Monday, August 11, 2014

Depression Sucks.

 The first time I was ever on a movie set was with my amazing friend Lizzie, and Robin Williams.  We were over the moon.  A REAL Hollywood movie and we got to be extras!  It was a party scene filmed at a modern home in Venice Beach.  Our hearts smiled every time we were moved just a little bit closer to the action.  Closer to the visible part of the shot.  While we sipped on our fake water cocktails ready to shoot, Robin sipped on the real thing.  Cocktail after cocktail, he became looser and looser.  Funnier and funnier.  And yet, there was something off.


   I know sadness.  But more importantly, I know what it is to suffer from depression.  Some might see my admission of this as a weakness.  I may go to my job interview on Wednesday and have them aghast to the idea of hiring somebody who knows what it is to be more than sad and lower than the average low.  I have stopped writing for a while because I became afraid that public knowledge of my struggles with depression would seep into my personal life.  My job choices.  My friendships.  I do not seek to be a wallower, but my intention behind this note, in relationship to Robin Williams, is that in simple truth, I understand.  


    In fact 26 percent of us understand.  One in four people know what its like to suffer.  Whether it be from depression.  Or anorexia.  Bipolar Disorder.  Or even OCD.  We know what it is like and yet we remain silent.  I, despite my efforts to make a difference with this stigma have found myself fall silent.  Afraid.  Afraid of what people might think of me.  Afraid of the ripples this public knowledge will make throughout my life.  Afraid of the half hearted “if you ever need to talk about it…” conversations.  I have been a coward of my own illness.


   Well, no more.  “Some people are just born sad,”  I had a friend say to me when talking about her own struggles with depression.  We are born in a chemically defunct, lower state.  Not a lower state of thinking, a lower state of feeling.  Our normal, is your melancholy.  Our happy, seems closer and closer to your ability to function as a human in day to day life.  Or perhaps we swing, high to low.  Paralyzing depression, drinking, thoughts of suicide, inability to get out of bed to flying high.  Rainbows, nudity, loose behavior, and endless possibility.  If that is the case, we seek something steady.  Steady sometimes comes at a cost.  A cost to your personality, pills that make you sleepy, and a slow, slow, thought process.

    I am working on my depression.  Slowly.  Not necessarily surely.  I struggle in everyday situations like making conversation and catching up with old friends.  I struggle to be happy.  Happy for myself, but more importantly happy for you.  Happiness is a big problem and I want it so badly.  My depression makes me selfish as the world revolves around my inability to do anything right.  It revolves around the mistakes I have made and how I have let you down.  It revolves around my fears for the future and my mourning of the past.  I miss when the world was my oyster, but I have come to the conclusion that perhaps I have been dealt a clam.  Or a mussel.  And that shit is tough to open.  You have to coerce out the good, yummy parts.  Or if you hate shellfish, you have to go fishing.

    Today, I was reminded that I am not alone in the saddest possible way.  Today I was reminded of why I set out to make a documentary.  Why it is important to talk about mental health.  Why it is important to say, “Lets talk about this.”  Clearly and strongly so that your sad friend doesn’t have a choice but to comply.  So that you mean it with all of your heart.  And I mean it.  I have meant it since day one.  So.  Lets talk about this.  Lets talk about what is going on with you.  Lets talk about mental health.  Mental wellness.  Because, haven’t we had enough?  Enough loss?  Enough pain?  The pain may not end immediately but it would be so much greater to know that people cared along the way.  That you, dear friend, are not alone.  I stand with you.  Because yes, I am a member of The 26 Percent.

In honor and memory of the exceptionally funny and talented, Robin Williams.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I'm Going to Be Fat For Your Wedding

I’m going to be fat for your wedding, I hope you’re cool with that.

I also kind of can’t stand dancing, for the obvious reason of having to compete with my mother’s moves on the floor.  And the embarrassment of when she steals a small British child from his parents’ table because she has convinced him that he has now come to America and must learn how to move as if we are in a pyrotechnic version of Footloose, Flashdance, and Dirty Dancing.  (But that wasn’t as bad as the time she stole that baby at the wedding in Hawaii)  Will there be small British children at your wedding?

And I will probably be way drunk.  Something about my meds and champagne….Unless I decide early on in the night that I have given up drinking, in which case, well, I certainly wont be dancing.

So back to the fat part.  Yep.  I dunno.  There is no way of getting around it.  I have been on a solid diet of Ben and Jerry’s, Sausage, Eggs, and Green Juice for the past ten, eleven months.  Fuck!  Has it been eleven months? Shit, well there goes my one year goal from last year to run a marathon. 

Now, fatness.  It’s embarrassing, eh.  I mean I am kind of humiliated by the fact that I had to order a size 10 bridesmaid dress for yours, and a size 12 for hers.  Yikes. What happened to size four?  Oh yeah, those are the sizes of your skinny bridesmaids….the one’s whose arms wont be conveniently edited out of the photos.  Sweet.  I mean, hell, I would have settled for 8.  It’s a good solid round number.  It sounds sturdy.  Strong.  But I mourn for the days of cross country running, pilates, and 4….What happened to 4?

I’ll tell you what happened.  Size 4 became a butt crack and size six exploded in that pair of Club Monaco Dress pants I wore last week for my first few days at a big girl job.  And by big girl, I mean health insurance and a 401 K.  Everybody that I work with is quite petite and/or from Asia and South America.  Thus, really petite.  Small ladies.  Women.

See I am short but my body is now burdened by the extra twenty pounds I carry from the dead Thyroid and the stocking up I have been doing for the winter.  Fall.  And Summer.  Something must have happened when I got out of the Hospital, because my body just decided to quit on me.  The anorexic part of me wishes that I had remained at that slight, but also scary looking 118 pounds.  Those that are larger than me want to punch me in the face for writing this.  Like that stupid, svelt Brooklynite yogi who struggled to make sense of being judged for her skinniness by a larger darker woman.  No.  I know I’ve fucked up.  I know that I have let myself go.  But its hard not to when you are fighting an uphill battle against a body that wont work for you.

I am exhausted all the time.  Maybe it is latent depression.  Maybe it is the winter.  Perhaps it is my lack of exercise, my poor diet, pissed off adrenal glands, and the fact that in March I lost 80 percent of my skin, 15 percent of my dignity, and 100 percent of my self-esteem.  Perhaps it is the fact that when I look at myself in the mirror, I shudder.  I see spots.  Mountains of disfigured spots bulging from the now soft and tender once cut parts of my frame.  My naked body disgusts me.  I see the fuzz that pops from my skull.  A reminder of this pain and the sorrow that came with my clumps of falling hair and tears as my shower washed away my pride and femininity.  I see scars. Scars from my tubes, my central line, the little orafices that pumped life into my lifeless body.  I see a broken human who loathes the skinny girls at the gym.  Who loathes the marathon runners and the yogis. Who loathes the vegans and the veggie eaters.  Who loathes most importantly, herself. 

Because you would too if you had become the antithesis of who you wanted to be.  The marathon runner, the yogi, the Kale enthusiast.  And it isn’t that you don’t still want to be that.  It’s that your body wont let you be and you mind tells you that you are not enough.  And that you better not even try, because you will be the fat girl in the pictures.  They will have to color-correct your arms.  And when you go on the tropical bachelorette you will get to wear long sleeves in the water to prevent your spots from scarring, and that big obnoxious hat that you loathe.  Love.  You love it.  It’s so Audrey. 

 So listen, I know you want us to all look good, but I’m just giving you the heads up.  I’m kind of hating myself a bit at the moment and the fact that this moment will forever be immortalized in time scares the shit out of me.  You should have gotten married when we were sixteen and all suffering with unhealthy relationships with food.  Or cocaine.  Or cigarettes.  Or a strange laxative addiction like that chick in the grade above us who got a  boob job for graduation.

I mean, like, don’t stress out about it.  When I’m done with my Ramen diet, I’ll save up some mullah to join a gym and maybe when the Polar Vortex ends I’ll go, because they have cable.   And I’ll watch some shitty Real Housewives show to make myself feel even worse for being an average American size whilst listening to Macklemore’s song about equality for gay people.  Because if there is anything worse than being Gay in this godforsaken country of judgment, it’s being fat.  Preach.  And lord help me I will look halfway decent, maybe.  If Ben and Jerry don’t get to me first.

So I’m gonna wear a sweater, or like a pashmina with my dress.  You cool with that?  I may also wear a wig for shits and giggles.  But to make up for it, I can rock some totally amazing Beyoncé nail art if you want.  But, like, I don’t want to steal the spotlight on your big day with my Beyoncé nails, so I can just cool it and adopt a nude pastel thing.  I totally get it.  Beyoncé is your thing.

***All opinions expressed herein and at the behalf of myself have been for the sake of satire and low self esteem.  The end.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Fuck Woody Allen

Fuck Woody Allen.  

Fuck the Fanboys and Girls who give power to a predator.  

Fuck you if you think that because you are famous you can get away with molestation, incest, or adultery. 

Fuck you for lying to your children, cheating on your wife, and preying on the pretty twenty something that you are for sure “going to cast” in your next film, or play.  Fuck your threats to “ruin” them.  To “blacklist” them.  To tarnish their integrity by calling them a liar in the papers and online.

When a woman is abused she must be lying. She “misunderstood” what happened.  She lives in her imagination.  You are so amazing, she was “lucky” to have gotten it.  She must have wanted it.  Bad.  That’s why she sits on your lap and asks you to read her a bed time story, because, she is seven and wants you to get naked with her in bed and touch her prepubescent body.  Daddy.  That’s what she calls you.  Because she wants you to fuck her.  She wants to fuck your shriveling elderly dick.

I find the blind support of Woody Allen to be infuriating.  He’s just so charming.  Bumbling.  Witty.  Funny.  A true New Yorker.  An innovator.  The voice of his own brand of comedy.  A sad, bumbling, man tripping over himself amidst the co-stars of beautiful, beautiful, young women.  Whom he seduces…?  Because he has written this script….  His words.   His story line.  His “Genius”. 

Woody Allen is a sick man who married his adopted daughter.  We can argue that she was “of legal age”.  We can argue that the findings of these allegations are inconclusive.  We can also argue that Hollywood is a fucked place where if you pay enough money to the right people you can get away with anything.  Rape.  Murder.  Incest. 

Morality is an afterthought for those who live their lives without boundaries.  With all of the money and fame in the world, who would believe the manipulative tendencies of a seven year old child? 

She must have been in it for the money. 

What money? 

She must be in it for the fame.  Yep, that’s what I would do.  I want to be known for being raped by my adoptive father. 

She wants to end Woody Allen’s career. 


Because what’s sad is that fame in this country makes you more powerful than the law.  More powerful than the innocent.  Fame in this country gets you a one way ticket to an Oscar and a Golden Globe lifetime achievement award.  And the Fanboys and Girls will rally around Mr. Innocent Till Proven Guilty, I’m A Pedophile Allen until Dylan Farrow receives death threats, turns to a world or drugs and alcoholism and dies tragically of a prescription drug overdose because she was trying to stop the noise in her head and just wanted some peace and quiet.  And sleep.  What would it be like to sleep soundly without turning the channel of your television and hearing the voice of the man who told you, you were “a good little girl” as he stuck his hands up your Disney panties as you watched your brothers electric train set, go round and round. 

Now that Dylan Farrow is being called a liar, your daughter too can feel reassured that when she is touched inappropriately by an elder, she too will be shamed and burned on the stake that is American celebrity obsession.  She probably misunderstood what “love” is.  What adults do to little girls and boys when they really “care”. 

I mean, come on, he only diddled his seven year old adopted daughter and married the other one.  He’s just a misunderstood guy.  And your daughter?  

She’s a fucking liar. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The New Mean Girl of Mental Health: Why What Naked Miley Says Matters

When Miley Cyrus, got tits, discovered weed, shaved her head and inked some cool tats on her body she became bad ass.  Her newfound discovery of her body, long legs, use of a bold lip and addiction to shocking and awing the public seems to be what any famous Millionairess who wants to drop her Mickey Mouse ears would do.  Britney, Christina.  Snakes. Mud.  Leather.  Sweat.  And massive group shots of humping and heaving and twerking. 

I get it.  I get her need to “find herself.” To be a bad ass.  To want to be cool.  I too have done many dumb things in my lifetime to be cool.  Unfortunately I didn’t have a couple mill- in the bank to bail me out when shit hit the fan.  

Unfortunately I didn’t have bodyguards watching the creepy guy for me in the corner or a driver that made sure I got home safe.  I have me, myself, and I.  Oh yeah and my metro card and a few crumpled dolla bills from “not stopping” at my party where “I do what I want to.”  After that party is over, after you curl up next to that stranger with your foam finger and your lips gently caress his janky, sorry, sexy sweaty, torso, life sucks an awful lot.

When I see Miley’s VMA performance, risqué photo shoots and overall raunchy new image the waspy prep school part of me wants to be shocked.  Oh!  Shame on her!  How could she wear such a thing as a role model to young girls!  Meh.  Well, if I’m honest here, myself and 100 percent of college Greek life has worn far worse, skanky costumes.  Always in theme, of course.  So I don’t really hate her for that at all.  I mean, she’s getting nasty, but she looks hot.  The insecure once anorexic part of me is slightly jealous.  She is really skinny and has really nice boobs.  Damn it, Miley. 

No, I don’t care about her image makeover.  I mean more power to ya if you decide to become a rappers dream.  However, I don’t remember any of those guys I kissed in my skanky little cowgirl outfit ever calling back.  They didn’t.  And what we call “shacking” in college the rest of the world refers to as being taken advantage of.  Or “used”.  Well, that’s NEWS to me.  I was certain that boy in Sigma Chi was the one.  He was only wearing bubble rap and I was wearing a duct tape-garbage bag dress.  I looked hot.  Hot and 18.  Fresh meat on Sorority row.  I gave him my gift.  It was my second time, EVER.  He drove me home in his Range Rover.  I was certain, by the following week we would be going steady.  I was wrong.  Very, very, wrong.  I stealthy followed him around at parties, and he avoided me for the rest of the year.  Because when you are 18, or 19, or….dare I say twenty and finding yourself….you think that’s what boys want.  Sexy garbage. 

I hate being told what to do.  Miley, I sooo get it.  Sinead O’Connor is an old, has been.  Who wants to be told what to do from her?  Not me.  Not you.  Not anyone.  And if somebody told me I was a skank that’s whoring myself out, as my mother does on the regular, I would detest it.  I would wear my skanky red lip stick, as I do. And my high-waisted jean shorts and crop top American Flag T-shirt because damn it, I am 25 and I can do what I want.  So yeah, fuck the haters.  Fuck the people that tell you what to do.  Who judge you. 

Haters gonna hate.  But what happens when as a result of protecting yourself.  Your heart.  Your image.  Your new bad-ass-I-don’t-give-a-fuck-self.  

What happens when in reaction to your, “haters” you become the hater yourself?

I think that’s what Sinead O’Connor is now getting at.  Ya know that old Irish lady who you once immortalized but then she called you out on your skanky shit (screw her!)  so you retaliated by finding some old tweets she posted when she was contemplating suicide and poked fun? 
Ha, interesting.

Fun.  You sing a lot about fun. 

Like, Molly.  E.  MDMA.  A drug used at raves and when you want to watch Across the Universe four times in a row until the sun comes up.  For a moment of increased ecstasy, this tiny pill permanently depletes the serotonin in your brain.  Miley doesn’t tell you that.  Ya know, the fact that the happiness you are experiencing when you hump the ground and make out with girls and dance with bears is physically impossible to feel ever again.  Ever.

Funnily enough, I too take drugs.  I take a drug to produce Serotonin in my brain.  This my friends is called an antidepressant, because like 26 Percent of Americans over the age of eighteen, I suffer from a diagnosable mental illness.  PTSD and Depression.  It’s a dark cold lonely path to take, because you take it alone.  Nobody else is on this roller coaster of will I, wont I, do I deserve to be here babble in your brain. 

26 percent is an awful lot when you take into consideration that Miley Cyrus has 14,593,647 followers on facebook and counting.  Now, I’m no math genius, but 26 percent of Miley’s followers is: 3,794,348. Thanks Siri. Wow.  3.79 million people who follow Miley on twitter suffer from a diagnosable mental illness. It’s in the statistics.

Now, what happens when you tell 3.7 million people who look up to you that they are freaks, that they are not worthy? That they are “crazy”? That they should be embarrassed to ask for help.  That if you too were to know about their illness, and they crossed you on the interweb, you would crucify them with your hatred, laughter and humiliation.  Or worse.  They once considered asking you for help, but decided against it because they are ashamed and scared that you will make another spectacle of them.

According to Miley Cyrus, Amanda Bynes is nuts and Sinead O’Connor is too and in an instant, this mature, bad ass, musician has become a mean girl.  A perpetuator of hate.  I say this because Sinead O’Connor has received messages from Miley’s followers to kill herself.  Amanda Bynes probably suffers from Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder and has been hearing voices since her teens.  But we all like to point fingers and take pictures and make fun at the “crazy girl” instead of offering help and support.  We are no better than the Nazis.  Did I just say that?  Yes.  Yes I did.  Because in the world of mental health one small comment can ensure certain death.  If it isn’t the voices that get them, it’s the hatred.  The stigma.  The fear that we will be painted with a scarlet letter if we speak up.  The fear that no one cares. Or worse yet, that they detest us and will shame us.  Are scared by us.  Our minds.  Our crazy thoughts.  Our pain. 

I’ll tell you pain.  Pain ain’t being told you’re a skank that is being taken advantage of by the music industry.  Pain isn’t that new tattoo you got last week or this “super hard struggle” to self-discovery you are going through at the age of twenty.  
Pain is cowering in your room.  Pain is the fear of others.  Pain is watching your little brother who was once a star athlete shrink in fear to the other side of the room because he genuinely believes you are a ghost.  And the voices.  The hateful, terrifying voices that tell him to hurt himself. To hurt his family.  Pain isn’t this terrible burden of the Disney Channel that you have to unload with all your might through child-like antics.  

Pain is the hatred that you have instigated in the world.  Through your power.  Through your fame.  You have let your 14 million followers know that it is okay to poke fun.  It is okay to hate.  It is okay to push others away who are different.  People who need help.  Who desperately need help, from someone like you.  Someone who has the power to create change for good.

I know that you “claim” to be accepting of all…as seen by your obvious display of multiple races on your stage and little people.  I’m sure you are nice to them.  I am sure that you were nice to my classmates this past week when they groped you on SNL.  But I am not sure that you realize the full power of your voice.  The voice that 14 million people follow.  Because in just a few characters you crushed my brother and 3.7 million others.  You were a bully.  A rich, famous, skinny, 20 year old bully.  And that, it not okay.
I believe that deep down, Miley is a good person.  I would probably want to party with her all night long and want to have a twerking contest, because unlike Miss Skinny Minnie, this white girl has some serious booty. 
But when given power, wealth, and fame there is a level of responsibility that must be taken.  Actions.  Reactions.  The ripple affect.  One person’s tweet is another person’s reason to end their life.  This may sound dramatic to the average reader, but in the world of those struggling with inner demons, whose false voices tell them to do so on a regular basis. What is one more voice?  One more, real, voice.  Validation.

I believe that everybody has the right to let their freak flag fly.  Even Miley Cyrus.  In this moment she has been given the gift of great power.  Power that can be used for good.  For supporting those who suffer from mental illness.  Power to make a positive difference in the world.  By supporting the 26 Percent.  By letting them know that it is okay.  It is okay to own it.  To be proud.  To ask for help.  We all know somebody who suffers and we have been given the gift through this open door to let them know that we love them.  That we support them.  That it is okay.  That we will not stand for bullying.  Not by kids at school.  Not even by a celebrity. 

P.S.  Sinead O'Connor is the shit.  Don't you forget it.  Respect your elders.