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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Zombies need vitamins

Sometimes too much stuff happens in too short of a time period and then I don't know how to write all of that down and it feels like it will take forever so I just watch the Walking Dead instead. But today I remembered the concept of a list.

1. I had to get a bunch of teeth taken out. I misunderstood what the dentist told me so for a few weeks I walked around thinking I was going to have big giant gaps in my front teeth for an unspecified time. At first I freaked out, then I decided to use it as an opportunity to let go of the mandate that all girls are conditioned to follow from birth, the unspoken tyranny that your worth and value is defined by how you look. After I accepted this it began to feel like freedom from something I didn't know had always constrained me.
 Then I went to the dentist, got the teeth out, looked in the mirror and realized that I had misunderstood him and the missing teeth aren't really that noticeable at all. But I was given the opportunity to like myself anyway-even when I was facing the idea of walking around with a big snaggle toothed smile, which reminded me once again (life keeps reminding me of this, over and over) that things aren't usually as bad as they seem, and you can find the silver lining in almost any experience if you look for it.
(When the worst thing ever happens to you- that is one more thing you now don't have to be afraid of.)

2. The epinephrine in the shot my dentist gave me caused me to have a porphyria attack, which landed me in the hospital for five days (including my birthday and Valentines Day) While I was there they discovered I have a zinc deficiency (which causes, among other things, psychosis, depression, and cracking, rapidly decaying teeth) I began taking zinc and N-Acetyl-Cysteine (an antioxidant that is the precursor to something called glutathione.) Without enough glutathione your body can't process and get rid of toxins like heavy metals. They build up in your tissues (like the brain) and cause all kinds of diseases and central nervous system dysfunction.

(Then I got a really sophisticated heavy metals test and discovered that I have extremely high levels of mercury and lead in my body. Both mercury and lead can induce what is called 'acquired porphyria'. So now I know why I got sick, and I'm taking stuff that removes these substances from my body.)

3. Within a few days of taking these supplements my anxiety; the weepy, unexplained sadness at inappropriate times and soul crushing depression disappeared and hasn't come back. It's been seven weeks I'd had a pretty consistent feeling of calm, happy well being--which feels like bliss after years of misery. This happened pretty much overnight.
I will be writing more about the science behind this because I think it's fascinating and extremely relevant but I want to make this point really clear- I have cured my depression and it looks like I'm curing my porphyria with vitamin and mineral supplements. I am not taking pharmaceutical antidepressants.

4. Here is what it's like to emerge from a long, seemingly never ending nightmare of physical and emotional pain-
Nothing has changed. I am still broke. I'm still tired a lot. I still have the same problems I had seven weeks ago-
But I feel good.

 I find myself laughing at things when they're funny. Really laughing-like when you try to stop and you can't, you wipe tears out of your eyes instead, which I haven't been able to do for years. (glutathione)
I have an appetite, I can taste my food again. I've gained ten pounds. (zinc)
Instead of feeling like I am watching myself from afar like a character in a movie I'm really in my body again. (methylated folate, B6, B12)
I feel like myself.
I don't wake up at four AM in a panic worried about everything. If something bad happens I know I will handle it.
I can hear the birds sing again. (That might not be a vitamin. That might be the boyfriend)

5. I fell in love. That, by itself, can change everything. Especially if your body is suddenly capable of methylating your folic acid and processing your toxins.

So- now I'm having all of these moments where I think "Oh, this is that moment I used to imagine when that crazy, awful nightmare would be over and my life would be so awesome. The one that I kept imagining but the biggest part of me didn't really believe would ever happen, not really. That moment is now."
So-depressed people! That can totally happen.
It keeps surprising me.
I had forgotten what it was like to feel good.

I believe that the relatively recent spike in psychiatric disorders is caused by a combination of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and an overwhelming toxic load of substances we didn't evolve to be able to process. I think this because I have spent thousands of hours lying in bed reading medical studies to understand what's wrong with me, and with the help of a PHD biochemist-I am curing my lifelong disorder. I'm going to write about this in more depth later because when you lay it all out for people it really makes a lot of sense.
But right now, since getting better is a long process, I'm going to go watch another episode of the Walking Dead and think about all the vitamin deficiencies those zombies probably have.


Friday, January 24, 2014

The Worst Thing Ever

Because I read medical studies obsessively for fun, I already knew that porphyria causes gum necrosis when I went to the dentist last week. So I was nervous, and I almost didn't go, but I made my mom go with me for backup.
Which turned out to be a really good thing because the dentist told me that I have six failed root canals that are "massively infected down to the bone." Which is a shocking piece of information to absorb.
So I'm about to get six teeth pulled.
Two of them are in the front.

I felt bad for the dentist, who talked about it like a funeral or fatal car accident on the interstate. I could see  that he had thought ahead of time about how to say it in a way that wouldn't sound too harsh. I liked him for that.  The hygienist looked like she was trying not to cry.
Losing my hair and a bunch of front teeth is pretty much my worst nightmare, except for maybe living in a trailer park or having a flu-like illness nonstop for three years- all of which happened to me this last year and you know what?
I'm okay.

 Wanting it to be different won't change it.
Once you accept that it's easier to have fun.

Since I've lost so much weight a few of the bitchy little old ladies at my Mom's retirement home started a rumor that I'm addicted to meth, so I always flash a big smile when I pass them in the hallway and give them the peace sign.
It pleases me that my missing teeth will give them something to talk about because being old is boring. Nobody comes to see them, and there's never enough to gossip about.
So see? I'm already using my misfortune to help people by entertaining the elderly so it must be making me a better person.
My hair has gotten scraggly thin, so a few weeks ago I dyed it blue. Next I'm going to cut it short, buy a  crazy wig and an eyepatch so I can go into Starbucks and ask people "Is there something in my teeth?"
If I'm invited to cocktail parties I'm going to show up overdressed and tell people I lost my tooth when I got into a fight with a crack whore over the last dryer at the laundromat.
If I can find a cool eye patch I can tell people I lost my teeth at sea
 (*scurvy*)
 back when I was chasing after that damn white whale.

I'm sure the dentist was relieved that I didn't freak out.
Even though it might take me a long time to make the money for replacement teeth I didn't freak out because all of this shit I've been through has given me a spiritual perspective and I'm not afraid of death anymore. Once you handle that you can work it backwards like a math problem to show you the truth of just about anything.
I can deal with being snaggle toothed for a while.

 Here is the thing that no one tells you about suffering- if you just keep on walking all the way through to the heart of what scares you the most
at the last possible second
when you think you would rather die than keep going
it releases its grip on your throat.
And then you are free.

So I'm going to keep on smiling at people at the grocery store and drawing and maybe I'll go on a toothless book tour because
Fuck it.
I'm tired of taking my Self so seriously
and letting that go feels like setting down a dead body that I'd been carrying around so long that the weight of it became normal. I'd forgotten that there was any other way to be.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------


I was sitting outside the retirement home the other day  feeling sorry for myself,
 because I'm getting older,
and it was really fun being a young, pretty girl for a while
and even though all those old women told me it wasn't going to last I didn't believe them,
not really
I thought I was exempt,
the way everyone secretly thinks they're too special to die.

So I was feeling bad, because I've had about three pretty fucked up years in a row, and now they're going to pull out six of my teeth and I texted my friend that getting teeth pulled is horrifying because it feels so final and most of the choices we make now aren't binding
 ( They can even sew amputated limbs back on)
and she responded with-
"My neighbor just had her boob cut off. Its going around."
 I read that, then I looked around and realized I was sitting next to my friend Joe (in a wheelchair) across from Mabel, who is blind.

 The point of the game isn't to hold on as tightly as you can. It's to surrender to and learn to love the life you are given exactly as it is right now.
It may not be what you want.
It might be the Worst Thing Ever.
But it can still be okay.

Not having any money for a long time taught me how to have fun without spending it, and that I am zero percent defined by a number on a bank account or a slip of paper.
I wouldn't give up that freedom for anything,
not even all the money in the world.
If I lose all my hair, If I lose all my teeth, I can learn how to be beautiful anyway.
It doesn't change who I am.
And later-if I make a lot of money and decide to get fancy teeth with ultra whitened nano veneers and built in wi-fi;
that doesn't change it either.
It's the same.
Once you have that
you have everything.

Even with my magic megavitamins I've been really sick lately. Infections make porphyria worse, so getting them removed is likely going to make me feel a lot better, and if that means I can play tag with my daughter and roll around laughing with her in the grass again
then my toothless smile is going to be beautiful-
because she will think so.

We don't have to wait until things are better to be happy.
It's your time to smile
right now.





Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Now I Love Going to the Grocery Store


It’s taken me a few days to start writing again after the kickstarter ended, I think because I was a little bit in shock that we actually pulled it off. I was hopeful in the beginning, but thirty days is a long time and after a few weeks I started to feel afraid.

What if I fail?

What if what I’m trying to do is actually stupid?

 

Which is the little voice inside of us all that keeps us small and prevents us from dreaming big dreams for ourselves. I have spent my life battling this little voice, and getting back up again when I allow it to win and knock me down.

Having spent most of my adult life as an atheist, I always thought people who had faith didn’t go through that. The definition of the word “faith” is kind of the opposite of “doubt” and I envied them this certainty.

Now I understand that without the experience of doubt, we can’t really know faith- which boils down to (I think) knowing that you’re okay.

So three days before the campaign ended, when we still had over 3,000 dollars to go, I reread the ending to my own book and remembered-

“Oh, right- I really believe that. I forgot. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Okay.”

And reminding yourself of this truth (which you always know anyway behind and underneath your conscious mind) feels to me like picking up a long thread that has been running through your life since birth.  Just because you dropped it, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there anymore.

Just pick it back up.
It's not really that big of a deal.

And from then on it was easy-and I tried as hard as I could, and I made it a game, and I wasn’t afraid because I could already see that if I failed that could be funny too, and a story I would tell people later to encourage them after I succeeded the next time. And I had fun with it.

After that it was easy.

I think each time I do that it gets easier, actually.

And now I have so much gratitude for the world and all the people who believed in me that I even had fun at the grocery store because I kept looking in people’s eyes as I passed them in the aisle and smiling, thinking-

“Any one of these people might have given me a dollar last week. Anyone here could be someone who believed in this awesome thing that just happened to me.”

Which reminded me of last year when I was sick and  I didn’t have enough money to pay for my airline ticket to go see my Dad when he was dying and an anonymous woman up at the AA meetings donated her airline miles to me through a friend. So that every time after that I would laugh to myself, thinking-

“Fuck. Any one of these women could be her. Now I have to love everybody up here.”

Which is an awesome feeling, actually.

You can get the same effect by anonymously doing something nice for someone who bugs you by the way.

So everyone at the store got a smile, and most of them smiled back, and instead of hurrying to get out of there and feeling weird and anxious like I sometimes do at the local HEB- it kind of felt like the whole place was full of my friends.

Which is what communicating online can make the world feel like.

And what I feel like as I start drawing things and getting this book I wrote ready to send out  to strangers and people I knew in high school and facebook people I am not really sure how I know you and probably one or two people who are shopping in the aisles of the HEB grocery store up there right now-

Like my world is a smaller, sweeter place each time I reach out and just pick up the thread.

Thank you.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

There are Lots of Vaginas at Bed, Bath, and Beyond








If you draw this card  it represents an opportunity of great freedom, as in the guy you are dating will suddenly tell you he's bought a ticket to see his ex girlfriend in Morrocco, which gives you the opportunity to send "The Second Favorite Text I Have Ever Sent" as follows-

 Me-
I HOPE SHE LEAVES YOU IN THE DESERT AND YOU GET ABDUCTED BY THE SAND PEOPLE AND THEY GIVE YOU A VENEREAL DISEASE THAT WESTERN DOCTORS DON'T KNOW HOW TO CURE.

Him-
WHAT

"The Most Favorite Text I Ever Got To Send" was this text-
to an okcupid date I hadn't met yet who texted at 2 AM-

Him- 
HEY GIRL, WHAT'S UP

Me-
"I'm SORRY< BUT I BROKE MY VAGINA YESTERDAY IN A FRISBEE GOLF ACCIDENT. GOOD LUCK IN YOUR SEARCH, THOUGH. TRY BED, BATH, AND BEYOND. I'VE HEARD THERE ARE LOTS OF VAGINAS THERE.

So, in conclusion, what I am saying is this-
Online dating can be really fun
if your idea of "fun" is sitting at home in your sweatpants cracking your own self up writing text messages to strangers.

Go to my Kickstarter campaign and donate a dollar.I have two days left for Christs sake.
Thanks :)








Here's an excerpt from my book about this one time I went super crazy in my FEMA trailer. It's towards the end of the book, just so you know.


page 402-

This is the part of the movie where you see our heroine go batshit crazy. I know, the last time it really seemed like she had finally hit bottom. Come to think of it, so did the time before that.

But life doesn't always adhere to a strict Aristotelian plot line, rather, it twists and coils back into itself like vines of circuitry on a flashing mother board. Just when you think the story has resolved itself there is always a last minute twist.

"Aww man! How many nervous breakdowns is this bitch going to have?" your husband whispers to you in the dark. "If she's going to go crazy again I'm getting another box of Junior Mints."

And you shush and wave him off, even though he's gained a lot of weight in his hips this year since you had to get rid of the gym membership and his ass is starting to resemble the round, womanly behind of your Aunt Edith- either because you are thinking-

"I almost poured myself a tall glass of Drano last week because I feel so lost and alone-If this crazy, white trash slut can pull herself out of this then maybe I can too"

or you think-

"I have wanted to see that bitch get taken down a peg or two since junior high, this is awesome!"

(In which case why don't you come on down to the trailer park and we'll settle this once and for all Bobbie Joe Seton. I'm waiting for you.)

When the scene opens the light outside is just breaking dawn. She has been pacing up and down the length of her FEMA trailer all night, stopping to scrawl a note on one of hundreds of pieces of paper that cover every surface. Muttering to herself as she slides over them in her socks. Her daughter is gone. She is alone.

She catches her reflection in the compact-sized mirror mounted above the sink and stops, taking in an image of a middle age woman wearing a hunter’s cap, four pens and a cigarette pushed into the crazy, unwashed curls escaping from underneath its fur lined flaps.

What is happening to me?

She grabs a ball point pen and a spiral notebook, sits down at the tiny, diner style table inside her trailer and begins to write down her symptoms.

"Thyroid Storm"

"What I find interesting" says the woman in a lab coat as she frowns over her glasses to read the words her patient is scrawling into a spiral notebook. "Is how she is simultaneously experiencing one reality and observing herself experience it-as if she is watching a movie about a girl reading a book about a girl watching a movie about herself." Our heroine continues to write as though she can't hear them, as though they do not exist.

"Ahhhh! A sort of meta-disassociation! Read that last part right there-" her colleague points with one hand, rubbing his bearded chin thoughtfully with the other. "I've never seen a delusion like this. She is writing down everything we say as though we are characters in the imaginary movie. How fascinating."

She adjusts the lens of the video camera mounted on the table, zooming in to a close-up of the words the girl is steadily printing on the page. "We found her roaming around barefoot by the dumpster talking about particles and some guy named Jake Gyllenhal" says the doctor.

"Will she ever recover?" he asks her as they gather their clipboards and Starbucks cups to go.

"I doubt it. I'm going to publish this case in a medical journal. After that the University will have to give me tenure."

"Jolly Good" He says heartily, and they shut the door.

I get up to pee, clutching my stomach and stumbling past the tiny sink full of dishes on her way to the suitcase sized bathroom. I can hear the escapee mouse scurrying behind the walls. The bathtub is full of dirty laundry and books.

"Why am I making myself so sick?" I wonder, hating myself. I flush the toilet and walk back down the hallway of the trailer to begin transferring my written notes into the computer. There is a piece of half eaten toast on the floor. A rotting apple core sits in the middle of one of the full ashtrays on the table. The escapee mouse has chewed into a bag of potato chips and strewn them in a clever trail back to its hideout under the bed should it need to find its way Hansel and Gretel style.

"If I can just figure out what is happening I can stop it." I think as I type. "Am I crazy enough to make myself sick, or am I sick with something that is also making me crazy?"

But even as I type up my research notes to show my doctor next week, I lose myself again in a dream.

"My mother spent my childhood lying in bed, pretending to be sick, but she was really just crazy." Ruby will say to her therapist during her midlife crisis. "I know, my Dad told me."

She will cut off all contact with me, refusing to visit me in the State Mental hospital anymore, even at Christmas. She will continue to be close with her father and Petco, who raised her with love and provided the stability her mother could not as she drifted from trailer to group home to various homeless shelters.

I look around the trailer. Greg is right about me. What kind of environment is this for a child?

Then I see the murals I painted on the walls with my daughter, giant happy suns above multicolored raindrops, otters swimming through the air up to bedazzled spaceships steered by circus mice. I see the puppets we designed out of felt lying on top of the dirty laundry, the elaborate obstacle training course for the mice who have not yet escaped; and decide that maybe I’m okay. I can’t clean, I can’t get a job, I can’t get better, I can’t be a "Normal" mom- but my child knows she is loved.

"You have to tell yourself the story of where you want to go." My dad told me once as we canoed down the Willamette River before he got sick. He pulled the oars out of the water and let the boat drift downstream. "Change your story, you change your life. You're the captain of the ship, kid."

I see my mother drinking coffee with me on the porch. We are close again, like we used to be. I see Fiona pulling me out on the dance floor, laughing and looking gorgeous in some crazy neon glitter bodysuit. I see myself having the energy to play hide and seek with Ruby in the front yard of our house. She is whole, and so am I. She is crazy about the man I fall in love with, who loves me too-just the way I am.

("Man, if there has ever been a better example of a 'high-maintenance girlfriend' I’ve never seen it." Says every future Ok-Cupid date I will ever meet.)

"No one wants to date you because you don't have your life together. It's not cute anymore. Why don't you just go to beauty school and get some marketable skills?" texts my mother. "Sitting in that trailer writing and drawing pictures of the thyroid isn't going to fix your financial problems. Greg is better for her than you are. He has a job and a home that he owns."

"After I fly down there and take the author as my bride," thinks Jake Gyllenhal as he watches the finale of ‘Thyroid Storm" on pay per view. "I'm going to slap that smug look off that bastards face. What kind of man acts like that?"

Which reality will she choose?

"This better not be the scene I saw in the preview where Jake Gyllenhal gives her a sexy massage in their underwear in the honeymoon suite on that heart shaped bed!" Trey says out loud as he throws the remote control on the ground.

"WHORE!" He screams into the night sky under a softly falling rain, shaking his fists at the gods. Then he stops, takes a deep breath and goes inside, lights some incense and sits down in the lotus position. He breathes in and out with the Universe and remembers that both he and the whore are children of God.

"I saw this coming, all right." Thinks Richard as he watches the last scene of 'Thyroid Storm' on his iphone while he waits for his next patient. "She is the bodhisattva, she is waking up."

"I think that stepfather might have been a friend of mine too." Says the ghost of Bill W. as he watches Thyroid Storm on pay per view his wife Lois in their cloud bed up in Heaven. "All those boxed wine coolers that guy had? This poor girl is clearly a dry drunk. She must have gotten stuck on Step Four. What a shame!"

"Aww Hell no! I'll tell you what she outta do God Damn it!" Yells Granny Pearl as she takes a pull from the tequila bottle in her purse. "Put yourself on some high heels, some red lipstick, and a ski mask-borrow yourself a gun from that weird looking survival guy and go hold up the Piggly Wiggly-you know the one up on Decatur where your cousins baby daddy used to work at? Get some fast cash, hightail it down to Mexico and find yourself another honey!" She laughs, slapping her knee. "HELL YES!"

"Is that you, Shitbird?" Oliver slurs into the payphone behind the great honky-tonk in the sky. "See what I tolt you? Money don’t grow on trees."

I throw the pen and spiral notebook into the trash. I can’t concentrate.

"You are so stupid." I think as I lie down and pull the covers over my head."Who do you think you are?" The answer that comes as I fall asleep is-

"Nobody."

"Is this almost over?" asks your husband as he sits down with a box of Crazy Fish in one hand and some Reese's Pieces in the other.

"I thought you were getting Junior Mints" you say, annoyed.

"Shhh!" He whispers, pointing at the screen. "Here comes the good part."

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Stop Pretending You Aren't Smug About Kale

Here's the latest card in this project I am doing called
"I Am Totally Resigned To Never Dating Again"

 No I forgot it's actually called "Online Dating Tarot Cards."

Because- Single Ladies! Let me tell you- it's not enough to write a book about suicide and depression, what men really LOVE is the idea that not only are you moody and possibly unstable, but you also enjoy making them into a caricature in the form of clever online art.
I really never think this stuff through for long enough before I decide it's a good idea.
Fuck it.

Okay- If you draw "The White Rapper" card  in the Tarot deck it means -

"You just got real lucky, girl. Maybe you can watch me and my roommate "jam" on our date. Afterwards I will buy you a six pack of PBR to drink while we dry hump in the Burger King parking lot. Congratulations!"


*******************************************************************************


Right after I jinxed myself by writing a post about getting better( because I have porphyria-- just google it--in case I forgot to say that)
 -I got sick again. Which is really unfair because I have been (mostly) taking my methylated B Vitamins and eating more kale than anyone should, and beet greens.
When you eat kale, and the leafy shit on top of the beets, it's like you are doing something sacred; slightly superior-maybe even holy.

You pat yourself on the back "You're doing something Good"
and think about all the idiots eating a delicious, fatty, cancer-filled hamburger right now.
Poor bastards.
They just don't know any better.

No one eats kale without expecting a symbolic gold medal in return. Maybe you think "I am not going to get pancreatic cancer like Uncle Bob did."
or you think-
"I am totally going to get an A in my kundalini yoga class later"

or if you are me-

"If I eat enough of this shit and take everything that guy gave me including the giant, tampon size fish oil capsules that I hate--I won't be sick anymore. I can be Normal."
-or whatever.

-but what I am trying to say is that
there is always an agenda with kale.
Don't pretend like you don't have one.

But mine didn't work, which pissed me off, or maybe it is working but it's that ten steps forward-two steps back thing people always say- because this time I didn't have to go to the E.R with excruciating stomach pain.
Which is awesome because I hate the E.R. because I never get the cute doctor,
so it's progress.
And it didn't last as long as it used to.

So it's working, but slowly, as the 'holistic' approach tends to be.
It's maddening when you are a super impatient person.

And now that I'm finally better here's another one of those cards.
I'm not doing one every day because they take six hours
and I am chronically ill
and I realized that it would be insane to try to do one every day
but I will do thirty of them eventually,
because I said I would.
So there.
Sometimes it rains during the marathon and you take a break and then you start running again.

Here is a haiku  from the White Rapper about running-

"Girl I like to run/
from cops, my baby mama/
I'm going to cum."

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rainbows and Unicorns



I get these kind of emails now-

"My son keeps trying to kill himself and I don't know what to do."

"I've lost everything. I'm on Food Stamps. I'm sixty years old and I have to start over."

and just simply,

"I'm scared. I don't feel like I'm going to be okay."

I don't really have the answers or any useful advice except- "I have been there. You're okay."
I remember feeling like that all the time last year, like nothing was ever going to get any better. Then I had this crazy religious experience that embarrasses me to talk about because it sounds so goofy, but it changed my life. So I wrote this book because I think a lot of people feel the way I used to (and sometimes still do).

The worst part about it is having to pretend to the world that everything is great. For one thing, it takes an incredible amount of energy that you really don't have. And it makes you feel alone because nobody else is talking about their struggles either.
When you are suffering it seems like everyone else is happy, and the idea that you could be happy again someday too can feel as impossible as deciding,

"Today I will believe in God." if you are an atheist,
or
"Today I will believe in unicorns."

You can't will yourself into believing in anything, just like you can't talk yourself into falling in love.
 It's so easy to believe that there is nothing more to us than our biological existence, that the world is an unfeeling, unconscious result of a lucky combination of chemical compounds evolving over millennia; that we are just motes of dust that flicker into existence for no discernible reason for a second and then extinguish.

Yet-
There is something else and we all know it.
There is a part of you that nothing can touch,
even if your worst fears come true,
even if you are alone,
even if you die.
It's the part of you that is watching you live your life with nothing but compassion,
and it's the part of you that is "God".

For me it was like remembering something. It's what enabled me to write a 140,000 word book in a year while I was sick, living in a FEMA trailer with no heat or hot water. It's what made me go out and make a video by asking strangers to help me even though I have severe, crippling, social anxiety disorder. It's the "me" that knows on some deep level that none of this is real, that paradoxically all of it is much more "real" and amazing than any of us really allow ourselves to be conscious of; and that ultimately there is nothing to fear and none of us are ever truly alone.

The man in this video is named Bobo. He gave us this song to use in my Kickstarter video. He's homeless, and this song is what he has left to give the world. A lot of people feel that way even if they have a home, like they are broken and falling and there is no one they can talk to about it- which is like being invisible. And believing in yourself when you feel that way is harder than suddenly deciding to believe in unicorns.
That's why I wrote my book, and it's why I would like people to keep writing these things down and sending them to me. Maybe there is no one else to tell, and you feel invisible.

You can tell me,
and then I'm going to make some cool art about it.
Maybe I will make everyones stories into a book and illustrate it.
Maybe we will find Bobo and hire him to create music from one line of each letter,
Maybe I will just read them all and a bunch of people will know that at least one person gets it and gives a damn even if I've never met you-
I'm not really sure yet.
I do know it will be awesome whatever it is.
I'm calling it "Project Rainbows and Unicorns" in honor of Bobo, who continues to create beauty and sing about hope even though he's on the street tonight.
 Send me your struggles.

 I will give you this-
It's going to be okay,
because you are already okay.
You don't have to believe in unicorns,
just keep going.


Bobo singing Rainbows and Unicorns

Support my Kickstarter




Excerpt from "Beauty Tips for the Bereaved"
The day after my Dad died.

I am sitting on my oddly constructed, purple porch in front of my trailer watching the last of the sunset when I begin to have a strange feeling.
I'm reminded of watching thunderstorms move across the sky in West Texas when I was a child.

 


Something is about to happen.

 
The sky is clear, it's still hot even though it's late October. I put on "Brokedown Palace" and sit down on my gnome sized couch to smoke some G-13 out of the pipe my Dad gave me up in Portland. Then I close my eyes and realize that he is in the room with me.

 

"You came back," I say and then immediately know it's true. I open my eyes and begin to cry. He seems to be in the surface of every object I turn my eyes to. He is the clock, the lamp, the chocolate cake in a to go container on my bedside table. He isn't sick anymore. He isn’t a crazy jerk either. It’s as though all of that has been dissolved and he is made of light.

"I had no idea!" He laughs. I know instantly what he means through another kind of communication that has no words. He tells me that what he is now is exponentially better than he could have imagined it. He is like a glowing sunset colored cloud fizzling around me, but the instant I register his color and shape I also know that he isn't that at all. That's just how my brain is processing it, he actually exists in a state that can't be detected by sight or described with words.

"I'm so sorry."

I say, meaning both the fight we just had before he died and the one twenty years ago on the seventh floor of the Adolescent Ward. As soon as the thought forms I already know the reply.

 

"You leave a field where you have just had a picnic and watched the sunset with someone you love dearly. Do you carry the chatter of the grackles with you?"

I see them flying suddenly, a black cloud of noise obliterating the orange light of the sunset for an instant, then dispersing into the sky.

I am me, I am my dad. He is pure delight.

I am the field, the slight breeze clipping under the birds wings. And the nothingness they disappear into.

 

I am the mysterious shift in the weight of the air contained within the cathedral as Father Barclay makes a cross with his thumb over Tracey's wasted forehead.

I am infinitely small, worlds within worlds.

I am vast beyond comprehension. Unknowable, I know everything. I am a billion dying suns exploding and contracting into black holes and the dimensions they suck into. I am the substance of everything, it’s very definition.

I am you, and the annoying temp in the cubicle next door who stole your Eat, Pray, Love coffee cup last week.

I am nothing at all.

 

I am beyond comprehension.

 

"This is what we are," he says. I see a flash of his laugh to the right of my peripheral vision, like a distant star he disappears if I look directly at him. He is like lightning, every wrinkle around his eyes, every tiny hair in his beard lit up gold and orange by the sun as he lifts me up to his shoulders into a blinding light. The light unfolds and opens like origami. I am one entity continuously expressing itself by separating into infinite form, creating, destroying, figuring itself out, reflecting who it is back to itself- I am a giant rock speeding through the cosmos eating itself.

I am here, beams my Dad.

I just am, something in me sings back.

 

Stretching out forever in all directions, I am anchored solidly in myself for the first time in my life.

 

Nothing can hurt me. I realize. I have nothing left to lose.

 

"I thought all of that was so important!" I am laughing and sobbing at the same time. He is next to me.

 

"It's so light." He laughs and opens his hand, saying "Hold it lightly. You already know this."

 

I feel the silent observer that has always been with me move forward to override the signals of my brain. The magic inside an atom, the nothingness of space, the weight of time collapsing upon itself, creating each moment out of nothing, fate and chance compacting into this moment...right...now..the snake eating its tail,

and so on,

and so the paradox goes.

It was totally like that.

And nothing like that at all.

 

Describe the color yellow without referencing an item that is yellow. "You know-like daffodils, like the sun? Oh, right."

Some stories cannot be told in words.

 

"There is nothing to fear." He says again, and I see myself then as he has always seen me-

the way I see Ruby-

a creature made from blinding power and beauty. Whole, perfect, exactly as I should be-

and how he sees me now-

Immortal.

I am not what I look like.

I am not what people think of me.

I am not my body or even my mind.

I am something else, indefinable, using words to describe it is like trying to pin down a hurricane with thumbtacks.

 

He shimmers in the air like sunlight across a rippling pond. He is holding a weathered gardening hoe in his hand. He is still wearing my mother's wedding band. Her reflection on the surface of the gold ring stares back at me, flickering in time with a sliver of sharp pain above my left eye, the one that droops sometimes.

 

"It's time to change your story."

He is the Death Parent now, pulling an arrow from my side.

 

 

There is a different voice, it is made of love.

 


 

I am creating a pattern of myself out of uncertainty every second - But what I create has always been so.
It is impossible for something to exist that is not Me.


You exist, therefore you are Me.

You can never die because you were never born.

You are living and dying and creating your form again everywhere billions of times in the space of a breath.

Do not fear.

Everything is okay.

 
"Holy shit" I laugh in wonder, finally understanding what he is giving me. We really are all tiny unique little snowflakes. The babies in the Sudan are all right.

 

I finally know how to cut through the knot.

 

"Have I lost my mind?" I ask my father. He smiles with so much love and pure compassion that it fills up my heart, spilling out of every cell.

"You know what?" he says. "It doesn't matter."

 

I think of the weeks after Tracey's death when I felt the presence of God and wonder if this will fizzle out too.

"You were just hitting the snooze button then, darlin’," he says. "It's time to wake up."

 

I feel how much he loves me, it will break my heart.

"If you hold on tight, it becomes heavy, serious. Then you lose it."

 

I know then that he has to go.

"See you soon," he says, and snuffs out like a candle.

 

My mother calls. "Your dad just left." she says casually, as though informing me that a strange car has pulled up somewhere down the street. "I woke up sneezing and the whole room smelled like that damn patchouli oil he used to wear. You remember that? God, it was awful," she sighs.

"Mom, then what? What did he say?"

"He said its much better than he expected. He told me not to be afraid, and to pray." She sounds happy.

"Anything else?" I ask.

"He told me to lighten up" she says drily.

"That sounds about right" I tell her, laughing.

 

I go outside and stare up at the stars. I have forgotten that this morning I wanted to die myself. It reminds me of when ET gets all white and sick at the end of the movie so Elliot gets sick too and their blood pressure is dropping at the same time -


If you go down I go down
But then all of a sudden ET dies and Elliot is okay.

 

 


****

For the next several days my Dad's ghost comes and goes. It's actually not "I will always be with you" as dying people often say in movies.

It's more like "I will sporadically be with you at random times."

No one wants their dead father hanging around all the time. Don't act like you don't know why.

 

 

If you were born into a world from a storybook, if you grew up riding unicorns to a gingerbread school every morning, giving the talking weasel crossing guard a high five on your way to dissect a garden gnome in Biology-

 

You would still spend your lunch hour bored, checking Facebook every ten seconds on your phone. You would still be blind to your own beauty and power because we stop seeing the magic in what is familiar.

 

Everything is a gift.

Even our pain.

There are no mistakes.

 

 

I replay the scene one more time from the movie "Thyroid Storm" that I used to have on repeat all day-the one where the heroine’s little daughter rocks herself back and forth in the closet whispering, "My Mommy doesn't love me. My Mommy’s going to get sick and die."

 

Then I let it go.

A crazy mother who disappears for a while might amount to a pile of therapists’ bills and several years of tense Thanksgivings, but my suicide would have crippled something irreplaceable in her. For the rest of her life it would have been that much harder for her to get up off the ground and fly. I forgive myself and I let it be okay.

 

 

 
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Page 81

 
I felt like doing this illustration from the book today instead of an okcupid card and I kept procrastinating and then I realized, "Oh, I can do whatever I want. I made up the rules in the first place."  Which is a lot like life, and I forget that all the time too. So here is today's drawing. Thank you all of the people who backed the Kickstarter today! Amazing. Thank you.
 
 
page 81.......

I would soon come to realize the ward looked the same day and night. The only indication of the time was the absolute, carpeted quiet of lights out. As I lay in bed looking out at the highway, the reality of how much of this could not be undone settled onto me. The girl in the bed next to me moaned with grief like a toddler. Sleep finally came while listening to the cars on the overpass fly past our cuckoo’s nest.


Beauty Tip

Psychiatric wards are not generally thought of as venues to show off one’s best self. Between fluorescent lighting washing out your skin and strict policies forbidding your favorite skin care products, confinement due to mental illness can really take its toll on a beauty regimen—not to mention the Compulsive Shoplifter in narcotics withdrawal who’s vomiting in the bed next to you. Try hoarding packets of sugar and salt in the cafeteria. Your new roomie will likely be delighted to help with this project. When you have enough, you can make your own facial exfoliant and salt scrub for the bath.
 
 

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Survivalist

                                   

When you draw this card it means that the planets are aligned if you are prepared. Unfortunately, The Survivalist is in retrograde right now, so you will find that it's whatever you haven't prepared for that will actually happen. So. Sorry.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Todays Excerpt and Tarot Card


It took four months after my first kickstarter got canceled by this person I can't ever talk about even though the story is super crazy and I want to tell it because I signed a "non- disclosure agreement" ( By the way- because people keep asking me-when you cancel a kickstarter no ones credit card gets charged so no one ended up getting any money from that last one) Now I'm doing it by myself-which is harder but much more fun. The money will be used to format the book into paper copies with illustrations for print on demand and there are lots of new, awesome rewards we didn't have before that start at three dollars. If we can get enough people to back it even at the one dollar level then we can get on the front page so check it out here- Beauty Tips Kickstarter
And thank you to everyone who has donated so far and re-posted it for me! It made 1300 dollars so far in the first 24 hours. I can't wait to tell Jake Gyllenhal. Excerpt for the day- The online dating thing started as a joke. I wrote a fake profile to make Fiona laugh.

About Me: I am crazy about sports. I love football almost as much as I love the Lord. I collect decorative pillows. I want to settle down and start a family as soon as possible!

The first thing people notice about me: I lost my thumbs in a tragic rickshaw accident while vacationing in Laos several years ago. Since they couldn’t find them in the wreckage they sewed dog penises onto my thumb stubs. They work fine, in fact they are barely noticeable-unless I get excited about something.

A few days later I hear from Dr. Seed. His photos show an older man posing in what looks to be a “Glamour Shots” photo booth. Here he is in a lab coat looking serious. In another he strikes a casual pose, draping his jacket over his shoulder. In another he is wearing running shorts and helping a little boy tie his shoe.

Hello Pretty Lady!

I read your profile. I liked you as a person in it very much.
I am MOVING TO TEXAS near you. I have so much to offer a woman, but most women are unable to see this, for some reason.

I love people. I want to get married and have a child. I gladly will accept a woman's prior child, in addition to creating our own child together. Let’s not waste time. Your pictures show how sexy you are.

Have a great day!

“This guy seems hot,” I chuckle, sidling up to the keyboard.

Dear Dr. S,

I am a fertile, 37 year old woman. I desire to have many more children as quickly as possible, and the number of childbearing years ahead of me is dwindling. My eggs are becoming old and feeble. It seems as though we share this desire to have a child together. Am I right?

I already own one child. It would be important that you accept my prior child and not reject it because it's not your own seed. Can you do this? I think you can.
How about religion? I am Wiccan, which is why I could immediately see just from looking at your picture that you and I would produce strong healthy offspring, as well as be very compatible sexually. I know this because Wiccans brew strong teas that enable us to see clearly into the future. You and I are destined to live and breathe as one being, merging into one ManWoman that wears shorts and exercises outdoors and makes viable infants for at least another 4 to 5 years. I also like to travel. Please write back immediately. Please. I am just going to be here waiting for you to write back. Write back okay? I love you, S

I didn’t have to wait long.

Dear “S”:

Thanks for your interesting note. I definitely want to have a child of my own with the woman that I marry. This is one reason why I need a woman who is less than about 40 years old. Due to my age, such forms of fertility assistance may be necessary in my situation as well. Nobody knows until sexual intercourse is done and tests are done, if necessary. As my note to you stated, I can accept and I will accept a child from another relationship that my marital partner has had. Naturally, I would need to see the child and see how it all works.I have never heard of Wiccan. Please tell me more about it and you.

Do you use Skype?

Love, Dr. S.

Pretty hot, right?

Greetings Sexy Dr. S!

I am proficient at Skype. However some crack heads broke into my apartment last week and stole my web cam. They also took my cat, so I am looking for a black cat to replace it if you come across one. Wiccanism is a very old form of yoga that was practiced back in Jesus' time all the way up until the French Revolution when it died out after they beheaded Anne Boleyn for telling people to eat cake. People lost interest in it after that.

But now no one really beheads anymore and it's been enjoying resurgence largely due to the efforts of such celebrities as Ruby O'Donnell and Taylor Swift. It is more than putting magic spells on men to procure their precious essences. It's a way of life. Like meditation. Or, The Secret.

Where did you buy those shorts? They are cute. I would like for you to buy some of these shorts for me please. Then we can match. PLEASE WRITE BACK SOON.

S
*****

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Feeling better makes me want to mock my dates

When you've been really sick for a long time and then you start getting better-you almost don't want to say anything. You don't want to jinx it.
I did that last January when I got on a new seizure drug. Within hours  I felt like a fog lifted, and I got all excited and went around telling everyone I was better. Then I started to have an adverse reaction to it and it actually made me worse. That was a bummer, and the reason why I spent my birthday weeping alone in my trailer watching the Bourne Identity over and over for two days.
This time I've taken each good day with a grain of salt, and the improvement has been slower but steadier. In addition to following my "Regular" doctor's thing, I'm also seeing a biochemist who told me to completely change my diet and take massive amounts of methylated folate and B vitamins. Apparently 30% of the population can't "methylate" their folate(I still haven't asked him what that means) which is one of the ways our bodies get rid of toxins. When the toxins build up our bodies switch on genes for things like autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer's, or porphyria-depending on which genes you have on a helix they call "This Sucks." I'm being specific about this here because it causes depression-and it's the only supplement or drug I've ever taken that has worked without making me sick. If you are depressed and sick maybe call up a biochemist and ask him about "methylation."

So, even though it feels like inching out onto a frozen lake; not sure if it's solid but you start dancing anyway, I'm getting better. I am better. For six weeks, and it's amazing.
First the pain stopped, then my skin stopped turning purple; then one morning I woke up and realized that for the first time in two years I didn't feel like I had the flu. Now it's been weeks, and I feed good every day.
So it's possible. But maybe for some people it just takes a little longer. I know I would have given up if I didn't have my mother.

Some people celebrate victory by running a 5K for charity or something but I'm not an "exercise"  person so instead I'm going to do a marathon of a different sort. In honor of my Mom ( Who thinks I'm funny) and to celebrate coming back to life, and the new kickstarter campaign to print the illustrated books-
I'll be launching "Thirty Days of OkCupid" by drawing a trading card featuring an OkCupid date I *may or *may not have gone on, mind your own business, each day of the kickstarter.
They will be packaged as rewards called Online Dating Tarot Cards (because they also foretell the future. For example-if you draw The Boob Grabber it means the stars have aligned for you to just reach out and grab what you want in life.)

People should also send me their worst online dating stories because
1. I like hearing people's stories
2. Maybe I will make them into a card. Thirty is a lot of dates. I have memory problems.

* These two totally count by the way. 28 to go!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Really Nothing that Exciting is going on here (Unless I am right and a bird is re-masticating my vitamin B for me somewhere in China)

"You can't just leave up a post about suicide for a month." Says my Marketing Friend. "You're supposed to be visible, have an online presence-so you can sell your book."
Fine.
But weeks go by when I really don't have anything to say. Or maybe what is going on is so weird that probably no one outside the State Mental Hospital would relate to it, so I draw pictures instead. Or I watch every episode of the Walking Dead.
It's fine, maybe just a little suspect (like people who aren't on facebook at all or don't own a cellphone) but sales of your book drop when you neglect to routinely remind people in a chirpy, hopefully not too annoying fashion that you wrote it and it is, in fact, still for sale.

Since when does the definition of "artist" automatically have include an enthusiasm and ability to regularly communicate with the World? What if part of being able to create at all is critically connected to an absence of expression, the funneling of something elusive into a painting or a book or a song, and a certain amount of reclusion and silence is required to think all this stuff up?
 Most artists I know have some degree of social anxiety disorder. Even the ones who get up on stage own this particular neurosis, they have just figured out how to wrestle theirs to the ground. For people like me, "Being visible on Twitter" requires a deliberate twisting out from under a circular pattern of thinking that traps me into it's cycles like a loop of barbed wire. It goes like this-
"None of this is real, not really."
"But I hate it. I feel self conscious and weird."
"But it's not real, and besides-no one cares. Also-everyone else is managing twitter just fine."
"But there are all these rules and social customs I am not aware of, it's a mine field."
"But you don't care what people think."
"Oh. Right. Then it doesn't matter-because it isn't real?"
"Right."

So then I make jokes with people and send out links to my book because that's what you're supposed to do even though I loathe it, and I feel pushy and insincere, compelled to use an excess of exclamation points and smiley face emoticons because I am trying to make it look like it's all very casual. And its all so deliberate and so tense and overthought that after a few days I say "fuck it" and go do something else.
So sometimes the suicide post stays up for six weeks. That's apparently how this is going to go.

Except maybe not, because one of the ways I've been spending the last six weeks not-writing-about-anything (besides going in and out of the ER even though I assumed that finding a diagnosis of what's been making me sick would mean I wouldn't be sick anymore)  is going off gluten, sugar, and dairy while also ingesting a precise combination of cracked up B vitamins and other pills and substances prescribed to me by my new hippie doctor with a PHD in biochemistry.
So even though I'm lazy and I enjoy treats I am doing everything this guy says-even taking folate that has been "pre-methylated" even though I forgot to ask them how they "pre-methylate" it so now whenever I take it I have to overcome both a gag reflex from taking pills and a slight paranoia that it was methylated in the stomach of a cow; or in the beak of a momma bird and then regurgitated-because that's what it sounds like.
Which is totally possible. People do stuff like that. They drink coffee from beans pooped out by ocelots, and birth control pills are made from horse urine. You can't assume whatever these people give you isn't secretly gross and made from mold or monkey fetus slime-you have to ask.
But I'm taking these pills anyway, and maybe that's why today I can communicate with the World.
Hi, World.
How are you?

2. I also moved out of the retirement center into a little house. So I've been wandering around the little house late at night trying to make it feel like I live here. Being homeless for any length of time reverberates for a while. It makes you afraid to fully unpack. Because you never know. But making several series of mildly disappointing glutensugardairy-free muffins helps you with that. Especially the last batch (after you decide Fuck it-a few chocolate chips isn't going to kill me)