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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 5,105

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Another story from my depression adventure.

(Moderator: if you feel my doing this is counterproductive, please hide, but please give me a chance to edit. Thanks!)

One evening, years ago, around the time I first got diagnosed, I found a 3-sided bus shelter on the 1 California line. I was too tired/fatigued/exhausted to walk three blocks up the hill to get back to my apartment. There was a man in business attire waiting there. I stood in front of the shelter, he at the side.

After a few minutes, I heard a sad, moaning sound. "Great, the old guy's drunk," I thought. Or maybe one of the street people had joined us, needing a fix. Can't be too careful in The City.

Finally I turned around to see where the noise was coming from; the man and I remained the only ones there, and I could see caution in his face as he backed away. The moaning had come from me.


To say that realization was scary is a great understatement. I realize now that, at the time, I rarely looked in the mirror; without lenses, I can't see much of anything, so over the years I've perfected the art of shaving in the shower just by feel. Brushing my hair had become automatic as well. Looking in the mirror made me face someone I'd rather not have known and didn't want to see.

It later became routine to go for days without a shower, months without a haircut. The hair place was down the hill on Fillmore. The 'down' part wasn't a problem. Getting back up, though, was another story. The fact that I hadn't been exercising regularly or eating properly since I'd shut the refrigerator for months (that's another story), as well as smoking who knows how many packs of cigarettes a day while sitting at my computer for hours or days on end didn't help, and I would usually have to stop, wheeze and rest several times just to go a few blocks up the hill. Previously I had walked literally from one end of The City to the other, from the bay to the ocean, for example, many times, and absolutely loved exploring its history, architecture, and many 'ethnic' neighborhoods, bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores.

Basically, everything was downhill from my place, which contributed to my isolation, I guess. I discovered a tiny convenience store only a block and a half away and with only a slight incline. Of course, that type of store carries items that are typically smaller–yet more expensive–than in larger grocery chains. I began buying just about everything I needed from there. Especially wine.

Hopefully someone will find comfort in the above, either from knowing that you're not nuts, that you got or will get help before you reached the depths I was in, and mainly that none of us is alone in this. It can, and will, get better, but sometimes you have to wait and accept it a little at a time.


My story, an introduction message

I just read the post regarding the purpose of this group, and I elect to tell others about my journey through hell and back in the hope that someone gets hope, or at least can recognize themselves in my experiences. I am currently writing a book about my experience with mental illness and, yes, there are tons of them out there. I don't need to have a best seller, and the process may be nothing but therapeutic towards helping me in understanding myself. If so, that's more than enough.

Moderators: if anything I've said here may be seen as counterproductive, please hide it, but please give me a chance to edit. Thanks!

I've known I've had depression since I was probably twelve years old. A couple of decades have gone by since then; at the time, I was mortified someone would find out. I grew up in the south, and everyone used to talk about the state-run "insane asylum," and recall being told that if I wasn't "good" in school, church, home, etc., someone could sentence me to go there. Of course none of them knew what I knew, and when other kids were told the same thing, they just laughed. I was petrified.

So, you might say there was some stigma attached to the idea of being less than "right" up there.

As time has passed, I'm sure my mother and her father suffered from the same illness and the same fear of treatment, and in fact I think knowing how they felt about it made me hypersensitive. Fortunately, we live in a (somewhat) more enlightened age.

When, at about 18 or 20, and still in the South, I made an appointment with the county mental health care office, I went to be interviewed. I think the woman had her own set of issues, honestly. Saying "damn" or "hell" obviously freaked her out. She finally told me what she'd obviously wanted to all along—"just pray about it and god will fix it." I probably don't need to mention that my reliance on the state stopped right then and there. And, no, I wasn't as honest then as I am now, otherwise I'd have told her a few things. Anyway, by then I'd already been praying about it for years, as well as another issue*, with no response. Of course.

Should probably mention I grew up going to church Sunday, morning & night as well as sometimes during the week. I left that place as soon as possible, and moved on to other places, other opportunities, using each move to an unknown city as a chance to "start over."

For years, I got on just fine, most of the time, by throwing myself into my work, taking on more work than I should have so that I always had something churning in the back of my mind. I didn't realize why at the time, but it worked to my advantage: I could go to sleep with several problems in my head, and would very often awake with creative solutions, which of course helped my career. Yet, every time I was spotlighted for good work, etc., I felt ashamed. At one industry awards ceremony I had to stand before a huge audience to accept. I could feel heat coming off my face, knowing I didn't deserve any award for anything, and I just wanted to run and hide. Years, as they do, went by.

Finally, between the rigged Supreme Court election of 2000, a disastrous move to another city, the nation on Bush, the killing of the Twin Towers, Armed Forces at airports, eroding privacy, etc., just wore me down to a point where I couldn't function. Couldn't get out of bed for hours at a time. I would literally have to envision every step of getting up--every muscular movement, no matter how small, to even raise myself up in bed, much less to get up, shower, make coffee, etc. It was thoroughly exhausting, and while I knew it made no sense, obviously, I was somehow paralyzed and unable to move.

The phone would ring, and I couldn't answer it. I could hear my friends, clients, family talking into the answering machine. Sometimes this went on for days at a time. Yet I was powerless. Sometimes I could force myself out of bed if I had to pee real bad. Sometimes not. Finally, I somehow summoned up the wherewithal to get to a doctor and got put on meds.

I can recall lying in bed, trying to sleep, but my brain just kept on going and going, like a needle or data sensor on a blank disk, searching for something, anything, to occupy it. I can only assume this is why I had earlier been able to take on complex problems and solve them, literally, in my sleep. I confess I did self medicate with LOTS of alcohol, just to shut my brain down, hoping to reboot. I literally felt like I was walking chest-deep in cold lead that had been formed around me.

Most of my clients left me due to my inability to respond quickly and churn out professional work. Yet, even though I was able to get free meds through The City's program, I paid for them myself, more often than not, figuring, rightly, that others needed help as much as or more than me, and I could afford it, for awhile, anyway.

I had what my doctor called "suicidal ideation," in that I wanted to not exist but couldn't do anything about it. Glad I didn't, in retrospect!

I was diagnosed ten years ago next week, and finally feel as though my self-confidence is back. Of course, starting treatment with meds was a very long and wrenching process: Lexapro, which took months to sorta work, in that I could finally consciously notice colors and flowers; then Celexa, which was Lexapro repackaged so they could retain a patent. And a couple of other drugs that didn't work or made me nearly psychotic. One drug, may have been an old antidepressant now used as a sleeping med, gave me incredible, mostly wonderful dreams. Nothing too unusual if you find the idea of washers and dryers growing from giant plants unremarkable!

I finally got on the drug regimen I'm on now just over four years ago, and the heavy dark fog started going away. Went to group therapy all that time with no real success, but made some wonderful friends. It was obvious to my dr it was a chemical imbalance, in my case.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

Anyone who may wish to DUmail me for details or just to chat, feel free.

*Oh yeah, I almost forgot. That other thing I prayed so damn hard about? I'm gay. If anyone has a problem with that, it's your problem, so enjoy it, by all means.

RimJob is now accepting the reality of Rmoney!

Where his little blog used to have, in big, red letters at the top, "NO ROMNEY! NO WAY!" And other cute childishness, such as "A revolution is brewing," he's changed it to a far lesser glove-slap at Rmoney:

Welcome to Free Republic, America's exclusive site for God, Family, Country, Life & Liberty conservatives!

Newt's Position on Activist Judges, Rebalancing the Judiciary, Restoring Freedom!

Romney's positions: Abortion, gay rights, gun control, liberal judges, mandated socialist/fascist healthcare (RomneyCare)!

He knows which side his bread is buttered on! And, say, the quarterly fundraising drive to keep that pitiful site onine is asking for $94,000. So it really takes almost $400,000 a year to feed the rodents who run on wheels to power that bullshit? (Wait, no, I'm wrong--that would be alternate energy sources, so, no. It must go to China or India instead.)

Also, too, he does seem to be embracing the results of the GWBush error, and realizes he's gotta dig deeper among his sheep:

WHA? Freakreptilians turn on Billo and Faux?!?!


Bits (I bolded a few interesting terms):

Hey O'Reilly, can you shut yer mouth for 2 seconds?
01-26-12 | Me
Posted on January 26, 2012 8:33:26 PM EST by Kevin in California

I have FOX tuned in while I'm doing other things I hear Michele Bachman's (such a breath of fresh air she is) a guest.

I wait for her to come on and when she does, the BLOWHARD asks questions and continually interrupts her.

HEY BLOWHARD, Can you shut your damn mouth for 2 seconds so your guests can answer your questions?

Talk about a rude SOB!

To: Kevin in California
You’ve only just found this out about “our” BOR?

3 posted on January 26, 2012 8:37:44 PM EST by sinanju (ua)
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To: Kevin in California
That’s O’Really for you, among the reasons I quit watching a few years ago. And, I don’t think he has real core principles, he kind of goes with what he thinks is the majority opinion, kind of follows the polls.

4 posted on January 26, 2012 8:39:37 PM EST by izzatzo (All in for Newt.)
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To: bimboeruption
I just posted this on another thread:

Speaking of Faux N, B’OR is badgering Michelle Bachmann to please tell him why “Conservatives on the far right like Christie” hate Gingrich. DUMB AS A BOX O’ROCKS talking points host, I tell you!

5 posted on January 26, 2012 8:40:00 PM EST by Mountain Mary (Awaken Oh America...)
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To: Kevin in California
He does it constantly. I can’t watch him any longer.

6 posted on January 26, 2012 8:41:08 PM EST by Peter from Rutland
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To: Kevin in California
Don't know why O’Reilly has guests on his show. He constantly interrupts them even after saying...”I'll give you the last word”
7 posted on January 26, 2012 8:42:16 PM EST by Churchillspirit
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To: Peter from Rutland
I never could.

8 posted on January 26, 2012 8:43:43 PM EST by shelterguy
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To: Kevin in California
That’s O’Really for you, among the reasons I quit watching a few years ago. And, I don’t think he has real core principles, he kind of goes with what he thinks is the majority opinion, kind of follows the polls.

9 posted on January 26, 2012 8:44:25 PM EST by izzatzo (All in for Newt.)
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To: Kevin in California
I agree on how the bloviator treated her but I was getting tired of hearing her say,”whoever rises to the top...etc” she must have said that four times. That is true but only partially. If Romney rose to the top the Republican elite would not be trying to slay him like they are Newt. They are just plain scared of Newt winning and will even help the Dems to shoot him down. The more they do this, the more I am backing him (and so is the Tea Party, the regular folks)Also the more they do this the more I detest the Republican Party. Now days, the Tea Party is the true Republican Party.
10 posted on January 26, 2012 8:49:02 PM EST by fish hawk (Tebow or Rodman, who would I like to introduce my grandson to? MMmmmmmm)
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"The Invention of the Heterosexual"

(X-posted to good reads earlier)

Excellent article:


{{bold ital is my emphasis}}

So where does the term “heterosexual” come from?

“Heterosexual” was actually coined in a letter at the same time as the word “homosexual,” [in the mid-19thcentury], by an Austro-Hungarian journalist named Károly Mária Kertbeny. He created these words as part of his response to a piece of Prussian legislation that made same-sex erotic behavior illegal, even in cases where the identical act performed by a man and a woman would be considered legal. And he was one of a couple of people who did a lot of writing and campaigning and pamphleteering to try to change legal opinion on that matter. He coined the words “heterosexual” and “homosexual” in a really very clever bid to try to equalize same-sex and different-sex. His intent was to suggest that there are these two categories in which human beings could be sexual, that they were not part of a hierarchy, that they were just two different flavors of the same thing.


Psychiatry is responsible for creating the heterosexual in largely the same way that it is responsible for creating the various categories of sexual deviance that we are familiar with and recognize and define ourselves in opposition to. The period lasting from the late Victorian era to the first 20 or 30 years of the 20th century was a time of tremendous socioeconomic change, and people desperately wanted to give themselves a valid identity in this new world order. One of the ways people did that was establish themselves as sexually normative. And it wasn’t the people who were running around thinking, “Oh, I’m a man and I like to sleep with other men, that makes me different,” who were creating this groundswell of change; it was the other people, the men who were running around going, “I’m not a degenerate, I don’t want to sleep with other men, I am this thing over here that is normative and acceptable and good and not pathological and right, that’s what I am. That’s what I need people to understand about me, because I need people to understand that I am a valid person and I need to be taken seriously.”

--much more at link--
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