Read All About It: The Truth

I’ve been corresponding with a woman who calls Mr. Toupee #45.

People who voted into office Mr. Toupee voted for a guy who is going to require Medicaid recipients to work at a job.

Folks: people diagnosed with schizophrenia who are actively psychotic and receive Medicaid aren’t going to be able to find and hold a job for long.

No surprise #45 wants to waive this work requirement rule in white rural areas because it’s harder to find jobs there.

Last I knew it’s harder to find jobs for school-to-prison youth in Brownsville.

My friend Mars and I are confident #45 will win a second term in office.

Another law Mr. Toupee is enacting will allow business owners to not have to create wheelchair-accessible entrances to their stores.

Thus chipping away at an ADA-Act protection that requires wheelchair-accessible entrances. So if you use a wheelchair you won’t have the right to do business in a store.

Remember: Mr. Toupee was voted into office. We voted to allow the president of the United States to do these things. We consented to have our rights taken away when we stepped up to the voting booth and pulled the lever for #45.

We are responsible for the fact that our rights are being taken away.

Realizing just how dire this situation is I no longer fault other people for going on the attack in New York Times editorials and in books they write.

Divide, divide, divide is the motto of our elected officials.

They love to keep people hating each other.

Let’s rise up above this craziness by committing to treating each other with dignity and compassion.

There’s so much we can do person-to-person and in small batches of healthy behavior to counter and conquer this animosity.

Let’s listen to and understand each other.

Let’s champion equal rights for everyone living in America.

Let’s Just Say No to hate.


No More Wire Coat Hangers

What can I write about in the blog?

If I don’t write about Mr. Toupee’s latest hate crime what can I write in here?

We have elected a madman. He’s enacted an executive order that will greatly restrict women’s access to birth control and abortion.

With the overpopulation of the world, with the ongoing #MeToo misogyny of too many men against women, do we really want to be forced to carry a baby to term against our choice?

You can go on the New York Times website and read about this restrictive measure Mr. Toupee has enacted in order to keep women everywhere “barefoot and pregnant” even if we don’t want to be.

Women living in poverty, women with disabilities, women everywhere will now be restricted from getting access to birth control and abortion.

This right to determine when and whether we want to have a kid is closer to being totally denied by the Church and the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S.

This is a kind of crazy like no other crazy.

Listen: I had a breakdown when I was 22 years old. Long before that I knew I didn’t want to get married and raise a family. That was my choice ever since I was easily only 15 or 16 years old.

No one would adopt my kid if they found out the baby’s mother had a breakdown.

Forget raising kids in orphanages too. Who’s going to create and fund more orphanages? Will the U.S. government fund orphanages instead of wars?

Women shouldn’t have to rely on men to get money to raise a kid. Too many women have had to flee with their kids from abusive relationships. They often wind up homeless.

What is normal about not allowing women access to birth control and abortion?

What is normal about legislation that amounts to a hate crime against women?

All my adult life I used birth control because I didn’t want to have to choose to get an abortion.

The Gig’s up: Mr. Toupee is one step closer to totally taking away our rights.

Remember: we voted for him. OK–I didn’t yet others were proud to. Mark my words Mr. Toupee will be elected to a second term.

The rendering of powerlessness to all citizens is now nearly complete.

Are we to be grateful that most of us ordinary citizens will have our right to life liberty and pursuit of happiness taken away? This coup is coming soon.

I think Mr. Toupee actually wants people to live in poverty, have ill mental and physical health, and not read a newspaper.

This way we aren’t powerful enough to protest what goes on at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“Dignity is Valuable”

david bowie super CD

“Heroes” is my favorite David Bowie song. I bought a Heroes magnet at the David Bowie exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. I used to play this song all the time on my FM radio show in the 1980s.

Everyone gets a headset to listen to a documentary while viewing the items from start to end. It was just beautiful.

The words “Dignity is valuable” kept repeating in the headset. Soon after I was able to listen to Bowie’s “Major Tom.”

David Bowie had a career that lasted over 30 years. After the show I picked up in the gift shop his Scary Monsters CD.

That’s what it’s like to be a “super freak” in the eyes of others: You have to act true to yourself or you’ll wither.

Years ago I wrote in this blog “Conformity is repression.”

You can’t keep trying to be someone else to get others to like you and approve of you. That’s the quickest route to ill health.

I”m a Dilettante / Lover. These are actual archetypes.

If you’re an Artist or a Dilettante / Lover get yourself a ticket to the Bowie exhibit. Do this if you’re in NYC before July 15 when the show ends.

Adults cost $20. Senior citizens if I remember cost $12.

You will hopefully be so inspired by this experience. As it was I got turned on to live a freely creative life after seeing this homage to David Bowie’s work.

It was a beautiful experience. The rooms were crowded yet that was part of the fun:

To see a woman dancing while listening to a video on a screen.

To see a woman in a wheelchair view the exhibit.

The David Bowie exhibit was simply life-affirming.

I beg you if you are a Dilettante / Lover or an Artist that you dare commit to making art all the days of your life.

Even if it’s just changing the dining table decor at the start of each new season.

Or stirring up a pot of onion soup you created from a recipe in a cookbook.

Whatever you do that is artistic be it ordinary or big just keep doing it.

David Bowie continues to be a great inspiration to me long after he’s gone.

The Man Who Fell to Earth left this earth to soon. Luckily we have his music and his legacy to carry us on.

Learn From My Mistake

I’m writing a second memoir that is a collection of essays.

In it I talk about my adventures in life and love in the Big City.

One thing I recommend is not putting all your eggs in one basket as the expression goes. Apt because we are women who get fixated on finding the right guy.

To wit: last fall there was a guy I was interested in. At that time I went to a holiday dinner where another guy chatted me up.

Interested in the first guy I got up at the end of the dinner and said goodbye to Guy Number 2 and walked out.

Fool! It turned out Guy Number 1 had a 7-year relationship with a girlfriend.

Now Guy Number 2 who I’ve become interested in is nowhere in sight.

Online dating isn’t for me. I’ve given up online dating for good.

You know something’s not right when the dating profile says a guy wants to meet “an intelligent woman who loves life and likes to laugh.”

I am that kind of girl. When I meet him he’s not interested. His version of intelligent is reading James Patterson books.

My version of intelligent is getting up on stage to perform at poetry readings.

There’s no guy in sight. (Play the violin strings and I’ll cry on cue.)

Moral of the story:

Play the field until you have an actual boyfriend in your arms.


Another Year Older

2018 sephora

I’m 53 now and I’m still here.

Contrary to the myth that everyone with SZ dies 25 years earlier.

Do I look like I’m ready to kick the bucket?

Going to Sicily is on my bucket list of things to do before my hair turns totally silver.

I’ve decided to get a Sephora makeover once a year at this time.

I was told I have a heart-shape face. So if your face is like mine you might have a heart shape face too: wide forehead and prominent cheekbones and narrow chin.

The rocker chick bangs haircut is courtesy of my new hairdresser: an old school Italian lady. I stopped going to my old hair stylist I’d seen for about nine years.

One day last summer I woke up and couldn’t take how my hair had been cut. I tried to wear a hat to my job because it was August.

“No hat indoors. It’s a sign of disrespect.” The supervisor put an end to my bad hair day cover-up.

Every day was a bad hair day. I just refused to get it cut again until the fall.

On the day after Columbus Day I went to the new hairdresser a Sicilian woman told me about. Finally: a great haircut.

This isn’t a matter of world peace or any other kind of injustice in terms of the significance of having had a bad haircut.

Yet I think all women have been there really not liking how their hair stylist has been going cutting their hair at some point.

Plus my haircut is now thirty dollars cheaper.

Paying too much to look like a bald falcon? I think not. Get yourself to a new hairdresser right away if it’s time for a change.


A Blanquito In El Barrio

In Memory of Gil Fagiani


Poet Extraordinaire and Beautiful Human Being

Gil Fagiani wrote one of the two book reviews on the back cover of Left of the Dial.

I had wanted him to write a book review because one of his own poetry books was titled Serfs of Psychiatry.

That book is an autobiographical account of his earliest job in the mental health field.

A Blanquito in El Barrio graphically conjures his descent into street drug abuse.

Gil is one of the people who lived to tell and was able to stay clean for decades.

He treated me come un figlia.

In his name (as was requested) I’m making a donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

I urge you to read Blanquito and any other of his books that you can find.

He is the third person I have lost in three years. Each of them to life-ending illnesses.

Our lives are like the song lyrics to “Big Yellow Taxi.” You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. All that remains of paradise in that song was a parking lot.

One day all that will be left of this planet is burnt earth.

It’s time. For days now I’ve been thinking of the quote: “Life is not a dress rehearsal.”

You and I don’t know how much time we’ll have here. We don’t know how much time we’ll have with our loved ones, friends, and others we’re close to.

Make every day a day when you wake up and choose to love.

There is no other way to live.

One day things could change. Love is a life preserver. Acceptance is a safety net.

Make every encounter with another person a positive one.

Find the good: In life. In other people. In your situation.

Take a cue from Gil Fagiani’s remarkable life:

Fight the good fight. It isn’t over until it’s over. Treat everyone you meet with kindness.

Healing is an Act of Love

My decades-long vision that recovery is possible animates my role as an Advocate.

My goal in life is to advance this vision of Recovery for Everyone. I believe recovery is possible from whatever setback a person has experienced.

Healing is an act of love.

Woundology, as I wrote about in here before, is the refusal to heal because you get a payoff in being ill.

The root of my vision of recovery lies in my belief that healing is possible.

For years I’ve been in recovery from a traumatic attack. I’ve also recently been in recovery (as an older woman) from the self-scrutiny of how I look without any foundation covering my face : )

This is to say that a person can be in recovery from different kinds of setbacks.

Advocating for recovery goes hand in hand with advocating for universal love as the twin engines that drive my life’s purpose.

It was an act of love that drove my mother to drive me to the hospital to get help not once but twice when I was younger.

Seeking help is an act of love for yourself or your loved one. Yet too often the door to recovery is slammed shut before you get to open it. Treatment is often denied just when a person needs it.

A lot of people are unable to recover because they don’t get the right help right away when they first experience mental or emotional distress.

It can sound radical to do so yet I frame stigma not only as discrimination I view it as hate. Is the absence of compassion for people with SZ and other mental health issues tantamount to being a form of hate?

You decide. I think it is. Society needs to heal from the disease of stigma.

The hate a person gives out only serves to damage the hater more than their target.

My vision of Recovery for Everyone has been attacked. A woman billed as an “international expert” (who curiously didn’t have her own website) attacked me twice for claiming that most people can recover.

No surprise she had claimed that no one can recover from SZ. How can any so-called expert claim that most people aren’t in treatment who need it?

We have no statistics to prove that people aren’t recovering. This is because there’s no way of counting the number of people who aren’t in treatment who need to be.

This is also to say that diagnosing a person from afar just because you think they have a mental illness isn’t the way to go either.

My decades-long vision of Recovery for Everyone is predicated on empirical evidence: the real mental health peers I’ve met and talked with who are doing just fine.

Nobody in power seems to see fit to count successful peers in their statistics of who’s actually doing well and who isn’t.

Am I the only one to state this truth in a logical way? Because the arguments claiming that no one can recover sure aren’t rational or based in reality.

My life’s purpose and work extends to more than just mental health. This should be apparent to loyal blog readers who have followed my talk for years about healing the planet too.

I’ll say it again: healing is an act of love. Getting treatment for yourself or a loved one is an act of love. Choosing to love yourself and others is a form of healing.

I believe that universal love must reign over the ongoing hate in the world.

Won’t you join me in championing Recovery for Everyone?

Won’t you join me in advancing universal love as a form of healing?