Saturday, March 5, 2011

Friday, June 18, 2010


Life is too important to be taken seriously.

Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One Year Left

So I have slightly more than one year to figure out how to be sixty. This seems formidable. I come from a culture that creates good and bad ways to do things. We obsess about roles, about looking the "part". We create fictions of our lives so that we will fit in. I look at myself, jeans, t-shirt, messy, scatter brained and think, " I look like a tomboy slob. I can't be sixty". I must get my act together, be a better housekeeper, dress like an adult, clean up my life.Women who are sixty are grownups. Then I go out at night and look at the stars- and I realize that it absolutely does not matter how I play the role of sixty . The stars are very comforting that way.

Not a casserole illness

There is a facebook group for people over 40 who have handled bipolar illness for at least ten years. Small group, some nice folks there Someone on the group talked about how mental illness is not an illness that folks respond to by bringing casseroles and sending get-well cards. No community rallying around, no flowers.Not a casserole illness.
I have had one hospitalization for depression .That was in 1978 when I checked myself in to a hospital in San Francisco for six weeks. I incapacitated by depression and anxiety - those of you who know what that is like don't need a description from me. It was by far the most debilitating period of illness I have ever experienced. I was 27 years old, 3000 miles away from family and scared to death.My body didn't work right, my thoughts were terrifying and out of control.I went for days without sleeping.I had hallucinations.
I begged my family to come and help me. I couldn't function, had to move out of my apartment, had already lost my job. My family refused to come. My sister told me that my parents were very upset and that " I was killing them"- she told me she would never speak to me if I "killed my parents" with my "nonsense". The sad thing is that I actually kept speaking to that woman after that incident and indeed tried to nurture our relationship years later. My folks managed to survive another twenty years after my "breakdown".
No family came to see me at the hospital let alone help me out a bit before things got to that extreme point. They would come out many times years later, once for a fairly minor surgery, a couple of times after the births of my daughters, but I spent that horrendous time relying on friends to help me survive the worst experience of my life. Never got any flowers,cards, declarations of love and support, and certainly not a casserole from anyone. I was a kid, sure that I was going crazy for life, sicker than I had ever been before or since,and very much on my own.
I ended up going back to live with this family of origin, hanging out at my parents house for a couple of months before they kicked me out and put me on a plane for San Francisco. Then it was back to relying on friends again as I returned to San Francisco barely functional. The rest of that awful year I slowly discovered how strong I was. It is indicative of my self esteem at the time that I didn't get angry at my family until many years later. I knew I was bad, because only bad people were crazy, and assumed I deserved the hell I got.
I have since worked as a mental health counselor for years and have heard so many similar stories. Mine is not at all unique. Partly I was the victim of an unenlightened time, but I can't imagine a time, any time, that I would treat my child or sibling like that. I want my fucking casserole.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

So, I've been busy.

Ok, so now it is spring time in NJ. Much has happened and yet not much at all. It was a good winter, there was quite a lot of snow which I enjoy much more than I enjoy endless days of grey and cold. Snow is exciting and we have swell neighbors who are sharing a snow blower with us so that makes the inches much more palatable. That entire sentence sounds dirty. I spent the winter hanging out with the older daughter who is home between college and grad. school, the dogs, who are not as far as I know planning to go to grad school next year, the husband, my clients and the other folks at the local Y where I swim every other day. The younger daughter is still living in the Big City and we visit her from time to time.
The older kid is off to Yale next year for PHD program in genetics. Younger is off to Italy this summer for a month, and then will be starting her senior year of Art School. They are deeply amazing kids.
And that is our life, at this point in time. Later.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Random stuff

This is a worthy link.

This is a TV show very much worth watching. Am now all caught up on back seasons and am constantly amazed at the intelligence and craft displayed by the writers.

It is the most gorgeous early fall day out there and it beckons to me and the furry critters.

Here are the furry critters napping last night....

I am off to exercise all three of us.