Ok that’s it

I’m writing a book. Who isn’t. I actually have five or six. Three in a series sort of YA bipolar disc jockey juggles illness, men, rapid cycling and alcohol on occasion. Father says to me the other day, “You need a Project. Find out how much it will cost, a-z to get your book published and I’ll write a check. I hadn’t expected such but XLibris was having a sale.

Based on what my friends have told me, 399.99 plus a plot/pace/content assessment is going to be too little and I’ll get hit up for more fees down the line and I told my consultant that I had been warned and asked her to really dig deep and tell me the price. She got argumentative and angry. It didn’t help matters at all that my foot got broken and hurt badly.

My last conversation with this person was that she felt insulted and when it came down to it, she though I’d need 25k to get a book out there, but she had politely refrained from throwing this in my face. Don’t you think that 399.00 plus 199.00 and the sum total of 25k are a little far off?  Where were all these fees coming from? Wasn’t she being unethical to ‘undersell me’ something for 600.00 that was going to end up costing our family 25k?  Then she got into this whole thing about how Authorhouse and Xlibris are very different (I had previously spoken to Authorhouse) and that’s why she chose Xlibris. I asked her about 12 questions about Print on Demand, and wondered why she had not brought up marketing guidance. You got me right, they provide no marketing or advertising for you for free, but for an additional fee, they can arrange to have your book reviewed and so forth.

I asked her how much that would be…the various ranges of services. She deferred and said that I’d need to speak to someone else. OK, that sounded hinky. Then she came back in a feisty email and told me she had way more things to do like talk to other clients rather than argue with me.

I called back my father, who had forgotten his offer. She said he wanted me to ‘listen’ and ‘sit down.’ that’s when you know it’s really going to be bad. He said I was a stupid girl, had nothing to say, no book to write, and he didn’t know why I was bothering him with this Xlibris stuff.

“But you offered or I’d have never bo-”

“I didn’t offer, you asked.”

“No, I didn’t”

That’s when it got ugly.

“You always ask,” he roared. Or did he intone with a sneer? I didn’t know, but I’ve been through this with him a lot. It happened regarding me moving back to San Diego with the promise of the gift of an expensive, beautiful 16hand ex racehorse, that with the right amount of grooming, discipline and work, would be worth triple the hundred thousand he paid for it. In the end he gave it away to a gifted horsewoman for free, providing she gave him 1/3 of the back end. I was stunned. I had just been dumped for being bipolar by the love of my life and didn’t need to be thrown around like a rag doll. Then he told me to ride this older palomino who had a bunch of nasty habits. He had worked as a “Pony,” a lead horse on the racetrack for ten or more years. After landing on my ass a few times I asked him about it.

“Oh, yes,” “Walter’s Pony,” he mused. “That horse needs to be given Ketamine before being ridden. Otherwise, he’ll likely hurt you. There’s a white vat of Ketamine Pellets in the barn. Be sure you give him some.”

He had been using me to make sure that nasty animal got exercise. I never rode him again. I am a good horsewoman but I don’t have time for deadly games on a vicious animal who has stored up a lifetime of animosity for us human beings.

But this, this was different. This was my book. A book I’d pledged to write in a most anonymous manner to shield him and his racehorse family, the rest of the family who goes to the Breeder’s Cup, races in Dubai and the Kentucky Derby. Have I ever been invited? I’ve been disinvited to the weddings of two of my sisters. My Dad says my sister made the request and my sister refuses to discuss the matter.

Dad says that my honey and I embarrass both him and his La Perla CFO daughter. Way to go Suz. But can’t you just be honest with big sis? I can take it.

But this thing with the book.   He took my dream, drop kicked it as if it were a soccer ball, and let fly with his foot until he had kicked it all the way across the soccer field.

I was suicidally depressed for the next two days. I didn’t know if I was going to make it this time.

He’s been doing this my entire life.

Three years ago, when I was visiting in Kentucky, he  met with his European Tailor. He offered to buy me a dress. I didn’t ask. They made a size 12. Here I am in it. When the bill arrived, there was hell to pay, and it was all my fault. The dress had long since arrived and been taken in but I wished I’d never accepted the gift. Same with the car. When it poops out, I’ll take the bus.

In the meantime, I’m signing up for DBT, the latest and greatest treatment for my own Borderline Personlity Disorder. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they say.

He called the next day as if nothing had happened. “How does it feel to have dropkicked my dream across the field as if it were a human head?”

“Well, ” he suggested, as if we were discussing high tea.  “Take my name out of your phone and–”

“FINE!” I screamed, and hung up the phone. I hope he doesn’t call for a year.


Bipolar: Why Press on? Bcause, you could be the breakthrough, the discover, the treatment..,.

Bipolar: Why press on? Bcause, you could be the breakthrough in…

Towing the Bipolar road, is, for most of us, tolerating the that we ‘never get ‘well,’ having to be satisfied with better or worse. We never are cured or become ‘undetectable.’

Sometimes it sure isn’t fun,  abstaining from alcohol and  recreational drugs, keeping journals, curbing our enthusiasm for online shopping, and especially, slamming the breaks and truly taking the time to evaluate a mate for their ability to be supportive should we crash.  We don’t always do this, but I married a man who left me because “He didn’t want to be married to a woman with bipolar disorder.” It we act on one impulse, we pay for it with the other impulse, the impulse to be safe.

Equally difficult to balance is mindfulness without self focus or selfishness.  I fail at this often and am often rejected socially, labeled an ‘intense’ personality. (That’s one reason that I chose Allison Strong as a radio name, you either ‘get’ me or you don’t. It worked in radio, my ratings were high due to polarizing people, in life it don’t work so good. In fact it hurts like hell.)

Then there’s the bitter pill of the limitations, the hard work, the mood swings (especially the depressions),  when the meds just stop working, the subsequent waiting rooms, and the weeks where I have three or four doctor’s appointments and scream with psychic overload. And you want me to add a therapist on to that overload???? Are YOU high?

What keeps me from flipping the switch to ‘off’? (Partly because once I do that, there is no return. So I stay where I’m at, the loser I am..staying out of fear of the unknown. God I crave a drink right now.

And, because, you, me, or anyone else could be the breakthrough, the outcome, the coping strategy, discovery or treatment in  bipolar disorder that we’ve all been hoping and waiting for.  If I take that drink or flip that switch I’ll never know. For all I know, I might become famous. But I’ll never know if I kill myself. Ooops trigger warning.

#bipolar disorder#mood swings#hope#end the stigma#Ibpf#hard Work#DBT#manic depression#amwriting#author#alternative music#creativity in bipolar people#Robert Evans#Montage of Heck#Kurt Cobain#Robin Williams#NAMI#NAMI Broward County

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Budget Cuts for Arts focused “Drop In” centers for mental health consumers in Fl

A huge amount of County money was cut from the Arts-focused “9MusesArtsReach” up here. When asked why the funds were cut, the county said they were looking for more transparency and weren’t sure what they are paying for. A judge on the bench here locally snapped back, “Well, when you see our Emergency rooms and jails overflowing with mentally ill people, you’ll know what YOU WERE paying for, and I guarantee you, this will be a whole lot more expensive, not to mention putting the community at risk, both the mentally unwell and the rest of them.  This probably wont affect Rebel’s Drop in as they are an arm of a local hospital that is the fifth largest provider of hospital care in the country. They have money. 9Muses will really be hurt. And I like it there. Their depression support group is truly transformative and supportive. What they do not support is the depression and negative self talk or thoughts themselves. “Hold onto the Good!” is their motto and they are kinda ‘tough love.’ They won’t let you sit in your garbage.

What do I want out of this, anyway?

I was approached by someone in the business of optimizing websites.
They claimed to have investigated my site and found ways that they say I’m missing out on connectability. Maybe not the correct word, but they cited GoogleMobilGeddon as an ominous threat to my being accessible in my categories and tags. From the gist of it, they said they had looked at my acct same as if it were a website…which it’s not, and they would like to improve other people’s access to me in a Google search result and other search engine results. That really got me to thinking….what is it that I wanted out of this wordpress blog?

I’ve already been to Hollywood (CA) and done the acting thing, so I know better than to think I can go to Schwab’s café and drugstore and be discovered like Lana Turner and become some sort of star.  So, I never thought or aimed to be found as some great new writer from this account. I am a writer, am working on several books, both fiction and non and bipolar autobiographical for those who like that stuff.

I came over to WordPress from Tumblr because I felt the Tumblr crowd was random, young, self-harmy. But one thing about Tumblr that I should reconsider is that there is a really active Eating Disorder crowd and I totally suffer from that.  I returned the email and will ask for a ‘price’ sheet. But my non technical nature will probably keep me from understanding it and the person on the other end of the line would have to take too much time to explain what it is than the amount of money he would potentially make off of me.

It’s bad enough that talented writers are paying thousands of dollars to self publish, due to the internet, the amazing amount of writers in new genres and fringe topics, etc, but to pay money to have a blog? No, not me. Maybe later, when the trilogy is written. If I’m going to spend any money in the near future it would be to an editor to edit, help rewrite and reformat my book so that I can upload it somewhere for free. I’m in this to be helped and to encourage other people to get the help that they need. I have bipolar disorder, ADD, chronic pain, Binge Eating Disorder, and Tardive Dyskinesia (from Geodon for a year) but right now, things are good and I’m getting by. At least I’m not in a depression. When I came off of Adderall (too abruptly) I was depressed for 7 weeks. Going back to a medication that had worked for me a decade ago was a really smart call, since not all medications work for all individuals.

Videos for Bipolar with Healthline, IBPF and Astrazeneca

I just finished shooting and editing my video for bipolar disorder. You’ll have the link to the file as soon as I do. For every vid that is uploaded to the following site, the sponsors will match 10.00 My vid has music and a lot of movement. But not all good videos need such. There are good ones up on there already. It’s going on until December of this year, so you have plenty of time.

·         This is another online campaign happening at Healthline’s website: http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder/youve-got-this

·         Submit a video of encouragement for those who have been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder

·         Healthline is donating $10 to IBPF for each video

·         Goes until DecemberChickencoop - Copy

International Bipolar Foundation this mo


I’ve had bipolar relapses 20 times in my 25 years since my dx. I’ve learned that not everything is a negative, so at their request, I wrote this short artcle for IBPF. Let me iknow, please if the link doesn’t work.

Horse pictured is Floral Countess, a gift from my boyfriend Bobby Frankel, who bought it off the late Martin Ritt for 50,000. Bobby wanted to get married from the moment he met me…but it didn’t work out because he didn’t want a career girl. He wanted to be the only star. Tell Bethenny. She’ll probably relate to that.


Broken Elevator, broken English closes social divides in diverse South Florida

For ten years I have lived in a modest 16 story building across the street from the Atlantic Ocean in Hollywood Florida. Years ago, I was living in Hollywood, California, pursuing and succeeding at commercials and walk-ons in television and movies. I no longer had to wait tables at the Comedy Store, and could devote myself full-time to getting acting and extra work.

Unlike California, where I was born, there are tons of these high rises. Mine is one of the smallest ‘boxes on the beach.’ Next door neighbors reside for years without meeting one another. My building was built in the 1970’s as a second home or an investment for Northeasterners who wanted to be able to escape the cold or have an income property. For the last three weeks, only one elevator of the two we have has been working. This has changed the social order in the building.

For example, three times now, I’ve ridden up or down with a brunette woman who looks to be in her sixties, with her darling toddler charge. Clearly she doesn’t speak English, and I noted a wary expression in her eyes, so I tried to break the ice. With the language divide, that presents a challenge.

“Where are you from?”

“Peerrrzzzia,” she purred, as many Iranians do.

“Well, Welcome,” I said, with a smile that reached to my eyes. I love it that people come here. I’m actually quite interested in the Middle East and how it is that some of them hate us Americans so very much.   I asked her how long she’s been stateside.

“Oh, about thirty…” she said, unable to finish her sentence. I understood what she meant.  She left when the Shah was deposed, as so many did.

All those years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles, the influx of wealthy Iranians was such that it was jokingly referred to as Irangeles. They swarmed in and bought up all the parking garages in the cities, and were a sudden presence at the gas pumps. Here in Hollywood, it was reported that the Pilots who flew the 9-11 planes trained here, drank nearby, but mostly hid out, preparing for martyrdom and Paradise.

Funny, isn’t it, that a broken elevator can fill the gulf between distant neighbors and far flung cultures?

Oh, and about that one working elevator…you may as well get in.  Up or down, We’re all going somewhere.

Bipolar Survival in face Prozac Poopout. local Nami printed this mo. Re: “Medication Fatigue” or “Burnout.”

Bipolar Survival in the Face of Antidepressant Failures, AKA known as “Prozac Poopout.”

I’m learning to be grateful for the good days. I wanted to write a book, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I’ve realized that there is enough trauma, drama, courage, recovery, and then again adversity for several books. Some Japanese philosopher said that it’s not about how many times you get knocked down that matter but the number of times you rise to meet your opponent that matters in the end. It sure seems like I’ve had to pull myself together in order to rally an awful lot lately, why not turn it into educational, inspirational, entertainment? Or am I just trying to put out fodder for Schadenfreude? (sp?)

In any event, I want to edit all these writings and have my best friend, and my creative writing group edit it and read it before remotely approaching a literary agent.  So I’m going to try to shorten even this piece up from it’s original printing in our South Florida Nami Newsletter. There probably is a URL somewhere, I have asked for one, but the phone calls go unreturned.  Life.

The Meat: In the 25 years that I’ve lived with Bipolar Disorder, I’ve had nine antidepressant failures.  Amongst Mental Health technicians, doctors, therapists and nurses, this is known as “Prozac Poopout.” In the beginning, My family and I were told that the medications they were prescribing were to be taken for the rest of my life. Someone must have misunderstood that notion, because ten years later, after I had practically forgotten about my rotten brain chemistry, when the Prozac Konked Out, and was left holding the bag.

“What should I do?” I cried out to my general practitioner, who returned my search for a solution with a wide-eyed, mildly panicked look with a sign over her head reading: “This is not my job, not my problem.” You would have thought she was the one with depression/high anxiety. Funny.

The ten year Combo that had worked: Tegretol, Prozac and Prozac occasionally for sleep. Easy to understand that nighttime bipolar check playing White Zombie, the Cure and Nine Inch Nails until midnight might have trouble keying it down in order to sleep while watching Letterman. I drank occasionally, but it didn’t really bother me. One beer at night? No biggie.

Tip one?  Don’t see a General Practitioner for psychiatric assistance. You might find yourself upended in a canal, and a psychiatrist can juggle the meds just right to fish you out. Or send you to a hospital in case he can’t. Only he or she can correctly determine.

What I did? I panicked, and turned to self medication, and ran back and forth from the Mexican border, as I always seemed to live nearby. Tijuana? Los Angeles? Arizona Nogales? No problem. Now, with the Cartels a la Mad Men, problem. Big Problem. If you go, you might not come back.

I lost my high flying-career as a music journalist, alt-rock disc jockey and music director. Out the window went confidence, self esteem and any ability to just let things be. Everything had to be ‘fixed,’ and I hate that state of mind. I longed for the days when I had just coasted through ten years of high productivity, a byproduct of bipolar 2 disorder. My husband, who informed me that ‘we all have choices in life,’ chose ‘not to be married to a woman with bipolar disorder.’ He said that ‘he had been warned, advised,’ that it wasn’t a good ‘choice.’ Even I didn’t have any idea how serious this thing could get.

Well, somewhere around that time, Bipolar 2 progressed to Bipolar 1, and that’s just the breaks. The Penalties for missing medication of any kind can progress to distorted thinking, hearing voices, paranoia and hallucinations. I play my medication compliance tight to the chest. I want my moods to be stable.

Over the years I’ve gotten good years here and there with as many as eight different antidepressants, and They’ve all given me a few good years, only to eventually …..just sort of peter out.

This last time, Brintellix only gave me seven months and it caught me off guard when it stopped being effective. My thoughts became unnatural.  I considered inpatient confinement but drank for a few weeks instead. I hate to admit it, but the truth is, it sort of bought me some time, about two weeks on and off.   I found out that I’m not an alcohoIic, but also that I didn’t want to drink any longer. Alcohol depresses me and is not a good choice. I had been wondering why I didn’t’ fit in at the AA meetings, even though I benefited from the spiritual principles and learned the art of getting through one day at a time. When the days just plain suck, and you worry how long it’s going to stay this way, when the depression seems interminable and becomes cumulative, you just tell yourself, “You only have to get through one day at a time.” Another great saying I learned in AA comes from Bill’s story. I’ve applied it through many depressions up until their end. “How Dark it is Before the Dawn.”  I’ve had quite a few days where I’ve told myself these things and awakened to find myself in a brand new day. Antidepressants work like that. You just have to remember that when they aren’t.