One Month

Just one month can make all the difference in the world.



I will travel back to my blog roots and attempt to post more pics, with or without words. (And I will try to get past the fact that I'm relying on the camera in my PHONE forcryingoutloud.)

Earlier this evening, I read over the "coming out" post I wrote and shared almost exactly one year ago. So VERY much has changed in one short year. So very much will change in the year to come.

The biggest and best change I see is hope. I now have hope. Hope for my future. Hope for my kids. Hope for inner peace. A year ago, hope seemed wildly out of reach. And here it is, now, brushing softly against my fingertips.

My favourite image consists of light rays bursting through dark clouds. Hope shining through the bleakest times. Light overcoming darkness.

And this was tonight's sky.


My Socks Smell Like Chocolate

A good portion of my life has involved keeping things hidden.

  • Family secrets.
  • Relationships.
  • Abuse.
  • Alcohol.
  • Mental illness.
  • Drugs.
  • Scars.
  • The truth.
  • Myself.

Which is why I have a difficult time hiding anything these days.  There is an incredible sense of freedom that comes from having nothing to hide - even if it comes by choosing to hide nothing!

I was recently cautioned that I ought not to be so forthcoming online.  Future employers could run across my posts and find me unfit for work.  I see the wisdom in this.  My current employers would NEVER have hired me had they known I was fresh out of a mental hospital and wildly unstable.  But they did.  And it has been the best thing for me!  Work has provided me with a focus and stability I never could have achieved on my own in such a short amount of time.  And in return,  I have proven to be a work horse, stretching above and beyond their expectations.

But there is the unsettling fact that I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.  What if I pursue teaching?  Or any career involving children?  Could my choice to live candidly become an obstacle to my future dreams?

Yet I  hesitate to pull down this blog or censor myself on Facebook.  These online outlets have brought me through the toughest challenges of my adult life.  And perhaps this is wishful thinking, but what if . . . . in some minuscule way . . . I actually made a difference in somebody else's life?  What if my words and antics inspired somebody dealing with similar issues?  What if the light from my tiny little corner of the blog universe reached and comforted somebody who is still struggling to keep so much of herself hidden?

As scary and unsettling as many of my issues are - I am not alone.  And neither are you.

So I will continue to live openly, honestly and loudly unhidden.

Even I have my limits, however.  I will also continue to hide my chocolate stash in the sock drawer.


Cheers and Jeers at the Pet Store

As many of you know, I work hard for the money at a pet store and LOVE it!  It isn't always sunshine and butterflies, however.  So here are my cheers and jeers about work:

CHEERS:  The animals are fwacking adorable.  They cuddle, nuzzle, kiss and squeak their way straight to my heart.

JEERS:  They poop.  They all poop.  They poop prolifically, with complete abandon and utter disregard for basic decency.
In the food?  Yep.
In the water?  Of course!
On the wall?  Sure, why not?!
On their littermates?  Eh, they won't even notice.
As soon as you charge into the store, causing a train wreck of eager (or terrified) animals following suit and ticking off customers squishing into it and scraping it off throughout the store before we can clean it all up?  Why - that's the best kind!

JEERS:  A large portion of my job description involves eradicating all evidence that our pets have a digestive system.  There is a LOT of evidence to eradicate.

CHEERS:  The ability to guide enthusiastic families with the addition of a new pet - quite an exciting time!

JEERS:  Realizing that half of the customers just want you to tell them what they want to hear.
"So you're telling me that pairing a snake with a hamster would have disastrous results?  Nah, not at our house!  I'll keep them both in a trash can under the front porch - they'll love it!"
"My 5 gallon aquarium water tested as toxic sludge?  Why, then it's a perfect time to add five tiger oscars, seven goldfish and a neon tetra!"

CHEERS:  Working with amazingly supportive managers and co-workers who laude openly and laugh often.

JEERS:  Getting stuck with twice the amount of work because somebody before me decided not to do one single productive thing during their shift.

CHEERS:  Having a job that utilizes all of my focus and physical strength.   This leaves no room for the crushing negativity of my own thoughts and inner voice.

JEERS:  They flood back in as soon as I clock out.

CHEERS:  Money!

JEERS:  Not enough money!

CHEERS: Working at the most rainbowriffic Gaytopia east of the Mississippi.  Employees and customers alike!  Those who aren't on the rainbow wagon are open-minded and accepting of those who are.  It's like I go home when I go to work.

JEERS:  Even though there is a steady stream of glorious gayness pouring into the store . . not one of them has given me a second glance.  Or a phone number.  Or a hand in marriage.


CHEERS:  It's nice to have a wealth of eye candy every single workday.  And as adorable as the animals are, there is no substitute for the light and warmth of human eyes.  The human connection-no matter how brief-gives me the fuel I need to rise above any petty frustrations that occur at work.

And who knows?  Maybe some day one of those eyes will wink at me!


Fair Weather Friend

I have never been a very nurturing person.  When somebody I love experiences hardship - even if it's just a cold - I tend to turn and run.



I've tried analyzing why I do this.  A lack of nurturing as a child?  Overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness?  Because I'm an ass?

A few times in my life, I have pulled through for friends or family members.  I have brought a few meals, stayed in a few hospitals, cleaned a few houses and held a few hands.  But my tendency to bury my head in the sand far outweighs any positive actions I've managed to put forth.

This weekend, I have a very close friend recovering from surgery, a very close daughter recovering from the flu and a plethora of very close others dealing with varying degrees of misfortune.

I'd like to say that I've showered them all with love and affection  That I'm there for them - a solid rock of reliability amid a sea of despair.  (And painfully revealing hospital gowns.)  But I am not.  I have run.



It isn't like I'm hiding in the basement, horking down cold pizza and scratching my lamentations into a worn out composition book.  Because that would be lame.

If good intentions counted at all in life, I'd be a rock star.  But love, from what I've heard, is based on more than good intentions.

I need to say more.
I need to do more.
I need to BE more.

I need to step outside my comfort zone and reach back to the people who have proven themselves to me again and again.

And I will do this!

But . . . I think I'll reach out for one more slice of cold pizza, first.



Just about every time I tell people that I am mentally ill, they laugh and say, “we all are!”  I can appreciate the sentiment.  We ALL have struggles, all have quirks, all have “issues” . . . and most of us act like complete lunatics most of the time.  But I feel the need to clarify a little further what I’ve been up against for about thirty years, now.

I have Generalized Anxiety, Bipolar II and Borderline Personality Disorder.  It makes me a big bucket of fun, is what it does!

  • I feel completely overwhelmed with minor, daily occurrences.
  • I feel panicky and unable to breathe.  My heart races.  My mind races.  I have to suppress the urge to run.  (Sometimes I fail and literally run to what my mind considers a safe place.)
  • With the smallest of triggers, I have a raging vortex of emotions and nowhere to put them.
  • I live in a dark, black cloud that completely blocks out anything positive and good.
  • I feel confused, worried, terrified and completely out of control of my emotions – my actions – my life.
  • I hurt myself; not to die, not to cry out for help – but to put a physical pain to the emotional storm crashing around my heart.
  • I feel too defeated and exhausted to get up, eat, shower and leave the house.  For days.  Or weeks.  OR
  • I don't sleep at all, feel irritated with the world, spend money I don't have for projects I won't finish and feel like nothing can stop me or slow me down and I'll talk a mile a minute and have a hard time sitting down because there's so much I need to DO and so much I WANT to do and so much I CAN do and why doesn't everybody else see my vision and that I am perfectly capable of bringing it AWN and where the heck is that ONE green shirt that I want to wear, dammit, no, I can't wear any of the other twenty shirts I have it has to be THAT one and why is the family hiding from me I bet they STOLE it, I just knew it, I can't trust anybody, GAH, maybe if I look here and now I'm wildly late but none of the other shirts feel "right" and when did I start throwing things?
  • I attempt to lessen the intensity of my emotions by detaching myself from them completely.
  • I push people away, then mourn that they’ve “left” me.
  • I internally rip myself apart over minor mistakes.
  • I hear a constant stream of critical self-hate and loathing running through my mind.
  • I feel empty and alone – even when surrounded by co-workers, friends and loved ones.  It gnaws at me.
  • I think that whatever I am feeling at this very moment is how I will feel for the rest of my life.  And usually what I am feeling at this very moment isn't very pretty.
  • I feel helpless.  Hopeless.  Angry.  Scared.  Just about always.
  • I feel certain that my friends, my family, my world would be much better off without me.
  • I chronically deal with suicidal ideation.  At just about any given time, I am thinking through plans down to the smallest detail.
  • I overreact.  Loudly, physically, brilliantly overreact. I know this in my mind – I tell myself that I’m not acting rationally.  But the emotion drowns out any hint of rational thought. 

And wait, kids!  Much, much more!  But I'll stop there - I think you get the idea.  Good times.

One note:  For some reason, I am able to hold myself together at work.  Very well.  In fact, I LOVE work because it is demanding and busy and I have no choice but to concentrate on my tasks.  All other thoughts and emotions go into my lunchbox.

I am fortunate to have many amazing people in my life right now (and many amazing meds!) who are dedicated to helping me become a more stable, functioning individual.  I truly have the best of the best.  Which kind of proves that my friends really ARE complete lunatics to put up with my antics.

Yes, you know who you are!

This brings me to my biggest frustration: I improve by leaps and bounds, only to spiral down into the same dark abyss I clawed my way out of again and again.  Is it too much for me to hope that someday I will be able to deal with common occurrences in a calm, rational manner?  That my improvements will remain?

I’m not sure.  But for now, I’ll slip into my cute little mask of humour and chipperness (YES, it's a word!  I decree it shall be so!) and hope the smile distracts from the inner struggle, and that it isn't reflected in my eyes.


Dipping My Toe

This past week, I have been approached by three different people asking if and when I planned to pick up my blog.  And to DO JUST THAT, dammit!

So . . . here I am.  Still here.
Still mentally ill.
Still gay.
Still forgetful.
Still wicked good entertainment.
Still kind.
Still honest.
Still terrified.

Still trying.

I don’t see any way possible to gather everything that has happened in my life over the past two seasons and stuff them neatly into one journal entry.  The very thought overwhelms me.

So I start with today.

::stares, blankly::

Or maybe I’ll start . . . tomorrow.