Friday, January 28, 2011


I believe I am starting to disappear, little by little.

I wonder if anyone else will notice?

Monday, January 24, 2011


I just want to close the door on my life,
turn off the lights,
and sit in the dark,
quiet, without obligations or interruptions,
until I am no more

Sometimes the lyrics are my life

El Greco
from the album Courage
by Paula Cole

Click here to listen, and then click on song #3, El Greco.

I’m black on blacker velvet,
Milk skin and veins,
Like some El Greco painting,
So full of pain.
So full of longing for light of day.

I thought I knew who I was in the world.
But here I am twice blind at being born,
Crawling to my buried voice, within.

And I’ve forgotten who I used to be.
And I’ve forgotten the woman in red,
Living her dream.
And I’ve forgotten the courage I used to be.

Happiness is overrated,
It never lasts.
Skating the surface of oceanic depths.
Oh may the fruit of my life be meaning.

So please forgive me all my seriousness,
My so-called spirituality,
I’m just a mess.
I’m tears and anxiety,
But I’m unafraid to See.

And I’ve forgotten who I used to be,
The leader in her glory shining, divining.
And I’ve forgotten, the courage I used to be,
The middle passage is so damned humbling, persona crumbling,
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.
And I try, and I try, and I try, and I try, and I try.
I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know,
And I try, and I try, and I try, and I try, and I try.

Like some El Greco painting,
No sun or sky.
No lantern, no candle needed to light,
The holy radiance behind the eyes.

And I’ve forgotten who I used to be.
And I’ve forgotten the woman in red, living her dream.
And I’ve forgotten the courage I used to be.

I don’t know…

Decca Records, Copyright Paula Cole 2010, All Rights Reserved. Photo,

Per Wikipedia:

"The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'...anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness and dread."

OK, I get that, but shouldn't it have some kind of cause or trigger so I can at least address it?

Now what?

I woke up at 4:30 a.m. consumed--just consumed--with anxiety.

It makes no sense. What is wrong with me?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

ponienda bonita

Makeup stopped being interesting to me years ago. Mostly, it was a matter of laziness. Then, it was an issue of "what's the point?" because I was so mentally melted down that what I looked like was irrelevant.

Up until the age of 28 or so, I wore full makeup every day, religiously. When I was pummeled by a massive major depression in my early twenties, that was the first time I abandoned makeup. I resumed using it, although much less diligently a couple of years later. Eventually, it seemed like one more thing keeping me from sleeping just a little later every day.

Lately, though, I've been seduced by the pretty colors. I bought some purple eyeshadow at Ulta last week--two shades, in fact. Sophie In The Moonlight restored my faith in waterproof mascara, and Cover Girl Lash Blast is my new best friend. Having really put it to the test last week, I can confidently declare it to be funeral-proof.

My years-old lipstick finally became unusable, so I made a trip to Ulta to buy something new. Nothing too dark or too bright. I'm nearly 50 years old, and I didn't want anything garish. I bought two different shades, and both looked good. The only problem is that I live in an especially dry climate, so I have to use lip balm with the lipstick, and it was getting a bit messy.

The answer was lip stain. Lip stain is my new best friend. I put it on once in the morning, give it a minute to sink in, and then apply super-moisturizing lip balm. The lip stain stays with me all day and it looks natural. I love it. I can keep re-applying lip balm all day long, as needed, with no need to worry about color.

Part of my return to makeup started with mascara. I have blonde eyelashes, so with my glasses, it tends to appear that I have no lashes at all. I would have stopped there, but it was sleeping trouble that brought me to the next step.

I keep waking up at about 5:00. Frank gets up then and is in the bathroom until 5:30. Still, getting up at 5:30 leaves me with a lot of free time before I have to leave for work. Sure, I could use that time to exercise, but that would just make me even more cranky than my baseline morning level. It occurred to me one day that I had time to apply eye shadow along with the mascara. Unfortunately, my eye shadow stash was looking quite pathetic, hence the recent trip to Ulta, makeup mecca.

Now, in five minutes, I can put on a swipe of eyeshadow base (because I don't wear foundation but my eyelids are a little dry and eye shadow doesn't stick that well on its own), a brush of color, some liner, mascara, lip stain, lip balm, and--ta-da--I don't look so washed out.

I don't know that I'll keep up with this, but for now, I love purple eye shadow and berry-colored lip stain. Mascara that makes it through the day rocks my world.

My fiftieth birthday is barreling down on me like a freight train. Surely a little color will soften the collision.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ah, it's going to be fine

My laptop died this week. It wasn't a total surprise, but it was traumatic, nonetheless. At first it looked like nothing could be recovered from the hard drive. Eventually, all 19.5 Gb of data were restored.

The computer has a new, faster, much larger hard drive. Let's hope no other vital organs self-destruct anytime soon.

Must work on backing up this system...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Was I supposed to learn something?

I've been trying to make sense of my experience with the bipolar disorder I didn't actually have. It seems like, if I were a spiritual person, I would find meaning in why I was given this burden, this bad joke, this painful, unnecessary horror show.

I'm neither spiritual nor religious, so I can't look to any god's greater plan. Still, it seems like this was all laid before me so that I would learn from it or have take-away knowledge to apply in another context.

My Buddhist friends tell me that profound experiences are a gift of sorts, meant to help us understand something we need to know about or work on in becoming more evolved selves. Perhaps it is to become more mindful, perhaps it's meant to develop a sense of compassion.

I consider myself to be a compassionate person and reasonably open-minded. That wasn't a lesson I needed. The whole mess probably cost me $20,000, as a conservative estimate. It was likely quite a bit more when you factor in the things I ended up paying for because I couldn't keep my finances straight once I started medication. I didn't really need the lesson in poverty.

Loss. Was I supposed to experience loss on a variety of levels in order to understand loss better? I help people work through their experiences of loss every day in my job. Loss was never lost on me.

What was the lesson? Did I learn it but I just don't realize it yet?

I choke on the thought that a series of egregious misunderstandings and inappropriate treatment were nothing more than a series of unfortunate events.

My life is not richer because of this experience. Everything has been stripped down--my relationships, my attachment to work I loved, my finances, my ability to experience emotions, my interest in the world. It is not refreshing; rather, it has left me feeling broke, lonely, and vulnerable. I don't remember how not to feel that way.

Sometimes, I think it was all an extreme warning, like one of those disaster drills big cities put on so they're ready when the real thing comes along. Perhaps I was supposed to see that I have the mental, emotional, and behavioral capacity to experience bipolar disorder and I need to be prepared for the upheaval should my brain melt uncontrollably in the future. Perhaps I was supposed to see that I harbor mental illness inside of my brain and I need to build a life that compensates for that more effectively than before. Watch your step, May, or we'll do it again.

The what-ifs keep me awake at night and push more practical thoughts out of my consciousness nearly every day. Why, why, why...What, what, what...

The loss of sleep, the self-introspection, the wondering, and the frustration always lead me to the same conclusion:

There was no reason beyond poor clinical practice and compounded mistakes.

There is no meaning.

What a waste.