************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Heroizing Another Killer

Today I decided to treat myself to a pedicure. I expected it to be relaxing and enjoyable. I guess I should have shelled out the big money for a true spa-experience, but I went to a local business. Once I was in the seat with my feet soaking, the TV, turned to some daytime soap, switched to the next program. Inside Edition.

I don't watch daytime TV and I avoid "news" programs. I can find out what's going on online and then read the facts that appeal to me, leaving the attention-grabbing spin for those who appreciate it. (Does anyone?) They say great minds discuss ideas, mediocre minds discuss events and small minds talk about other people. If this is true, shows like Inside Edition appeal to the lowest common denominator of our species. On a good day, they serve to bring the rest of us down should we be trapped into viewing their inane and sometimes insane programming. On a day like today they may cause irreparable damage as the repercussions of heroizing a killer spread through society.

Yes. Another tragic event at a school. This time it was at a university in San Diego and six sets of parents lost their children to sick, twisted individual looking for attention. And he's getting exactly what he wanted. Inside Edition is giving him that attention, glancing over the names and ages of six murdered kids robbed of a future while spending half-an-hour elaborating on every detail of the killer's life. Talking to parents and school acquaintances. Showing long clips of self-made videos in which the killer talks about all the things he plans to do and why. Somewhere out there, dozens (hundreds?) of angst-filled youths are taking in this notoriety while ideas form in their heads.

There is so much talk about what we should be doing to prevent this kind of thing happening again. Yet each time it happens a media circus ensues sending the message that if one wants attention this is indeed the way to get it. Turning killers into celebrities may be the the lowest form of selling one's soul for ratings. This is far more harmful than any violent cartoon or sexual content we can imagine. In my opinion, the victims in this latest killing spree are on the heads of Inside Edition and programs like it as well as all those who continue to tune in.

For me, personally, I will avoid mid-afternoon pedicures in places with a blaring television. I will continue to seek my information from sources I can control. I will not allow these kinds of programs to bully me with fear-provoking, useless and often harmful information. Today I will spend some extra time in meditation, sending loving energy to the families who lost their children and to those who may be next.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Are Generic Medications Equivalent?


There's your short answer. The longer answer:
After  intense personal experiences with generics and some online research, I've come to the conclusion that:

  • Drug companies, including those that produce generics, are mostly concerned with making money. 
  • The major pharmaceutical companies that produce the original (name-brand) medications have a lot to lose if generic drugs are successful and therefor don't have a lot of incentive to cooperate with the generic companies. 
  • The FDA is not able to handle the number of new drugs and generics coming into the market every year.
  • Many generics come from countries with different standards of production from the original brand names, and bio-hazards (chemical and bacterial) have been found in some generic drugs.
  • Some medications have more than a dozen ingredients in them but only one of these (the "active" ingredient) has to be "equivalent" in a generic medication. 
  • The way a product is released can be just as important as the drug itself, especially with medications that are meant to release over time (often these have the letters "XR" or "XL" after the name). Because the "filler" used in generics is not the same, it may not release at the same rate as the brand name. 
  • Some fillers used in generics have their own side-effects. 
  • Even concerning the "active" ingredient, drugs sold as "equivalent" only have to demonstrate a 90% similarity to the original drug, and there is an additional 10% possible fluctuation in production which means a generic might be 20% stronger or weaker than the brand name.
In my online generic search, I've come across actual recalls for generic blood thinners, antibiotics, birth control pills, anti-seizure medications, infant and adult pain relievers, acne creams and antacids. If you do your own search you will find a lot of information about a recall of a generic for Lipitor. I guess a drug that lowers cholesterol has a lot of popular impact but my particular issue has been with psych meds. If you want to read a few horror stories, try these links:

My particular visits to generic hell have been on the wings of two generic medications:

  • Wellbutrin XL (Buproprion) the name brand saved my life (not an exageration) but the generic brought on a whole series of side-effects leading up to a suicidal cliff within a few days. 
  • Seroquel (quetiapine) I don't take the extended release version - I only take 25 mg.s, which has been helping me sleep for  about five years now. With the generic, I not only did not sleep, but felt increasingly anxious and had a strong metallic taste in my mouth which lasted all day. I never had either of those issues with the Seroquel, but I might have overlooked them if the generic at least helped me sleep!
I believe those of us taking psych meds may be particularly vulnerable to generic incongruities because there's no big money in looking out for our well being and because most people have a tendency to turn away from mental illness. We've come a long way from the times when anyone with a different view of reality was locked behind actual, physical walls, but many people still hold tight to emotional walls erected to separate themselves from anyone different.

I'm not saying all the name brands are perfect, but they are more researched and better controlled. Whatever your generic medication, here's a VERY important and highly un-publicized point - you may be able to get the name brand as cheaply as the generic! If you call the company that makes your name brand medication you may find you can buy the name brand drug directly from them at about the same cost as the generic. This is not true of all drugs, of course, but I'm currently getting name brand Wellbutrin directly from Valeant for $50 a month instead of $550 a month at the pharmacy. Ipaid full price for years, ever since my pharmacy switched to a generic that made me absolutely crazy!

I'd be interested in hearing others' experiences with medications, especially generic UNequivalents and I'd really like to encourage you to do your own research. If you are taking a generic and the results are not as expected, don't assume it's you. Put the words, "generic" and the name of the drug in a search and see what you come up with. If you find (as I did) that hundreds of others are asking the same questions you are, it may be that the drug is to blame. And, if you are having an issue with a medication, make your complaint public. Others need to know they are not alone! Some of these generics stay on the market for years before the FDA realizes the dangerous truth, but with social media we can all become our own advocates.


Thursday, May 15, 2014


The most healing work I've done has been "re-parenting." This kind of inner-child work involves taking over the role of parent for ourselves.
No one has perfect parents or a perfect childhood. It's a process that could benefit anyone.

A couple of years ago, as part of this healing work, I created an image of the most serene nursery I could imagine. As I worked on the image, I felt immersed in the safety and peacefulness of this room as I imagined the smallest being I ever was being placed safely in that bassinet. 

Breathe it in.
Can you give yourself the gift of feeling this safe?

Monday, May 5, 2014

How Little Choice I Had

This is a journal entry I posted here in 2009. I took it down a couple of years ago when I completed the first edit of "Through the Tiger's Door." Last night, I completely another edit, cutting about ten thousand words to make it more marketable.

Mostly, that was done by tightening it up, but there were a few things I cut that really gave me a twinge. This journal entry is one of those things. Because most of what's in it is said in other ways within the book, I decided this rather long and poetic piece was not really necessary.

Journal, September 17th 2008

Sixteen and cold, waiting for a bus
Accepting a ride
Glad for any attention
“I’ll be careful, I promise”
How little I understood about the world
Getting high on the bus
Getting my period on my 17th birthday
“I’ll be careful this time”
The next month coming and going
The counselor at school I almost told
His words:
“I was hoping this would happen.”
Did I drop that acid after I got pregnant?
A few boxes carrying all my life
Writing that note
Taking a last look around
Being very quiet
Closing the front door
Waiting on the porch
The apartment
So much promise
Him leaving for work
I’ll keep you safe
We’ll get married
Thinking of names
Painting a rainbow in the little room
“We’ll lose our security deposit”
Holding the phone in my hand
Knowing I had to call
Dialing twice and hanging up
Mom’s voice
What they wanted me to be
“I would have liked to have been at your wedding”
What I felt I was
“We never got married.”
What would never be
“Then there’s still hope.”
My father’s face
What he said:
“We are not going to help you raise your bastard child”
My brother telling me it was okay
Wishing he didn’t know
Pleading with Mom, but only with my eyes
I wasn’t okay
Wishing my sister would take me to California
Wishing I was invisible
“You still have options.”
The ugly word I still can’t say
“Do you want me to come in with you?”
Not wanting them to see
Now wanting to know
The nurse holding my hand
“We’re almost finished”
Anger and helplessness
Sadness and hopelessness
Not crying out so Mom wouldn’t hear
Wanting to die
Throwing up on the sidewalk
My sister sleeping next to me
“It’s all over now.”
Waking up empty
It would never be over
My sister's words:
“I’m expecting.”
My pain at her joy
Intensified guilt
Her taking me to school
Hugging me in the hall
Looking at the money I’d stolen from her purse
Knowing I was awful
Knowing it didn’t matter 
Knowing there was nothing worse I could do
Buying as much coke as I could
Doing it all in the bathroom
The girl in the bathroom who asked if I was okay
“I don’t think I’ve ever been okay”
Lying in the grass at the park
Wishing I could
Throwing up the pills I took
Failing even at dying
Billboards with unborn children
“A beating heart is a life”
A perfect baby that never was
My perfect daughter, when she was born
So many choices we have to make
How little choice I really had

Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.