suicidal depression and rumination for sure, but more outstandingly, they remind people like me how vulnerable to mental disorders we are…human beings I mean. Dogs too. But not like people. It’s our cross to nail ourselves to since we have no other defense mechanisms aside from foul language and the ability to critically think and yep, change the world. However, we are built for suffering. Just like the Buddha says. And in our quest in western society to rid ourselves from our own internal suffering, we can sometimes cause only more suffering.

The yin and the yang of eastern philosophy (concepts of Taoism) essentially embodies the concept you cannot be whole without the light AND the dark, that a whole person is the expression of both. To take that concept even further, in east Indian metaphysical metaphysics, depression is actually a highly spiritual state of being, a time when your soul calls on you to look within, to be with your heart, to work shit out. When you’ve done so, you get to reemerge with a knowledge you didn’t have before and like, go help people n’ stuff. That’s a normal sense of depression I can get on board with, not my bipolar 2 depression that runs it’s time clock 24/7. That’s of course different. In this instance, such an ailment needs medical attention including the spiritual as well, and I feel meditation is paramount in re-wiring the depressed brain, so does UCLA and their Mindfulness Meditation program alive and well at the SEMEL institute to be exact. Mindfulness Mediation along with proper medication and lifestyle changes, is a first line of defense against clinical anxiety and depression for psychiatric in-patents at UCLA and if it’s working for them, then dammit it’s gotta work with the rest of us. I mean, UCLA would know, right?

yin(attaching the Mindfulness Meditation link I swear by for depression and anxiety…I love the Mountain Meditation especially https://insightla.org/Media/Audio-and-Video/Series/SeriesID/10)

Back to the yin and yang. Our western suffering comes with the expectation this state of ill feelings is undesirable in all it’s natural forms (not talking clinical suicidal depression folks, I’m referring to the normal 7 bouts of near clinical grade depression the average person will experience in their lifetime), and is something we need constantly rid ourselves of, or to immediately over-medicate till its existence can never be felt ever again. Not so fast. And no, in no way am I referring to, again, I will reiterate this so there’s no confusion–Americans love to be confused, me included–to living in chronic clinical mental illness as so many of us do. I’m merely pointing out that western culture is UN-accepting of any level of depression and has villianized it’s more spiritual meaning of a wholly integrated human manifestation–a being of light and dark in which a balance is created with no one ‘vibe’ tipping the scales in either direction. Make sense? Course it fuckin’ does…unless you are totally like, bible inclined and that’s not bad if it makes you happy, non-judgmental, open minded and super altruistic! I’m Jewish, we love to suffer then come up with the best goddamn jokes on earth to counterbalance our annoying kvetching. But I kinda secretly love to complain, it’s super fun sometimes. I’m also half Irish Catholic, or protestant as my grandma Kitty used to hit me over the head with. So naturally, all this SFV original valley girl knows is us Irish-catholic-Russian Jews are a funny fucking bunch. Anyway,  I like the Buddha best, he was money.

So, you guessed it and or you couldn’t care less but your reading my blog, so you gotta check it–I’m in a depression, a really fucked up one n’ it’s affecting every part of my daily functioning, self conceptualization, and that includes the professional writing project I’m super excited and privileged to be involved in…yet, I realize I have the best damn people in my life and I’m not embarrassed to pontificate over that at least, even if I hate myself so much of the damn misconstrued as indulgent, time. I’m blessed. My kids–I will say it again, my kids are here to do great things and they’ve chosen me as their momma to go out and be great, so that right there is reason to celebrate. I do subscribe to the notion children choose their parents, and mine chose me…hope they weren’t asleep when they did that, but regardless, I’m not gonna let them down, not ever, n’ neither should you.

However, this depression sucks all kinds of dog balls and the anxiety it invokes is no barrel of monkeys either. Not that many of you would suspect I would suffer the way I always have (n’ I’m referring to the people who know me casually), for by my outward appearance and exuberant dark n’ witty humor has misguided you to,either think I’m 1–a rebel with a cause, 2–full of myself (so not, just terrified of aging which is stupid) and or 3–out of my goddamn mind but super intellectual and you’re maybe really jealous of my…mind. I know some people that wish nothing but ill will for me or anyone they find threatening, especially on social media–the very fact they keep you around to stalk  but never support in any way shape or form is just an indication of their small existence yet I feel compassion for them. Do these people go beyond themselves to help other’s in need for no profitable gain? Do they simply exist for themselves to be recognized for only their work output and not the parents they can be or the great friends and family members they are born to embody? Could this be you? Or me? It was me at one point at the peak of my depression and addiction, years ago. But I had a choice, and I chose the best fight against suicidal depression was to reach out and be someone other’s could come to. Do I have all the fuckin’ answers? Hell no, no one does. But I know more than a few things, and what I don’t know I study.

Placeholder ImageSo, I decided one of the best depression cure aside from the obvious, is to be altruistic, to help someone worse off than oneself n’ you know what? That works. Or you can just continue to wallow in your self hatred, hatred for others, and offer nothing but being a useless eater with a paycheck…go for it. And my last thing will be thus—parents. If you are a parent, god please do as much as you can to be with you kids in these years till 18, I swear the adults you will unleash upon society will be better off for it. Kids need their folks, even when pushing you away like the teen years presents itself as, but trust me, the pushing away is sometimes to see if you’re still gonna be there–chasing after you’re little rabbits. It’s not fun if you’re too busy with work, or getting ahead, or whatever, but you gotta do what you gotta do to pay the rent, I get it. But let’s not turn out this next generation of kids to be as depressed, lonely and isolated as my generation has…let’s change that karma for our little ones, they deserve it.tempo 2.jpg

(My daughter, the light o’ my life, with her amazing alternative band “Tempo Infidelity”   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbeTeBn0SbY  (Recorded at Atlantic Records) photo cred…momma)

13 – Sex Sells…

Does sex still sell these days? I think it does…unfortunately or fortunately, it’s the way our biological make-up is hard wired. My anthropology teacher even says so, and he’s an expert on Hominids (early man, the really ugly horny kind). Regardless of hairy horny cave like creatures, there will always be a strong prey drive in some people regardless of episodes of hyper-sexuality, as is the case with bipolar people, hedonistic sex-tard addicts as is true of most 80’s rocker sock-in-the-tight-pants douches, and cult leaders who live to find sex slaves via the eagerly stupid, I mean, lost and impressionable fan-I mean follower base. It’s everywhere I’m afraid, and ain’t showing signs of dissipating.

Let’s just take pop stars and fallen Disney channel girls…the minute they turn legal, the goodies are open for business–but look don’t touch. Remember, jus’ cause a girl dresses provocatively or like a two dollar sailor whore (like me when I go out anywhere south of Ventura boulevard, but I’m kinda old now…so who gives two shits, really), doesn’t mean they wanna party. Take me…again. I’m of a certain age, but dress like I’m ready for hot cock-eyed action to a certain degree, but If you try and grab my bits n’ pieces I’m gonna poke you…in the eyes really goddamn hard–then use harsh, emasculating language to shame you to no good end. I can be like ipecac that way.

Naturally, being a writer, a creative, an actor, and more importantly, the mother of an up n’ coming musician teen daughter, I worry about the climate our girls navigate in–I worry about the rapey culture our boys feel pressured to be ‘dudes’ in…or ‘bro’s’…or whatever too. My kid tells me rape at parties by scum sucking dick-less-turds, who seemingly jus’ can’t wait to go to jail and be someone’s bitch, against unsuspecting drunk girls, is still alive and well and I can’t believe it. Why? Why would anyone do such a vile ‘karma’s gonna get you back eventually anyway,’ fucker thing? It’s mind-boggling, really.

That segway got a little dark, but sexuality runs a fine line between healthy, fun, aerobic, and fucked up…real fast too.

I love sexy lookin’ chicks just like everyone does, I celebrate the female form and love a woman who can strut around and be sensual at any age OVER 18 that is. In fact, an ageing women should be proud of her sexiness and maturity: we know more, have fewer hangups, and can freely laugh at you if you have a small pen–I mean, brain. And nothing is more appealing than a partner with a razor sharp sense of humor. A funny guy or girl is the sexiest thing alive to most women and secure men, really, check into it.

This post is nonsensical and poignant at the same time, I’m not sure which, but it’s both? And I’m no fool either, even if you think I am, you’re like, so totally n’ fer sure OHMIGAWD soooo mistaken. I’m really smart actually….for a valley girl that is. And I realize the blogs of mine that get the most reads, are the one’s that use sexual type titles or sexy pictures at the heading. In fact, I’ve done the experiment, and the sex sells exploitative type avenue wins every time. So yeah, sex sells whether you like it or not… and that’s even when discussing suicide! Kinda disturbing, but like it’s been said a million different ways by a trillion different venues, “sex sells”….and sex sells bw.jpguntil it doesn’t, here’s another sexy pic.

#12 – Teen Suicide: JUST DON’T. Be braver, be bigger than you ever thought you could be…you got this.

So, with the rash of teen suicides at my kid’s public school here in the SFV, we’re all freakin’ out. Yes, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but when you’re in the throws of a depressive episode or a vast situational depression due to outside forces seemingly attacking you from every angle, it can falsely present itself the only way out from the chronic pain. Here’s the thing–first, if you off yourself you ruin so many other lives it’s criminal. Second–you rob yourself from being able to rise above the plethora of shit you might currently be swimming in, and actually help others out of their own shitstorm from your vast experiences. Yes, that’s right. Altruism, as in helping people worse off than you? That simple act of extending yourself to someone struggling is a suicide and depression cure on many levels in and of itself so look into it.

Not saying that chemical brain imbalance type depression (VS. Situational Depression) has a total cure, probably doesn’t, but it’s MORE than treatable and you can go on and live an OUTSTANDING LIFE OF SERVICE FOR OTHERS even if you’re bipolar or suffer anxiety and or panic disorder or such, yep–as in prior troublemakers make the best cops? Or the best drug counselors where once junkies themselves? We learn from the trailblazers that came before us.

Take me. At one time, for a long time that was, I lived my life as if a gun was pointed to my head 24-7, ‘on the ledge’ so to speak, for a person who seemingly has it all…and I’ve recovered, but aren’t we always in recovery from something? And that’s life and that’s what makes us vast and interesting and deep and the rock for someone else. Thanks to family, friends, my own education and evolution in expanding my mind and knowledge, I’ve risen above my own little life and have extended myself here, being present and ready to help others and of service, it’s the best medicine, and oh yeah, I take my medicine. I study mental health, I’m a writer, an actor, and a creative, and we have the highest rate of depression and anxiety and hell, I just got my little AA is in this field at 40 something and I wont ever judge your plight. So there. Go do something great, it’s never too late.

I realize if you only go around once (unless you’re a Hari Krishna, then you reincarnate into a rock or a tree or someone famous), don’t you want this ride to be the fucking best damn coaster you ever fuckin’ rode? I do. Now. And it’s the farthest thing from your mind when you’re in the trenches of the darkness, or the chaotic mind of chronic anxiety and panic, and that’s when you MUST reach out to other’s who can do something to alleviate your pain.

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(I would go to, and have, each and everyone of these great human beings for mental support when I’m down and out, but I’ve weeded many others out along the way…find your people)

Here’s the big news on THAT undertaking, so listen up: choose your audience wisely. Going to an asshole who unwisely spits out wrote comments in hopes of comforting you such as, “everyone gets the blues” and “being a teenager is hard, its called teen angst” or “you just need to get another job, or study harder, and or exercise…a lot” or “what the hell you bitching about, don’t you know there’s kids starving in third world countries,” can only make you feel more disconnected and isolated, even ashamed you are suffering to the depth you are. Stay away from these vapid ‘do-gooders’ for they know not what they speak. Seek out the people such as a sensitive and receptive family member or friend, myself even (yes you can write to me here in the comment section, but only real inquiries, if you’re a troll I’ll tell you to take a massive shit and fall back in it then rot in hell cause this is a serious matter) and online support in the form of suicide prevention sites and resource counselors at schools for help and I know that sounds kinda easy and maybe even boring, but it works.

Here’s my final thought. Social Media for teens…no bueno. That’s right. I have a huge hunch with the recent data coming out, the rise in teen suicide and suicidal thinking (ideation, rumination), that social media is a huge culprit. For one, Instagram and the like,  is set up to make people’s lives look so overboard-goddamn fabulous and exciting—hot n’ sexy when it’s the biggest damn scam in the world it’s laughable. It’s called editing folks. The amount of carefully edited pictures and posts you see of others lives you so obsessively stalk, is nothing more than picking up a dumb tabloid magazine with a slew of dirt-bag editors paid to make you feel little and ugly and fuck–boring, in comparison to the person they are paid to inflate. So boring and insignificant in fact, you will hopefully experience just enough personal lack to go out and buy these trash mags over and over—keep coming back to that social media account to torture yourself with the carefully edited lies, just to prove yourself right, they are better than you AND that’s the total intention! But you do know,  nothing could be more false, right? It’s an illusion put together with a string of shots and written, then re-written a thousand times ‘post text’ just to top off the over-edited shot. And you know this, course you do, you’re not as stupid as you look…kidding, I have no idea what you look like cause you, like me, put way too many filters on insta-pix. But deep down you know it’s all bullshit. You do. However, and this is like, science, our brain’s are hard wired for comparison. It’s true…just like the fact most writers can’t spell for shit, like me. Comparison is death, not inspiration. Comparison kills creativity, it can lower you emotional IQ, so don’t be stupid and compare yourself to the carefully edited lies of others. Got it? Good. BUT, as in However, looking to others you admire and getting inspired is great if it makes you get off your ass, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and go out and be the best version of yourself you possibly can. Your own self, not someone else’s version of themselves, see?

Make the commitment to stop comparing yourself with the edited lies of others and you will find yourself free-er and more effective in your life than you ever thought. Put fuckin’ imaginary blinders on if you must and keep pluggin’ away at what you want, you will get there, don’t matter how long it takes…I refer to myself once again here, It’s taken me to this part of my life to become actualized, for I wasn’t ready when I was younger, and that’s just the way it is. It’s never too late is what I’m getting at, but don’t you dare ask me how fuckin’ old I am cause I will lie.

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(an edited and photo-shopped picture of me…not too much though! No one looks exactly like what they really look like in pictures anymore…sad but true)

Furthermore, just so you can roll your eyes at me one more time with my over-pontificating n’ beratement of social, well, all media in that respect (n’ I love my own social media but it’s always with a wink, n’ I’ve earned the right to show off a little before I die), It’s the lie the professional and non pro editors don’t tell you. How making lives (and in a trash mag, the lives of celebrities–some of the most miserable people btw) look better than yours via visual displays such as: pictures of vacations you (or they) probably bickered half way through, laugh-riot but in all reality kinda boring hangouts, painful Brazilian vagina and anal waxing sessions with your bitches made to look uber fun but were really gross cause you all spread hep-c to each other, concerts that kinda rule but really suck when you have diarrhea and need to vomit from the cheap food and shit beer, beach bodies melted down with Photoshop apps, and finally the dreaded accomplishments and promotions of others that make your little participation awards in life seem like scrunched up sheets (that’s if you’re a scruncher, not a folder) of skid-marked toilet paper. It’s bullshit (so many fecal references, Omg). I’ll say it again, Media is set up to appear (appear people, not the way it actually always is), WAY BETTER than anything you have goin’ on. And trust me, what you got going is pretty much parallel to all others in many ways regardless of job or age or social status, we are all just people. We suffer loses, we celebrate wins, we have mental health issues, we have physical ailments (some of us don’t have all our limbs…I do, jus’ saying), some of us are older now (not me, I’m 25-7…yeah, I’m 27), some young and don’t realize the power they have, we all got shit, we all got the power to be altruistic and change lives…even our own. Whoa.

Be kind even when you feel mean, for it could be the one thing in someone’s day that turns the bad around for them, be responsible, you have no idea your effect on others, be loving–for love is the greatest thing you can give to yourself and others in a world full of negative assholes and the easy to come by hate, and be altruistic! The word of the day! Help others in helping yourself out of your own misery.  It works. Be bigger than your own little life, be huge in helping someone else who’s drowning just as you, me, he, she or it might of been, or are. Get help! Talk to the therapists, the school counselors (they’re free for Christ sakes), and remember, please please remember, in the darkest of dark moments when all seems as bottomless as the titanic with all it’s millions in un-scavenged diamonds, even this shitty time, or situation shall pass….this too shall pass. It always does. So stick around, don’t be lame, be massive in you’re courage to live a beautiful life on whatever scale you live it on, you make more people happy than you will ever know.

Xo, Kelly

# 11 – My Husband almost died of Meningitis…from a stupid mosquito

It was probably the shittiest time for him to pick almost dying on me, us, himself–our marriage was going through a particularly rough patch, work found itself more than challenging, and my mental health had steadily been in decline for the past year and a half. Not that it was his fault, my husband I mean, how was he to know his immune system was left wide open from his chronic Prednisone use for something totally unrelated to meningitis?

I knew though. And what ensued I can only categorize as a seemingly life-changing experience for my whole family, our friends, co-workers, and our, well, how many people go through something as out of the blue traumatic as what happened to my guy and come out, well, back to normal…so to speak–cause what the fuck is normal anyway? I can’t stand most ‘normal’ people, they’re too damn crazy if you ask me. I mean, is he totally over his ordeal? Pretty much. However, when you almost die of meningitis, it kinda freaks you out for a while. But only for a while.

You wanna know something really insightful though? How should I put this so I don’t sound like an ungrateful ingrate—Ok…you know how you always see those interviews of like, survivors  n’ such n’ how they’re always pontificating on the aftermath of this and that, n’ how after the said traumatic incident left them in utter appreciation for every waking moment there after? Nonsense. Things just go back to the same for the most part, you make concessions for the new way of life, n’ you know…that becomes the new normal. life just went right back to life. At this point? It’s like it never happened except for the stupid puzzles I bought him to do for brain plasticity exercises when he got home from the hospital. 3000 micro piece puzzles not even the person who designed the thing could put together. Lisa was the one who came over that day I got my guy home from the hospital, had the puzzle all spilled out on the coffee table, invalid barely able to blink let alone put two pieces together, n’ me standing over him like a dictator commanding ‘Do the puzzle! Do. The. Puzzle. Brain plasticity. It heals the brain motherfucker, do it!” I was crazed from 6 days of no sleep from the ICU of course, (I’ll get into my stint as his unforgiving hospital staff advocate later) so no, wasn’t thinking too rationally. Lisa took one look at the pieces falling off the table all piled up like ashes from my mom’s old Nova cigarette ashtray pull out thing, and scoffed. “Kelly! A 6 PIECE puzzle you fool!!! One made for 3 yr olds n’ autistic kids! What the hell?!”

“Oh…Well, I did not realize that, Lisa.” I apologized to my husband who couldn’t reply anyway thank god, for he would of gladly told me to shove every single jagged edge puzzle piece up my ass if he could—he couldn’t though, so opted for a stink eye kinda blank stare instead. In fact, he had no expression for the first week home at all, common of brain injuries even meningitis. Called ‘flat affect’. Creepy is an understatement, his nick name became ‘the walking dead’ till it subsided.

How you ask? Well, it’s kinda a long story,  but basically, he got bit by a West Nile Virus carrying mosquito somewhere by our home, the Prednisone had his immune system suppressed enough to let the pathogen take hold in the meninges of the surrounding brain tissue, and voila! Meningitis. From a mosquito bite. Motherfucker. Almost a $200,000 hospital bill later (thank god for insurance),  n’ all caused by a parasite via a simple steroid used to treat pretty much every inflammatory condition including a swollen toe. Dumb.

I guess that’s where this story begins essentially, or on the night he collapsed off the john, face first, semi paralyzed onto the hard travertine bathroom floor at 3 o’ clock in the morning. I was already up getting dressed right before, he’d woken up about 40 minutes earlier nauseated and dizzy as hell, double vision, and as he tried to walk to the bathroom to hurl, it was like watching a drunk falling down a flight of stairs. See, we thought 2 days earlier, it was just the flu…his general doctor thought so too–dude started him on Tamiflu and my guy threw that shit up instantly. We decided to wait the flu out together in bed. I’d change his soaked clothes and sheets, talk to him, watch TV, do a few errands, and hoped his mounting fever I’d kept checking would go away. But by the day of the night he ended up, well, almost dead, it was the highest it had been n’ I was set on the ER.

The scream from the toilet came furiously and it wasn’t a normal like, yell, it was a shriek of someone falling off a building. Or a toilet, face first.

I’ll never forget it, the yell—I’ve known this guy since 8th grade, and let me tell you, he ain’t ever made that sound before. I ran back in just as I was done getting dressed and letting my live-in sister know I was taking him to the ER and to console the kids in the morning–take them to school, n’ that everything would be OK.

Oh were it that easy. No. For what I saw following the scream, on the floor next to the john, was my husband of almost 18 years, half naked, face down on the tile floor, utterly lifeless, a shade of blue-green,  and covered in sweat. The scariest thing about it was, well the whole goddamn fucking thing was devastating, but his eyes in particular sent shock-waves–eyes wide open with a blank stare, but lights out, literally. I called his name, placed my hand on him, tried to get him up, help him, do anything I could to coax him to respond, but he couldn’t talk. I’ll tell you this, besides the initial scream that had no resemblance to the guy I’ve known most of my life, this was not my husband, this was a person–dying.

(To Be Continued….)

 

 

 

# 11 – Mariah Carey Bipolar…2?

I think everyone hates me. I do. I think you hate me right this very second as you read this…the title even and hell, Mariah Carey’s in it. And how can you hate the women who can make electric garage doors open with high notes so out of universally accepted octave range, even dogs are too unsophisticated to comprehend let alone even hear? Well you can’t. Can’t hate her. But you can hate me. Even if you don’t know me. That’s cause I’m bipolar, too. Or ‘bipolar 2′, the lesser of the two evils but they both suck. People like us, well, I’ll speak for myself here for the most part, but you know I’m right–we think everyone hates us and can’t wait to run screaming down the street naked after an hour in our company. Boy am I wrong about that too, so are you. We are the most entertaining people on the planet, episodes n’ all.

I’m assuming some of Carey’s bizarre performances and diva like demands such as “Can I have some hot tea, my throat hurts,” really threw some people. Not me though, I outted’er a long time ago. In fact, let’s be serious for a second: What truly gifted artist ISN’T bipolar? Too? It comes with genius my friends, so if you’re a sufferer, and no, don’t go all crazy  when I say this cause I’m sure as my rabbits rolling 50 million turds out their little furry butts, being bipolar is not for the feint of heart. It is not. I for one, live with chronic suicidal ideation and used to be an adult cutter, so, you know, I get it. However, I implore you to stop and really get this through your thick bipolar heads: We, you, Maria, Demi, Van Gogh and whoever else who’s been stricken, are pure Genius. Don’t you get it? People like us think differently…and that’s not bad, that’s incredible. We see differently…and that’s insightful. We feel differently…and that can feel so fucking good. Sometimes. Hell, I’ll go on to pontificate that we love, fuck n’ create differently too, and I wouldn’t change a damn thing. Well, other than a med here or there so I don’t get too fat, lose my nice long hair, or kill myself by accident.

However, I get where Maria Carey is coming from when she just recently stated something to the effect of how hard it was to keep her diagnosis hidden for years. A lot of years–that by doing so, she ended up wanting to isolate and cut herself out of everyone’s life so they didn’t have to ultimately deal with her mood swings and erratic perfectionist behavior…or her rather. A human. We are human. That whole ‘burden’ crap mental health sufferers deal with is worse than all my Jewish ancestors n’ their guilt rolled up into a gross jar of Gelilte fish–jus’ sayin’.

Unlike a jar of Gefilte fish, which stinks but probably doesn’t care cause it’s a jar–of Gefilte fish, I feel chronic feelings of guilt and shame and remorse and I routinely apologize for making my friends spend time with me even when they basically force themselves upon me cause I’m supposedly the most real and ray of goddamn light in their lives.  I sure hope my friends aren’t mentally disabled themselves…shit.

It’s the disease we don’t want them to deal with, not us.

Those people in our lives? The good one’s that is? They love us crazy, in an episode, not in an episode…unconditional love baby. But again, I get her, high note hitter, cause I think everyone hates me and I have tons of friends. Go figure. mental health can really be annoying on self esteem sometimes, even if you’re one of the biggest music sensations to ever grace the Grammy’s and have a flashier wardrobe than RuPaul and Miley Cyrus put together.

Mariah, I get you, I’m with you, I hear you, and am so glad you, along with the other brave women and men in media as of late,  that you are being upfront and truthful about what you suffer. It’s not only compassionate, it’s responsible. Thank you for sharing your plight, especially with the one’s still hiding in the shadows of their potential genius.

 

The Cranberries, Jessie’s girl, suicide, and staying here…

 

Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of the Irish 90’s band ‘The Cranberries’, as it points to, took her own life via drug overdose at 46 years young yesterday–46 is young by all current standards, however, when you deal with constant, chronic, debilitating depression/anxiety/bipolar disorder, well, 46 seems a long goddamn time to suffer here on earth. I’m 47, been suffering most of my life, in fact, I don’t remember a time (other than with my kids, they are true life savers) I wasn’t wishing for a quick painless death to end the morbidly invasive thoughts, the constant terror attacks of emotional grief I’ve learned to get used to at this point (if you can’t beat’em, join’em). I navigate it daily. But I don’t want to just ‘navigate’ anymore, I want to thrive, not succumb to this illness, and yes, I, as well as she, as well as all of us, have intense moments of sheer joy and intensely happy times. My kids have given me that. My kids have helped me see beyond myself in many respects, I get to be here to make sure they have the very best life has to offer, and damn it, if they too are inflicted at some point, I’m the North Hollywood, San Fernando valley bitch who will be their biggest advocate and protector.

That’s if this illness doesn’t destroy me first. Shit.

And therein is the problem with it. At least being a writer gives me an outlet, so many have no outlets other than escapist remedies, and trust me, I’ve tried those too.

We have lost some really crazy talented folk in the past year or so–Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, now Dolores O’ Riordan (there’s more, I am not leaving them out on purpose, I’m just so upset I can’t think straight right now…I’m beside myself). And let me divulge what we’ve all learned about these people we’ve come to know but don’t really know; these were highly intelligent and high functioning, cosmically conscious (by reading the quality of their intellect and grace in interviews n’ such) talents who were parents as well as creative visionaries. As I’ve read of one suicide after another, the through line is always the same–their families were the the real reason to keep going, the music second. Being a human first, your work second, seems to be what we are having to learn the hard way.

I’m no celebrity, and that’s troubling in many ways when I disclose my own mental status, us normal folk tend to live in fear of being discriminated against or worse, not believed (I can’t tell you how many people think mental health issues are total bullshit till one of us finally kills ourselves, oops!) for our openness, where someone in the limelight often get’s more vocal and or fan n’ peer support, and that in no way takes away from their suffering one bit. To suffer in public is probably harder than to suffer in front of maybe, like, 10, and I’ve been a performer and such for most my life, but ‘the masses’ I am. Yet, I have an amazing support network, I must establish that–how did I get so lucky to have the friends and family who support me through my mounting turmoil? I’m a lucky one in many respects and I thank god for the people in my life who take the time to nourish me when they got their own shit going on. We all got shit.

The famous folk who have been brave enough to come out with their illnesses have raised awareness for people like me and my emotional kin, and I’m so so so incredibly crushed some had to end up losing their lives in the process. I hate having to post this today, but Dolores O’ Riordan’s death has hit me hard due to the similarities in our personal lives. I felt I had to.

Suicide has a very creepy side effect, and yes, it’s the fact that it’s somewhat contagious. Please take care of each other, please reach out, please support, please be a community who cares and helps out, do favors for each other even if you don’t feel like it, it’s what heals, it helps, It makes a big difference, it really does. You know the saying “together we stand, divided we fall?” It applies to mental health not just the military, so get on board even if your hella’ busy.

As far as I’m concerned, mental illness has never been accepted into the mainstream, cancer has, drug abuse has, shit, almost every ailment gets more do-overs than we do. But that’s the lack of education on the subject–and you can’t look at depression under a microscope as easily as a high white blood cell count, so that’s an issue when getting people to invest in your recovery.  But you know, we are all of you, or more precisely, there’s more of us than you will care to admit. I bet almost every other person you know is hiding their own emotional dysfunction, some better than others, and that boss or boyfriend, or teacher or cop you encounter day in and out, might just be suffering in silence themselves, as in clinically depressed or meets at least one on the myriad of mental health disorders on the deli sized menu. You never know what’s lurking in the hearts, minds, and chemical make-up of someone else, but It’s rampant, that I’m experiencing the more I come out myself as an advocate for mental health.

But I get it, coming clean is fuckin’ scary, it is, n’ I don’t care how accomplished you are, hell, doctors have one of the highest depression rates amongst professionals who suffer–suicide: it’s not just a dentist’s disease you know.

‘Tis a double edged sword to disclose your mental health, you know exactly what I’m talking about too, especially if you love your work but love your kids more. The shunning is real, the not hiring is a dirty little unknown fact, and you know, the not being included sucks all kinds of assholes even if you are more qualified on all other levels than the folk doing the judging.

Sad state of affairs if you ask me, and you can ask me anything and I’ll be honest with you–honest but supportive, supportive but wickedly (humor heals, not just love) funny, and yes, I will always try and get a laugh out of a depressed comrade by any means possible (no PC humor here folks, can’t risk it at this point).

The Funny Shit: it helps me but only after being validated. See how that works? Validation first, comedy second–won’t even secretly judge and laugh at you even if your paranoia convinces you I will. I won’t, believe that. In fact, you just might end up being my goddamn hero. So like, maybe we don’t need to be sneaking around in the bushes n’ under the covers smelling like ‘a bag of armpits’ or like, creepily spying on the neighbors in fear of losing what we have? People who listen and don’t judge you on your mental status like me exist, you just got to find and create your community of go-to’s and not make the mistake of ‘casting pearl before swine‘…that’s super important with this illness (until society catches up and catches on, and they will, it’s coming). So hear this; investing yourself in the wrong people can do more damage than good, so in that case get a life sized Halloween doll (I have a 6 foot 5 pennywise clown) and talk to it if you must or your dogs (that’s if your aloof canine doesn’t get up and leave the room if your anything but super happy,  so yeah,  that can backfire and  make you feel like drinking bleach, so beware with animals, too).

*Choose your audience wisely is what I’m saying. And they’re out there, the earth angels I’ve blogged about the very first time we met, you just have to manifest them and you can. You will.

While I’m on this rant, I’ll go on to say, to remind you or anyone dealing with a loved one who suffers, that it’s not personal when we, they, you, he-she-it, can’t cope and or lash’s out…maybe that’s why we tend to isolate so much, no one wants to dump on a partner all day long, that’s contrary to popular belief, I know, but that’s the truth. We love you too much to want you pulled down into the muck even though your down there with us and can’t figure out how to help.

Here’s the part of the blog where I get more clinical, like science n’ shit, n’ you know, I just don’t want to rant about how shitty this disease is, I want to help find solutions and so do lot’s of people in the medical field, so let’s light a fire under the asses of scientists and get some truly curative treatments on the market. Ketamine is a big start in the right direction, but it’s not an end all be all.

*Note, Depression lies to you. It’s one of the most seductive sexy liars you’ll ever encounter in your whole damn life, no joke. Seriously, it can get you to off yourself, it’s seriously bad news. Don’t believe the lies.

*Depression destroys your faith in not only yourself but in everything you used to love and were once fuckin’ pumped over (but still are, you just are being sabotaged and fooled, don’t believe it, you’re still worthy, you’re still viable, you’re still hot, you’re still better than everyone else…kidding, well sorta..made you go “Ha! Wait, what?” at least).

*Clinical depression on any level will drain your internal resources if you don’t find a way to monitor it and keep it in check…remember (not that you forgot, maybe you never knew?), your brain is as plastic as you keep it, and I’m not talking cheap plastic ‘chachkies’ made in china either, I’m talking physiological ‘plasticity’–the ability to keep the mind pliable and flexible, able to synthesize new information and create new neuro-pathways, the kind that tend to die off with age and chronic trauma. Gotta keep’em working, gotta keep’em growing. (Check out the science on telomere length; BTW, telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes from aging, fascinating in fighting diseases of the mind and body. Hoping to see meds made in hopes of keeping these telomere lengths long and lovely when a cell divides, that instead of dying off due to age and chronic illness.)

*It’s just the same as working out your physical body, your brain needs the same or more as you age, for depression and the other fun AF disorders that co-inside with it, tends to get worse as we trudge on, not better, so get on it A-holes! I am! And trust me, I’m pretty screwed up but still doing A+ work (but at my pace, not your pace, the pace that allows me to not collapse, so know your boundaries, know your rhythm, know what works for you and stick to it), so you can too.

*And let me remind you, if your a sufferer, you must be on your own recovery all the time, never letting up. Just how it’s gonna go, so get used to it and move on.  If you’re not on it every single day,  you can relapse or get worse, even in a remission period, so support yourself through it. Sorry. Sucks, I know. But there is hope, and yes, there is help, and yep, there is healing and you don’t have to become a hot-yoga-sugar-free-vegan to obtain relief.

In ending, I’ll leave you with a piece from an article I just read up on yahoo today in honor of Riordan’s passing.  It’s from the great empathetic mind of someone in the media who seemingly has it all, Rick Springfield. I totally and completely admire both his honesty and talent, Springfield’s unabashed candidness regarding his own brutal suicidal depression and the self loathing, something he’s struggled with all his life, gives me some strange comfort–I’m not alone, no matter how cheesy that may sound. If Rick Springfield can suffer and he’s still here, then there’s hope for me. I don’t know why that makes sense, but it does, so thank you Rick Springfield, you help me every time I read up on you when I’m in the trenches. A reminder to all that mental illness does not discriminate as we’ve learned just today with the sickening loss of Dolores O’ Riordan.

From the yahoo article:

“Springfield described his depression, which he calls “Mr. D,” as something that “you kind of become acclimatized to … almost like a friend.” He added that suicidal thoughts are “part of my makeup.”

‘When you get to the really dark point nothing’s enough’

The father of two said he has always “been very open” with his two children about his depression, saying: “They see the darkness in me.”

He added that while he knows taking his own life would “devastate” his family, in his darkest moments, he isn’t able to think about that.

“You think, ‘They’ll, you know, they’ll get through it.’ And they will, because we’re human beings and we deal with stuff,” he said, adding that during his worst bouts of depression, all he is able to think about is “just getting out.”

But he’s still here, and I believe he will be for a long time due to his commitment to keep awareness at the forefront. Be vigilant people, be supportive, to be available to comfort and listen to each other, and you can always count on me to be some-kind of light for you cause I know you are valuable, and we need you here. Know I will tell myself this same thing 25 more times today, even when I don’t wanna believe it, cause depression lies…lies, not reality, remember that.

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