” 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.

stubborn-look1

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

black-and-white-border-collie-pups

Do those things that incline you..

The eye… toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial.”[1] I spent my life looking for those things that were about the small question.  Me.  This is not to say that Me is not important  because as you sit here reading this, no Me, no this writing.

Is what I am saying important? Hell yes, to me it is!  Why is it.  Because like Michael McDonald is singing as I write this,  “I am here to love you.”

I have struggled to find a voice for my passion.  Not my intellect. I am, as the Fanatic so lovingly calls me, a “brainiac.”   I didnt ask for it to be this way, it is just what I got.

mount-everest-sunset-nepalBut getting back to the intellect.  It is here as Einstein said, to be a servant to the intuitive part of us.  We have got it backwards for centuries and it is killing us.  At least I know it was killing me to be governed by the mind’s construct of what reality was/is.

“The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.”[2]  What would liberation from the self look like?  Well I think Saunders’ speech is a wonderful example of it.

In AA we talk in the 11th step about things like being loving, understanding, caring and I have added the word kindness to those three.*

2650418_1So I am here to say that the psychoanalytical/pharmacological approach to “mental illness,” is myopic, inefficient and more than anything is not effective. I and many of my friends suffer because of the unwillingness of the institutions that support the present  paradigm to be self critical, to take an inventory of whether what they are doing is helping the individual.  Instead they are unconsciously driven by the business model that we are governed by as a culture .

I am going to get a Phd to get those initials behind my name to start to espouse this paradigm shift  institutionally.  Many people with initials behind their names think that they are smarter than those who don’t have them.  I got em,  because I have a J.D. behind my name.

baby-birdMost of those people are also more afraid of taking the risk of doing what they want to do with their abilities and they  end up getting stuck in those places that they think are going to give them “the,” answer to life’s mysteries.  Almost all of them think the answer is only in the mind.  It’s not.

This “theory” of “mine,” is not really that new.  It is like everything else, the ideas of changing scare us so much that we get caught up in “small question,” stuff like Mr. Saunder talked about in his speech.

finger touching nose of babywolf yosemite

[1]George Saunders’ commencement speech at Syracuse University.  Taken from my dear friend Pam Boyd’s uplifting blog  Two-Minute Tune-Up at http://pamboyd.wordpress.com.  [2] Albert Einstein  * Look at the mnemonic made from those 4 words.

123.  It is better to seek forgiveness than it is permission!

The full text of Saunders’ speech is  here. http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/george-saunderss-advice-to-graduates/?smid=fb-share&_r=0  


Walking down Memory lane

walking-to-nowhere-risquillo  It has been 7 months since my Dad died.

I went to see my Step Mom today.  My girlfriend and I were given tickets to the County Fair and a Fire Hot Barbecue contest at the Fair in Calistoga and we decided to stop in and see my Step Mom who lives right outside of town.

photo“The person is made up of multiple, dynamic faces that should be kept in tension rather than “integrated” into some sentimental notion of wholeness.”(1)  When we were at my Step Moms house(feels weird not to say my Dads!) we were all chatting  about how she was doing since he died.  She talked in the general way we can do  and do when we are not sure if we want to divulge something to another or not.

rainforest-in-fog1But she said something out of the blue that I was so touched by.   She said ” I contemplated suicide,” and then went on and gave a description of how she was going to do it.  What I felt then was such empahty for her and her plight.  She and my Dad were married about 34 years and pretty happily for all appearances.We had a wonderful chat and we then went to her favorite Mexican restuarant.

breatheWhile there the topic was very light and fun.  I enjoy sitting with her and giving her the attention she has always given me.  My Step Mom has been one of the few people in my life who never judged me for what I said.  She knew my Dad and I had a hard past. She never tried to get me to make things be different than how they REALLY were.  I am grateful for that.  She asked me to give a eulogy for my Dad.  I was honored and spoke my truth, respectfully and she was honored by it.

IMGP0686What I noticed was that after lunch we started talking about some members of our families and I could see her start to go into resentment.  It was so sad because when we were in the intuitive part of life, looking at her new vegetable garden, her sweet potato plants, she was carefree, relaxed, easy going

dscf2868“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind a faithful servant.  We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” (2) When I watched my Step Mom go where she went into the resentments, I heard the same rules that have been perpetrated my whole life.  Anger for those who dont treat us the way we expect to be treated.  Continued division, keeping separate, staying isolated from those we love because of nothing more than thoughts.  Because of thoughts!!!

I am as bad an offender as anyone with this if I am not working hard to stay in the present.  Bless my Step Mom, she loves and is loved.  Crazy, yes, but who I am to criticize crazy!!!

100_1607finger touching nose of baby

123 Fanatic  I seek forgiveness but dont ask for permission.

(1) James Hillman(2) Albert Einstein