I love this poem. …. it allows me to be a complete piece of crap.  I live through other people’s words. Mostly because my head has been so full -all of my life – with mental illness.  I haven’t been able to sift through it to have an actual thought of my own about anything other than what I HAD to do at the very second that I was having the thought.  So… I borrowed others.  Or, I memorized a lot.  Lots of people asked why math? Because it always is… no reason thinking about it.  Its pretty much right or wrong and I could remember that for the most part.  Its not that I was very good at it, but I could count on it (no pun intended).

However, I have been doing my own thinking lately.  It’s not so bad. Except I am realizing that I am not entirely creative. .. and WOW!  what a piece of crap I have allowed myself to be….  My therapist doesnt want me to be too hard on myself. I get that.  I see the illness. I see what it does to others and to me.  But WOW… did I say that?

I am still a lyric and poem and quote junkie and probably always will be.  I just can’t live them I suppose… or, holy cow, I could get away with anything! I could just blame Pinterest!

So here’s my gig…

I have been running away from myself for years. Lately, I have been feeling really good. But, I have to say, that I think it’s because of what I have been working through with my therapist. I thought I’d share some of it.

*******Not the actual sessions – NOT to worry  – we have our own sessions to deal with. **********

This is how it was explained to me after 40 some odd years of banging my head against the wall…. this comes from a combination of things my therapist has told me and from a book I’ve been working with called, “Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life”, by Steven C. Hayes, PH.D with Spencer Smith. I apologize for not citing that correctly.

OK, so this is my therapist, me and the book all mixed up – bare with me!

My “disorder” and how it works in my life is like me standing in the middle a battlefield actually fighting in the war. And, it’s not going well at all. I’m losing miserably – sound familiar? So, what do I do? I fight harder and harder and even harder. Losing is a “devastating” option; but unless the war is won, I don’t think living a worthwhile life is possible. I don’t want to die – never have, but living a “worthwhile” life isn’t possible. So I fight harder and harder. And, of course, the war goes on.

Unknown to me, is the fact that, at any time, I could quit the battlefield… walk off… and live life, right now!

“The war may still go on, and the battlefield may still be visible. The terrain may look very much as it did while the fighting was happening. But the outcome of the war is no longer very important and the seemingly logical sequence of having to win the war before beginning to really live has been abandoned.”


Walk away?

“I am bipolar”, I said to my therapist? “Do you know of many bipolar people who are able to walk away from a fight”?

Walk away?

Welp, ladies and gentlemen… I had tried everything else up to that point. I had fought the fight. MANY… MULTIPLE… fights. And, so we went through the pages of the book and his thoughts on how this would happen for me and I gave into it. What the hell did I have to lose?

NOTHING. I could list everything for ya that I’d lost, but my list would look a lot like yours I would imagine. So… what’s that point? You get the gist.

That was February… Here I am. I am not fixed. But I am better… better than I can ever remember being. For how long? I don’t care. I’m not depressed. And, most of all, I’m not manic. I can breath. I can think and concentrate. I feel without a broken heart (most of the time – that is just me by nature).

There is no magic pill. I know that. No super hero. Pretty sure of that – although, I haven’t given up completely on God, yet. I do have my mind. And, while it is NOT very kind to me at times, I am learning how to work with it. I am learning how to recognize the “fight” for what it is…

I was looking for puppy dogs and rainbows – I’m not going kid myself. I was looking for bright sunny skies. I didn’t want to see the battlefield. But, truth is – it’s there. It is there for every single human being, every day – mentally ill or not. *shrug* it is. And, if I decide I wanna fight – I can. AND… there are days I fight regardless if I decided to or not. Many days I fight. But, I can catch myself a lot quicker and – as my Mom said growing up… chose my battles. I always hated her for that comment. Didn’t she know I couldn’t do that????

Anyway… it’s a great book. A fellow blogger also recommend “The Happiness Trap” by Ross Harris. I have started it and it is also EXCELLENT! Also based on the same therapy that “Get Out of Your Mind” is based on.

I think that’s all I’ve got for now… Thanks for listening… Over and out!

about strength… a work in progress


I don’t talk about domestic abuse. It’s a tough one to talk about here because no one wants to trigger anyone, yet this is my place… However, I knowingly come here literally as an open book. Anyway… I may go there today… FYI

My head is clearing up – as we know. My heart, while seemingly stuck in the cycle of “humpty-dumpty had a great fall”, is getting stronger daily. But, there are still things that I need to “look at”? Examine? No, that’s too much… look at… I’ll go there. I need to look at the results of what I went through outside of my mental illness and see that I did in fact come through the other side. Not just once – no, because I don’t learn from my mistakes once – not even twice…

I need to look at these things and stop glazing over them as a simple punch in the face or a – “well, he was definitely a jackass” and say “HOLY SHIT girl – It’s seriously something and you are here today to talk about it”. I need to talk about it because I need some inner-strength. I deserve some inner-strength and I think I can draw some from those messed up situations! Again, I deserve something from them.

So the question becomes… when do I actually grab a hold of some of it and say to myself “YOU MADE IT”. Or, maybe the question is… why can’t I say to myself “YOU MADE IT”? I’ve given up on the whole question as to why I continuously put myself in those situations. I just did. It doesn’t matter why. Hopefully I don’t any longer.

What is incredible to me is that I can look at other survivors and see what strong individuals they are – even if they cannot see it in themselves. I can support them. Stay with them… be there for them! But I “got nothin'” for myself except memories of harsh, harsh words that cut deep as knives and broken bones… and thoughts that I probably 1) started the problem or 2) did something to not help it….

I want to reach in and grab the rawness of the actions and hold it in my hands long enough for it to sink in… for the fear maybe to wake up something inside of me so that I can say HOLY SHIT that really happened TO ME and here I am 20 years later, 10 years later, 5 years later and I am standing and moving forward… but instead I am afraid of every little thing that goes off around me. I shouldn’t be afraid. I should stand strong! I don’t need anyone or anything to get through the day, yet I fuck it up every single time. I break down and become helpless. I cave in. Because I am afraid of ONE THING…

I am clear headed today. I am semi-unbrokenhearted ( if that were possible haha – I gotta believe it is). I cannot continue to cave in on the little things…. but if I stand up and try to do something I risk ONE THING…

That one thing… the one thing that is left..  that is still completely uncontrollable is my anger.

The smallest things happen and I fall apart and out comes BETTY (or B, for short). All my friends know her. My boyfriend is very well acquainted with her. I cannot control her.

I just feel like there is a connection between the two…. the abuse and the anger – oh, ya think, Jami?

I’m going to keep working on it.

That’s all we can do…

And so… this is day 1…

no talkie!

well… he didn’t “Dear John” me… (see last post – which I am not techie enough to link).

I really thought he would because, you see, I read minds and that’s what I thought he was going to do!

My therapist tells me I suck at mindreading. I don’t listen to him. I keep trying. Maybe I don’t listen to him because HE is actually talking to me.

Seriously… growing up in my house my mom was always locked in the den – so she never talked. My sister (violently) hated me and so I avoided her at all cost  – thus, no talkie! And, my dad was busy working all the time and I never saw him….. so, you guessed it! All I had was mind reading.

What’s for dinner? Hmmm… Let. Me. Guess.

It was a way of life.

When it’s all ya got… it’s all ya do.

It would seem that I am under the impression that other people are expected to read MY mind as well. And… I get very pissy when they aren’t very good at it! Which, by the way, no one seems to be!!! Shocking!!! Like they should be (said with EXTREME sarcasm).

Mostly, I just want people to talk to me – use their words. I’d appreciate it if they could be honest at the same time. That’s always a good thing – honesty. But, I’ll start with just your basic communicating. I can weed through the words myself – over and over – because that’s what I do. I’ll make up what I don’t hear anyway… 🙂

I am so hopeless.

Holding pattern…

Last post I talked about my butterflies… how I’d had an epiphany in Chicago about 15 years ago and discovered that they may be the closest I’ll get to God – if they weren’t, in fact, him. I’d discovered them as I walked away my misery among the back streets of Wrigleyville in the early mornings.

I was back there this weekend.


I was waiting for something epic to follow that statement.

However… I got nothin’ for ya….

The butterflies were out.
It was still the same Wrigley.
I’m still bipolar.
I am still doing very well.

Yeah, I’ve got nothing sensational to write about.

The loss that I mentioned in my last post… I was actually proud of that loss. Can a person be proud of a loss? I’d initiated it. It was long over-due. But, as in the past, I chased it down and drug it back in so that I could be miserable for just a little while longer. The drug. It should be over soon though. He messaged me last night to prepare me that I will be receiving a Dear John explanation today. You would think that I wouldn’t even care. But I do. I will break down – yet again. Over two years of it… and yet again… he will wreck me. This time it will be for good, though. I’m fairly sure of it.

Oh, whatever.

I’m still doing great in my head! That’s what matters. It’s still clear-ish as a bell. I’m still breathing… although my heart is preparing for some small bit of shattering in a few hours… I think I will survive it. Stronger than ever! That’s a good thing.

Sorry not much more to say. I’m in a holding pattern at the moment. But, it’s a positive one at least.

White Magic


July 1972

“Honest, Dad, Will they really do that?”
Our six-year old asked softly,
And so I told her again to trust…
(Even butterflies are suspect nowadays!)

Under a late sun, with a wry smile,
Christ-like, bare arms straight out,
She calls silently to white butterflies,
Who one by one jitter to her warm brown skin.

Small angels, they each land and kiss her arms
Each kiss holding a promise of more to come
Patience rewarded, her smile broke the peace
As one and then another and another… flitted away.

July 2002 at 36 Eye to Eye

Each new day breeds perilous adventures
My daughter, now a woman, knows… very well
On this day, once again she sees her angels
Now on their mission to renew old ties!

Flowing freely, the same smile
Greets God’s tiny messengers.
The young woman suddenly stops
As one flits and flirts around her.

“Hello, old protector,” she whispers.
“I Thank you for what I see
When I look you in the eye…
God’s love …yes, God’s love for me!”

July 2013 At 47 Take the Walk

Always, there’re little angels waiting for you
To take the walk and stop when you see them.
Again… trust them… they will find you
Smile early… and simply reach out to them!

—Dad, July 2013

My dad wrote this for me. I lived in Chicago for about 10 years. I have struggled with “God” my entire life. I struggle with what I can’t see. I remember calling up my pastor when I was a little girl and asking where God came from. He told me it was sorta like baking a cake… cake batter… a little of this and a little of that. I got nothin’ from that.

I was really in the middle of a super sick episode in Chicago. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was trying everything I could at the time. I was walking the streets of Wrigleyville – usually around 4:30 am. It was summer, though, so it was daylight at the time. The white butterflies were out – not all of the time, but here and there. I walked the back streets mostly. In the back streets the – the alleys of Wrigley – there are a lot of gardens. The butterflies love them.

One morning… probably a few of the mornings I’d talk to myself (ok, I always talk to myself) and I’d argue with God. Question him. Yell a lot (in my head of course). The butterflies would show up at times that seemed like I might have been asking for some reassurance. It dawned on me at some point that maybe there was a connection between them showing up and me needing that reassurance… I would stop and smile a bit when I’d see them… my heart rate would go down… still does… That was 12 years ago.

Yesterday I was on a walk with Paisley, my basset hound. I’ve been feeling great lately. Head is clear. Heart is pounding faithfully without ache most of the time… but I experienced a loss recently – one that I actually initiated. It was much needed, but still painful. I was thinking about it on my walk. Sure enough… flit and flirt. There it was… there “HE” was??? I stopped for second. I smiled. Sure enough, my heart settled a bit and Paisley and I went on about our walk.

I don’t know that I actually believe in God. Obviously my father would like to believe that it’s the choice I have made with my butterflies. I must believe in something. And, I guess that’s all that matters… that there is something that gets us through those tough times or we’d never get through them. Maybe it’s just us! We are strong! We should be proud of ourselves for that. If no one else believes in us – we should!!!

Or, we could believe in our butterflies! 🙂

Now is my “MOMENT”

A few posts ago I’d thanked whatever I needed to that my meds have been working. Now, I think I’m thanking that same “whatever” that maybe my therapy is working or something.

I would never consider that I am better. It’s a temporary experience that I am willing to hold onto for as long as I can though.

I have prayed.

I have begged.

I have made deals with every god… and every devil that exists… for some peace or breathe that I could breath for just one moment.

Now is my “MOMENT”.

I don’t know what you are all looking for exactly, but I do know we are all looking for some sort of personal respite. I know this because I know we all experience our own personal hell. I truly believe that no single person’s hell is worse than another’s. So, in saying that I think it’s fair to also say that the other side of the coin – that “un-hell” – would also be different for each of us.

I’m learning to “enjoy” right now… baby steps and all.

It’s not exactly anxiety-free – this “moment”. My “B” side is sitting back and surveying things for me… she throws out an occasional “lookout” and a “stop, stop, don’t drink the water”. She’s a delightful companion.

But, my head has never felt so clear -not in 47 years and 11 months. My heart hasn’t stopped aching like this since I can remember it beating (and I don’t mean because of heartbreak – just in general). And, I can breath right now – big, long, deep breaths!

Let me just say: It is good ladies and gentleman!!!

I can hear you all now… “Yep, she’s manic.” I never got to experience that part of being bipolar. A few very short stints – maybe – the doctors think. Sometimes I wonder if they were even correct with the diagnosis, but that’s neither here nor there.

So, I’m not here to “brag” for lack of a better term. I’m here because I have come to these places for years. I come here and I write and read – and I mostly write because I am so sad and lonely and MOSTLY ANGRY. Usually I want to just quit. Or, I want to beat the hell out of everyone who says “stop complaining and pick yourself up and move on”. Because I try every single day even when it doesn’t look like it!!! Just freaking breathing is trying in my book!

I don’t know if the stars are in alignment suddenly. I didn’t just suddenly pick up religion. I know it’s not a magic potion made up of my medicine. I am just going to accept that it’s happening. I’m going to hang onto it. I’m going to keep doing everything that I’m doing. Keep coming here and reading and writing… At the moment, mostly reading and listening – and not forgetting that at any moment this SUCKS really bad – so hang on!

I just thought that maybe I’d come and write about TODAY. Because, well, it doesn’t happen everyday. I can’t remember being able to concentrate so well… being able to breath and not feel the ache of every heart beat… of being able to want to get out of bed and not care what I was doing for the day. I can’t remember NOT CARING that I’m anxious… ’cause even though I feel so great I still get anxious and I still get angry… Pfft….


It’s still scary… it’s still weird… but I can do it… I guess this doesn’t make sense at all now that I’ve written it all down. But, I just feel ok. And, I’m just gonna go with it!