There’s No Way!

Anyone who has had to deal with manifested psychiatric-psychological disorders like manic bipolar disorder as well as/or clinical addiction, which often go hand-in-hand, then like me you can probably relate to and empathize about why this particular song* speaks volumes to me. It captures the intensity. It covers ALL of the mental and emotional ups and downs, successes and failures, that seem to be a never-ending saga of love, hope, destruction, beauty, anger, disappointment, joy, and most of all perseverance. I sometimes wonder if staying isn’t abnormal.

I live a chemical life
I’m on a mission to try
You went insane for a day
I’ll have to shove it away
My only option is gone
Smile as they break and they fall
You want a simpler life
You can’t erase what was mine

Even though it is human nature to often seek perfection and expect perfection, we eventually find that in seeking and expecting perfection, we find imperfection. The more perfection desired, the more imperfection found. Sounds quite insane, quite a formula for cyclical chaos doesn’t it?

You must be out of your mind!
This was a simple design!
You fuck it up every time
How could you leave me behind

Yes, there have been many times over the decades where I thought I was going out of my mind! But many times I felt denying or running from the problem(s) wouldn’t solve anything or teach me/us anything either! But everyone doesn’t think or feel like I do, so some do indeed “run”… and leave me behind. Some truly want immediate satisfaction and relief!

It’s alright, it’s alright
’cause I know what you want
but you’ll just have to wait
If I had it to give
I would give it away
I’m living it up
while I’m falling from grace
There’s no way, there’s no way that I’m running away

And in my years of employment in the Psych/A&D field helping others, I eventually found that if I don’t remain disciplined with my own mental-emotional health, rest, and recreation, I too can fall from grace. I am just as human as the next and I am reminded of that, dancing that edge sometimes as I must, as long as I remain truly human inside humanity. Make sense?

How many thousands of times I have heard this rationale and events play out…

I’m used to making it worse
Made up of four letter words
You wanna know what it was
Now isolated and gone
You fall apart at the seams
I’ll never know what it means
Try not to pull it apart
You’re anger’s straight from the heart



There were numerous times when my patience and will were exhausted, done. All I wanted was to be selfish, left alone in solitude, or to do one of my favourite therapies: dancing. And yes, even dancing and screaming energetically angry too… at first, maybe. (wink)

But then…

It had to be the worst for me
I don’t know what to say so let me be
And now I find you left me behind**
I don’t know what to say so nevermind!

You’re mine!

I still belong here, there… with my human family, with my tribe, with my soul mates… through the good times and the bad. Together.

’cause I know what you want
but you’ll just have to wait
If I had it to give
I would give it away
I’m living it up
while I’m falling from grace
There’s no way, there’s no way that I’m running away

I don’t have all the answers, nor can I guarantee immediate results — you’ll just have to wait… be patient. If I had it to give, I would give it away! But in the meantime, I’ll be here with you. I might get frustrated, even angry, but I will celebrate successes just as pumped and just as excited as you do! “You’re mine.” You’re ours.

You know, maybe we don’t need such super high expectations of perfection. Since perfection always accompanies imperfection, let’s find all the beauty in imperfection and embrace it along with perfection. Let’s learn to screw up better each time! But do not fear…

There’s no way that I’m running away.

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* “Simple Design” by Breaking Benjamin (2004)
** This line refers to my Dad who in July 1990 took his own life without reaching out.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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seacrhing-for-cluesWhere have I gone you ask? Let me see how to briefly answer 😉 without sacrificing the most relevant points while still making sense.

As the school year drew to an end and closed for the summer June 6th, I fully expected to have the free time to comfortably and earnestly blog. I was looking forward to completing about 2-3 posts per month! I have about eight posts started and outlined a dozen more topics I’m excited to get posted… in all of my categories.

But as I settled in my summer home in the Hill Country, my own wishes and plans went quickly out the window. Unless you’re an island unto yourself… life, family, and career sometimes have little regard for one’s petty personal desires. HAH!


If I choose to keep writing my blog-posts, I will have only short 30-60 minute windows early early in the mornings when no one else is up. This is honestly a welcomed peaceful quite-time ritual:  a wave of the flower garden’s watering-wand brings showers to Black-chinned hummingbirds, infrequently the Ruby-throated or Rufous hummingbirds, buzzing down darting in and out of the spray… often no more than 3-feet away from my nose. Four out of five of these mornings have the cool southerly or southwesterly breezes blowing through our hilltop oasis. As I’m writing this (and not outside) I notice our nearby roadrunner (Geococcyx californianusfamily trots from one end of the yard to the other. This is the prelude of a day in nature’s front-row that is never the same from previous A.M. shows. This is the “life” I would give up if I were to focus on my blogging and all of you. Hmmm, the quandaries. 😉


For two weeks I’ve had my 14-year old son with me. It has been great and rejuvenating rekindling our relationship, again. I haven’t seen him since Xmas 2014 and then before that Spring Break 2014. We talk on the phone biweekly, sometimes more. It isn’t the same though; touching, seeing each other’s expressions, hugging, mean so much more with more lasting impressions. But the landmass of Texas is more than huge — which did allow he and I to talk the drive back, and talk, and talk, and talk five hours, the entire return trip. However, despite that immeasurable profit, traveling expenses are higher when hotel rooms must be included with food and fuel costs. For the last 13-years I’m the one that must and has foot the entire bill if I want to see my children which has made visitations difficult.

The time with my son is precious and highly needed, if not at least for my sake and sanity. And my newly married 21-year old daughter and her husband came to visit last weekend for 2-nights, 3-days! You couldn’t chisel the smiles off my face I was so thrilled! As I wrote a couple of months ago in my post And It Begins, my relationship with my daughter was put on hold 13-years ago when she, her brother, mother and step-father moved from the DFW area to Houston. My face-to-face time with my kids becomes, has become even more priceless. This is the current positive side of “Family.”

I was not told that my sister — an addict, recovering & relapsing the last 35+ years NEEDING to be either in a halfway house or inpatient dual-diagnosis hospital — moved into my mother’s home last December. I am not going to go into the many problems this lumps onto my widowed mother of 76-years living in her 3,000 sq. ft. ranchita on 13-acres and all the daily weekly chores, tasks, and projects a property that size requires… FROM RELIABLE helpers/workers/family members!!! I guess I did go into it a little detail, huh? This is why my Mom never told me she moved in. Instead of being upset and irate last winter, now I’m even more upset and irate when upon my arrival I assessed and determined how horribly behind all the chores, tasks, and projects have fallen and some not even started the last 7-months! Yet, that’s not all of it!

She wants to put on the market and sell the house and property by the end of August… of 2015! *large exhale*

Wonderful, beautiful, fun, responsible family! 🙂

Unreliable, unpredictable, over-weight & smoking, clinically depressed family in dire need of professional help, not resort accommodations! 😦



The last two years the Texas Board of Education along with their conservative legislative constituents in Austin, will have their specialized curriculums implemented this 2015-16 school year. The most significant changes in the state-wide curriculum will be in the science and social studies/history textbooks and standards (visit New Texas Curriculum Standards and New BOE Chairman for more info).

The circus will return!

The Professor’s circus will return!

These social conservative changes force me to reevaluate my personal conviction of “let the PARENTS aid their children in deciding religious and political debates.” My job responsibility is to offer the various perspectives, that information and data, monitoring student’s performance and proper objectivity. Unfortunately, now that the Texas GOP remains in office with more conservatives seated in our state Congress along with continued conservatives appointed on the Board of Education, as a Freethinking Humanist my convictions and conscience are increasingly challenged putting my performance-reviews further under the microscope by my supervisors and superiors. It doesn’t help either that I’m only a 5-year experienced teacher… easily replaced by a biased Christian-conservative teacher with 10-15 years experience. This past spring I’ve begun considering a career change, more like a career return to the psych/A&D field of therapy, crisis management, and guidance. In 1989-91 I was in the field and doing exceptionally well.

Hence, the tedious, enormous task of job-searching begins simultaneously with everything mentioned above. HAH!

What It All Means

It means simply my enjoyment of writing and blogging will be suspended, or very infrequent until further notice. It has taken me almost 2-weeks just to finish this post! I know all of you are crying and mourning my absence and thought-provoking posts. It is hard, I know. I’m sorry. But this shall one day pass. 😉

Meanwhile, please feel free to read and/or visit my other posts, both old and recent. Comment if you’d like. I will log-in two or three times a week to check for new comments and suggestions for my Us and Them page.

Until then…

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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To Limits and Back

bipolar-masksThe highs are intoxicating, the lows exhaustively abysmal, and almost always consuming like fire. Sooner or later you ask the questions, where am I? Who am I? How did I get here…alone? Shall I return?

A song and toast to the eccentric…

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I had this thing to call my own…
Just one slip and it was gone…

A minor flaw and then it fell,
I brought this house down on myself…

I didn’t know just what I’d done…
I didn’t know just what I’d done…

I don’t remember anymore
what I used to be…
Where is the quiet piece of home where I could breathe?

Just like a razor to my soul
When I’m alone…
Oh, I had this thing to call my own…

I’m so confused, I cannot see…
This wave of guilt is drowning me

It feels like blood is on my hands…
I’d give it all for a second chance…

I still don’t know just what I’ve done…
I still don’t know just what I’ve done…

I don’t remember anymore what I used to be…
There was a fire burning strong inside of me…

Just like the soothing loving warmth of summer sun…

Oh, I had this thing to call my own…
I had this thing to call my own…
I had this thing to call my own…

I’ve never meant to let you go…
I’ve never meant to let you go…
To let you go…
To let you go…

They are very human. They feel intensely. Rarely anything they do or say is average. You can envy them and despise them in the same breath, same motion. Here one moment, gone the next…and you laugh or cry, sometimes neither; blank. Alive, dead. Those few precious moments of in-between normality you cherish, forever. For the drifting listless and unmoved, they are very hard to let go and hopelessly easy to grasp with open arms. Go. Don’t go.

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They are so tragically joyously human. They are, or a version of, manic/bipolar behavior disorder (hypomania?). In many ways we need them for either cardiac arrest…or cardiac resuscitation. The last reaction one should have to this behavior or disorder is eviction as if they’re lepers. Understand first the neurology, then you can better manage the situations with them, being positive instead of inflaming.

Personally I need them, I welcome them, the heart-monitors of palpitations, the respirators of inhale exhale! But…if there are warning labels, I usually miss them on many occasion. My advice?

Consult a physician and psychiatrist for recommended dosages, or risk missing or getting the vivid ride of a lifetime on and off the ordinary grid! Mind-blowing thrills and shrills guaranteed — bumps and bruises non-negotiable — but either way you will find out if you’re alive or taking up space.

**Music:  I Had This Thing, by Röyksopp

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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The Disease

detoursFor the last four weeks I’ve been quite busy.  During this time I have set to one side the task of blogging; it had to take a lower priority.  And as is typical in life there are sometimes distractions or obstacles that get in the way of things we want to do, like blogging.  I have had such a week; more like several weeks.  Each time I wanted to continue and finish the humorous post I had started and planned for publishing days ago, life would throw a curve ball.  Seven out of ten times I am able to easily manage the distractions or setbacks.  But as many of you may know, life doesn’t always cooperate with our wishes and plans.

There are two significant factors that every single person alive must address and manage at some point in their life:  family and aging elders, or death.  The timing of both these factors is almost never convenient nor are they always pleasant when it is a family member.  Family has the distinct uncomfortable privilege of reaching too often the deepest parts of our heart and soul.  For the last 31-years I have had the “privilege” of witnessing my sister’s chemical-addictions, soon exacerbated with psychological issues, burden my mother and her usually huge warm energetic heart with every passing year – with every single perpetual relapse by my sister every month to three months – take off two, five years of my mom’s health and vitality each time.  We have been a three-member family since my father’s suicide in 1990, and guess who is always counted on (by default) for strength, understanding, and eventually some comic relief?

I have to admit…it gets really fucking exhausting.

diseaseFor the last thirty-plus years I have done a LOT of screaming; screaming at the sky, screaming at the walls, screaming at my dead father wherever he is, and screaming at my three different therapists who’ve had the “privilege” of helping me through the bad times.

But those screaming sessions cannot compare to the decibel levels I’ve screamed (mostly in my head) over and over when I listen to alcohol-drug support groups and leaders talk about “The Disease.”

I have no hesitation in confessing that I am apparently on the outside looking in.  There are support groups for family members of chemical-addicts that not only offer emotional support, but also educate family members of addicts (often the issues of enabling and co-dependency) how to manage themselves around an addict’s pathology.  What is taught and what is often embraced by these groups, sometimes makes me want to scream with my already strained exhausted vocal cords!

Is it right…is it best to give, to surrender so much power and control to the disease?

If I examine my sister’s 31-plus years of addiction and never-ending relapses, I would wonder.  Fuck, who am I kidding?  I do wonder…but from a very frustrating “disadvantaged” viewpoint.  So I continue to scream, apparently until I have no vocal cords left to scream because apparently this fucking “disease” will never go away.  Apparently it can never be cured, only managed until the day she dies.

Is that the way it will always be for the brothers and mothers of addicts?  I have to accept it?  I really have a serious fucking problem with that white flag!  I have always had that problem, which for the last 15-20 years has sometimes caused my already aging, tired compassionate mother perhaps more stress than comfort and hope!  And that makes me want to scream more!

When is passiveness or surrender unhealthy?

After three months in counseling soon after my father’s suicide, my therapist, with tears rolling down her cheeks said “You are one of the most remarkable Survivors I have ever counseled.”  The four major life events I was forced to deal with in 1990 was blowing her away, let alone her clinical concern for my mental-emotional health.  She confessed to me years later that she had considered diagnosing me with major depression with suicidal precautions.  Apparently statistics show that immediate family members of suicide victims have an increased likelihood of suicide themselves.  I understood all too well that concept play out on 9/11 when watching people jump from the top-floor windows of the World Trade Center towers to their death — sometimes it just seems to be too unbearable.  I have felt their pain, but then I scream back at life with my best warrior face.

Laurel Land Cemetery where my Dad is buried & Mom has her plot. She & I have discussed too where to put my 49-yr old sister.

Laurel Land Cemetery where my Dad is buried & Mom has her plot. She & I have also discussed where to put my 49-yr old sister.

It seems with each passing month and each passing year a survivor-of-suicide has an exponentially greater chance of becoming a uniquely advantaged super-human, or so the clinical data shows.  So what does it mean when one is also forced to support an aging 73-year old elderly mother – cut short of ten happier years by a pathological relapsing addict-daughter – who physically and emotionally has either reached or is damn close to her life-limit?  How much are we supposed to endure?  How much are we obligated to endure my sister’s 31-years of repeated insatiable relapses which are always around the corner ready to devour?  How many more damaged exhausted victims have to fall in her wake?

I am one extremely pissed-off brother (again) as I watch my sister – who consciously chose to consume those chemicals as a teenager – inflict again on my undeserving mother, inflict again on her undeserving AA and NA support friends, and inflict again on society as a whole, who with their tax dollars or donations throw away give and give, and give to a disease that can only be partly managed with unpredictable results…always.

This is the way it has to be?

Signed angry, exhausted “Survivor” brother and son who doesn’t feel very super-human!

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