Working Title: “Madness Invisible”

I’ve been playing around with that one for a while and like it best.  Then, after Madness Invisible  there would be some sort of secondary title, something descriptive right there so the reader knows what he/she is going to be in for.

It’s 8:30pm. I’m ready to write now.  I’m fully primed, like a runner warming up, waiting for that race to start.

The crowd bristles.

We begin.

Regarding the accuracy of eating disorders blogs: does it really matter?

I saw a study, or rather, a summary of a study done by some medical person who had examined hundreds of eating disorders blogs.  Who knows if mine was among the hundreds….

The study summary stated that just about all contained gross inaccuracies. What are we to conclude from this?

The study didn’t state whether these were blogs by “therapists” or  those done by researchers.  If these are personal blogs, were they blogs done by those that experienced ED, or just people wanting to talk about it?  Or did the study only examine blogs within hospitals or treatment centers or ones within websites touting a particular cure.  I think we need to make a distinction here.

Unfortunately, this was a medical paper that was in .pdf form and I was not privy to reading it.  I think I’d have had to pay a fee to access it. I was amused at this.

Also, what did this doctor consider “inaccurate”?  Inaccurate according to whom?

A person who has ED might state, “The night staff regularly slept on the job at the treatment center I went to. Many staff were more interested in their cell phones than they were in the patients.”  Is this inaccurate?

Just about all sites I’ve read on binge eating disorder will tell you you can’t die from binge eating.  I maintain that this is false, that people do die directly from binge eating, from stomach rupture in some cases, or from a bad reaction to the overindulgence in the substance they binge on.  I’m sure plenty of people have stuffed themselves so badly that they have choked and died. Am I being inaccurate simply because I have not myself yet died?  I have no intentions of dropping dead to prove my point.  I challenge what is standard medical claim because what’s happening now is that binge eating is still not taken seriously.  In order to get any “care” at all, a patient has to claim they have some other problem….such as depression. Then, they can get therapy or whatever. I have even threatened suicide, and eventually made an attempt due to the lack of being taken seriously…and in desperate attempt to get care…not that that worked but I have gone that route.

So I have had LOTS of LIVED EXPERIENCE and I am saying this is what I have been through.  If someone thinks what I am saying isn’t true, go try surviving out there and then come back to me and tell me I’m lying or delusional.

So…does it matter if a blog is accurate. Do people want accuracy or do they want personal accounts? Do they take what I say with a grain of salt?  I should hope so.  I am just human…take what you want and leave the rest, just as I do.  Surely, I tell you often enough who I am and where I stand and why I say the things I do.

So here’s something you might think is hogwash advice…..Where can one get information these days? Where’s a good source?  WebMD?  Drugs dot com?

Guess where I get good info on all sorts of things. Amazon reviews. Of course, you can’t buy things like antidepressants on Amazon, but I sure as hell don’t want an antidepressant anyway!  I go to Amazon if I’m looking for a new whatever.  I read all the reviews with a grain of salt.

It’s that grain of salt that’s important.  Learn it. The beauty of the Internet is that this information can be freely posted by anyone and is free for anyone to access. The less monitoring the better.  Do you see what I am saying?

Of course, I’ve read the most ridiculous claims on Amazon reviews.  I even read that there was something that will restore your kidneys.  I went and Googled it (the review claimed there was all sorts of literature that could be easily found on this) and found that this product has on occasion destroyed patients’ kidneys if overused. I guess the reviewer misread, huh? Hope the guy is gonna be okay!

So if I claim something, are people really going to believe it and does it matter? I am telling you that I experienced it and that’s what matters. I can tell you that I’ve spoken to many who have experienced similar things to myself, but not that I actually have done studies or taken blood tests myself or experimented on human research subjects or animals.  That’s not my job.  I can provide a link to a study or tell you I read a book and how much I liked it or didn’t.

I don’t think that accuracy in a personal blog matters at all.  It’s not the job of a blogger to do that. If I tell you who I am and state where I’m coming from, you can make a decision to trust what I’m saying, or not trust it at all.  You choose whether to read my words or not.  Are we cool on this?

what about that spam that says, “Gain up to 3 inches permanently”

Okay, where?

Three inches of what? Frontal lobe? Where do I put it?  I have an 18-inch circumference head, smaller than most, so where do those extra three inches go? Do I need extra brains?  I’m smart enough already, even though I am quite often treated as if I have a borderline “retarded” level IQ.

Or maybe, I need three inches more breasts. Please, no!  Give those three more inches to someone else.

Add three inches to foot size and my feet would look rather awkward on someone five foot one. I’d probably fall over.  What about fingers that were three inches longer? Would I become a great piano player? Maybe I would give great sex by hand.  Then again, those long fingers would get in the way. How would I find gloves for the winter? What if I looked like a freak? Would I get diagnosed with a psych disorder due to getting a complex over my weird-looking hands? Or just frostbite…..

Maybe I should delete the e-mail, eh?

Wonderful principles to live by

First of all, Rule Number One: Break every rule! Don’t listen to me, for godsakes! Do whatever the hell you want.  You might want to learn the rules first so that you can break a whole bunch of them and be a decent rebel, just like me and Puzzle.  Be cute at it, and have twice as much fun.

Rule number two: Spend the least amount of money as possible.  Don’t buy stupid expensive shit.  It’s not worth it. Yes, go for quality, but not at a price. Common sense….. Chances are, you’re gonna throw the crap out anyway.  Think about it.

Rule #3: Listen to your body.  Your body is smart.  Your mind will try to override what your body wants.  Common sense is a great idea, but your body might ask for something strange.  Sometimes, you gotta juggle between what makes sense and what your body demands.

Rule #4: Listen very well. But advice is just that, advice. No one knows better than you about you.  You know yourself better than anyone.

Rule #5: Stand on your own two feet. That is, self-reliance…it is golden.  There is no magic human.  No one that can save you except you.

Rule #6: Cultivate a good relationship with animals and plants.  It won’t hurt to have an animal in your life, such as a pet or to care for plants and nature. An animal in your life won’t let you down the way people do.

Rule #7: Stay away from gossip.

Rule #8: Priorities…know what ‘s important in your life and stick to that.  Everything else can wait. Don’t lose what’s important. Keep it in a safe place.  So if it’s your house keys, keep them in the same pocket all the time so you won’t lose them. Carry a flashlight if you have to with fresh batteries in it and plastic bags in your pocket to pick up after your dog, and you won’t need much else.

Rule #9: Be strong.  Develop and keep your body fit, with good endurance and keep your muscles as toned as possible. You’ll live longer, you won’t fall down, and if by chance the winds knock you over, you’ll bounce back.  No one can put you anywhere you don’t want to be unless you are knocked down and stay down.

Rule #10: Be clean. Keep your life free of clutter and sweep your floor often.  Take a shower or a bath and enjoy your daydream.

Rule #11: Dress for the weather.  Don’t be stupid or impractical, and wear shoes that will carry you far.

We have a long journey ahead of us, folks.  Get ready.



What to do on Christmas if you are all alone

Here are some ideas from a pro who has spent the past 10 Christmases alone, and most of the past 30 decades of Christmases entirely alone, and certainly NOT surrounded by “loving family.”  Let’s face it, not everyone’s family sticks around.  Might as well have a blast!

1. First of all, God bless our pets.  Give them something special today.  At least we have them, right?  They’ve stuck around even when no one else has.  Puzzle had a super nice meal and the weather is terrific.  A bit cold but we enjoyed our walk and we cuddled some, too.

2. Do some cleaning chore you’ve been putting off forever.  Today I got together all those miscellaneous extra charge cords that are scattered all over the place.  I told myself, “This won’t do!”  So I totally organized them.  I put all my small electronic knick-knacks into one place and labeled everything so that it could be easily found.  Now, next time I ask myself, “Where the heck is that___?”….I can find it.

3. Update whatever. Your antiviral, or your phone, or whatever gadget or version or whatever you’ve been putting off, if you’re a gadget or techno person.  Today I followed my phone’s instructions to a T, and successfully updated my phone.  I am so happy that I did this right.  I’ve been putting this off for weeks.

4. Get rid of that pile of junk that’s been sitting around forever. So for me, it’s that pile of junk mail that’s accumulated.  I don’t throw it out cuz I recycle.  So it sits here waiting for me to carry it off to the recycling bins.  I am going to be very happy when this task is done.

5. Laundry.  Problem is, everyone else has the same idea. All the other lonely people are at that one open laundromat today. Go meet the love of your life!


This cracks me up: Watertown, MA, ranked among top ten towns in MA, for whom?

This was the Movoto blog that rated these towns in Massachusetts.  Watertown came in fourth, behind Marshfield, Reading, and Gloucester.  By the way, Reading is pronounced “redding.”  Gloucester is pronounced “Glaw-ster.”   In case you were wondering.  Bet you had no clue how to pronounce Watertown, did you?  I’m not giving that one away.  I’m not a very nice person.  So they say.

Anyway, here’s the criteria for figuring out which towns were the “top ten.”  Tell me if this ain’t a scream:

  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • High school graduation rate
  • Median household income
  • Median home value
  • Amenities per capita (seafood restaurants, sports bars, Dunkin Donuts, museums)
  • Amenities total (seafood restaurants, sports bars, Dunkin Donuts, museums, and distance from New York City—the further, the better!)
  • The year the city was established (the earlier the better)

So go figure.  That’s the most LOGICAL list I’ve ever seen! Cost of living…hmm, does that mean high cost of living is BETTER or WORSE?  I’m not sure.  It depends on how bad a snob you are.

Crime rate here I’d say is low, and we can all agree that crime isn’t a good thing.  If you are a crook you most likely you don’t want to get caught.  Does this mean that law enforcement keeps the crooks in line better here, or does it mean that the crooks simply skip past Watertown and don’t drop by, cuz the road traffic’s so bad?

As for HS graduation rate, what does this mean?  Are our schools better, or do they keep the “bad kids” that they label and assume won’t succeed away from Watertown schools, and prevent them from enrolling in the first place?  Do they not allow “mainstreaming” of kids that could succeed in public school?  There’s no mention of racial and cultural diversity in schools across Massachusetts. There’s no mention of bully awareness, drugs in the school, teen suicide (of course this lowers graduation rate, duh), the bomb scare at Watertown High last week, and above all, if kids LIKE the schools.  Are they enjoying learning?  Do we have good teachers that are sensitive and smart and intuitive and positive role models and do they encourage free, independent, and critical thinking and do they care deeply about the kids?  Do they communicate well with parents?  Hmm, I have no clue.

Hmm…household income…the higher the better?  And home value, the higher the better?  Well, count me out.  I cannot afford a to own my own home anywhere in the US, so if I stand a chance for better survival, it’s in a town where income level is lower, and home value is lower.  I’d rather there be less snobbery.  I don’t like the idea of being looked down upon by those that have more money than me.  I dislike the idea that everything around me costs more than I can afford.  Do I want to walk streets of gold?  Do I want to go to clothing stores where everything is priced far above what I can afford?  Clearly, I’d rather live in a town where everything is priced inexpensively, tailored to folks that have less money.  I want respect.  That’s far more important to me than a castle and riches.

Seafood restaurants and sports bars are of no use to me.  Why?  They don’t take food stamps and I can’t afford to go to them. A meal at these places costs $10.  Far too expensive, plus I have to tip, too.  That’s not including that cup of coffee and the salad and soup.  Plus everything drowned in “mystery sauce.”  So let those folks who think sports bars and seafood restaurants mean “This is great living” go to these places.  I’ll buy plain, unpackaged ingredients for pennies with my food stamps, and Puzzle and I will eat like royalty.

Dunkin Donuts?  Who goes there?   This is a coffee shop for the cops.  Cops go there while on break. If I show up, never fail, the cops are there, huddled together.  Home away from home.  So we have how many of these Dunkin Donuts here?  Guess the cops have lots of places to go while on break. So what?  I need a break myself.  I need a hangout, too.  My own coffee shop.  So I make my own at home.  What a disappointing survey that “Julie’s” isn’t mentioned!  Just keep the cops outa here, please.

Museums I do like.  We have an awesome one here, the Armenian museum.  I’ll miss the Armenian and Middle Eastern flavor of this town, not even mentioned in this article.  I love going to the “East End,” (not that we really have “ends” here), and shopping for the food imports from Lebanon.  Apparently they come through Canada, but I’m not sure.  I get all sorts of weird spices.  Some spices you can get giant quantities cheaply, and they’re fresh and delicious.  You’ll never know what you’ll find.

Distance from New York?  Oh, please.

Age of town?  I have something to say about that.  I went into my bank the other day. I said, “I’m thirsty, and I’m wondering, could I have a drink of water?”

I’ve lived in this town and been a banking customer at that bank long before it was named what it’s named, since 1987.  How long had this young teller been there?  A few years?  If that.

The teller answered, “No, I’m sorry, we don’t have water here.”

Folks, I’m not sure that it’s wise to move to Watertown. This building is over 100 years old, and yet, they haven’t installed plumbing into it, apparently.  You should be aware that perhaps that whole block downtown has no running water.  This seems archaic to me.  I’ve asked.  Yep, they won’t give me a cup of water!

Yet across the street, it seems they have indeed modernized. It’s such a relief that here in Watertown, they’ve installed pipes at last.  The pizza place, under new management, told me, “If you are thirsty, stop by here anytime.”  The nice guy showed me where to find their water pitcher.  I guess I won’t quite lose faith in humanity yet.  We’re so modern here.

The running water here at home seems to work okay.  I thought you might want to know that.  I seem to be having the last laugh here at home.  That’s because I am a bit younger than the town of Watertown.  If I had been here since the year the town was established, back in 1630, I think I’d be a little too old to be chuckling right now, probably hadn’t lived in Watertown for quite a while.  See ya!

Are you considering electroshock “therapy treatments”? Read this first.

I have had these so-called “treatments” a number of times.  This is my experience as patient.  I am not a doctor or nurse or neurologist, nothing like that, just a person who went through it.  I know others who have had them as well, some more recently.

I don’t know anyone personally who would say they were thankful they had them.  Maybe a week later, they said that the treatments were helpful.  Ask them a few months later, the story is not so positive.

What I do often hear is that folks were by all means, coerced into the treatments, or not told the whole gamut of side effects.  Many people were shown a movie.  This movie is made by proponents of shock.  It’s not an objective film that shows the pros and cons realistically.  You can go to the Prozac website and find out about the pros of Prozac, but you won’t find out about lawsuits against the makers of Prozac, or about the public outcries about the drugs, or the depth of concerns about giving Prozac to young people or people with certain health conditions.  Anyone can fill a drug maker’s website with all kinds of propaganda.  This film is propaganda, too.  Often, patients are shown the film while inpatient, and then the nurse will answer questions.

Yes, many patients get coerced and don’t have much chance to speak with those that have been damaged by shock.  Patients can have irreversible memory loss.  I myself was fortunate enough to get my memory back, but many lose quite a bit of their lives…forever.  I’ve heard such heartbreaking stories, such as people forgetting their wedding days…forever.  Women forgetting their baby’s first steps as they learn to walk.  Never mind the forgotten PIN numbers!  That’s a classic.  I know people who have opened their cell phone contact lists and had no clue who half the folks were that were listed. Forever.

But I want to say something else.  I know, folks, why shock works. No, it doesn’t even work at all, but people think it does.  Let me tell you why it works.  Why some people are so convinced.

You go to the shock doc. You’ve been on that horrible psych ward for a month, and nothing has worked.  Now, suddenly, it’s you.  All attention is on you.  You a lying on a clean table and several docs are actually paying attention to none other than you.  For a change, you aren’t shit.  You’re so important, cuz you could even die on that table before their eyes. For those ten minutes, you are more important to them than anyone. To avoid a lawsuit, for godsakes, your life is in their hands, and they’d better stay on their toes.  They are so focused on you.

Honestly, that much attention on me, being loved so much like that for those ten minutes would certainly jolt me like lightning shockeroo out of a deep depression for a while.  Maybe a week!  Me?  Little ole me? Do I matter that much?

That, in a nutshell, is why shock works.  It has nothing to do with the shock treatment itself.  The jolt of electricity is dangerous.  I would never recommend it.  If you want love, go get your hair done, hug your kids, get a dog, go somewhere else but the nut ward, it’s not worth it.


What did you think I was talking about?  The rent?  No, that’s a given.  Yeah, that, too, and Puzzle’s monthly doggie medicine.  No, I intend to bore all you men to tears and talk nonstop about my period.  And some women as well.

Guess what?  I’m done. Are you crying yet?  If so, I suggest a box of Kleenex, or any brand of tissues, instead of your sleeve.  Go hug your dog.  This is the best thing to do while you are crying.  Stay away from the shrinks cuz if you go and tell one that “Some lady talked about her period till I cried,” you are bound to get locked up, either as a depressive or,

If you male and look the part (somewhat tough-looking, like you just got out of prison) you might get labeled a sex offender whether you have committed a crime or not.

Trust me, either way, telling these dudes over and over that you are a regular reader of Julie Greene’s blog is most likely going not going to get you out of the mental institution or prison, and more likely, will get you exactly nowhere.  Or you’ll just get funny looks.  But I’ll talk about that later.  I need to go find the pads and tampons and say goodnight.

Some kooks in Boston

I can’t recall which stop it was on the Orange Line I was at a week or so ago.  It wasn’t a bad night to go out, so I figured I’d linger around and observe the humans.  People everywhere with cell phones, in groups, schmoozing in and around each other, some already beginning on their first drinks of this Saturday night.  You know how I am.  I watched to see what would happen.

So I saw this dude and I felt so sorry for him.  Guess it takes one to know one, as they say.  I knew right away: must be Tardive Dyskinesia.  What’s worse, he had some stick-like thing in his hand, waving the darned thing.  I kept saying to myself that he seemed to have so little control over what his extremities did that he’d better be careful with the stick. Considering he had that “mental patient look,” he was likely to get locked up, waving the stick around in a way that would cause a stir.

I felt so sorry for him.  I myself narrowly escaped TD.  I am lucky that I stopped the antipsychotics when I did.  Most my age are not so fortunate.  This guy, let me tell you, had it all over his body, both arms waving this way and that, and his entire torso joined in, too, swaying around.  People were watching him, staring, in fact, following his movements intensely.  I told myself, “Watch out, Buddy, you’re gonna get nabbed.”

But he kept going.  A crowd gathered. Not only that, a bunch more kooks came.  I said to myself, “Did some mental hospital let everyone out on pass?” Of course, I was joking to myself.  Maybe they were just dudes from some local bar, already high as kites. They looked wicked stoned or strung out, though, on something I sure never took.

So these people were singing at the top of their lungs.  Eeks!  Bunch of them.  Standing up and singing.  I figured you gotta be rather drunk to dare to do something like that in public.  I told myself these dudes will be arrested if they keep up the ruckus.  They kept up their singing for a very long time.  I was surprised at the attention they got.

Some street musicians joined in the fun, but I said to myself, “These street musicians must feel embarrassed associating with a bunch of mental patients and drunks.  We have such fine street musicians here in Boston, and I think they should stay away from these loser types, lest it ruin their reputation.”

You wouldn’t believe the nonsense stuff the singers were singing, too.  I figure you gotta have some kind of OCD to repeat the same lines over and over like that.  Who else would do that?  Isn’t that what the disorder is called?  Or is it Tourettes if it’s done out loud? But if it’s in a group, is it a “shared delusion?”

Then, of course, I had to consider myself.  I was sitting.  I and my companions were seated in a row in the audience, and when the performance was over, everyone gave the conductor, the entire opera cast, chorus and orchestra a hearty, warm, and vigorous standing ovation.

Name of opera: Four Saints in Three ActsLibretto: Gertrude Stein
Composer: Virgil Thompson
BMOP, Jordan Hall, Boston, MA
November 16, 2013.

How to turn your WordPress blog back from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time (and vice versa)

It’s simple, but to my knowledge, in most cases WordPress doesn’t do this automatically.  You must do this by hand twice a year if you are choosing to keep your blog within your local time zone.  If your region doesn’t change the time twice a year to Daylight Savings Time (this is called by other terms in other places but that’s our term for it here) then you needn’t do anything.

WordPress gives us the option to set our blogs to any time zone we choose.  You don’t have to keep it at local time if you don’t want to because right now, it’s done manually.  So if you are on extended job leave or sabbatical and blogging remotely via cell phone or tablet, it’s rather handy to change the time zone if you so desire. Your readers might get dizzy, though.

Here’s how to do it. See on the right, sort of a sidebar in the WordPress Dashboard where it says, “Appearance”?  There’s a subcategory called “Settings.”  You might have to open up “Appearance” for “Settings” to show up.  Now click on “Settings.” Here, you’ll see a page.  You’ll see a drop-down menu where you can adjust your time zone.  You’ll have to change it by one hour, so for instance, here on the East Coast of the US, we change from GMT -4.0 hours to GMT -5.0 hours each fall.  DON’T FORGET TO CLICK ON “SAVE” AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED.  The East Coast, otherwise known as “New York Time,” is really five hours apart from London, and London also changes their time twice a year.  GMT is always the same.

Of course, the times they are a-changin’.  But maybe I shouldn’t quote anyone due to copyright infringement.