Saturday, September 1, 2012


No stall tactics here, because for once in artless way, I couldn't come up with anything, and I can usually stall and tapdance with the best of them.

God, I do so understand not wanting to talk about suicide. The thought of ending one’s life is fraught with just so many triggers, both atavistic and psychological. The idea that by our own hand we choose to cease to exist is just beyond contemplation. I get up to the idea of it, and my mind just skitters aound it, alá crazy bumper car style. I am Catholic and being raised so, the Jesuit priests made it very clear that I would be forever cast out and anathema if I killed myself, so there’s that. I admit that when I was at my very worst psychologically and when I couldn’t walk, the idea did cross my mind but it was almost as an abstract, a “what if?” scenario. But the pain was there and as tough as I may think I am, I really understand and sympathize with people who are in that kind of pain.

My mother after all, tried to take her own life when I was 7. I cannot imagine what kind of hell she was going through for her to think abandoning her child to an alcoholic father was a good idea, as kind as he was. I know she was truly, truly in deep misery. Andi-roo has suffered the same intense pain. I weep for them and people like them. I just can’t imagine the depths of suffering and misery. And then along come assholes who tell you shit like, “oh, you’re just blue, pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” “Get over yourself; there are other people who are worse off than you.”

When I lived at Happy Acres, I had 2 roommates. One suffered from depression, the other suffered from assholery. I was keeping an eye on the depressed one, because she was becoming more and more withdrawn. I kept asking her if she needed help. She kept saying no. The asshole kept needling her, telling her she needed to get up, do this, do that, yada, yada. I told asshole to just mind her own business. Finally, one night, the depressed one, O, came to me after dark. A bunch of us were sitting on the front porch and O asked if I would call someone for her. I pried it out of her that she was feeling suicidal. My other friend H and JC sat with her while we waited for the ambulance. She held my hand and was crying. Asshole told her she just needed to get it together. H and I threw asshole off the porch. I’m so over that shit. I said, “go ahead, call the police.”  The women fought more than the men over there. We got O to the hospital and Baker acted. We threw her a welcome home party when she came home. She's doing well now.

Anyway, depression is a killer. It isolates a person from other people. It’s cunning that way. Depression doesn’t go for the weak like most predators, either. I notice that it takes the strong ones. The people who have gone on with out complaint and have shouldered more than their share for years. Depression is also an heirloom. Families pass it down from generation to generation. What a legacy.

Depression is no respecter of class, sex, race, creed or culture. I love the actor Zoë Saldana. She is spectacular looking and fiery. She also suffers from depression, as countless other artists do. It’s almost a requirement if you’re in any performing art. Some asshat said something along the lines of “well, she’s got a great career, money and a baby, what’s she got to be depressed about?” Almost as bad as Tom Cruise and his stupid bullshit with Matt Lauer over Brooke Shields after she talked about her post-partum depression. Tom was insistent that she didn’t need pharmaceuticals to be “cured.” First off, Tom hasn’t a uterus, second off Tom is a robot, I think.

The creepy thing and the timing about all that? I had a gig with Chicago at the Scientology Center over in Clearwater about the time all that shit happened. I had just been released from the hospital the first time after suffering heart failure, in 2004 and found myself playing this gig with a purse full of psychotropics. The creepy part is this: the Scientologists have cameras everywhere and I mean EVERYWHERE. They wanted me to surrender my purse on their property. I had to have my manager intervene and I told them I would have them slapped with a civil lawsuit so fast their heads would spin; I was in no mood for their bullshit, but the psych meds were keeping me calm and helping my heart heal too.

Depression really is a bastard, as well as a bitch. Women suffer more than men, but men suffer it and just as keenly as women. I go back to the reason I originally wrote this. Andi-Roo. She is my heart. Without a heart, I can’t go on. Oh, I could. But it wouldn’t be the same. We all have to have someone who we emulate. She is a dear lady. I know she had an icky patch. We all do. When I have one, I just kind of fluther through it, knowing that I will come through it. I do, and it’s always better than it was before. I think this just hits such a nerve with me, because I’m still haunted by the “what if?” What if my mother had succeeded?

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