#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 – 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.

 

# 10 – Depression, Anxiety, and Fitting In

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Short, sweet, n’ meant to rock your fuckin’ socks off, but not to the point you wanna throw down you’re half eaten bagel, the one you didn’t want anyway cause a’ your gluten free diet, n’ use that as an excuse to give up on me–writing about my not-so-normal life.  Or ours. Or us. As in my muse Lisa n’ I–bitch’s colonoscopy deep in this social experiment concoction we got laid out for ya’. All’s you gotta do is read on and reap the turds our amazing grasp of the obvious has exposed. Just like a Seinfeld episode. What? Well, wait a second. It’s tricky, very tricky, n’ I’m gonna try to serve this shit up all Beverly Wilshire Hotel High Tea Time style, but with the jet propelled speed of a fast food Del Taco in Van Nuys. Some of it has to do with one’s own paradigm–you know, you’re own personal values n’ ideals n’ all that nonsense, and or your interpretation of how secularization affects your own experience in this life as well as your mental illness. Kidding, not everyone has a mental illness or a secularization issue. Even if I think you probably do, and should be looking into it. Like now.

What in the? I know, but it’s really interesting community college stuff if you give it a chance. I’m talking total Sociology 101 right up in here. The Micro vs. the Macro kinda text book jargon crap. It’s good crap, no, fuckin’ fantastic, in fact.

OK, look; Macro-sociology basically encompasses a broader view of humans in the social world at large, where my area of interest lies in a micro-sociological approach, where our daily interpersonal interactions with each other and our immediate social environment produces our perspective…of sorts. the social sciences are, for obvious reasons, not so easy to prove with a glass slide, a few drops iodine and a magnifying glass—like frying an egg on a hot sidewalk 1983. Which, if you never got to do cause your childhood was stolen from you, was super fun, kinda scientific, but who really gave a shit but your drunk aunt with all the cats. Well, I do, and so does the new-media world. We are being studied just like a kid watching an egg fry on a blazing hot sidewalk, but shit’s like global now. N’ people care, just like your drunk aunt with the cats.

Did you know there’s sociologists out there right now, watching us, our behavior via online use? And, no dummy–I’m not just encompassing how we’re tracked and categorized by what we buy or look up online…well, partly I am. These social scientists are furiously at work, right now, building character profiles on us more goddamn accurate than a Briggs Myers Personality test. Taken voluntarily! Jus’ saying.

Anyway, fried sidewalk eggs aside, (it is Easter today after all) I’m kind of a traditional sociologist-like minded enthusiast. My ‘Micro’ view of the world in respects to our ( Lisa n’ I) gloriously simple, little social experiment should help prove, in a qualitative AND quantitative way, the impact we have on the social world and how the social world helps shape how we view not only ourselves, but how to become really good master manipulators. Which in essence, just fuckin’ means, our social research will have a real control group and a number of situations that are considered ‘the norm’ in which to produce a theory that doesn’t suck ass.

I’m full on traditional pragmatist right now–as in old school traditional sociologist George Herbert Mead? Remember him? He’s kinda my Freud to a psychology major. N’ I really get off on this guys ‘findings’, no matter how old n’ crusty they are, they make sense, cause I sure as hell don’t half the time. You might wanna light yourself on fire just trying to follow the trajectory of this here entry, it’s kinda like getting a fail in geometry but you fully synthesis quantum physics is what I’m getting at. Or not. I still watch cartoons.

Well, He was a pragmatist…like me. And I know you would never associate someone who suffers such debilitating anxiety, depression and even social fears ( I freaked out at CVS again last week), to be considered a traditional Mead pragmatist. But check it out: a pragmatist basically realizes that nothing is really ‘real’, that it’s not a big giant conspiracy somewhere OUT there in the universe who’s got it in for you. That in essence, our world is created by us…as we stumble, struggle, skip, run or walk through, INSIDE the world, thus our reality is then created. Or basically, it’s just figuring out what the fuck works for us as we interact with people at Target, school, work and in our personal relationships n’ chuck what doesn’t over our shoulder n’ speed off.

But then there’s those damn online, data collecting, social scientists tracking us relentlessly I mentioned earlier….hmmmm.

Anyway. Totally, serious fuckface.  Even if you suffer a mental illness, especially if you suffer a mental illness, taking a micro, pragmatist, sociological view of your world can rally you, you know, taking some fuckin’ pressure off for gods sake–really helps navigate you through a skewed vision of the world and how we, you, she, it and your dog fits in it. It’s helping me out of my usual go-to, as in my suicidal “goodbye cruel world, Christmas is cancelled” depression n’ all. Well actually, Christmas this year is kinda cancelled, but just my big giant party cause I need a whole 24 months to re-coop from last years fucking amaza-balls acoustic music festival, a thousand people invited—Xmas gathering.

We, as mini micro sociologists, yeah, you too, with or without a degree, can easily figure this shit out n’ how to effectively yet efficiently, always an energy saving approach with me, get what we want AND figure out how best to achieve that; using all sorts of our god given, instinctual ‘gut’ tactics. Like, begging, pleading, manipulating, faking, fucking, acting out, projecting, throwing things, you know the usual shit that produces results. No-no, don’t take that seriously, I’m taking the opposite approach, so is Lisa. That sorta bad behavior either get’s you an STD or 86’ed…for life. So let’s find a new approach.

A pragmatist. I like it. A lot.

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(Beautiful Lisa bottom left, Me in her white dress, Dear childhood friend Rachel in middle, Sister Josie above Rachel, sister Kat on far top right, and the lovely MaryJo far upper left above Lisa…phew! – Photo cred: The Talented Toby Fulp, shot on location at EVS studios, Glendale CA)

HERE IT IS FINALLY! THE MOMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! The Social Experiment spearheaded by non other, Lisa–my southern bee charmer (think ‘fried green tomatoes’ here) dearest friend.  Her brilliance never ceases to amaze me, even if she still doesn’t realize it, that she’s got something special. This is one insightful woman.

Here it is, my social mission via Lisa: I’m to dress, look (no make-up, no fancy hair), behave, speak, interact, and or mimic (fake it to ya’ make it) completely normal people, as in NOT trying to stand out and be so well, ME (we are asking ME to take a ‘together we stand, divided we fall’ approach in the city that only promotes individualism by any means possible, n’ yes, that includes hiding my tattoos, tits, cool AF wardrobe as well…boo Lisa). For a whole long day and night, putting as many situations in front of myself as humanly possible to see what happens. I will have assigned interactions to seek out is what I’m saying. And report back. In full detail, but of course.

Why? Why would we do this? Well, Lisa thought it could really help my natural propensity for confrontational interactions and unsolicited painful commentary via ‘those buttholes’ that drains me of my life force on a near constant basis n’ you know what? It’s not even my true nature to be like that! Or reap the fallout from such behavior! It’s fucking imprinting just like a duck the minute it pecks it’s way outta it’s shell and copies the first living thing it sees.

My mother was not the ideal woman to imprint off of, even if it did make for an exceptionally colorful childhood.

Relax, it’s just as an experiment to see ‘what if?’ Not gonna laser my ink off or get a breast reduction or nothin’. Even if this experiment proves such incredible, life-altering insights for me I can hardly stand it. I like my tits and tattoos more.

…Full sociological analysis and ridiculously detailed report of my ‘findings’ to follow once this plan is executed. Yes, I’m talking text book academia shit right here research paper. But that’s when, and IF, I ever put this experiment to the test…

….until then:

Happy Passover, Happy Easter, and Happy Happiness Hunting dear fellow humans!

Xo, Kelly n’ Lisa.

#9 – Bullies, Babes, and Blow

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If one more kid kills him-herself due to near constant bullying with no one putting a fucking stop to it, or a foot in someone’s ass, well, you know, I’m gonna pull a self-BBQ-monk-on-fire move that will surely send a shocking message to the perpetrators, future bullies, their enabler families, and to the schools who really do nothing to stop the sickness. You want action? I’ll give you action. Being an actor/ filmmaker/former bullied victim myself, I’ll do a series of effectively real looking suicide re-enactment videos–like investigation ID or an oldie but a goodie–a pseudo ‘faces of death’ web series, where I come up with all these really creative ways to kill myself on camera (simulation of course, but my disguises will keep’em guessing), while giving full media credit to the bullies who’ve help push victims into early graves. Names, addresses, college applications, will be on full media display for all the world to see…and I know you know that karma cliche’…it really is a bitch. This will be huge, like the fact I’m ‘faking’ killing myself in protest for what these scum sucking rectal warts have done to their victims…’rectal warts’ is what I will now call blatant bullies, just so there’s no confusion over whether this is also an STD PSA blog entry. It’s not. But use protection regardless. Bullies will be publicly outed to no end, talk about wearing ‘A’ scarlet letter. If you have been guilty (and we must make sure no one is falsely accused) of bullying some poor sensitive soul to their self inflicted death, you deserve no sympathy from me…or anyone on Facebook or Instagram…snapchat too.

I wanted to kill myself starting at 12 years old. Needed desperately to get out from under my own systematic bullied existence–there wasn’t a person, place, or thing I didn’t have to scope out first to make sure valley girl terrorists weren’t’ waiting to jump me around every corner. I’m a valley girl by the way, a real one. Born and raised SFV ( like, the San Fernando Valley?) and keep reading to get the full meaning of the enormity of such a statement. What in the hell? Just trust me.

Anyway, by 13, full blown panic and anxiety had set in, accompanied by spells of such paralyzing fear episodes so severe, I’d almost fainted n’ pissed myself a few times. That along with the smorgasbord of nervous tics I’d developed much to my mom’s total irritation. All this shit…just from the thought of having to face bully girls another day.

And even as a fucking smart, evolved and cognitively aware adult women with kids of her own, I still have to watch I don’t attract these energies in some form—it’s the lesson I must learn in this crazy life: to stop being so damn afraid and awarding rectal warts any power whatsoever (loving this rectal wart reference by the way, so glad I came up with it…but also happy I never had one. Eww).

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(my official ‘valley girl’ stomach tattoo next to the panther that watches out for my feminine mystique)

Fer sure. I’m a very loving, compassionate girl, but I’ve been fucked with growing up valley. A lot. And I can name 2 other girls I still totally talk to regularly, that had it way rougher than I by miles in terms of being bullied almost to death. I don’t think anyone realizes what the mean girls were truly like in Tinseltown, 80’s val style. Unless you were here, and no, the San Fernando valley did not invent mean girl bullies, hardly, but we sure helped put it on the map. Having your ass kicked in Jr. High at my school, meant aiming to get punched in the face by knuckles bearing loads of silver rings–you know, just to cut your meal ticket up a bit. Girls putting ‘rings on’ to go kick other girl’s asses…and for no valid reason most the time, not like kinda decent motives such as “Hey, you fucked my dad!” or “You bitch, I can’t believe you fed my dumb canary to my brothers stupid python n’ at my own goddamn birthday party?! I’m kicking your ass!” Now those could be reason to wanna jump someone. Sadly, most of the motivation behind a good ass kicking had nothing to do with fucking peoples dads or killing their birds, it was vapid nonsense like, “Hey geek, you think you can wear a red and gold shirt? Like, wrong. I’m kicking your ass…and I hate you by the way, even though I don’t know you, wait…what’s your name again?.”

N’ check out this forced accomplice shit some had to live with, like me this one time–I got bullied into handing over one of my cheap, Tijuana, 925 stamped silver rings, so one big scary girl we’ll call ‘Katie’, could go kick another big scary girl’s ass we’ll call ‘Alessandra.’ And just so you get the visual–quite a few of these mean girls in 7th and 8th grade looked 35, slutty as all hell, and tough as nails.

Rings…it was a thing.

The fallout from such bully type violence via a not-so-accurately-portrayed-in-pop-culture 80’s valley girl, rectal wart scenario (yeah, don’t know if that worked either), could translate negatively in one’s future interpersonal relationships if not handled with intense therapy early on; and even then, pure hell awaited you for the most part.

Bullying: Electric chair worthy offense.

I suggest if you have kids, girls especially, watch for it like crazy without being crazy. It can kill, it has, and it is. So just stop it.

My own torment went as planned as far as having abnormal interactions with loved and non loved ones, especially the men in my life. And with myself of course, but the romantic relationships seemed to suffer far worse than my love and trust of female friends, aside from obsessive clingyness, super panicky n’ controlling behavior, n’ being over-the-top demanding of a friend’s allegiance to me. That was unfortunate, but I was under 18 when it was really obnoxious, and shit gets sealed when your under 18. I’m in the clear with girls by now. Still needy AF, though.

Didn’t fair so well with guys, however, negative patterns repeated themselves into my 30’s and even now into my 40s. But on a much milder scale since I’m considered a Jurassic fossil by LA standards n’ I’m pretty self-realized at this point. But It went badly for a long time, and I put myself and my family through gangs of worry, cause for me, a romantic relationship just didn’t sit right without near constant physical, sexual and emotionally threatening behavior. And not every boyfriend, but most. I’ve since corrected this negative pattern, at present, my primary source of interpersonal male to female issues lies mostly in my struggle with being invisible, or like, monumentally blown off. N’ that blows–as had been done to far too many who didn’t deserve one of my specialties. Kidding. But only about the amount, it was low, so don’t freak out. And no, not every guy treated me like a pile of dead ants, but more than I care to admit. It WAS a problem, and one hundred percent my fault for allowing it. And the blowjobs.

However, I’m happy to report things have absolutely gone up hill since those days, like, phew! Was really worried for a while there, too. All up hill as far as my blurry, 40 something eyes can squint. Up. Hill.  And I’m feeling excellent about where I’m at with the guys in my life! Oh yeah, I got guy’s in my life, I need men as friends regardless of what Harry says, he’s wrong. I like ex-boyfriends too, now that’s a real special bond where you can feel close enough to disclose your feelings and not censor yourself. I hate censorship. Way too intense for that boring pastime. And yes they’re JUST friends, the guys in my sphere, but it’s different than what I have with girlfriends. My girlfriends are my heart and soul and support system we women can never get from the opposite sex, but my dudes are my protectors, counter-point partners, and ego boosters when I need. It’s just a different vibration. Nothing wrong with vibrating.

And in terms of my marriage n’ stuff, well, no physical or emotional berating in any way shape or form, put that crap where it belonged, in a dingy n’ let it set sail in a Venice beach harbor jetty. I like Venice, it’s a freaky place, like my mind.

Now I only struggle with being totally invisible. Said that earlier. It’s really annoying having to remind my husband I’m still around, like in the house next to him? He’s just super independent and I totally respect that, I mean being needed is so overrated.

But it’s lookin’ good, I’m feeling it, I really am. I am…love is a hard one though, for all of us…just go to the movies or pick up a Nicholas Sparks or John Green novel. I have only fallen for people who don’t love me back for most of my existence, the way I love them that is, and or want to be loved. And that’s my cross to bear in this life. And of course, so is this whole self love, acceptance, respect, basic hygiene when depressed, feeding myself correctly and staying off of drugs, thing.

And that’s a lesson right there.

I really don’t want to love anyone too much ever again either, just my kids. They can’t, well, they can, of course they can, destroy you, but it’s a different pain…they can’t hurt you the way the outside can and I’m not explaining myself correctly, but that’s the rub right? “Being born naked in a sandpaper world.” When you suffer depression and anxiety and feel things so so deeply it cuts you–you cut you.

I’d kill to be a sociopath, it’s really the way to go. And I’m working on it. Feeling anything is just dumb, or like my favorite quote “like watching a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.” Which yes, is funny as fuck and a real crowd pleaser, but also sad, pathetic, and totally irrelevant.

People will always disappoint you, and it’s not their fault, it’s yours for putting such emphasis outside yourself–and that’s even if these people have the best intentions. Probably why I collect animals, like my useless rabbits, nothing bad can come out of a conversation with a rabbit. Look, we are all doing the best we can, life IS hard, but beautiful too, so go smell the roses or someone’s panties. I do.

But fuck it, not everyone can be as intuitive and observant as I–n’ I feel really bad for the out-of-touch, I really do…a shame they’re way more successful in life than me. Hmmmm. Whatever. I’m gettin’ that ‘sandpaper’ quote tattooed on my arm next. Real good idea…Walk around pointing to it when I see a potential emotional ninja karate chopping his-her way towards me. Smart move and super obvious. I love the obvious, I’ve told you. I think? I dunno, my brain is having weird sexual exploitation fantasies as I type this, so I’m kinda distracted. Boy, that sociopath thing is sounding fuckin’ money right now.

Let’s push on. It got weird.

At least I’m no longer being actively bullied…only by my kids of course, but that’s this whole ‘non spanking’ generational thing. Not that I ever did spank, in fact, I can’t punish or ground for shit, my kids just laugh at me if I try to take things away too, like if they fail a bunch of classes or get caught ditching or take the car without a license or permission.   Pretty much get told to go fuck myself without actually being told, “Hey mom, go fuck yourself.” It’s an issue.

However, my children are just the two best, most genuinely kind, ridiculously gifted, and yes, beautiful to a fault, funny, and caring little rays of universal light I’ve ever met, and or created, I did something right…you bet. Oh, and of course these two are well aware the effects bullying has had on their mom, her friends, and people in their own lives–they’ve been taught to stand up and fight for the vulnerable. My daughter actually has had a bully target on her back for a quite some time, n’ I hate it for her. Well she did, the bully bullseye on her back, we’ve had to work on it, and she’s dealt with depression and low self esteem due to it’s evilness. She’s come out the other side thankfully. But you have no idea how hard it’s been to restrain myself from the one’s who’ve gone after her. Good God, it’s been a challenge.

She’s incredibly more compassionate now for the experience on one hand, my kid, she really is. I mean this girl’s just the loveliest teen human I’ve ever met, and being a singer/songwriter, her lyrics cover this pain and suffering and overcoming the darkness with such depth and soul and vocal, guitar and phrasing chops, well you’ll be seeing her around soon enough. She’s just the best…when she’s not being super moody…

Most real bullies don’t take responsibility for the sorrow they sew, it’s a narcissistic approach, ends up somehow being justified by ‘their own pain’. And this is painful to think critically about, you know? Some pretty bad shit went down in the homes of bullies we grew up with, still doesn’t get them off the hook, however.

Whatever. I love saying ‘whatever’ even when it’s not warranted and makes absolutely no sense. Who cares? I do…I think. I’d make a great addition to the ‘upside down’ at this point. Thank god for shows like ‘Stranger Things’ where being a misfit is total money.  I accept being a misfit. I am a misfit. I’m a totally bad ass looking misfit at this juncture, and that’s no accident. Like my look n’ stuff, I mean. I’m a punk at heart, cause I love punk rock, but my tattoos, arched eyebrows, penetrating stare, big boobs, deep voice and no nonsense attitude are my amour, I mean armor. And don’t like, go blabbing about it now, either. But it’s all surface, my tough girl act. I’m as sensitive and sweetly natured as a fruit roll.

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(Giving credit to this amazing “Snow white lines” EP…to whoever. #CreativeGoals)

Growing up can really blow...Just like my mom’s old Malibu cocaine dealer with a really funny name I can’t remember. My sister and I went with her this one time–and man, you wouldn’t believe this super bitchen beach house this bizarrely small man with the funny name I can’t remember, lived in. So she could party. Cause she was sad. Funny thing was, this really ‘small’ big-ass dealer, used to double as a Beverly Hills hair dresser. N’ that wasn’t uncommon in Los Angeles in those days. In fact, who else could get away undetected as easily as someone who had droves of legit clients coming and going all  day long? A Beverly Hills hairdresser, that’s who.

Yeah, so my little sister and I go with mom to buy blow from the scary small, hair dressing cocaine dealer, and they do a bunch of lines together, mom and the drug midget. I did some homework. Then my sister, who was like, oh I dunno, 10 at the time, gets all philosophical (if that’s even possible for a 10 yr old), and starts freaking out on our mother, that mom doesn’t love her anymore. It was our mother’s fault, not my sister’s, mother always took sides…anyway, the argument went from, “you like Kelly better than me don’t you?” to “You do, just admit it, she’s your favorite!” to “You LOVE Kelly more???!!!???” And mom being so goddamn high, was kinda like, “Well, yeah.”

Holy fuckin’ shit-balls. Let’s just say, even the drug dealer couldn’t deal anymore, made a peanut butter sandwich and went to bed. Very strange 80’s night. A school night no less.

Back to bully’s.

And I’m gonna go out on a limb and say something even more shocking about bullying: I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’re a bully who’s only repeating the cycle of violence you as a child experienced yourself—not an excuse, assholes. Too many resources available for you online, free counseling n’ crisis centers n’ shit, medications, support groups, schools who DO care, and outreach programs, only a click or iPhone call or text away. You got too many things available to you if you feel compelled to harm someone, destroy their self worth and personal security, and unless you are seriously diagnosed with a pathology as in a personality disorder, where you actually do not know right from wrong, well…that still doesn’t get you off the hook, fuckface. So from me to to you, all the bullies out there, from a victim of chronic non stop harassment as a kid herself, this valley-punk-new wave-girl has a message for ya’: “fuck you, fer sure, like totally.”

 

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(Keep reading for the source of my “fuck you like totally” reference as well. You’ll get a bang outta it if you’re over 40, or a cool edgy teen like my insanely talented singer/songwriter musician daughter.)

The 80’s…The ‘Me’ Generation

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(Me on the left, a cutie I have on my Insta in middle, and my BFF, Paula, still is, on Right)

The San Fernando Valley in the 80’s…the most gloriously kick-ass-bitchen-rad-tubular-like ohmigawd! Place to grow up… but treacherous as fuck emotionally. The tie in to my opening monologue is this: an egregiously bulled kid in the 80’s (regardless of any decade actually) becomes 1 of 2 things as they develop…or at least 7 or 8 in a mosh pit of all things once good now fucked. These include: Being hyper sensitive, neurotic, depressed, antisocial, obnoxious, galacticly aware of other’s feelings, suicidal, homicidal, a cutter, a drug addict, socially retarded, painfully afraid, (which could equal unparalleled paranoia) ‘tic’ inclined, a chronic masturbator (self soothing technique), and most importantly–breathtakingly compassionate, which is a good thing, or a BULLY THEMSELVES—perpetuating the psychological theory that the abused go on to be a abusers themselves…big one’s.

I’m a kid of the LA valley girl/new wave/punk scene circa 1980, so I know what the hell I’m talking about—Even if that sounds somewhat counter-intuitive—albeit—stupid even. You hear valley girl, you either think the movie Valley Girl, as in Randy (Nicholas Cage) and Julie (Deborah Foreman) as totally star crossed lovers caught between one’s dedication to the Hollywood punk rock scene (Randy) and the other’s Sherman oaks galleria shopping up a shit-storm bad habit (Julie)—or the pop culture hit song ‘Valley Girl’ by Moon Unit Zappa and satirical rock star dad Frank. Look, what I’m saying is, I was totally fucking obsessed with both the song and the movie, I mean, a cross section of us all kinda talked like An-dre-ah Wilson, the central Encino val from the track Moon so perfectly roasted (with emphasis on certain syllables to give a generic name like ‘Andrea’ an exotic new sound). I’m telling you, this song was such a hit with us girls at Walter Reed Jr. High in Studio City—I even stole the best lines from the song n’ ran around telling everyone to “bag their face’s” n’ tried to claim the phrase as totally mine first. I was kinda an idiot.

And c’mon?! As far as the goddamn movie? Valley Girl?—I mean, Who the hell didn’t wanna bang a hot punker guy like Randy from Hollywood High—all too edgy n’ ready ta’ roll a lusty “fuck you,” no respectable val girl would utter let alone give a handy to.

The flick was way bitchen n’ super rad but totally unrealistic. Every val bird I ever shot a sideways, wet’n’ wild, turquoise eye-shadowed glance at, cussed so epidemically, me included, like, we all could of mass produced giant dicks out our dirty mouths; just like Orks born of shit-pits in Mordor.

Ok, bad Lord of the rings analogy aside, we as Hollywood and not so Hollywood kids, had to face some facts in all reality…like, this is ‘real time with Kelly Walsh’ right now—Randy stood for what any girl would want; an anti-hero of cataclysmic authenticity, rocking no hang ups in his spellbinding confession of heartbreak n’ love. This of course was due to Julie turning her ‘Contempo Casuals’ back on him, as he wails painfully to the effect of: “I fucking love you Julie!!! Get it?! It’s your fuckin’ friends, isn’t it? You’re choosing your valley friends over loving me, aren’t’ you? Fuck Julie!”….She says nothing, but you can see the pain etched on her super squeaky clean valley girl face. Yes. It’s true–she loves Randy, goddammit she does, but the valley is just too totally rad to leave behind. Of course I’m gettin’ to the best line ever written in cinematic history, and it comes straight from the punkers mouth as he realizes valley girl Julie ain’t budging on true love over popped Izod collars: As Randy turns in his creepers (or some punk rock kick) to leave, he stops himself, turns back, and yells amazingly  ‘So fuck you, fer sure, like totally.” Never a better line written.

Alas, This movie got so much wrong, but the through line proves sustainable: you can’t choose who you are going to fall in love with—unless they have a bad blond bowl haircut like Tommy, the dorky val dude Julie chose over Randy, and or they say things like, “ She’s totally freaking out, what other val dude can touch me?”

Christ, Nothing like Randy and Julie from ‘Valley girl’ the movie ever happened to this valley girl in real life and I’m the real deal. Well was. Got no action in Hollywood or pacoima or any fuckin’ place–my love life was a total bust. Only thing I could ever hang my Micky Mouse ears on, was constant, non stop, kick your ass bulling wherever I went. Kinda kills the mood for romance anyway, so maybe not having a guy wanna finger me wasn’t so bad. But don’t get me wrong, I lusted so hard after so many guys, well, I’m not gonna disclose too much about my time alone in the bathtub with the hot facet water, but when I start releasing pages here and there from my semi-autobiographical coming of age 80’s novel, you’ll get so much straight forward, uncensored sex stuff your head will fall off.

So fer sure, I gave up on myself early on as far as sex or like, even a ‘hello’ from a dude —n’ I got used to the notion that due to the bullying and mean girl culture I grew up in, where the more physically violent a chick was, the more kinda popular she’d be; that growing up “valley” was totally awesome, but polymorphously dangerous, too.

…I get asked all these really goofy mystical questions with such awe n’ wonderment, you know, like what it was like being an LA native n’ stuff? I even kinda have an attitude about it, I need to get over it too, I got nothing to be all uppity about. It’s funny for me, though. I get, “What was life really like in Los Angeles California…Hollywood!?” That’s a geeky one. Foreigners from like, Texas or Florida, east coast imports as well, ask me this shit all the time. Hilarious. It’s such a weird question too, I don’t know any other life, do you? I mean, from wherever you hail from, your upbringing was your upbringing even if it was hillbillies n’ moonshine like people from Texas. Face it, everyone in LA, not originally born here, is looking for fame and fortune in entertainment in some fashion, n’ it’s a big deal to be originated from such a star studded place. I get it. We are a town of permanent out-of-towners.

My dad was kinda famous. Don’t know if you knew that. Still is. He’s a cult movie icon in many respects n’ I just love the shit outta it. That was fun growing up, but non of the teen mean girls who’d promised to have a couple of guys follow me home, then rape me, got the memo, so that didn’t matter non.

He wrote and produced this cult classic, Robert Altman directed film called “California Split” starring Elliott Gould, George Segal. Great iconic talents lending themselves and their expertise to such an awesomely written and directed piece of film-making magic. Real film-making, when story and character development meant something, not just quick edits, super hero nonsense, CGI and explosions.

Dad did good.

But our car still got repo’d in the middle of the night, mid 80’s style. So that kinda sucked. My mom even chased our leased brown and tan monte-carlo down the street at 4 o’ clock in the morning, screaming ‘YOU MOTHERFUCKER!’ at the top of her lungs in her underwear. Scared the shit outta the whole North Hollywood neighborhood. Man, That was a scene and a half, so was the next day when we actually went to collect the car back from the repo lot, and mom sucker punched the bag-man in the stomach bringing the jack-off to his knees. Those were good times, I really miss that wonderfully goofy gal.

She died 9 years ago, my mom…n’ I’m still here…and that’s a good thing. Still totally n’ fer surely fucked up over it, though. And that’s the rub.

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(Me, on left, again, as I morphed into my New Wave phase…and yes, that’s Hesher chick in middle)

Dedicated to 12 yr old Gabbie Green, who recently took her own life via hanging at the hands of ‘schoolyard’ bullies, as well as their new cowardly medium: Cyber-bullying. I Dedicate this blog to all children who have fallen victim to this cancer, in fact

#8 – F.U. To Chronic Fear, Mom & The Woman’s Movement, and My Sexy Story

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BEING SCARED TO DEATH AND DOIN’ IT ANYWAY

This blog is absolutely, one hundred and ninety-two percent, (I’m totally serious right now, too–really, what else do I have to lose but everything?) going to cover the items listed in it’s irritatingly long title, but first, I must get a few things out of the way, on a most dire issue, one that is a through-line for everything else to be covered here in this blog. Fear. Yep. Chronic, debilitating paralyzing fear. It must be dealt with head on. I’m just one of the many who’ve made the “I’m scared sh*tless, but doin’ it anyway” base-jump without a parachute. I’m looking fear in the eye and not only squaring things up with whatever ails me, which is a lot, got lots of fear, but my biggest fear is fear of what other people think of me…especially upon sharing my mental health struggles with the world. And you know? What I deal with sucks, but it’s not that big a deal guys, people suffer all over the place from things you never heard of, so let’s just drop our preconceived, Mesozoic era notions, grow up, get healthy, reinvest in our minds, be there for others, kick fear in the head, n’ you know, like move on already. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Or maybe you have, I just like the foreboding sound of that.

So yeah, back to fear. Oh goody. Fear stops us all, some more than others n’ if you’re one of the brave game changers sick of sitting in silence in fear’s dungeon-like waiting room, well my hats off (not clothes) to you. It’s a bad room, the fear-purgatory vault, very ugly, no HGTV show could spiff up this fakakta place, we just gotta accept it’s there, move bravely through and out to we find another room…one with a view (another fav flick).

I’m, as well as so many, checkin’ out being courageous, yes courageousness (not the Indiana Jones or Tomb Raider kind, the real life living kind–way scarier and more treacherous by far), this ain’t easy ya’ know–to put yourself out there, knowing you will be judged by all, mainly the ‘educated’ folk who seem to continuously prove they know far less than the ‘ignorance is bliss’ group. The ignorance crew just doesn’t expect too much from anyone or anything I’ve come to notice, they kinda take you for what you are and don’t over think. Very interesting. However, do not misconstrue me; I prefer education, in fact everyone needs a college degree, even if your 98 years old, willing, wanting and able, go back to school by all means! But don’t emulate the peeps who believe being well read, traveled, educated, and accomplished gives them carte blanche insight into your plight. No one can be you. No one can live your life. No one can see through your exact lens. Yet we all suffer fear, and I find the most fearful are always the most critical and hyper actively eager to scare the pants off you, so watch for these emotional vampires (and yes I have compassion for them too, they’re frightened AF).

So, it’s not for everyone, going ‘public or ‘vocal’ with whatever has gotten out of control in life, or scares you…but it’s important, vital even–without those who are vocal, change would not occur, and no change = no growth = no growth = stagnation, and that equals more fear and subjugation of all, and that dear readers = the decline of the western civilization (and no, I’m not referring to the totally bitchen 80’s documentary on the early punk scene). Again, don’t fear me or what my message is here–not everyone who’s ever suffered with any kind of ailment, situation, victimization, discrimination, has to go public with it or write about it, or handle it the way I (not famous) or others (famous) are, however, with that said, for your own sanity (I use sanity here, for my vocal topic is high functioning Depression and all it’s fun friends) you must do something for your own well being in your own way. Baby steps are always a good place to start, no one’s asking you to run naked down the street screaming “I’m scared to death and not gonna take it anymore!” Well not yet anyway.

 

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(mom 3rd from left, Liz Taylor look a like)

MOM & THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT

The women’s movement of today has at last given me a glimpse of what the women’s movement of the 60’ and 70’s was about, only now I get the concepts, then it was all style over substance really—being a roughly 7 or 8 year old dyslexic west coast introvert, I synthesized most my info via a furiously divorced mother on the run from her old, out of control life in LA, to the age of non acquiescence in central park. And yes, it made me a nervous wreck. Being a staunchly easy going (lazy), dreamy (weird) California kid where dad was always the fun, patient (just the best dad you could ask for) guy with trips to Disneyland and Busch Gardens (yes, Anheiser Beer had its very own kids amusement park, with rides, in the San Fernando Valley) n’ who flirted with the idea life on a ranch someday would be ours, well man, leaving Los Angeles was a hard sell for a too fast paced, dirty transit, and verbally angry city. New York: I hated it the moment I crossed one of those big fancy bridges (despite the majestic ‘light-bright’ skyline). Plus, the whole thing was set up for failure from the start–our east side apartment (I’d only lived in a house) wouldn’t consider my 13 California cats (we were allowed a fish) suitable housemates.

New York in 1977,  Mom was all up in it. The ex-Broadway showgirl was east coast thru and thru, swore up n’ down she’d channel her hostile energy back in a place that really embraced such female tenacity (toughness) instead of being offended by her strong opinions (LA thought she was a total bitch). I knew she was furious over the gender disparity in Hollywood being a beautiful actress n’ having to put up with creepy producers n’ stuff, but I still didn’t know why the words ‘male chauvinist pig’ came up so often.

Anyway, as far as feminism went, going to New York to explore it’s non legal, women’s lib jurisprudence, was total money as far as mom was concerned–I just had to synthesize my new surroundings which consisted primarily of groups of semi outraged (but super smart) ladies astride crocheted blankets, in a dog dung infested park packed to the gills with steel drums, plumes of reefer, n’ droves of tanners with their weird silver reflector thingies propped under chins in hopes of perfecting the perfect George Hamilton bronze. New York, at that time in my young life, just traumatized the damn pants off me.

So, the revolution as far as I could tell, was really the stripping away of this vacuous female existence, for mom anyway–where being a valley housewife, ‘was supposed to be’ the greatest thing ever—where living only for your man and kids and the perfect (food pyramid) meal was reason to got to ‘Farrel’s Ice Cream Parlor’ and get a banana split cauldron brought to you on a stretcher.  Lest not forget, if you were fortunate or unfortunate to work (mom was still an actress but had dumb little day jobs here and there…”dumb” is a very big word with me in this blog, jus’ is), the ol’ boss chasing the sexy secretary around the desk was not only acceptable, but expected (she ended up marrying one of her dumb part-time bosses actually), n’ depending on what the ol’ guy looked like, that could be either really really good or really really…well, my step dad wasn’t too bad–till he ended up moving out and selling our house years later while I was away for the weekend. Not bitter at all though.

 

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  (mom and Sammy Davis Jr. NO, he never harassed her, it’s just a cool shot)

…n’ this whole sexual harassment Harvey Weinstein fiasco has me in a terrible mood too, just the whole ugliness of what’s gone down, the women who’ve been preyed upon, the old school dudes who thought this type of behavior was just the nature of the Hollywood environment (or perks). I don’t even wanna talk about it, though it needs to be—it’s just so ugly, all of it. I don’t like thinking that people can be as genuinely creepy as their behavior has dictated here, that so much of the ol’ starlet chasing was from an age long ago (like in one of my fav films, I have a few, LA Confidential), and of course, some behaviors infinitely more disturbing than others.

However, we have to be vigilant that in our present quest to level the field and implement true equality, the lines don’t get blurred somehow. The hope, of course, is to make the lines of conduct ‘crystal clear’ and to protect people from basic human affronts, which sexual harassment clearly is. When is normal male to female behavior acceptable and not deemed harassment? Will we all be suspicious of any and all workplace interactions from here on out? I’m already super paranoid, but awesomely easy going as well…talk about an oxymoron. Will all this ‘fallout’ institute a culture where we walk around putting each other “on notice” all day long? I don’t know the answer, maybe yes? No? Not the point? I’m just throwing it out there–yes, I want equal treatment and to feel safe and free from sexual favors for jobs (no duh), but to also NOT live in a fishbowl where one can’t meet someone special at work, maybe fall in love (mutual of course, the unrequited kind sucks), flirt or joke around (innocently, unless you truly do fall in love and run away together, again, mutually, otherwise that would constitute kidnapping), and it not be considered harassment. And I’m married! Maybe we do need to redefine how we relate to one another, that’s evolution in essence. So, yeah, guess I just answered my own question: All gender roles and interactions have to be re-evaluated, re-defined, and then posted on a job site wall just like OSHA does in a factory or something. Oy. Vey.

IMG_5048MY SEXY STORY

I worked as an actress for roughly 12 years, and even though I’d been through your basic run of the mill creep here and there, it wasn’t anything the likes some of these brave women in Media (the brave women not in the media as well), have shared with the world in just the past 12 months. I’d always been kind of proud I’d ‘dodged the bullet’ so to speak, that ol’ grody, $400, diarrhea brown, Jennifer Convertibles, crap leather couch. The casting couch. Originally, I was under the impression the casting couch was a term long buried like the golden age of Hollywood, the one that Marylin Monroe and her sisters alike had to navigate in order to nab a chance at stardom, yeah that couch. The couch she was once quoted to “never have to suck another c—k on again.” A Bed in $10 dollar a night hotel has less mileage than a starlet sofa in 1950.

Okay, the good stuff…you ready for my little story? Onto my nothin’ compared to what we’ve heard from the big names lately audition, where sexual harassment played a part (kinda a funny one), so hold on, the nerve of this jack-ass will ire you or make you laugh, both maybe? But trust me, the spirit behind any sort of harassment to subjugate anyone based on gender is disgraceful and unfunny, so please don’t take my comedic-ness as anything other than me being funny cause I’m depressed so much (anxiety too) I need to lighten it up a bit more.

I’m 22 at the time, ready to “role” (get it), new to professional auditioning, however, I really wasn’t ready; I felt this creepy pressure in the form of “It’s a young beautiful business for, well, the young and beautiful, so you better hit it while young (over 25 too old if not established) or never get in, “never-ever-never-ever…never”. See, spent so many years in theater school getting sorta well, fat, but highly skilled (OK, thick, n’ good enough for a KCET public access show, but who cared about that), working on stage plays having nothing to do with the real world of acting in terms of a film/TV career. I spent years getting thoroughly unprepared, misguided, not to mention emotionally abused, before we were ever to be turned out…burned out.

So I quit theater school with one semester left (after completing what seemed to be fifty million) and hit the pavement. It was a good thing I didn’t have to go too far (traveling made me kinda nervous), I’d lived in North Hollywood most all my life, so my dreams awaited me right over Laurel Canyon.

Found an agent, got silly lookin’ headshots literally the next day, scored two good audition outfits at Marshals (sexy comedy girl, and sexy-model-ninja-assassin-serious…girl) n’ I get this super low-low-low, as in 50 bucks for a 16 hour day (plus a free subway sandwich), not to mention a shoot location almost two hours one way in the middle of nowhere, audition. And a bikini would be required but not provided, for the job…if I booked it. First ever professional theatrical audition.

I was soon deflated. At least the audition itself wasn’t halfway to Fresno, it had the good sense to be right in the heart of things, Sunset blvd. But not the part of Sunset you might of imagined, this was Sunset west of Hollywood High, in a borrowed, broken down insurance office next to a bail-bonds place and by an hourly rate hooker hotel.

Good news was?

It was also across the street from the ‘Rock n’ Roll ‘Ralph’s.’ You know, Ralph’s supermarket! The one on Sunset was super famous for it’s rock-star subculture who frequented the place, n’ If I was lucky, I could have a kick butt audition (one hopefully I did not book cause of the pay, drive, sandwich and dreaded bikini), then run into Guns’ n’ Roses at Ralph’s while buying a post audition Pepsi.  I was pumped.

“Everyone starts somewhere…n’ why does this entry way smell like hobo piss?” I told myself as I climbed the super 70’s rock-wall staircase of the split pea colored ‘tear down’ office building. If the beginning of the joint was that rank, I couldn’t imagine how much worse the rest of it would go. I sure hoped I didn’t have to go the bathroom, a heroin shooting gallery was way more than I could of handled. So you know, Environments really take a toll on me for some reason, it’s kind of a bummer.

Whatever the pee building smelled like, or the potential heroin den I encountered in the john, I had to keep my head on straight; this audition experience was crucial to my development as a professional young actress.

Got to the office suite, opened the crap door with the half rusted off handle, hoping to see other actresses excitedly awaiting their turn to shine or at least talking smack about each other, n’ to my horror, I was all by myself. No receptionist, no one prettier nor uglier, no one to see myself in, no one to commiserate with. What had my brand new C- level agent sent me on?

After 20 minutes of nothing, as in waiting and no one coming out to talk to me, just me by myself hanging out with the not-so muffled sound of Eastern European type yelling coming from behind the audition door (think Tommy Wiseau), some old familiar depressive symptoms started to creep back in: you know, like my self worth issues, deep feelings of lack, no reason to live…that type of stuff. I finally had to get tough, all tough love, like put an immediate stop to the pity party, and you know, bucked up.

Went back to concentrating on the work, which was a good thing. But then made a very bad mistake– checking my reflection in the half melted, heavily warped, buck fifty full length mirror on the wall of this piss flavored insurance/casting suite.

Kelly Simon gun-196“Oh. My. God. What in the HELL?! My dress! No, ME! It—I, well, did we look THIS bad at home?! Was I blind an hour and a half ago or what?!”

 The image being projected back to me caused insta-panick-naseauam and a horrendous cold sweat to suddenly break, and to make it all the worse, my puffy bangs started to frizz from my own humidity.

“Stop it Kelly, you’re going crazy, jus’ crazy…calm down, you have to. I mean, this is a dumb job you don’t even want and I’m no dummy.” And that worked if you can believe it. I’m actually a really effective self talker when I need to be.

Four minutes later I was feeling infinitely better about myself–I’d done a quick method acting dynamic relaxation, got outta my own way, remembered the ‘soul contract’ talk I’d recently had with my friend Paula (we’d been, still are, talking about this topic for years) about people and situations being consistently offered up in our lives in an effort to teach us lessons not previously learned in prior incarnations (I know, you can exclude that part if you want), and you know, I was ready. I was good.

Bravely ready to re-fresh in the fun house mirror, again. So, I teased out my hair even more to counter the new frizz, which was already David Lee Roth to begin with, n’ my new perspective had me even looking not so bad. I actually kinda liked what I saw, I saw Kelly.

Did some positive mantras, more dynamic self talk to my reflection, or like, lied to it effectively enough, n’ got real focused. “Slow deep breath in for 8, hold for 8, exhale for 8.”

Then BAM!

“YES!! HELLO MISSES! COME EEN! YOU READ NOW, RIGHT? THIS EESE YOU?” The highly unattractive-medium-plump casting /producer/writer/editor n’ kraft service guy boomed. I almost fell out of my white pumps he startled me so bad. Plus he had on some kind of Barry Manilow get-up that jarred my senses even further.

“Oh me? Uhhh, yeah,… No, yes! Totally. It’s me, I’m her, Kelly I mean…oh my god, I’m sorry, such a spaz… I’m ready, yes.” I cheerfully answered him followed with another overzealous gesture, my hand to shake. Ugh, dude—you never shake these people’s hands by the way, they’re all afraid to get sick n’ usually get super mad if you put them in such a situation. He didn’t seem to notice though, just turned and basically ran back into his office and left me to follow.

Once inside, he pointed then grumbled something rude having to do with me standing on the blue tape on the ground. To my horror, once again, it was in front of another image reflecting device, only this form came in an effortlessly cheap looking camcorder.

“Ok misses, you any questions? NO? good…Yes, yes, say you name, you agency, homes phone numbers, you age, the height, the weight, OK?” He hammered into me while I adjusted my tight, spandex, chocolate brown rocker dress.

“Wait, my home number?” I sheepishly asked. “My agents info is right there on–.”

He hated that. Started to freak out like a crack-head with no crack, “I CALL YOU ON WEEKEND WITH NOTES! YES?! NOTES IF I WAAAANNNT YOU BAAAACK–OK?! Now let’s go.” He barked and turned on the camera than took a seat at his dumb looking desk.

“Oh…Ok, I guess, sure.” I whispered looking around the gross office with the hundreds of headshots depicting hot girls in bikinis and cervix exposing cocktail dresses pinned to walls and all over the place—models, all models, not actresses. I started to worry.

I think he picked up on my sudden heart-failure, for he stopped the yelling game n’ instead opted for an overly condescending sing-song’y thing, “Come-out-come-out- wherever-you’s-are’s…let’s be ready little girl, no?” He sang, badly.

Of course I couldn’t believe my ears, or eyes for that matter, but I had to do this, I couldn’t get dropped by my C level agent after my first bad audition. Talk about disastrous for my already teetering self esteem problem.

“Yes, you want me to read directly to camera or with you?” The question outraged the beans outta him, again, I mean, I’d never ever read on tape at that point, what the hell did I know? He started to berate me in broken English.

“OK, OK, I’ll read right to you, I’m soooo sorry– kinda new at this? like the tape recorder n’ stuff…sorry.” I trailed off as embarrassed as I could possibly be.

I was asked to slate my name and do a whole little twirly thing for the camera, you know ‘my profiles’ and before I could even complete one full turn he went right into the first line. And then it was over. Super Fast, just like the 3 guys I dated in theater school. What an incredibly unfulfilled feeling too, but I dared not ask to read again. That was another ‘no, no’ in the acting world (even at the D list level), thankfully I knew that.

He fussed around his desk for a minute, wrote some scribble on my headshot and didn’t look up for a quite sometime it seemed. So I thanked him, and turned to leave.

But he caught me off guard with a total attitude change and called out to me to come back.

A surprisingly patient hand waved me over–his head gently shaking with a chuckle from side to side. What was this new found jovial-ness? He was suddenly pleasant as a litter of purring kittens. “Come, come…please, to come here.”

He sensed my uneasiness (good thing too, I was ready to bolt), broke into another big warm smile (I decided to stay) and told me not to worry, just to come to the side of his desk.

“Come, come….” He said purring.

My mind was a blank. Go over to’em, why? I fretted without looking directly in his eyes but just between’em.

His body language indicated he wasn’t gonna wig out or nothing, so I acquiesced– uncomfortably smiled back at him even, n’ I mean, he just sat so damn calmly at his dumb looking desk with it’s fifty thousand water cup stains and bikini model headshots.

And I slowly strode up to the side of the desk, arms wrapped self consciously over my ample boobs, n’ planted myself right where he nodded for me to go then stopped. Yep, my pelvis was fully facing this man who just held my gaze. And he started to laugh, a lot.

What in the hell’s so funny? I mean, did I have a massive booger hanging out my nose? Pepper in my teeth? Was this the moment he was finally gonna fill me in on it? Things really weren’t that hysterical between us from the start, so this was just weird.

“Wow, something’s funny, hope it’s not me.” I said or something like it.

And like it always does in situations regarding this industry, the energy changed as fast a Kauai rain storm—sh&t got real serious. Then he just looked at me. All over. When he was done with that, he slowly leaned his upper body (head attached) towards my squared to him pelvis, his dark brown eyeballs penetrating mine, me starting to sweat truckloads of adrenaline out my pours n’ I felt my teeth even start to chatter slightly (that happens when I’m real deeply nervous, kinda a dead giveaway I’m about to freak out), and I instinctively went to take a step back–but not before he caught me by the hip with a fat handed death grip.

Me: Frozen…like yogurt. I couldn’t move.

Him: Proceeded to ask me goofy questions.

“You good actrees, no? Yes, I think good. Better than good, no? Maybe yes, maybe no?… Haha (insert weird over-the-top-laugh here)…But I haves questions for you here…and I want to know this answer, ok…Ees this you favorite dress? Ees new?! What you like eat, hmmm?.”

“Ummm, uhhhh, I dunno….well…yeah?” I answered back one hundred and fifty percent unsure of myself. He liked my response I could tell, cause he started back with the laughing thing again “hahahahahahahaha”—but for only a few seconds. Then, it happened, the bad part.

As his laughter subsided, his mouth settled into an almost solemn grimace–then he looked mad or something (talk about bipolar) and his hand went from just ‘on’ my hip, slid a few inches down, not all the way to my ass, but right above it–and grabbed even harder if you can believe it, onto a big, giant, squishy handful of flank. My. Big. Fat. Flank—or Muffin top, and squeezed the holy cream cheese outta it.

I yelped, of course I did, who wouldn’t, it kinda hurt, but that didn’t stop him, he mulled me, ‘it’, around between his fingers while making the most ‘thinky confused face you ever saw in your whole entire life. Clearly this part of my body mystified the man to no end.

Frozen, still. Oh. My. God. This ain’t happening…dude.

My first real audition for some ultra low-low-low-extra-low budget flick, had me not only nervous, bummed about the job, upset with place, and now utterly fat shamed and humiliated as well…and most likely sexually harassed, didn’t know. It didn’t stop there, after he grabbed onto my fat flank and kneaded it into baking dough, he spoke about it like it was a cancerous tumor needing immediate removal.

“WHAaaahhhhT IS THEESE?!” SOOOOO alarmed he was, amazing reaction.

“Whattya mean?” I stupidly asked walking into his punch.

“THEESE! THEESE EES SO BIG! I CANNOT BELIEVE! SKINNY LEGS, SKINNY ARMS, BIG FAT THEESE! I CANNOT USE….NO! We can’t use…” He went on with his incredulous blah blah blah, jus’ wouldn’t stop. “KERRY (got my name wrong, too), you GOOD, but theese BAD!”

Scrambling for something to say, or comeback to his deplorable decent rights behavior violation, if there is such a thing. I told him off…nicely of course.

“What’s what? OMG, That’s called runners butt, don’t you know? It’s muscle, like it’s just from running and I teach aerobics? You know…like running n’ stuff….”

Boy did that sound stupid, runners butt. Yes there’s such thing, but I most certainly did not have it.

Didn’t matter, my explanation really seemed to do the trick, or turn him on or something weird. I had to make something up, I was easily 15 pounds overweight from stuffing my pie hole in fat-fat-the-water-rat theater college with these Asian ‘Betsy rolls’ we all used to buy at the Korean bakery up the street. And the fat-shaming bastard must a been all up in it, cause he proceeded to ask me out to dinner. Oh yes he did.

“Wait, what? You want me to go to dinner with YOU? Uhhhh—that’d be a no?” I told him somewhat incredibly amused but sad as hell, I mean, I was real caught off guard by his whole bait n’ switch routine.

“Eh, let’s go! Come come…you just loose theese thing, we have good times.” He said encouragingly.

“Ummm…that’d still be a NO. But thanks.”

As I walked back to my car mulling over whether I still had it in me to run into G & R or Motley Crew at the ‘Rock n’ Roll Ralphs’, I made peace with the way I looked. That low budget creeps ideal of what beauty looked like didn’t interest me at all, didn’t even want the stupid job…till I got in my car, cried my eyes out, then went on to loose 27 pounds to the point I was considered too skinny for everything. Of course that led to a two year battle with anorexia and bulimia, but I recovered. However, never forgot the scar the incident left etched on my soul. Literally. Now I just tattoo over the parts of my body I hate. There are no accidents, no experiences I don’t learn something from, and this one taught me to be a more compassionate person. But less fat and I hate that.

 

#7 – My Impromptu “Sh&t depressed parents say…to themselves” comedy skit

So, I’m in the middle of (the nexus, the eye of the storm, “wherever you go there you are” kinda rhetoric) one of the worst depressions I’ve had in a month, it hit about a week ago, and no I don’t feel funny at all.

I don’t wanna write funny, but I’ll try.

I don’t wanna talk funny, so I’ve quit talking.

But I certainly don’t wanna look funny–talk about a real vapid motive to take a long walk with one foot on a banana peel and the other in the grave (an oldie but a goody).

In fact, I resent funny at the moment even more than I’d loath a horrendous case of rectal herpes. Kidding, of course I am, how awful. AND I can’t imagine a medical presentation such as anus acne, but I could be very wrong, in fact I am–seems there isn’t a part of the human body exempt from zits and or an infectious outbreak according to a google search. So, there you go. More useless information from me to you–a little gem of utter nonsense you will never use, but will also never forget. You’re welcome.

Anyway, what I’m trying to convey is…I feel kinda crappy. A lot of people feel crappy lately, so much going on in the world, the media, so much to fight for, so much to be affected by. and I want to wrap my arms around all who are suffering and commiserate. “It’s gonna be OK, really, I’m not just giving you a sunshine enema.” That’s what I’d tell you if you were in my arms.

But still, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a little harder for the self consoling, you see, I’m flat. Not my chest, that’s huge (34 DD if you MUST know, jesus), I’m flat…AND humorless AND that’s when it’s really concerning; this native North Hollywood High School valley girl is almost always funny (and noooooo, it’s not subjective, It’s kinda a fact, like I’m so sure. I’m a lot of things, but humorless ain’t one of’em).

Not today, though, not now, funny n’ stuff, and all I wanna say to myself is what my 16 year old tells me every time I make the mistake of breathing in then out in her direction, “can you just not?”

I cannot, not today, like I’ve just said. Lisa also went through something very similar, this flat emotionless zombie person thing, she even made a goddamn sweatshirt that read “I can’t” on it when hers hit like a metal pipe to the back of the head. Put up a damn sign on her damn front gate even–stupid damn thing communicating the same exact message as the flashdance, cut collar, off the shoulder sweatshirt she made that simply stated, “I can’t”. Brilliant stuff folks, I’m tellin’ ya.

Boy this girl Lisa of mine, well, she just kills me. Just slays the hell outta me, and that’s hard for a comedy snob such as myself–takes a lot to make me laugh that real deep down n’ dirty cackle, the one that actually heals some of the cuts life has helped slash. She’s truly funny, miss Lisa, and more importantly, the bitch knows how to suffer (some people suffer in real irritating ways, see, with their mental disorders n’ stuff…not that I’m being judge’y, well I am actually…but you know what I mean. Lisa suffers in style). For example, Lisa’s always onto something trend setting when it comes to her own depressions and stuff, like making an ugly n’ plain, gun metal grey sweatshirt totally fuckin’ cool just by putting her emotional boundaries on it. Smart move, really, it’s bold and courageous and you know, it’s just rad-bitchen-fresh-awesome-tubular and every other valley’ism you can come up with.

Why is her sweatshirt so important? And why am I harping on something so seemingly, well, simple? Because it is. You need to know what you need not only from yourself during an episode of whatever drama you’re experiencing, but what you need from others as well.

“I can’t” worked wonders in this scenario for Lisa.

To honor thyself when in the throws of a highly uncomfortable ‘wax museum, zombie, flat-as-fuck,  apathy attack’, is gold even though suffering such is not–the zombie is aluminum, a rusty piece.

“I can’t” can be just as important as “I can,” and yes, that’s incredibly counter-intuitive to what we’ve been conditioned to believe. Over committing in order to be liked or to not let someone down, especially when you are in no position to do any such thing (n’ I’m not talking about selfish laziness guys, I’m talking about the real deal shit, the times when you’ve hit the wall), is in the end, the irresponsible thing to do. You will not only let everyone down you try to over commit to, you will be setting yourself up for failure. Not that failure is a total fail either, failures are part of the learning curve. Say you “can’t” when you need to re-coop, say “I can” when you have gathered back your source energy.

Sometimes making a sweatshirt saying what you can or can’t do, cuts having to explain anything to anyone. I did something similar myself today, and yep, Lisa’s mental health apparel trail blazed: I made a stupid skit with my dumb iPhone cause I felt the urge to work through my zombie block but not apologize or change it. I simply ‘covered’ it from an observational perspective and you know, it fuckin’ HELPED. And then I sent it out to a bunch of people and uploaded it here, and I can only hope you get something from it, or at least know that I see you even when you are secretly suffering and you have kids. You are human, we are human, and humans go through human things.

Back to my iPhone video skit. Ok, so I took all the wonderful input from other high functioning mental health sufferer parents and did an on the spot skit depicting the internal conflict that goes on for a depressed caretaker, especially when a moody teen is giving them, you, me, a run for your money. And rightfully so, that’s why the term “moody teen” has become a term of somewhat endearment, and yes, it’s their right of passage to go through these critical growing pains without us overreacting. Remember, when depression and anxiety is afoot, the lens you see life through can end up like one of those macro one’s, like the one where you’re nose looks fifty thousand times bigger than your ass? Right, that one.

Us parents have to wear not only the normal two, but up to eight ridiculously different hats (in the kid raising kingdom), AND that includes adult diapers as well (yes, I mean metaphorically, don’t go crazy, no one is shitting on no one…hopefully).  I find people who suffer great heartache are able to radiate the most authentic support and compassion for their friends and families. I find most ‘normal’ people to be completely out of touch and utterly uninteresting and yep, kinda boring even, and Jesus Christ! I kinda hate that! I don’t want to think all normal (well, is anyone really normal? What’s normal? Look who the “everyday normal people” put in the white house?! Uhh…Fucking scary these normal folks) are actually the crazy one’s.

Could I be, I think I might of just discovered, a mental health snob? Like, I’m coming to the realization, the more I blog that is, that the more people I interview, and talk to, study and read about who suffer the greatest amount of mental anguish are committed to their process and success, are my most favorite humans on the planet and the most accomplished, the most talented, the most hilarious, and most excellently real.

Friends, family, emotional kin, please enjoy the comedy skit…with all those viral “the Shit my mom, dad, grandma, dogs n’ parakeets say” videos all over YouTube, I’m launching my video series of “Shit Depressed parents say…to themselves.”

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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