Borderline Personality Disorder Blog. Bipolar Disorder Blog. BPD. DBT. Cleveland. A Fragment in Orange.


I saw my psychiatrist and he thinks that ECT would be a good thing for me.  He referred me to one of his colleagues who performs ECT; I have an appointment with this other doctor in a few weeks time.  The plan is to do it in July. 

My psychiatrist wanted me to try taking lithium.  I took lithium for a few years in college and it did nothing for me, but he thinks something might have changed since then and that it's worth a shot.  In the first year of taking lithium, when I was nineteen, I went from weighing 125 pounds to 215 pounds and I've never taken that weight off.  But I decided to give it another shot.  However, if I gain more than ten pounds I'm stopping it.  So far I've done a week of half a dose, and two days of the full dose, and I've gained nine pounds.  I'll give it a few more days...

My psychiatrist also prescribed propranolol to reduce my hand tremors.  Strangely my right hand is doing pretty well, but my left hand is shaking like crazy.  Go figure.



This is me, right now

I've never felt this way before, that I have no options.  I am barely making it through each day, and there's no end in sight.  There's nothing to look forward to, no relief.  There's no thinking that "if I just make it through this phase..."  So much is wrong in my life, above and beyond my mental illness and I don't know how I'm going to turn it around.  I see my psychiatrist in two days time and hopefully we can figure something out.  If I could, I'd choose to do ECT immediately.  But I'm single, I live alone, and there's no one who can come help me out right away.  My parents live thousands of miles away, and I'm sure they would be here right now, but my mom is having back surgery next week and my father will be taking care of her over the next few months as she recovers from this extensive surgery. 

I imagine what would happen if I just stopped.  Stopped going to work.  Stopped paying my bills.  And let it all crumble around me.  My motivation, over all these years of struggle, has been to be able to support myself.  I've kept the same job for seven years, which is kind of miraculous when you have treatment-resistant bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder heaped on top of that.  All this time my main focus has been on getting up in the morning and going to work, and trying not to get fired each day.  It's a real challenge when you're mentally unstable.  When you're depressed, just standing up and walking twelve feet is a struggle -- to perform your job well and within a reasonable amount of time for eight hours each day is an agonizing feat.  But I've done it.  Add to that the challenge of faking that you're perfectly fine and not letting the depression affect your interpersonal relationships at work.  Thankfully I don't have manic episodes, but I do have hypomanic episodes -- racing thoughts, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating, getting overwhelmed very easily, inability to complete one task at a time, sensitivity to noise/light/change,etc,  irritability, being prone to sudden and severe shifts in mood, speaking a little too loud and a little too fast, and making inappropriate comments and/or saying the wrong thing (the tiny bit of filter you have when you have borderline personality disorder is practically nonexistent when you're experiencing hypomania).

These past few weeks I've been rapid cycling between depression and hypomania.  Before now, for two months, it's been hardcore depression.  Not the weepy emotional kind of depression, but the depression of constant physical pain, constant fatigue (no matter how much sleep you get, or how much you rest) and the overwhelming feeling of I Can't Continue To Do This One Second Longer.  At first the hypomania was a welcome change, just for something different.  To have energy and desire to do things (I want to go skydiving!  I want to go to an orgy!  I want to adopt ten dogs from the pound!) is delicious.  You feel full of life and full of love, and you want to tell every single person that you come across that you love them.  Or at least that's what happens to me. 

But hypomania is the most damaging to your life.  Poor decision-making.  Erratic changes in interpersonal relationships.  Who talks like this?  Interpersonal relationships . . . that's SO therapy-ish.  Whatever.  You get the point.

Anyway.  To be continued . . .

Oh wait, I forgot to mention -- over the past year I've been stockpiling a few medications that mixed with alcohol are almost guaranteed to be lethal.  Unless I vomit them up, which is what scares me and has me thinking twice, or thrice, or a million times over.  The point being that I have the means to commit suicide.  I've never been suicidal before when I had the actual goods to get the job done in an efficient, effective, no muss no fuss way.  And it's a scary place.  It's very real.  Ugly real.  And I've scheduled vacation time off from work to get this done.  Properly.  With all of my bills and banking account info and my will and my internet passwords to important accounts and contact information and all that stuff that will make the job of finalizing my stuff (house stuff, debt stuff, etc.) much easier for whoever ends up having to deal with it. 

I don't know what will happen between now and then, the planned day.  If I'll change my mind.  Or chicken out.  Or decide to grasp at some other straw.  If it was all as simple as a light switch, turning the switch from on to off, I would do it tonight.  I wish that was an option.  But no, life is never that simple, is it?


It seems that ECT is the next step.  I'm running out of options.  And I'm tired of everything.


I feel like talking, so I tried to log in to this blog but could not remember my blog's name, the email address it's associated with, or my password.  It's funny that being secretive and trying to be anonymous and creating a million different aliases only keeps things hidden from me.  If I had everything out in the open, my real name out there for all to see, would anyone even care enough to read this?  I sort of wish that there was someone in my life that I wanted to hide things from.  Because right now there is no one.  Just me.

Looking back at previous posts I see that I wrote quite a bit about meds, and about my bipolar and borderline personality disorder diagnosis.  So an update -- I'm back on all my old meds, the ones I was on before I desperately tried adding and subtracting and getting off them altogether.  Turns out the old meds work for me.  Enough so that I'm still alive and I am able to get up in the morning and go to work and pay my bills and be moderately stable.  My psychiatrist added Deplin about a year ago.  A vitamin sort of folate thing, that's recently been shown to improve depression.  I don't understand it exactly, but I trust my psychiatrist and I'm up for trying something new considering his next idea was ECT (no thanks).  Deplin is expensive and not covered by insurance.  Maybe $190 for a three month supply?  I was reluctant at first to spend that much on a fucking VITAMIN (or what the Deplin site calls "a medical food" but I've been relatively depression-free for this year that I've been taking it, so why stop now?

I'm not moodswing-free.  Far from it.  I've been swinging from baseline okayness to hypomania.  The hypomania is a nice change.  It's good to feel up, but with the elevation comes inappropriateness.  More on that later. 

Back to watching tv and drinking coffee.  Now that I know my blog address and password I just might come back to ramble more.


Hi blog.  It's me.  I'm back.  It's fifteen months later.  I'm still alive.  Crap.


Emsam patch

I should have done some research.  I was so excited by the possiblity of trying something new, hopefully The Fix, that I didn't do a price check on the Emsam patch.  $500/3 months supply.  What do I do now?  That's big money for me. 

Is it really possible -- the solution to my psychiatric predicament in a medication I've never tried before?  I remember eighteen years ago.  Right before bed.  About to take my very first anti-depressant.  Prozac.  I just sat there looking at the little green capsule in the palm of my hand, thinking "This is it.  This will fix everything."  I'll never forget that moment.  And here I sit eighteen years later, a day or two maybe before starting the Emsam patch thinking Wow, maybe this is it.  Dumb dumb dumb.  Medications just don't work that way.  At least, they haven't for me.  The best result I've had from a psych med is that things become a little less horrible.  Big freaking deal.   

I'm angry and I feel let down.  I'm tired.  Tired of being tired.  I just don't know what the point of anything is anymore.  Not in a woe-is-me I'm about to jump off a cliff kind of a way.  But really -- what's the point?  Tired.  I just said that.  Really really tired.  I wish I could . . . something.  Sometimes it's just too much, you know?  I just wish that I wasn't.  Or weren't.  I wish that I was nothing at all.  A lifetime is just so very long.


On Vacation -- Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

I'm on vacation in Arizona.  Big whoopdeedoo.  I'm supposed to be having a good time.  Supposed to be enjoying the weather.  Enjoying my parents' company.  I am doing none of these things.  I miss my bed at home -- pulling the covers up over my head and crying myself to sleep.  Here I have to get dressed.  Sit upright (sometimes stand!  and walk! egads!).  Stay awake for hours and somehow occupy that time.  Pretend that I'm somewhat normal.  I am counting the days and the hours and the minutes until I get back on a plane, back to my normal life of unconsciousness.  I miss that dark place. 

Suicidal.  And pissed the fuck off that something as simple as not taking a medication for ONLY SEVEN DAYS can take me to this place.  Two more weeks and I start a new antidepressant.  Yippee.  I am SO sure that it's going to cure me.  That I'll miraculously bid farewell to the mental hell I've been in for the past twenty years.  Yeah, I'm holding my breath on that one. 

I don't know how I'm going to manage the next four days of vacation.  Vacation -- what a joke.  But hey, it's Arizona -- I could always impale myself on a cactus.  Good times.     



A change in meds, Again.

I had a good chat with my psychiatrist yesterday.  I think that he understands a little better who I am as a person, and what exactly I struggle with.  I feel less pigeon-holed.  But now he's questioning my bipolar-ness.  AGAIN.  I swear it's psychiatrists that are bipolar.  Make up your mind!

So maybe I'm not bipolar.  Fine with me.  He also suggested that maybe I don't have borderline personality disorder.  He asked "You don't cut yourself when a relationship ends, do you?"  Well no, not anymore.  But that's a pretty limited "understanding" of what BPD is.  It's got me thinking, is this a good doctor or a not-so-good doctor?  Who do I trust?  How many psychiatrists do I have to see in my lifetime before I feel I've got a really good one?  For now I trust him.  Because he's not pleased with where I'm at in life (and neither am I) and is really pushing change.  Previous psychiatrists were fine with the status quo of me being miserable.

Lots of changes to come:  Stop the Abilify.  Stop the Serzone.  Start Trazodone to deal with stopping the Serzone.  In March, after all the weaning from my anti-depressants, start using an MAOI.

I'm scared to go off the Serzone.  If I miss a dose I get these weird acid-trippy hallucinations.  Dr. H. suggested I take some time off work while coming off my meds.  Yeah, like that's an option.  I'm scared that once I'm off all the anti-depressants I'll go into a major depression.  That my panic attacks will come back.  That I'll lose my mind.  But.  I'm excited by the potential for good change. 


Exorcise me

For the past two weeks I've been taking a hard look at my binge-eating problem.   I've tried to stop the binging altogether.  But take away a self-destructive "coping" mechanism and the body and mind scramble to find something to replace it.  I've been trying my hardest to not replace the binging with a negative something else.  Meanwhile, in marches the foul mood, the self-loathing, the desire to do anything and everything bad to myself.  I swear, the devil resides WITHIN me.    

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist next week.  I'm going to beg going off the Abilify.  I'm convinced that it's the culprit for the rise in my blood pressure and weight.  It ain't cheap either.  I'm not sure why my doctor is so pro this drug.  The wean off Effexor is still slow-going.  From three tabs to two to one to a half and now down to a quarter last night.  And I still feel a bit of dizzy.  I'm interested to see what shrink-o comes up with at our appointment.  A brain transplant perhaps?


I Hate January

This month marks the fifth anniversary of the very worst day of my life.  Compared to most peoples’ worst day it’s kind of lame.  My house didn’t burn down with my dog inside.  My legs didn’t fall off.  My mom wasn’t abducted by aliens.  For the worst day of my life it could have been a lot worse.

In January, five years ago, my husband announced that he and my very best friend (of twenty years) had secretly fallen in love and were moving across the country two days later to start their new life together.*  Never to be heard from again.

Needless to say it was a shock.  I’m still shocked.  In retrospect it all makes sense.  I still don’t like it, but I get it.  I’ve forgiven.  Forget forgetting though.  And moving on?  It just hasn’t happened yet.  Five years later.  FIVE YEARS. 

The average non-psychiatrically-challenged person would have a hard time getting over something like this.  But for someone with borderline personality disorder it’s damn near impossible.  I already have the abandonment issues, the extreme sensitivity, the tendency to live in the past.    

I’ve done what I can to get over it.  I do what I can.  Hopefully one day I can lay the two of them to rest.  Whoops, that sounds sinister.  What I mean is that hopefully one day I can lay this pain to rest.  And hopefully it won’t take another five years.  Or the rest of my life.

*There’s a lot that I’m not saying here.  There are definitely two sides to this story.   Maybe one day I’ll write about all the fucked up things I did during my marriage.  How it was already over way before he left.  How I didn’t value what we had until it was too late.  How I failed.  But not right now.   


I'm choosing tonight to start thinking a little more positively and to start making some good changes in my life.   A little daunted by the next three days of nothing planned.  The option to hole up indoors all alone all weekend.  I promise myself that over the next three days I will lift myself up rather than tear myself down.  A small and simple goal -- first steps -- and I feel a change already.


The F Word

I am fat.  It’s true.  FAT.  This is not an oh-she’s-just-got-low-self-esteem thing.  According to the body mass index chart I am obese.  Like I need a chart to figure that one out.  Honestly, I could stand to lose a hundred pounds.  But I’d rather sit.  A few years ago I went through the DBT skills class (twice or thrice) that was offered at an eating disorder clinic.  Trying to kill two birds with one stone I focused some therapy on my binge eating, but the attempt was half-assed and I gave up on it.  I had bigger fish to fry.  Mmm, fry.  

It is now time that I give this aspect of my life another look.  The goal is to use food purely as a source of fuel for my body.  Not for entertainment.  Not to alter my mood.  Not to reward and/or punish myself.  This is my most immediate goal and I will have made SIGNIFICANT progress by the end of 2011.  Not exactly a new year’s resolution (I hate those – so cheesy) but, well, mmm cheese. 



Happiness is a Serious Problem

My mom gave me this book for Christmas:  Happiness is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual by Dennis Prager.  From the cover:  "This is the repair manual we should have been handed at birth . . . In order to be happy, we first have to battle ourselves.

Well, duh. 

In the past I've had spurts of gung-ho-ness where I jumped into this, that, and the other in an attempt to change my way of thinking and as a result, change my life in the very best way.  Self-help books and tapes.  Therapy.  Meditation.  Prayer.  God.  So yes, I know that I have the power to change my lot in life.  And yes, I'm probably afraid of being happy; I stay in my little dark rut because I'm comfortable here.  And of course, if I gave it the slightest little effort, my life would probably rock. BUT I DON'T WANT TO.  Not now.  I'd rather wallow.  My pity party is not over yet.  I'm still celebrating.   

So there.  I'm not reading the book.  I'm not ready yet.  Bite me world.

(and now I'm afraid of lightening bolts and the earth opening up and swallowing me)


2010: It was a year

What was special about this year?  Not much.  It just kind of flew by, probably because I was asleep most of the time.  A brief recap:

In January I quit therapy, not because I thought that I was well but because my psychologist Marsha was no longer covered by my insurance.  I was still hella depressed but I didn’t think it was necessary to find a new therapist and start the process all over again.  I could have gone back to Gene, a previous therapist I’d gone to off and on for eight years, but my ex-boyfriend had started seeing him (yeah, what a great idea that was – referring him to Gene).  What if the ex and I crossed paths in the waiting room?  No thanks. 

A goal that I was still working on from the latter part of 2009 – to go out and do more things on my own.   I went to a ton of performing arts events – theatre, dance, concerts, opera.  As a result, my credit card bill shot through the roof and I began the year of no-spending.  Which meant not going out, not doing anything.  I ended a friendship in January, so the not going out part was easy.  I became housebound except for work and the occasional dinner with a friend I don’t like that much. 

I went on two first dates in May.  One with a guy I’ll call Peter (that’s actually his real name).  One with PR.  It was clear from the start that PR and I were not a romantic match, so instead of dating we had sex.  He was a little too blunt and critical, and I spent the majority of the five-month-long “relationship” feeling particularly bad about myself.  I proved to myself that I am a woman after all (surprise!)– that sex isn’t that great when there’s no emotional connection to accompany it.  With each time I became less and less interested, until I was just done.  I never told PR that I was done, but he didn’t question my withdrawing from him so I assume the feeling (or lack of feeling) was mutual. 

Peter and I went out five times.  We had sex on date #5 and I never heard from him again.  Wow. 

For the rest of the year my dating life was practically non-existent.  I’m actually consulting my calendar as I write this part because I can barely remember faces, much less names in this year’s First and Second Dates Club.  There was Christina.  We actually went out several times, but I felt nothing for her and, as friends, we bombed because she was just too busy.  What really struck me about her was that she hardly laughed.  And when I was being silly or making a joke she would ask “What do you mean?”  Then there was Gina.  She was someone I could see myself dating.  The problem – she’d just lost a hundred pounds and was on a quest to get the boys that she could never get as a fat girl.  Too bad, that one.  Then there was what’s-her-name (I honestly don’t remember her name) who, well into her forties, was sleeping with a bunch of 21-year-old emo boys.  She also had a phobia about driving beyond city limits, and lived with her mother. 

In my calendar there’s an entry for an 11:30 with Cindy.  I don’t know what that’s about.  Who’s Cindy?

Oh my goodness – Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwiches are really spicy.  I’m on fire.

Review over.  No wait.  Goals for 2011:  Continued no-spending.  Wear make-up more often.  Stop sleeping so much.  Give up the obsessions with French bread and butter, SpaghettiOs, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Find the fountain of youth for Billy so that he’ll live forever.  Start putting the ice cubes in the glass BEFORE filling with beverage (it’s so damn messy otherwise).  Listen to music other than Ryan Adams.  Keep up the flossing regime.  And, last but not least, be happy.       


Psych update:  I’m doing fabulously well.  [Weird, I used the word “fabulously”].  No sadness.  No heavy droopy body feelings.  I still sleep an awful lot on my days off (like, the whole day) but I attribute that to a number of other things not psych-related.  Laziness, boredom, loneliness, etc.  I’ll have to work on those things eventually if I plan on having a life worth living (by whose standards?) but for now I’m enjoying the sleep – gloriously vivid dreams that make my sleep life definitely worth living.  Yes, I’m escaping.  I’m not gonna lie.

Meds: 2.5 mg Abilify, 300mg Lamictal, and down to only 50mg Effexor (which I will be totally off of by the end of January). 

Date number two with J (oh hell -- Jean) was a few nights ago.  It was supposed to be a movie followed by coffee, but she reneged on the coffee part because she had to do something last minute gift-related for the upcoming Christmas weekend.  I was a bit disappointed, mostly because I wanted to go out and do something for a change.  We chatted briefly about the movie afterward which is when I realized that not only do I not like her like her, but I just plain don’t like her.  Maybe she’s a little too sure of herself.  Or brash.  Or too normal.  I like my people a little more broken.  And why is that?  Do I want to be the less broken one?  I don’t think that’s true.  Just annoyed by people who are too sure of themselves.  And maybe, because she’s an elementary school teacher, she’s too fucking wonderment and amazement and oh isn’t this grand! 

Now comes the awkward part.  Telling her that I’m not interested.  Or waiting for her to tell me that she’s not interested.  Or letting it go without a word from either one of us.  Run away!  Run away!


First Dates are Fun

Oh gawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwd.  Got home a few hours ago from a first date that did not go well.  It's a great thing to see disinterest in the eyes of the person you're sitting across from.  Home into jammies and three whiskeys later I got an email from her.  She had a question to ask.  Turns out something I said screwed it all up.  That figures.  I can't just be normal can I?  A normal person on a normal date? 

So we're going to go on a second date.  Maybe I can be a normal person on a second date.



The Effect of Borderline Personality Disorder on My Friendships. Or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation

It’s something I don’t like to talk about because I feel ashamed.  Ashamed that I let friendships die.  That I let friendships die because I’m an asshole.  No judgment, it’s the truth.  When I’m not blaming myself I’m blaming BPD which, in essence, is blaming myself BECAUSE OF BPD.  Geez Louise.  Can ya see the dysfunction there?  So yeah, I am unable to maintain friendships.  I do the typical BPD thing where I meet someone; I become infatuated with them because they’re so cool and life’s so great and let’s skip off holding hands into the sunset.   

And then they do something sucky.  For me, that something becomes a dealbreaker.  For non-BPD people, that something is probably just a minor irritation and certainly not something to end the friendship over.  So there I am, peeved like a cat whose tail you’re pulling, and my friend is cut off.  Unfriended, blocked, deleted from contacts, DEAD TO ME. 

Which is fine and dandy until I realize, far too late, that what they did was really just a minor little thing, and that I’d over-reacted and that I miss them.  Then I scramble to try to get them back into my life but, as you can imagine, they’ll have none of that.  They don’t understand why you flipped out in the first place and they sure as hell aren’t going to let you do it to them again.  So I suffer.  I pine for them.  Mourn their loss.  Kick myself hard in the ass.  Rinse and repeat, because I know that I’ll do it again.  Over and over and over and over.  Until maybe next time.  Ya gotta be optimistic, right?  Grumble grumble.  I only say the “until maybe next time” because I’m pretending that all of the therapy I’ve done has made a world of difference, and that I’m enlightened and upbeat and setting out to change the world.  Truth be told, I’m not sure that DBT did a whole lot for me.  It seemed to make a difference while I was taking the classes, but I’m not sure that the effects are long term.   I gained enough insight through years of therapy that I am fairly well aware of the borderline-y things I’m doing as I’m doing them.  I’m just lacking in the ability to not act in those borderline-y ways.

So the friendship issue is this – I want friends, but I’m scared of friendships because of my history of ruining them.  I’m also daunted by the actual process of making friends.  The whole what’s-your-favorite-color bullshit.  Taking the time to get to know someone only to realize that they’re not the kind of someone you want in your life.  I haven’t had much luck making friends out in the real world.  Work friends aren’t really friends that you hang out with, at least my work friends aren’t.  And I’m not a joiner of groups or clubs.  I’m not a class-taker.  I’m not a hobbyist.  I could join some groups or clubs, or take some classes, or become a hobbyist, but let me be realistic here – no way, I don’t wanna, fuck that shit!  So, those things being out, I have the internet.  Ah yes, the trusty internet.   

This is the day that I open myself back up to friendship.  Wish me luck.



My psychiatrist warned that weaning off the Effexor might cause dizziness.  I did two pills a day for two weeks, one pill a day for two weeks, and just started my half a pill two nights ago.  Dizzy.  But dizzy good.  High.  Hyper.  Good mood.  Up.  Can't sleep.  Boo.  Crappy blog post.  Boo.  I've decided to do three quarters of a pill for one week instead.  The end.  Still can't sleep.  Boo.



Mom and Dad came from Tucson for Thanksgiving. The second best Thanksgiving ever. Being a single girl most of the time, I’m usually alone for the holiday, eating something from a can and grumbling that I’m forced to take a day of vacation time in the almost-middle of the week. Wah, poor me. I’m actually pretty okay spending the holidays on my own; I think of them as just another day.

So yes, Thanksgiving was great. Mom cooked, Dad did dishes and I lounged around in my pajamas all day long. We went for a walk with the dog in the hazy gray afternoon, and watched TV in the evening. Dad was mortified that a character in a sitcom farted. Out loud. Twice. “That shouldn’t be on television,” he said. Then Mom and I watched a show together:

Me: “This is my favorite show.”
Mom: “This show is stupid”
Me: “You’re too stupid to understand it.”

A few minutes pass.

Mom: “Do you realize that you just called me stupid?”
Me: “Do you realize that you called my favorite show stupid?”
Mom: “Oh.”
Me: “Tit for tat.”

Alright, so that was borderline personality-ish of me. I have my moments.

Tomorrow my parents and I are heading to Barbados; We’re meeting up with my seven-year-old niece, my brother and his girlfriend, girlfriend’s mom and girlfriend’s mom’s boyfriend. I would have preferred a vacation with only my parents; As much as we annoy each other at least we’re still on the same page and know one another pretty well. My brother is an enigma; time spent with him can be awkward. More on my relationship with my brother later (probably during the next ten days when I’m around him).


A Change in Mood

It's been a week of the latest meds change. I've gone from sleeping too much to not being able to sleep at all. But the mood is up. Definitely up. If only I wasn't too tired to enjoy it ; )



I had an appointment with my psychiatrist the other day. I thought it was going to be one of those typical fifteen minute twice yearly visits for the sole purpose of getting prescription refills, but Dr. H. ended up spending almost an hour with me. No judgments, he said, but you’re barely functioning. I told him that I was actually feeling pretty okay with my life as it is. Sure, I never thought that this, my life as it is now, would ever be my reality. But I’ve reached a point of accepting it. Dr. H. thinks I’m giving up on myself, and that I should be fighting for change. Well I’ve been dealing with mental health issues since my early teens so excuse me for not being all gung-ho about trying something different, for the millionth time, when different has never worked.

The new plan is to go back on Abilify, a smaller dose this time, and to wean myself off of Effexor. Dr. H. suggested that I try Lithium, but I went that route when I was nineteen and gained eighty pounds within a year, which I’ve never managed to lose. No thanks.

So maybe something will change. Maybe not.


I am the most sentimental person I know. I'm afraid of ghosts. Seeing animals knock over small children makes me giddy. One of my coworkers is a bully. My dog Billy likes lettuce. These things were all a part of my day. And I'm now going to watch some television shows about ghosts in the dark. Or rather, I'm going to watch, in the dark, some television shows about ghosts. Then maybe some shows about snakes so that I never go to sleep again.


A change in meds

I stopped taking the Abilify a while back. After the first month I no longer felt that it was working. I was depressed again. And the side effects were many -- Feeling tired all the time but not being able to sleep. Grinding my teeth. The worst side effect was the lack of emotion. I felt like a zombie. Still depressed but not sad. Not anything. Just numb. I don't like the super high fruitcake ups, and I don't like the keep-the-sharp-knives-away-from-me downs. But I do like some emotion. Sometimes it feels good to cry. There's a release. And the occasional good day feels spectacular. I'd rather be moody than flatline.

Yesterday was one of those good days. I had a little smile on my face. Everything tasted good and smelled good and looked good and felt good. But when I went to bed a random bad memory flashed across my mind and I started weeping. I lay there for a good little while, tears plopping onto my pillow. Crying felt good (I'm alive!) so I conjured up worse memories and reveled in sadness. Sadness over, I stopped crying and went to sleep. And this morning I felt fine. I'm glad to be back to my same old abnormal self. Seriously.


Dirty Underwear

Six hours of bliss today, a Saturday, tucked away in the little nook in my room at work. With no work to be done. Six hours of drinking coffee and reading blogs, eating cookies and smarties I pilfered from the break room, writing a grocery list and messing around with the pitting edema on my shins. I've had too many cans of SpaghettiOs lately -- the crazy amount of sodium in each can makes my legs swell. Legs -- I haven't shaved in seven weeks. Since the last time I met up with my fuck buddy. Hate that term. Fuck buddy. My leg hair is the longest it's been since I first started shaving. Half the length of one of the hairs from my dog (a lab, if that helps with imagining). The end of things with the fuck buddy came uneventfully. After the last time I suddenly felt that I didn't want to see him again. The feeling must have been mutual because I haven't heard from him since. Actually, he did text me once about his latest news -- he had cleared out a part of his garage to make space for tools. Umm, okay. How do you respond to a text like that? I didn't. The end.

All this blog-reading has gotten me psyched to start blogging again. I like having the record of my days. I need to write more often. Erase previous entries less often. Filter myself less. But I don't know what I should write about. The recent me, on most days, wakes up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, eats (and eats), cuddles with the dog, and sleeps (and sleeps and sleeps and sleeps WAY too much). Weekends are more sleeping and lots of television. I've declared this the year of no-spending (don't ask me why but "this year" started in September), so I'm not going out and doing anything of great interest. Sometimes I hang out with friends. Sometimes I take the dog to the park. And that's about it. What do I have to write about?

This year of no-spending is also the year I stop beating myself up for not having an exciting life. This is the year I'm content with the mundane. Okay with the mess and clutter in my house. Fine with wearing a pair of underwear twice before doing the laundry. Hunky dory with not shaving my legs and not taking my vitamins every day. Satisfied with meals of SpaghettiOs and peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

So there.



Back again. I don't write much. Not sure why. Sometimes it is hard to share, especially when the sharing is of the real stuff. So now I'll share. A record for myself.

It's been an interesting month. I started taking a new drug. Abilify. 5mg. That's a small dose. Think you can go up to 30. I went to see a new psychiatrist. It was time. I was miserable. I was suicidal. I had a plan. It wasn't a plan for right now but rather a plan for after my dog dies. He's eleven. He is my only responsibility right now. I have to take care of him and give him the kind of life he deserves. I know that when he dies I'll be mush. Nothing holding me to this earth after that. I can't bear the thought. Suicidal and having a plan and just sitting around waiting. That was me one month ago.

I feel that I have a fatal illness. Really it's a chronic illness, and if I take care of it I should be okay to roll along with life and get from point A to point B like most people do. Minus happiness. Not that people are happy. I think that most of us suffer from yearning, not being where we want to be, not having what we want to have. Not that being where we want to be or having what we want to have will bring happiness. That's the crappy thing about life. Perpetual wanting. But some are more content than others to be who they are, where they are, why they are, etc. Less sensitive. Better adapters maybe. But not necessarily happier.

I went to see this new psychiatrist because I felt that I had one last chance to pull through. It was a strange meeting. Positive. I told him how it was and then we had a mostly scientific matter-of-fact conversation about what we could do about it. I really appreciate people who I can talk to about my depression without having to worry that melodrama will ensure. Let's talk about this like it's an illness rather than some big fucking deal getting emotions all wrapped up in it. Matter-of-fact. Depression: It's not this dark crazy intangible can't-put-a-finger-on taboo mysterious condition that some people think it is. It's chemicals and science and biological. It just is.

He suggested I try Abilify. Of course it's a million dollars a month, but money shouldn't be important in this situation, right? If Abilify doesn't work, he said, have you considered electric shock therapy? Actually he said ECT and I shot him a blank look. Oh! Electric shock therapy. Well no, I haven't considered that. It's not as scary as people make it out to be, he says. Sounds interesting, I think but don't say. We'll give Abilify a shot.

One month later and it's as if a miracle has happened. I'm not all ooh pretty daisies floating on air chocolate muffins sound of music happy. I'm not happy at all. But I'm not depressed. Strange that. The constant sadness, gone. The plan, gone. (Still in my mind but not a plan I'm working on). It's all very bizarre. These chemicals, this brain. A small little pill.

There are side effects. I am restless. I can't concentrate on reading or TV or projects. For the first time in a long time I feel bored. When I try to relieve that boredom by doing something, I lack the energy and desire to finish the task. That is incredibly frustrating. My eyes feel tired all the time -- the only thing that helps is to close them. But of course I can't sleep when I'm tired like that. No more depression sleep. No more running-away-from sleep. I miss that. No more reversing days and nights on my weekends. I've fallen into a normal-person sleep schedule. Blah. Daily life feels more mundane than before. But at least I don't want to die. Right? Hum drum, go along with it, hope for better days, me. That's good, right? I'll give this some time. See if it improves. Maybe this is the way most people feel.


It's strange that one can be so happy and so sad at the same time.



Well shit. I'm back. Less from inspiration and more from necessity. I don't even know what that means.

So. Unaddicting from an addiction. Quitting? Nonaddictionario. Whatever. This is PAINFUL. Well, not so much painful. More like CRAZY. I feel my tongue getting fat in my mouth and in a minute it will split in two and ta da! Snake. Damn this tongue, like it doesn't belong to me. Disjointed. Disconnected. Forget the snake. My head will split in two and confetti will come out, as if shot from a cannon.

So. Here's this process of kicking away the addictions. Some little dinky ones. Some less dinky ones. The point being that there are some things I need to stop. And in the process of stopping them, I can't grasp at the dinky things to make myself feel better in these moments of extreme torture. What I've learned: Some things, no matter how sucky, need to be experienced. So this extreme suckiness tonight -- I just have to sit with it and wait for it to pass. Without grasping. SUCK. Candy canes and snap my fingers and write ridiculous emails to people I don't know. Let the tears fall where they may -- I sure as hell don't know where they're coming from. What's to cry about? Nothing. And why am I crying? Because, when substance drains out, like blood from a corpse, electricity from the brain, the body changes.

My emotions, my crazy, my tears, my tongue, these nightmares, panic, hate, fear ------ explained by science. Nothing in me is unique. Nothing in you either. We don't matter. Grains of rice. Drops in a bucket. Funny though, how life seems so long and significant, and how the choices we make seem so important and what we do with our days seems to matter. Um. Not really.

So that thought that this doesn't matter, and that man, or Man, is insignificant -- HA, that's the little devil in me trying to take me back to the stuff. Reason suggested as a result of craving. Little voice -- look how little any of this matters. Don't be so self-absorbed. Fuck addiction -- what difference does it make? Your life is unimportant. It'll be over in a flash, and you'll never be remembered anyway so who fucking cares about giving up and giving in? Just do it. Do what feels good.

But it never feels that good, really. Well, sometimes it does. But most times it's the anticipation and not the doing that is joy. Always reaching for something else, something else to fill the void. This didn't make me feel better, so maybe this other thing will. But this other thing didn't make me feel better so, try this other thing. And then you turn into a rock. No wait, not a rock. Rocks really aren't that bad. Rocks are nice to sit on sometimes. You're out hiking and your legs are tired and you want to rest and there's this nice smooth rock to sit on. So cancel that. Cancel that turning into a rock thing. I'll have to think of the right thing that you turn into after time and time and time and time lost in self-destruction.

Dude, I ate this broccoli cheddar rice yesterday and it was super yummy. Today I ate jambalaya rice (without the meat crap, of course) and it wasn't super yummy. Not bad, but not like that broccoli cheddar rice.

S C R E A M. sucksucksucksucksucksucksucksucksuck.

When does this feeling end so that I can feel peace in my body? When will I be less of a physiological process? Polluted. I've been suckysucksuck-ing like this for 4.5 hours. Yeah, sit with the feeling and you will eventually overcome it. For 4.5 hours??????? I wish I knew kung-fu. Or, alternatively, I wish I could kick someone in the face. That would be nice.

The end. Until later. Suck. Oh, and Joan Didion's grammar or lack thereof annoys me. Not that I use proper grammar ever, but . . . I have no idea what my point was.




Boy Drama

slight drama with the ex boy via text today. he's the one who called it drama. i call it conveying my feelings. but boys will be boys and anything emotional is labeled drama. we are both equally annoying as genders. i won't deny that. so i sent a few texts. haven't had contact with him in two weeks and thought that today was a good day to share my feelings and get some closure on the deal. but he ignored me. finally realized that talking (texting) was pointless so i sent him a final text saying sorry for the stuff i'd fucked up in the relationship, that i wished it could have worked but that i wish him well and hope for no hard feelings. it really sucks to be a grown up sometimes. now i just have to put those thoughts into action -- no hard feelings, wishing him well, and moving on. it's hard when relationships don't work out. you put your heart into something, into someone, and there's no pay-off. maybe some insight into how to do it better next time. i'm trying to be less melodramatic in my woe-is-me-i'll-never-get-into-another-relationship-again stuff. it is what it is. hopefully one day i'll find the right person for me. if not . . . well, i'm okay with that. i'll be lonely, but loneliness is manageable.


q: what do you call a gay dinosaur?

a: a megasoreass

that joke courtesy of an er nurse. never sure with these gay jokes if i should be offended or laugh. i chose to laugh. everything is funny.
made brownies from scratch, waiting for them to cool, protecting them from the dumbo fly fuzzing around here, will eat one or two or three and then to bed i go for a glorious eight hours. i welcome my crazy dreams now. so many different lives lived in the twitch state of rem. rem and i have always gotten along well. loads of sex dreams. not good sex dreams. no happy fantasy thrill. instead it's manipulation, threat, force. no matter -- i enjoy the change of scenery.

busy work day. not much exciting to say. a few loonies. a few near pee emergencies. i saw nine patients. my evil coworker saw two. breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. i will not let this frustrate me. my screensaver at work says "breathe". just in case i forget to. and go postal as a result.

the depression continues. my body drags. my eyelids droop. my brain semi-mush. try to do something, even if it's just a little something, every day to see progress. even if it's just making brownies. or doing the dishes. riding this out. i'll be okay.


becoming more anti-social. it's easy for me to do. it is me. being anti-social at work, except with my patients. i close the door of my exam room and listen to my ipod all day and people say, oh, you're here? i haven't seen you all day. i like working independently. no one to answer to. no one to answer to me. just do a good job. that's the easy part. my patients seem to like me. i hear a lot of interesting stories. have a lot of laughs. feel a lot of peoples' pain -- makes me feel connected. respect for the living and respect for the soon to be not-living.

still overwhelmed by the silence, this intense relationship with myself. too much sometimes -- i come home and go to bed. try to sleep for an hour or two, but that rarely works. so i get up and watch tv and worry about doing what i have to do tomorrow. every day. every tomorrow. not sure what meaning there is in this type of existence. i get by. nothing lasts forever. just the state i'm in. the state of today. not good. not bad. the heart still ticks. the heart still feels. the earth living and breathing around me. leaves turning. anticipating the cool crisp breath. blazers. boots. winter coats. mittens.

and this life i have is better than most peoples'. enjoy it for what it's worth. feel the cold tile beneath my feet. dog hair on the sheets. too many rumpled socks lying around in every room, but they are friends now. what to do when i grow up. oh wait, i am grown. this is me. this is how it is. this is how it will be. unless . . . i make change. don't think i need to. don't think i want to. just wait it out and see what happens. not good. not bad.


you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have the facts of life.

and that's all i have to say right now. but give me a moment.

blah day #2. work was slow. i ate two muffins, two donuts and one bag of corn nuts. i don't know if that's progress, but it's something. today's patient (i only saw one today) was a 94 year old woman who has outlived her husband, all of her siblings, all of her friends, some of her grandchildren, and one of her great grandchildren. and she's still full of happiness and optimism and giggles. it was inspiring to spend an hour with her. you think, wow, good for her. isn't it amazing. 94 years old and strong and healthy and not on a single medication.

later, having let the experience sink in, i thought fuck. look how far a positive attitude will get you. and fuck, i don't have one of those.

there's really no point to my story. i'm just saying.

i've made a resolution to just be myself and let it all hang out. people tell me all the time that i'm far too critical of myself. and that's true. i might argue later that it's being critical of myself that's pushed me to achieve what i have achieved thus far. but that's an argument for another day. i can't change my habit of being critical of myself overnight, so while i work on that (hah) i'm going to just let loose and be me. no apologies. no censoring. no bullshit. no wait, scrap the bullshit part. i'm human. humans bullshit all the time, most of them not realizing when they're doing it. i know i'll go back and reread the stuff i write and say, HA that's BULLSHIT! a little bit of distance from a matter will do that for you. then maybe it's not bullshit at the time. maybe if at the time you don't know it's bullshit then it isn't bullshit at all. where am i going with this? even i don't know.

well. let's see. i'm 34 years old and it's pretty safe to say that if i'm the same person now that i was ten years ago and twenty years ago then i am who i am and nothing's going to change. perspective will change. mine certainly has. but personality won't. so then i should just embrace my personality and say to myself, hey, shit, i forgot what i was going to say.

my mind is a sieve. depression has hit. i'm not saying that to be a drama queen or anything. it's a fact. i am depressed. it's not likely a big one -- i think the big ones are in my past. but it's a situational one. if something in my life changes, positive or negative, a mini depression soon follows. (side note: this is weird. i just looked up "moon" in an online dictionary and my search yielded "no results found for moon". wtf? and this reminds me of what ex-guy said to me on that fateful last day -- 'so you believe everything you read on the internet??' yeah, i do. and apparently moon is not a word. you heard it here first folks.)

blah. depression. not the sitting around contemplating slitting my wrists kind. no ridiculous crying or tantrums or pulling out of one's own hair. no pulling out of other peoples' hair either. this depression is a lot less interesting. it hits my body first. everything feels heavier. standing upright is more of an effort. breathing is more of an effort. sleeping is a hell of a lot more of an effort. i'm way more sleepy than usual, but i can't sleep. it's awesome. then once your body is wiped out, the depression hits your brain. i'd imagine that this is what senile dementia is like. my brain locks up for a few seconds here and there, and i'm thinking whatthefuckwhowherewhy? i get stupid.

going to bed soon. off to read some poetry. and no, that's not codespeak for something else.


Dear Diary,

I've been stupidly moody the last few days. One minute high as a kite loving the world appreciating everything and everybody and myself especially myself and couldn't be better. The next minute major suckitude. Can't come up with a better word than suckitude because I have zero energy or desire to reach into my brain's thesaurus. Now I'm in the suckitude state (because when I'm not in the suckitude state I'm not sitting here glaring at the computer in melancholic disgust) and I'm somewhat hungry, but have no real desire for anything that tastes good, and as per usual, I have no desire to make anything. I've eaten two large bags of corn nuts today. And two muffins. Unhealthy eating is best done in twos apparently.

I am suddenly, unexpectedly alone. All by my lonesome. First my parents left (which yeah, was a blessing because they sucked away all of the good self-esteem I had left), and then I broke up with the boy. We didn't actually break up though. We parted ways without really even talking about it. I told him "Just go!" meaning get out of my face right now or I might kill you, and he went, completely. Haven't talked to him since. All a little odd, but it might make for an interesting story at some later date. And honestly, it's kind of nice to end a relationship without having to discuss it. Kind of nice to flip a switch and be on to the next thing, no muss no fuss.

The thing that sucks is now I have all this time on my hands. All this quiet time. Admittedly I do enjoy my quiet time, but there is such a thing as too much quiet time. I wasn't prepared to jump back into my head so fully and so completely. So here I am, talking to you dearest diary.

Thoughts on dating: I shouldn't do it. Ever. When I'm not dating anyone I have this general feeling of restlessness, thinking that life could be so much better if only I had someone to share it with. Then I find someone to share it with, but life doesn't get better and I start missing being single. The no win situation. Let's be honest here -- I wouldn't be happy if I didn't have something to bitch about.

And thoughts on sex: I'm a total guy when it comes to sex. I do it for sport. I do it for fun. I do it to celebrate the fact that there's someone to do it with. Sometimes I do it because I feel an intimate connection with my partner and want to make love. But that's more of a special occasion type of thing. Does that make me cold? I don't think so. I'm very affectionate. Love hand holding and cuddling and making out. I can do lovey-dovey. But I can also fuck. I'm not too shy to say it -- I love to fuck. You're hanging out with your partner, have a few hours to kill, are totally comfortable with each other naked, find each other attractive -- so let's fuck.

The last guy took issue with me announcing "I'm horny." He said it wasn't very subtle. Wasn't very romantic. Such a woman. I don't know what kind of vibe I give out, but I tend to attract men who are uber-sensitive and totally in touch (maybe too in touch) with their feminine side. "I couldn't have sex with someone I didn't have deep feelings for," they say. Seriously? Where are all the good old fashioned men who think about sex 99% of the time and have the sex drive of a nerd going through puberty? Alas, these sorts of men do not like me. I guess.

If it were so easy to look to the fairer of the species, I'd be there in a heartbeat. But my attraction to women is a much more complicated thing. For one, a good woman is hard to find. And I'm picky. I don't have some long list of attributes I want in a woman. There's actually no list at all. But my heart is fickle when it comes to women. Damn my fickle heart! I certainly wouldn't have any hesitation about jumping into bed with most women -- My fickleness or fickleality or whathaveyou does not apply to physical attraction. But how many women are out there with my sex drive and lack of sexual inhibition? With guys you can pretty much stick your head out a window on a busy street and yell "does anyone want to have sex with me?" and you'll find a willing participant in about a minute. Maybe two. Or maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe I'm sticking my head out of the wrong window. Maybe there's some magical place where wanton slutty lesbian and bisexual women sit around LONGING to get laid. But I don't know where that place is. Dear diary, do you have any suggestions?

Bah humbug.


firsts. the first date. the first kiss. the first i love you. then the lasts. the last kiss. the last night in bed together. the last load of laundry, separating his clothes from mine, the last folding of his clothes to go into the basket and then into the garbage bag and then onto the front porch so he can pick it up without having to make contact. the last full ashtray, his cigarette butts (camels) with my cigarette butts (marlboros). the last tube of toothpaste we both used, now in the garbage so i don't have to be reminded of the loss of him every time i brush my teeth. the sweatshirt of mine he wore -- i find it on the floor between the mattress and the headboard when enough time has passed that the very discovery of it takes my breath away. the last text message, now deleted so there's no beat skipping when i see his name in the inbox. the removal of his phone number from the top speed dial spot. washing the last glass he drank from. rinsing away the last stubble from the bathroom sink. the last beer. the last bottle of iced tea. i keep the roses in the vase, the roses he gave me on the day it all abruptly ended. these roses, still yawning wide in the morning, holding fiercely to their petals as if they know their significance. i keep the roses in the vase on the fireplace, where my eyes fall easily. a little bit of make believe that it's not over. that you're coming back. with each passing relationship i marvel at how little is left behind. less and less with each passing partner. like it never happened at all. i protect myself.


I haven't written here for quite some time and since it's early Sunday morning and I'm actually awake I might as well do a little something.

Happiness, it seems, does not lend itself to creative inspiration. Not that I'm complaining.

My ex sis-in-law and my two nieces just left after a quick one day visit. Time spent with family feels good. Even though my five year old niece at one point said to me "You're very fat. You shouldn't be so fat." Even though my seventeen year old niece, while I was taking a picture of us, said "You smell bad." Coffee and cigarettes will do that. So you have to work on developing a thicker skin when hanging with the fam.

This afternoon I'm off to B's place. It's a different world when I fall into his arms for a weekend. My life is so compartmentalized these days. My parents are still staying with me. They announced that they'll probably be leaving at the end of the week and my reaction was No, I'm not ready! It hasn't been long enough. A month and a half this summer. Strange how easily I fall into the child role when my parents are here. It's truly lovely. Dad mows the grass and explains my taxes to me. Mom vacuums and cleans. I haven't been to a grocery store since they got here. The fridge is always stocked. It's not just what they do for me, the chores and such. It's this peaceful sharing of space, sharing of memories, sharing of old patterns. Lots of laughter. Cherish the little moments because one day all of this will not be possible.


Happy to Hurt in Sixty Seconds

Falling in, well, dare I say it? Love? Is that what's happening?

After the initial lust and infatuation comes the abrupt 180 -- finding faults, flaws, failings. Everything becomes a red flag. No no no. Not this person. Never ever forever. There is the familiar disappointment as highs drop to lows. And the realization, again, that it's easier to be alone than to be in a relationship.

This is where I typically end it. Say goodbye. Move on.

But not this time. Strangely, this guy held on. Willing to take the ride. Like a kid that clings to your leg when you try to walk away. Persistence pays off.

At some point you have to stop running away from that which scares you. Stop kicking. Stop screaming. And then? Peace. Maybe. For now.


Neuroses and the Romantic Relationship

That would be a good title for a novel. Now come up with a story of your own.


change, in moderation

my house is alive. mom. dad. brother. niece. the hours after they have gone to bed are now especially beautiful. in those quiet hours, when the house is asleep, i watch sad documentaries on my computer and cry big silent tears.

the family has changed. the dynamics have changed. it's nice. nice is not a very descriptive adjective, but it sums things up nicely. having family around, having this new family around, is nice. i've never appreciated my brother, for too many reasons to list here. now i see him in the role of daddy, and my perspective changes. vulnerability, truth, imagination, effort, weakness -- and now i see some other sides.

i will miss them when they go. i will miss the murmuring muffled by bedroom walls. the flush of a toilet. the slam of a cupboard. i will miss these sounds. the sounds of a house breathing, pulsing, retreating, expanding.

but i will celebrate the first night that i'm back to sleeping in the nude. i'll celebrate the 3 a.m. raid of the cookie jar. the 4 a.m. cigarette (or two). the dawn breaking beyond the fucking.

freedom is nice. family is nice. independence is nice. responsibility is nice. all in small doses.


What you are is what you have been. What you'll be is what you do now.



I have a cold. My head is fuzz, my lungs are raging, my limbs are heavy, my mind is mud. I'm at work, not working, on a beautiful Sunday morning, sitting in the dark of my room drinking rooibos tea and listening to the sandstorm wind-roar of the air conditioning. Lull. Lulled to sleep. Almost. On the weekends I'm the only one in the department, the only one on my floor. And there are nine beds up here. SO SO hard to resist.

My parents arrived a week ago from Arizona and will be staying with me for a few months, into September or so. This is the second year of their summer-in-Cleveland thing. It's not bad. A bit of a mind fuck at times, but worth it in the grand scheme of things. The other night my dad reminded me to turn off all the lights and lock the doors before going to bed. Uh, yeah, thanks Dad. When they're staying with me it's like my house becomes theirs and I become a teenager again, existing within the confines of parental control. I've told them that they can do whatever they want with my house. Mom likes to rearrange and reorganize. Dad likes to clean and fix broken or less-than-satisfactorily-working things. Now the drinking glass cupboard has become the plates and dishes cupboard. The sharp knives drawer has become the measuring cups and spoons drawer. The cupboard door under the sink that opened with a clank/drop/whine now opens with a, well, opens normally. The guest bathroom toilet that once needed a jiggle of the handle to stop running, now stops running on its own. Good toilet! Smart toilet! I am stranger in my home. A stranger in a marvelously clean, well-functioning, well-organized efficient grown-up house.

But every plus has its minus. I felt about a hundred pounds fatter when my parents arrived. They're both stick thin, and shrinking, and equate thinness with goodness. We were immediately back to the comments about me ending up in a nursing home with congestive heart failure by the time I'm fifty. From my mom I get "Oh, you have such a pretty face, if only..." types of comments. The other day I had a breakfast of cheerios with blueberries, and a glass of orange juice. Mom walked by and said "I approve of that breakfast." Oh. Great. Glad to hear it. Dad complains that I smoke too much, and that I smoke too quickly. Too quickly??? "You inhale your cigarette like it's the last one on earth", he says. If I smoked my cigarette half-assedly he would probably complain that I was too wasteful.

So, typical family shit. Thankfully, this year I have refuge outside of my house. More on that later . . .


this time. this time will be different. i have a pill in my belly and sweat on my skin and ringing in my ears and i can barely keep my eyes open. a precious high. i let it all roll off me like yesterday never happened and tomorrow will be perfect. high, high above my body, disconnected but i still feel me, only better. why does a password reset take so fucking long?



I have so much to say, but sitting here staring at the almost-blank screen I'm at a loss for words. I feel like rambling. Where did the words go?

impatient with my patients today. numero uno was a cokehead with a crap heart -- all blown out big and barely squeezing. she asked me if everything looked good. i said, i'm sorry, i don't interpret these ultrasounds, a cardiologist will read it. she is appeased. i am not. next was a creepy lady who stared at me the whole time without saying a word. granted, she's had a stroke and is no longer able to talk, but still. it creeped me out. usually i'd think, oh, poor lady. but today, all i've got is 'damn, stop looking at me creepy woman'. next was an equally creepy guy. granted, he is mentally retarded (not my words -- that's what was written in his chart), but still. he kept stopping me so he could pee in his little plastic urinal. there is something strange about seeing a guy maneuver his penis into a urinal. normally i wouldn't look but today, well, you know . . . i did look. all i was really thinking was hey, good for you buddy. your penis is long enough to fit down inside the urinal. nubs are rarely as successful. patients 4 and 5 were far less interesting and only get an honorable mention here.

i saw an interesting movie yesterday -- the dead girl. i'd expected it to be a murder mystery, and i suppose there was some mystery involved, but it was mostly brief strung-together glimpses into the psyches of five or six different characters. definitely my kind of film. the first part, with toni collette, was my favorite. self-loathing, s&m, etc. yummy good. oh, and giovanni ribisi -- super yummy good. oh, oh, and james franco -- super duper yummy good. i rented slumdog millionaire for tonight -- don't know if i should go there though. maybe tomorrow.

i feel like throwing things. like throwing breakable things at brick walls. crash bang splinter ouch. but i won't. i learned a long long time ago that throwing things is counter productive. and costly. i haven't thrown anything in five years. except for the occasional tennis ball for billy. i will now take a brief break from writing to imagine throwing breakable things at brick walls.


music is my god

little baby deeries just feet from me, timid but spirited by hunger, light me up. i was supposed to go to work today but i turned into this country music song and i pretended that work doesn't exist, because really it doesn't when i'm the only one there. it's like that tree falling in the forest. if sarah doesn't go to work on a day when no one else is there, can anybody hear it? yeah, whatever.

instead of working i took billy to the formerly-creepy vet for the verdict. the bloody wound is a ruptured cyst or tumor or something, and he needs surgery. fortunately, he was already going to have surgery to remove an ugly hangy-doodle on his leg, so the thing-removal will be done at the same time. $1200. note to self -- get pet insurance next dog.

i'm now in love with the formerly-creepy vet. i wanted to wrap my arms around his neck and let him explain splenic tumors and tooth removal to me. i'm quite sure he's gay, but that is irrelevant. while billy was in another room getting shaved and x-rayed, dr. steve and i had a chat. i started the chat with "i'm sorry to be morbid, but . . . ".

after the death of my bluedog i started mentally preparing for the death of my beloved billy. things did not go well when blue died. i mean, they went as i imagine they naturally do, but i didn't handle it well. after that experience i realized that i had to have a plan for what to do when billy, um, gets to the point of, well, you know. yeah, i'm a total planner. i plan for worst case scenarios. i'm usually pleasantly surprised by how worst case scenarios are really never as bad as i expected. i impress myself sometimes. but still . . . i need a plan. just in case.

people say i worry too much. that i'm too morbid. that i'm negative. that's all fine, but i really like my "just in case" personality. i'm not one to pretend that everything is great and will always be great. denial is gross. why am i even explaining this? i really shouldn't have to explain anything. it is what it is. i am who i am.

unrelated -- i just watched revolutionary road. it wasn't what i expected. it's left me pleasantly unsettled. i like some problems that don't have solutions. some truths that can't be changed no matter how much you hate those truths. there's something sexy about perpetual challenge. perpetual seeking. i may be a country music song today, but feeling unsettled or unnerved or un-something makes me like being alive. or makes life relevant. something. where are the words to describe?

i asked dr. steve if he ever goes to a client's house to euthanize an animal. he said in rare circumstances. rare circumstances like what, i asked. and that's when i found myself in a conversation with someone who is saying the correct things legally but dropping hints about something else entirely. and i feel relieved. my just in case plan is planned. billy can die at home with me. is it legal to bury a dog in the back yard i asked. no, dr. steve said, but i never tell anyone. love love love. then he tells me the story about his seven year old dog who had bone cancer. he removed the dog's shoulder and arm. he did chemo (which he says doesn't have the same awful side effects in dogs like it does in humans). a few months later the dog died. that's really sad, i said, walking out of the office. dr. steve smiled and said yeah, like what we were talking about before wasn't sad.

on the drive home, billy's head hanging out the window, his tongue tasting the breeze, i cried. not for long. and not for sadness. i cried because life is beautiful sometimes.


This entire blog is turning into a dog blog. Is this what generally happens to a childless divorced thirty-something woman? I'm going to try to write something of substance again soon. It seems that words come more easily when I'm miserable. I guess that being un-miserable is a good thing. Except for this blog.

So I'm washing dishes this evening (the daily meditation) and when I finish I turn around to find my dog lying on the floor licking a bloody gaping wound on his side. It's the size of a quarter. And it's bloody. Really bloody. After cutting the fur around the wound so that I can see better I discover two deep holes in his flesh. Looks like a vampire bite. But there's stuff coming out of the holes. Not just blood. Other stuff. More horrible stuff. I gag. Billy just lies there and wags at me. I gather random bandages and tape and neosporin. Neosporin is my windex. It solves all problems. Once I finish covering up the wound I tie an Ace wrap around Billy's gut. He wags at me. And I burst into tears.

Sometimes I am fragile.

Tomorrow, back to the vet . . .


I took Billy to a new vet this morning. It was a bizarre experience. First I'll say that it only cost me $77 which is kind of crazy with the amount of blood work they did. Billy's going to eventually have surgery to remove the growth on his leg, so I'm sure that will cost me, but, I'm used to a run of the mill vet visit costing about $250.

The vet spent a good hour and a bit with me. He showed me some bacteria from Billy's chin under the microscope. He drew me a complicated diagram of the relationship between liver function tests, epilepsy, phenobarbital and cushing's syndrome. After the first half hour I was thinking, what's this guy's angle? Why is he spending so much time on us? Is he lonely? Is he just generally long-winded? What does he want from me?

My point in writing about this? Well, it made me think -- why am I so suspicious when someone is nice? That's a fucked up way of looking at things. Am I the only one who does this? Are we so used to being treated badly by people? Is that our normal? Last week I was told that I should challenge my perspective. I should question why I view things the way that I do. Not to say that my viewpoint is wrong. But I have to wonder if my viewpoint is practical, or if it's a construct of my bias/judgment/self-judgment/tendency to think in terms of right and wrong/tendency to think in terms of black and white. It's interesting to question these things. Really, there is no wrong or right. It's merely perception. Where does this perception come from? Think nature vs. nurture. How much is due to genetics and how much is due to the events in our lives thus far?

So many questions. No answers. I dig that.


Borderline Personality Disorder

I'm posting the following information on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) for a few different reasons: It is an excellent synopsis of what BPD is. I try to explain BPD to people and am often at a loss for what to say. I tend to forget some of the important things. And that's the second reason I'm posting it: To remind myself of what BPD is really all about.

The third, and most important, reason: Well, I've done a lot of hard work to overcome, or at least better manage, issues associated with BPD. I refuse to believe that this diagnosis is a life sentence. I refuse to believe that a person is destined to exhibit the characteristics of the personality they are born with. There may be certain personality traits that will always be mine -- weaknesses and strengths -- but I'm convinced that weaknesses can be identified, challenged and made, well, less weak. It is an ongoing process of introspection and behavior modification. So this post is to remind myself of the exceptional progress I have made in overcoming many of the obstacles associated with BPD. It is not only a reminder of my success, but a reminder of the work that I have yet to do.

I am not a disorder. I am not automatically destined to travel a narrow path that was decided at birth. The path I take is up to me. I am evolving.

Taken from:

The main feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a pervasive pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image and emotions. People with borderline personality disorder are also usually very impulsive.

This disorder occurs in most by early adulthood. The unstable pattern of interacting with others has persisted for years and is usually closely related to the person’s self-image and early social interactions. The pattern is present in a variety of settings (e.g., not just at work or home) and often is accompanied by a similar lability (fluctuating back and forth, sometimes in a quick manner) in a person’s emotions and feelings. Relationships and the person’s emotion may often be characterized as being shallow.

A person with this disorder will also often exhibit impulsive behaviors and have a majority of the following symptoms:

* Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment

* A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

* Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self

* Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating)

* Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

* Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

* Chronic feelings of emptiness

* Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

* Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

Details about Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms

Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.

The perception of impending separation or rejection, or the loss of external structure, can lead to profound changes in self-image, emotion, thinking and behavior. Someone with borderline personality disorder will be very sensitive to things happening around them in their environment. They experience intense abandonment fears and inappropriate anger, even when faced with a realistic separation or when there are unavoidable changes in plans. For instance, becoming very angry with someone for being a few minutes late or having to cancel a lunch date. People with borderline personality disorder may believe that this abandonment implies that they are “bad.” These abandonment fears are related to an intolerance of being alone and a need to have other people with them. Their frantic efforts to avoid abandonment may include impulsive actions such as self-mutilating or suicidal behaviors.

Unstable and intense relationships.

People with borderline personality disorder may idealize potential caregivers or lovers at the first or second meeting, demand to spend a lot of time together, and share the most intimate details early in a relationship. However, they may switch quickly from idealizing other people to devaluing them, feeling that the other person does not care enough, does not give enough, is not “there” enough. These individuals can empathize with and nurture other people, but only with the expectation that the other person will “be there” in return to meet their own needs on demand. These individuals are prone to sudden and dramatic shifts in their view of others, who may alternately be seen as beneficient supports or as cruelly punitive. Such shifts other reflect disillusionment with a caregiver whose nurturing qualities had been idealized or whose rejection or abandonment is expected.

Identity disturbance.

There are sudden and dramatic shifts in self-image, characterized by shifting goals, values and vocational aspirations. There may be sudden changes in opinions and plans about career, sexual identity, values and types of friends. These individuals may suddenly change from the role of a needy supplicant for help to a righteous avenger of past mistreatment. Although they usually have a self-image that is based on being bad or evil, individuals with borderline personality disorder may at times have feelings that they do not exist at all. Such experiences usually occur in situations in which the individual feels a lack of a meaningful relationship, nurturing and support. These individuals may show worse performance in unstructured work or school situations.

Click here for links to BPD resources


Burnt match smell and I'm fully present. I open my eyes just a little and find you looking at me. I grin, a shy smile, and close my eyes again. These are the best times. Us in silence. Easy. Us less the roaring thoughts in my mind. Us less the questions. Less the anger. The storm.

I will stay like this for hours. Feeling your rough skin beneath my fingers, from across the room. Sometimes the not touching is the best part. Wanting your lips on mine, your weight against me, to feel complete. Sometimes the anticipation is the best part.


Breathe in and out

It's today now and I'm content unlike any time before. In my head I hear the ocean, the way it sounds at night, white noise, breathing in and out, in and out, consistent and expected like a heart beat. In my head I hear the forest, the way it sounds at night, the occasional twig breaking beneath the weight of an invisible animal, the flesh of the trees breathing in and out, in and out. In my head I hear the desert, the hum of heat rising in gasoline waves from the horizon, the white sun breathing in and out, in and out.

Last night I lay awake and thought of the broken child. Torn from within and torn from without. I lay awake, rolling from left to right and back again, searching for the cool spot on the sheets, watching the red numbers of the clock jump to 300. Thoughts of the torn child, a little girl, suddenly homeless. I took her in and gave her love, but no love was enough and she aged faster than she should, an old soul by sixteen. I lost her to her demons then. She ran and she ran and she ran, one day to return world-weary and docile, with three little babies sired by three hateful men. She had kept her shape: she relied on her body as a commodity, to be bought and sold, the price of keeping those little mouths fed. I still see that little girl with that gaping wound in a place where no blood should flow.

When 300 hit I turned my thoughts to the man with the mild manner and the crazy brilliant mind. I pictured us lying in bed together, me reading my book and him reading his book. Limbs entwined, physically one but mentally separate, searching for truth in words and inspiration in silence. I pictured us walking in central park, beneath a night sky brightened by snow, the flakes resting on his eyelashes for a split second before turning from white to invisi-wet. his glasses fogged up by breath hot with ideas, a brain burning furiously. I pictured holding his gloved hand tenderly, taking some of his darkness into me, giving him some of my darkness in return. Fuck existential loneliness I would think in my head.

And so I say hmm, hmm, hmm. Music is like a current running through me tonight. A river wild and beautiful, black rushing water and fluorescent white eddies, all through me tonight. Open the floodgates, he sings. Damien Jurado, Will Oldham, Sun Kil Moon, Townes Van Zandt, Gillian Welch, Dan Auerbach, Whiskeytown. Jason Molina haunted me today. A familiar ache rose up within me, and it was beautiful this time. I heard the sadness and it passed through me. Gut reaction was to cry, but tears of joy this time. This time is better. This time feels good. I feel it all. I let it come. I let it go. I am alive. I can think of no better thing. No better state of being. Content.

I sing love songs to the spring air that settles on my skin. I can barely remember the words so I make them up as I go. Nonsensical and light. A love song sung for me. Self-love. Funny that. I certainly don't mind pining for no one. Don't get me wrong -- I pine. But not for a person. Not for a person, place, or thing. I pine for freedom of the spirit. Continued ache. Pain gives rise to creativity. We suffer for our art. Or not. It's a noble thought, although not entirely practical or reasonable.

Damien Jurado -- Caught in the Trees. The soundtrack for right now. Sweet, dirty, raw. Like whiskey.

I want to scream expletives for the simple joy of it. What next will enter me? I am open to it all.


a poem for you

it's not that i don't love you
it's not that i don't care
but regrettably i've seen you
in your underwear
i've been better and i've been worse. goddamn motherfucking universe.

but . . .

i just got a land line home phone dealie for the first time in years and caller id shows about 15 telemarketing calls a day. only one real person has my home phone number. telemarketers are going to make me hate childhood leukemia in a whole new way.

unrelated to telemarketing (goddamn motherfucking teles, i came up with this idea my own damn self!), but related to leukemia -- this seems like a good idea: national marrow donor program. you pay a couple bucks, q-tip the inside of your mouth, send the q-tip to the people and you go on this registry. not the kind of registry like babies r us or target has. more like the kind of registry where you volunteer your bone marrow to some sick someone who is a match with you. not a match as in romantic lifetime soulmate match. but a match as in, hey, my bone marrow might help you out. yay. so the first thing people say is, don't they stick a long needle into your hip and it hurts like a motherfucker? from what i've read, it ain't all that bad. maybe 4 days of pain. pain you can survive. check it out here:

the dishwasher is awhirl and the back door is open and the mosquitos are coming in and my spiders are happy and there is bubblewrap in my kitchen and a tickle in my throat and no end in sight for the diet caffeine free pepsi in my fridge. it's a very, very good thursday.

i'm reading a good book. well, i'm not reading it now. i can't multi-task. the book is girlfriend in a coma by douglas coupland. i sat on the picnic table outside er this afternoon, reading my book and smoking my ciggies and someone asked what i was reading and i showed them the cover of my book and she said "girlfriend in a coma" and she had a blank look on her face and she said "you should read the twilight series." i said, "is it about vampires?" knowing full well it's about vampires and she got a blank look on her face and said, "yes, it's about vampires." end of story.

Angie came to see me today. I think we've met before, but I'm not certain. She kept taking her oxygen canula off. Then she would start coughing. A thick, deep cough. "Your oxygen is off," I'd say and she'd say "Oh" and put it back in her nose. A minute later she would absentmindedly pull it away from her face. I don't know how important these things are. Who am I to judge?

She left a puddle on my floor when she stood up. Not your typical puddle. Angie has congestive heart failure and all this random fluid in her body is ending up where it shouldn't be. So much fluid that her legs are thick and heavy, and her calves ooze the stuff. Hence, the puddle on my floor. She is younger than my mother.

The other lady, I can't remember her name, was not too thrilled to see me. "Hit her," she kept saying to her daughter. I was causing her pain. "Hit her, please." "I can't hit her Mom. She's doing her job." The lady looked at me and I understood this humor. She hugged me on her way out the door. Her daughter doesn't know when she's joking.

Dog wants to play. I must oblige.


One minute she's lamenting the loss of her eyeglasses and the next she is asleep. Mouth open, at first breathing shallow and then breathing deep. I find peace in each audible breath. The calm of this room. The easy flow of ink from my ballpoint pen onto yellow paper. This is perfection.


There's no right and no wrong, she said. There's no good and no bad. There are simply choices. Be mindful in making these choices. Consider the long term consequences of each choice you plan to make.

This is an unusual way of thinking. At least for me. But it makes a lot of sense.

Maybe you're resisting growing up, she said. Thinking less of long term consequences and instead going for what provides instant gratification.

She stifles a yawn.

The goal then, is to change behaviors. That perhaps to change behaviors might change thinking and a change in thinking might change behaviors. That's the theory at least. I will throw myself into this. Wholeheartedly. Maybe this time will be different. Maybe this time I will succeed. It's about the effort -- not failure.

There is no right. There is no wrong. There is no good. There is no bad. There are only choices.


and so things change. in an instant. unexpected. familiar. intriguing. i like a man with scars. new possibilities, new challenges and the opportunity to try out the new me. do it right this time. new questions, new theories, new worries. in an instant, things change.

i am not afraid this time. i am me and it is what it is.


During the work week I want to do a million different things before going to bed, and I have to force myself to get at least six hours of sleep before the alarm goes off.  Fridays I can stay up as late as Sunday night, but I end up going to bed the earliest of any other night.  Is this an aging thing?  It's not as if this was a horribly busy week at work, which might warrant tiredness.  I suppose all I can do is make peace with it and pull the covers up over my head.  Hardships!

It was a perfectly lovely day.  The sun was shining.  The grass was growing, green and strong.  The Cuyahoga river was flowing fast and furious.  The cafeteria guy gave me a super big helping of mac and cheese at lunch (I think he likes me, in that eww-gross-why-does-HE-have-to-like-me way) and my milk at breakfast was not yet spoiled.  Fantastic.  I celebrated Friday by buying three, count them THREE, new lipsticks.  And a new brand of shampoo and conditioner.  Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!  The new me is absolutely enthralled by the simple things.  Indian food for dinner -- I'm stuffed to the gills, whatever that saying means -- chicken makhani, veggie samosas and a crapload of naan. 

In unrelated news a man pooped on me today.  He didn't mean to poop on me.  These things just happen sometimes.  When I made the discovery of the poop on me, the man looked and me and I looked at him and I tried to act like being pooped on is a daily, trivial occurrence.  Which it really isn't. 

There was a code yellow drill at the hospital today (in addition to my code brown with the above-mentioned patient).  We were supposed to pretend that our department, on the fourth floor, was crumbling.  All of the administrators and various higher-ups were running around while I drank my coffee and checked my email.  Throughout the day we asked one another "Oh, are we still crumbling?"  I don't understand why we have all these drills.  If an actual disaster were to happen, I think we'd figure out what to do.  A few months ago we had a real code something-or-other; there was an accident on 271 and we were told that all the casualties were being brought to our hospital.  Word was that it was a 40 car pile up.  While all of the administrators and various higher-ups were running around, my coworkers and I discussed the unlikelihood of an actual 40 car pile up.  How stupid would that 40th car be to not realize he should brake?  I mean really.  I was slightly excited when they began bringing patients up for triage in our cardiac cath lab, but the end result was three patients who seemed more interested in getting a free hospital lunch than getting medical attention. 

Life in the hospital has been pretty dull lately.  No big scandals.  No accidental deaths.  I'll have to find things to amuse me elsewhere.  And into the weekend I go . . .