Saturday, May 31, 2003

I have a full weekend to look forward to. Yes, once again worked the garden this evening. I'm currently tackling the rose bed. Afterwards, I went home, grabbed a quick bite and popped in a movie. Tomorrow, I plan on gardening some more. I'll have to make time to tend to my house as well. Sunday, we are celebrating the birthday of one from my family. I offered my services to him for the day, to help with his party. And Monday will be garden day as well.

My cold is lingering, although getting better. The damned thing settled in my chest. Now there's coughing and wheezing. I hope that it clears up enough next week. You see, I had made tentative plans to play with someone last week, but became sick.

Seeing I hadn't really played (a long scene versus the impromptu rolling pin beatings, and public scenes in Ikea, restaurant or the bars) since last November, I wanted someone I explicitly trusted, who I knew would be comfortable if I fell to pieces. And this guy is it. He was delighted I had asked. On top of it, we've never really played intensely at length together before. I've known him for 4 years, and he's a part of my heart. Well, I got sick, and then he got sick...and you know how it goes.

The first time we played a little, was in his kitchen, a couple years ago. Now that I think about it, I get more action in the kitchen than the dungeon. The play can be just as hot. This time, I was grabbed by one Top, and he sunk his teeth into my side. He then pushed me back into the other top (the one I just scheduled with) and he sunk his teeth into my other side. They wanted to leave matching marks. I remember the pain from this other top. I screamed and shot him a look. The next day he wrote me and said "feral looks good on you.". I had those bite marks for almost a week.

He's a great biter. Since then, I've been periodically bitten by him. He terrifies the shit out of me. I wonder if I'm up to playing with him. And yes, I enjoy the terror.

I hope that in the next few weeks we can reschedule. I'm quite curious as to how it will go. I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, May 30, 2003

So much for resting and recuperating. I've been quite busy between full 9 hour days, and then 2 - 3 hours of garden work afterwords. But I'm not complaining. I crave being outdoors in the summer. Currently, our weather is unseasonably warm and perfect.
My day job is so messy, in attempting to set up queries, designing systems to encompass the needs of a new Campaign as well as the donors, and trying to make everyone happy. I leave work each day with so much on my plate, and mounds of unfinished stuff. My job is like being tangled in blackberry brambles. So is it any wonder that I relish being able to enter the garden and rip out the suckers? Last year I attempted to do it barehanded. I really wanted to feel the pain while knowing I was killing them. But it was a little much.

I also like the ability to set a goal for the evening, and know it's complete, clean and clear in a few hours. No mental anguish.'s perfect, because it's in the realm of service. It's a total win, win, win situation, for all involved.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

It's been a quiet/busy weekend. Quiet because I took it real easy and rested everyday. And busy in the sense that I had plans for each day so I wouldn't be totally bored.

Friday night I went out with one of my very good friends. It was a warm, glorious night. So we went to our favorite restaurant, which opens its doors onto the street. Everyone was out, so the viewing was fun. Street musicians were on many of the street corners.
One of the Tops I've played with a few times was there as well. He came over to join us for a bit. We flirted madly and played mildly. This restaurant is becoming my place for delightful nastiness. It's a good thing the waiters are tolerant. :-)

The very first time I stepped into this restaurant was to meet a potential play partner. This was before I went into training. Our negotiations were contingent upon whether or not my training negotiation would result in a contract. And ever since then....if I'm interested in playing with someone, I like to meet them there. It's one of my quiet special rituals. The space feels like a public living room although it's filled with tables. You can spend a couple hours there with a drink or a latte, reading or whatever. They don't rush you out the door. Or you can have a large really decent meal.
With its dark red walls, it's a good place to hang and socialize, or just be.
The space has good juju.

Saturday night, I was already booked to help with a catering gig, which was fun and left me beat.
Sunday afternoon I went out for a long walk by the water with another friend. I scored big time!!! As we were heading back to the car, we decided to check out this yard sale. I found frames! Seven wooden frames, each different styles, and from 11 x 14 to about 30 x 40. They were fairly new, and in wonderful condition. I picked them up for a total of $25! I'm so jazzed. Framing is quite expensive and so am always on the lookout for cool frames.
I like having them around the studio. They stare back at me while I paint, whispering "fill me".
I'm still amazed at my find.

In the evening two of my dear ones and I went to see Dracula - Pages from a Virgin's Diary. Fabulous film. As one of my movie mates put it... "it's quirky and splendid".
I think it's the sexiest Dracula flick I've seen.
It's filmed in the style of the old silent movies, with the music of Mahler. I strongly recommend it.

Monday, the family did lunch...again at my favorite restaurant. And then I spent a great afternoon working in Sir's garden.

See? Quiet and busy.

I'm still worn out from this cold/whatever it is. It rapidly eats away at my energy. I just need to let go, and sink into it. I know the more I fight this, the longer it'll take to go away. So tonight is a slow night at home and early to bed.

Friday, May 23, 2003

Yeah! I'm off until Tuesday. One of the percs of my job is the extra long holiday weekends. Our boss figures we work incredibly hard and are underpaid, seeing it is the nonprofit industry. So she tries to make up for it, and show us she loves us by giving us extra time off. I'm really grateful for it this week. I can allow myself to be home and recuperate knowing the office is closed. For me, it's easier to manage than being sick on a work day.

Because I have been physically down this week, there's been no socializing and no service. This afternoon I thought I'd jump out of my skin. I needed to do something after work, before going home to rest. Just as I was wishin' for someone to hang out with for a short bit...voila! I receive an email from a guy I've played with a few times. He wanted to know if I'd hit the Eagle with him for drinks after work. Perfect timing!

I met him there, and we hung out for a bit, talking with the other guys. I was energized and great...for all of an hour. Starting to crash, I excused myself, made it home and hit the couch.

Have I said how much I hate being sick? it still whining if there isn't anyone here to actually hear me do it?

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Last night, although sick, my plans for taking cold meds and being in bed by 8:30 were sidetracked. Remember how I mentioned I was falling through a hole and with nothing to grab onto? Well, I spoke too quickly.

I had a phone appointment at 7:15 and was going to tend to me afterwards. But at the end of the meeting, the person I met with needed me to do some writing, and to get it to them by early this morning at the very latest. Inside I groaned because I had no idea where the strength or the words would come from. I was lightheaded, stuffy, achy, had chills and now I needed to put off taking my nightime cold medicine until after I finished writing. I knew this was important and felt my adrenaline begin to kick in, even before I hung up the phone.
Lo, my foothold.

It was an incredibly powerful experience. Somehow I was able to put words to what had felt convoluted within me for over 2 years. By the time I hit "send", I knew I had another coming out.

My first coming out happened at 16. This was the beginning of my spiritual search and evolution. I needed to tell my very French Canadian very Catholic parents that I was leaving the Catholic church for....egads no!....a non-denominational Pentacostal church. I'm glad I moved through this

At 22, it happened again when I KNEW I needed to get my ass in school for art, no matter what my parents said.
" I have something to tell you. Ummm, I know you wanted me to go into education or medicine, or something practical where I can have job security, life insurance, sick days, vacation time and a good retirement plan. But as hard as I've tried to change and deny it...I can't do it anymore. I am an artist. And that's not going away. I've tried to ignore it for the last 4 years. I tried to major in social work, but I couldn't do it. It's not me." They were a little more understanding at 22 than they were when I was 18. Understanding enough to offer to pay for my art education this time.

At 23 I came out as a lesbian. That one was tough. Especially because at 16 I was standing on street corners handing out tracts that said "Faggots, repent or be damned!" Yes, it was part of the loving church I belonged to.
But once I finally had sex, I knew it was good. And I knew that God only created good. Therefore He created sex. And so it was blessed. (I was practicing homework from my Logic 101 class).

In my mid-thirties I returned to school to finish my degree. I was 35 and had my eye on two 19 year old male art students. We'd hang out together. One was a sculptor and the other a painter. The energy was intense. They both kept asking me if I had jumped the fence yet....or at least sit on it. They kept asking me if I'd sleep with them. I kick myself now because I know I missed out on some really hot sex. I didn't want a relationship, and neither did they. It would have been great. But, because I was a lesbian, I couldn't fit this attraction into my life. I began to wonder if I was bisexual. I would slowly broach the subject with my friends, but with disdain, they immediately tossed the topic to the side. So I kept quiet.

I knew I wasn't attracted to all men. But these guys had this incredibly lusty, creative sexual energy. That's what turned me on. This was the beginning of a coming out where I realized that for me, it's about energy. I knew at that point that although I could be attracted to a particular type, whatever it was....if someone came along with that "magic", regardless of orientation or gender, who was I to argue? Once I accepted that, it freed me inside.

At 38, I was introduced to S/M. Coming out as kinky wasn't earthshattering. But coming out to myself as a submissive was very difficult. 8 months later, I needed to accept the masochist in me. That was even tougher. I mean, who in their right mind wants to get the shit beat out of them? Better yet, who in their right mind would cum from getting the shit beat out of them?

In the last year, I'm struggling with the idea that I may be a slave. Sir and I have periodically discussed it in the past. But, I would come up with arguments.....most really dumb, like.... "Sir, I have no intention or desire of sitting on the floor at dinner time while the others are sitting around the table. That proves I'm not a slave". Yeah. Whatever. This is a coming out I am still struggling with.

Last night I had a coming out while writing. I've been actively dancing around it for the last year, but then I knew.

When I was a dyke, I was attracted to women by default. The same goes for when I was straight. But when friends would ask me what my type was, I was always puzzled. I could never answer that. It didn't appear to be based on the physical. Tits didn't turn me on. But at the time neither did dicks. If I was a lesbian, I couldn't like dick. So being the good girl I was....I talked myself into not liking it.

When I made myself take a hard look at my life over the last 20 years and saw where the patterns fell.... I knew. And it didn't make sense. I knew. And it felt so wrong. I knew. And others would call me "cold, afraid of intimacy, putting up walls".
And yet I still knew. And nothing had changed. And it was taboo.

I felt that my sheer existence would push buttons in people, and they'd become defensive. I would feel so lonely and isolated because I was tired of explaining who I was, and why I feel the way I do.
I've been feeling like a big question mark because I didn't have a name for who I was.
I still don't. But it no longer matters.

It's easier for me to say what I am not. There are words for that.

But I noticed last night that I was becoming very comfortable with the messiness that is life. I knew it was okay to live with seeing all sides to a problem, and agreeing that all sides were right. I believed.....I believe that it's absolutely perfect to not have answers for who I am and what I feel and yet it is still all powerful and true, for the simple fact that it is me.
And if need be, the world be damned.

I am a queer female who is essentially attracted to gay men. I'm not attracted to all gay men. Lots of them are jerks, like anyone else. Yet I've noticed that 98 percent of the folks I am attracted to happen to be gay men.

It's about energy first. It's also about the male body combined with that energy. And it's about what is holy. If there isn't queer spirit, I'm not interested. So that leaves out the majority of straight men. And once in a while a butch dyke can cross my path and may pique my interest, although it's not the norm. Femmes totally turn me off, although like anything else, I'm sure that if I met one with the right chemistry, then I'd go for it. After all, I am a slut.

I came home about 3 years ago, although the battle raged inside me. I felt I was being held by loving arms and fighting them at the same time. Today, this is no longer a struggle. Instead, it's about finding my place within this world.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Ooohhhh....! I saw this movie advertised in tonight's paper, and was totally intrigued, so googled to see what it's about.
Dracula - Pages From A Virgin's Diary is playing in my town for one week only. And I am definitely going to see this.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

I am so sick. God I hate being out of commission. I felt this cold coming on last Friday night. But I pampered myself so I had the energy to work a catering gig on Saturday morning. It’s a second job that I work maybe once in a while, when I’m needed. I was okay Saturday morning, managed to hustle for 5 hours and think clearly. After the event, I went home and crashed. Somehow I felt great on Sunday, and had the capacity to do all that work at Sir’s, my Mentor.

Yesterday, I spent a full day driving Him around, running errands. It was another good day. But about 6 pm last night, I felt myself sliding down the rabbit hole, into the abyss of congestion, chills and dizziness. There were no more footholds to prevent myself from crashing to the bottom. Ugh. It took all my strength today, to go to work and attempt to clear out some of the backlog from this weekend. We are nearing the end of a phonathon. And, although the economy sucks right now, I’ve noticed that people are rallying together, either increasing their gifts, or giving first time gifts, after declining for years.

I believe the extreme conservatism in our current government is what is motivating folks to open their pockets, at least partially. We’ve exceeded goals by $3000! Amazing.

Sometimes I feel that I have the best job in the entire world. I tell people that I touch the kindness of strangers every day. You see, I process the gifts that come into our organization, as well as manage and create new systems within the database.

I work for a g/l/b/t nonprofit. I was a dyke at the time I was hired. (Now I’m just queer, but that’s another blog for another day.) There were already 2 dykes on staff (in an office of 6), 3 gay men, and one straight woman. At the 2nd interview, they asked me about what kind of diversity I would bring to the organization. I’ll never forget this. I remember smiling and saying, “my Leather”. I then went on to say that “my Leather is not what you see in magazines, movies or what walks down the street. It’s not about what’s on the outside, yet it goes much deeper. There’s a substance to it. It has very little to do with stereotypes”. The executive director broke into a huge grin, nodded….and said I was hired.

They knew I was in Leather training. They saw my training collar that I wore 24/7. At one of our team building afternoons, they invited my Teacher to come speak to the staff and do a little S/M 101 workshop. I felt the pride of the staff when I earned my Boots. That fact became one of the staff highlights that was included in a newsletter we sent to major donors.

I do have the best job in the entire world.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Yesterday was a wonderful afternoon. I had the opportunity to perform service for the man who was my Teacher. And on some level, He will always be so. But after 3 1/2 years, due to illness, formal training needed to end. I still mourn that.

I spent the day hauling branches, decomposed matter, blackberry brambles and twigs and sticks. I was moving very large piles from one place to another, so it could all get chipped. Yeah, with a chipper like the one in “Fargo”. (loved that movie!).

After 5 hours, I was sweaty, grimy, sore, scratched and happy. Very satisfied. I have and still do get the chance to serve Him, and I love it. It fills a part of me. It’s not work that most in Leather would find sexy. But for me, the act of serving is sexy, whether I’m painting in the dungeon or hauling bags to the dump and paint cans to the recycling center. His household calls me the demo bitch.

Service still trips me out. I don’t understand why it is something I need to do. But it’s always been that way. Even in my vanilla days, I would discover that I’d have to intentionally reel myself in, otherwise I’d be offering myself to others, to assist them. And, I felt it wasn’t always appropriate. So I was continually checking my desire at the door.

I can’t serve just anyone. I know there needs to be some type of intimate relationship with lots of trust. When I respect the person they are, and I know they “see” me, and trust me as well, it lays the groundwork for a good service relationship.

Before I signed my training contract, I had been playing with this dyke Top. She was delightfully sadistic and we matched each other’s appetites for play. Although she wasn’t into the whole service part, she saw that need in me, and would allow me to do a little bit here, and a little there…so I didn’t starve. And, she told me that it was that hunger for service that made her realize I needed to be trained. She went on an intense mission to find a trainer for me. I remember fighting her every step of the way, even getting myself collared to someone for 3 months, when I had no business being collared. I hadn’t a clue how to be a slave. At the time I didn’t know how to express my needs. And I had some fairy tale fantasy of what a Master/slave relationship was like. I learned painful lessons in that time. I don’t regret it, but still carry scars.

After the relationship ended, I reconnected with the dyke Top. She hadn’t stopped her plan of my training. She is the one who found my Teacher for me, knowing full well He didn’t train women. Yet it didn’t stop her from speaking with Him about me. She set up the introductions. And that began a scene that is still ongoing, curious as to what will come next.

I still have so much to learn. I still consider myself a novice. I have so many questions. But, I have to trust that the knowledge I seek will reveal itself, when it’s supposed to.

Sunday, May 18, 2003

I was reading email this morning and found this from today's front page of The Hartford Courant. Little things like this remind me that we are evolving.

Have you ever had those times where you were headed in one direction with your writing and then get hit by a truck? Afterward, the accident is the only thing in your head. Not really. But it is the one thing that keeps shoving its way to the forefront, stepping on every innocent thing in its path, clamoring “pay attention to me!”

So…all the exciting, exhilarating stuff needs to be placed in a drawer with the hope that I’ll pull it out later. And the really frustrating part is that for the first time in a few years, I was beginning to open myself to words for what is important. So important.
Can you say annoying?

And, while this is all going on, I’m still creating paintings in my head. You see, that’s how it happens.

I get painting splurges. I’m also someone who cannot paint when depressed. That’s when I write. I am seeing it's about balance. My painting comes in fits and waves. I may not pick up a brush, let alone a pencil for 3 years, only to jump out of bed one morning and KNOW I’ll die if I don’t sink my teeth into juicy, viscous oils.

Or there will be times like now. The last few months my head has been making room for paintings. With each passing week the images morph and complete themselves. Ideas for new series flood the space behind my eyes. While this is happening, I discover that my sketchbook has magically appeared, and it is with me in the car, at home, at work. Listening close to my belly, I booked two weeks vacation for the end of June and look forward to hopefully paint again. I’d like to continue on a series I began last summer.

And, with all this commotion, my hunger to play has fiercely returned. Thing is, because it has been the year from hell, I know that the first time I play, I'll come apart at the seams. I'll ooze and puddle to the floor, if I don't fracture first. I need to know that everything will be alright. I need to be bound so tightly, so tightly that I don't become invisible. I need to be locked and caged with no idea of when I'll be released. I need to be flogged so hard the thud resonates against the pipes. I need to hear the wail of the cane as it flies through the air before invading my flesh with angry red welts. Interestingly, the one thing I don't need now, although I miss it, is the signal whip. I miss it so. But for my first play, after this past year, I'm afraid there would be nothing left of me. Nothing but dust.

I normally do not like to play when I feel broken inside. Yet I need this now. It's calling to me, and I heed its voice. My beast.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Today Singletails had this gem in his blog: "Being a Top is humbling; being a bottom is empowering."

I read that and let out a deep, slow exhale. Yeah. I agree. But later on, when rereading it again I realized it's more than that. As a bottom, in my play experiences, not only am I empowered, but I am truly humbled. I'm humbled because I played with someone who trusted me enough to allow their beast to show its face to me and with me. I'm in awe when that happens.

So not only do I wrap myself in vulnerability, but the Top does as well. And coming out of that vulnerability whole is what is empowering.

Well...I had quite the experience today, which I am not going into at this time. Afterwards, I spent the evening with some of my Leather family. From talking about it with them, I was reminded how we eat our own. It's interesting how folks can come from similar places, and yet still attack each other. Quite sad...and appalling at the same time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Wow. I was checking out Singletails blog tonight. Thank you Singletails for your kind and gracious words.

There are many things I enjoy during play. But how can I say that the singletail is the ultimate, at least at this point in my life?
How can I say it rates as high as painting? Yet in many ways, it does.
I rarely play. But when I do, it's always a holy experience even if it's totally silly play such as having yogurt cheese being bitten off my body by a swarm of Sadists. It's all precious.

But....the singletail. What is so special about a singletail?

I have tried, again and again over the last couple years to write about my passion for the singletail.
And yet, all I can come up with is.... is the singletail that allows me to sing with angels while touching demons.


Tuesday, May 13, 2003

I'd like to correct something I wrote yesterday. I'm big on giving credit where credit is due. Apparently, the creation of 100 bloggers evolved from conversations between Lthredge, Singletails, and Keckler, regarding community building. (I don't have a link for Keckler, otherwise I'd link to it...sorry! If there is one, and someone sends it to me, I'll post it).

It leads me to wonder if an idea even actually comes from one person. Can it really come from a place of total isolation? Imagine spending 3 months being locked in an isolation chamber, 3x3x3.....steel walls and concrete floor with a drain in the middle for piss and...whatever. :-) I'm sure ideas would come, but wouldn't they still have some attachment to something else? If the cold of the steel against your back, the hard floor abrading your ass, or sitting in your own piss gave you ideas, it's in part due to the person who created the space.

Is there actually such a thing as an original thought? Or are we all synthesizers? We take a dip from here and a dash from there. Creation needs a spark, and as I've seen with my painting, that spark is generated from outside sources. Is there ever really a truly original thought? Or does it morph and take shape...needing other influences. I'm reminded of Stone Soup.

And now that I think of it, 100 bloggers is Stone Soup.

Monday, May 12, 2003

I created this blog at the beginning of March. I blogged for about a month, and then became silent. Also, I had my blog on the private mode.

Lthredge’s wonderful concept of 100 bloggers pushed me into writing again. And, it was my impetus to flip the switch to public.

For anyone just tuning in, you’ll see that my early posts have essentially been morose, and at times filled with anger and frustration. I was dealing with lots of hurt. I still am. But I think 100 bloggers provided a necessary kick in the ass to dig inside and maybe write about other things…such as art, which I did yesterday. I've been wanting to write about my Leather. Words have been floating around in my head, and yet I just couldn't seem to release them from their dark captivity.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

I've been somewhat scattered recently. I have so much to write about, yet desire to be mindful about what I include here. Therefore, much gets left out.
My blog. My choice.
But right now I'm taking a well needed detour from pain, angst, and depression. I want to talk with you about one of the most important things in the world, and in my life.


Well...maybe not about all of art, but instead talk about one painter. A fucking amazing painter. In my totally not so humble opinionated opinion, this painter is one of the most brilliant, currently living and breathing painters I've seen in a long time.
And the work is quite erotic to boot.

The first time I saw this painter was in 1994. I walked into the Howard
Yezerski Gallery
on Newbury St. in Boston. I was blown away. There was a show that consisted of these very large portraits, set in what almost looked like an Italian landscape. I laughed because the subject matter was so unexpected. On the wall in front of me was the largest doughnut I'd ever seen. A different point of view totally juices me. And that's what I was immersing myself in.

These paintings have pushed themselves into the forefront of my mind this past year. I would attempt to google, not even remembering the name of the painter, nor the gallery I first saw them in. I was continually coming up empty handed and haunted.

In March, while flipping through The New Yorker, I saw a painting. It was an incredibly beautifully painted doughnut. The light, the color, the mark....the mark! I was in love. I couldn't find any credits, but there was the name of the gallery printed along side the image. So I emailed them, wondering if it was the same painter I saw back in '94. They responded, and it was!

Her name is Emily Eveleth. You can find some of her work here
and here
Look at these! Talk about luscious. Talk about sublime.

So I just had to google for her, and discovered this treasure and this gem.

I love her vision. I can feel her passion for paint in these, and that's saying a lot considering I'm looking at them online. I really want to see them in real life.

I need to relax when I don't see work that excites me, which is most of the time. Because when something's quite special. I feel the vulnerability, even in a solid piece, and the elusiveness of that special moment which happens rarely. It's that moment of creation when it comes from what feels like a place other than self. But it is from yourself. It's the moment when the mind shuts down and the spirit flies.
So much with my random, all over the map, ideas, fantasies & delusions, eh?
I've been rereading everything I've written and I don't see a whole lot except for gloom. Trust me, I'm about much more than that. I've just been a tad consumed. Struggling for sanity tends to do that to a person.
It's been a difficult month. So many changes, and so much I wanted to write about, but never knew where to begin.
I wrote this a few days ago. It's my thoughts on depression as well as detailing what I referred to in an earlier entry regarding my doctor's appointment.

In the past, I've always dealt with periodic situational depression.

But these last two years have caused me to wonder if it's something else.
I know I'm struggling with stuff inside....soul stuff. I have been seeng a therapist for the last 9 months. And a few months ago, after I experienced my very first panic attacks...I questioned whether or not I needed meds to maybe help kick start me again.

The panic attacks themselves were interesting. Within about 5 minutes of the very first one, I thought I may be having a panic attack. I felt like two people. One....nervous, anxious, incredibly scared in a way I'd never been before. My heart was actually pounding rapidly, increasing in its fierceness. And the other part of me was stepped away from that saying...

..."gee what's going on....hmmm...this must be what a panic attack is like. I need to calm down. Breathe, don't forget to breathe. Okay, try a cup of herbal tea. Maybe it's time for some Kava Kava."

So the objective me was taking steps to calm the emotional me. It worked. The attack began to subside after about 30 minutes.

The next few were more intense. In my gutt, I knew I needed to reach out to people. I began making phone calls...two or three until I had a real person on the phone. I'd be crying on the phone, and told them I NEEDED them to tell me I was okay. Note, I did NOT want to be told I was going to be okay. But it was critical for me to hear that what I was going thru in that crazy moment WAS okay. Which they did. That type of contact helped immensely.

So I have a short list of people I can rely on for that. I don't need advice in those moments. Just knowing it's okay, whatever is happening, is perfect...and it grounds me.

Other than those attacks...the depression became more vicious. It began to hinder my work and my functioning. I spoke with my therapist and asked about meds. He didn't encourage me, but didn't discourage me either. It was my choice. He was willing to refer me to an MD, but I opted for my physician, who I knew.

My first big concern with antidepressants was the decreasing sex drive. I did not want to see that happen. But at this point, I hadn't had a sex drive in months, due to the sadness. So no loss there.

My other fear, which is pretty much non-negotiable is...I did not want to lose the tops and bottoms of my emotions. For me, I couldn't imagine life without feeling so intensely. But, I decided it would be wiser to speak with my doctor. I was attempting to remain open to the possibility that I may need drugs.

While in her little office, waiting for her, I noticed a book on Van Gogh. I was flipping thru it and discovered a painting I had never seen before. I was staring at it when she walked in. I showed it to her and we discussed the art for a bit.

Then we talked about antidepressants and I told her my fears about feeling grayer if I took them. She said that meds affect everyone differently, and the way I could make an objective, clear decision would be to try, and see what happens. She was encouraging me to go that route.
My doc spent two hours with me that morning. The nurse would knock on the door, because there'd be another patient...and she'd encourage me to stay we could finish talking. She'd do her thing and come back to me.

About half way thru the appointment...she walked back in after seeing someone else. Doc said "I was just thinking. Do you think Van Gogh could have painted what he did if he were on anti-depressants?". I said "absolutely not."
She said "me neither. Let's forget the meds".

I then told her how I was taking care of myself thru panic attacks...needing the "it's okay now" contact.

She thought that was perfect, and I told her I would come back in a month if things got even worse. In the meantime, I found myself beginning to work in a friend's garden, weeding and shoveling compost.
Weeding became a saving grace for me. I'm still struggling with internal stuff...but when the hurt becomes overwhelming, I'd walk out into the garden and pull weeds. Within 5 minutes, I'd find myself calmer inside and clearer.

My friends thought I was whacked for weeding for them. I told them it was helping me as well as them.
I don't think they believe me.

Last week, someone came into work to drop off some papers. I was speaking with her...and out of the blue she began talking about how her doctor was weaning her off her antidepressants. She'd been on them for years...and wanted out.
She found herself doing lots of weeding...and shoveling compost (I laughed when I heard that). She said it's helping with her depression. Sometimes she'll leave work early to do it. I told her I was doing the same thing!

Walking helps...but there's something about weeding that's more active. It's an actual task I can complete and feel good about. It's a zen thing as well. And it's metaphorical. I know I'm currently clearing my soul garden as well.

That whole episode made me wonder about depression and this society. I wondered if what we call depression is really depression or maybe a spiritual (not religious) crisis. I DO believe there are some forms of depression that will NEED meds. I don't doubt that in the least. But I think that we are too quick to jump on the pill wagon for the quick fix.

I saw a commercial last night. You know the ones that say "have you been feeling sad or anxious for the last two weeks? Have you had a hard time sleeping or eating, difficulty focusing on work? Paxil can help. Call your doctor today".
It pissed me off. Two weeks of sad and we are encouraging folks to take meds.

What's wrong with hurting? What's wrong with being sad, or feeling bleak and anxious? How do we know what happy is until there's something to compare it to?


What if our spirits need to struggle thru whatever turmoil to grow?

Granted...if whatever you are going thru causes you to to not function in your daily activities for an extended period of time (more than two weeks!)...that's an entirely different story.

I'm not saying that folks should not take drugs. But intelligence, creativity and what we call depression seem to go hand and hand. What if "what we call depression" is actually a more normal way of being...and we've lost sight of that?

We've become a society where we want everything fast. It's about production and product. And if we are emotionally troubled, the production slows way down. So, let's pop pills and become less feeling humans so we can get the goods out efficiently and not hold up the line.

I become quite impatient with myself during these hard times. I carry guilt and shame from "not being over it yet".
And yet, I have to keep reminding myself that life is a journey. And this is part of mine.

I saw this amazing documentary on Joni Mitchell on PBS about a month ago. What a brilliant woman.
What struck me the most was when she talked about dropping out of music for a few years. She left the states and moved to some remote cabin in Canada. She was crashing. She said that western civilization would call what she was going thru a nervous breakdown, and other cultures would call it a shamanic experience. That hit home and renewed my vigor to keep going. She took the time she needed to tend to herself and her garden irregardless what others thought.

I try to hold onto that.