THERE IS NO PLANET B

For the last week, I have on and off been experiencing debilitating depression. Yesterday I could do nothing except eat and watch movies – mindless stuff. I have woken up in tears nearly every single morning. I don’t even think I took a single picture yesterday, maybe one of Mona, yes the one below… This doggy has saved my life most days. I believe my mother knew exactly what she was doing when she sent me my Mona. Exactly! Just look at that face? How could someone possibly feel alone with those eyes glaring at you 24/7? My mom always got sad about how I live my life. She did not want me to be “alone.” I used to tell her “Well Momma, we are born alone and we die alone.” She for sure sent me this doggy. With her, I hardly ever feel lonely – except for the last few days… I figured out that I am missing human touch, just a simple hug or even to see a full on smile would suffice for now.

The “reality” of our time…. Masked up, clammed up, get in line, stay six feet apart, don’t pull that mask down past your nose – even if you are having a hard time breathing. Keep that f*cking thing on! And definitely DON’T hug anyone! Let’s not even talk about politics, or black blue purple pink red orange yellow green lives matter. And then there is our burning and flooding planet… Yes, the massive depression of the last few days ;-( Such is life as an empath. As I had mentioned in previous blogs and am writing about extensively in my book, I sufferED from severe, often times suicidal depression on and off for 40 plus years of my life. The amount of work I had to do to get to the root of it and what I have to do to maintain a positive and healthy outlook on life is still A LOT of work.

Today, I am not only alcohol free, but pharmaceutical as well, after many years of being a pin cushion, much as my sister Pam was. One of the reasons I have consciously chosen to live like I do is because I do feel free and unencumbered by the immense expense of home ownership or loans or insurances… etc etc etc. All of that caused a very serious amount of anxiety for me – crippling most times. Now, NO ONE OWNS MY LIFE BUT ME. And I ALWAYS have “enough.” It might not be enough in regards to some folks’ standards, but for myself it is most times WAY MORE than I need. Most importantly, I have my sanity. No one owns me on a time clock I need to punch to get a paycheck. Nope, I am free – yes free to keep documenting my intense love of our planet – of nature – of the creatures of this beautiful place in the Universe we call home. Yes, I do live a GREAT story each and every day I live outdoors. And I never take a breath of fresh air for granted.

I can’t remember exactly when I fell so deeply in love with the planet, with our mother, with the ultimate sustainee of ALL life forms. Maybe it was the Native American “church” peyote ceremony I was honored to be invited to in Oregon in the mid 90’s that really began my quest to help save our mother and all her creatures. That experience allowed me the insight I needed to set out on a quest, hell or high water to see and document as much of our beloved and unique planet as possible. And now 25 years later, my extensive website showcases just how much I have been able to see and record. It still leaves me speechless how many people do not stop to think on a daily basis where their food comes from let alone how the QUALITY of the air they breathe and the water they drink effects their very health. No matter where you are in the world, if you have not thought about it by now, maybe the quality of your current air, all the way to NY and Hawaii from our beloved California/West coast wild fires will MAKE YOU THINK. MAYBE??? What is it going to take folks? Exactly what is it going to take for all of us to WAKE THE F*CK UP??? THERE IS NO PLANET B!!!





Who remembers this guy on the left? If you are reading this and do not recognize his face, his tear, he is “Iron Eyes Cody” the poster child for ending pollution in the 70’s. View the campaign featuring him that set off a nation-wide awareness about how throwing even that one cigarette butt out your window effects our ecosystems. So, wherever you are in the world, in this country, it is really time to THINK – to raise our consciousness to one of LOVE – love of humanity at large matter not their beliefs, skin color, etc. We are one. Think about and take a moment to play Bob Marley if you need to remember.  love of our planet, and love of it for the grandchildren who loaned it to us to take care of.  ONE LOVE – Namasté

Posted in anxiety, CHURCH, Depression, FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, GRIEF, NATIVE AMERICAN, Native Americans, PEYOTE, Spiritual awakenings, SPIRITUALITY Tagged , , , , , , , |

7 STAGES OF GRIEF

Someone recently said to me, trying to reassure my pain I am toiling daily to move through by saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” I say, “Fuck that!” Although my sister was a staunch Christian and all times attempted to live her life by “THE Word” she definitely was given more than she could handle and I too feel like this, the 4th of 6 familial deaths since April of 2015, sure as hell seems like more than I can currently handle. Those who have known me for ages know that I have triumphed through much in the last 3-4 decades of my life, managing to combat the suicidal depression I lived with for all that time, coming through the other side, but this is so very different for reasons I cannot explain. Many have said, “I cannot imagine what you are going through.” And I tend to agree with that statement, no, no you cannot and I would only wish this sort of pain on some that have intentionally wronged me in this lifetime. I’ll not be naming any names at this moment, but a few do come to mind. One reason I am making a concerted effort to stay away from humans right now is that I know for certain the truth in the statement “Hurt people hurt people.” I am not into intentionally causing another innocent human harm right now due to the pain I am experiencing.

In an effort to move through all of this, I have had to rely on the professionals in my life, mainly my EMDR trauma therapist in Buffalo, NY and my counselor from my recovery program in South Carolina back in 2017. I am happy to say that AG and I had such a wonderful connection that we have been able to eliminate that client/patient privilege crap and remain close friends. Thank you AG for being the amazing, brilliant, loving and compassionate human that you are!!! I’m SO grateful for you in my life!

Yesterday morning, I had an EMDR session scheduled with my therapist in Buffalo attempted via some lame video conferencing app. Although I attempted to troubleshoot the issue before we actually connected screens, this is the 2nd time that the microphone simply did not work. We spent 15-20 minutes (most of which I was having a complete fucking meltdown) trying to get the technology to work. I don’t think anyone should ever have to do therapy sessions by video, but it is all many of us have in the time of covid. I need human interaction right now, but there are so few who I actually feel safe with. Since Pam’s body was discovered 2 weeks ago, my friends list has intentionally and significantly shrunk again. That just has to be AOK with me. I have long been into quality of friendships vs quantity anyway. Currently, I am ever so grateful that I have my Mona and my professionals to help during this critical time. Some days it is all I can do to just keep us fed, watered and rested. I have had sleep issues my entire life and this time is no exception to that affliction. Thank goodness and mother nature that fresh air, sunshine and a frigid mountain lake for the WTFU swim are abundant where we currently are situated. From this point going forward, there will be no one allowed in my life who makes lame excuses for not being present for me as I have been for SO many in their times of hardship and need over the years. The 4 word question… HOW CAN I HELP? is all I need to hear from so-called friends during this time. Not that I have an answer for anything exact at this stage of the game, but knowing someone has the good sense of decency, care and compassion to ask, keeps them on my list. You know who you are my beloved die hard amigos. <3 <3

Over the last two weeks, the emotions have been paralyzing most times and have run no gamut other than immeasureable sadness and rage… nothing short of either. While having my meltdown yesterday morning about lousy technology, the housekeeping and management of my current brief hotel stay knocked and asked if everything was ok? Damn, if that ain’t one loaded question currently, I don’t know what is! I assured them that I would be ok and I know eventually I will…. but WHEN is the question? If I had a job/job right now, I know I would be being directed to just go to work. Yes, just go distract yourself, Sue. Just get on with your life as “normal,” right? I am ever so happy I do not have one of those “control of the masses” idiotic things like a “job” right now. My immediate “work” is to stay alive and to stay healthy first and foremost.

These intense emotions that have arisen bring me directly back to Barb’s suicide. Her final attempt of 3 was the one that ultimately took her out of this physical realm. The first was thwarted in October of 2014 by someone who I once considered a best friend since 3rd grade. Yes that someone, (completely against my adamant plea – the only time in my life ever begging on my knees) DEMANDED that crisis services be called. Yes, while I was on my knees, she was screeching in her already consumed daily post-work, 5-6 Michelob Ultras (or Lites cuz you know that alcoholics need to keep their sex appeal) tone – “I am trained for this! This is my job!” I attempted to explain to her begging that THIS was not her job, that THIS WAS MY SISTER not one of her immature, no life experience students she financially counsels and that Barb was taking her own life because she did not want to live in her vaccine damage ridden body any longer – NOT due to mental health issues – two totally different things. Still, that bitch dialed the number, and they on the other of the line forced me to give them Barb’s address. The Crisis Services team raced on over to her home, busted down her door and dragged her to the hoosegow at ECMC hospital in Buffalo. At that time, Barb had been on a series of medications to cease her tremors and keep her mildly sedated, Ativan being one of them. Those medications were not administered to her for almost 60 hours while she waited in the hallway for a bed, and after all those hours of waiting when they FINALLY got her into the psyche ward and situated, she had a massive seizure, fell down and busted up her shoulder into multiple pieces requiring major surgery to repair. Yup, thanks there old pal, just what my poor sister needed… for you to do your ever so important “job.” Here’s wishing your ignorant ass massive suffering in what’s left of your “functioning alcoholic” life. Yup, I can imagine if you are reading this now, you are well into your daily post work beer or wine induced coma, only to wake up and do it all again tomorrow. Groundhog day much? Such a fulfilling life, no? Yes, I have ZERO tolerance for alcohol users and abusers any longer. As Barb always said… “Alcohol, the last legal and MOST dangerous drug. It only makes you fat and stupid.” Amen to that, sister B! Needless to say, two plus years and two attempts later, Barb finally got her wish, Septemeber 28, 2017, the very night I had returned to Buffalo from my virgin sobriety journey with Mona to Nova Scotia. The details of all of this are far more graphically depicted in my upcoming book.

Back to the current ANGER…. Many people have stated (and left my life as well) over the years due to my so-called anger, stating that they are afraid of it – etc etc. I recently have come to realize exactly from where that anger/rage stems. If it wasn’t for that powerful energy of anger, I have no idea at times how I would have survived until now. Pam’s tragic passing has brought forth yet another piece of anger because her death was definitely preventable. I am rip shit angry at the fat ass Dr Capote in Buffalo, NY at the Dent, who kept dispensing the drugs freely. Yup, just keep those big pharma companies in business and your pockets lined, Doc. One day you will get yours as well if I have anything to do/say about it. Two sisters deceased now due to writing scripts for benozs like they were candy. Pam knew all about what Benzodiazepines had done to her brain and had desperately tried to get off of them for the last 4 years. I hope one day as is currently with happening with opioids, that Dr’s are able to be sued for abuse of benzo scripts. I will be first in line with both Barb and Pam’s names on the list.

Let me add a few names to the rip shit list of late… a couple of C U Next Tuesday’s… Sharon Frochen… the “recovering?” meth addict who recently threatened to “bury me.” Nice recovery there, Chica. And less recently, the beloved ever so important ex-employee of Yoko Ono, Ms JAP herself, Ellen Goldin. And last but not least, earlier this year on my journey, a person I truly thought was a kindred Spirit and best friend, Barbara Sklar who lied to me over and over again until she was finally busted. Here’s hoping gals that our paths NEVER cross again in this lifetime. There’s just some people that do not deserve the time of day and you three will now exit my thought process on ending this paragraph. Oh, and if you seek revenge for my calling you out here, feel free to write your own book.

Surely this anger will pass, but in the interim, I am staying out of civilization’s way or else there might be a casualty or two. By the way, if any of you have not seen the new movie on Prime with Olympia Dukakis entitled, “Cloudburst,” Stella is my new Goddess figure and I am going to be channeling her until further notice to get the ever so ignorant riffraff out of my way in this life o’ mine. Yes, this is MY life that I intend to keep on living RX and alcohol free in honor of both of my beloved sisters gone waaaaay too soon. I’ll be back soon in more optimum condition once this rage moves through me and onward. Because ONWARD and FORWARD is the only place to go in a life that has been riddled with as much trauma and sorrow as mine and my beloved mostly deceased family has had to endure. ONWARD.

Posted in Alcoholism, Barbara A Ruof, DEATH, EMDR, ETERNAL LIFE, GRIEF, IGNORANCE, MENTAL ILLNESS, RECOVERY, SPIRITUALITY, Suicide, TRAUMA Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

UNSPEAKABLE GRIEF

This morning I drove to the overlook above Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierras of California to sit for a sunrise with Pam. I find that sunrise is one of the most beautiful and Spiritual times of the day and especially an hour before when the sky starts to lighten – the divine silence before life begins it’s daily rustle and bustle. I never used to rise early, but now I try never to miss a sunrise.

sunrise over Mono Lake

Last night I received a text message from a friend who had just found out about Pam’s passing. She said something to the effect that Pam and I were never really that close, possibly insinuating that her death is less painful, possibly than my mother’s, the first to pass in April of 15 and I thought the most difficult in the string of 4 deaths in 5 years, or Barb’s the most shocking although we all knew it was Barb’s choice and wish not to live longer in what she called her “shit can of a body” she was dealt in this life. Was/is it possibly less difficult than my father’s who I also had what I consider a love/not so love relationship with? No, for some reason, Pam’s death is the worst by far. I’ll try to explain as such because as a lot of you know I have really not been able to speak about it, only to a few who I think can understand the UNSPEAKABLE grief I am experiencing…

About Pam and I… We were born 6 years and 2 days apart, both Pisces in Astrology which would indicate that we might be best friends. It was not destined as such. Arriving 6 years after Barb, Mary and Pam who were all fairly consecutive, I believe I stole the limelight from Pam. I remember her being very sweet to me as a child and pretty much up until my teens where the turning point ensued. More in a minute on that. It is quite true that Pam and I were not very close at all for most of our lives, as a matter of fact there have been times in my life when we have not spoken at all for long stretches of time. Even though we had only spoken a couple of times for necessities only since I left NY for the West on 1/1, I did write her a card (no coincidences) 3 weeks ago that asked for peace, in honor of our beloved parents mostly. And I enclosed a little peace sign sticker that I carry with me and often hand out to strangers when traveling. As much as I didn’t like Pam sometimes, I certainly did love her and made every attempt to help her in her struggles with her mental health over the years.

Pam was a very strong personality, hard-headed and strong willed like my father. However, the “thing” that separated us the most? Jesus. Yes THE good Lord.

Born OK the First Time

When I was in my teens, I think about 14-15, Pam became born again. And like many staunch born agains, they profess to know THE way to heaven and are relentless in their preaching. Nope, those beliefs are NOT for me… not one little bit. In my upcoming book I talk about how I had a terrible bicycle accident when I was 18 and how my neighbors scooped me up and drove me up Parker road to my parent’s home where I was met at the sight of my swollen and bleeding head with tears by my father. My mom and Pam rushed me to the MAC and Pam was in the backseat, while my head above my right eye swollen to the size of a grapefruit, was hearing the words being yelled from the back seat “God’s trying to tell you something…” I told my mother to pull the car over and get her out before I killed her! That was one of many stories that I had – not fond memories of Pam or her Born Again-ism. The gift of having Pam the staunch Christian in my life, as well as a few friends who I know swear by the “Jesus is the way” slogan, I have learned ever so painfully over the last decades that whatever you think, feel or believe about religion or Spirituality is just fine with me, as long as you don’t try to push your beliefs on me. Personally, I subscribe to my beloved and blunt Barb’s slogan for the “Church of the Almighty Girlfriend” — “Don’t be a dick! Just be a good person and do the next right thing!”
 
As many of her friends reading this know, Pam had a heart of gold. She was very generous, a very hard worker and would often go out of her way to help another, friend or stranger. Pam was my father’s favorite. She looked most like him out of us 4 girls. They had a special connection with one another. Pam also had a great sense of humor, much of what we didn’t see a lot the last decade or so of her life. After Pam’s marriage fell apart in 2009, she did as well. She had, like many these days as they were prescribed like candy, a Benzodiazepine addiction. She suffered from severe anxiety and depression. And the benzos did not help. She is my second sister that benzos contributed to death. Barb also had ongoing scripts for them. And as many of you may or may not know, they almost took me as well in 2016 until I decided to completely clean up my act. It was incredibly difficult, but I came through it all. Today, I am proud to say that I am drug and alcohol free. I do think that God, whoever he or she is, would not have given me all this tragedy if I was still using because I would have been casualty 5. Now alcohol and pharmaceutical free for a fairly long stretch, I just love being back in California where I can enjoy a bit of the NATURAL recreational and creative medicine from time to time in the good ole form of cannabis.

In a conversation yesterday with one of my Goddess sisters she asked how I was doing and I said that I knew that Pam’s death had shattered me into a million pieces and that I could never quite see myself putting them back together. Some of those pieces I will need of course to be able to function in “society” which many of you know I have a great disdain for anyway. I don’t know what anything looks like on the other side of this. I just know that I need time and space in my ultimate momma. And I have found a great place in the Eastern Sierras where I can do just that, take all the time I need to heal before moving FORWARD.

Pamela June Culig

Pam’s cause of death is yet to be determined. We suspect it was heart related. Although everyone in Pam’s life of late knew that she was suffering from Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome, her death was definitely not suicide because her beliefs dictated that suicide takes one straight to hell. I hope she found out differently when that swarm of angels came down and swept her up the minute she passed and shielded her eyes so she would not have to see the horror of when her body was found days later. ;-( Yes Pam, Barb is in heaven too! Please know that we are all at peace knowing that you are finally at peace with the/your Lord. You begged and pleaded for him to take you in your times of great suffering and I do believe he finally felt it was your time. Rest with the angels Pam. REST WITH THE ANGELS NOW. You will be missed by many. GOD BLESS YOU! Namasté

Posted in Depression, Drug Abuse, ETERNAL LIFE, Faith, GRIEF, MENTAL ILLNESS, RECOVERY, SPIRITUALITY, TRAUMA Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

A NEW ERA

Please let me thank you personally for coming here to read a bit before looking at my brand new work. Generally, I tend not to be very short winded, yet I will try to keep it to the point(s).

To be an artist, to be creative… How many actually understand that this is not only in one’s DNA, it is also a vocation, often most only reap meager rewards from? Tracing back to about the age of seven when I wrote my first story about a young girl and her horse, I see that I was born to express. And those who know me well know how very expressive I indeed am! When deciding about college back in ’82, it was either going to be art or law school. Due to my thirst for the party life back then, I chose art because having one’s nose in the books as intently as it takes to be a lawyer was simply not in my cards at that time. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have forever been hell-bent on JUSTICE. After 24 years of multiple forms of therapy, I recently uncovered a very deep suppressed memory as to why it has been this way for me. Albeit monstrous, that memory was the last core of the onion skin, the very last piece of the puzzle, the invaluable information I needed to complete my upcoming book – a memoir of my 56 years of living on this “The Hospital Planet.” As I said to my EMDR therapist the other day, “I am no longer that helpless and silent teenager. “I AM POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE!”

Photo taken by Gary Braasch in 2013 – Spruce Head Maine

Back to photography… It’s certainly no accident that the unveiling of this new work happens on one of my favorite mentor’s birthday. (actually due to the technical gremlins it was slated on the 16th and we had to postpone until those buggers left) Ann Mandelbaum was my photography professor at Pratt Institute back in the 80’s. She took a very special group of us to Israel for a summer program in 1985, a month long study abroad in photography at Camera Abscura in Tel Aviv, a trip which so completely altered my life in so many aspects I cannot even begin to list here. My declared Art Direction major fell to the wayside. And my wanderlust bug was unleashed in a massive way. Although there are many different ways that I have barely supported myself since leaving college in the late 80s, photography has always remained my true passion and my true love of artistic expression. I recently had a falling out with a friend who was judging my life and I told her that she could not even begin to know what it means to NEED to live your dharma. And my dharma is expression through both written word and how I see the world through my lenses.

I’d like to say a few words about #vanlife here as I have been doing this long before it became fashionable. I’ve caught ALL kinds of criticism over these years, mostly I have come to find from those who are jealous or envious of the way I live. (To even state here what some have said about how I live is a waste of precious time.) Apparently, for the last 5-10 years, living out of a van and traveling often times with a partner, seems to have become numerous folks’ dream and Instagram and Facebook sensations. Stated here for the record, I have been at this game of traveling in a Westfalia camper since 1999 when a friend let me borrow hers to drive from San Francisco to Santa Fe where I had been teaching at the world renown Santa Fe Photo Workshops.

My partner at the time flew down from San Francisco and we drove back to the Bay Area together stopping to rest one gorgeous full moon lit evening in Monument Valley. OMG!!!!! The exhilaration I felt left me speechless AND sleepless. The very next year I bought my first Westy from two sweet gay guys in the Oakland hills for a song. My current van, KaraVan, is my second. It wasn’t until 2010 when I left my home of 18 years in the bay area that I began living semi full-time out of my van. Although many people tend to be intensely envious of my life, I will not go into graphic detail here about what transpires when you run out of gas on the side of the road in

Montana in January when it’s 10° and it takes roadside service two hours to get to you. Or when you break down and parts are just not available and you must stay days in a shitty hotel waiting for their arrival. What I wish to express here is that as exhilarating as van life can be, it also has its INTENSE challenges. It takes very large cajones to do life this way. My best advice to anyone is to make sure your vehicle is solid and well inspected and just hit the road! You must be able to let go of all expectations and be totally flexible. Many women on some of the van life social media pages are MOST afraid of breaking down. IT’S ALL PART OF THE ADVENTURE! Rest assured I have had many, a few of which I will relay in detail in my upcoming book.

Although I very much enjoy ALL travel and always will, I feel that the time has come for me to put roots down again. My plan is to go back to my homeland, Croatia, to which I ventured back in 1988 for the very first time when it was still part of the former Yugolslavia. I completely fell in love with the country and my family there. I’ve since been back 6 times and the last time I was there in 2008, I sailed on the glorious Adriatic sea with two friends and their 18 month old little guy for 9 days. When I left Croatia that time, I cried harder than ever because I knew that I had to go back and make home there sooner than later. It’s quite apparent that the time is now for multiple reasons. I no longer enjoy life in the intense division and tension that currently exists in this country.

In regards to these displayed new galleries of work, (CALIFORNIA, TEXAS, SOUTHWEST, DEATH VALLEY and my new favorite, AMERICAN DESERTS) most are very recent from travels leaving New York on the first of the year with destination for potential roots/home again in California. That has obviously changed course mostly due to this corona virus crap. There are also a number of archived galleries that many of you have seen before, some have added and subtracted images. I encourage you to take the time, (hopefully on something larger than your handheld mobile device,) to view as much as you have time for. I was pleasantly surprised by the Longhorn state! Although my claim to fame is purism, I felt the need to color alter my images a bit from the desert, to reflect the feel of the stark and harsh nature of it’s beauty. Other than some very minor cropping and some very minor color adjustments, my images are straight out of the camera, a skill not many possess or utilize in these times of image manipulation to the hilt, such as HDR imagery which I am personally not fond of at all. As my good friend Betsy Dee always says, “Don’t get me started!” I have never liked the altering of imagery as such. I do not categorize it as photography and feel it somehow might fall into the realm of fine art/photo manipulation. Just my opinion.

I have a few people to thank profusely for this new display of my imagery. Back on May 6, I very creatively wrote an ad seeking a web developer on Craigslist. I received numerous responses and got bids all the way up to $7000 for some minor changes to my site, not even including the ever important SEO. (crooks!) There was one person in particular (and only one) who wrote the perfect response. That would be my web developer Katie T. I owe her so much more than the meager amount of money I have paid her. She is worth 1000 times her weight in gold. I do believe that everything has its divine purpose and I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have found her and know that we will not only have a lifelong business relationship, but I do also hope a lasting friendship. It was the first time I had felt comfortable enough to let someone else do some of MY work, to release control which is next to impossible for this perfectionist. One cannot imagine how much goes into building a site like mine. Katie will tell you… She was hired on May 7th…

While extending gratitude here, let me include the infamous Carr Clifton, (https://carrclifton.com) who took me on two amazing excursions as a baby shooter, first to Alaska in 1998, just he and I camping on Prince William Sound off his pontoon boat. And second we went on a house boat journey to Lake Powell in 1999. It was on that trip that I learned just how important clouds are (or lack thereof) to a great composition! Carr is a true master of the landscape, an EXPERT printer and a real character to boot. Of course, there is Ann Mandelbaum, and last but definitely not least, the beloved Gary Braasch, (http://www.braaschphotography.com) who captured the portrait of me pictured here back in 2013 when I took a workshop with him at the Maine Media Center. Gary left us way too soon when died at the age of 72 while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef on March 7, 2016. His passion for our stunning planet, and attempting to save it by documenting climate change as well as biodiversity, forever impacted my life. Not to mention his sweet and gentle nature. I hope as part of this new chapter in my life, that I can continue documenting the immense beauty of our planet that more often that not leaves me in tears and speechless. My thanks end here, but there will never be enough for my parents, Mary Barbara Morog and Anton Culig, first for birthing me, second for mostly letting me be who I needed to be and also handing out some greenbacks when the supply ran low.

In conclusion, being the staunchly opinionated outspoken soul that I am, I have definitely ruffled some feathers – to be blunt, really pissed some people off over the years. My upcoming book is also sure to raise some eyebrows and although I try not to be intentionally unkind, (vengeful for the hurt I have had to endure in this life at the hands of many) there are some very harsh truths inside. Hence, my comments are shut off on my blog and all of my social media is privatized. It’s all part of the story, the many journeys which have led me through the sheer depths of purgatory here on earth to find deep peace and true happiness. I hope my book helps one other person and I shall have been successful! Should you wish to discuss anything with me, please feel free to send me a private message through my email  – feedback or a specific print request that is not in my section. As most of my tried and true friends know, should you not be able to afford a print or the price is listed, I am always willing to work with individuals should you really NEED a piece.

Thanks ever so much for reading all of this. I’d be honored if you would purchase a piece and please do when you check out, leave me a note and let me know if you wish it to be signed as it must be done digitally.
Until our paths might cross in this wonderful life 🙂 Namasté

PS – As in keeping with the good ole American way of incurring excessive debt, I NOW ACCEPT ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS! Discounts for cash if you contact me personally.)

Posted in SPIRITUALITY Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

SUCCESS – according to Emerson

In these precarious times we are currently living in, it feels important that we all ask ourselves this question, “Who am I and how can I better contribute to help humanity at large during this madness?” We should all be asking what we can do individually to make the world a better place on an hourly basis. IMO.

In regards to our current political situation here in the USA, if you follow my past blogs, it is quite clear that I have been someone who has been INCREDIBLY outspoken and very “political.” Up until lately that is… Let’s just say I have met some folks and had some experiences which have made me turn the tables on the current 2 party system and all it’s warring with each other. I’ve simply had it! This is me allowing myself NOT to launch into “conspiracy therapy” yet to say that I have finally seen the clear writing on the wall and that the “establishment” has their fingers in every single little last crumb of the pie. If you are interested in reading more and having some FACTS thrown your way, you can contact me directly through my gmail and I will be happy to send you loads of information.In my continuing recovery, which as very little to do with following any previous dogmatic structures like AA, I have come to realize first that I am extremely lucky and very blessed to wake up each day healthy and clear headed, and second that it is INDEED my job (as I do believe it is everyone’s) to be of service to my fellow human. PERIOD. However that looks to you, it is the reason I feel in every fiber of my being why we are all here and chose to be alive during these seemingly tumultuous and transformative times.

Today, I would very much like to tell you the story about Willie and Betty Mitchell and “Ruby the Red Bus.”

Almost 4 months ago, I met a wonderful little old man in the desert named Willie Mitchell. Willie had Ruby sitting – pretty much not driven for 10 years, on his remote desert property in Twentynine Palms, California, just outside of Joshua Tree. He also had a beloved 1970 VW Fastback, both of which I purchased. At first, I thought I was going to be able to make a mere few grand off the bus and keep the Fastback, (who I have affectionately named Betty White) after Willie’s beloved soul mate and wife who has debilitating Cerebral Palsy. Between the time I purchased the vehicles and picked them up, I came to realize the immense value of them both, but mostly Ruby! And just look at those curves! 😉 Happy 50th birthday, Ruby!

Despite the ever elusive opening date of the DMV here in California, yesterday I bit the bullet and went out to the desert in 105 degree heat and 40 mph winds to finally pick up my Ruby. When I arrived, Ruby started right up, but she had some issues (of course) that kept Willie and I between the Advanced Auto Parts in town and his home (which entails driving down 10 miles of desert roads) for over 4 hours. By the way… it was Willie’s 78th b-day yesterday, so I managed to convince him on one of our long dirt road trips to town to let me buy him a darn cake!

While Willie was out in his garage replacing the starter, I sat in the AC in the house with Betty who is now completely unable to walk because of her CP. I listened intently to her slurred speech as it was fairly clear to me that it had been a VERY long time since she spoke to anyone besides Willie at length. During our 3 plus hour talk, I had to excuse myself to go to bathroom to cry, serious tears of sadness for how a beautiful soul as hers gets that lot in life and is still so unbelievably pleasant. Alongside were also tears of joy that these two have found one another and love each other so dearly. Betty profusely apologized for the condition of their home and I responded… “I do not judge people by their things. It is a roof over your head and you are lucky to have one these days as a lot of people do not.” That statement is the god’s honest truth. However, I simply felt terrible that they were living in such conditions as she is paralyzed from the waist down and Willie is well… just a guy after all. By the way, Willie carries her tiny little 100 lb self to the car and back when they go out occasionally <3 <3 <3

Coming full circle with the point of this story… yes I did realize in between the time I purchased Ruby and Betty that they both were indeed worth some bucks. Ruby is up for sale first and foremost.

Just this morning, a friend who is entrenched in the current political battle who I met on Facebook (while previously battling myself LOL!) asked me “What are YOU doing?” ~ possibly insinuating that because I am not consistently fighting to trash tRump and elect Joe Biden, I am not doing anything. (By the way, now I see that time I did spend as a complete waste ~ banging my head against the wall uselessly each day and I no longer have time for that in my PRECIOUS existence.) Knowing my motto of late is to help someone/anyone that is in front of my very face in my 3D reality each and every day, and after spending the afternoon yesterday with these two wonderful kind and very simple souls, I have decided to give Betty and Willie a large sum of the profits from the sale of Ruby (accompanied by their story to hope to raise more funds) of these vehicles and to go back and help Betty clean and spruce up their home a bit. Why? Just because it is the right thing to do and because every time I give something FREELY and unconditionally from my heart and expect nothing in return, it makes me KNOW that I have been successful.

What will you do today to be successful?

Namasté

Posted in SPIRITUALITY Tagged , , , , , , , , |

NO JUSTICE – NO FREEDOM

And so it is. Welcome to the United Police States of America 2020. Here we are in tRump’s Great Again America, the USA where a black man can do nothing at all to get handcuffed, thrown to the ground, assaulted, and have his neck knelt on until his airways are crushed and he dies. Yup, that is America, folks, in living color, under constant watch by big brother, and extracting the very freedoms we have left one by one by one…

Having just ventured back to reading my very first blogs entered here on my then brand new WordPress site back in March/April of 2012 while I had been wandering the East and a part of the Occupy movement, I now see that “it” was just starting to come into focus to the masses – “it” being the corrupt, greed driven, capitalistic, patriarchal “lobbying” (aka bribery) by billionaires, mostly white, mostly male “entitleds” and their wealthy companies in this country to keep their pockets and theirs of their cronies as well overflowing. “It” became pretty damn clear to the lot of us that we were in the grasp of a Corporatocracy – an economic and political system controlled by corporations and corporate interests.

The entire financial collapse of 2008 was just a mere foreshadowing of what could possibly ensue on a more grandiose scale in this country. Fast forward a mere 12 years and look what we are on the verge of? If you think that the economy of the USA is going to recover from this whole coronavirus madness, you might do yourself a favor and study some economics. And, like myself, you might take the initiative to find another country to live in. (Very few reading this know that my long term dream/desire to leave this dysfunctional country is actually in progress ~ it’s now a reality.) Plans are firmly in place. Because I am under the impression that I am someone being “monitored” by our wonderful government, (who is not if you have a cell phone?,) I will not be disclosing my details, rather assure you that I will be safe and sound on another continent well before November 3rd. Due to the fact that I no longer trust that our voting process is legitimate, coupled with the belief that Herr Orange will be handed another 4 years by Putin if indeed there is even an election held, I have indeed made arrangements to do exactly what these tRump supporting #fakepatriots have DEMANDED I do if I don’t like it here in their “Great Again America”…. LEAVE. For a while I fought. For a LONG while I fought hard, the bulk of the battle ensuing since opening my eyes thoroughly after 9/11. I do see now clearly that there is no longer any freedom OR any justice in this country. We have seen a Fascist, Malignant Narcissist (FMN) hijack our democracy. We have seen a Supreme Court nominee who is an obvious alcoholic and who also sexually assaulted multiple women get ushered on the bench. We have seen Moscow Mitch who is SUPPOSED TO BE the Senate Majority leader, pass on by every single last little bill that does not benefit the über wealthy and corporations. We are witnessing before our very eyes, the carefully calculated dismantling and destruction of our democracy brought to you by the Russian mafia (whom Trump owes billions or rubles to) and by China who actually leaked this chemical warfare virus. Do you still think Covid19 came from a bat? SMH – Really folks, if your eyes are not opened up wide right now to the evils and the lies of our government, please just stay out in the “silence is compliance” pasture with all the other masked sheep! And oh and keep watching cable news networks that are very carefully psychologically designed to keep you blind and “sheepy.” 

This message is brought to you by someone who has been traveling widely her entire adult life to various parts of the world. And my plan is to see a whole lot more of it before my time is up. This message is brought to you by someone who has been VW Westfalia traveling (and sometimes actually dwelling in one) for over 20 years in this country and Canada. This message is brought to you by someone who has ALWAYS been on the side of justice and has fought hard against ALL of the injustices of our government and the world at large. Why? Because this country, as it was designed to do, gave my father and grandfather freedom from Communism and Nazism! My father often uttered with a slight tear in his eye the last decade of his life that he did not envy his daughters to live in this upcoming world, but mainly the USA who he always said until the tRump reign of horror, gave him the “VERY BEST LIFE.” My father tended to be a tad racist as many were from his generation, yet he saw and LOVED Obama for the brilliant leader he was. And he hated the orange mess with a vengeance.  Yes… this message is brought to you by someone speaking the truth! [btw… I have always taken pride in referring to myself as Spiritual. However, if speaking the truth makes me non Spiritual, so be it. If being angry makes me non Spiritual, so be it. I have always been a rebel and a passionate woman and will be until I go to ashes saying “What an amazing ride!”] And please excuse me if I do not usher in kindness to all the sheer morons who voted for this madness in 2016 and especially for those still supporting it. No, there is not a single stitch of kindness in my heart for you all. Is there compassion for your ignorance? Maybe just a tad, but it stops there. Hell, my own “Christian” sister posts quite often on her Facebook about “keeping God in the White House another 4 years!” It’s far from humorous to me. My father is rolling in his ashes that both my remaining sisters voted for the piece of shit. This soul-less being who openly mocked a disabled reporter, literally claimed to (and did) grab women by the pussy, the one who now daily Tweets/bullies his very constituents and our once free press, [and most importantly, was SIX 6 times bankrupt [it was actually his hotel and casino chain, right?] is YOUR president, not mine. Sure, let’s hire Donald Trump to fix our economy! What a huge joke. Due to the fact that we didn’t like a black man (excuse my horrific slang “nigger”) as our president in this horrific now evidently white-supremacist country, let the reality TV show #fakebillionaire run this country right into the ground (and usher in blatant white supremacy and racism to the hilt while he’s at it) while completely dividing our nation and destroying the unity it once had. Go ahead, give the son of a bitch another 4 years and you will see just how GREAT America can be with our cities riddled with homeless, mentally ill and starving, while once very hard working families wait in lines a mile long just for a box of food to feed their family for a week. Yup, America full on tRump is here and it sure ain’t pretty. Why the hell would I want to spend the rest of my life in a country that is clearly tanking or spend even one more precious ounce of my energy fighting it any longer? Although I have done some really stupid shit in my life, I have definitely never been that stupid!

Finally… this message is brought to you by someone who knows when to throw in the towel and surrender. This message is brought to you by someone who has been van traveling [not so freely] during #coronamadness and the masked #insanityofhumanity. This message is letting you know that the grave of our democracy has been dug. Our “freedoms” have all but vanished. If you are wise, you might do one of two things… #1. Move rurally and get enough land to grow your own food and live off grid. #2. Leave this #shithole (coined by our FMN, racist motherfucking “leader”) country for any land/nation that still has semi-sane leadership and some semblance of freedom. I’ll be the one waving to you from the plane window well before November 3, 2020. Auf Wiedersehen. Adiós. Addio. Sayōnara. Doviđenja Adieu. Hasta la vista, baby.  I wish you all luck and skill because you are going to need it living in this rapidly approaching 3rd world status nation that was ONCE the ultimate land of the free and home of the brave. It sure shit ain’t anything about that any longer!

Oh and please still remember…

Posted in SPIRITUALITY

THE AGE OF AQUARIUS

Today on 12/12 at 12:12 am, we had the powerful transformative energy of the last full moon of 2019, the Cold Moon. I fell asleep right after viewing it and just before awakening this morning, I had a dream about tRump. He actually was showing humility! Then, I realized it was just a dream 😉 It is very true that this time we are currently living in/through with his pending impeachment etc and overall the energetic changes our planet and humanity are enduring are in place for us all to wake up, abré los ojos! There are a few things (possibly facts???) I realized about #45 and his “followers.”

1. The majority of his “followers” are born and raised Americans. But, at one point SOMEONE in their ancestry – SOMEONE was an immigrant! The only true settlers of this country were the Native Americans and just look what we did to them? 😱

2. The majority of his followers are white males from the age of 30-80 who probably secretly aspire to be him or at least this arrogant, wealthy fake persona he exudes.

3. The majority of his “followers” have never been outside of the US, maybe not even their own state or county.

4. The majority of his “followers” have never had to fight for rights regarding their race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality, or ANYTHING really difficult in life where their mental health and sheer existence depended on it. In other words, they are entitled.

5. The majority of his “followers” are white supremacists, who believe that the USA and that this country is the greatest in the world or superior to other nations. 🤦‍♀️

6. The majority of his “followers” are materialistic and are so proud of the so-called economy and it’s recent “success?” What they don’t realize is that the reason more jobs have been taken is because the minimum wage hasn’t risen in TEN LONG YEARS (sure blame Obama too if you wish) and the cost of living has quintupled. So these so-called “created” jobs (minimum wage) that have always existed have been filled by the poor – lower middle class people who need to now work 3 jobs just to keep food on their table and a roof over their heads. We’re not talking about jobs with benefits, health or otherwise either!!!

Last but not least, WE ARE LIVING IN PERILOUS TIMES IN THIS COUNTRY. We are more divided as a nation than any other time in the history of this formed “United” States. Whether you hated Obama, hated Hillary or just want to be a #fakebillionaire like #45, the time is now to WAKE UP, love your neighbor and encourage them to be INCLUSIVE. We are all SO fortunate to live in a country that has luxuries like running water and electricity. And this division is going to kill us all if we don’t change now.

Click on the image to see the video and hear this amazing tune!

As we approach the “Age of Aquarius” shining brightly in 2024, maybe it’s time we listen to that song again and realize that every single human life is precious and NO ONE IS ENTITLED to anything more than their neighbor, friend or enemy. It’s time to LET THE SUNSHINE in and send hate and discrimination packing to the past.

Posted in SPIRITUALITY

CHOOSING THE LEFT – a tribute to Barbara “B” Ruof.

On this, the 2nd anniversary of the day we lost my sister Barb to suicide, I feel like I have a whole lot on my heart to express.

First, I hope the folks reading this who know me and who are opposed to my outspoken progressive nature might realize that my beliefs are not simply liberal, independent or even democratic, yet HUMANITARIAN. And there’s a whole lot of life experience that shaped those beliefs. I’ve definitely chosen the road less traveled in this life and plan to keep doing so.

Barb was such a major influence in and on my life. She was the first born of us 4 girls and 10 years older than I, the youngest. My Mom went through a difficult time with my Dad when I was young so, Barb stepped in as a motherly figure until my late teen years, when I feel like our relationship transformed into a best friendship. She was the one who told me over and over to “just get a dog!” when I called her in a heartbroken state over relationship difficulties or endings. Unfortunately, she never had the opportunity to meet Mona. I know she would have fallen in love with her. Mona won’t be with me forever, but having her has irrevocably changed my life and I will never live without canine love in my life again! Thanks to my sis for the push to rely on the love of an unconditional vs. us flawed humans!

Barb taught me about Spirituality, about trusting my instincts, about determining right from wrong. She taught me how to respect differences of opinion and to engage in intelligent conversation. She also taught me to stand by my morals and ethics and to not take any shit from anyone! She introduced me to the wonderful city of San Francisco where I lived for 18 years after she, her husband and boys, much to her eternal discontent, left it and moved back to NY. I feel so fortunate to have lived in a place where all people were treated with respect no matter their race, creed, color or sexuality. Gratitude is forever etched in my heart and mind for the period of time I was able to enjoy a bohemian life in what I still believe is the most beautiful city in this country, if not the world. There’s good reason behind people proclaiming to have left their heart there. I certainly did.

In 2010, I left San Francisco for many reasons, but mainly because I was planning to get married and move to Europe to be with my long time partner. That relationship fell apart and so did I right along with it. My Spirit was crushed for multiple reasons and being back in Western NY after all those years away, I fell into a deep depression realizing that I was in a place where even though I was rooted/reared for the first 18 and formative years of my life, it felt completely foreign to me. I heard the word “nigger” uttered by an ex-boyfriend and cringed. I heard derogatory remarks about immigrants and gays all the time. I realized quickly that this wasn’t a place I fit in any longer. AT ALL… My life and beliefs had become anything but conservative and DEFINITELY in no way, shape or form racist or feeling as though us pasty whites are or have ever been superior to anyone else!!! Living in major cities like Brooklyn, San Francisco and Oakland for decades will do that to you as diversity abounds and different cultures and colors of skin are cherished, not abhorred. Also, I feel honored and fortunate to have spent ample time with and in Native American ceremonies. It was with the only original inhabitants of our country that I learned how much we MUST have immense gratitude for and cherish and respect our mother earth for she sustains ALL life! Without her health, we are simply going to perish.

My favorite sister and I were estranged for the last year of her life for a few reasons, my addictions, her discontent with how I was living (or dying) but basically because her drug addiction had taken such a toll that the person I knew and loved all those years was barely recognizable, a mere shadow of the extremely bright light she used to be. And even though she had attempted suicide once before and lived to be honest with her doctors, they still kept giving her opioids and benzodiazepines like they were candy. Honestly, Barb didn’t take her own life because she was depressed. She was one the most intelligent, funny and upbeat persons I have ever known. The drugs stole her optimism. They stole her energy. She was in pain. Most importantly, she felt like she had accomplished what her “why” was in her life by raising her two sons and seeing them both partnered and happy. It simply was… in her eyes… her time to go… Understanding this all doesn’t take away the pain of missing her every single day, but I do believe she stayed as long as she could considering the condition she was in. It took a lot of courage to do what she did. Unfortunately, it left all of us behind in a lot of pain. Matter not the reasoning behind it, the survivors of suicide are always devastated and damaged.

Lastly, I have Barb to thank for my adventurous travel spirit and the ability to just pick up and go. The first time I was leaving the country on a solo adventure from my then home in Brooklyn in 1988 with just a backpack and a ticket to Switzerland where I knew no one, but had planned to travel by train to the then Yugoslavia (now Croatia) to meet my father’s family to find out more about him and our homeland, I will never forget my phone conversation with Barb the night before. I kept telling her I just couldn’t do it, that I was scared to death to get on a plane and go where I knew no one and had no definite plans. She basically said “(“A” = short for Aunt) if you don’t get on that plane, I am going to come down there and drag your ass on it!” And so I did. And so I had the first of many, many, amazing travel adventures. And so I realized that the USA was not the center of the Universe. We are but a speck of dust in a big wide world of interesting diverse people, cultures and places. Travel has been the best education of my life, hence my addiction to it.

As much as I will never regret being near my parents during the last years of their lives and present when they passed, I am definitely ready to go back to the left/West where I feel like I am in good company and surrounded by folks with common PROGRESSIVE beliefs about the importance of diversity and the well being of the planet and it’s inhabitants. If I shall be referred to further as the “radical left,” so be it! I am proud to be a humanitarian and a bohemian with much respect for and thanks to my sister Barb’s influence.

My wish for you Sis is that you are having lots of deep belly laughs wherever you are… maybe hanging with George Carlin? Dad? Mom? Somehow, I know you’re close by.  Just know I plan to live this next segment of my life to the very fullest with you in mind and heart. And definitely NEVER EVER again will I live without a dog! ~Namasté “B”  #BarbaraRuof

Posted in 45, Barbara A Ruof, Barbara Culig, DEATH, Depression, Drug Abuse, ETERNAL LIFE, Hamburg, IGNORANCE, INSANITY OF NOW..., LIBERAL, Radical Left, Rubella Vaccine, San Francisco, SPIRITUALITY, Suicide, Vaccine Damage Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

WHEN SILENCE IS COMPLIANCE

My beloved momma always told me that one gets more with honey than with vinegar. I do have to agree with her wholeheartedly. AND, there is very good reason to be fuming about the time we are currently experiencing in our “government.” There is no reason to be sugar coating ANYTHING going on in our country right now or for the lack of cohesion we once had with our staunch allies. The ostrich buries it’s head in the sand when danger is approaching as if not to see it, hoping it is also not seen. Rarely, does it escape it’s fate. So, if you refuse to speak up because you prefer your “politics” to be personal or secret or because you are afraid of what people might think if you speak up, I see that you ARE part of the problem! We need voices now more than ever.

After my sister Barb left us last September, I took a break from debating and politics, mostly from bantering with people still supporting what was happening in the District of Criminals and worldwide with our current “regime.” Her sudden death was an impetus for further self-examination, and more importantly, to focus on what was a priority in my life because life is indeed very short. With the latest escapade of tearing apart children from their parents, I am indeed now re-engaged and re-enraged with what is happening because defending my right to live in a republic that is a DEMOCRACY FOR ALL is important to me. The difference is that I will no longer battle with #45 supporters. There is no reasoning with sheer ignorance. When the FACTS are available at our fingertips, (literally) there is no reason to go on believing the lies, unless you are just plain old lazy and/or addicted to Fox news. What we have happening in our country right now is already written in history. And to think there are those who think it can’t repeat itself? Well, I have news for you. It already is AND IT MUST BE STOPPED!

I’ve been called by the folks who support the Alt-Right all the names in the book, a “libtard”, a “snowflake”, a “democrap”, and sometimes with an iota of respect, a “seriously misguided liberal.”  The names do not bother me one bit. People react because they don’t like the BOLD truth, especially when you can prove your point with a FACT, like the FACT that separating children from their parents seeking political asylum here is something that was instituted by AG Sessions and Herr Trump in April of 2018. This has NOT been happening for decades! However, I have decided that I’m not going to waste any more of my precious life moments pointing the facts out to those who wish wish to debate without doing FACTUAL research. If you are ignorant enough to believe the lies coming from #45 and his cohort’s mouths without doing your own research, or to watch only one news station when thousands around the world are all supposedly spewing #fakenews, then you can keep your head in the sand.  BUT DO KNOW THAT YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR YOUR CHILDREN, YOUR GRANDCHILDREN, FUTRE GENERATIONS WHO DESERVE A FAIR GOVERNMENT… If you argue that people should not be crossing the border illegally, well, think about the FACT that you were born in this country BY SHEER LUCK. Someone somewhere in your ancestry crossed a border! This land only belongs rightfully to the original settlers, the Native Americans. The pasty white men stole it from them.

Oh, one last FACT for those who wish to make assumptions about my political affiliations… Let me just clarify that I am a registered Democrat. BUT THE BE ALL END ALL IS THAT I AM A HUMANITARIAN. (God help you if you don’t know the definition, but you can easily click on the word to see it!) More folks might wish to try it on for size! ~Namasté

Posted in 45, Barbara A Ruof, Detaining children, GOVERNMENT, Humanitarian, politics, TRUMP, WHITE SUPREMACY Tagged , , , , , , , , |

PULL YOURSELF UP BY THE BOOTSTRAPS

Since 1998, the suicide rate has increased 25% in this country. Mental illness continues to plague our society and it continues to be gravely misunderstood and judged harshly. This week we lost 2 very successful folks who were in the spotlight, yet how many left us that will not make the headlines???

When my sister took her own life last September, I received a few texts from friends who commented on her mental health issues, insinuating that those were the precursor to her tragic act. My first reaction was to defend her, saying it was NOT mental illness that caused her to take her own life. And I have to ask myself, why did I feel the need to defend her mental health so staunchly? My answer is because for the most part in today’s society, depression and anxiety are shunned, thought of as “bad” or something that we possibly have control over. Resources and funding to help the mentally ill are consistently being cut as the disease spreads like a wildfire through America. And the less resources the mentally ill have, the more end up homeless on the street. When I first arrived in San Francisco in 1992, I was astounded how many folks were wandering the streets. By the time I finally left SF in 2010, there were literal camps of homeless below the freeway on 13th street. My heart simply could not take seeing them all on a daily basis. How in the name of all that is GOoD can we call ourselves the greatest nation in the world when these serious problems plague our society?

For many years, I personally suffered from SEVERE depression and anxiety. My depression was SO crippling at times that my good friends who had compassion and an inclination of what I was enduring would come and stay with me, just so I could find an iota of comfort and/or not harm myself. I can’t pinpoint exactly how, why or when my depressive episodes and anxiety lessened. All I can say is that I AM SO ETERNALLY GRATEFUL THEY DID because those snippets of hell, those dives into the abyss of unimaginable sadness made me understand exactly why people like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade hung themselves.

My mother suffered from depression. My grandmother was heavily medicated for 45 years of her life for mental health issues. My great grandfather had my great grandmother committed for her mental health and then he took his own life. So, was(is) my tendency towards depression and anxiety genetic OR as my sister Barb had mentioned often, learned bad thinking? Quite honestly, I’m not sure if there is a definitive answer to the cause of my own disease. I have come to attribute my own depression towards being born ultra-sensitive in a society that doesn’t nurture sensitivity. A great book I read to help understand this was “Self Care for the Self Aware” by Dave Markowitz. I also kept deep, dark secrets for many years. And I also used drugs and alcohol to avert my feelings. Since I ceased using drugs (all street and pharms) and alcohol 18 months ago, my depressive episodes have decreased significantly. AND I attribute my “recovery” to having great counseling as well as digging into those places and secrets held inside that haunted me for years. Most importantly, I became willing to open up and not hide anything any longer, and that included my anger and sadness which I believe turned inward was a huge cause of my blues. I decided that I didn’t care what anyone thought of me or how I chose to live my life any longer. I decided that I was going to unconditionally love myself…. AND get a dog!!! So, my “fixes” may not be permanent, nor may they be yours. The most important thing I can suggest for those suffering is to not be afraid to find some help, to find a compassionate ear and last but not least, DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO TELL YOU TO “PULL YOURSELF UP BY YOUR BOOTSTRAPS”! As a society, we owe this disease a lot more attention. And…. we owe those who suffer chronically from it A LOT MORE COMPASSION.

 

Posted in Alcoholism, DEATH, Depression, Depression, Drug Abuse, IGNORANCE, MENTAL ILLNESS, RECOVERY, SPIRITUALITY, TRAUMA Tagged , , , , , , , |