Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Well, I am finally home!  Went cruising the Pacific, into four ports in Hawaii (swoon for the beauty!), into Mexico, and home again!!!  Had so very much fun and LEARNED so much!!!!!  There's no way for me to put everything, everything! that I saw and did and experienced into words here.  I am overwhelmed.  I met so many people from everywhere in the entire world!  I cruised on Princess Cruise Lines' Golden Princess, so if  you have ever done that one, say hello!

I have to tell you that, between my dad and me (more him than me), we have traveled to many places around the world.  And we both feel that Hawaii is THE most alluring and beautiful travel destination (or LIVING destination if you can swing that or if you are already so blessed!) in the entire world.  I have yet to see some of the other Pacific islands or Australia, but Dad has seen those too.  He still feels that Hawaii has it ALL.  We both allow that it might be because we are US citizens and, therefore, Hawaii of course offers all the comforts of home (how can it be, everyone surmises over and again, that we are at "home" in the 50 states, while being awash in this amazing environment?!).  I don't know though.  There is nothing like it on the earth that I have ever experienced, from the people to the rain forests to the black sand beaches (they have white and brown sand too) to the volcanoes to the sense of history to the unique culture to the food to ... on and on!  

Hawaii is so beautiful, so stunning, not just physically, but within and throughout, that it breaks my heart.  I don't know why I use that phrase, don't know why it feels that way, but it just fits, that just describes it for me.  All at once, one wants to reach out and grab it, hold onto it, wrap oneself in itc drink it and breathe it, let it rain down upon the head and just bask in its glory ... And at the same time, you want to hold back, keep your hands to yourself completely, leave it utterly alone in its eden-like peace and quiet, not to leave even a footprint ... It is too gentle and stoic and un-touched.  It's like that.  Although I am a writer, I cannot quite find the words.

This might seem to be a non-sequitir, but it's not, at least not for me... On the ship, there was a crew talent show of sorts.  The very first act took my breath away, musically.  It was a song that I had never heard before (yeah, you might laugh at me), but now I have it on repeat.  A supervisor of the ship's cabin steward staff, a guy named Edwin, played guitar and sang his rendition of Elton John's "Skyline Pigeon."  The lyrics are so poetic, the song so moving, so floating, that I will learn it on MY guitar in time!!  Anyway, the words and the setting where I heard it for the first time -- well, now that song has come to signify my vacation and my own lust for travel and for maybe, just maybe living on the islands one day!

More stories to come...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

More Psych Stuff, Addiction..

So Part 2 of my psych post ... See, what I do when I say that I'm not doing anything is watch movies and TV shows on the wide variety of cable channels that I have never stopped loving..(I never had a TV with cable until I was 27 years old!!! never ever!).  And I read and write.  I spend entire days when I'm not feeling up to anything much just doing this.  I have books and magazines and an e-reader, and I just read and read.  Then I do some writing about my thoughts on what I've taken in, from the writing.  Then I watch some of the crazy shows that are on TV about women in prison, about little kids in beauty pageants, and the Housewives shows, and all that.  Tonight "Slingblade" is on IFC, and I've never seen it.  So I've been watching it (really, really great) but also reading blogs and stuff.

I think I've gotten myself depressed by reading the material that I have been reading.  I just finished Nic Sheff's book called "Tweak."  It's his memoir about his journey through addiction to recovery and back and forth and back again.  Yes, there are a great many of these memoirs that have been published in the past several years.  And I've read quite a few.  But I think that Nic's is ... if not the best, then it's the one that I relate to the most.  He's so honest and raw and genuine about what he feels and experiences ... it's really moving for me to read his words.  I don't feel alone that way.  I mean, it's so good when an author can express those things in words...

Like, every human being has all kinds of insecurity and fear and wonder and hope and despair and shame and different levels of insanity within.  I truly believe that.  But -- in America anyway -- we really have this current culture of striving to be strong and smiling and just so damn capable all the time.  But almost NO ONE feels this way all the time.  Everyone wants to be, feels they have to be, are expected to be pretty perfect.  If you're a mom, well, we know how that goes ... no matter whether you decide to stay home with your kids, to keep a profession while they go to school and babysitters, if you have to make a decision on what's best- whether to leave their dad or not to ... There will always be something or someone who tries to tell you you were wrong, you failed, and therefore you aren't perfect at all...

Our world has become staggeringly fast-paced, all about getting something fast and painlessly and easy.   When we see commercials on TV, the trick is always to try and tell us that the product will help you lose weight FAST ... to whiten your teeth more CHEAPLY, and always, always ways to "feel better" about things.  I'm vehemently against those who would blame the media or blame celebrities and all that for our problems in society... That's just too simple of an "out."  Our society and its ills are a complex dance of supply and demand, church and state, virtue and vice, and what it all means to different people.  There are virtually endless issues to be considered such as race, economics, our invisible class system, parts of the country and their cultures, education available to people.  

I don't know what I'm trying to say.  It's just that I read all these words and experiences from Nic's book, and they were heavy, and they just moved me so much.  I just thought so much about my own experiences and how we come to do what we do, especially as all of it relates to our country's enormous problem with addictions.  

I'll just add a little bit of my own background, because there is too much to tell.  But I come from a long line of people with emotional problems, especially those diagnosed with depression.  However, the raging dysfunction I have seen or been told about on both sides of the family would depress anyone, it seems to me.  So, what is disease, and what is just brought on and taught?  Well, whichever it is, there has been a lot of emotional and mental pain on both sides of my family.  And a lot of substance abuse.  Mainly, in the past, we have had alcoholics, just so many.  I personally have never felt a draw to alcohol, which just makes me sad and headachey and, well, more depressed than ever.  Our human brains must be all so different ... in that, certain people take that first drink and are in love with the stuff.  And other people, such as myself ... we don't experience that, no matter how much "partying" we do or whatever.  

The thing is, I know that I have an addictive personality, at least to a point.  I have seen the obsessiveness and the abuse of the self and substances and of life that accompany that demon, addiction.  I just struggle so much with two main hallmarks of an addict:  ONE is that I often feel that there is a hole inside of me that must be filled, and I try to learn and work and fill it with the "right" things, good things, healthy things.  But it's a dangerous duty.  Anyone can slip, intentionally or not, and it's so easy to start filling that hole up with numbness, the easiest thing to do.  TWO is that I feel so "different" from others for some reason and always have.  I have never met an addict who did not feel this way, somehow, in some way, different, standing alone, outside, even weird and disliked, by others.  Wanting to be accepted somewhere, into some family, some organization, but never feeling like you fit.  How can this be when there are so many of us?  

I struggle against both of these things in myself everyday.  I think the second one is even harder than the first, that is to say more difficult.  Through therapy and all of my reading and just different things I'm always pursuing, I HAVE learned a bit about filling that "hole" with the proper things.  I don't always succeed, but I know HOW (not that I don't have more to learn, that I want to learn).  The thing is, I really still struggle with the problem of never fitting in, always feeling different and alone and ugly and outside.  Even though I know that many other people feel this way for whatever their different reasons are, I never feel like that makes it any easier for me to connect to any of them.  Where are these people?  Who are they?  Why don't they ever talk about this stuff?  Why don't they want to talk to ME?  

It's a work in progress...

Psych Stuff

Well, what should I say?  Where to start?  I haven't been writing as much as I'd like, but I'm doing a little writing in my own journal... meaning my personal paper-and-pen one.  I work out the absolute darkest, most difficult shit there usually.  Sometimes I expand on those issues here.  Sometimes I just keep notes on stuff that I might want to explore in depth later or events in my life that I know I will want to remember just the way they are.  I really love having a journal, and writing is just IN me.  I have and always will write, whether I get paid for it or not.  It's just who I am.

So it's difficult when my "issues" (for lack of a better term) get to me and even take my writing away.  My doctors think that I have Adult ADD, but as with so many things, they haven't really said it's for sure; rather, they just try different meds and treatments for things, and if they work, they work.  My doctors never seem to label the disorder at the root of the emotional or physical pain.  Anyway, it has been suggested that I have my severe Migraine Disorder as a physical illness ... and then this ADD (only discovered / explored last year!) thing as a mental issue ... and a by-product of the suffering these two little bastards have caused is Depression...  yay.

But it's tricky, this stuff, isn't it?  They say that attention problems might be the secondary issues actually ... from medicine, from depression, from sleeping problems... all of which I have sometimes.  I swear that when I'm not in pain and when I don't have raging ADD symptoms, I am not depressed.  That suggests to me what I described in the last paragraph.  That is the right diagnosis, according to what I feel.  But the docs just seem to think that it doesn't matter so much what you ARE, what you HAVE and what it's CALLED, as long as we mess around with chemicals and everything enough to make it better.  I think this is weird.  Do they not talk to me more about diagnoses and things because they think that I, as a layperson, am too dumb to get it?  Or do they just not give a shit?  Or do they truly not focus on that stuff anymore ... like, maybe they feel it's detrimental to be teaching patients to label themselves "depressed" people or whatever.  I'm not sure.  I'm gonna press each of my docs next time I see them for more information.

I didn't do shit today, and I'm not planning to.  I mean, I get so frustrated with myself and with these disorders or whatever.  I always make a plan to wake up early and get going ... Meaning, I want to get up and maybe work out and then get in the shower and be clean and ready, ya know?  But it is more frequently the case that I wake up with a headache or just sluggish because I didn't sleep well or whatever... both sometimes.  So I drink the coffee, and I try to pump myself up a little, and I make lists of what I want to accomplish ... But then the headache will refuse to go away even with medicine, or I just can't seem to get the energy.  It's shitty.  Soon enough it's late afternoon, and nothing is done.  

I allowed myself this for awhile.  It's been just under six months since I received my disability qualification.  For me, that was a blessing and wonderful news.  Sounds crazy, but life has been crazy in the past couple of years.  If I didn't stop the rat race, the craziness that was taking hold of life for me, which I have spoken of before, I would have just shriveled.  Maybe I would have died eventually.  I don't know, but everyday was worse than the last...

So I knew that I needed to rest and just get myself together, being gentle with my sick self and just letting the healing and energy come back to my spirit.  At first, in the first three months maybe, everyone just went NUTS at the change in me... I mean, they were happy and glad to be around me and happy FOR me, you know?  People constantly were telling me how much light and energy and just a glow or something had returned to me.  And now ... Now I think that I lost some of that along the way over the past couple of months...

To Be Continued ...

Monday, March 01, 2010

To Blog Anonymously or Not?

I am feeling so ... ick.  First there was some evil virus that made me all sniffley and sleepy during last weekend.  Then I had more energy but still just have had a difficult time getting back my mojo!  I even made an appointment with my therapist!  I mean, that's not, like, outlandish or something.  It's just that I don't have regular, bi-weekly appointments with him or something.  Rather, I just see him when there are problems or things going on that I am having trouble solving in my life.  Well, now seems like that kind of time.  I'll catch him up on everything this Thursday.

I don't usually write a lot about relationship troubles here ... that's one of the hazards of having a non-anonymous blog!  In the past, I have had anonymous blogs and been "found out" by a psycho boyfriend twice.  That really burned me.  Even though he was in the wrong in 1) looking for my personal blog online and for 2) judging me and the things that he found upsetting about the blog he wasn't meant to read ... oh! and also for 3) imposing his own values and ideas about what his GF should and shouldn't talk about online ... even though he was in the wrong, somehow, I was the one that really suffered.  That is why, even though I have been blogging for years, keeping such a detailed record of my life and my thoughts, I have no archives besides the ones here.  I have changed a lot since those days and vowed not to delete a blog again ... especially not in response to the wishes of a boyfriend.  

Any readers out there, who know me in "real" life or otherwise, might as well know that this is my true and authentic-as-possible account of my life.  It's MY life, at THIS time, in THIS place ... MY thoughts and reactions, MY feelings, MY ever-changing views and opinions ... and sometimes it is a place where I just hash things out, meaning that what I write here might not be the full story on what I think about something ... It might just be my working out a problem.  You know how sometimes you "decide on" several different courses of action before actually embarking on one?  Well, I do that in my writing quite often.  And it's just better that anyone who might be quick to make assumptions knows that what I write here is NOT a record of my decisions or finalized plans.  And if all of that is too confusing or troublesome for you, maybe you better just stay in the realm of our "real" life.

But still, having a blog that people who actually know me read means I don't write quite as freely as I would otherwise do.  I have toyed with the idea of creating another blog, somewhere else, where no one knows it's me (or maybe I already have), but then I would probably stop this one.  I'm only interested in writing about my life once!  And in a coincidental opposite-situation, I would probably write TOO openly in an anonymous blog, and if anyone who knows me read it, they would instantly know it was me!  

So this is it.  This is me.  I do not refrain from writing things that might offend, in terms of politics, religion, opinions on life and people and whatever comes to mind.  The only time I sometimes censor myself is if it's a case of hurting someone personally.  Like, if someone in my family gave me a present that I didn't like, or if they had a personality trait that really annoyed me, something they couldn't change, I wouldn't write that.  Because ... what can be done?  I tend to be against teasing and complaining about others when they have either a) done the act in good faith, such as choosing a gift, or b) are doing something or have a trait that they cannot change about themselves.  Other than those types of personal things, I try to write openly.  Anything else is a disservice to the act of blogging (in the definition of what I mean my blog to be) and to my own life's account.

For some reason, I feel like I had to write about this and address these issues today.  I have not received many complaints -- although I have gotten a couple -- regarding this blog, but like I said, the past burns bright in my memory.  That whole relationship burns and stings in my memory, but oh, that's a story for another day...a day when I want to be thoroughly depressed!  Anyway, I hope that anyone reading this who knows me, will take it to heart...

Bottom line?  If you read something here that rubs you the wrong way or seems like it's hurtful to you ... PLEASE ask me about it and allow me to explain in person!  Allow me this blog to write and express and explore what I think and feel.  Sometimes it's the only "safe" place to do so.