Tuesday, September 21, 2010

PSA: A Message for Teenagers

I began this blog to try, in however small a way, to be an example that you can overcome Depression and a strong desire for suicide and you can be really, truly happy. Sometimes I forget to put that message out there in straight language because I'm so busy just 'being'. But this morning I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts (hellloooo I love my obsessions!) and got a stark and very sad reminder that despite my ongoing recovery there are many, many people who are in that dark and horrible place where I once was and sometimes they don't get the kind of miracle lightbulb moment that I was supremely lucky to get.

A 15-year old boy in Indiana took his own life earlier this month. He was gay, he was bullied and sadly his despair won out. While I would normally never think I would have much in common with a 15-year old kid in Indiana it seems we did have something profound in common: hopelessness. I was lucky, I met someone whose story gave me the spark of hope I needed to finally take my medication and change my life. This boy was not so lucky.

Dan Savage, who if you have not heard of him, is a sex advice columnist; it was his podcast was I was listening to this morning, has started a youtube channel to help give other kids (and maybe adults too) that spark of hope that no matter how bleak and hopeless things are: they DO get better. The video and link to the channel is below. I hope if anyone reading this watches this video and feels they can contribute that they will do so. The ITGETSBETTERPROJECT channel is specifically geared to the LGBT community so I don't suppose my story would qualify, but if you're reading this and your story does, I hope you will make a video, submit it and spread the word. Because it really DOES get better, and sometimes when you're so deep in despair you just can't believe that - unless you hear it from someone who is living it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Ooooh another one!

A second podcast of What Do You Know. This time we talk about Volunteerism, and of course that leads us to the Brownies and the Cub Scouts. Even a little hint of organized religion, though Gary wisely didn't let me get on my soap box. But it's coming folks, it's a-comin'!

In the meantime please listen to the podcast while you enjoy this oh so happy photo of me as a Brownie with my Mother in her Assistant Leader ensemble. Note my delighted expression. If you can enlarge it enough you can see the despair in my 8 year old eyes. I should have borrowed my Mom's super cool shades, eh? Oooh and I'm also wearing my not-so-Brownie gladiator sandals. I loved those things. They had a brass plate on the vamp. I was so freakin' ahead of my time...

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Blogging... Podcasting...

I just haven't had a big urge to write in months and months. Some of this has to do with my glasses. Huh? My eyes are bad, bad, bad. When I was in elementary school the school nurse did eye tests and told me I qualified as Legally Blind. I think that might have been a bit heavy handed as 30+ years later I have yet to hear that phrase again as applies to me, but it gives you an idea of how coke-bottle like my glasses would be (without the invention of lightweight plastics). This means I need glasses to do pretty much anything. I have old pairs stashed all over the apartment in case I can't find the current pair because seriously without my glasses on I cannot find my glasses. Catch-22 anyone?

At least once a year I need a new prescription, and because my glasses cost a small fortune, literally, I have 'cleverly' put off re-upping for a year. This has been a really stupid mistake. Not my first, not my last I'm sure. It has curtailed my ability to read for more than 15 minutes at a clip, holding a book about an inch from my eyes causes eye and hand strain. Ouch. If I'm not reading, I'm not writing either. They pretty much go together.

Not being able to read has been a real loss to me, but I found an alternative. Audio books. Yay! And in searching for those I found I really love Podcasts. I'm a little bit addicted. The How Stuff Works poddies are terrific and since I'm a geek I'm also listening to Wil Wheaton's podcasts, as well as a slew of others.

About a month ago I finally sucked it up and had an eye exam and got new specs. Online, for a fraction of what I normally pay and in fact got 3 pair for less than I would typically pay for one pair - do I love me some internet or what? Oh yeah.

But before the new glasses arrived Gary was over one evening and we decided we'd throw down, try our hand at Podcasting and see how it went. We recorded a couple back at the end of June and will be doing more in the coming weeks. We're calling the Podcast "What Do You Know?" and that's explained in the here. I hope you like it. We had fun doing it.