Category Archives: Mental Health

People My Age

It happens every year, try as I might to avoid it.  Annually.  At about the same time each year.  On the same damn day, even.

Every bloomin’ year! What’s with that?

For the last 15 years, I’ve tried to avoid it.  I just put my head down and muddled through the whole month.  Looked forward to February.

Yeah, it’s my birthday.   Ho hum.  Everybody has one.  Still, I figure I need to do something to mark it.

So to celebrate, I’m going to insert one of my very favorite birthday songs for those of us who are in their our post- years.  The perfect song for the post-teens; post-Yuppies; post-childbearing, child rearing, post-careerists; post-menopausal; for the pre- and post-retirement set.

The perfect song for the pre-dead among us.  And I do hope you, my dear bloggin’ buddy, are among us.

Ho hum.  Where’s the wine?

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Awards, Bat-shit crazy, Birthday, Bloggin' Buddies, Disgustology, Family, Farts, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health

Where’s MY ‘Panic Button’?

Wednesday, the Texas legislature’s House voted to allow their members to install “Panic” buttons in their office.  Isn’t that special?

The reason they might just need these panic buttons is because some folks are just getting out of hand.  And in their hands, they want deadly weapons.  Just about wherever they go.

The Texas Lege is voting on whether to allow “Open Carry” of guns.  Texas would join 22 states where Open Carry is already legal.  [For the record, I am astonished that that bastion of gun rights, Texas, does not currently allow folks to carry guns wherever they choose.  Shocked, in fact.]

The vote to allow House members to install “Panic Buttons” all came about because of a group of folks, ummmm, lobbying for open carry rights.  This group went to the office of a House member, Pancho Nevarez, who had the audacity to plan to vote “No” on open carry.  And while these “lobbyists” believe strongly in the Second Amendment, they apparently haven’t read about the FIRST Amendment.   They were aggressive.  They were intimidating.  They were, in a word, assholes.

But the thing is, rather than doing anything to prevent assholes and crazy folks from carrying guns, intimidating people and killing them, the Texas House voted to allow their members to install “Panic Buttons” to alert security.

You will be surprised to know this action just doesn’t sit well with me.

Perhaps I should be used to it.  After all, there have been security measures in Congress and most Executive Branch departments for nearly 30 years.

Folks cannot bring their weapons into the State or Defense or Homeland Security Department.  You can’t even bring it into the Air and Space Museum.

And, really, that’s OK by me.  I don’t want government officials to be shot at their desks.  It’s so messy.

But you know what?  I don’t think anybody should be shot at a Walmart.  Or at a movie theater.  Or at an elementary school.

So why should we provide an extra level of protection for the very same folks who vote to put the rest of us at risk?

The folks who decide on the gun laws are voting to keep themselves safe.  If they’re going to do that, they should damn well vote to make me safe.  And you.  And our kids.

What is wrong with this picture?

 

 

 

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Elections, Gun control, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Mental Health, Stupidity, Taking Care of Each Other, Wild Beasts

Barney Hatred

One day when Jacob was about 5 years old,  John and I got a babysitter.  We were alone driving down the road, when we saw a man in a Barney suit  ahead of us, crossing the road.  He was obviously heading to some lucky child’s birthday party.  Hoo-hoo!

John slowed down, smirked, and turned to me and said “That is one brave man to cross the street in front of us.”

Google, Natch

Google, Natch

We hated Barney.  Jacob, at that age, loved him.  He wanted to watch Barney all the time.  Naturally we didn’t allow it, because really, who can handle that much Barney?  We knew that too much Barney would damage our young son.

John and I we continued our day out, away from our son, with the Barney song, and thoughts of homicide, stuck in our heads.  We were delighted.

We, like most parents, were relatively lucky, though.  We could turn it off.  We could say “no more Barney.”  We could have banished Barney completely.  We had control over the situation.

But this morning I read an article about someone who didn’t.  Who couldn’t.  Someone who was stuck, day after day, watching and listening to Barney.  For TWELVE YEARS!

Today’s Washington Post has a wonderful article about Martin Pistorius, a South African man who fell into a coma at age 12.  After several years, he began to emerge, but not in ways that let anybody know he was “there.”

His recovery began with Barney, the big purple dinosaur he was forced to watch on loop at the special care center where he spent his days, according to NPR.

“I cannot even express to you how much I hated Barney”

Pistorius decided he’d had enough and dedicated his thoughts to something that offered some modicum of control over his reality, such as telling time by tracking sunlight in a room.

As his mind improved and Pistorius learned to “reframe” and “reintepret” his “ugliest thoughts,” his health improved, too, according to NPR. By age, 26, he was able to use a computer to communicate, shocking his family.

I don’t want to give away all of it, but trust me:  The article is fascinating.  I think the book he wrote of his experience sounds like it is too.

It’s a wonderful story of revival.  And, of course, proof, that when we hate Barney, we can achieve great things.

Please fall on your knees to me.

I could have added Barney video.

 

 

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health, Taking Care of Each Other

Pet Power!

Elyse:

What a terrific way to cheer up a kid in the hospital.  I was 17 the first time I was hospitalized — it’s a terribly lonely place to be.  So sharing some pictures of my Duncan is the least I can do.

Thanks, Tops, (of Life With The Top Down) for letting me know about it! Duncan pics on the way to Anthony!

Originally posted on Life With The Top Down:

Immediate Smile

Immediate Smile

This morning as I was trolling on Facebook I noticed that one of my friends posted an adorable photo of her two puppies Cosmo and Emma, but this time it was different. She included a well wishes to someone named Anthony. Hmm … further investigation was necessary.

After a few clicks I found out that her photos were actually part of a wonderful event Photo Doggies for Anthony. Anthony is a 16-year-old boy who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

As I was reading his story I found out that Anthony is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and animal healing. I know my Peanut has wonderful nursing skills, so I can’t argue with that thought. 

Therapy dogs are just not available every day for every patient, so some wonderful people in Anthony’s life came up with this incredible idea…

View original 171 more words

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Childhood Traumas, Health and Medicine, Humor, Mental Health, Wild Beasts

Healing

Before I started blogging, I hadn’t done much personal writing.  I’m a medical writer at work, so I’ve been working with words for decades.  But they weren’t for me.  They weren’t about me.  And they didn’t help me get beyond my share of those things that landed on my shoulders and my heart and pushed down.  Tried to drag me under.  Things that succeeded sometimes, I’m sorry to say.

For years I’d grieved.  I couldn’t get beyond the loss of much loved family members.  Until I wrote this post.  Now, I think and write my stories with more smiles and fewer tears.  Through the humor I found writing it, I got myself back.  And them, too.  It was a win-win.  By writing it, I was able to heal.

I had forgotten that really, the only thing as powerful as words is being able to laugh.  When I first posted Both Sides Now three years ago, my bloggin’ buddies didn’t quite know whether it was OK to laugh.  It is.  I did.  I do.

My long-time bloggin’ buddies may remember this post.  I’m posting it again mostly for myself and for my newer friends.

*     *     *

Both Sides Now

“The Season” makes me crabby.  Grumpy.  Irritable.  I’ve come to hate it.  Everything about it.  I hate the music, the crowded stores, the decorations.  I especially hate the decorations.

Last year a friend stopped by our house in the middle of December.  “God, it’s December 15th,” I said to her, “and the only decoration I have up is the wreath on the door!”

“I don’t think that counts, Lease,” responded my husband John. “You didn’t take that down from last year.”

“Oh, yeah.”

Tonight, I’m looking around at my undecorated house thinking, “uggggh,” not “Ho ho ho!”

It wasn’t always true, though.  I used to be one of them.  I was a veritable Christmas Elf.  I baked, I decorated.  I embroidered Christmas stockings for the whole family.  My son Jacob and I built gingerbread houses that did not come from a mix or a box and were actually made of gingerbread stuck together in the shape of a house!  My friends got a bottle of homemade Irish Cream liqueur.  Some used it to get their kids to bed on Christmas Eve.

But mostly, I sang.  The records, tapes and CDs came out on Thanksgiving.  From the moment I woke up the day after Thanksgiving, until New Years, I would trill away.  “White Christmas,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”  I belted “Mele Kalikimaka” when I had an established escape route to avoid people trying to punch me.  I know the words to all 18,423 verses of Frosty the Snowman.  I would start singing in the shower and keep going until John tackled me and put duct tape across my mouth, usually at about 8:30 a.m.  Regardless, I’d start up again the next morning.

If the current, Crabby Christmas Me got a hold of the old Merry Christmas Me, I would slap myself silly.

So you see, I do understand the Christmas-sy part of Christmas.  The love, the joy, the traditions.

But now I see the other side.  And it’s that “tradition” part that is to blame.

You see, my family’s always been fairly competitive.  My mother and her sister Ruth were particularly so.  They’d argue at each shared Sunday dinner over a million things:  whose gravy was better (my mother’s), who cracked the best one-liner (always Aunt Ruth – she was a hoot), and most traumatically for me, whose young daughter was taller. (Duh, Maureen was almost a year older than me – of course she won every time.  But you’re not taller now, are you?  And you’re still older, Maur.  You’re still older.  How do you like it??)  Darn, I wish I’d missed the competitive gene.

When I was a kid, Aunt Ruth was high on the list of my favorite relatives.  Now she’s tops on an altogether different list.  And it ain’t Santa’s list, neither.

Because Aunt Ruth started a family tradition.  A competition.  But it’s not a family tradition I recommend, especially during the Christmas season.  In fact, it should have a warning, although I’m not sure where you’d put it:  Don’t try this at home.

You see, Aunt Ruth started the tradition of kicking the bucket on a major holiday.  What fun!  Great idea!  Not many families do that!  Hey, we are DIFFERENT!

Knowing Aunt Ruth, I’m sure her last thought was “Doris, you’ll never top this one!  I’m dying on Thanksgiving!!!!”   She was no doubt a bit miffed when my mother joined her a couple of years later.

Because, not to be outdone, Mom arrived in the afterlife on Easter Sunday.

Their party really got going when we reached Y2K, and my sister Judy died unexpectedly on my birthday in January.  Now, you might argue that my birthday is not, technically speaking, a holiday.  Not a paid day off for most folks.  But hey, in my book, this qualifies.  So there.

As time went on, there were fewer and fewer holidays I could celebrate.  The only big one left was Christmas.

Guess what happened on Christmas, 2000!

Yup, Dad reclaimed his spot at the head of the table with Mom, Judy and Aunt Ruth. Dad trumped them all.  Or because it was Christmas, perhaps he trumpeted them all.  Maybe both.

I must say I am rather ticked off about it all.  Sort of changes the tone of the Holidays, you see.  I plan to have words with all four of them, next time I see them.  And I will not be nice.

In the meantime, celebrating holidays, well, it just seems so odd to me.  Especially Christmas, because Christmas is so stuff-oriented, and most of my Christmas stuff is from them.  It takes a bit of the fun out of decorating.

For a while, I considered joining the Eastern Orthodox Church.  That way I could celebrate the same holidays, just on different days.  I could keep all my Christmas crap!  I could decorate!  I could bake!  I could sing!  But then I realized that the change would just give us all additional high priority target dates, and I don’t have enough family members left to meet the challenge.  So Eastern Orthodox is out.

At the same time, I also realized that, when Dad hit the Holiday Lottery, the whole tradition had to stop.  Because I’m pretty sure that biting the dust on, say, Columbus Day, just wouldn’t cut it.  So why bother?

Nevertheless, this whole thing has made me decidedly anti-holiday.

There is one holiday I still look forward to, though.  Groundhog Day.  I just can’t figure out what sort of decorations to put up.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Birthday, Bloggin' Buddies, Childhood Traumas, Christmas Stories, Dad, Family, Health and Medicine, History, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health, Mom, Taking Care of Each Other, Writing

Nope. Not Even For This

In 1983, I’d forgotten about Nate’s birthday — my (then) youngest nephew.  He was turning 7 on November 29.  And I hadn’t gotten him anything.

I couldn’t not send him a present.  I couldn’t send his present late, either.  I had a reputation to uphold, hard-earned through a combination of silliness, indulgence and bribery of my sisters’ kids. The favorite aunt.

So bravely, OK, foolishly, I went to ToysRUs on Black Friday that year.  Because I am a damn good aunt.  A saint.

An idiot.

Not me, but the blond woman looks kind of like me.  (Google Image)

Not me, but the blond woman looks kind of like me. (Google Image)

 

It was a madhouse.  Wall to wall people, shoving each other around to find the latest favorite toy (Cabbage Patch dolls, I think it was that year).  Zillions of people trying to grab things off the shelves, elbows flying, tempers flaring.  I’ve never gone shopping on Black Friday again.  I never will.  Nothing would get me to go.  Nothing.

Unless of course, some store re-runs this sale:

Japanese Department Store

Offers Unusual Deal

Finally, braving the mall makes some sense

On second though, nope.  Not even for this fuckin’ sale.  Or any other fuckin’ sale, for that matter!

Hope you are/were smart enough to stay home!

 

*****

My thanks to Toby of Dumbass News for  reminding me of this sign.

(Happy Birthday Nate!)

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Birthday, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Family, History, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health, Mysteries, Stupidity

A Fun Hangout – Gibber’s!

These days, I don’t have much time to just hang out with friends and crack jokes.  One liners.  Try to be funnier than they are, only to realize that it’s a draw.  It’s always a draw, because when you hang with friends and laugh, well, everybody has a good time.

What can be better than that?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t get nearly enough opportunities to do that.  I mean there is work, Duncan* duties (and cleaning up the doo-doo), and the fact that all my friends are spread out around the area, around the country and around the world.

And when I top one of John’s line with the funniest thing ever said by person-kind, he just looks at me, straight-faced, and tries not to laugh.

My need to one-up and be one-up’d has led me to a really fun new blog.  OK, it isn’t really that new.  OK, I’m a rotten person because I should have done this post a while ago.  It’s Gibber Jabberin!

Blatently stolen from http://gibberjabberin.wordpress.com/ . Sue me.

Blatantly stolen from http://www.Gibber Jabberin.wordpress.com.
Sue me.

Now, we regulars over there give Gibber a hard time.  Well, we give each other a hard time, too, but I’m talking about the hard time we give to Gibber now.  (You’ll have to visit the site to see how we treat visitors/commenters.)

You see, Gibber is brilliant.  She set up a blog where everybody else does all the work!  Seriously!

Folks send her questions — predominately stupid questions.  She introduces them, and her followers read and comment.  Then we abuse each other.

It is Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

much fun

Today, one of my questions is featured!  My first musical question:

Head on over to Gibber Jabberin’ and see if you can answer the musical question.

And then see if you can answer a question for me — why didn’t I do this post sooner?

Apparently, stealing stuff from Gibber is habit forming.

Apparently, stealing stuff from Gibber is habit forming.

Zorbear told me that my links weren’t working.  In case my fixes didn’t work, here’s the site:  http://gibberjabberin.wordpress.com/ .

*     *     *

I haven’t posted any pictures of Duncan lately.  So here’s one.

Duncan in waning sunlight Photo Credit:  MEEEEEEEE

Duncan in waning sunlight
Photo Credit: MEEEEEEEE

(I do not have the Midas touch — Duncan has not turned yellow or gold.  He is still Cammo-dog, black and gray.  But I like this picture and he never ever sits still!)

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Bloggin' Buddies, Conspicuous consumption, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Family, Farts, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health, Wild Beasts