Fanatic’s Brotherly Love

beautiful-child1Do you ever feel like you’re dancing when you do housework? You know. Dancing around the issue you can’t face. Or the emotion you don’t want to feel. Or the racing thoughts that threaten your personal stamina. The real overarching issue causing me to clean every crevice of my house was the suicidal chatter.  I placed the medication bottles in the middle of the kitchen table. They quickly became my totem pole. I looked to them for answers, guidance, reassurance.  I envisioned the moment as a sacrifice.  I was giving myself up to the demons strangling my mind.  I could no longer bare witness to my own agony and despair.  The pressure and speed of my thoughts had to be doing structural damage to my brain.  I could feel the impending explosion.
Sprinting around my house from task to task, Starting one after another was the only thing keeping me from bowing down to those pills. I was literally afraid if I sat down I would drink the bottle to quench my agitation.  Round and round I spun faster and faster. If I indeed had a tether to reality it was unraveling.
I scribbled words onto a red piece of paper.  Revealing my pain. Asking for forgiveness.  Apologizing for being such a burden.  Insisting it was no ones fault. Begging him to believe that deep in his soul.  It was a tired explanation. What’s there to say. I mean really.  I can’t do it anymore. I simply give up. I love you tremendously. You love me incredibly.  Love cannot conquer my demons. My inner emotional pain.  The shattered pieces you 7-21-14-rose-jpegdon’t see.  I am sorry is not enough. But it’s all I got.  I can’t ask you to understand, but so hope you do.  At least some day soon.  You ask how I can do this to you? My sweet.  I don’t know.  It’s all too much. I’m being crushed.  I hurt in ways that have no words.  Silent pain is deadly.  I have fallen victim.
The pen falls heavy to the floor accompanied by tears.  My totem pole patiently waiting for me to pay homage.  As I weep, I pile up the wreckage I have created. Proof. Proof I am no good. Proof I am nothing but a burden.  The voices are becoming quite demanding.  Loud. Booming. Malicious.  My resolve cowering as hate fills the room.  The idea of getting up tomorrow makes my body weak. In the past, I’ve counted the pills obsessively.  No time for numbers.  My soul has been withering away for long enough.
dsc09494I reach for the pen. My hand brushes against my cat. A little life that would be impacted by my absence.  In between my husbands shoes lies the pen. I grumble he takes off his shoes wherever he’s at. Bathroom, outside, living room. Rarely is it the bedroom. I will never trip over them again. I scribble on the red paper. Last words: I love you more than you can ever know, Rhonda.
I refocus on my impromptu plan.  Staring. Bottles staring back. The house is clean. Laundry is folded. Nothing left to do.  My img_5264phone rings. My phone never rings. It’s my little brother.  He could need me right now.  I ran just to utter the words hello.  Turns out he did need me.  He needed to tell me he was thinking of me.
One red piece of paper sitting at the bottom of the shredder.  One fanatic with tears streaming down her face with a cell phone glued to her ear.  One little brother just wanting to talk to his sister.


123 RV, SA, JW, PA, PH, RW, JZM, TS!

Fanatic Falls

hillmanPoor poor little girl
With bruises on her knees
Ego split in two
One part victim
One part fuck you
Humbled once again by nature
Face to face with the dirt
Broken skin
Damaged sense of self
Cursing the universe
Why doesn’t God believe in me?
Has he simply given up?
Twisted thoughts mangle my mind
Down the trail I march
Bloodied shadow in tow
10604659_10204588969262700_7062526869842619097_oThis is all wrong.
How can it be I can’t run a trail right
At least a cracked skull would allow
The chaos
To pour out of me
Relieve me
Create space for peace and quiet
Stomping the ground
Leaving my footprint behind
Facing forward
Outrunning the demons
10660376_843231542383716_2204225344977835787_nUsed to be my solace
Music blaring
My body declaring
I will win this fight
Down she goes times two
IMG958148 (2)The ridicule deafening
Passers by stare
At the dirty mess
That is me


Fanatic’s Fall

” Individuals can be improved because they present themselves for treatment…”

20150809_180700 (2)I am reminded of James Hillman’s idea that we need to get therapy out of the therapist’s office and out into the world.  But what I have learned because of my journey with depression is that it is still so stigmatized that there is a tendency, even in my self, to keep the issue of mental health a private one.   There is a point in the meetings I attend where the following is said.  “There are those too who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest,”  There are a couple of us who raise our hands and sort of poke fun at the fact that everyone thinks we are the only ones who know we 20150823_063804 (2)suffer from the dis-ease that we get to label accordingly.

Yet, I see that we have a huge need to not acknowledge that we suffer collectively as well as individually.  Most would not be able to accept it  and more than anything, would not be able to work on that aspect of our selves that carries the tension of the opposites.

“….But societies only let themselves be deceived and misled, even if temporarily for their own good…”  I think I need not give 20150821_063716 (2)any more of an example of this than to look at those who are running for President.  I see it nothing more than a Caligula like reality, and all we want to hear is the violins playing.  We are willing to allow people to flat out lie to us, to sell us a bill of goods and to promise us something that none of them can deliver.  Security.
“…For what we are dealing with is simply the passing and morally weakening effects of suggestion.” The human condition, led by the monotheistic vision of lightness and no darkness, has controlled the paradigm so long that it is accepted, not even challenged in any realistic 20150804_063114 (2)way, the world being divided into two aspects.  The names of them are different but they are really the same.  I am seeing that there is more and more writing on race being only a convenient way to separate classes.  I have seen that my whole life.  My father first hated blacks, then Mexicans.  Why?  Because they were a threat to his status in the working poor middle class that he found himself in.

We are truly projecting our shadow more and more as we go on as a culture.  We are becoming more and more afraid that the pie is being divided and we are not getting “our” share.  When are we going to realize that we have been dividing a smaller and smaller share?

20150801_063116 (2)But yet I have hope.  There are politicians who are saying things that resonate with me.  There are people doing the work of trying to give people some hope.  We are not getting hope from our leaders any longer.  Politicians are not working for justice for all.  They are no more  than just glorified spokespeople for the people who support them.

Alright I am out of the therapy room and into the world!

The pictures are all from my deck at sunrise, except the first one, which was taken from 20150821_063536 (2)Calistoga when the Jerusalem fire broke out two weeks ago.

Quotes from Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 217-221.

Fanatical Freedom!!

churchSometimes my mind is only filled with clutter and debris. It seems to grow bigger and bigger until it’s all I see.  Until I can’t breathe. Until I become short and irritable with others. Until I must retreat to a dark and quiet space.  There are certain times I can rationalize this behavior. But, other times, it seemingly comes out of nowhere. Just yesterday I had a lovely morning roaming around my hometown at a classic car show. Following that I went to the grocery store to pick up some favorite foods for breakfast. Skipping along in the store with no worries.  Issues at the register happened, but I pornwasn’t phased. However, once I arrived home the environmental cacophony of my house shook me. It was as if the hum of the ceiling fan, base of the stereo, meow of my cats, buzz of the dishwasher, and visual of ever building dishes in the sink literally came alive. They were choking me and robbing me of air, of communication skills. I was surrounded and could not move. I felt like a prisoner in my kitchen.  I snapped at my husband. He in turn snapped. I ran to thes_e12_RTX116XJ farthest room in our house, which doesn’t really exist in a 1100 square foot space.  It felt like if I didn’t find darkness and quiet I was going to explode.
I simply don’t understand why this happened in my home. Perhaps it’s just creeping into personal space. Similar scenario at work this week. Voices were booming from the hallwayIMG00282 and then crawling up the walls of my office. I could hear the printer, the copier, fast footsteps, phone conversations at rock concert level in headphones.  Mind you all these noises occur every single day all day a majority of the time and I barely register it.  Maybe this overwhelm happens to every last one of us, I don’t know.  Lately it’s bringing me tears and ultimately to my knees.  However, the one fantatics hairbright spot is that it lasts only 10-15 minutes.
The clutter and debris play out in real time. I was at a concert last night of my favorite artist. We positioned ourselves to allow extra space along a railing, a buffer of sorts. On the second tier I can take in the view of the crowd and the stage while allowing the music to penetrate me.  Eyes closed letting the words and beat reach into, eyes open taking in the artists every move.  All the while dancing. Letting go.
n2359Thor_mazlin900Sharp mementos when I realize how many people are there, how hot it is, how loud it is.  My eyes dart and pick out people, suddenly feel the railing against my body.  In front of me is a drunk woman stumbling. I am transported back in time when I was that woman. I see people staring, sneering at her.  That was me. I crawl into the guilt trap. Oh how many shows I must have ruined. How is it my husband is still here?  What a liar, manipulator I was.  Even not drinking, I have ruined shows in that Couple-dancing-photography5we couldn’t go because I was too depressed or had to leave because I had a panic attack.  What a fucking mess I am.
Back into the sound, the groove. Planted on the 2nd tier, above everyone, I feel like the spotlight is on me. She can see me, she is smiling at me. I dance harder. Will myself to get lost in the beautiful sound.  Will myself to leave the clutter and debris behind. Shove it in the back of mind. It will surely be there tomorrow.  Allow myself relief.  Join the masses and throw my hands up in the air.
navajo-creation-myth-john-stephens-poster2I did, I finally did. I was sucked into the magic healing of music. I swayed. I bounced. I laughed. I smiled. I listened.  She was singing to me.  I was singing with her.  Space was cleared for me to truly enjoy the moment.


“Since it is always the problem of accepting the shadow,…”

night-owl“… it needs the simplicity of a child to submit to such a seemingly impossible task.”(1)

I read this quote yesterday.* “Darkness cannot exist in the presence of love. It can only exist when love has been tossed aside or submerged in the presence of doubt or despair. It can only exist when love is undermined within ourselves so that we no longer believe in it. In the place of love, darkness has nowhere to stand.”
387043_348007145280307_766454822_nI have not written for a long time.  I am keenly aware of that. I am learning that for so long during this hiatus, I have been confusing accepting my shadow, truly integrating it, with suppressing my shadow. We are not supposed to have this shadow, this darkness in our selves.  My interactions with others are sometimes fueled by an energy that is uncomfortable for me to be in.  Not just to be in, but to work out of.
But it is my shadow, those parts of myself that are real, but yet are uncomfortable that fuel me to be truthful and to be able old-stairway-salerano-italy-adina-buligato stand up even when to do so is unpopular.  It is the anger of seeing abuse and disrespect that cause me to confront  people in those situations, even when it is uncomfortable to do that.
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious….The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular” (2)
My job as a criminal defense attorney was to fight for those people who did very “bad,” things and were facing the consequences.  I was able to project out of my shadow at the Judges and the prosecutors and yes the police!  But I did it out of a seething what 326684society calls “rage.” But it was not rage, it was a resistance to injustice.  Yes I was projecting my shadow and my anger for my abuse at those peoples mentioned above.  But it was not done with a malicious intent.
Now because of this 5 year “battle,” with depression, I am learning that the rage itself was and is valid.  And those parts of me, that pissed off sixteen year old with a black leather jacket on and a cigarette or a joint in his mouth, is wonder full and I need that energy to exist with any sort of balance in my life.
hillmanWhat has always attracted me to Hillman was that seed of underlying what I will deem as anger I felt that he had.  Critiques of culture do not come from places of joyful acceptance of it the way it is. That is where I am and I struggle to move forward accepting my shadow energy and working out of it.  My shadow energy is almost endless when I can truly tap into it.
(1) Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 150.
(2) Carl Jung, CW 13, Pages 265-266

*Julie Redstone, “The Influence of Darkness on the Consciousness of Man”


Fanatic’s Fears of Failure

Eyes_of_fire_by_PSDtechI. AM. SORRY. I repeat these words sometimes on a daily basis. It’s not about humility. It’s about not understanding my place in the world. It’s about insecurity. Paranoia. Worthlessness. Essentially, I apologize for my existence. Far too many of my encounters with others begin with I’m sorry to bother you, but…
charcoal-sketch-lil-princess-geraldine-arlezaI don’t trust myself. Or maybe I don’t trust you. I’m not sure. I send an anxious email to my psychiatrist and I apologize for it. I think maybe I send one too many texts to a friend (A FRIEND!) checking on them and instantly backpedal with an apology. At work, I ask forgiveness for entering your office in a frenzied manner or for needing further explanation about something. The other night I thanked my husband for being willing to put up with me. It all seems like another form of saying  “please don’t hate me.”
Tuesday August 11th marks one year since Robin Williams death. IMG_0698 (2)Also on this date, I was pacing for 3 hours along a bridge with a serious plan of ending my life. I didn’t know about Robin until I saw it on the news in the hospital. I was profoundly affected by his suicide. I just thought if he can’t survive this, how in the world can I! Why do I even deserve to? He impacted many more lives with his witty candor than I ever would.  Past few days, well maybe weeks, I am sorry I didn’t follow through as he did. I am sorry to continually burden my husband, few friends, and my work. I’ve been unproductive, overly needy and absent in all arenas.
10576235_1478792175702340_1648178438_nSome days I just hurt. The hole in my heart expands w each breath and The blank space in my soul turns black. Some days the lies reach into me, bait me, define me, redesign me. I am left hopeless and become increasingly useless. On the couch I sit. Stare. Sigh with regret. I can’t explain what’s not tangible. I can’t explain what has no basis. After the third call of my name I turn to you. I look through you. Tears stream. I scream I am so very sorry. The dark chasm echoes over and over.
CP41782056Visions of the bridge. The sound of duct tape ripping. Cold wet air on my face. Cars speeding by.  The lonely walk down the pedestrian bridge. Splashing of frigid waters. The screaming echo of I’m sorry. Silence.  These intrusive thoughts are assaulting me. You see me navigate the world one foot in front of the other. But, for me I am the Tasmanian devil. Chaos. Complete disarray. Madness.  What is happening for me is invisible.
tumblr_luxczfdocB1qzxyqfo1_400I have a friend who asks me the tough questions. He said, how’s your suicidal thinking these days. I answered. I mentioned Tuesday. I don’t honestly remember what I said or how explicit I was.  I was most likely sarcastic and casting it off.  But it’s kinda serious. I immediately think I should apologize for that last sentence. It feels burdensome. I can’t seem to decipher truth from burden.  Perhaps I associate them. My truth will be too much for you, because I am not worth it.Screen-Shot-2014-08-15-at-5.32.15-AM

123 RV, SA, RW, JZ, JM, EP.  RIP Mork!

Fanatic Depth

white-crocus-flowerSome days
Some days I just hurt
Some days the hole in my heart
Expands w each breath
The blank space in my soul
Turns black
Some days the lies reach into me
Bait me
Define me
white-star-ajaytaoRedesign me
Some days I am so raw
I can’t bare your voice
Your touch
Your love
Some days I need you
More than I know
More than I can say
Some days I feel so alone
white-light-ajaytao1A wicked sense of disconnection
Of departure from society
Some days I need you to hear me
Without my saying a word
As my truth escapes me
Lost in the bondage of self
Some days I am straddling the edge
Scared and uncertain
Of the next step
white-beauty-ajaytaoSome days I think you are better off
If I were to simply disappear
Rid you of this burden
Set us both free
Today is that day


Footstep Fanatic

moniqueEach footstep was faster as I walked to therapy. My breath was heavy and on the verge of panic. I could feel all these emotions swirling in my body. Anger, sadness, shame, despair.  It wasn’t as if one dominated. They all took up space. I don’t usually walk, but today it was paramount I not drive my car. The call to jump off the bridge was loud and clear. I entertained it for several minutes as I sat in the drivers seat, key in the ignition.  My plan 20140708-182105-66065695.jpgwas to say goodbye to my therapist, say goodbye to my AA support group and disappear.
Enter thoughts of my husband. I love this man. He can certainly drive me crazy, but ultimately he has been there since day 1. I was just as issue ridden 16 yrs ago, it just looked a little different. It seems like I had a lot more strengths and skills than I do now. Whatever I brought to the table, he could see it.
It has really hit me hard how much I need him. Although I’m not sure in an entirely good way. I understand it’s okay to need people in your life to prop you up sometimes. However, my only reason for existence is him. I can find no inner purpose, no redeeming quality in myself that renders me worthy of taking up space. That’s sad in itself. What’s worse, at least in this moment, is he is out of town.  I am crumbling.
mischievous-smile-ajaytaoI push him and everyone else away. I think I can do this on my own. I think I am strong. I’m not. I’m so very weak.
How is it different when he is home? There is structure. I actually get up and go to work. I actually just get up, regardless of work.  These past few days I have slept til 2 in the afternoon.  There is a tone, a sort of expectation in the air to carry on. I follow that lead. Of course, if I absolutely can’t, it’s a different story.  I shower. I eat 3 meals. Things that are routine to him and general society go out the window.  I just stop doing anything. Mostly I cry and believe the world is better off without me.
When he is home there is some sort of distraction from the demons in my head. Right now, the demons are swallowing me whole.  Pick up the phone fanatic!! I just cannot seem to do this. I write this over and over. It’s no joke. I can’t. I have tried a few times. At a very desperate time, 2 yrs ago I called and was honest in the moment. It’s agonizing for me. The words just don’t come and then I feel guilt and shame for calling at all.
I am so black and white. So extreme. At work I grind away at being “the best” striving for some mysterious standard I have set. I claw my way toward some elusive top. I can never be on top or measure up because I am simply not good enough. I think ahead of my boss on some projects, over prepare, over organize. Not necessarily looking for accolades from her but to satisfy some inner longing to feel whole, necessary, significant. I beat myself into the ground til I’m crawling the halls speaking-eyes-ericrefusing to allow myself a break or a day off. Yet, here I am off work this week because I can’t perform melding into my bed. There is no in between. It’s killing me.
The shame I harbor about having bipolar and the limitations it causes me is painful. It’s not okay with me that extreme stress takes me out, while others still show up. It’s not okay with me I have memory loss and it affects my job performance. It’s not okay with me I sometimes have extreme agitation and cannot be in a work environment. These same issues affect my personal life. I can no longer share memories w my husband because they just aren’t there. I try so hard to conjure them up, but to no avail. Sometimes I can’t stand his voice or touch.  Sometimes I cry at baseball games for no reason.  Poor fucking fanatic!!
godafoss-waterfall-of-the-gods-iceland-pome-acroAcceptance. Perfectionism. Self compassion. What a long road it’s been. What an even longer road it’s going to be if I don’t work on some things. I’m stuck in a what’s the point loop. I’m cursed. I’m doomed. This is lifelong. No matter which door I choose, bipolar will be with me, as well as alcoholism.  That’s a fact.  Seems there is so much fiction wrapped up in all this for me, which fuels the loop and closes the door.

How do you find the strength to walk through the door each day with whatever is on your back?

Fanatic Find

baby-curls-ajaytaoI ended up chairing at my Depression in Sobriety meeting last night. I wasn’t necessarily expecting to. My heart started racing. My mind was yelling at me You have nothing to share. No one wants to hear from you.  My thinking was already tremendously disorganized and I didn’t know where to start. After a minute maybe two, I decided to really speak the truth. I have not said out loud to anyone that I had a full blown manic episode and suicide attempt in the same month last year. Sure, I’ve written about it, but not heard the words coming out of my mouth. At the time of mania in Nov 2014, I came quite close to drinking. I came even closer last month as I had a bottle in hand. Somehow I managed to put it down and leave the store.  I already know what would happen if I unto-oblivion-happy-machinestook a drink.
Afterwards, I couldn’t tell you what I said in the share. I went from Nov to present as the folks in that meeting know my previous history. I was nervous, but not. It’s an intimate group for the most part and they honestly air where they are at…suffering, pain, fear, shame. They speak my language. This is no ordinary meeting. We are real with each other and honor our struggles.
atlantic-puffin-massimilano-sticcaOne gentleman with a lot of time on the books was sharing that he feels like what he talks about is all negative”shit.”  I agree w him when it’s me who is sharing.  But when he is letting us in to his world and trusting us, it’s feels brave and honest and a special gift for us.  But I understand at the same time. Venting can be considered negative. But perhaps it’s just seeking relief from what we tend to keep bottled up for our safety.
get-attachment-13-e1379888216160Letting people know the real fanatic is not easy for me. I am scared of how you might respond. Believe I will be rejected. My very own husband, bless him, can react in the moment so harshly it triggers shame in me. I do try hard to have compassion for him as I know it’s difficult on the other side. Nonetheless it’s painful and confusing when the one you love the most reacts how I envision others would.
As the night wore on I began to breakdown every second of ??????????????????????my share. By the time I went to bed I was spinning. You could probably guess I didn’t get much sleep. I tore myself to shreds. I rehearsed what I should of said over and over.  Planned how I would approach it next time even though there may not be a 10526190_663600817069374_629758397495937339_nnext time. My dear friend was kind enough to send me a text following the meeting and told me my share was awesome because I was so unfiltered and honest.  Boy did my mind run with that and determine he just felt sorry for me and was trying to make me feel better.  The two other gentlemen, who usually chat with me in some fashion after meetings said nothing. My mind told me I scared them off, I shared too much, I was showing off.  It NEVER stops.  I’m exhausted and worn down.
Thinking about it this morning I discovered I did find some relief in those ceramic-pot-ajaytaomoments of truth and authenticity. I was supported by lovely people. I hope to carry this through my day. Yesterday I told a friend I might need to take medication to work. Maybe thoughts of support, friendship, honesty, and shared feelings will be enough.