A Poem In the Key of Depression

crows in rain LG

I can beat anything. Conquer anything
From intellectual pursuits to stupid bar jokes
From Music to Skiing
It’s a proven fact and my humility is obvious as you can see

Sitting on the bed
Looking at the damned walker
Thinking of the fall last week that
I told no one about. No more hospitals

Knocked me out cold and caused a concussion
Followed by the first migraine ever
Followed the next day by
Electrical shocks all through my body and numbness

Fuck you body! Fuck you disease!

The truth is kicking my ass
Trying to wrap my broken brain around something
Walking again might not happen at a 30% chance
No dancing no man to love my life a nauseating carnival ride

During the third week in the hospital
Psychosis and hallucinations had stopped
Idiot physicians had jacked me full of steroids and was allergic
Read the records last week they note Explosive Personality

Well when I was drinking and in a black-out it was true
As I read through the charts I laughed
Laughter tinged with grim thoughts
There were no notes on a previous steroid reaction

One night I wandered out to the nurse’s station
And asked for a Cabernet and a Cigarette
Don’t Drink Don’t Smoke What do You Do?
Thought I was on a spaceship. With a bar. It’s so me.

My boyfriend of three years came to visit the third week
After the cognitive functions returned
He admitted after diligent questioning and lies
He had been with another for months. My heart, will and soul crushed then.

So I looked at those paralyzed legs that day
Sitting on the hospital bed going on three weeks
Looking at that damned wheelchair
Knowing he had been cheating on me, why he had not visited but twice and quickly

The number one cause of death from TM
Is Suicide.
Not failure of the liver or respiratory system or falls
Those are the silver, bronze and runner ups

Mom calls every day
She drives from California every two weeks
She does the laundry, prepares food for the freezer
Cleans the house and brings me Fresca which is nice

No longer can I cook, clean or hold anything for long
Taking a shower is a bitch. On a chair. Like a geriatric
Please wash my hair I’m so lonely and it hurts
Feel a burden and pathetic whiner to express these words to anyone

These are my thoughts after almost three months
Working hard each day with PT exercises
Trying to take a few steps no concussion please
Never able to get on my tippy toes again

Fuck you body! Fuck you disease!

Mom called last night and asked how I was
Told her about the anger the shocks, numbness the embarrassment of the steroid reaction
The worthless neurologist with no prognosis and no advice
Exhaustion of the body soul and nerve function and tear ducts

So Mom said Be Glad you were diagnosed so quickly
So what if that steroid caused the staff to treat you as a scary diagnosed psychotic
Your boyfriend was an abusive piece of shit. There is progress. There is no longer a wheelchair
You almost lost your life

And I answered
What Life?

Holidays! Suicide Rates Up! Corporations Thrilled!

It’s actually a myth that suicide rates increase during the holiday season. Same type of urban myth that  insists crime goes up during a full moon.

Sounds Pagan and cool though eh?

Bummer for the Insurance conglomerates.
No more threats of paying out for medical costs until Spring. Party on Doctor Garth.

Paging Dr. Howard, Paging Doctor Fine….

It's a Wonderful Life

Here’s a cheery fucking Christmas ditty. Decided to ditch the Haiku this year.

The perfect picture
Great film and memories most dear
No lighted angel nor pine bough
No comfort this year
Maybe a bell will ring
Maybe I’ll answer
and get my wings

Cheers to all of you celebrating without loved ones; gone and remembered or far away and felt.
Let’s enjoy that tuna sandwich, dearth of lights joy and family. A new year is coming. Make it through the night.

Miss R

Buy a Gun, Enjoy My Self-Loathing or Move Along Citizen

Have you ever suffered from depression?

bi-polar hell

I mean the type diagnosed by a physician. Not a few weeks of sadness, or grief over a loss or death. Yes, these will all lead to depression but for the majority of people who suffer these or other tragedies it may mean several months or more of counseling, perhaps an anti-depressant for several months in order for a therapist to work with the depressed patient.

No, I’m talking long-term, 20+ years of clinically diagnosed depression including meds and therapy. Followed by an accurate diagnosis of Bi-Polar for at least five years. More meds. Different meds. New cocktails of meds. Sadly current medicine (forced by the insurance companies) no longer truly allow a psychiatrist anything more than prescribing medication. To conquer problems you also must see a therapist. Of which you cannot afford because they rarely accept Medicare and you’re no longer able to pay all of the co-pays if they did.

And if you’ve lost everything; a successful business –that you built up by working 14 hours a day, not being able to hire even one employee for the first two years, finally being featured in magazines, opening more stores, a huge e-commerce business as well, television coverage, and mentions all across the Internet.

Your retirement money, savings, home, vehicle all lost to the recession of the Bush years (and attorneys to divorce and restrain a psychotic ex-husband), and you are dependent on a Social Security Disability stipend of less than $1000.00 a month.
How the hell will you EVER feel better?

Add back surgery, which did not work –FAIL tag-  and the cost of co-pays to doctors and hospitals that you cannot possibly pay off.
Constant pain, inability to swim, hike, ski or even walk long distances. And another surgery being scheduled.
How the hell can you SEE a future?

Have you ever attempted suicide? More than once? More than twice?  And failed? –Insert FAIL tag- . Pro-Tip: pills are too easy to accidentally throw up, or change your mind. Plastic razors chew up your skin and you don’t bleed quickly enough. Use a gun for godssake.

Oh, and you’ll be 50 in another month. Wonderful. With no more close friends; they already know about your problems and seriously don’t want to hear anything else. Hell I wouldn’t. Family you don’t dare reveal your psychological pain with, nor an understanding boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband? Your fabulous fifty party –as if turning 50 is a fucking pleasure and isn’t deathly depressing in itself- will be at home.
The entree a can of tuna fish and a single piece of pie from Raley’s market for dessert. Okay maybe dinner out –my genius boyfriend suggested a casino buffet. I’m thinking the tuna far preferable. And safer.

A call from my daughter –the only reason the suicidal ideation backed off, with her 4.0 grades and beginning college-. A card and call from Mom.
Missing Dad since his death, so no call from him. His birthday is/was a week before mine.

So, I spend 16 out of every 20 hours awake weeping uncontrollably. No longer wanting to live, but not wishing to crush my daughter by blowing this neuro-scrambled brain on the walls.
The back pain never ceases, unless I drink too much. At which point I’ll pay for it in the morning and it’s goddamned fattening as well. Not even self-medicating is a viable option.

Enough self-loathing for today.  Am tired of being witty, enjoyable or even caustic.
I just want it all to end. There are no dreams left.
Some days are like this.

 

Sure to offend Everyone…except my family. For once.

Black Rock CityBurning Band

There’s a bad moon rising.
Oh alright it’s just ended for the month. It’s the image that counts dammit.

Back is getting worse not better. What the hell is up with that? Can’t get a refill on oxy -even though it’s a  Way low dose  for what I need. Isn’t there anything else??  God knows I don’t need another fucking addiction. Can’t believe I don’t have PICA.

Anyway, life seems worthless (check: x), daughter gone away to college and grown up (check: x) wondering what happened to my interesting lively life (check: x), depression on the wax (check: x) back pain getting worse (WTF check: x). Band officially broke up (check: x) OH, and best of all…. SSD reduced by over 1/3 since my daughter turned 18. As if I don’t have to support her in college (Go SF State heh) (check: x) meaning I have to live on under $900.00 a month (including daughter)…when I spent most of my life living on six figures (check: x).

Lost my houses, 401k.s IRA’s etc in the last divorce and then trying to live .Just to get away from Psycho-Fuck in Michigan (aka ex-hubby number two)

Waiting for Burning Man to cheer me. See my other family. Relax. Look at art. Play in the Burning Band -even if I have to buy a new uniform shirt because after 5 years it doesn’t seem as though all of the wine, beer and random brass instrument spit will come out of it anymore.

Just needed to write tonight. It’s after midnight and have been a mess all damned day. Usually save these exciting and amusing tidbits for my ‘other’ blog. But really. Fuck it.
Give a shot, cola, thumbs up or whatever is needed to get me to The Burn.

Livin’ the Life in Reno
OR as you may know it ‘the OTHER city in Nevada’
~Miss R

I’ve Been Missing You

Apologies to the great bloggers that I follow. It’s been difficult to keep up with you all, due to the long, painful and mind-numbing recovery from the spinal surgery.  The mind-numbing part is physical; a result of the damned pain and pain medications keep me from concentrating too long.  Reading has been the worst. And it’s one of my greatest loves. Along with music and sex of course. Hey I’m in physical and psychological pain here, not fucking retarded.

Am pretty sure that this situation will never end. I’ll be the one at Burning Man in the faux-fur covered, LED lit, Diet Coke and Menthos powered pimped-out wheelchair handing out Tasty Beverages to the masses. Plan on finding a way to attach a buggy or large cooler on wheels to said wheelchair. Feel free to send blueprints.

In the meantime I’ve got a lot of catching up to do on reading. And at least I’ve written something, even if it isn’t amusing.

Welllll maybe a teeny tiny bit. Like my attention span. The cat and I have been spending more and more time together watching shiny objects.

~Miss R 

Welcome to Reno! Home of the Homeless!

Reno: Biggest Little City in the World

As usual all things Reno, Nevada interest me. Many times they disgust, amuse, nauseate and confuse me as well. Reno has been my home for six years. Investigating the city has proven far less taxing than digging up the backyard. For body disposal. The neighborhood children dig me –no pun intended- because they get to play in the dirt and use the big rusty shovels while their parents are all still at work. It’s for the kids!

Anyway, there is apparently some kind of depression going on in the country. So I thought it would be interesting (disgusting, amusing nauseating and confusing) to see what Reno has to offer YOU.

Besides being an hour away from fabulous skiing, boasting the Truckee River with   great swimming and kayaking, and a host of (dying) Casinos.

Let’s go!

1.      We have fewer foreclosed homes than Las Vegas

2.      Nevada’s budget gap is worst in nation – next year’s revenues will pay for only 45% of this year’s budget. Reno will be Number One in receiving less funds.

    3.      Reno is only 20 minutes from the state capitol, Carson City. This is where the governor’s mansion and capitol building reside. Our last governor spent an average of less than 12 days out of every nine weeks in Carson City. He spent most of his time in Las Vegas. When he did come to town he was consistently caught with strippers and other high class women. Come on isn’t this great? Would you want a politician spending all of his time so close to you? I’m pretty sure his wife was happy. 

    4.      Reno is projected to have The Worst housing market in the US and has been voted one of the Thirteen National Housing Markets that will never recover. This was posted on Business Insider. Don’t worry. Las Vegas is listed as well. Go Nevada!

    5.      Nevada is Number One in unemployment. I’d like to personally thank Reno for their part in encouraging fast food franchises and chain stores, while taxing the living hell out of start-up businesses. Don’t ask me how I know this.

    6.      Reno WAS the divorce capital of the world. Damn. We lost this one in the 60’s.

    7.      It is against the law in Reno to place a bench in the middle of the street. Yes this is still on the books and a fine law it is.

    8.      Burning Man. Need I say more. Actually, this is the only positive thing I could find to place on this list.

    9.      Reno is the original home of the Harrah’s gambling empire. This means we’re Number One in helping instigate the formation of Gamblers Anonymous.

    10.

    Well the guy who lives next to me in my duplex is outside playing the banjo. Again. Seriously. And it’s barely above freezing out there. Time to hit the basement and get that shovel sharpened. Come children!

    ~Miss R

Laughing at National Mental Health Month

My mind has been a vortex of depression, anger, fear (and loathing) for months. How to change? What can help and help immediately? Laughter.

Taking an inventory of my behavior over the last year I’ve noticed something unusual: Laughter doesn’t come as often or as easily.

This morning I signed on to Facebook (go ahead and sneer now) and saw a status that said:

‘DEPRESSION is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you have been trying to be strong for too long. Put this as your status if you or someone you know has had depression. Will you do it and leave it on your status for at least an hour? Most people will not, but it’s mental health week and 1 in 3 of us will suffer at some point in our lives.’

Never believe what you read on Facebook. It’s a networking site that promotes idiocy, skanky pictures (woo hoo!) and wasting some time. Not that it can’t be amusing. It’s just that any information coming  across the feed is suspect.

I’m not the snopes.com of the internet but checking out statements dealing with issues that concern me direct my attention to research. First, it is not National Mental Health Week, it’s actually National Mental Health Month. Second, An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year according to NIMH.

Already we’ve learned the basic tenet of Facebook. If some idiot posts it as a status it’s gotta be wrong.

To keep myself from wandering even further into the abyss of statistics I stopped there. It would be akin to spending four hours on Wikipedia reading all the links from your primary topic and winding up at the Three laws of Thermodynamics. After your initial search for information on David Bowie.

What’s so funny?

National Fruitcake Week is actually National Fruitcake Month. As a psychiatrist-carrying Fruitcake this example of humans acting like sheep (POST THIS STATUS IF YOU DARE FOR ONE DAY!) would normally cause a chuckle. Instead, hardly a smile. Hell, even my favorite Eddie Izzard bits barely cause a subdued laugh these days. Something is definitely wrong.

Climbing out of the despair requires laughter and humor. So beginning the day with Fark.com, The Chive or even LOL Cats is a start. It’s better than allowing your brain to cross into dark neighborhoods. Or eating too much food rich in trans-fat and refined sugar, or sleeping all day. Or calling in hourly bomb threats to the local 7-11.

First thing in the morning with good coffee. It’s a slow process but a start.

Hopefully the easy laughter will come back. I just have to change and look for it. And as my crone of a piano teacher often told me Practice  Practice Practice.

Finding out about National Mental Health Month (Week) was funny. But not as funny as laughing at myself.

~Miss R

A Moment of Angst

Photobucket

I’ve been thinking. No comments about my working without tools again please.

The past few weeks have found me awash in various levels of depression, obsession, worry (about things financial, physical, blah blah blah) and stress.

There’s a roof over my head. Food in the fridge. A car that runs (knocks on her head). My daughter is healthy and doing well.

Still this miasma of unhappiness, uncertainty, fear and the longing to simply give up permeates the waking hours and the dream time.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The days and nights have been punctuated with laughter, self-deprecating humor, and the usual day to day crap that can make one smile. It’s just that… they’re so far and few between. Couldn’t even get into ‘the zone’ when I went skiing today. A bad sign.

I think I know what’s wrong. I may have an axiom here.

All people require two special items to survive:

1. Physical touch.

2. Encouragement  and kind words

Seems to me that these two facets of life are as indispensable as food, shelter and health.

I’ve been missing both. For a long time. So holistically I’m not healthy. Ya, no shock there but bear with me.

Humans are programmed to feel comfort from touch, from words of solace or compliment. Those wacky fun-loving serial killers you read about were all missing these two critical objects in their lives.

So, I feel better identifying what may be a major cause of this current desolation. There’s no cure on the horizon which gives me little hope, but there’s something positive about all of this self-discovery:

I’m too old to start a new career as a serial killer.

What Happens in Reno…

sure as hell doesn’t stay in reno. …not with this blog.

When we last saw our heroine she was busy making plans, but not for Nigel.
In the intervening week things have just gotten funny. Yeah both ways.

I’m not gonna say things have become weird or strange. The last time I typed those words –at the New Year- my dad died, the debacle with the family occurred and life generally went fucking sideways.
We’re gonna try the adjective funny today.
Oh hell. What if I’ve just cursed Mom?
Well at least I wouldn’t have suffer through the nightly 20 questions over the phone.

Anyway, last Saturday brought a visit from Washington State’s own Dave and Lisa. The last time they were in town we peeked into a swinger’s club, pole danced, and generally wrecked havoc throughout Reno. That was also the infamous weekend of Turn Down The Stereo Immediately Or You Will Be Evicted Tomorrow.

This time my friends had a room at the Peppermill. I thought ‘what could possibly go wrong and if it does it won’t be at my place.’
Being a genius I decided to take a cab over there; no chance of the decrepit Zamboni being used as multi-passenger transportation.

It took 20 minutes to get ahold of them after I’d walked into the casino. The casino/hotel switchboard wouldn’t put me though on the phone without the last name, even though I had the room number. So I called back to get a different operator but she told me that there was something wrong with Dave and Lisa’s room voicemail.
Alright Plan C.
I sashay over to the hotel concierge, bat my eyelashes, lean my cleavage into his direct line of sight and sweetly ask how to find room 3121.
Presto!

Hugs all around and then back downstairs to the casino for the three of us.
Now, Dave is a serious blackjack player but neither Lisa nor I do much gambling. I don’t gamble because I suck at it.
We go into one of the lounges, play some video poker and then head back out into the neon monstrosity that is the Peppermill. Here we bump into Dave’s old Reno roommate and friend Mike.
Mike is a professional gambler. For real. For years. Poker. He especially loves going out on Friday and Saturday nights to play cards because the tourists are in town. Heh.

Lisa and I are then schooled on the salient points of poker. Somehow I managed to leave the friggin casino 35 cents richer than when I’d come in four hours before.
We’re hungry at this point. It’s around midnight.
Sushi!
Where better than The Men’s Club. Yes kids it’s a sushi bar on one side and a strip bar on the other. Gotta love Reno.
We went into the restaurant and spent an obscene amount on all manner of delicacies. This is not an All You Can Eat place. Even though it adjoins the strippers and lap dancers.

Our restaurant bill was high enough to merit non-payment of the cover charge upon entering the strip club.
I will say that the girls at the Men’s Club look a bit finer than their counterparts at the Wild Orchid. Don’t push me on the point since it’s been a long time since visiting the latter platter ‘o boobies.
Here’s a bottle of water I ordered:

Yep. A tit bar with their own privately labeled water. As well it should be since I paid $3.00 or $4.00 for the stuff. Boobylicious. I’m sure.

My friends dropped me off at home somewhere around 3:00 am. The next morning I was up at 7:00 feeling dehydrated from smoking an entire pack of ciggies in one evening.

Dave and Lisa made their flight the next day and back to Washington. My apartment was noise and litter-free. I’m thinking that a fine time was had by all.
Haven’t had but one cigarette in the past week though. Back on the Nicorette/Commit and club soda diet. It’s a goddamned good thing that those two only come into town every month or so. Fuck me.

The seven days since have been a slow-motion blur of getting new glasses, avoiding the computer, avoiding people, reading, isolating, screening phone calls, contemplating which caliber bullet would have the best taste, and going to doctor’s appointments.

This morning has been spent pirating music for my collection and burning CD’s into iTunes.
I’m on an 80’s Big Beat/Power Pop jag:  Graham Parker, Nick Lowe, The Plimsouls, Dave Edmunds, Phil Seymour, The Romantics, 20/20 etc.
Good stuff.

Oh yeah, and waiting for my ’94 Audi to show up. The Zamboni is going bye-bye. So long ‘ya bastard.

I’ll now bid you all a fond adieu. Been up since 4:20 this morning (fucking sleeping pill at midnight gives me a grand total of almost four and a half hours of sleep) and need a cup of coffee and some toast.

Do I live the life or what.
The correct answer is Or What.

~Miss R

I Just Can’t Seem to Get it Right

Since the debacle with my family (over one of my blogs for chrissake) I’ve been unable to write. Or play the piano. Or catch up on any of the other blogs that I normally love to read.
Nothing seems to shake out.
My depression over dad’s death and the fall-out afterwards have stricken my heart and mind.

Apathy has taken hold and creativity has fled screaming into the night.

Hell I can barely read a book. Have a great one going too: Wait Until Spring Bandini by John Fante.

Anyway, it feels like everything is going sideways. For example:
Yesterday I couldn’t leave the house. Or my bedroom.
Today….

Got up early (as I do) and went to a local property management place called Action Properties.
There is this great duplex for rent. It’s a funky weird-ass 1930’s building with lots of defects, tons of storage, a leaky ancient basement and (supposedly) a ghost.
Best parts:
The other side of the building is occupied by a wonderful musician and friend (playing my music would not be a problem here)
The grand piano would fit in the living room
It’s much larger than my current apartment
It has a back yard
The rent is $110.00 LESS a month than I pay now.

Here’s what happened after I took a looksee at the duplex…

Went back with all of my documentation, completed application, $45.00 app fee, social security cards, copy of current lease, blah blah blah.
The receptionist immediately looks at my income verification and says that they cannot rent the duplex to me because their ‘formula’ requires that the rent expenditure be no more than 30% of my income.
Wait. I know that this is the optimal percentage used in determining credit approval for mortgages (didn’t spend all of that time in NYC finance for nothing) but this is Reno. It’s a duplex. It’s in a ‘transitional neighborhood’ (bwahahaha).
Not to mention (oh hell I am) that I overlooked the 30% rule when approving mortgages and credit…. a LOT.
My rent and previous mortgages have always been paid on time or early.
Every fucking month for years and years.

She didn’t care that I’m currently paying $100.00 MORE a month right now and all of my payments have been on time or early.
Told her that I would be willing to set up a direct deposit for the rent check.
She still didn’t care.

According to Action Properties I need to make $351.00 more a month to qualify for this duplex.
She asked if I had additional income.
Uhhhhh no. (I’m on disability you dumbasses)

Then I burst into tears.
As you do.

Absurdity Notice: I was told that I would qualify for a $525.00 a month rental but not the one I wanted which is $575.00
This means that according to their cretinous reasoning I need to have an income of $351.00 more a month to make a rental payment of $50.00 more a month.
Is it me?

So, I’m stuck here in tiny apartment hell with a herd of elephants upstairs, crazy managers next door, and nowhere for my dad’s piano (or any other possessions).
Thanks Action Properties of Reno. You fucking eeeediot bastards.

Whew.
I feel a bit better.
It’s not real writing but it is a small vent in the surface of my soul.

~Miss R

Currently listening:
Singles
By: Deacon Blue
Release date: 23 October, 2006

Cognitive Health Indeed and Word

Two people in the last 24 hours have told me that I should start thinking happy thoughts in order to relieve my depression.
Whoa. Great idea why didn’t I think of that? Damn I’ll get right on it.
Are you fucking kidding me…?

In other news…. was able to sleep in my own bed last night. The bad part was that I was of course alone. Again. Naturally.
I must say it’s a hell of a lot better than my couch though. No AC in the bedroom but the bed itself is mighty fine.

The summer heat in Reno is merciless. I’ve no spa to dunk my head into or sprinklers to run through. The past few months in TKs backyard spoiled me.
On the other hand it could be worse. Lizzie Borden is a Persian and that poor beast must be combed every day or she explodes fur like a time release hair freshener –rim shot-.

Been up since 5:45 this morning which is a record for the past week. My internal clock is all kinds of fucked up (hmmmm don’t say it) and this is the latest I’ve slept in days.
As the sun rose I sat outside with coffee and a cigarette –yeah another bad habit picked up in the last 6 months- finishing an essay by Noam Chomsky on B.F. Skinner
.

Good Morning America? The Daily Buzz? Nay say I!
Here’s to a ciggie, coffee and words of a brilliant mind to begin a day.

Actually considered going to the gym first but that will wait until later. I’ve not put on any weight but my clothes don’t fit for hell. The extra baggage has shifted into areas not equipped with hand rails.
The problem with strenuous exercise when I’m depressed is this:
When the endorphins kick up I may not get that rush of positive high feelings. Instead, my mind sometimes goes the other way and I sob uncontrollably.
Bad form at the gym doncha know. It’s a pain in the ass wiping down the elliptical when you’re done but toweling up the tears is just plain embarrassing.

Have to work today for awhile besides hitting the gym. Was going to cook chili but have decided to throw away all of the meat I’d purchased.

I’ve no desire to cook for just myself. What’s the point.
I can’t bring any to share with a friend which was my original intention.
Already did the one-time-only pathetic shot of showing up without being invited.
You know, very childish teenage behavior. I was humiliated of course and made zero points.
I consoled myself with the knowledge that everyone in the history of men and women has done this at least once in their lives.
It’s when you make an unannounced visit more than once, or drive by an ex’s house, or continually make phone calls that you slide into stalker territory.
Ugh. I’d rather eat broken glass ala rusted razor blades.

So, I’ll continue to eat my Dreyer’s frozen fruit bars, try to write, finish up Tinfoil Hat Guy’s site, and think thoughts of tweeting birdies, puppies, kittens, smiling chipmunks and sunny happy days.
Scratch that last part.

Cognitive health indeed. I’m a clinically depressed misanthrope and while I am inconsolable over losing my best friend, watching the quail and discussing the universe I will surely drink Drano if forced to consider allegedly happy good thoughts.

Mack the Knife
~miss r

Currently listening:
Beethoven: Symphonien Nos. 5 & 7 / Kleiber, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
By: Ludwig van Beethoven
Release date: 23 January, 1996