Arnold Palmer, Skinny Cows, Books, Music and Me

I never thought I had an addictive personality but now I am not so sure.  I’m not addicted to drugs or alcohol, in fact I don’t drink or do drugs at all. I hate the taste of alcohol (with the exception of a really good Mojito but I can only drink half of one). However, I realized I am addicted to certain things and all new products. I am a public relations’ pleasure, I am the ultimate consumer and if I find something new that I like, like turns to love and love to obsession immediately.

I am now in love with Arnold Palmer’s lite Iced Tea and Lemonade drink.  My son, 17, turned me on to it and I drink it constantly. Usually I go for months adoring the product then I get so sick of it that I stop completely. I refuse to believe it will happen to my new love beverage but I tend to say that about everything I have been in love with. What happens is that I cycle through an addiction, find a new one and circle back. It’s a harmless beverage addiction and it makes me happy, besides we’re supposed to drink more water!  Do I go through withdrawal symptoms when I don’t have some? No, as long as there is some in the house. If not, I get anxious, seriously anxious. Perhaps I should consider rehab or an intervention?

I also am addicted to books and unfortunately not the books in the library although I go there quite often. I once bought a Kindle (gee, thanks Oprah) because of the number of books I read but that didn’t last long. I missed holding the book in my hand, I missed the texture and the feel of the paper, the fact that I could not write my name in bold, script letters on the first page to claim it as my own. I devour every word, sometimes highlighting, turning the pages deliciously and slowly, one by one.

I am the same way with music, my computer practically plays “Recently Played” songs almost automatically. I will listen to these 25 songs over and over again for a really long time. It’s something about the comfort of the repetition and the familiarity of those favorites that make me happy. Sometimes I will get sick of them, (although it’s been a long haul for the latest batch and I’m still listening to them) and I will move on to the next….eventually.   For now “I Dreamed A Dream” sung by the Glee cast has been played at least fifty times, okay everything from the Glee cast has been played at least 50 times, followed by the Plain White T’s song “1,2,3,4.” and Crystal Bowersox and Lee Dewyze’s duet “Falling Slowly” from American Idol. When all else fails I still turn to John Denver for comfort and nostalgic memories of my youth. His song  “This Old Guitar” actually  soothes me, and so much more natural than a Valium.

The third and final fave for this month are Skinny Cows Vanilla with Caramel swirl ice cream cones. Oh, the sticky sweetness of the caramel swirl and the soothing vanilla ice cream (ice milk?) too. You get the crunch of a “real” ice cream cone with fewer calories. The best to come is that silky smoothness of chocolate that comes at the very end of the cone and it’s unbelievably dreamy. Simple pleasures for hard times.

When things are going badly, like for the past eleven months or so (unemployment, health) I have to force myself, like now, to focus on the good, the tried and true, the familiar instead of being overwhelmed with self-pity, (I admit I held a pity party today). Today there was a lot of “Everybody Hurts” sung by The Corrs’. I will be over myself by tomorrow, I promise.   I need to take deep breaths and walk in the sun, with my dog at my side, instead of sitting inside with my trustworthy laptop, playing music I’ve heard a hundred times already.

*I am not a spokesperson for the aforementioned products, I wish.

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Simple Truths

Mind sets: we all draw a line in  our minds, a dividing point, a moral measure, for a variety of  issues: religion, romance, love, food, friends, work, relationships. The list goes on and on and how we stand on something can change like a puff of wind to a dandelion. We all have our own truths. We make our own rules, adjust accordingly and somehow, someway, sometimes because we have no choice, we find our way back. It isn’t always easy.

I met a woman at a party a week ago, Kate,  and her face is still sketched in my mind. Taut, tanned skin, blond, perfectly highlighted hair, her body upright and rigid, wearing a swimsuit with a long flowered wrap tied at her waist.  We were talking about graduations and I said that I will definitely cry when my son and daughter graduate. She said “I never would cry, never at a happy event, as long as I have all my loved ones around me.” Her comment took me by surprise. Her face was hard, still and emotionless; the words emphatic and cold. She swept her hand towards her extended family including her children, her sisters and her elderly parents.  It was as if she was wearing an emotional shield, made of armour, but tiny, invisible cracks were beginning to form.

I felt bad for her, for the innocence that one day will be lost. It’s as if there was a vulnerable and frightened five-year old girl inside her, covered up with layers and layers of an impenetrable facade. It won’t stay like this forever, I thought.  Her family will not always be in this perfect order. I felt sad because I know what it feels like when someone you love dearly, dies. Nothing is ever the same, it’s before and it’s after and nothing in-between. Your world changes forever at that moment, frozen in time.

I nodded my head in agreement with her bold statements but mostly, I wanted to somehow keep her safe, or prepare her though I knew I couldn’t.  I knew she was appreciating everything she had now but was in no way prepared for the future. I am NOT saying that you can ever be prepared but I knew, in my heart, that this particular woman, will become undone, so unable to cope. I hope I am wrong but I had that strange eery inner sense that I get sometimes, that 6th sense. I’m usually right. Let’s face it, we don’t know how WE will react when an unknown situation is strewn our way.

I have been that little girl, in some ways I still am.  I was the girl who grew up worried and anxious and afraid. I’m not entirely sure why, part nature, part nurture perhaps. Can you ever be prepared for a life that can change in a second’s time? Do we worry about everything because something is bound to happen? Why can’t I imagine the good, the great popping up like beautiful purple and yellow, blue and red wildflowers instead of focusing on the bad?

I try so hard, and have failed so many times, not to worry about the future. “Don’t meet problems half-way” an old, lesbian, Irish ex-nun friend once told me. She was absolutely right but sometimes my mind wanders, drifts to the “what if’s.”  I have to remind myself, like I am doing now, that we have no control over ourselves or our future.

Who would have predicted a massive oil spill in the one element, water, that I have always loved so dearly. My fantasy was to live near the beach somewhere, next to the turbulent, gentle, overpowering ocean with its moody green waters and it’s whipped foam topping, crashing relentlessly against the giant rocks. The dream seems gone now, because of the BP gas spill that threatens our waters and our animals, innocent animals.

Not worrying is a lesson I need to learn and relearn and I must be failing because it happens over and over again. Why can’t I learn it, I wonder?  Maybe it is just the way I am?  Maybe I was never reassured enough as a child? I have faith too and even with that, I sit up nights, anxious, with my head playing mind games, rolling tape like the old-fashioned movie cameras, reel to reel, over and over and over again.

Fibromyalgia? Auto-Immune Disease? Chronic Pain?

Oh me, Oh my. All of the above and then some. Diagnoses dished out like those colorful candy buttons on a long roll of white paper. Whatever Dr. I see gives me another diagnosis. I’ve taken Cymbalta when the Dr. thought I had Fibromyalgia from the tender points she pushed on my body. Now, that technique is not valid for diagnosing the illness anymore.  After that I went to an auto- immune specialist for the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the new inflammatory disease he discovered.”You are a very sick woman” he droned.  I’ve been on Methotrexate, I’ve had Epiglottis, twice (severe throat pain is an understatement), and I fervently pray I never, ever get it again. I’ve been on Prednisone half a dozen times, Vitamin D, Synthroid, Plaquannel, Trazadone and more….

I was put on Cellcept (“the medicine that has the least amount of side effects”) to replace the Methotrexate (that landed me in the hospital) and after a month I couldn’t stand the extreme intestinal side effects (“only 8 percent of the people get it “). Lucky me!! I wrote to my Dr. and he said “give it another month” because I don’t think he believed how bad the side effects from this drug really were. I begged for some sort of stomach aid but he refused. “Give it another month,” he intoned flatly. End of discussion.

I’ve been off Cellcept for a week and a half and I am still suffering from the same severe intestinal side effects I ‘ve been having for two months. I wrote the good Dr. and told him I was coming in (as in squeeze me in) because the side effects were so overwhelming I couldn’t leave my house. “Oh, it must have been the Cellcept” he said.  (ya think?) My bad. He took me off the offending drug and promised that in 2-3 days I would be much better and all the symptoms would disappear. It’s been 6 days and counting…..

He did prescribe medicine to mask the symptoms and  when I take the meds they work, but alas, when they wear off, it’s really bad news. I can’t live like this. He threw around words like endoscopy, I added silently colonoscopy, what else? I see a trip to my Gastroenterologist in my very near future.

It’s been three years now since I started on this bumpy ride of chronic illness and I’m not much closer to a cure (I know there is NO cure), resolution.  I swing from wanting to get off all medication and trying to find the right one (the third’s the charm, right?).  I’m waiting a few more days and then I will, once again,  attempt to repair my own physically fragile life, to ask more questions and demand answers. Nicely.

Any suggestions? Any genius Doctors?  If I was incredibly wealthy I would head to the Mayo clinic but I don’t have that kind of money. Any rich donors? (just kidding).  I will also go to the natural pharmacist and discuss with him what might help instead of all these toxic medications I’ve been on. I know though, that genius Guru Dr. has another medication in mind for me so that’s in store for me soon, but not quite yet.

I’m done, pity hour (or 15 minutes) are over. I’m not going to think about it until next week, when I CAN TRY and do something about it. Have to go now. Guess where.

“Man vs Food” (An Extreme Foodie Blog) Repost

Man v. Food (season 1)

Image via Wikipedia

If you have never watched the show “Man vs. Food” don’t be surprised, and don’t be upset. I just stumbled upon it on the Travel Channel. I have to admit the first few minutes I was absolutely appalled. The premise is that this dude  (and he is a dude) named Adam Richman goes all over the country doing food challenges. No, not challenges to cook, challenges to EAT. A lot. After the first fifteen minutes of being totally grossed out, I was unable to take my eyes away from the show I thought I hated. As I wrote my fellow foodie friend Paula,  it’s enough to make you want to be a minimalist calorie counter.

The first thing that I saw was a spicy sushi challenge, escalating in heat and spice from one to ten, that seemed doable and innocent enough. It was just the amount of spice he could handle (I would still be on one). He was awarded a Master. Okay, I thought, not bad.  Then came the: next challenge: and I kid you not, he had to eat (ok, he didn’t HAVE to),  the 4 – 5 lb grilled cheese sandwich consisting of: 3 thick slices of bread, fried, 14 kinds of cheese., hand cut french fries, coleslaw and pickles. In one sitting.  In case you were worried, there was no time limit, however he was trying to eat all of this under twenty minutes because then it would have been free! ( I could be mixing this up with the 12 burger patty challenge, sorry!) He looked like he was about to gag and I kind of wish he had thrown up but he didn’t. It wouldn’t be good for ratings or for the show. Darn.

There is always a crowd  that cheers him on to overeat, (I mean reach his goal) “Go Adam, Go Adam, Come on Adam, do it,” they chant.  It’s like one big frat party with food instead of kegs. The man is both a walking heart attack about to happen and stroke victim to be. Serious appetite he says? I say he should be the poster child for potential obesity and clogged arteries in America.  It’s a sickening show yet I  admit, I kept watching. It’s like the car crash mentality where you don’t want to see what happened but between your fingers, you are definitely looking.

Hysterically enough the show is sponsored by Cheerios, ” a smart way to lower cholesterol”  and Zantac, an ad for antacid. Could this get funnier? (or sicker?) Now, Adam is attempting to eat something called a” Polish boy” and just watching it gave me an acid stomach and I reached for Tums. I couldn’t keep up with all the minute details but basically it was a boiled and then fried jumbo hot dog (on location in Cleveland), with french fries, spicy sauce, pork shoulder, more sauce, all on top of one another. Wait,  I think i am forgetting something….right, there’s coleslaw too.  “Do it for Cleveland baby, do it for Cleveland” people roared. “One more bite, one more bite” the audience chants and than applauds wildly when he has achieved his, um, goal, success (?)  Once again, Adam is declared a champion. Go Adam!

Now Adam has 12 burgers one on top of another. He’s got himself a show where he travels around the country to challenge other people’s eating records. Really? He calls it ” the worlds greatest pig out spots”. My first question: Why? It’s gluttony, it is over the top, it’s somewhat entertaining in a sick way and it’s appalling.What kind of  (mixed) message are we sending to the country? They say “victory is sweet”, but after watching this show, moderation is better.

I hope First Lady Michele Obama doesn’t see this show, actually, I kind of hope she does. Hello, Madam President? Please watch this show once (and once is enough) and tell us what you think. I’m dying to know. Finally, the show ended and it wasn’t a moment too soon. I found myself feeling greasy after watching all those fat food frames. I was annoyed with myself for watching the entire episode and again, I was a little happy to have seen it. What is wrong with me?

When the show was over, I needed a snack, a refreshing snack, “clean food”.  I decided on a small, clear glass bowl of cold mandarin oranges in light syrup; it’s all I could eat and it tasted like heaven.

We Laugh, We Cry

6/24/10

Last night, on instant chat, I talked with my friend P. for a long time. She and I are sisters in this crazy world of  chronic pain and difficult, unusual symptoms. The auto-immune disease that I call my own, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis,  has its own set of innate problems, cells attacking cells. She has more physical pain and I wish I could take some away from her.

When we started talking, we were both subdued. We discussed our achy, ouchy  (I know that’s not a real word but it fits) symptoms. We were tired, tired of being tired, tired of being lethargic and uncomfortable. We talked about our day (some would consider this complaining but in our world it really isn’t). We were merely reporting and commenting on “the symptoms of the day” (you’ve heard undoubtedly about the ” soup of the day” well, this is different) and sleep deprivation, medications and diagnoses. We sound like we are pharmaceutical “reps” weighing in on different medications (we just don’t get paid for it and no free samples).

I got so frustrated at one point that I decided we were in desperate need of a new direction for our conversation. We decided on fantasies. (No, not that kind, get your minds out of the gutter!). We fantasized about a huge beach house (for me) and a very small one for her (so that when she cleaned it, it would be manageable. ) In MY fantasy, I don’t CLEAN my house, I just live luxuriously in it. I wanted neighbors, she did not; I kid her about being anti-social, she kids me back.

P. asked me questions about my ex-guru doctor and I updated her that the ex-guru doctor was still the guru doctor and I loved him (gee, had I not?) again, still, anew.  We’re a fickle bunch, we are.  She told me about natural remedies and I grumbled about how expensive they were and that I could barely leave the house to get the mail, much less drive to a costly massage or have a homeopath give me their remedies. (I’m sorry but I still have somewhat of a problem with the word” remedies”). We encouraged each other to plow forward, and she reminded me that “at least I had had one good day” which I was beginning to lose sight of in my quest for another.

We ended up laughing on both sides of two computers when I mentioned that perhaps we could have a “reality” show of all of us in the chronic pain/auto-immune/fibromyalgia/ CFIDS  and “other”categories.   I guess you had to be there but we took it so far that she was going to pitch my idea to producers. We LOL’d and ROFL’d so much that I had to help her up (virtually) from her  chair at home.  It was silly, it was ridiculous but it  felt so good to laugh and smile. In our world of chronic pain/illness  it’s an actual honor to be able to make one another laugh or put a smile on someone’s face.

I have been helped by so many kind people on this blog. But, I am the worst technical person in the world. It’s a wonder that I can even manage this simple blog (you’ll notice the elementary style with no photos or fancy techniques-sorry). If I were more technical, I too, would cut and paste and give awards (that are so special to me) to all my dear friends on this network (you know who you are!).

In my own way, I just wanted to tell everyone how thankful I am for the support, the humor, the  advice and encouragement and the friendships that have been made. We may have different symptoms but we have a common bond.   We take comfort in each other because only we can truly relate to one another. Doctors may sometimes not hear us, loved ones may not always understand us and we may feel a little crazy at times but, it’s our glue, our bond, that keeps us together.

Dedicated to all my blogger friends and to my friend P.

OH, A Feel-Good Happy Day!!!

It’s been a long, long time since I have felt this good. It’s been many long months in fact (if not years), but today I had an absolutely wonderful day. Maybe it’s because of karma, what goes around comes around, something I’ve always believed in but I tend to need reminding. I woke up early, looked at the bright yellow sun on the cloudless brilliant blue sky and knew where I had to go. It was the right day to go to the cemetery, to visit my dad, who passed away 9 years ago. I always go, each year, around Father’s Day out of love and respect but I don’t usually plan when I go; I go when I feel I should. Today was that day.

I bought a plant with tiny red flowers, like heart-shaped kisses, in a pot, wrapped in shiny green aluminum foil and brought it with me to the cemetery. I talked to my dad, out loud, I cried, I asked questions and I implored, all the while cleaning the headstone from old dirty grass and respositioning and cleaning the stones that lay faithfully on his headstone. ” I need your help, Dad, I’ve been so sick (and also, just remember Dan hasn’t worked since September.) Honestly, I just want to feel better and I know you would want that too. Mom’s worried about me too, please help me, please help her.” I asked directly for his help and for a day, today, he showered me with love. Asked and answered, with a great big smile.

Right after the cemetery I drove to my mom’s apartment, a minute away, unannounced and knocked on her door. We ended up spending much of the day together and I felt so pampered. It’s nice, once in a while to be a daughter, to feel like a daughter and not just a mother. My mom took me out to lunch at The Club where I had a beet, mango, fennel salad with goat cheese and pistachios. Heavenly. My mom had a grilled chicken salad sandwich that came on a croissant but I nixed the croissant since she is diabetic and I watch out for her too. We laughed a lot and marveled at the serenity and the gift of the weather, warm, sunny, with a breeze and not too hot; a perfect day.

We went to her condo pool and I sat in the sun, in my mother’s cute black and white bathing suit that she gave me as a present and I felt so pampered, so loved, so taken care of.  Thank you. I swam in the pool, I sat and talked to the lounging ladies and when I was ready, I left to go home.

I left to go home to my daughter. My daughter and I had date night where we went to her favorite restaurant, just the two of us. We drank sugary sweet strawberry smoothies and ate brick oven pizza, fresh and hot straight out of the oven. The pizza had chunky tomato pieces and thick mozzarella slices and  fresh basil on every slice. Now I am home, reliving the day with happiness, with gratitude.

I know deep down inside I am hoping that tomorrow will be the same and that I will feel really good again and energetic. I would be lying if I didn’t hope for that. But, if I don’t feel that way, at least I will  know it is possible. That’s more than I had months ago, that’s more than I had even yesterday and I appreciate it, I truly do.

Dedicated to my mom, who wants me to be happy and healthy as much, or even more, than I do.

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The Lost Souls

I can’t stand the pain anymore;  I just can’t take it another second. I am having a hard time accepting that this is my life. I am not coping well today; I am not coping at all. Another day of stomach pain and too much sleep, no energy and endless trips to the bathroom, not leaving my home. Is it my long-lost enemy IBS revisiting me? Is it the side effect of the Cellcept that I am taking for my auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? I don’t know, I really don’t know. I could easily start crying now, I just don’t know if I could stop.

I don’t know what to do and I hate that feeling, I feel powerless. I have no energy to fight or to make any medical decisions, minute or radical. I don’t have the strength or state of mind to start going to doctors anymore, again. What if I do nothing? Stop the medications and live like that? I’m scared. The medicine is supposed to be making me feel better and in some ways it does, except for the horrible side effects. Unless it’s a virus….See? There’s no way of knowing and I feel helpless, truly helpless.

People try to be nice, “Hang in there!!!” they write or say with heartfelt warmth. No. I can’t. I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve been pushed beyond my limit and I don’t know if there is a way to pull me back on board without me kicking my legs, punching fists in the air. I refrain myself from starting to scream obscenities like an absolute crazy person. I take an orange pill for anxiety, I drink a cup of ginger tea from a yellow ceramic mug. I droop.

It is clear I can’t continue to live my life this way. I’ve seen more doctors than I would like to see in a lifetime. Friends and relatives  yell out well-meaning ideas: homeopathy, acupuncture, massage?  There’s a doctor in Massachusetts, in Israel, two towns away? Try gluten-free, try vitamins, go to Dr. Weill, to this woman we’ve heard about in Brazil, how about the Mayo clinic for a minimum of $50,000 dollars and no guarantee?

I don’t want to talk about this, I don’t even want to write about it anymore except for the other “friends” who have painful and annoying chronic illnesses like me. They understand, they are the only ones who understand what it is like to live hour by hour. It’s not life-threatening, true, so we don’t get much sympathy but we have no lives to speak of.  What about us? The lost souls that linger in our beds, hoping for a surge of energy, a sign of life?  We are not part of the statistics because really, who knows about us? Who cares?   We are not in hospitals or reporting ourselves to the CDC.  We are not checking in to one specialty hospital because they don’t exist. We have symptoms all over the map, we are not just one disease. There are many, many of us who are unhappy, who are fighting each and every day ; we feel sorry for each other, because only we can understand the struggle, the fight, the emotional and physical pain that live with us just about every, single day.

If you are reading this anywhere other than hibernationnow.wordpress.com please be aware this posting was copied without permission.  Please visit my blog at hibernationnow.wordpress.com to see this, and my other blog postings.

GLEE- ful

It’s Tuesday and I am happy, you could say i was gleeful. Groan, I know.  Tonight I get to watch Glee, unfortunately it’s the finale. Is there anyone out there who doesn’t know what Glee is? It’s a phenomenon. It’s a very creative show for kids, teenagers and adults; for anyone who cares about music, song and dance.  I started watching this amazing television show with my daughter; I admit I wasn’t an instant fan.  After a quick break I came running back on Tuesday nights apologetically to watch it again and I haven’t stopped since. I admit it; my daughter was right and I was wrong. In our family that sentence is like gold.

Is it embarrassing for a mom to admit that she loves the show? Maybe. Those talented kids, the wonderful cast. Did you see the duet with Lea and her biological mom? Breathtaking. Yes, I bought the song from iTunes and have played it a mere 49 times so far. Unfortunately, the famous Susan Boyle who first sang the song has faded into history for me now. With all due respect, Ms. Boyle, your time for me is over, blame it all on Glee.

I am grateful and impressed that this show showcases all types of people, different races and religions, the handicapped, different sexual orientations; the characters are all fully developed; that’s rare. When I saw Coach Sue interact so sweetly with her sister I wanted to cry, it was so tender and perfect.  Glee develops each character fully, they are multi-faceted human beings not caricatures. These actors play real people, imperfect, flawed, delightful and charming people, most of all they are incredibly talented.

That’s what life is all about, we all have many pieces to ourselves. Thanks to Glee’s creators for bringing this charming show into our lives for allowing us to enter a world where it is okay to be flawed, where it is expected and accepted. Thank you for teaching us all how to grow and look at people differently, more openly. There’s beautiful music from Madonna to Les Miserables, exposing all of us to a whole new world of music,and a new way of looking at life.

Give it up for Glee.

The Door Between Madness And Sun (Fiction)

No matter what people tell you, once you have the label you’re stuck with it. You can’t ever lose it. I see it on my parents’ wrinkled faces and a few of my old friends from grade school.  It’s attached to you like one of those mechanic bracelets or anklets they use for drug and alcohol addiction, except it’s invisible. You’ll always be the family with the daughter who committed suicide, or the brother whose sister died when she was five or the husband whose wife had a stroke at 35. It’s a well-known fact although people say it in supposedly hushed voices. There’s nothing hushed about it, whether they speak it or shout it or think it. That’s forever and for that I am sorry. Really.

My name is Lindsay and I’m 18 years old. I had been best friends with Kaitlyn for many years when we were younger, we grew up together you could say.  Things changed a lot when we both started high school and we just grew apart. I guess if I am honest I grew apart from her.  Kaitlyn didn’t know what to do, she used to kind of hang around me but we had nothing to say to each other anymore. I felt bad about it but mostly I just wanted to forget the past and move on to the future. If she couldn’t handle it, it really wasn’t my fault. She couldn’t figure out that I had grown up and changed and I didn’t want to explain it to her, that seemed so lame.  I started liking cooler kids that were different, but she just didn’t get it and wouldn’t leave me alone.  I heard her tell people I was weird.  I heard her tell everyone I was a freak; not a really nice thing to say about an old friend.

Kaitlyn knew I had tried drugs and alcohol a few times but I never went into details with her, it was none of her business. I was a senior now and wanted to feel free and grown-up; I deserved it. I started to steal things and someone would ask about all these new items, I lied and told people they were presents. Well, in a way they were, they were presents from me to me. I couldn’t deal with all the questions and my old friends couldn’t handle it. I had moved on but they hadn’t and that was fine with me.

After awhile people looked the other way when I was around and I was glad.  Once at a school talent show I threw my pack of cigarettes across the room just for attention; people literally freaked out. So I flirted with guys and played around; big deal. All my old friends were just so immature. People talked about my drug use; I admit I used cocaine, pot, pills and yeah, I tried acid but only once.  If I hadn’t gotten so wrecked that one time and had to call one of my old friends to pick me up at a party one night because I couldn’t find my car, no one would never have known. But, of course the little snitch that picked me up told that story to anyone and everyone she knew.  Bitch.

I know my  parents were worried but really, I was fine. They even called the police on me, imagine calling the police on your own daughter.  I told them that I was just a normal teenager doing teenage things but they would cry and scream and yell at me all the time. It got so bad that I learned how to tune them out and when they yelled I couldn’t even hear them anymore; I became numb. Numb felt good because it didn’t feel like anything.

The night I did it, I watched Kaitlyn go to sleep in the big queen bed we used to share on sleepovers. She lay in her room with while outside the snow and sleet pounded to the ground. She had curled up in her bed, I remember she used to be scared of storms and wind.  She still slept in her old room that she never bothered to update with posters or good make-up;  she liked things just the way they were. It was like we were still seven years old, her pink room filled with old stuffed animals and those fuzzy pink heart pillows; she could never throw anything away.

I saw my dad calling Kaitlyn’s mom, her mom picked up the phone and started to cry. I never thought that would happen. That morning at 6am I saw Katie’s mom walk quietly to Katie’s room, it was like looking at her walk in slow motion. She tiptoed into Katie’s room and sit on her bed for a long time.  I saw the shadow of her mother peering from the dark room before Kaitlyn even sat up. Her mom’s body was outlined against the blazing orange hall light as if she had been outlined in a crime scene. Katie started to stir and was surprised when her mother was sitting next to her, she was confused. “Katie, honey,” her mother said ” I have really bad news” and I saw Kaitlyn’s whole body freeze with fear. I knew she was thinking about her father, her brother in college, her grandmother and grandfather. She didn’t even think about me for one second. So when her mom said ” it’s about Lindsay” she had no idea what was going on. Katie’s mom continued” ” I just got a call from Lindsay’s dad and Lindsay……..Lindsay is dead, honey. She committed suicide, I am so sorry.”

Kaitlyn was absolutely still for a few minutes, she didn’t move and then she started shrieking and screaming “No, No, No” over and over again. My dad’s terse message didn’t help you know, he could have been gentler.  How was Katie supposed to react? He just said that he had seen me take some drugs that I was nervous and mad and I had been crying.  He thought I was asleep but I wasn’t, it was time, long overdue and I had to get out. I had been in so much pain that I had to go, had to get rid of all those bad feelings that would never leave me alone, so I did it.

All Kaitlyn had to do is ask the question in her eyes, because she could not find the words, and her mother answered slowly “she hung herself.”

I watched Kaitlyn, crying,  laying on her bed.  I didn’t think she would care that much; we hadn’t been friends in years. I saw her stare at the ceiling and she rocked herself back and forth like she would do, when she was little and when she was really scared. I saw the morning light, the early sun, creep into her room and stop on her face; she was very, very pale. She had put on the friendship bracelet which we made for each other years ago. I’m sorry,  I didn’t know what to do, honest, it felt like the best way out. For me. I had to go. I really did love you, I just hated myself.

I slipped out of her room and disappeared into the night air. It was snowing and was very cold, but I felt nothing and that was good.

Tiny Different Pieces of Ugh

I’m in a funk. I had two days of happiness from the good news that Celine Dion was pregnant with twins. Now this: Al and Tipper Gore are getting divorced? Thanks to SNL’s cast members Seth and Amy all I can say is: “”Really?” and “Are you kidding me?.”  It’s not even the Clintons’? We wouldn’t be shocked then. It’s the Gore’s? The one with the romantic kiss that we all swooned about?  Seriously Tipper? This is very unsettling. I’m one of the last believers in true romance and you had to spoil it for me. Thanks. What happened to the comfort of companionship? Is there more to this? I almost wish there was. It would be easier to understand.

Is there nothing good in the world anymore? We have massive oil spills, the extent of which we will never really know, wars in G-d knows how many places and deadly diseases  that seem no closer to getting cured. There’s poverty, devastation, tsunamis, hurricanes and the fact that bacon is really, really bad for you. I’m cranky and I deserve to be.

I write my soon to be ex-guru Dr. in the City and tell him I have been having pain almost every day that is incapacitating for the last 4 weeks because of the new medication and ask his sage advice. I’ve long given up on support or bed-side manner. He writes back a terse note and says “continue for 4 more weeks.” That’s the answer, the cure, the solution? I want to tell him to go to hell but I refrain. Though, I have to say I am sorely tempted.

My husband’s ex-employer and royal pain in the butt boss went on-line today to say how “exited he was for their new venture.” What new venture? He hasn’t paid my husband or anyone else that worked for him in at least 6 months. New venture, my ass. I totally dislike this dude, who should be named Skipper because he is an extremely wealthy brat that has huge amounts of family money and doesn’t understand that people, like us, need to be paid, in order to eat and pay the bills.

Ted Koppel’s son is dead, the Israelis are apologizing at the same time I receive an essay with a photo of attackers with swords trying to seal Israel’s fate on that boat. I have stomach cramps and didn’t get enough sleep. I watched Sarah Ferguson on Oprah which I swore I wouldn’t do and I did and it was truly pathetic and not in a sympathetic way either. Let’s excuse everything to addiction now: drink, love, sex, spending money and hey, Hallmark cards. Sarah Ferguson, you have sunk to a new low and I can’t even feel sorry for you.

I’m hoping for a loud and boisterous thunderstorm tonight, thrashing trees and a downpour of crystal sheets of rain; maybe it will move all the bad stuff away. Except for the fact that I just found out the loving Rue Mclannahan, from Golden Girls, passed away. That’s making both me and new cult-hero Betty White really sad. Just bring it on. Really. We’re used to it.