It’s been six years from the last major suicide attempt, five years out from my last pharmaceutical – non-recreational anyway. The pills in my life now are gummy vitamins and vitamin D. It’s mind bending to be in a completely different place, and wahoo fucking yay!!! Western medicine and much of society tell you that you’ll never make it, never recover from such severe mental illness. And they made a strong point in my case; I have a long history of pills and hospitalizations for crippling episodes of depression. I may always have it, may relapse here and there, but it’s just better now all around. It takes an enormous amount of energy and work to recover, but it’s possible, and entirely worth it. Besides, all my exit strategies were blocked, so I might as well make the most of what I’ve got. There’s no sense living in misery, that’s no fun at all.

My coworkers threw me a huge birthday party with all my favorite foods  – it was unexpected and wonderful. The messages they wrote on the birthday cards kind of stopped me in my tracks. I thought I was doing a good job, but it looks like I’m doing better than I thought. I will never tell any of them about my mental illness, even though they now know from experience that I have PTSD. How they see me now is how I am focused on living, in the ways that are currently working.

It takes a long time for the symptoms to subside, and all subsequent traumas can re-trigger it. Yoga, meditation, acupuncture, art therapy, gardening therapy, exercise, healthy eating, strong social connections, positive affirmations – these all have helped. That is how I can function mostly as a normal adult now, instead of swinging between that manic hyperactive slut or clenched in the fetal position with depression. It’s all about balance baby.

Love and sweet recovery to all

Rehab – Amy Winehouse
A Bad Dream – Keane


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Catch-22; the arts version

How do you find a job/career that pays well enough that you can do your art, and also leaves you enough time to do it? My job pays well, but it sucks all the energy right out of me. I thought I was done teaching preschoolers for a while, yet a lot of adult “professionals” have similar behavior patterns, and it’s exhausting to deal with.

Even though I have about a month of vacation time, I can’t take any of it because there’s no one who can do my job while I’m gone. Here I am, burned out and cynical and I know it’s because my work/life is completely out of balance. Like so many artists, I feel like I’m dying after a while of not expressing my creativity as much as I need to. Just thinking about painting is enough to bring me to tears.

I have the money for art supplies and studio space, but I don’t have the energy or time. It’s kind of funny really. I sneak in some writing here and there, along with bits of other mediums, but holy shit I just want a house full of art projects and happy people, and a career as a writer – why is it so damn hard to make that happen?


A Matter Of Time – Randy Travis
Alone on Christmas – Darlene Love




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At last

Ohhhhh my yes. Finally found a studio that offers the kind of dance classes I want to take. *wiggling with ecstasy* The more intense and stressful my work is, the more I have to push my exercise/play time to balance it out. Groove time on a dance floor is exactly what I’ve been needing.


At Last – Etta James
Shot At The Night – The Killers

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Like the rain – Part 857

The rain feels like a curtain of relaxation washing over. I love the sound of it, the smell of it, the feel of the water as it hits my upturned face. It feels like liquid memories, crying out of my system the easy way.

This one idea has been percolating in the back of my brain for a very long time. I gave up on the dream of it early, but now it’s been reborn and I’m leaping at the chance like it’s my best chance for survival. For an artist, pursuing a passion feels as necessary as breathing. I don’t care about money or material shit, I just want to make this one wonderful thing happen. Luckily, I have found a mentor who has shown me the way to make it a reality. Words can’t express how grateful and filled with excitement that makes me. Like a thousand Christmases rolled into one idea, and I’m my own damn Santa Claus.

Few things are as joy inducing as walking around in the rain wrapped in sassy black leather (well waterproofed), lost in a fog of creative ideas. It’s orgasmic and right now, nothing else matters.


Like The Rain – Clint Black
I Took A Pill In Ibiza (Seeb Remix)- Mike Posner
How Can I Fall – Breathe

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Autumn colors

I used to lie on the carpet in front of our jukebox listening to this song. I would turn the lights down and the volume up, and wonder what the hell was wrong with me when everything was so right and I continued to feel awful.

There’s nothing like the sound of a record dropping onto a turntable. Watching the needle move into position, and that scratchy and warm sound coming out of the speakers. It got me through a lot of nights when my insomnia was relentless, and I wasn’t sure what to do with my energy.

I loved that jukebox, but I’m sure glad I haven’t been trying to haul it around all these years. I would have lost it in the fire anyway.

Sometimes life seems like an unbearable series of losses with only more to come. I feel broken, and worried that I won’t be able to sleep – so stressed from work, so low on hope. Clearly I need to volunteer more and run as much as I can push myself.

It’s fucking hard to motivate when the sad and anxious levels are up; I did a suspension class anyway and it was sweaty bruuuuuuuutal. Luckily the instructor had a fantastic playlist. Music makes things better, whether it’s via smartphone, or old school turntable.

SOTD – Jukebox version

Baby, I Lied – Deborah Allen


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Hot springs in falling snow

The rains have started, a little patter of gray wet poetry. I want to curl up in something cozy, and wallow in art work. I feel newly inspired, a consequence of reading a phenomenal book plus learning a wicked great tip from my personal trainer. I ran this morning farther, for longer than I have in a very long time. I hit that runner’s high and haven’t come down since. Now I can do domestic work all afternoon, lost in a creative universe.

I was in denial, but I can no longer ignore that I seem to have reached cougar status. It’s sweet but holy shit it makes me feel centuries old at the same time. I have no time to train young men, and gray hair is what I want. That sounds funny until you see the kinds of wisdom that come with age. Not to everyone, but I appreciate those who have it. Personal wisdom and true love were my birthday candle wishes for years. Now I realize that what truly fulfills both is just a gigantic library. Or Powell’s Books in Portland.

Wishes for this holiday season: books, more running, skiing, a hot tub or hot springs in the snow, and more humans doing good things.

I Just Wanted You To Know – Mark Chesnut
Come Back – J. Geils Band
Light You Up – Shawn Mullins
Lovely Day – Bill Withers

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If I Can’t Have You

Coworker dude is super sweet and I wouldn’t hurt him for the world; I even posted on social media that I’m in a relationship – just to avoid that awkward conversation. I know he’s a very gentle soul and lord knows the world will break you in a zillion other ways – why add to that?

Now I get to have lots of awkward conversation with my friends, who are already wondering who my mysterious partner is. But after considering it for a couple of days, I decided that I’d rather put it out there that I’m off the market – it’s much simpler and easier and I can explain it to my close friends privately. For all intents and purposes, I’ve been in love forever anyway. No, I didn’t give my heart or soul to any man – I gave it to humanity in general, all wrapped up as my handsome Muse. Few men can compare. Although… I would reconsider if presented by a couple of hot men in uniform. Lmfao – make me a sandwich!

Love to all

Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler
If I Can’t Have You – Yvonne Elliman

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Under the harvest moon

A little wave blew through today, and I could almost smell the ocean, hear the waves breaking on a rocky shore, feel the familiar path beneath my feet. Followed immediately by a wash of homesickness and longing for what is gone forever. Back when I still believed in the safety and haven of a small hometown, and the idea that heroes might still exist – even if they would never, could never see me.

Someday I hope I can move out of the city again, live somewhere quiet and peaceful near water – the only place I can truly feel at ease and home at last. Oh god I miss it though, can barely express it in words how much it hurts sometimes. Remembering how that time was like having my heart ripped out over and over for years. Trauma after trauma until I didn’t feel like me at all, just a shivering, over medicated wreck of a human who was stuck in some dark hell while pretending everything was normal and fine. It was so hard to break the habits of that lifetime, and so many people thought it wasn’t possible, would never happen. Now here I am, completely different, scar tissue over the worst of it and on a totally different path. Thank fucking god/goddess.

Love to all


Cough Syrup – Young The Giant
Swept Away – Diana Ross
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Brother – NeedtoBreathe
Forget Me Nots – Patrice Rushen
Didn’t It Rain – Evelyn Freeman
We Don’t Talk Anymore – Cliff Richard
In My Dreams – Berlin
Drowning In The Sea Of Love – The Adventures
Cheap Thrills – Sia
Shadow Of The Day – Linkin Park
You Don’t Know Love – Olly Murs
Much Too Young- Garth Brooks
The Radio – Vince Gill

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Search and rescue

I dated a wonderfully sweet man once who was a retired Navy search and rescue jumper. His stories were inspiring, and his bumper sticker cracked me up (Support Search and Rescue – Get Lost). Now, years later, I have the chance to volunteer with SAR and I jumped at it. Every child in distress, every struggling teen, and so many adults – who doesn’t secretly dream of being rescued out of your dark moments? I certainly dreamed of it, over and over for years. But I was rescued, by different wonderful humans who came into my life at just the right moment – whether I was ready or not.

It would be wonderful if I could contribute to someone else’s happy moment – that joy when a stranger gives you a much needed hand out of hell – I know the reality is nothing like that, but I’m nothing if not optimistic. It’s a messed up world, and apathy won’t do shit to change things. SAR means being on call 24/7 until I quit, but wtf, I’m not that busy. Besides, volunteering helps immensely in the battles of me vs the wolves of depression.

Love to all: May you get the help you need, exactly when you need it. Even the asshole pilots.

Rescue Me – Madonna

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Urban lullabies

How powerful does a human experience have to be before it leaves a mark on your soul? I only ask because there’s some shit I don’t want to repeat in any other lifetime.

I couldn’t sleep last night – all strung out, nerves screaming in a stupid panic attack. Today was an important day at work, and I knew I needed rest but I couldn’t shut my brain off. It was torture, and it made me wish for a lover to help me work off the anxiety in happier ways.

Insomnia is the worst, and you’d think I’d be used to it after so many years of sleep problems. Nope. It made my suspension class that much harder – drugged with exhaustion, dripping sweat. My brain drove me to do that too, and I feel tons better.

When in doubt with mental illness – work it out physically until your brain chemicals calm down. I completely understand Forrest Gump going for a run when emotions overwhelmed him – exercise is one of the most wonderful gifts/treatments. I should have done more of it last night, but I was too much mental pain to think of it. And for what? Nothing worth freaking out over. Dear sweet melatonin, help me ignore that shit and get some sleep tonight.

Love and restful sleep to all


One Good Lover – Siren
Big Decisions – My Morning Jacket
Try A Little Tenderness – The Commitments
Sleep – Allen Stone
Simple Song – The Shins

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