invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

a dose of reality December 23, 2007

Filed under: acupuncture,depression,family — clementine @ 1:15 pm
Tags: , , , ,

i have been empty. avoiding blogging (i hate that word) at all costs.
i have been sad. avoiding finding a normal (i hate that word, too) routine.
i have been scared. and fighting my fears.

i hit a plateau. the lamictal is not working. one could say it’s because i cut my dose from 200 to 100 to 50. but i disagree. it stopped working at 100mg. i am now taking 50mg along with a multi vitamin from whole foods and 1000mg of flax oil. i quit the cokes and coffee and replaced with a variety of hot teas. i’m hoping for the best. i have been quietly debating quitting the lamictal altogether. that road terrifies me. and yet i feel i might need to travel it. and do things differently. like, find some sort of routine. walk more often. reduce the amount of news i watch and read. schedule acupuncture when i can afford it. go outside more often. smile more. laugh more. love more.

and thanks to one special man, i am no longer alone on this road.

we just finished shopping for the angel tree families. it’s something i’ve been doing for a few years now and truly enjoy. we shopped for approximately 30 people over the last couple of weeks. this year the organizer, a friend of mine, asked us to go to the christmas party and deliver the gifts. i couldn’t bring myself to do it (luckily, i had to work…) i’d rather it be a mystery. i’d rather not see their faces as i already have a picture of them in my mind. and to be honest, without the help of our families this year…we would be in their shoes and it’s not a reality i’m having an easy time facing.

there is an ongoing strike in my business and work is very slow. so slow that for the first time in my life i had to produce a “9 to 5″resume. not an easy task when my experience has been basically, um, taking care of actors for the last ten years. i don’t know how to put into words my qualifications outside of “i’m a multi-tasker, type 65wpm, pc/mac proficient and know a variety of programs including word, excel, etc…” needless to say, i’ve had no responses. and since i love to clean and organize, a few friends hired me to clean their homes. i placed an ad at craigslist (cleaning to meet your needs…) with one hit to date. recently i told a friend…”it was not easy cleaning someone else’s toilet…”and she said, “well, you used gloves, yes?” i said..”of course, but it was more like…wow, i’m cleaning a stranger’s toilet.” the irony is, on my last film an actor that has made enough money to last several lifetimes called me and told me how wonderful i am at my job. how i made the film lighter and more enjoyable for him. he called simply to thank me and tell me “you rock!” it’s not the first time i’ve heard this and i know it’s why i’m hired to do the job i do, and yet…we cannot afford another move to los angeles…i cannot afford to join my union…we are stuck in an area where there is little work. if the actor only knew i was cleaning toilets to pay the bills one month later…

since there are few gifts to give this year, i’ve been baking christmas cookies for family and friends. snowmen, snowflakes, chocolate chip with green and red swirls, an andes mint variety and double chocolate brownies. my parents were in town over the weekend. my mom brought all the tools necessary to decorate cookies, one of her favorite christmas memories with my sister and i. as we decorated with sprinkles and sugars, she hugged me and told me these were the important things in life…spending time with family. i agreed and even while feeling nostalgic, warm, happy and peaceful…

i still felt a bit empty, sad and scared.

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“ransom note” ads canceled December 20, 2007

Filed under: mental illness,news,suicide — clementine @ 1:18 pm
Tags: , ,

Thousands emailed and the NYU Child Study Center responded-they pulled the ransom notes ad campaign. Sometimes our voices are heard…and not ignored.

From the New York Times:

The Child Study Center at New York University said on Wednesday that it would halt an advertising campaign aimed at raising awareness of children’s mental and neurological disorders after the effort drew a strongly negative reaction.

Disorders like autism, depression, bulimia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder were the focus of the pro bono campaign.

The two-week-old campaign, created pro bono by the advertising agency BBDO, used the device of ransom notes to deliver ominous messages concerning disorders like autism, depression, bulimia and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The note about autism, for example, read: “We have your son. We will make sure he will no longer be able to care for himself or interact socially as long as he lives.”

Advocates for children with autism and for other special-needs children said the ads reinforced negative stereotypes.

“While many individuals spoke to us about the need to continue the campaign, inadvertently we offended others,” said Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, the Child Study Center’s founder and director, who estimated that he had received 3,000 e-mail messages and phone calls. Thirty percent of those praised the initiative, he said, and 70 percent expressed anger and hurt.

 

nyu ransom ads December 18, 2007

This past week The New York University Child Study Center introduced a public service campaign to raise awareness of what Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, the center’s founder and director, called “the silent public health epidemic of children’s mental illness.” Their plan to bring awareness consists of running ads that read like ransom notes.

From the NYU Child Study Center website:

“The idea behind the “Ransom Notes” is that, all too often, untreated psychiatric disorders are holding our children hostage. These disorders rob children of the ability to learn, make and keep friends and enjoy life.”

Dr. Koplewicz told the New York Times the campaign was inspired by filmed conversations of parents and children talking about life with a psychiatric disorder. “These families felt their children were trapped by their disorders.” The ads began running last week in New York magazine and Newsweek as well as on kiosks, billboards and construction sites around New York City.

We have your son. We will make sure he will no longer be able to care for himself or interact socially as long as he lives. This is only the beginning…Autism.

We are in possession of your son. We are making him squirm and fidget until he is a detriment to himself and those around him. Ignore this and your kid will pay…ADHD

We have your son. We are destroying his ability for social interaction and driving him into a life of complete isolation. It’s up to you now…Asperger’s Syndrome

We have your daughter. We are forcing her to throw up after every meal she eats. It’s only going to get worse…Bulimia

We have your daughter. We are making her wash her hands until they are raw, everyday. This is only the beginning…OCD (more…)