Enough Is More Than Enough

Thanksgiving means different things to different groups, all protestations notwithstanding. For Native Americans it is a reminder that simple acts of generosity can result in the loss of a homeland. For turkeys it is an opportunity to sacrifice in service to the nation, a sacrifice made freely because among turkeys it is well understood that […]

Ride It Like You Find It To The End Of The Line

There’s a certain kind of desolation one can only experience by being stranded in a train station at three a.m. An opulent, silent gloom covers every surface like a thin film of invisible grit. The odd, incidental sound, heel scrape, cough, rides a hollow echo and affects grandeur. Night crawlers are all that remains of […]

Critical Condition

If a debilitating mental illness like manic depression, schizophrenia, or republicanism has stolen your ability to make rational decisions – you’ve gone through a confidence crushing emotional sea change. For many of us, it can be months, even years, before we regain the ability to observe, analyze, and evaluate the never-ending stream of input with […]

Time Loves A Hero, But Crowds Like A Fall

If you’ve ever gotten divorced you know that, as soon as it happens your married friends start avoiding you as if the inability to maintain a relationship is some sort of bizarre, highly contagious skin condition. The fate of those fighting serious mental health issues, including addiction, is far worse. The road leading out of […]

How To Tell A Genius From An Imbecile

If you’ve ever known any truly stupid people you’ve undoubtedly noticed that there’s something quite disarming and adorable about them.The genuinely slow don’t really want or expect much from life; avoiding the spotlight’s glare in favor of simple, repetitive activities which, while certain to bore the likes of us to tears, provide them with endless […]

Occupy Inner Space

Terrified and utterly defeated I crawled into talk therapy in 1986 and walked away 17 years later. I learned that analysis is like “exploring inner space” – in the same sense that Lewis & Clark fearlessly plunged into an unknown world. A journey like that is almost certain to be filled with loss, sadness, monsters, […]

Truth And How It Got To Be That Way

The truth is we are born into a world of pain and devote most of our brief existence to satisfying base needs. Over time we are damaged, diminished, and ultimately destroyed. Instead of coexisting peacefully with the earth and each other our best energies are consumed by hatred, fear, violence, greed, and self-destruction. The real […]

Until You Have Had Nothing You Have Not Had It All

It was the great Taz Mopula who observed, “You just haven’t lived until you’ve had nothing at all.” This counter-intuitive proclamation is quite possibly enigmatic to many, but for those of us who’ve wandered the uneven cobblestones of Rue Whassamattavous, the meaning is only too familiar. Madness – and the madness of addiction – will […]

If Mental Illnesses Had To Recruit

I am proud of all the brave individuals who help stamp out stigma by going public with the details of their mental health challenges. However, lately I’ve been tormented by the strangest hypothetical scenario. What would happen to the most popular mental illnesses if everyone simply shed their embarrassment and shame, opting out of quiet […]

When You Meet Your Demon, Please Be Gentle

The summer of 1969 found me in McGrath, Alaska, which is only a little further from the moon than it is from Woodstock, New York. I was working for the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) as an EFF (Emergency Fire Fighter), being dropped by helicopters into the middle of active forest fires throughout the state. […]