Archive for the ‘Beautiful Wreck’ Category

HEADCASE: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Writers & Artists on Mental Illness


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rocks in my pockets poster image

The phenomenal animated feature “Rocks In My Pockets” is debuting on VOD & DVD January 29! Be the first among your family and friend to see this exceptional movie – check in here to http://ykr.be/lcl6hb8ls pre-order both rentals and purchases of the film.

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imageof-bottle-of-pillsI had a really bad week: stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and really thick brain fog. I thought maybe I was getting the flu, but my symptoms didn’t mature into flu and I couldn’t understand why brain fog would be a part the deal.

I was looking at my situation trying to figure it out, and thought to myself, “Wow, this really feels like transitioning onto a new medication.” And then it occurred to me: I had been taking a different generic Lamictal than my usual Teva. Yeah, I know some folks hate Teva with a passion, but it’s what I started with a decade ago and remains very good to me.

I also know many doctors and pharmacists tell us all the time that all generics are equal – they are not. This is, I believe, a major reason so many of us who want to try to maintain a steady medication regime have horrible side-effects, adverse reactions, and generally bad experiences with various medications: the crummy generics and constant switching of brands every time we refill a script.

Thankfully found in my cupboard a partial bottle of Teva brand Lamotrigine. But, I was so sick from the shitty “Lamictal” I wasted an entire day sleeping off the horrid effects of the other stuff.

Feeling much better now.

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Standing on the precipice of tipping over into a half-century of living, I joyfully look forward to my 51st birthday on September 10th, which also marks World Suicide Prevention Day.

It’s been nine solid years years since I stopped my repeated attempts to kill myself. I am happier now than ever. A young friend is here from Australia via Toronto to celebrate, and, with my girlfriend, prepare a birthday dinner for a fun, private evening.


anniversarybook11But, I still can remember when I was in the slough of despond for so many long years. I remember how it was to feel helpless and in dangerous despair. I never want to go there again. The good news is I no longer find myself in the very dark spaces I once occupied. In fact, I feel very distanced from that person who was not-me for 42 years.

More here: World Suicide Prevention Day and Me | Fifty is the New Fifty.

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Book cover


  1. Katy
  2. Lisa
  3. Iliana 
  4. Kitty
  5. Ann 
  6. Megan
  7. Jane 
  8. Doris
  9. DeAnna
  10. Sylwia

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Hey folks, look to the right of this post and enter to win one of 10 books I am giving away to celebrate my 51st birthday, which always falls on World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10). Good luck!


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Another 5-Star review of Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies & Suicide:


“I’m not often comfortable when writers delve into their darkness – addictions, depression, suicide attempts – and speak about them so honestly – shining a light into that darkness, so to speak. Something about this author’s matter of factness of description, however, brought me methodically into her world and made the subject matter intense and vivid but never lurid and exploitative. I felt I was accompanied the entire time by a clear eyed survivor who had made it through her own hell and lived to tell the tale. Well worth the read.”


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The sun rises again

sunrise August 1 2014

My girlfriend’s sister jokes about people posting photos of sunrises, it’s banal she says.

I feel very different: every sunrise is a gift and makes me grateful for being alive for yet another day. That’s something my illness tired to take away from me three times.

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photo-325Yesterday, I was in an out of the pharmacy in less than an hour at my local public hospital where I get healthcare on a sliding scale basis. My scripts are 2 bucks apiece and each visit to the outpatient psych clinic  is only $15. This is not brought to me by Obamacare, the insurance scam of the century, but Artists Access, a health program created for artists in NYC.

I have a 5-10 minute psych visit every two months to get my prescriptions paired with a quick, obligatory psychology visit every three months to make sure I remain stable.

So 4 scripts at $2 each = $8 + shrink at $15 =$23 + psychologist at $15 =$38 a month for my mental health care. This is exactly as it should be! Not forcing me to pay $500+ monthly under Obamacare and then on top of that paying out a yearly deductible, plus co-pays for doctor visits and also medications that, of course, are not in the formulary. This is why I will not join Obamacare and will instead pay a penalty of a few hundred bucks – it’s still less than a month of a bogus insurance premium.

I know most folks mental healthcare is not so inexpensive or straight forward, I know that. Mine hasn’t been in the past and may not be again in the future. But for now, I’m very grateful for this program which provides me with good care at an affordable price.


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http://www.freeimages.co.ukIt’s a constant effort to ensure journalists, including writers at “progressive”, reputable and even “venerable”publications, use correct language when describing people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

The “people first” language guidelines ere greatly expanded in the midst of the terrible, initial (and subsequent) reporting about HIV/AIDS. Calling everyone with an illness a “patient” diminishes greatly (or completely demolishes) our agency as individuals and raises questions about our veracity and reliability. This also implies we are not believable sources or reliable narrators.

The AP Stylebook added guidelines about reporting on people diagnosed with mental illness in early 2013. http://www.ap.org/Content/Press-Release/2013/Entry-on-mental-illness-is-added-to-AP-Stylebook.

And, there are expanded resources for those journalists interested in fair, accurate, and responsible reporting on the topic:

Journalists and other writers can find plenty of other resources and guidelines online and from professional writers organizations.


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