Monday, June 30, 2014

My Alanis Morissette Years

I guess I might need to explain what the title means.  Alanis was always dubbed "angry" and known as as the "Queen of alt-rock angst"

When I recently began blogging again I took a look at my past posts and WOW, I was an extremely angry and bitter person 4-5 years ago.  This all began around the same time my depression started.  I just didn't have any coping skills.  I had been "self medicating" with drugs and sex for so long, when I finally stopped using I didn't know what it meant to truly have a "normal" reaction to situations.  I would hang on to little things and make them in to HUGE issues for myself and others.  I would also take on the worlds problems on my shoulders.. War, politics, bullying, senseless acts of violence.  I felt responsible for everything.  I wasn't doing enough to help the world.  I felt helpless and hopeless and that made me feel very very angry.

I had actually gone through and hidden some of those blogs that were so awful, which you would think goes against everything I have ever felt about "if you cant stand by what you say, maybe you shouldn't have been saying anything in the first place."   Except for the fact I shouldn't have been saying these things in the first place, but I went back through and re-posted those posts.  It was a time in my life that I need to remember, a time in my live I never want to repeat.

Times haven't changed in the world, if anything they have gotten worse.  In the last few years I have been through a lot but it wasn't until this past January (2014) when I became very sick and spent quite a bit of time in the hospital getting well, surgery, and just finally feeling confident enough to live life agan. I emerged out of my dark cocoon a free and happy little butterfly once again.  Things still upset me but I have made a conscious decision to not participate in heated debates about politics, religion, and most other hot topics of the moment.  Even today I posted a couple of things about the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare and birth control.  I already regret posting those, but I have just decided not to participate in the debates happening.

When I find myself being treated badly by someone I simply remove them from the location where they place their soapbox, whether its real life or their online persona.

This morning a 12 year old boy (still allegedly) committed suicide while at Boy Scout camp here in San Diego.  My heart was broken.  These days I am concentrating my efforts on Mental Health issues.  Suicide prevention, reducing stigma for those who suffer from Mental Illness, this is my passion.   There have been times when someone has been so defiant in recognizing that depression means much more than just "having a bad day" that have made me angry but instead of fighting and arguing, I move on to the next person who is willing to be open minded, listen and make the effort to understand Mental Health.  Now the issues I face I dont approach in an angry manner.   I approach these situations with concern, love, sympathy and empathy.
This boy was 12 years old.  Our healthcare system is failing our youth in the area of Mental Health.

So the point I am trying to make here is Mental Health is just as important as physical health, they actually go hand in hand.  In those "Alanis" years I experienced I was physically frozen, not leaving the house for days, laying on the couch and sleeping on the couch for days.  Being angry all the time is exhausting. I have given up the Jagged Little Pill Alanis was presenting me and traded it in for many other pills, but they are working.  I rarely get angry anymore.  I have recently reached out to people I used to consider a Nemesis  to let them know I may not be an ally to them, but I'm no longer an aggressive foe.  Life has become so much easier for me, and great things are starting to happen for me.

Although my body doesn't show it right now, I feel light and as free as a butterfly.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tijuana Dentist A Great Experience

Many of you have asked me for info about where I am going to get my dental work done, so I decided to just write it all out so it will always be available or you can even share it with some one else that might need it.

Many dental procedures are not covered by insurance, anything considered cosmetic like replacing one tooth isn't a big deal to insurance companies cuz hey ya got 31 more right?

I was refereed to Dr Landeros by my friend Courtney and they have a local 619 number and an English speaking employee that can book you an appointment and give you a very accurate quote over the phone.

The office is immaculate with brand new state of the art equipment, some of the staff including Dr Landeros speak English so you feel very comfortable when things are explained to you.

The way I get there is by the Trolley, it drops you off right at the US side of the border and all you have to do is about a 2 minute walk to get to the other side to where the cabs are waiting.  Make sure you take a yellow cab and ask for a quote before you leave.  It costs me $5 plus a buck or two for the tip.

Getting a cab back to the border is just as easy, the doctors office can either call or you walk a block up the hill to the main street where there are plenty of cabs.  You need to took for a certain two tone color of cab because otherwise you could be sharing it with strangers,   The office will tell you what to look for.

The cab will take you to the border crossing line.  If the line is super long there will be people out there offering to take you to the front of the line for $5.  This is legit, you just have to ask when are you leaving and again how much does it cost?   I had a great experience doing this many times before and a terrible experience once many years ago because it was a LARGE bus they wanted to fill.  Look for the smaller vans.   Last time I went the line wasn't long enough for the vans to be in operation so I just waited in line for about 20-30 minutes.

I don't have a passport, I only have a valid California ID and a CERTIFIED copy of my birth certificate, they may ask you why you don't have a passport, I just told them Im on a limited income and cant afford it. The other couple of times they didn't even say anything.  If you are disabled DONT wait in the disabled line, it goes super slow and the other regular public line goes much faster.

The Name of the dental clinic is  Smile Art TJ (there is a photo of the Mona Lisa on their sign)
Dr Landeros
Phone number is 619-734-2358
I have never had their address, I have only told the cab driver I need to go to Plaza Minarete
near Sams Club and iHop and never had a problem getting there.

Make sure you tell them I sent you cuz I know Im gonna need a lot of dental work in the future, maybe they'll give me a break.


Friday, June 20, 2014

All I Have to Do is Dream

Ive had some really strange dreams since I have been on prescription sleep medications. I am usually so comforted when friends and family that have passed come to visit me in my dreams (it happens often)   Many times they make no sense whatsoever and they are just crazy nonsensical dreams.  Often they are fun and leave me feeling good in the morning.

The past 6 months or more I have had trouble sleeping, changing medications often with nothing really working very well.  My Doctor has ordered a sleep study which will be in 2 parts.  One a consultation, then the other where they hook me up to wires and watch me (try) to sleep.

  This past week Ive been  having a lot of angry dreams and last night something began sweet but ended scary for me.  These angry dreams are always with my mother, as most of you know my mother meant the world to me, so these angry, argument filled dreams are very bothersome to me.

But last night in my dreams at one point I was in bed and there was this thing, a voice, a cloudy mist gently pulling me out of my bed and started to cradle me.  I figured it was my mother,  I was at such peace, then all of a sudden something dark and i can only describe as evil ran across the room and I was dropped back onto my bed and that's when I suddenly woke up and then sat straight up scaring Mr Kitty out of his sleep and out of the room.  I was actually scared to go back to sleep because many times my dreams pick up right where they left off.

I really want to learn more about the meaning of dreams, but when these dreams are powered by medication its difficult to know how authentic they truly are.

So Im sure I'll have a nice nap at some point before therapy today.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Death isn't easy.for most people I guess

Death of a friend or loved one is never easy, but what is it about death that makes people go bat shit crazy?

Maybe because I have felt so much loss during my life, beginning with all of the different animals I have had since childhood, to both sets of Grandparents, and both of my parents.   Maybe I don't feel death the same as everyone else.
Especially if someone is suffering, Id rather they slip away than be in any pain or discomfort.  But the real pain and discomfort comes after death, when the vultures come out and people show their true colors.

Maybe people perceive me as being controlling or making something all about me because when someone dies I am all about getting things taken care of.  When Dad died, I cleaned out his closet less than 2 weeks after his death.  The property Grandma left me was cleaned out and sold within a couple of  months of her death.  I cleaned out moms room 2 weeks after she died, then went through all of her paper work the following week.  I'm a task master... I get it done, and the more there is to do, the faster you have to work.

Being the closest one to San Diego with the most time available I offered to do some of this leg work and help find a mortuary, helped with obituaries, helped find a location that Dave would like for his celebration dinner.  I've spent at least 20 hours working on a memory book of Dave for his father, and I have enjoyed every moment.  I know what my talents are, so I put them to use.  I've very creative, and every one knows my experience in planning events for 10 to 1 million people.

Others don't handle death so well,  They sometimes immediately go balls out on continuing their lives.  Partying very often, getting tricks / special friends before the body is even cold. I could go on and on about that topic but it really serves no purpose.  Luckily this situation will resolve itself by the end of August, and God willing maybe sooner than that.

 I've known Dave about 20 years,  I love Dave but I'm realistic about death, the grieving period will never completely be over.   I think of him on a daily basis, but right now there are things to do.  I realize its easier to play the victim and say everyone else is acting in a strange way so you don't get looked upon as the person that's acting strangely..

Were all born, we live as full of lives as we can, then we die.  So instead of the drama surrounding death lets keep fondness in our hearts and respect for those that have been closest to the deceased.

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
If I had only listened to my gut feeling sooner, but you want your friend to be happy, or at least FEEL like he is happy.  I didn't get to spend as much time with Dave the last year of his life, but the occasions we did spend together were fun filled.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

"Not" Turning My Back to DeMaio.

Sunday July 22nd 2012 issue of the Union Tribune

After a couple of years successfully battling Carl DeMaio's efforts to become elected to public office beginning with a protest at the 2012 Pride parade and an active Facebook page, I have decided to pass the torch to someone else to carry.

The Facebook Page is being managed by Christina MacNeal.
The Turn Your Back to DeMaio protest event I created for Pride in 2012 is being put on by David Lundin, who is some one I dont know.  I hope he does the event bigger and better than Eric Hufford, Jase Watson, and I did.

My decision to drop back from these events are both personal and professional.
After everything I have personally been through since 2012 I no longer have the fight or anger in me to continue with the ugliness of San Diego politics.  The energy can be better spent by me helping others through my volunteer work for other pro active organizations in town  These days Just watching Scandal  or House of Cards satisfies my needs.

Also I have re entered the job market and although I know I cant completely remove my internet past, I thought this was a good place to start.  Im sure I'll still post my opinions, ideas, and advice on occasion but instead of being the leader, ill be standing to the side watching 2 different people take my idea and grow with it.

Ill feel like a proud Papa Bear.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Father, Rolland Edward Cunningham Jr.

I would guess my dad was in his mid twenties in this pic

I actually don't know a whole lot about my dad.  We were never as close as I was with Mom.  I remember when I was very young I would always be so excited to see him when he would come home from a business trip, or even just home from work everyday.  Those memories always make me smile.  As I got older the differences and the similarities between us grew and put a sort of shield between us.

Dad was born September 22, 1938 in Liberal, Kansas  if you clicked on the link you can see it isn't the most metropolitan city, nor have any claim to fame that I have found. Well unless you count the 1991 Miss USA being born there, and the Chief of Police in Huntington Beach when we lived there was from Liberal.  I believe my dad only went to school until he was about 14 years old.  I think that was pretty typical in that part of the country during that era, the boys were needed at home to work on the farm.

I don't know the year that Grandpa and Grandma married or divorced, I do know the reasons why they were divorced, apparently Grandpa was a much different person then.   Much different than the sweet gentle old man I remember when I was young.  Dad hadn't seen his father for a very long time so we went to Whittier where grandpa lived with his daughter Myrna (dads half sister)   I just remember being so excited to see my grandpa all those other "things" didn't matter to me.
Grandpa died in 1984 not knowing his son would follow him just a little less than a year later.

My relationship with my father was "strained" at best.  Dad and I frequently butted heads.  We were both impatient and stubborn.  I was a spoiled kid with a big smart mouth (imagine that) and apparently I wasn't as "manly" as he hoped I would be.  At times I could over hear him talking to mom saying she was turning me into a sissy by going to the theater to see plays and all the clothes shopping and redecorating my bedroom.  Dad and I were very different from each other in many ways, he was perfectly happy driving his beat up old pickup truck and using his aluminum fishing boat. Dad was a "mans man"  He liked to hunt and fish, he loved watching sports, and just sitting outside his office at a picnic table shooting the shit with his employees.

One other similarity is that on occasion he would throw down some money on "luxury" items.  He finally bought a big boat...30 feet I think, so the entire family could enjoy boating trips to Catalina or at the river. he had a side that enjoyed the good things in life like custom made suits, imported cigarettes, and the most ugly and expensive cowboy boots you had ever seen..  Since most of the family enjoyed water skiing so much dad never got to use the big boat for fishing, so he went and bought a smaller 24 foot boat that he customized for bass fishing.  Dad did love his toys and he spent quite a bit of money on them.  He worked very hard to be able to enjoy those pleasures.

The times we did spend together doing the things he liked were usually miserable for me but extremely joyful for him.  Especially the fishing...  Dad could sit in a boat for hours and not catch a thing and be perfectly happy.  I would get so fidgety and bored I usually brought a book to read.  One time we went to Alaska to go salmon fishing and I had an amazing time.  The fish were practically jumping in the boat.  I caught the first fish of the trip, which ended up also being the largest fish.  I know that made my dad so happy, because when we got home he couldn't stop telling everyone.  We would go on various family trips like cruises to Mexico, long weekends to the mountains or anywhere dad could fish, trips to other states to visit mom's family. But the one thing Dad was most proud of is when he took his grandson Austin fishing and he caught his first fish.  He had a big picture of Austin with that fish in his office.  Sadly my niece was only about 2 or 3 when my dad died so they didn't get a chance to get to know each other.

One thing I loved doing with Dad and was always a great bonding experience for us was when we went to LA Dodger baseball games, our business had season tickets so we went as often as we could.  When my brother was younger Dad was a coach for most of his little league teams.  Dad didn't own his own business back then so he had much more free time.  My first day of little league practice my Aunt Goldie had to take me and my dad showed up shortly after. The coach had us throwing balls back and forth.  I got hit in the head, Dad yelled at the coach for letting 1st graders just throw balls at each other.  That was my first and last little league practice.  That was a huge disappointment for my dad.  I wouldn't be bringing any trophies home to add to the family collection.  Although I did win a Fonzie look alike contest in 3rd grade which I received a trophy for.   My first trophy for being an impersonator, gee I'm sure dad would have been proud of my Showqueen of the year trophy from 1993

Something that no one is aware that I know about is that my father was married once before and has 2 other sons. I found out about the 1st wife after dad died and we were cleaning out his closet, he had a box of personal mementos with wedding photos, etc.   I learned about my other half brothers  via his last will and testament. I don't know why that was kept such a secret from me when mom had been married once before and had a son.   I have no idea what the circumstances were with the wife or children, or if the children are even from the same mother.  I guess my Dad's nickname wasn't "Fast Eddie" for nothing.  Even though I have my half brothers full names I've never searched them out on the internet or any other way,  I'm sure by the time you read this I'll have done so.

I guess there are some misconceptions out there about the death of my father.  Yes he died from a gunshot wound to his head, but it was not intentional. Dad grew up around guns his whole life, he had a pretty large collection of rifles, hand guns, etc.  He was meticulous about cleaning, and caring for his guns.  I was taught gun safety at a very young age.  Trucking yards weren't in the best neighborhoods so dad always carried a handgun in his car hidden inside a small pillow.  One night he was out celebrating a friends birthday and his friend got into an altercation with someone.  Well the guy announced he was getting his gun, so dad did the same.  Dad's friend pleaded for him to put it away, but to show them he had no intention of using the gun he emptied the bullets out into his jacket pocket.  Later there were only 5 bullets found in his pocket, one bullet had become stuck in the chamber.  Dad was messing around with the gun later and it went off and hit him in the head, he fell to the ground.  At first everyone thought dad was playing some kind of elaborate practical joke, he was always pranking his friends.

Mom had just been released from the hospital on her birthday January 23rd to recover at home from back surgery, we had a hospital bed in our living room because she wasn't allowed to go up or down stairs, she wasn't supposed to do much movement of any kind.  I remember a call coming in the middle of the night but at our house that wasn't unusual.  It was usually an employee letting dad know he was leaving or arriving for a delivery.
I woke up the next morning on the 25th of January 1985 and there was a note on the kitchen table from mom telling me dad had an accident but I should please go to school.  It was during 5th period they pulled me out of class and was told I was needed at home, when I drove up everyone's car was in the driveway and on the street. I knew something very bad happened, when I saw Grandma, she couldn't even look at me.   Mom and my brother pulled me into the downstairs office and told me dad was dead.  For whatever reason my first reaction was to immediately go back to school to talk to one of my favorite teachers; Mrs. Petlowaney.  I was in a complete daze, shortly after that time word had spread all over the school.

No parent should have to bury one of their own children, and I remember the grief and sadness that Grandma Ruby went through.  Just walking down the hall at our home and seeing a photo of dad on the wall almost brought her to her knees on the day he died.  Apparently Grandma went to see him in the hospital when he was first brought in, she and my mother made the decision together to cease life support.  I remember Grandma mentioning she was so happy she went to see him at the mortuary for the viewing because he looked so much better, than in the hospital  I couldn't bring myself to go to the viewing

The services were held at Forest Lawn Memorial in The Church of our Fathers which houses 150 people inside and 50 people outside, there were dozens of people standing both inside and outside in addition.  My father was a very respected man professionally and personally. He treated his customers like gold,  I remember one customer in particular, Bob Korst and his wife Ethel that dad held in the highest esteem.  When ever they came to town Dad got them whatever they wanted. They always came for the Long Beach Grand Prix and Dad would pay through the nose for the best tickets he could find. I had never seen my dad act in such a subservient way, as he did with Bob and Ethel Korst.  If one of his employees needed an advance on his pay, dad would just give him money without any hesitation or requirement to pay him back.  He would even hire guys to work in the truck yard when he didn't need any additional help, because he had gone without the bare essentials when he was a kid.  He was always helping out someone in need.

Dad was a high school drop out that began a trucking company with one truck and a second phone line in our kitchen, that grew into an interstate trucking company with offices in both Southern and Northern California.  He also owned a tow truck company near the LA airport that was very successful, and was involved in a air compressor company that could inflate all the tires on an "18 wheeler" truck at the same time.  He was a very ambitious man. He was never afraid to try something new.

It took  me years to begin to truly grieve and miss my father.  I always wonder what our adult relationship would be like.   

Well, I guess I knew more about him than I thought.   I love you Daddy.

Grandma's favorite photo of "Eddie"
I always hated it cuz I though the dog was dead

The Cunninghams 1944

Little Eddie's Birthday 1943

My brother Bob, Dad as coach, and I'm the "mascot"

We were stylin in the 70's


My favorite photo of me and Dad

Taken about 6 months before Dad died

Monday, June 9, 2014

Not Your Typical Love Story

What about love?
Don't you want someone to care about you?
And what about love?
Don't let it slip away
What about love?
I only want to share it with you
You might need it someday.

The above are lyrics from a song by Heart, "What About Love"   When you hear most love songs on the radio you think of a traditional relationship.  Boy meets boy, boy meets girl, girl meets girl, etc.  But these songs don't have to be about a sexual or intimate relationship at all.  It’s all how you accept and perceive it.  Let me explain.

I first met Mynde in 8th grade, I thought she was a little "bitchy" because let’s face it aren't most 8th grade girls a little bitchy?   Fast forward to high school, sophomore year. I don't remember exactly how it happened it was almost 30 years ago after all. I believe it was through our little group that hung out in the quad at lunch (I was the only boy.) Sometime during our hanging out we decided to begin dating.  At the time I think we were still 15 years old.  So outside of school there wasn’t a whole lot for us to do, so I guess dating meant we kissed and held hands when we saw each other.

Don’t You Want Someone to Care About You
By the time we were 16 we were fully in love, we spent all the time we could together, usually friends in tow, but we did have our alone time and lots of “special” alone time ( I was a 16 year old guy after all)  Her dad was fairly lenient and my mom let me do most anything I wanted.  Mynde lived just 15-20 minutes away from where we went to school and where I lived so there were lots of trip to Long Beach to hang out.  There was tons of shopping, concerts, just spending time together.  When we were 18 years old we moved into our own apartment together, times were much rougher then, we hardly had any money, sometimes we fought, often times we would just lay around and do nothing but watch TV.   Things started improving and we moved to a nicer area and a brand new never lived in apartment.  Things were looking up.  But things were also changing; I was learning that my attraction towards men meant I was gay.  We grew distant and I could never tell her why, I was too embarrassed.  “It’s me, it’s not you” is all I could say.  Mynde eventually moved out and moved on with her life.  I was still so confused and so uncertain with what was happening in my life, I remember one day going to her apartment begging her to take me back, lying on the floor crying, leaving her mixed tapes on her car windshield.  Not having Mynde in my life was unbearable, she was my best friend.  I eventually came out to her one night confessing that my relationship with an older woman was somewhat of a hoax…it was an older man.  Her response was nothing but full of love.  But like most straight girls (at that moment anyway) she had some of those silly questions like who’s the guy and who’s the girl.  She would be my “date” for work parties, etc. But then Mynde met a guy and got married. Guess who was in the wedding?  Yup, me no I wasn’t a bridesmaid.  I was an usher, talk about some confused looking people, mostly friends of her Dad’s that I had met.  “Why is the ex boyfriend part of the wedding party?

And What About Love? Don't Let it Slip Away
Many years, too many years would pass without us seeing each other; we both had new lives we were working on, Mynde had a baby.  I moved to San Diego, our lives were much different then.  Most of those years it took much more of an effort to stay in contact without the spoils of social media.   I remember when our 10 year high school reunion came around we planned I think lunch and a shopping trip during the day before the reunion.  It was so great to fall back into our old routine.  Well again, time passes and there is less contact.  Until good ‘ol MySpace came along.  We were able to stay in better contact and share the big news and the sometimes  mundane part of our adult lives.  I guess the biggest news I received from Mynde was that after 2 marriages she had finally realized she was a fellow hoMO Sexual.   Well of course our bond grew tighter after that.   A few years later I realized my mother’s health was starting to slowly fail; this was many years before her cancer.  But being the worrier that I am I was concerned of how I would deal with mom dying, so I reached out to Mynde and some other friends to re connect so that I would have that safety net to protect me from falling apart. 

What about love?
I only want to share it with you
You might need it someday.
After that Mynde and I would see each other at least once a year for San Diego Gay Pride.  We always had so much fun, I love making Mynde laugh with my silliness.   But in 2012 Mynde got sick, VERY sick, and I have to admit I was not there for her as much as I should have been. My mother had been diagnosed with inoperable lung Cancer merely weeks before Mynde’s diagnosis with Breast Cancer.  I was scared.  The thought of losing someone scares the hell out of me.  So now I had two of the closest people in my life affected by a disease that I could do nothing to about.  My mother was my best friend, Mynde was my left arm.. ( I’m right handed she’s left handed….stupid joke)  The difference was Mynde is a fighter, losing her life was not an option. She was making sure of that!  My depression after mom’s death grew intensely strong and fast.  In November of 2012 I tried to end my life, friends contacted Mynde and what seems like instantly Mynde and Andrea were in San Diego for a week, staying at my place visiting me every day.  This was right after Mynde had a double Mastectomy.   How much more selfless and compassionate can someone be?  Our bond has never been stronger, I come to Orange County to visit them as often as I can, approximately every couple of months. Now that Mynde is doing SO MUCH better I'm trying to get them to come down to San Diego for a visit. (hint hint)
This is an ever changing love story. As I said not your typical love story but it is true love, and always will be.

What About Love, Don't you want someone to care about you?  

Well Im lucky to say, Ive got that covered

10 Year High School Reunion with lunch time gang

My parents had the same photo
from Knott's Berry Farm
so I had to have one too



Mynde was my Muse


A photo I took near our home

I could always get Mynde to be my model


Pride 2009

Urban Mo's, Pride 2009



Gossip Grill, Pride 2012

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Might as well face it you're addicted to _____

Ive never had a doctor or therapist tell me that I have an addictive personality, but its very obvious to me that I am highly addictive to anything and everything.

When I was young it was food, that only began after we moved from the LA area to Huntington Beach.
In LA I had tons of friends but in Huntington Beach I didnt know anyone and I became the target of bullies.
The eating made me feel better, but it made the bullying worse.

Then spending money was my new addiction, but the eating was still part of it.  I would go to South Coast Plaza or Fashion Island and spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars each trip, and this was when I was 15-16 years old.  I had an American Express Gold Card but only a student ID to show instead of a drivers license or other "official" ID.  A fancy lunch was always part of a shopping day.

Years later I discovered alcohol. I never really considered alcohol a big problem for me. In my entire life I have only been fall down, out of my mind wasted just once. That was only a year ago!  Alcohol I could take it or leave it, but I think at least in the beginning years 20-23 it was the social interaction I was addicted to.  Drinking only enhanced it.

Sadly I discovered drugs about the time I was 25.  I went from being an occasional weekend user to a once a day user (but never after 6 PM. At the end of my about 7 year drug habit I was shooting up 3-4 times a day just to maintain.  I wasn't even getting high.  Just staying awake and running a business.

Well when the economy tanked and I closed my business the drug use ended, mostly because I couldn't afford it anymore (I still owe some dealers money) and also mom wasn't able to help me financially as much
because the real estate market wasn't doing too well either.

The last few years have been lean times for me financially, so the spending, lunching and drinking have majorly decreased.   Im happy to say I haven't done any drugs in I think 5 years now.

As some of you know a long time friend of mine became VERY ill and unfortunately died.  During the time he was sick I did a lot of stress eating.  The week he was dying I did a LOT of drinking, and a lot of eating.

I recently got a few extra dollars and instead of holding onto it I've been spending.  I used some money for things that needed to be paid off and taken care of for a while, and I've bought myself some extras.  Nothing extravagant.  New shoes to replace ones I bought 2 years ago, some shorts, t shirts, 99 cent store crap, etc.

So after the tragedy of losing my friend, I have gained over 20 pounds.  After I got out of the hospital in January I was fitting perfectly into my size 34 jeans, now I can barely button my size 36 jeans.

I let my addictions take over my life, and like many addictions the end results are not fun, healthy, or easily reversible.  This extra weight is making me feel so awful.  I really am trying to cut back on what I eat but it isn't easy.  Exercise is even more difficult for me, I've never liked working out or exercising.  I wish I would have taken some of that newly "found" money and gotten a tune up on my bike because I do love to ride my bike, even though most areas of San Diego are very non bike friendly.

Why oh why couldn't I become addicted to exercise?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Stop Minimizing Mental Illness: Worst Things to Say

As you can tell I did not write this blog, but it says exactly how I feel when dealing with people that have no idea about mental health issues. It was written by Natasha Tracy on her Breaking Bipolar Blog
 I feel, sometimes, that I am at war with the mentally-well world. This isn’t to say that many of them aren’t lovely or that I have a desire to harm anyone, but I do feel embroiled. And it’s mostly because the well population just doesn’t understand what it is to be unwell. They demonstrate this heartily by repeatedly saying the worst things possible to a person with a mental illness.
  1. Snap out of it
  2. There are a lot of people worse off than you
  3. You have so many things to be thankful for, how can you be depressed?
  4. You’d feel better if you got off all those pills
  5. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger
  6. Go out and have some fun
  7. I know how you feel
  8. So you’re depressed, aren’t you always?
  9. This too shall pass
  10. We all have our crosses to bear
And as a bonus, my personal favorite: We create our own reality.
Ug. (I’m not the only one thinking about this, check out the worst things to say to anxious people.)

Why These are Stupid Things to Say

Any of those statements shows that you have no idea what you’re talking about. You fundamentally do not understand the concept of an illness if you think any one of these are appropriate. I suggest trying it with other disorders and see how you feel:
Hey, diabetic, snap out of it.
Hey, epileptic, I know how you feel.
Hey, paraplegic, so you can’t use your legs, isn’t that always the case?
Hey, person with multiple sclerosis, we create our own reality.
You get the idea. No one would think that is reasonable, and it’s no more reasonable just because you can’t see the illness because it’s in my brain.

These Are Hurtful Things to Say

And perhaps worse than showing ignorance, these things even inflict pain on the person you’re trying to “help”. You are saying that:
  1. They could choose not to be sick if they really wanted
  2. Their illness is not serious
  3. They have no “reason” to be ill
  4. Their treatment is wrong
  5. They’ll be better off from it
  6. They would be fine if they would just “go out”
  7. Their illness is minimal
  8. Their pain doesn’t matter
  9. They should just wait for the pain to end
  10. Their illness is just like anyone else’s problem
  11. They choose to be sick
Again, I dare you to tell a person with any other illness any of those things.
And lest we forget, the mentally ill person in front of you is already probablyfeeling very bad about themselves, and you have chosen to go and make it worse.

shoe_on_headLet’s Not Forget, People Die From Mental Illness

The idea that mental illness is serious isn’t something that I made up, it is a fact. Estimates are 1 in 5 people with bipolar disorder commit suicide and 1 in 2 people (yes, that’s half) attempt it. And of course there are hospitalizations, work absences, destroyed families, having to go on disability, and so on. This is serious stuff people. It is not a runny nose.

Why Do People with Mental Illness Have to Justify Themselves?

Natasha Tracy on  her Breaking Bipolar Blog
You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or GooglePlus or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter or at the Bipolar Burble, her blog.
To read this blog online click the link below

Stop Minimizing Mental Illness: Worst Things to Say