Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Not an Entertainment Director (Careful - this is a rant.)

{steps onto soapbox.}

I am a lot of things. Ask my friends and family. I am sure they all have lots of names for me. 

I have the standard titles: Wife, Mom, Daughter, Friend, Cohort, Coworker, Geek, Nerd, Pain in the butt, etc. However, my kids are over 18 now and one is married and expecting his own kid soon. I stopped being an entertainment director years ago.

Unfortunately, one of those moments, where you just want to table-flip the hell out of something happened this morning. Well, ok, it started last night. I was being polite and informed someone that I am going to go spend a weekend playing with my friends next month. Nothing huge, go down on Saturday, spend the night, hang out for a bit on Sunday then go home. I am making the commitment to go to Sacramento’s Pagan Pride ( as I haven’t been able to go for a couple years and am getting really tired of missing it. I’m dragging my husband with me, because well, that’s what he signed up for when he married me almost 25 years ago. He goes where I go, most of the time. (I’m not that heartless.) But, I am not, repeat AM NOT, responsible for anyone else. Not even my kids this year. If they want to go, they can find their own way there. My daughter and her friends will be at Yaoi-Con (; her fiancĂ© is livestock sitting for me that weekend. All my bases are covered. (Mind you, I live almost 60 miles from it.)

Or so I thought. Sigh. There are people in my life that do not believe in my way of thinking, do not share my faith. That’s cool. I’m okay with that. I don’t force it down their throats or try to convert. Not my place. As long as they are happy with their faith, that works for me. If you want to know about mine, ask; I’ll answer the best I can as I am still learning all the time. However, there are a couple that seem to believe I am their social director. That I should have included, invited, planned their weekend for them. Sigh.  This morning I have to deal with the crap, the pouty, pissy, moody, crap, and I know where it stems from – peeps are feeling like I purposefully left them out and I don’t want them around. Whatever.

Now, I have no problem with these peeps joining us. They have their own vehicles, they have their own lives. If they choose to come down for a day and join us at Pride, then cool, great, whatever. However, if you get pissy with me because I didn’t include you in my plans? I am gonna table flip the hell out of something. Seriously? If you are over 18, you can make your own plans and do your own thing.

I get really tired, frustrated and annoyed at those people I meet and know that bitch about not having anything to do, or friends to do it with, or whatever. Get off you lazy butt and go find some. They will not, I repeat NOT, come knocking on the door asking if you can come out and play. They probably don’t know you exist. Why? Because you do not put yourself out there.  

I do things because I need to go out and have fun while I can. With MS, I could be in a wheelchair in a few years or hell, next year for that matter. If I want to take a walk, I’m going. If I want to walk a 5K? Yep, you bet your sweet ass I am going to go do it. You can come with or not. You will not, however, bitch at me for doing it or wanting to do it and you will not get mad at me if I didn’t schedule it into your calendar for you. I’ll give you plenty of notice. If you want to go with me or be there or whatever, it’s of your own free will. I have too much to do and plan for with MS mucking up the waters than to have to worry about your adult ass, too.

You are not tied to a chair, handcuffed to a bed, or under house arrest. Do it your own damn self. The only person responsible for your bloody happiness is yourself. I tell myself that in the mirror every damn morning then I put on my big girl panties and combat boots and head out to defeat the day. Or, I try to. I understand that there are days I won’t be able to do much, but again, that is my decision, my issue, and my pain. Yes, I appreciate some of the help I get, if I need it, I will ask for it and when it is given I try to be gracious about it. My guilt at needing it is mine. BUT, I never assume I am going to get it or that it is due to me automatically.

Oh, and you are not Grumpy Cat, try smiling once in damn while. You might activate a few endorphins and actually be moderately happy for once. 

 {jumps off box}

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Rising Issues of Mental Health

With Robin Williams’ death comes another wave of discussion over mental health care in our country. Are we doing enough? Is the stigma disappearing? How does it come to this? What does this all mean?

Well, as the wife of an amazing man who happens to suffer from the diseases of Bipolar Depression and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, I’ll tell you. The answers of those questions are: No, No, easily for those suffering with depression, and only those people know.

Depression is a disease. It isn’t a stigma. It isn’t leprosy. It doesn’t brush under a rug and go away. It hides behind endearing smiles, captivating conversation, and energetic activities. It hides in dark rooms, under pillows, quiet times, and is deadly. It strikes when you are weak and hits like a brick. You can’t dodge it, or hide from it, or definitely, you CANNOT ignore it. It’s an evil fog that encapsulates its victim, then spreads out to try and trap those around them.

You know the saying, only the strong survive, yes? Well, even the strong can collapse with depression. It can dissolve your ambitions like acid. Everyone has a breaking point. It is what happens when you are at that point that can make or break it.

Depression is an invisible disease. I call Depression an invisible disease because sometimes even those closest to the individual don’t notice until too late.  People suffering from this disease are no different than those afflicted with other invisible diseases. It is no different than Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, etc. The individual has it, but most people can’t tell until it is so severe that there is no turning back. Depression has an advantage though, with the correct medication, support, love, kindness, help, and direction, most people can survive it, fight it, and live through it. Sure, they don’t look sick, but seriously, never judge a book by its cover.

Fighting Depression is a constant battle. Every moment, every thought, becomes a target and a fight. I’m dumb, fat, skinny, ugly, stupid, worthless, unneeded, a blemish, an anchor to my family, or a disgrace. The absolute fact is that you are NOT dumb, fat, skinny, ugly, stupid, worthless, unneeded, a blemish, an anchor to my family, or a disgrace.  You are smart, beautiful, amazing, friendly, fun, needed, loved, and special. You are a significant part of your friend and family circle. Without you, they would not be complete.

Depression is a bully. Beating you up and taking your sanity like your lunch money. It wants to stuff you in a locker, give you a wedgie, and put tacks on your chairs. Don’t even mention the mental swirlies that it gives you. Stand up to your Bully. Gather your friends and family and back that jerk right back into his box. Hulk Smash that bitch.

This has gone on long enough people. Mental Health is nothing to stick your nose up at and ignore. It is something painful that requires special attention. You fight it by being supportive, observant, and sincere. I know from my own experiences with the Big D that I need to have someone I love or respect tell me to put on my big girl panties and step up. It’s hard. It truly is.

Depression insinuates itself into your head and makes you think that you are a burden to your family. You are dragging them down. It would all be better if you just weren’t around anymore. Your family would move on and be better off. What you don’t believe, understand, or realize is the carnage you leave behind in your wake when you get to the point of suicide. You can’t, won’t, or don’t let your family do what they are there for, to love you and help raise you up. That is why they are there in your life. They aren’t pretty fixtures you need to dust. They are hard working, loving, caring, bully-destroying, kick-ass, cheerleaders, and supporters of everything you do in your life.

Your faith, yes, your faith can help as well, but it is the loving people in your face telling you to get up, take another step, expressing their love for you, and yes, tell you to put on your big kid underwear and combat boots, baby, cuz you are doing battle. The cool thing is, if you look to your sides, you realize that your family and friends are right there with you in this battle. Their love and commitment to you is your super power against the Big D. You can’t let it win. Please don’t let it win. The wreckage left behind takes forever to clean up and sometimes, it is never clean. Sometimes there is no recovery. And the circle begins again.

Break the circle, go Super Saiyan on that bitch. Tell it to back the hell off because you have things to do, people to see, memories to make, and people to love.

Sure, sometimes that person thinks they have no one to reach out to, but honestly, there are tons of people, groups, and support out there to stretch out a hand to you and give you a hug. For no other reason than you are just you. You are valuable. You have life experiences that can educate others. You have opinions, needs, desires, and suggestions on how to help others. You are amazing. Don’t ever let anyone tell you different.

I know this post sounds like a lot of BS, but honestly, I live with the Big D every bloody day of my life. It crawls into the crevices of my brain trying to undermine my control. It’s a constant battle. I have Multiple Sclerosis, that’s enough junk in my system trying to mess with me, I don’t need Depression coming to the party. The Big D was NOT invited.

I live with a loving and caring man that deals with this daily as well. We help and support each other. It’s all we can do. This isn’t a single-player game, peeps. This is full contact, multi-player, team defense.

There are tons of places out there for help. You can call any of the resources below or visit your local shelter and talk to anyone working there, I am sure if they don’t have the expertise to help, they know someone that does. Plus, I am sure the hugs are free and you should never be afraid of crying. Crying releases toxins in your body. So, cry away, get that crap out of your body. Don’t believe me? Go here:

Just take that first step, please.

Maybe some of this can help:

Call 24/7 - 1-800-273-8255

Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online (, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

National Institute of Mental Health (Also a great place for any info on Depression.)

Amazing help for Teens and Young Adults for Depression or Addiction Services:
Suicide Hotline: 800-784-2433 
Immediate Medical Assistance: 911 
Crisis Call Center: 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863 

Crisis Call Center
800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
Depression and Bipolar Support 
800-273-TALK (8255)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

National Hopeline Network

800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
800-442-HOPE (4673)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week
Crisis Center and Hotlines Locator by State

Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

Thursday’s Child National Youth Advocacy Hotline
800-USA-KIDS (800-872-5437)
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

Your Life Iowa: Bullying Support and Suicide Prevention
(855) 581-8111 (24/7) or text TALK to 85511 (4–8 PM every day)
Chat is available Mondays–Thursdays from 7:30 PM–12:00 AM

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: