November 2007 - Posts

  • This is Sam’s almost fundamental Dilemma


    Hold that thought, I’m going to brush my teeth. I’ll be right back...

    K, so for whatever reason, I really like talking to, listening to, and helping people. I really like being supportive. I don’t know why. I like to think I’m just a very compassionate and generous person but I know there is some personal gratification involved. I’m trying to figure it out. I don’t think it’s so much that I want to be a hero… I think it’s more that relating to people reminds me that I’m not alone… we all struggle. I also really like seeing the man behind the mask. It’s interesting to study the difference between what a person is and what a person shows… It’s gratifying for me, to really understand someone and why they’ve adopted the habits and character that they have. I guess it’s just a form of learning that I really enjoy. I don’t know. But sometimes it’s really hard. People are usually comfortable being sad with me, letting me know what pains them, what scares them… and that’s hard. When you hear things that make you so sad, you can’t even handle it and you wonder how on earth the person who is dealing with it directly can. It burns. Anyone know what I’m talking about?


    For example, I love my grandmother. She’s an inspiring human being. She’s been through so much. I mean even just imagining… She was born in 1920 in Germany. Think about what that entails. There’s surviving the post WWI conditions, the anti-Semitism, then the actual conditions of concentration camp, her brother’s death, her survivors guilt, the her mother’s death, immigration, raising her family, her husband’s death… seriously. The list goes on and on. She is nothing short of a living heroin. But of all the things she could choose to complain about, she lingers on one and only one.


    She remarried when my mother was twelve to a very wealthy business man. He had a son who was severely mentally ill. In hasty mumbles my family will sometimes throw in the word schizophrenic. Apparently he was a very difficult child and on top of that he was spoiled by his father and his wealthy family. And now… Now his condition resembles that of an elderly man in a nursing home.


    Uncle Steve. I knew him. He disappeared from my life before I hit the double digits and we weren’t exactly close before that. He was strange. He was fat. And as a little girl that was reason enough for me not to like him. But he was nice. I don’t really remember anything he said except for one short dinner conversation where he gave a lecture about not using his drinking water to wash out his shirt-stain because it would just make his shirt more wet. Sounds rational enough. Nothing really loiters in my memory as particularly crazy. But then again, I was young and I wasn’t around him much. I’m told he was functional enough to piss away 2 million dollars in gamboling and “business endeavors”.


     He didn’t quite give up on life until one of his oldest and dearest friends was shot and killed. Although I cannot present the facts in their entirety, I know the story goes something like this: His friend owned and managed a well known deli in the east village. He often went to the bank to deposit large sums of money after a night of work. My uncle was there, as he often was, dining on complimentary deli food, when his friend asked him to accompany him to the bank. My grandmother is under the assumption that he wanted my large uncles company for security as he held an envelope stashed with cash in his hand. Anyway my uncle declined for whatever reason and that night his friend was killed.


    Since then Uncle Steve has been nothing but a hushed topic and a childhood memory. However. Now that I am older I realize that the pleasure dome of family security is a fallacy; that the promise that there is no pain under family protection is a lie. The reassuring grins are as dishonest as the people who bestow them and the safety net is nothing but a fragile web of secrets.

    Still, I am not bitter… on the contrary.


    Yes, it was a little shocking at first to reach the point of intellectual awareness that there is no heaven on earth. Safety zones only exist on baseball diamonds or in some juvenile variations of tag. There are no oases, it is my belief they do not exist even under g-d’s protection. I say this because I visited the old city of Jerusalem this past May. Even at the height of my adolescent cynicism, the old city remained the last symbol of true magic in my mind. It stood distantly as subconscious permission to cling to my thread of youthful optimism and Jubilance.  But symbolism once again reduced itself to abstraction,  as the streets of the old city revealed themselves as sketchy as those of the South Bronx. The definition of faith manifested itself, once and for all, as blind.

    I am in some way relieved to be starkly aware of this truth and freed (for the most part) from the confines of immaturity. I am in someway relieved to know that I am my own moral guide, my own parent, and home is where I live. Of course, I still have the comfort of financial dependency which I’m sure will be a whole nother shock to shake me from my infantile ignorance.

    Yes it’s scary, but it’s real.  And the sooner you come to grips with reality, the sooner you can take charge. Once you know you are not a slave to any person, to any system, to any moral code, you are free. Not saying that I don’t choose to abide by rules, but that is the key, I choose to. And in most instances it is because I believe it is worth it and not because I am afraid not to. Now that I am conscious of this human independence, I am in fact almost completely mentally independent. There is no going back. I think I am in reductionistic reality, alone, and therefore I am- Existentialism.

    My grandmother seems grateful that she no longer has to put on a happy face and waste her energy sheltering me from the truth. Instead, she tells me everything. And everything involves things that I’m not sure I’m ready to hear. It’s not so much the holocaust experience, because I am so detatched from that level of suffering. It’s much more so Uncle Steve.


    Uncle Steve, her stepson, who is now arthritic and living out each day confined to his mattress. Uncle Steve, who has a slew of infections, diseases, and is living without teeth off ice-cream and mayonnaise. His father, my grandfather, at 94 is still working diligently and though he walks with a walker, he is still equipped with every last molar and k-9. And his step mother, my grandmother , is apparently the sponsor for his misery. She was and is in his schizophrenic self-invented reality, the evil step mother. And she, beneath the protection of disgust and frustration, feels guilty for never being able to love him.

    She doesn’t say this. All she does is repeat over and over again the pathos of his circumstance, the inevitability of his psychosis, and the error of his externally placed blame. It’s heavy to hear. But I listen because I know I am one of the only ones that will.


    She does not want to burden her immediate family, who is attached to his development, with the truth of his condition. So instead she burdens her two eldest grandchildren; my brother and I. My brother, unlike myself, gets a sense of satisfaction from hearing the stories of Uncle Steve’s adolescence. It thrills my brother to know that there are those who are more hopeless and psychotic than he. However, I don’t think he is made aware of the extent of hopelessness in Steve’s current condition.  I don’t think my grandmother would tell him because she too is alert to my brother’s tendencies toward comparison.


    So I am left with the burden of this secret. Well, actually now you are too. What is my dilemma is that I don’t so much mind knowing as long as I can share some of the burden with my laptop, but I am left to wonder if the secrets will add up and take their toll. If I am in fact burning myself out. Because it’s not just my grandmother:  I invite people to share with me the totality of their pain. I know I do. Why? Well, I’ve been trying to figure it out. I think a lot of it is the sympathy I feel for those living with secrets, which is everybody. Everybody feels like a victim to their own vulnerabilities and childhood shames. Even if that vulnerability is just that there life was too perfect, that they feel like they are too bland and feel some kind of survivor’s guilt. I relate to that feeling too. I relate to and have empathy for most scars and vulnerabilities and I’m scared that will make me weaker. That in trying to understand, to imagine what someone might feel like by tapping into my own emotional memory-  I am inviting too much pain into my life. Perhaps there is a way to feel and show compassion without trying to comprehend the extent of a person’s hurt? Maybe in relating I am not actually unconsciously reliving, and so I shouldn’t worry. Maybe I just have a sharp and accessible emotional memory.


    It is also possible that I can understand other people’s emotions because I am not afraid of my own. They do not dwell at the bottom of the ocean suppressed under the current agenda. They are with me always, always evoked, in reading, in writing, in listening, in talking… I think they call that sensitivity. And yes, there are times when I give my emotions too much power and there are times when I give it not enough. And that is why life is about balance. Learning to channel your sensitivity when you need it, and learning to close it off when you need not to have it. And I think that to do that you always have to pair your actions and emotions with understanding. You have to take a moment to say “This is why I did this, this why I feel this way; this is what I can do about it…” And after that, you have to shut off the guilt, anxiety, and expectation. You can only go over the same thing so many times in one sitting. Stop, shut it off, and make a note somewhere to come back later if you need too.


    It’s not impossible. It’s not. Try it. I shut off my excess emotion by turning my vague sense of experience into a legible literary work. I Shut it off by putting spoken words to the feelings and impressions, therefore redefining puzzling physical and emotional circumstance as a total reality. I Shut off the excess burden mostly by sharing but now I am learning to self-satisfy. I’m learning to clear my head and free my mind. No drugs involved.


    I use music often but I’m trying now to shut off my brain using nothing external. They call this mediation. Before you write it off as hokey new age bullshit, know that it is the best way to practice controlling your mind.  I mean honestly, have you ever been in a situation where you just didn’t want to feel. Where you just don’t have the experience to cope with reality effectively and you just want to shut down. Well, I have. And I have shut down in many many self-destructive ways. And those are very effective. You can prevent yourself from feeling one pain for a while just by replacing it with another. Or you can stop creating problems for yourself [Sam], and accept that life is uncomfortable, clear your mind, and hop along anyway.


  • She’s not a girl who misses much…do do do do do do…

    I agree with Olive. Music. We should all turn off our brains once in a while and just listen… Just learn… Scratch that, I think we should all leave our brains off and only turn them on when we make a conscious decision to do so. The answers aren’t all in our heads. Plus I think self-sabotage is part of the human condition. We get so preoccupied, we over-complicate everything, sometimes it’s just about acceptance… this is it… this is your reality…


  • More wise (ass) words from the mind of Sam

    Sam is happy. Sam is happy. La la la la la. Alright. So we’ve established that step one is admitting you have a problem. Awesome. Step two is figuring out that you’re a crazy mother fucker just like everybody else on the planet. Step three is to admit you have feelings and emotions and to deal with them in healthy productive ways. Step four is figuring out that everyone else has feelings and emotions too and some people try to protect the fact that they are vulnerable by being ass-holes. (I promise you those people are unhappier than you inside, not that you should take comfort in their misery, only that you shouldn’t try to be an ass-hole to protect yourself) And step five is to realize that only you are in control of your happiness. (Listen to me; I sound like Buddha only I’m slightly slimmer and a lot more cynical) Ok wonderful. Now what? Then I recommend studying some philosophy or something, reading some self-help and psychology books, getting a therapist (If you can afford one, they rock, you pay a trained listener and helper to listen and help you, score!!), and really understanding the truth of your circumstance as the particular human being that you are. Ok, now this is where I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I have made this mistake before and I want to spare myself and anyone else I can from making this mistake again… Once you understand what you have to do, you have to practice doing it. And in order to practice you have to stay conscious of your new-found truths. Now how does one do that? Ah yes… Writing helps. Writing blogs helps a little more. Therapy helps… But I think there are bigger steps one has to take. I think one of the best things you can do is to use your insight toward helping others. Not like in a preachy-did-I-ask-for-your-opinion? kind of way. But when someone does need help… help. Do some community service, write a blog, I don’t know… But teaching helps you learn. Have you ever noticed that? When you teach someone else, even a school subject, it really cements your understanding and/or brings the lack-there-of to your attention. So to with mentoring. I think. I don’t know I’m not there yet. Now, I would recommend a support group, like AA, or Alynon, there tons out there for everything really… But I do find these things get a little cultish. I mean they do. There are run by humans after all. Some of who are power hungry and some of whom would rather not think for themselves. I hate those dynamics. I’m not a strong enough person to look past and be unbothered by them. You might be. I don’t know. But also- It helps to write down what you learned. Sum it up as best as you can. And read it every day. Kind of like a prayer. But you’re not asking g-d to take care of you. You’re reminding yourself to take care of you. So that is my advice to me and to you. I’m going to follow it and I’ll let you know how it goes. I do have a commitment to myself and my beautiful new laptop to be honest. So if one day I’m feeling miserable as *** and I can’t find the strength to be a gay little fruit cake. I’ll let you know. But all in all I just think life is too short to waste time being stuck… If you feel paralyzed you should spend some time figuring out why, and what to change, and how to change... So here’s my brother. I fucking love this kid. Telemarketer: Hi this is (*insert male name*). I’m calling on behalf of (*insert business name*). We would like to know if you are open to some of the new investment opportunities that we’re offering this season… Mark: No I am not. I’m very narrow-minded and I’m not open to absolutely anything. Dial-tone. He’s so entertaining. Someone who is capable of that much thought and humor should channel it into something society has to offer. There really are so many possibilities now a day’s… Anyway, Peace.
  • I have to write this


    I know that I already blogged like an hour ago but consider this last night’s blog.

    My Grandmother used to send me presents every day. Little toys, dolls, jelwery… She just showed me these little porcelain dolls she once bought but never gave to me. AS I held them I recognized their design and placed their features and curls among the many dolls I received from her in my memory. But this time- I felt nothing. Holding them didn’t elicit any emotion like I know it used to. I remember first the pleasure at my little girly presents and then the embarrassment at my little girly presents. And finally the resentment, that I was expected to enjoy these little girly presents at my level of maturity. But this time…nothing… only a small moment of nostalgia for the times when toys and dolls held enough power to stir up internal reactions.

    And then, what felt the most foreign was that she didn't try to give them to me. I couldn't feel for myslef so instead I felt for her. How sad it must be to have to accept that your little girl isn't a little girl... She didn't even try, she didn't even try to pretend, she knows now...

  • My laptop is red like the book



    Sorry I didn’t write yesterday. My grandma’s internet is often unpredictable. I also didn’t really feel like writing because I was just so damn dandy. It’s hard to write when you’re happy. It feels almost unnecessary. A lot of times for me, writing is a desperate venting outlet when no one else will listen. But it shouldn’t be reduced to just that. I like happy writing and I made a commitment to blog so I’m going to do it even if I feel insecure in my happy-go-lucky fruit-cakeness. Anyway, let’s talk about relationships because that’s been a hot topic in my life since I became acutely aware of my hormones.  

    Rule number 1. Do not let insecurity paralyze you [Sam]. Like I said, everyone is capable of showing compassion and judgmental assholeness. I think the trick is to know your audience, know how to tap into their compassionate side. Just because you’re scared that X doesn’t care about how you feel, doesn’t mean they don’t. Feelings make a lot of people uncomfortable, a lot of people are taught that they are weaknesses, but everyone has them… You can’t afford not to be upfront with yours. Try as one might, one can’t actually repress human emotion. They still exist within us, some just mistakenly choose not to acknowledge and deal with them. Honesty is key. Writing and talking helps you figure out what you really feel and how to best take care of yourself…

    Exhibit A.  My mildly Retarded Brother

    At 21 he is afraid of people because he assumes no one can love him. He knows that he is a judgmental ass-hole and therefore assumes that the rest of the population must be too. His logic: If he doesn’t take the time to empathize with people, why would anyone take the time to empathize with him? Especially because my brother takes a lot of patience to really be understood. He’s guarded by a layer of cold followed by a layer of crazy.

    Mark: I have no patience for people’s bullshit, why should they have patience for mine?

    Sam: Because there are a few decent people out there who aren’t so caught up in deflecting their low self-esteem.

    Mark: I haven’t met anyone yet.

    Sam: You haven’t been in the right environments. You haven’t strived to be. People like that take some looking for. Mark, am I decent person?

    Mark: You appear to be.

    Sam: See, they are out there.

    Mark: Yeah, but Sam, you don’t know how special you are.

    Sam: Awww Mark, that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me… (It really is the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me. I can be a judgmental *** too but I am really less in touch with that part of me. I feel compassion first for most people and if I don’t, I try too. With a few exceptions of course, I am only human.) But Mark listen to me, I’ve talked to a lot of people and buried underneath everyone’s defenses is the human desire to love and be loved. Granted some people are very out of touch with their innate human emotions but everyone (except for some very mentally deranged people like sociopaths) has the capacity to care. Mark look at you, you’re such a jerk to so many people and you can be so judgmental. But you care about me. You obviously have the capacity.

    Mark: (inquisitive look)

    Sam: (Tries to boil it down further) Some people, like you, don’t care about others easily. It’s a defense. If you don’t care you are not vulnerable and therefore can’t be hurt. But if underneath your cold exterior you know you are a decent guy, then couldn’t you assume most people are in that same boat. Underneath it all there is worth someone getting to know and love.

    Mark: Thank you?

    Sam: Mark, I love you a lot and I think you are an awesome person despite all the external bullshit. Someone will see that if you let them in a little. And someone will love you enough not to feed into your external crap.

    The end

    The moral of the story is that no matter how insecure you are, you have to assume that underneath the other person’s defenses they feel the same way.  Before you get too involved and paranoid about your own feelings, consider the other persons. Consider that they might hurt too and if they can’t find the courage to be honest about it, don’t resent them, feel sorry for them. It’s not easy to live by this and to stay aware of it… but try…practice…

    I realized that for better or for worse, growing up with my brother taught me compassion. That attitude and behavior are only means for protecting vulnerability. Everyone is just scared to be hurt… but I’m pretty convinced that nothing hurts more than being paralyzed by fear.


  • My night in 3 sentences



    I hung out with two close friends.  They are so cute and make life so happy. When I listen to them I am reminded that the majority of people are capable of showing both compassion and judgmental ass-holeness.


  • Man, I really don’t want to write this…



    *** it, it’s about time. The flood gates of self-help have been opened, if I want to make a full recovery; I have to commit to honesty…G-d this is like rehab all over again.


    It’s been 5 months since I got help for my eating disorder. Now, I know what you’re thinking; don’t tell me this *** was anorexic too. Yes, this *** was anorexic too. And recently I might add. I hate saying this. Its one thing to admit you’re an ex badass druggie. It’s another thing to admit you’re just another one of those… Another one of those pathetic girls obsessed with vanity and being thin. I pride myself on being nothing like them. I pride myself on being all “girl power” and I adamantly fight the hell-hole of superficiality. But I am just another fucking victim of popular culture’s fallacious ( I love that word) seduction. Well, victim would imply helplessness which really isn’t the case- for anyone. I chose to starve myself. In fact, it was fucking brutal. If I channeled the same energy into finding a cure for aids, I might actually have come close to finding one. That’s awful isn’t it? So, why am I coming out with this now? As I said, I’m on the path to a full recovery- a full assessment of what is really important to me in life and how I’m going to get it…


    I was good today. I took good care of myself. Talked to some friends, read, did some math, encouraged myself, got the endorphins up… all that jazz. I was practicing yoga and it dawned on me how much I enjoyed it. This time, I didn’t go into the studio telling myself I was all about inner peace, when really I was all about suppressing hunger pangs. I didn’t have to lie or keep secrets from myself. This time I had no underlying intentions to repress. I could breathe easy… And it felt so good.


    I figured it was time to recognize that. Time to make the eating disorder an old self-destructive habit rather then one I’ m saving up the strength to reenter. Because anyone who’s ever had any kind of addiction knows; even when you get help, you don’t want to abandon your old coping mechanism. It gave you something, something every human desires; something you’re scared you can never regain… it gave you self esteem.


    I became conscious of natural human suffering for the first time when I was 13. Before then I only existed in my sheltered world of childhood, I felt pain, but hardly knew that I was feeling it. I guess I was fortunate to have been able to hold onto those illusions for as long as i did. But when I became conscious of man’s natural feelings of inferiority, I didn’t realize they were natural. Or I assumed because I felt inferior I must actually be inferior. If only I was cooler, less sheltered… I know!! I’ll do drugs. And I did feel cooler, and I did feel less sheltered, and I no longer felt inferior. Awesome!! 60 billion regrets and 11 months in rehabilitation later… I go to high school again. Bam, there it is. My inferiority complex. I’m a rehabilitated 15-year old among a crowd of chic city kids. I don't think AA is in vogue for another ten to twelve years.. Oh, ***, maybe if I looked like that model, I wouldn't feel so... And that’s more or less how it started. Little did I know that insecurity is universal and that its just part of being a teeny tiny little organism in a gigantic universe.

    We all have self-esteem outlets. Some people seek to oppress to feel like they are not actually irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. And some people seek to impress. Some people abuse others. While some abuse themselves. But we can find self-esteem in healthy ways; in our work, in our progress, in our commitments, in our self-respect… We unfortunately rely on self-esteem to be productive human beings.

    To be honest, I think we are, in the grand scheme of things, actually all irrelevant. But right now we’re not. Right now we exist and have awesome opportunities. We should push ourselves to encounter all the mind-blowing information, all the Truths we can get our hands on, and all the cool people in the world … We can do this with clarity and appreciation for this strange over-simplified over-complicated abyss we are born into. We need self- esteem so we can free ourselves form the condemnation of everything from runway shows to the cosmos. So find it [Sam]! And never look back.

    It’s all such a joke, you know? This “pressure.” Pressure to be cool, to be thin, to be perfect… Life is suffering. Nothing is going to take that a way. And instead of abusing ourselves to feel pretty or cool or special in our self-abuse. Instead of abusing others to feel smarter or more important; find ways to numb the pain with out inflicting new ones. Exercise, eat right, get a dog, do your homework, talk to your mom, confide in your friends, free yourself from the burdens of secret behavior, mistakes, or feelings…


    Ok, enough pep talking for today. None of this will help anyone who isn’t looking for help. It’s the kind of thing you have to want to want. You have to be willing to give up a lot, a lot of security… I don’t know how to explain it any better. If you’re at the point where you just don’t think it’s possible to feel good about yourself with out being a ***, or drinking yourself retarded, or starving yourself… I suggest you look into counseling. Or maybe you can afford to wait it out a little longer… Or maybe you know you won’t feel good about yourself anyway so why give up your one salvation?


    Well, the answer is because you can’t keep it up forever. Because at some point, if you are lucky, you will realize that you can not continue… And when you do, you’ll have to deal with the suffering you caused yourself along with natural human suffering along with whatever suffering comes with your particular circumstance.


    Anyway- I’m saying these things for myself because I have to remember them. I like myself best when I take care of myself best. And really, my judgment of myself is the only one that matters. The only thing that is certain is that I exist in this body. No matter how much I’ve tried, I can’t runaway from it so I’m going to learn to love it.

    Here’s a poem I wrote roughly a week ago about having an eating disorder. Hopefully it will help you gain a better understanding. I don’t want your sympathy. I don’t care. I want to free myself of its burden by not allowing it to be something I carry in secret. I want you to gain a better understanding. And if you already have plenty of understanding, I want you to know you’re not alone. There is an answer. And it’s not an easy one, but it’s the only one…

      This whole city feels like an expansion of my anorexia,

    The blocks I came to know like the muscle groups, in my routine from uptown to downtown gym

    That’s where I was this summer my friends

    Not gone- not resting

    I was torturing my body, over expending my energy free of adequate nourishment

    And it’s pathetic and it’s embarrassing

    That I gave up everything and everyone to watch my flesh sink into the contours of my bones

    It’s embarrassing to admit how hard I’m willing to work so that when people look at me they will see the con-

    Temporary standard of beauty

    And to my fellow masochists

    I am so sorry

    I know how painful this bullshit can be sometimes

    The uncontrollable impulses, the guilt, the very deliberate self-loathing, and the sustenance that is forever equated with the enemy

    G-d I remember the fucking helplessness…

    And if we speak

    I will probably insist that I can exorcize harder

    That I can starve myself longer

    That I hate myself more

    But to the outside world I will feel nothing but Shame in my self-loathing

    Why am I such a fucking idiot?

    And I will never have the guts to answer…

    Because I pride myself on being truthful, on being above the superficial pressure of our culture

    But whoever you are, I will blatantly beg of you to love me

    Because I obviously have yet to do that for myself 

    P.S. Hopefully my blogs will be a lot less depressing after this… actually scratch that… I still have to write about my (mildly) retarded brother…

    Thanks for letting me share...


  • I’m like walking Prozac

    Today was good. Thanksgiving dinner with my grandmother at a fancy resturant uptown. I used the wrong knife to butter my bread. Oops. Tonight  was nice though. Walking through a soft breeze and dining in candle light with just the right amount of soothing conversation in the background. Privacy in company; it’s what my city is all about. I like living with my grandmother and spending so much time with her. She reminds me of how big life is and how sweet it can be. She carries terrible burdens and memories that I will probably and hopefully never feel even a tenth of. But she smiles and laughs and reflects on all of her happy moments. She seems to think the struggles of life are worth it; that the hard-earned rewards compensate for bullshit that gets in the way.  I'm sorry but there is no better expert on the matter, I trust her opinion completely. 

    P.s. Thanks so much for the positive comments. I’m waiting for some mean ones to practice saying “*** you” to the ass-holes of the world. Anyway, thanks for admiring me, although you should probably admire yourself more for having a “dark episode” free from the self-destructive addictive ***. I think everyone goes through a period of uncertainty, especially as teenagers. For the first time we get a sense of how big life really is. How the *** are we supposed to feel good about ourselves? I mean really. Maybe it was ok when it was just our siblings or our parents criticizing us. But then all of a sudden it’s our peers, and the media, and then society as whole, and just the whole fucking grandness of the planet. How the *** are we supposed to feel relevant let alone adequate. And then we learn that to really achieve anything of value we have to be special… *** it… I’m just going to give up and watch tv, or IM, or do drugs, or suck my senses dry for the rest of my life. But I’m starting to believe that being special is a choice and that it does take a lot of will-power and that it isn’t easy… but some people try anyway, and I think that’s what makes them special.. Because- think about it. Life can’t be about the end result anyway. We’re all going to fucking drop dead at some point. If life is defined by the journey, then being special, and being happy, and being successful must also only exist in pursuit.


  • Yo

    Sorry. I’m really too tired to blog. Plus I didn’t really learn anything new today. I talked to my old therapist… that was good. I really am almost out of this anxiety period. I’m coming to accept that my life is what it is. As cheesy as it sounds I’m just trying to figure out how to live it to the fullest. I want the best future I can earn for myself but I also want the most fulfilling present. Balance… Balance… Balance… Balance… So it was really warm today which is unusual as it the winter season. And I was tired all day. O yeah, that’s another thing… I know I’m getting better because my sleep patterns are becoming normal. So yay for me. Anywho, I’m going to turn in early. I’m really going to try to take good care of myself- self satisfy-love my self- happy-happy-happy-happy-happy-happy- think positive…think positive… it’s harder when your in a crazy new environment like college. I mean, you have so many priorities; it’s hard to make mental stability your number one. But seriously, there is no reason why you can’t have a good time, take care of yourself, and do your work, all in the same day. It’s just harder because that means eliminating the quick fix of the whole “get drunk-hook-up-and-feel-shitty-the- next-day scene.” But there are other ways to ease social anxiety… I don’t know. Some people can afford to do that kinda *** in moderation… at this point; I really don’t think I can risk it. That wasn’t even my problem in college anyway. My problem was that I didn’t see why working hard was relevant. I thought life was about being happy and there are much easier ways of getting happy… It’s how I used to think before rehab… Living moment to moment, high to high, eliminating as many sobering voids as possible. In my head I had engineered a more efficient way from point A to point B. I didn’t have to work for my happiness, I could just buy it. And when that little pill or tab or bump or drag’s effects would fade, I would just get myself another… No more reality and no more pain. Did I think I could keep up the charade forever? You know what? As you probably have gathered, at the time, I really didn’t think my brilliant “life theory” through. All I knew was that my whole world had changed and all I could think to do was find a way to cope with the discomfort… I had no vocabulary to articulate what I was feeling and even if I actually knew, I wouldn’t have told anyone. At the time, I was just too proud. (And I said I was too tired to blog…) This time was a little different… Although not really… I don’t know… I thought I was happy… ya know? I convinced myself I was happy in my little self-destructive world because part of me was satisfied… It was dangerous and immoral and having the guts to do it anyway gave me power. But if I can convince myself that I’m happy in a self-destructive world I can convince myself that I’m happy in the real world. I can find power in resisting temptation, in being good to myself, in being successful. Basically I can find power in self-care. Because it’s really fucking hard to find the point of optimal productivity/healthy/happiness. It’s really hard and anyone who finds the motivation and strives for it- is a fucking hardcore badass. Point Blank.

    It's funny because these are the kind of lessons I learned in rehab. I did internalize them then, but somewhere along the line, I became sure that they didn't make sence in the real world. But I think the truth is that they were alot harder to accept and stay conscious of in a world where people aren't constantly reminding us of these "higher truths." In fact people are giving attention to and following the very people that work against them. We or at least I have to find the strength to value attention a little less even in it's most mature forms. Nothing will ever be as effective as self-love. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

    Ok, one more thought. When I was in rehab it occured to me that if "Old Sam" ran into "New Sam." Old Sam might be inclined to punch New Sam in the face. I'm starting to get that feeling again... but *** it. I can't afford to be judgmental toward myself. I am a friut cake. A happy-go-lucky fucking fruit cake and I love it.

  • I think I’ve done enough ranting for this week

    Seriously, someone should hand me a ****ing master's degree in self help... Maybe, I don’t know. There’s still more on my mind but I feel like keeping it brief. You know how when we’re little babies we are taking in impression after impression and our brains are making connections rapidly and overwhelmingly? Well, that’s happening to me again. I coming to stark realization after stark realization and my mind is close to collapsing under the pressure. Ok, not really. I’m fine, I’m just going through a period of anxiety but it’s almost over as I contemplate my way out. I think I found what I’m looking for. And I didn’t find it lying in bed thinking about it. I found it while watching this really fucking awesome movie, I don’t remember the name, something weird, but it’s in theaters now. Anyway, the movie was kind of boring, much like life- most of the time. It was all the stupid little things that the characters did and these trivial ironies that made it funny. These guys were being over-dramatic, they were being childish, they were being aloof, bossy… seriously, you name it. Yeah the movie monotonous, but the characters didn’t know it, and they certainly liked to pretend it wasn’t. What’s so wrong with that? As children we assign meaning to things that have no meaning. We give our stuffed animals voices, personalities, names. We create symbols, we enthusiastically pursue happiness, we make adamant demands, we touch, we feel, we love, we are content in the world that we believe in. Granted, that is before we are exposed to social standards and before we comprehend that reality is somewhat separate from our imagination. But still… The revelation that; in our independence, we alone have to take care of our physical and mental health can be quite suffocating. Life turns out to be hard work after all. But the cool thing about independence, an appreciation that quickly flees when we first feel its burden, is that we struggle with in the context of our imagination. We take from reality only what it imposes on us, and the rest, the rest we assign meaning to ourselves. We are working to attain what we dream of. Don’t worry, I have no idea what the *** I want to do in ten years either… but right now, I want good grades, I want to be physically healthy, I want to relax, I want to learn, I want to laugh… There’s about 15 hours of conscious living a day. I’m sure I can find time to meet my own standards as well as societies standards of success. Especially when I have every opportunity to choose responsibilities that I enjoy. Yay, for me.

    Ok world, here’s another Fucking paradox: The only way to maintain our childlike enthusiasm, is to except (not reject- which I get caught up in) our new adult responsibilities and, you guessed it, show enthusiasm for them.

  • One last sentiment before I count my blessings and take the plunge into the over-simplified over-complicated abyss that is human existence


    It just occurred to me that thinking might not be the most productive thing one can do, though it does often carry that connotation. I mean, we are intellectual animals capable of higher thought, but how useful is higher thought when we are just animals? Not to say higher thought isn’t cool or good for our psychology… because I think it is. But I think we have to remember not to spend too much time in the clouds when we’re living down on earth. I’m suffering a bit from man’s existential crisis; that we are above nature in so many complex psychological ways, but we are still physically in nature.

    I find it very hard to suppress my thoughts, when I try; I get a kind of separation anxiety. Saying “no, I’m not going to think about this right now” feels unnatural. It’s like I’m not being true to myself by denying my thoughts the right to surface. It’s funny that to me, I am my thoughts but to you, I am my actions. So who am I? Probably some combination of the role I play in society and the reasoning behind it. It’s funny. I go through extended periods of mindless action and then short periods of all-consuming sleep-depriving introspection. I should probably find a better balance.

    Right now I am facing the latter and have to reason my way out of it. But this time I do not want to disown introspection completely however frustrating and pointless it can seem; I’m sick of these mental breakdowns after years or months of repression. The truth about thinking is that with time, we might eventually figure “it” out but we will soon forget anyway. And the truth about actions is that their evidence is eternal as far as we’re concerned. The mind processes concrete proof better anyway.

    I have this anxiety about art and writing sometimes too. If I draw a body part too small or too big, I often don’t want to erase it. It may be off in proportion but I’m scared I can’t replicate its other qualities. And I never want to throw away my writing just like I never want to suppress my thoughts. Every product of my imagination feels precious in a way. But editing usually produces better results, and if for one particular instance it does not, the odds are still in our favor. After all, G-d or nature or I, depending on what you believe in, kill(s) his or her or my creations to make room for the new ones. As special as you think you are, it’s the cosmic pattern that is important and not the individuals. I suppose that is how I am meant to think about life as a young adult. It is my life that is important and not the individual moments. So a world modernizes and so a person matures…

    When we have revelations of awareness it’s hard not to get caught in the paralysis of analysis. But being aware of that helps us not get caught. That is a paradox that works in our favor. Another one; nothing makes sense unless we make sense of it. To end with a brilliant example, I told my father that it was hard for me to except that success was 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. And he said to me “Ok, how about 80:20?” And you know what? That really makes it easier…


  • The desertion of these repressions has stripped away my childhood foundations- I am a ****ing uprooted tree in foreign soil.

    Example No.1: No safe haven to call “home”.

    My parents permanently relocated to a different state after they dropped me off for college. “We” still have not moved into the new house they bought.


    Sam: I am getting sick of writing, I should just carry around a tape recorder.

    Sam’s Dad: Do you still have the little one I bought you?

    Sam: Last time I checked it was in my room… wait, last I checked I don’t have a room…


    Example No. 2: No more authority.

    Slowly but surely everyone I used to pretend to listen to, hide my immoral actions from, rebel against,  feel disappointment from… Teachers, parents, grandparents, therapists, are becoming “just people” to me. Granted, people I love and people I admire… But still…just people. People who cannot shelter me from the truth anymore, people who cannot control me anymore, people with emotions and insecurities, and people who’s inquiries about the world- are often as good as mine. I feel profoundly alone for the first time. Ironic how the freedom I’ve been asking for since pre-adolescence feels like a burden I’m not prepared for.

     Sam: I’m getting a boob-job (she glances at her parents’ faces to see their reactions)Sam’s Dad: (Does not flinch) How much will it cost? (Sam looks perplexed that he did not wince and give her a lecture)

    Later that day Sam’s grandfather hands her a gigantic wad of money for some coming-of-age reason…

    Sam: Yay, I can afford one boob!!

    (No one seems to realize that she’s kidding)

    Sam’s Grandfather: Just spend it in good health.


    And Example No. 3: Out with the fundamental lie, in with the fundamental paradox.

    I can finally see the appeal in a life dedicated to math and science where it seems everything can be explained and all the facts add up. But isn’t mathematics a human-generated system? Everything we understand is limited to that of a human understanding. However profound this can be, the truth is certainty still dangles before us at infinity. Fundamental Paradox: Nothing makes sense unless we make sense of it.


    Sam’s Grandma:  You know Sam, laughter is a good thing, we even laughed in concentration camp. We sang sometimes, we… (she laughs to herself) there was this one time when they moved me to a new camp. I went to the new bunk bed and there was some one in it. I said to her “this is my bed, I have this number,” and the girl says “No, I’m not moving.” (Sam gives her grandma an inquisitive look wondering when this story is actually going to get funny) You know, I was not there as a Jew…

    Sam: I know (Sam nods fully aware that her grandmother was imprisoned under the pretences that she was a war-criminal. She only conspired against the *** but they did not know she was JewishSam’s Grandma: Yeah, so another war prisoner walks by and says “those lazy ungrateful Jews, just throw her out of the bed.” I got so mad and just scream “None or your Business.” (she laughs to herself again) None of your business… and here she thinks she’s taking my side. So anyway, she leaves and the girl thanks me, gets out of the bed and asks me why I stand up for her. I say to her “Well… some of my best friends are Jewish.” (She grins and then Sam grins) I listened to one of her conversations in Yiddish later, of course I couldn’t let anyone know I understood, but I heard her say “ O, that girl, that girl who stood up for me, she has such a Jewish charm.” (Sam laughs with tears in her eyes)



    Oddly enough, talking to my grandmother really puts things into perspective. My grandmothers goal at a time was as direct as our animal instincts can get- her goal was to stay alive. In everyway that is harder and more serious then any goal I have the luxury to posses. But there is a difference. The body knows that goal; the body is programmed for that goal. I have the opportunity to work toward goals people don’t even know to dream about. These goals are foreign to my animal instincts and I will have to impose disciplined habits on my un-tamed impulses. That’s why I am suffering from the anxiety of the unknown. Because I don’t really know what the *** I’m doing. But I believe my mother when she says everything will be ok. I mean, to a degree she offers fairly dispensable blind optimism. But the truth is, there is no reason to believe life won’t be good. My grandmother and my mother both tried and found success in a life harder than my own, all the while using love and support to help ease the pain. The fact is- I am one of the lucky ones.



  • My problem used to be that I think too much but now that I’ve decided to be a writer my problem is that I think and I write too much.


    I had an anxiety attack last night. A repression that had been developed by my minds careful denial system had suddenly been lifted. A terrifying reality escaped into the for-fronts of my consciousness and haunted me into despair. Luckily my parents were there and helped to guide me out.

    I have had only two other anxiety attacks in my life. The first occurred at my friend’s house when I was alone in her room. I was 11 years old and it was a few months after my grandmother’s death. For the first time, I comprehended the fact that she was gone- dead. Every routine in my life that once included her was forever altered. She would never again make me my favorite soup and I would never again be welcomed by its familiar scent. “She’s dead, dead, dead, dead…” kept repeating in my head. I’m not sure what it was that jarred loose the repression of her death. I think it had something to do with the fact that I was sleeping in her old neighborhood and not going to see her.

    I must have a really well-developed denial system, (I probably get that from my mother) because my next anxiety attack didn’t happen until the 5th (or so) time I took ecstasy. Actually, I had also taken ecstasy the day before and was warned not to do it two days in a row. But I am retarded. I’m also a perfectionist. So If I commit to a life of retardation- I’m going to do it 100% percent. It’s funny because my brother is actually (however mildly) retarded and he has already informed me that he will never touch ecstasy. I love ironies. Anywho, I was on a roof top with all my usual badass druggie friends and it occurred to me that none of them really knew who I was. It occurred to me that I didn’t know who any of them were. And somewhere in that I had come to the conclusion that I was screwing up my life and that I knew better than this. That is the only time I ever confronted that truth until well into my stay in Utah. See, my denial system is so strong that even two days of mind-fucking ecstasy was not enough to fully remove the repression.  “Nothing’s real” kept repeating in my head as in these friends aren’t real, this life isn’t real… what am I doing?

    And last night….

    After writing last night’s blog, I was still shaken by the surreality of it all. My old therapist approached me almost as if I were… almost as if I were an intellectual equal. It was scary. Someone who had once had so much influence over me no longer radiated with that same authoritarian presence. All too fast I became aware that I bear my own reins. This is real…

    Sam’s brain thinks: ***…I’m in trouble.

    Sam’s subconscious asks: How the *** am I supposed to trust that I’m not going to run myself into the ground? I don’t exactly have the best track-record…

    Sam’s conscious feels: Anxiety, Anxiety, Anxiety, Anxiety, Anxiety….

    (Sam curls up into a little ball)

    Sam’s Mom asks: What are you going to do tomorrow?

    Sam: Not now mother… I am having an anxiety attack.

    (Sam and her parents talk and then Sam writes what she learns in her little journal and will share it with her eager laptop right now)  

    I want to lie down in the closet-turned bedroom my grandmother made for my “special” visit. I want to lie down with my friend from rehab and cry and figure out how we’re going to get through this. This!! This new sense of independence; this aloneness. This making of a new life in a new place with new people. I know her task is harder then mine in so many ways. Maybe crying with her might make me feel some gratitude. I love her and I don’t know her and I know her and I don’t love her. But I really truly feel for her. I want her to be happy and for once I know it has nothing to do with me wanting to be the one to do that. And I want to be happy, but right now, I don’t ever want to get out of bed. That’s the first step isn’t it? Getting out of bed and then creating a routine that’s going to get you where you want to go. Not getting caught up in the anxiety of the unknown. Figuring out what’s important to you and constructing a means of getting it. That makes life seem worth living. That makes life carry meaning. That makes hard-work seem relevant.

                My friend from rehab doesn’t have a college to imitate a little world for her. No student run organizations no get to know each other games, no meal points, and no student support center. She’s in the real world and she’ll have to work harder to suppress the anxiety of uncertainty. She’s much more alone in a much bigger world.

    I want to hug her because to an extent I know what she’s going through. And if she asks I’ll tell her to cheer up. If she asks I’ll take her to focus on the positives; on the things in her control. And if she asks I’ll tell her to take advantage of the opportunity that I’m jealous of. But inside I’ll feel her terror; inside I don’t feel ready for that challenge either. Inside I know that I am still limited to the mentality of a spoiled teenage girl. One who may not love herself enough, value her future enough, and believe in herself enough to cope with the pain with out the instant gratification of self-destruction. I need you so badly right now.

    I need someone I can trust to encourage me not wonder from the right path however tempting. I need someone who will give up the façade of teenage bullshit for me and not marvel at the idea of hard-core. I need someone who loves me enough to truly want what’s best for me.

    I know my parents are a good resource but it might help to find someone who is lost in the struggle too. I don’t want to remind my parents of how small they are in the context of the whole world- I don’t know that they can afford to feel that anxiety again. I know they know what I’m going through but it’s so distant to them now… at least I know there is “light at the end of the tunnel.” At some point, something makes sense, something clicks, or more likely, new repressions are formed. I hope that whatever it is- it’s more satisfying than the idea of suppressing my anxiety with routine. Maybe that concept will be more satisfying when put into action.


  • Dear ****ty (now replaced) laptop and who ever else gives a ****,

    Today was hard. I’m tired again. Last night I slept pretty well but I guess the previous nights are taking a toll on today’s energy. Either that or I’m just emotionally drained. I went to the Crown Plaza to speak at a support group for parents who have sent their kids to my old residential treatment center. I go to these things as often as I can but this time there was a completely different atmosphere… For the first time since my graduation from the program, my old therapist came to my hometown (haha- hometown) to lead the group. I was so psyched (haha -get it?) to see him. Why are things suddenly so different? It’s strange. Usually these groups are filled with know-it-all kids who have just graduated and distraught parents who have just sent their kids away. The parents ask insanely detailed questions about how to structure home-visits and the former residents brag about their new-found maturity and insight. And me… I am usually in the minority if not the only one who tactfully insists life after rehab is borderline miserable. The world of rehab is completely controlled, if you’re having a rough time there is more or less a formula to change that. Do what they say, follow there rules and you get to listen to some shitty Midwestern radio stations. If you’re really good you might even get to play bop-it. Sorry, I can’t help the sarcasm sometimes. But seriously, the suckiness of your surroundings is more or less in your control but in the real world; life can just suck and you have no idea when it’s going to get better. In this group, most of the former residents had been out for over two years and were very open and honest about their struggles. It was just a very low-bullshit kind of environment. Life is hard. And it seems to me there are no highs and lows. It’s just if you commit to a routine and keep going despite the obvious suckiness, you notice that you’re struggling less. Or you get used to that particular struggle and it becomes a kind of second-nature. It seems only natural that transitions are a lot to bear- anything you don’t already know how to do is hard. But you do it and you learn and then it’s less hard. As for my old therapist- seeing him was more nostalgic than I expected. Somehow, I comprehended for the first time how long it really been. I think up until recently my life felt like an extension of rehab. Believe it or not my conscience would sometimes say to me “You don’t want to do this or you’ll have to go back.” But I think today it sunk in that there is no going back.

    It’s hard when it finally hits home that a once central figure in your life no longer inhabits that role.  To me, my old therapist was the heart and soul of my recovery. He understood me, he knew me, and he taught me to understand myself. I confided in him and trusted him more than I’ve ever trusted anyone. In the unbeknownst processing of my thoughts, I would guess he is the symbol of truth.

    But to him, I am so much more distant… To him, I was a person to be understood, to be examined, to be helped. Now, the details of my psychology melt and fade in the concoction of former-clients in his memory. Today I represent someone he once knew, still likes, but can no longer help… When I saw him watch the other former-residents speak, I watched his role diminish to that of polite encouragement and sincere hope. I think I felt him grieve a little that the success of these former clients were no longer at the mercy of his insight, creative consequence, or simple rewards. I think I saw something like paternal acknowledgement that we were not his children anymore- our lives are in our own hands. When I saw him sigh over this, I finally comprehended this truth. Rehab is not my home anymore- it is at most a distant resource. My old therapist is not my mentor anymore and I am not his apprentice. My life is not an extension of time spent in ______ _______ residential treatment center. My life is- mine. I am working toward a destination of my choosing and no one is going to know to kick my ass if I’m not on the path to getting there. G-d I wish this didn’t feel so somber. I wish he could still make the pain go away. I think he sometimes wishes he could to. But it’s over. It’s funny how right at the threshold of my 18th birthday I finally feel like I have graduated from the bitter entitlement of adolescence to the longing and ambiguity of young adulthood. 


  • Do I have to write everyday to qualify this as a legit Blog?

     Oooo darn. This is so f’d up. I want to write everyday, I want to be able to keep commitments. But for some mother fucking reason I just can’t bring myself to do it… I wasn’t going to write today- but then I thought about how sad my (soon to be replaced) shitty laptop would be and I just couldn’t… seriously though, I’m pissed. I can’t sleep and it fucking sucks because it’s hard to function when your sleep deprived… and I took off school to figure out how to function. If you guys only knew the useless bullshit that keeps me up at night… Actually ironically what keeps me up, is my ridiculous analyzations of the human brain. So essentially I’m up all night trying to figure out how to function and the following day I render myself dysfunctional… O ***, what a paradox. I spent most of last night and today writing a psychological proof (I don’t even think that’s a real term) about the nature of human thought. I was trying to figure out how to stop believing in self-destructive truths (i.e. being scene as a badass is important) and start believing in productive ones (i.e. Doing my homework is important). My thesis was that the mind constantly vacillates between introspection and repression. When being introspective, consciously defining our internalized truths, we are unconsciously repressing others; the mind does not have the vocabulary to describe everything it believes at once and if it did, it still lacks the reading comprehension. When we are consciously repressing, (focusing on anything outside ourselves, TV, sandpaper, math homework) we are unconsciously internalizing new truths. (Big *** are hot, I have no life, math is cool…). I think what I tried to do last night was figure out a formula for X amount of conscious repression and Y amount of introspection = optimal mental strength. Is it ridiculous of me to believe the nature of thought can be easily replicated and understood? I know I have to get my *** together but I want to do it right this time. I want to really establish and stick to a well-understood motivation. I feel like rehab just gave me a set of short term repressions so I could temporarily be a productive member of society… Tonight I’m really going to think about what I want in life. And I’m not talking “I want to single handedly cure world hunger and facilitate world peace.” I’m not even talking “I want to help people and have money.” I’m taking about the superficial bullshit no-one wants to admit is important to them (I want to be noticed, I want to be hot, I want your mom)… Because, I think part of the problem is that I’m trying to convince myself that the superficial bullshit isn’t important to me when it clearly is… what I really need to figure out how to do is find healthier outlets for the stupid ***, outlets that don’t interfere with my long term goals… Just do me a favor world… Don’t let me get stuck in the paralysis of analysis. I need to remember I am never going to uncover all that my denial-prone mind has repressed and the truth is I probably don’t want to…


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