Tuesday, March 07, 2006


When I was out on the coast last week, my friends and I got talking about a number of things, one of which was old neighbours.

You see, we used to live in the same building. Our suites were the only ones built on the roof, and we'd known each other before evilkev and I moved there - in fact, Steve walked me down the aisle at my wedding, and Alison, his wife, was my matron of honour - just like I stood up for her when they married.

Um, yeah, that would be Steve escorting me down the aisle because my parents don't even know I'm married. I think. But those of you who've been around for a while know about that.

So, they tell me how, from all of the wild people who lived below us in the building, one guy's on the streets now, looking to get set up housekeeping for a grow-op. Lovely. Not entirely surprising either.

And another's still wandering around, talking to the voices.

Which, of course, led naturally into a discussion about mental illness.

Which is when Steve pipes up that 1 in 4 have some mental condition, and that if you're with three of your friends and it isn't them you should take a look at yourself.

Ha ha ha. And it doesn't bother me in the slightest, except that every now and again, it does. I mean, I'm pretty pragmatic about stuff. So my grandfather died in a mental institution. So my mother's been institutionalized.

So I went through government-mandated therapy as a teenager...

Explains a lot, doesn't it? (Beat you to it, Boy Kim.)

The thing was, when I mentioned being diagnosed as bipolar as a teenager, my friends were both startled. I hadn't realized that, in all the time I've known them, I'd never told them that.

Which just goes to show how normal I can seem in person. Or it says something about them, doesn't it?*

But really, it doesn't affect me much. There's only one area, as an adult, that I think this creates a struggle for me in, and that's in personal relationships. But I may just be a bit sensitive too, so who's to say? Sometimes, I just take things way too personally.

The last few hours I've completely cratered. Mind you, it started with a phone call regarding this whole legal mess with our mineral rights. I think I've been so wired up for so long over all of this garbage that when I got off the phone, I just deflated.

I had this wild post that was supposed to go up Monday. It didn't. Then it was 'tip Tuesday' so again, I held off on the post.

And tonight I'm sitting here wishing there was something harder than milk in the fridge, and I don't feel like emailing, and I don't feel like posting, and I feel like such a fraud trying to put on being entertaining and witty when I'm like this.

But I'm also a pretty open person. I guess, not being a comic or an entertainer, I don't see why I can't just be honest on occasion. This blog is, after all, about my life as much as anything else.

I'll feel better in the morning. And hopefully, that means tomorrow's post will mark my real return to being back into the swing of things.

Unless I'm arrested for murdering an energy company official before then.

But I leave you with this - something that did make me smile when I read it.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1930's 40's, 50's, 60’s, & early 70's

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because...


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

And YOU are one of them!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?!

* Really, they're both awesome. Steve's a firefighter, Alison's a nurse. In this case, it says more about me being closer to normal than you all thought.


Christa M. Miller said...

Big hugs, Sandra. I have a history of depression, so I understand not feeling like blogging or emailing (which makes me appreciate your advice even more!). I am thinking of you!

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

So if there are 5 of us Bunions, what are the odds then?

But seriously, thanks for an honest post. I had no idea.

Kate said...

It sounds as if you've been too stressed for too long and just run out of adrenalin. That could happen to anyone. Well, me anyway.

"Unless I'm arrested for murdering an energy company official before then."

I hope this doesn't mean you've already murdered the energy company official and they just haven't caught you yet. Even if you are an open and honest person, mentioning your murder victims on your blog is not a good idea.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks Christa!

Dana: not good. Not good at all.

Kate, there goes another keyboard. But I am seriously wondering if I fictionally off her later, if I can write off the legal expenses...

Bernita said...

Perfect, Kate!
I tend to concur with the adrenalin idea.
If you have a mental condition, Sandra, all I can say is send us more people with mental conditions.

Trace said...

I know how you feel, Sandra. Just in the last few months I've put on a brave face when I felt like sobbing or screaming. I'm not bi-polar, but it must be really difficult. Hey, Patricia Cornwell is bi-polar, though, and look how awesome she is? Though I haven't read her latest books. Her first several Kay Scarpettas rocked.

I love that list you put at the end. Excellent stuff.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I don't know Trace, she's a little fixated on Jack the Ripper...

And Bernita, yes, I should have said before that the adrenaline is definitely a variable here. I never really got "high" over the book deal - I went sideways because of so many things that happened.

I would consider my "problem" to be pretty minor, in fact. I've never been medicated or anything. My mother, however, is the extreme end of the character Sally Field played on ER. You know, the one it's impossible to deal with.

And everyone knows I'm a peach and so easy to live with. Now, how do I rig this so evilkev can't come on and say something?

Anonymous said...

Sending a little sunlight your way Sandra. Hope you feel better.

JamesO said...

Damn, the internet ate my comment!

I was going to say that if there are five bunions, then that lets fifteen of us off the hook...

Seriously though, it's always at the end of things that they hit you hardest. The Horse Doctor gets a nasty migraine the day after every nervous-breakdown inducing deadline has been met. When the shit's being heaped on you, there's no time to reflect - you just cope or go under. When it starts to ease off (or you go away for a few days and see things from a different direction), then you have the space to think about, and shudder about, what you've been through.

On the plus side this probably means that you're on the way up again;}#

Sandra Ruttan said...

Thanks Jason, and James, if you fed blogger more often, he wouldn't steal treats from the table when you aren't looking.

Erik Ivan James said...

Samdra, thanks for the good memories. I'm a birth product of the 40's. Kids today may have lots of gadgets in their pocket and on their laps, but they don't have dirt between their toes. They are missing so much.

With regard to you; I see you as a damn good writer and perceive you as a damn good person---nothing less.

Kate said...

If you've never needed medication it must be a very mild version of bipolar. Or maybe when they diagnosed you they jumped to the wrong conclusion because of your mother. I've known two people diagnosed with bipolar. One stopped taking her lithium because she thought prayer alone would work and she went rapidly downhill into psychosis. She's taken lithium ever since and been fine. The other was sent to a psychiatrist because she was depressed and told him she got high sometimes. He diagnosed her with bipolar, hospitalised her and put her on lithium before they cleared up the misunderstanding. She actually had a "substance-induced mood disorder".

"But I am seriously wondering if I fictionally off her later, if I can write off the legal expenses..."

I'm not sure about writing off the legal expenses, but if you take your research into murder methods too far the courts will take a dim view of it.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I think you're perfectly normal, and I dare say that if there's something wrong with you, then I have the same...er, uh..oh,oh...Hey girlfriend, welcome to the club!

Just cause you have a bad day or even a bad week, doesn't mean that your postal...although the thought may make you smile.

Do whatever you do to make yourself feel better...other than loading any projectile dispensing armaments!

That joke was one of my favorites. I posted it around Christmas...makes me want to run with scissors! LOL

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