So, you have found my “secret” online diary.


What tipped you off that this is really me?


Is it my idiosyncratic, slightly pedantic syntax?


Or just that fact that it’s obviously me?


Some of the things herein were obviously written under the influence of prescription medication which has all been metabolized and excreted.  I could tell you the very minute that the last molecule of valium left my body, my soul, my mind.


Some of the things that I wrote are barely recognizable to me as mine.  It is as though they were written by not-me, by another me.  Jack said it was me but “a heightened version of yourself,” which is considerably less scary.  I just feel like I lost several weeks, but I am glad that it all happened.  (“Why?” is another post for another day.)


I am finally out of “the dark place” (taps cranium) this time. I have several names for it. “The hole.” “Sylvia Plath’s writing club.” And so on.

A lot of people must have been praying for me. So, thanks everybody.

I will continue to pray for anyone currently in the dark place.

Over at Zen Habits (a great blog, BTW), people have a habit of posting the following comment:


“Great post, Leo!”


I think it should be a drinking game: you drink a shot every time someone posts that comment (or minor variants thereof).  That would not be a very Zen habit at all.  But how Zen is it to just post- I can’t even bear to type it again.  Sorry.

I sent this post to one of my supervisors at work.  Actually, I cut and pasted it into a document and attached it to an email- I’m not so into sending my blog link to any mandatory reporters.


She wrote this back, along with an invitation to meet together again regarding my new big project:

It is beautiful. Thank you. He impacted me in a similar way but I do not think I could articulate it as well as you were able to.

Seeing that in my inbox was about the best thing that happened to me all day.

Saturday was the first day in two weeks that I spent any amount of time functional and upright. There were two music events that I really wanted to catch, knowing that they would lift my spirits and require little physical exertion. Going to both was the right choice. It was a tiring evening, but so worth it.

The first was a Gospel music event held at one of the many churches I used to attend. Three groups “performed” (although I hate that word when it comes to praise music; it has such an egotistical connotation). It was powerful. I wept. I knew so many of the people there- and had to explain my injury and my cane about 30 times, but it gave me an excuse to say “No hugs!” (lest I break into vicious muscle spasm!) I tried to sing along to the songs that were so familiar to me, and choked up every time. Eventually, I realized (now, this concert was at the church where the pastor had told me that I was having a pity party)- that I was, indeed, at that very moment in time, having my very own pity party. It was a humbling moment. He may have hurt my feelings then- and definitely did not help me spiritually at that previous vulnerable moment- but sometimes words have a way of showing their meaning at a much later- and more appropriate- time.

Please do keep in mind that at that point I had been out of commission for two weeks that included my birthday. I had managed a calm optimism and problem-solving skills, and actually enjoyed the freedom to write things with the disinhibition that only valium can provide- but the day before this concert, I just finally broke. I melted down completely, having hit the limit of what I could bear. The previous afternoon my old suicidal ideations had came back with a vengeance. Being currently physically incapable of my standby “plan and means,” I started to look with different intent at my three pill bottles, so handy, so full, such a perfect handful. But how would I get myself into my Marilyn Monroe gown, so that I could shit all over it, in a perfect final “F**k You!” (Elastic waist pants and a t-shirt- the same ones for days and days and days (some days unable to even get that on)- then suddenly the formal gown that I was saving for Russ Feingold’s big Inaugural Ball when he finally gets elected President? That certainly would look suspicious… besides, I’d like to be an organ donor when the time comes.

But something happened at the gospel music festival. There was such power in the words- in the music- such faith emanating from the singers; it was palpable, electric. I am getting teary-eyed again just writing this. Such love and care from all the diverse and wonderful people I’ve worshipped with over the years-– some who have had it way worse than I have, coupled with amazing worship music- brought me out of the pity party, into the real party: the party everyone there was planning for, the one with trumpets and angels and Christ’s triumphant return.

After I got in a needed a couple-hour nap, Jack joined me for the always-amazing (and full of existential angst himself) Mark Mallman. The sound in the club was terrible, but the performance was energetic and just…amazing. I spoke with him at the merch table- he was selling his own merch and being friendly to each and every fan who came out. He is one of the musician I aspire to be like. He sings from the heart: from brutal honesty, from pain, from joy- from real life.

Today a dear longime friend called, encouraging me to seek some professional help (not from professional musicians; although as stated above, that is excellent therapy as well) and we had one of the best conversations possible: she showed me the angry love that I needed to hear. She shared her gift of self. She shared her personal trials and listened to mine- she showed me how God couldmaybe- just maybe- be using me for something bigger than myself. I have some ideas. I have some new plans- not to off myself- but for a new project or two that’s been percolating in my brain for months, and suddenly taking on a form, a shape, and a whole new life.


Stay tuned.

WordPress has a fantastic spam blocker.  Well, it needs to- I have gotten so many spam comments in such a short time;it’s unbelievable to me. They’re all pretty much the same. “Kim Kardashian nude.”  I didn’t know who she was, so I looked her up online. It looks like she’s famous for some sex tape scandal and did some nude modeling.  Gee, if I wanted to, I could look at her girlhole all day long without spammers suggesting to me that it might be a nice idea.  Come on, losers, dream up something more creative.  Porn is addictive.  People want something new and different.  (Not me.  Jack- hot, hott, hottt Jack- hasn’t bored me yet.  Not once.  Partially because of his extreme hotness, but partially because porn is not a part of our lives.  We don’t think about what we don’t have.  Why should we?  Give me one rational reason why.)

Oh, now my imagination is running amok.  Maybe I should start making my own spam.  (I don’t know, though.  What are the hours? )

I was awake all night, creative, inspired, and feeling wonderful mentally, if not physically.  Jack was sleeping on the couch just a few feet away; his gentle snoring was a comforting rhythmic soundtrack.  My brother was facebooking me unexpectedly from Cleveland- of all places- from a train (it was 3:30 am there), and an old friend from high school was awake feeling sick and chatted with me.  I wrote and wrote and wrote, brainstorming an idea that had been just a vague nagging kernel, but overnight began to take form and shape and started to seem real, finally.  Really real and a definite possibility.  I pitched it to a person that I thought could help me make  it so. 

Birds started chirping.  The sun came up, the sky turning that translucent blue that only God could create, and that only Salvador Dali could capture in paint.   I finally fell into a deep perfect sleep around 5 am, leaving a note on the coffee pot for Jack to get me up in time for my 8am physical therapy appointment, which he did.  I love him so much.

PT was fantastic.  It “hurt so good.”  I am still not tired…I took fewer meds today, too- the best part is, I was not watching the clock waiting for the exact minute that the next doses were allowed and checking them off in my notebook.  I feel almost back to normal (for me.  My own version of normal.)