Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Morning Surprises

The day begins with a chill in the air, laughter as Cole runs to the tree, and the smells of pies cooking in the oven. Yes, it is Christmas morning again. The anticipation ends as the presents are handed out. Cole laughs as he sees the things we gave him.

Soon we will all get dressed up so we can go out and eat. In the last couple of years we began our new tradition of eating out. We enjoy the meal and let someone else clean up the mess, then we make our way around looking at the festive bright lights that fill the area. They are so beautiful, makes someone wonder how in the world do they pay their electric bill. Sad that is what strikes us, we always have to think of the cost of things.

Then as we will arrive back home full from our wonderful meal and still glowing from seeing the lights we all gather around to watch a movie. One of Cole's gifts was the movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so we will watch that with him. Honestly it doesn't matter, the only important thing is the time we spend together.

No, I may not have that picture perfect family that we all see on television and the movies. While we are not that family, we are a family who cares for each other. We are a family that would do anything for the rest of us and we are a family that enjoys spending time just hanging out. Could possibly be that this is the perfect family.

As you sit around your tree and watch as the wrapping paper flies through the air, really look at the ones in your life. Aren't they just perfect? Shouldn't we heed the words of Irving Berlin--- 
"When you’re worried and you can't sleep. Just count your blessing instead of sheep and you will fall asleep faster counting your blessings."

Looking around it will be a rare thing to see those who count those blessings, human nature seems to lean toward feeling sorry for ourselves. That brings me to think of the news headlines for this Christmas holiday.

A tornado ripped through the south and devastated a community. Seeing those pictures of the rampage brought down by Mother Nature hit close to home. We have lost everything in our lives, when our house burnt down in 2003, sitting in the place where those people are now finding themselves is not a good place. You do your best to remember you are lucky to be alive, but then you look into the faces of your children and things change.

It is the troubles we have that forge us into a stronger person,  Some of us have more of a blue Christmas as Elvis once sang,
Blue Christmas

I'll have a Blue Christmas without you
I'll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won't be the same dear, if you're not here with me
And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That's when those blue memories start calling
You'll be doin' all right with your Christmas of withe
But I'll have a blue, blue, blue Christmas
You'll be doin' all right, with your Christmas of white,
But I'll have a blue, blue blue Christmas
Those lyrical words speak to many and the words immortalized by Bing Crosby when he sang of a White Christmas--- 

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

Memories of Mama singing Blue Christmas to me as I cried and sitting cuddled watching Bing as he sang White Christmas will stay with me forever. I pray that when I am gone my kids have memories of me they hang onto just as I do. All I have to do is close my eyes and I am once again that little girl sitting on her Mama's lap next to the little red transistor radio we listened to as Santa made his way across the night sky.

Such a long time ago in a world far different than this one was the little girl in the 60's that cherished the moments next to her Mom and that little radio. Will the kids think of me the same way? I work everyday to see that they do, but the rest is up to them.

Now as our Christmas Day continues and we make more memories to stash away in our minds, I look at my blessings that sit in front of me.

So I hope this day brings you each great joy and peace. Because the truth is
"Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.”  – Janice Maeditere

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Griswold Krank Christmas/ Seeking the Perfect Christmas Family

Well here we are at Christmas again. Seems like it was just yesterday that the wrapping paper and boxes were being thrown away, Christmas dishes were placed back in the cabinet, the tree was taken down and all the Santas wrapped carefully for another year's rest.  But now here we stand looking another Christmas square in the face.

All the presents are wrapped in beautiful paper, generally it is bright reds and golds or character paper that Cole loves so much, but this year it is all camo paper. Obviously, that is Heather's own personal touch. But I have to admit it is really pretty.

Christmas for me begins with the many movies that the season offers. Sitting back watching Chevy Chase and his Christmas Vacation is one of my favorite things, I absolutely love this movie. After all isn't Clark Griswold trying to do what all of us want? He is desperately seeking the perfect family holiday.

I suspect that is the very reason I love it, I have been seeking the perfect holiday for most of my life. Growing up it felt as if we had that. A large family who gathered for the day, a massive Christmas dinner prepared by everyone, presents exchanged, songs sang and all of it leaving you feeling as if you were a part of something much bigger. Now as I have grown older I have come to think that was all an illusion. If it had been a real feeling wouldn't it have handled the test of time? Yet, it didn't. No longer do I go to those huge family holiday dinners. The sound of the songs have long faded and there are no presents to open.

So I look at the movies I adore and realize that each of them are symbols of someone seeking a perfect Christmas. Is it a tangible thing, can we really have one? Or is this the true Holy Grail?

As the tears fill my eyes with the tears of George Bailey as he holds little Zuzu in his arms and you can feel the love in his heart, I know that no matter what I will never stop looking for that Christmas.

You would have to have a part of old Ebenezer Scrooge in you not to have that moment affect you, although I do know many, many people who have absolutely no feelings about it. They are the epitome of Scrooge when it comes to the Holiday season. Me on the other hand, I will always feel like I am a little girl as I look at the bright Christmas lights and all the decorations.

Just as I curled up on the sofa and watched Rudolph as a child I love the season with all my heart.

And I will never forget hearing,"But Daddy it’s not very comfortable." Nor will it ever stop touching my heart. Rudolph was experiencing something that I feel everyday. He didn't feel like he belonged, but in the end we all know how that turned out. So again I think I have been searching my whole life for the ultimate "I belong" moment. 

Maybe I am just seeking my own Sally Field moment, I don't know. But my search continues.

Bringing all my decorations into the living room I begin my season early, since my kids were little I started to decorate on the first day of deer season. Some might think that just before Thanksgiving is way too early to put up a tree and all the MANY Santas, but I say is it ever too early? It has always just been tradition for me, Lynn goes off hunting and I decorate. 

All the red and greens mixed with multiple twinkling lights always makes me feel better.
I love the bright colors and seeing all the decorations that bring a smile to those who see them. This is definitely a favorite time of the year for me.

Sure as a kid I loved to get gifts, what kid doesn't? It honestly has never been about what I got for me. I love to get others things and see the happiness in their eyes. But truly Christmas to me is the bright decorations, in my heart it symbolizes the goodness of the season.

I love all things Christmas from the lights to all the movies that fill our television sets. I long all year for an infusion of cheer that I get from the many choices in the category. From the tear I get watching White Christmas as I think of the many times I watched with Mama to the laughter that Denis Leary brings in The Ref.

Funny how most of the movies I love all are centered around the family trying to have a perfect Christmas.  So as Denis Leary is stuck with this family on Christmas and has to deal with their very obvious dysfunctional qualities I think I have felt like I was in that position on most of my past Christmas days.

Unlike his character in the movie my holidays have not ended with a universal epiphany of how everything should be different. So my search continues.
True be told maybe my perfect Christmas is the hysterical moments that make the holiday special. You know those moments when shit happens. From the time the kittens we got the girls decided to sleep in the tree. We found this out when the tree began to fall and as we sat mesmerized at the motion, no one moved to grab the tree, that second when it came crashing to the floor was priceless.

Was that my perfect Christmas? Probably. No matter that I search for the big family holiday with all the people gathered around, honestly every Christmas I have spent with my little family has been perfect.

Since the time the girls were little and I tied the tree to the ceiling to keep them from pulling it down, to the moment we turned on the lights this year, I love Christmas and I have had so many happy ones. Even the ones when there was no money for presents and the ones where it was a struggle to put a meal on the table, each of them are priceless to me with all the love that we share. It doesn't take thousands of dollars to show the people in your life that you love them.

It is not wrapped up with a pretty bow sitting under the tree.
While the festive bows and shiny paper can bring a smile to our faces. It is not in the package itself that we will find the love we search for.

While there are very few people who don't like to get that bright present, the true feelings of a loved one is not situated in that pretty package.

Has everyone forgot that? Have they stopped truly showing love to one another? What happened to make people so jaded? Or have they always been and I merely was wearing rose colored glasses?

If you listen to the news you would think the only thing about Christmas is the gifts and how much they cost. Which is a truly a sad thing when you give that gift to someone who tosses it to the side without much thought. That gift you have given with all the love in your heart and all they can think about is how much it costs.

Maybe all you have to give is a pair of gloves or a gift of money for those hard to buy for, it doesn't matter. We always tell our kids it is not the gift that counts but it is the thought. But do all of them remember those words as they grow up? Sadly, no. To the majority it is the price tag that accompanies the gift that is most important.

Am I naive? Has the world always been this way? Wasn't there a time when we worried more about each other than what something cost?

I don't remember the world being this way when I was small. In grade school we didn't compete over price tags, sure I know when my girls were little that was not the case. They attended a school that was so tough on the price of things that we had to stop purchasing clothes from Wal Mart. The kids were so cruel to anyone who looked like their clothes came from the store that made the Ozarks. Sam Walton began his stores just south of my hometown and it was a huge deal when the town got their first store.

So the irony that this had turned into some sort of symbol of being 'low class' wasn't lost on me. Moronic irony seems to be the theme for a majority of the world. Now that generation is grown with families of their own and some are still living with those ideals. That will bring them to snarl their noses at what they feel aren't 'good' presents.

We have all seen the frenzy that is called Black Friday and the fights for the latest electronics,
but is this really what the season is about? Are these fights over the latest technology worth all the fuss?

Our society is so focused on these sales and getting the product that we have forgotten all the sadness that is in the world? Statistics are torn between the idea that the holidays increase the depression rate or whether it actually declines. It doesn't matter really, because all you have to do is watch the news.

During the holidays, especially this year, robberies seem to increase. There are suicides and homicides. So it makes you wonder if all the pressure to fulfill those expensive Christmas lists and the fact that for most of us the economy is in the toilet, maybe that all plays a part in those stories.

"Keeping up with the Joneses" is more evident in the world today than it ever has been. Making sure to provide the stuff to a kid that other kids get is hard on all parents. But when those parents are thinking of ways to put a good meal on the table every night, the stress of supplying gifts can sometimes be overwhelming.

Maybe we have all done this to ourselves. Every time we over spend on Christmas or give that kid everything and more, it could be just setting ourselves up for a future failure. When a price tag is the only thing that matters to someone as a gift, can we keep up with that pace? Won't we reach a moment when it is an unobtainable goal?

Let each of us strive to place the emphasis back on the real meaning of the holidays. Go ahead and make a kid smile if you can, but remember the most important thing is to teach them to love.
So will I ever find the family I look for? Will I ever have that moment like the Kranks had when those around them stepped up in a time of need? I have had fleeting moments of this in my life. When our house burnt and we lost everything was probably the closest I ever came to my Krank moment.
The little town of Galena stepped up and did their best to help us. But have I seen this any other time in my life, I don't think so. Which says so much about people today.

While I continue to seek the family I see in the movies perhaps I need to see that this may only happen to those in stories. Conceivably it may be that only through fiction can we find a family who cares about each other.

Ironically the truth could be that I have had the perfect Christmas family all along. After all it may just be my little family but we all love spending time together. We spend the holiday just doing what we love most and that is hanging out together. Taking drives to see lights, decorating the house, watching Christmas movies, and really just spending time laughing.

I will probably always look for that huge family experience when in reality my destiny could just be this tremendous little family filled with love.

Memories are what we do everyday. Making awesome ones with the beloved people in our lives.

 Christmas is important to me. It is a festive time that brings as many tears as giggles. I miss my parents dearly all the time, but this time of year makes it worse. Does that make me super sad? Not really, while I may cry (a lot) it doesn't mean that I am sad. Fighting depression is part of my existence and allowing myself to release the tears is just a coping mechanism for me to keep it in check. 

When you exchange your gifts this year please remember to actually show the feeling behind the present. Look around you and tell those you love how much they mean to you. What if this is the last Holiday you will have together? None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow, so make today count. Enjoy the time you spend with them and cherish each other. 

Take the time to see the world through a child's eyes and see far beyond the price tags. It is not money that makes things but it is the people who make them.

I am the luckiest woman in the world, I see the love in my child's eyes when they look at me. I hear it in their voice when they say I love you and I hear it when we laugh together.

Search for the perfect family, possibly I have found it. All wrapped up in a tiny package.

Merry Christmas to one and all. May all your dreams come true and may you find the blessings all around you.

2014 Ends Leaving Reminents of A Past Top Lists of the Year

 What did 2014 hold for the American public? Just exactly what did people focus on during this year? What videos, what scandals and what news filled our lives? As we move into the New Year it is fun to look back and see what made up the headlines of the past year. Who died or committed suicide? Who cheated on whom and what was the Grumpy Cat of the year? 

Life is a funny thing but when you look back at what kept our attention you will realize just how strange we are as a human race.

Top News Stories of 2014
NFL’s off field problems. Not only has the NFL dealt with the usual drug problems that we have all come to know, but this was the year for domestic abuse, child abuse and how they deal with the issues. Part of the strange side of the story lies in the fact that abuse is handled in such an easier light than simple pot smoking.

The Ferguson ordeal. First it began with the shooting of Michael Brown and the resulting turmoil that is still going on today. 

The Border Crisis. Our news story about the crisis began with the flood of unaccompanied children who escaped their life in Central America.

Ebola. First, it was the cases that occurred within our country followed by death, quarantines, refusal to comply with quarantine and fear.

The Mystery of the Malaysian Airliner that disappeared. Just where did it go?

ISIS. Beheadings, more fear, people trying to go join the terrorists and most importantly confusion.

Taylor Swift. Well just about everything was Taylor Swift. 

Miley Cyrus. While Taylor Swift was all over the news we can’t forget that so was Miley. Twerking and smoking her way across our news.

 The Downfall of LA Clipper owner Donald Sterling.

Trouble in the Ukraine. Putin this and Putin that. 

North Korea. After Taylor Swift it was all North Korea. Now that is compounded with more.
The Interview. North Korea filled our news outlets then along came The Interview and the Sony cyber break-in. 

Pot legalization. 

The Ice Water Challenge.

Data Breaches among our major retail outlets.

Gaza and Israel.

Oscar Pistorius. 

Shocking Celebrity deaths.

Nicki Minaj and the Great Booty Debate. Anaconda and  Booty by JLo and Iggy Azalea. Who has the best Booty?


Top Booty Songs of 2014
A list of songs that people listened to for their fix of Booty.

Booty by JLo and Iggy Azalea

Dance A$$ by Big Sean featuring Nicki Minaj

Bubble Butt by Major Lazer featuring Bruno Mars, 2 Chainz, Tyga & Mystic

Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen

Ms. New Booty by Buba Sparxx featuring Ying Yang Twins

Wiggle by Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg

My Humps by Black Eyed Peas

Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child

Anaconda by Nicki Minaj

Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot

Top Shocking Celebrity Deaths of 2014

Robin Williams                                                         Philip Seymour Hoffman

Joan Rivers                                                                Richard Attenborough

Lauren Bacall                                                            James Garner

Elaine Stritch                                                             Casey Kasem

Bob Hoskins                                                               Mickey Rooney

Harold Ramis                                                             Shirley Temple Black

Sid Caesar                                                                   Maya Angelou

 L’Wren Scott (Fashion Designer and former girl-friend of Mick Jagger)

Ann B. Davis (Alice from Brady Bunch)

Russell Johnson (The Professor from Gilligan’s Island)

Dave Madden (Rueben Kincaid from Partridge Family)

Bob Casale (Devo founding member)

Genesis Carmona (Miss Venezuela)

David Brenner (Comic)

Scott Kalvert (Director of The Basketball Diaries)

James Rebhorn (Frank Mathison from Homeland)

Peaches Geldof (Bob Geldof’s daughter)

Rik Mayall (Fred from Drop Dead Fred)

Meshach Taylor (Anthony Bouvier from Designing Women)

Don Pardo (Legendary Announcer)

Molly Glynn (From Chicago Fire)

Richard Kiel (Jaws from the James Bond Movies)

Top Youtube Videos of 2014

What was the Grumpy Cat of 2014?

Mutant Giant Spider Dog

Nike Football: Winner Stays

First Kiss

Sister Christina Scuccia on “The Voice of Italy”

iPhone 6 Plus Bend Test

Top Scandals of 2014

Bill Cosby- Is America’s most famous dad a serial rapist?

Bruce Jenner- Is he doing a sex change or not?

Iggy Azalea- And Iggy is fighting with….? –From Snoop Dogg on down who hasn’t’ Iggy fought with?

Jason Biggs- Inappropriate Twitter comments. – From his tweets about the Malaysian airlines to his posts about peeing on Chelsea Handler and having sex with a hooker while his wife watched.

Sarah Hyland – After breaking up with her boyfriend she went vocal on the abuse she allegedly suffered from him.

Teresa Guidice – The Real Wives of New Jersey star and her husband are convicted to prison for lying to the government and creditors during bankruptcy.

Willow Smith – A 13 year old young girl and a 20 year old man, Moises Arias posing for incriminating photos. The young man was shirtless and lying in bed with the young Willow.

Jay Z – and Solange Knowles. The elevator incident, which we really don’t know what transpired to cause the resulting scandal.

The Interview – North Korea and the Sony cyber break-in which results in most theaters refusing to show the film.

Nude Photos – The leaking of hundreds of female celebrities that were stolen and posted online. Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and many others.

Stephen Collins- Another image of America's symbol for father confesses to molesting young girls.

Mama June – The separated mother to Honey Boo Boo and her alleged relationship with Mark McDaniel, the convicted sex offender.

Tori Spelling – Her marriage to Dean McDermott s rocked by his affair and the public watch True Tori seeing the entire ordeal play out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

How To Not Fall Into The Pit of Darkness----DIY Fun To Keep Me Sane

Keeping a mind busy is not an easy thing so I find as many ways as possible to keep my sanity in check. To do that I have spent many years doing crafts and other creative things. For Cole I created this window so he has the bright colors streaming in during the early morning hours. 

I am very happy to say he loves it. He spends a lot of time just staring at the images with a very wonderful smile on his face. The ultimate prize for any mother is that sweet smile.

The symbols of Yoshi, a minion, plants vs zombies characters, and the many minecraft characters were a ball to paint. Especially knowing the look on his face when he saw them. 

For me keeping this creative flow going was part of the reason I immersed myself in reading and writing from the time I was a small girl. I love falling into the imaginative story world where the possibilities are endless.

That world can be all sweet and innocent, where families love and care for one another. Or it can be a fantasy world so outlandish that you are blown away. But some of my favorite stories are the ones I have to think about, a good who-dun-it to keep my mind fresh.

Whatever you do to help keep yourself sane is a great thing, so find an outlet. Maybe it is something you can make money from, if that is the case then go for it. Extra money is always good.

Or if you are just a creative person who loves to paint, write, or build then jump up and add wonderful things to this cold dark world.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas is Cancelled, Suicidal Days and Red Lights

The Holidays, a time for looking back at distant memories and hopefully working toward making new ones. But for a large part of society this is the worst time of the year. While it has often been thought that this time of year is the leading time of suicides, that may well be a myth. According to the CDC the rate of suicides actually falls during the Christmas season only to rise in the spring and fall. ( )

Whatever the time of year for someone to take their own life really doesn't matter. The truth is that the Christmas season is a very difficult time of year. Everyone is stressed about buying presents that they probably can't afford, spending time with family they would rather not, and then there is the thoughts of tax season following on the heels of all the money spent on Christmas.

So the stress not only starts but is piled upon like a stack of Jenga blocks just waiting for the wrong pull and then it all falls to a crumpled heap. Sure you will see some doing their best to put smiles on their faces because they so desperately want to be happy. But are they happy? I highly doubt it.

In recent media we have been seeing the headlines about a couple who cancelled Christmas for their kids because they want to teach them to appreciate what they have. ( ). Okay in this instance I can agree, the youth of today really have no idea how to appreciate or work for what they get.

We have moved into a society that gives and gives to our kids. Don't get me wrong I am a parent that gives a lot to my own, but I strive to teach them the value of everything. And for the most part it has worked out. Cole has a great sense of what things are worth and takes such good care of them.

Still when I hear this story I am reminded of a time when our own kids were little. Our great-nephew is just 4 months younger than our oldest and he was an only child. His dad (our nephew) and his wife, for lack of a better word to call her, weren't able to afford presents for him. It wasn't because they didn't have the money, it was because they weren't willing to give up their partying habits for him.

I will never forget the day he came running up to me and Lynn crying his little heart out. We asked him what was wrong. His little voice could barely whisper that his mama had told him Santa wasn't coming because he was a bad boy.

It was so awful to see the pain in his eyes as he told us how he must have been such a bad boy, cause Santa loved everyone. I was furious and confronted his parents, they said well they just couldn't spare the money so they thought this would be better for him. Needless to say he had a Christmas that year, because we provided for him.

So if this Mother wants to cancel Christmas my only hope is that she is very plan with her children as to why. Telling a child they are so bad that Santa will not come is an awful scar I am not sure will heal. If she handles it right then it could be a valuable lesson, so I guess time will tell.

For me this season is really not about presents, even though I adore giving them. It is about being grateful for my life and my family. Other than that I just love the lights and all the bright red colors. What can I say I am a sucker for decorations.

You see it has always been those colors and decorations that keeps me semi-sane this time of year. Even as a child I relied on the beauty to help me keep a grip on the mania and depression that just lies beneath the surface for me. I can completely get lost in a Christmas tree by just staring at it for hours.

I still have trouble during the holidays, which is something I have come to grips with. It is a difficult time for me, because of all the memories of people no longer here or who have passed away and that is hard. I miss them all so much and it is beyond my control.

Sure I will probably always have those truly deep dark moments during the Christmas season that threaten to drag me to the pits of hell, but that is just how it is.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Truth: Journey to MMJ Patient from Naive Kid to Troubled Teen and Beyond

The journey for me to a point where I could actually take a puff of a joint was a long, hard struggle. I had the voices of so many in my head telling me this was wrong, this was illegal and it would send me straight to hell.

But those same voices were no where to be found when I was in such a deep depression as a teen that all I wanted to do was leave this life. None of them were doing anything for me during those deep dark times. Yet, they still had such a hold on me that I could not get past the low self-esteem they brought out in me.

Sure I had lots of cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents, but none of them really made me feel worthy of breathing the same air as they did. And all the time I thought it was me. I kept telling myself if I were better, if I were prettier, if I were smarter then it would be better. It never mattered that I was an honor student, salutatorian of my 8th grade class, nor did it matter that I was in Who's Who Among American High School Students. I never really did enough.

I tried, oh how I tried. I played all sports and tried to excel in all of them. I was all-star and on the A team when my other class mates were on the B team. Yet it still wasn't enough. During practice our coach would have us do 100 line sprints, but Daddy who was in the stands watching insisted I do an extra 100. Because as he put it, I could and well it would help me. So I did.

Then as I practiced my long jumps, Daddy didn't think I got enough height so he helped me practice. His idea of helping me height was to hold a shovel out that I had to jump over. Needless to say I have multiple scars and knots on my shins from the times I never made enough height.
For those who wonder, I did get better at my long jumps. It was that 'motivation' that made me get better. Was it right? Probably not, but it was all he knew. Do I hate him for doing it? No, he tried. Was it right to have done it? No. It was just the way things were. He pushed me and he pushed me hard. Turned me into a competitive person who really isn't good at losing. So maybe it was a great thing when you put it that way.

At that time in my life, no it was not a good thing. It was just another time I felt inferior to the rest of the world. As I brought home perfect grades and honors for excellence, Larry brought home grades that just were above failing. And he was the one praised. It only added fuel to the fire inside of me that said I wasn't worth anything.

It was those thoughts that haunted me whenever I tried to feel 'normal'. But what the doctors don't tell you when you are bipolar is that you will never truly feel like the 'normal' that other people feel. At this point in my life all I felt was in the way and useless.

My life was definitely not what the world saw. I am sure that no one I knew at that time knew I was in such a deep darkness that I thought of death all the time. I worried too much about letting anyone know. It was just another thing that made me feel like I was in the way and if I did go through with killing myself it would only aggravate them farther.

My first nervous breakdown was at 5. Sure you are wondering exactly what the hell could make a five year old break down like that. But for me it was a Teacher or sub who called me a liar, then she grabbed me and shook me so hard. It caused me to go deep into another world simply because I truly didn't know that people lied. I thought if you said it then it was true and I thought the whole world was that way.

Boy did I learn the hard way that wasn't true. Then in the 3rd grade I had another break where I was terrified to ride the bus because a Senior in High School had pulled my hair so hard he pulled a bald spot. I broke down in fear again.

These moments were just starts and stops on the road of anti-psychotic drugs and massive anti-depressants. It began with Lithium at 5 and I took it for nearly 4 years. Now that was Lithium in the 60's and it was Strong. I was more of a little zombie than a child.

It didn't make the feelings go away nor did it stop the nightmares or the depression. That only led to many other pharmaceutical attempts to 'cure' me of my affliction. An affliction that my parents just knew could be prayed out of me. It was something they often told me was only in my head and I needed to get over it.

Bipolar disorder unfortunately is not something you can just GET OVER. But that was the way they thought and that was life for me. Would I ever feel like I belonged anywhere?

In my head it feels like it was just yesterday that I would sit on the cabinet while Mama would crush the lithium pill so I could get it down. I had an over active fear of choking so I couldn't swallow the thing whole.

This was my life growing up. Taking pills, hiding in the closet when I went manic, every extreme emotion imaginable, and always being told to keep this from anyone. When I asked if they were ashamed of me, my parents always said no. But their eyes spoke otherwise. So I hid it.

I hid nearly all of me from the world as a kid. Even when I wrote in my diary I hid my true feelings because my cousin liked to read my diary. And I didn't want to say anything that would be truly honest for her to read. So I wrote what I thought she wanted me to.

Having grown up like this, how would I ever turn to what they thought was the Devil's weed to help me? How would I ever do anything that would make them think less of me? So I continued the years of pills, because they wanted me to do that. It didn't matter that those same pills made me feel awful and there are just empty holes in my mind from those bad years that I do not remember.
Any time I would start to fall into a state that they didn't feel comfortable with the Doctor would give me something new or add to the dose of what I was on. Pill after pill I took until I really felt I would turn into a pill. But still I traveled on in the world of being sad and longing all the time for something better. Would it ever come my way? I honestly didn't think so. For me I thought this was as good as it got. After all why was I even here?

Little did I know that the crazy, wild 'pot head' that would come into my life at a time when I needed him most would be the saving grace I needed.

That fateful first date was the true beginning of my life. I was born to be married to my other half, the half that would teach me sanity (or at least as much sanity as I am capable of) and the part that would eventually teach me that the evil reefer of my family was a saving grace in itself.

Stay tuned for more on this journey of enlightenment as I learn that marijuana is a superb alternative for me and it was the miracle that helped Lynn after his head injury. This was a long and hard journey for me, but I am blessed to have traveled it so far.