Thursday 15 June 2006

Counting Coup, Telling The True

I am sitting in a hotel room in London. I have a minibar full of alcohol, and 80 Lorazepam tablets (2 milligrams each) and 100 friends within a mile radius.

In the past months friends might have noticed that I have been really down. There are a few reasons for that, and I’m going to reveal those here because despite being one of the most blessed people on earth when it comes to friends, there are some battles that I have not been able to strategize my way out of, and I’m thinking that the time has come for me to finally rest.

  • Since 1999 I have battled a drinking problem. I have sought treatment, and failed at it terribly. I think I turned to alcohol because I battled cancer in my 20s and a resulting chronic illness from the treatment for 25 years, and nothing has helped the pain, nor the sense that I am at the whim of a disease that is relentless and unweilding. Alcohol has helped me escape that. It has also helped me pretend for a moment here and there that I have some control over the way I feel. At least if I feel shitty after a good hard binge, I can blame only myself.
  • I have had bleeding discharge from my right nipple for some time now. I hardly eat, yet I am gaining weight and weigh more than I ever have in my life. My sense of myself is nothing, I believe I am nothing, despite whatever accomplishments anyone reading this might think.
  • I am depressed beyond my own ability to express, despite 20 years of therapy, medication, and so forth. I don’t know where to turn for support. Friends can only take so much, you know? And I know that my “much” is quite extreme.
  • I sometimes think I might have taken up more oxygen than a person deserves to take. I had some of life’s most profound experiences, great experiences, and the love of many. But I have always wound up on my own, because I’m an abject failure at receiving love in kind.
  • The grand irony is that I have missed my period for over two months. Over the counter pregnancy tests are useless because I produce large amounts of progesterone and testosterone, which make for false positives. I don’t know what it is inside my growing belly – a baby or the cancer back – but either way I know that at 43, after countless miscarriages and with my medical and psychiatric history, along with the status of my financial and personal life, even if I could physically sustain that pregnancy, the risk is unbelievably high. I am frightened, and deeply sorry, because maybe had I been a mother, and a wife, instead of pursuing some misguided dream called a career, I wouldn’t be marking each harm.
  • I have no medical insurance and cannot find anyone to insure me. I am a U.S. citizen, so there is no health care for me whatsoever unless I become completely impoverished. But I’m in the middle class, unmarried, and have no access to regular medical care. This problem has gone on for years now, and I believe at the core of my soul that my challenge of this moment, on this day, has everything to do with my nation’s inability to care for its own.
  • I have no hope, no faith, no joy in these dark days of the world. I wanted for so long to rekindle my natural optimism and joy. The other day I flew over New York City, and cried. City of my birth, whom I loved, and a representative of the wound that is in my soul as it cries for all people of this planet who are being killed, harmed, enslaved and abused by the true terrorist nation, which I believe is my own.

I am counting coup, telling the true. If you see me tomorrow, it’s because maybe I can figure out how to help myself instead of destroying myself. But I’m not sure that will happen, and I have only myself to blame. I have waited too long pretending. I believed I was stronger, and I didn’t tell this truth, here, the one place I know, where friends and strangers could share their challenges and strengthen me with their triumphs. I should have spoken up sooner, I know.

Please understand, no matter what was said
Your pen was dipped in blood I never shed
Counting Coup by Matthew Skala

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 10:43 | Comments (78)

Comments (78)

  1. Great outpouring of love and need going on here. Not knowing much, I tend to not want to push my particular path of spirituality or healing, because so much of life is very unique like a fingerprint. We all must find our own truths. Healing too. One woman’s foods are another’s poison. But I think, Molly, that you have made great gains by saying, “…there are some battles that I have not been able to strategize my way out of…” Them’s fightin’ words, honey. That’s a spirit of survival if I ever read one. Even if you ain’t found the way yet, you are still searching. Don’t you dare let that spirit die! Heck, look at my site and see the need I have for salvation. But at least I try. I need you! Selfishness aside, please reach out for more ideas on nutrition, physical, mental and spiritual healing for yourself. Breathe!

  2. It is quite remarkable what the human spirit can sustain, despite what (sometimes large) pitfalls we encounter through out life. While normally I am a good shoulder to lean on, I feel that you have recieved far greater assistance from others (especially Deanna’s just above) than I could ever provide.

    Thank you for not staying silent, know that despite distance the thoughts of a great many are with you, we just need you to walk through the door and start a new path.

    The acceptance of eventual failure is the only thing preventing true ascendance.


  3. I can’t begin to comprehend what you’re going through Molly. Like many, I only know you through this blog. However, I do know this: It took a tremendous amount of strength to post this, so know that you DO have strength. Use it. Let your friends them give you more strength. Know that many people have you in our thoughts and prayers — including me.

  4. Molly, dear heart, take a moment to pause…
    Depression’s a beast with some very sharp claws.
    No matter the depth of your suff’rings and pain,
    Life is worth living while breath doth remain.

    Friends like those you have who wrote in this ‘blog
    Are great as a place for a “hope dialogue”
    No matter this life, be it pleasure or woe
    We shall stick by you wherever you go…

    If you find yourself in a place of despair
    And no one you know can be found with you there
    Remember, dear friend, that no matter how far…
    Your ‘blog can assist us to be where you are.

    Hang in there, Kid!


  5. Molly, it’s been a while since we’ve chatted. I always accepted that you’re a busy woman, you’re always in demand as you’re so full of knowledge and insight. So if you ever need a break, and need a laugh, and you know I’m good for those, you’re always free to ping me, no matter how late it is.

    I have my fair share of problems, but I always turn to humor to get me through the tough times. If you feel too down, hang around those who make you laugh non-stop, read some jokes online, or write up something you find funny. It will never fail, I promise.

    Please, please hang in there. You’re much more valuable and tougher than you give yourself credit for.

  6. Molly, I am relieved to read from Aaron that you are with friends tonight.

    Know that others of us who can’t be with you are out here reading your words, and sending our heartfelt strength and support.

  7. Molly

    As you can see a lot of people care about you. I hope you can use that to help you through (I did).

    Some of us have been to that dark place, and most of us deal with it in different ways. You are braver than most by admitting it. Now do not be afraid to ask for help or advice.

    And I expect to see you in Sydney in September, because I am taking you shopping.

  8. Molly, I agree totally that your “much” is a much of giving, not taking. You may not feel you are giving more than you are taking but feelings often don’t have a lot to do with reality. Just because you feel it doesn’t make it true.

    You are someone to respect, admire, and love. We all feel it, Molly. If you really are having a baby, your kid would too.


  9. You speak. Friends respond. That’s how it goes. Remember that. Speak!
    Be well.

  10. Dear Molly, your words, your work, your books, your wonderful warm humour…so much I must thank you for. Hang on girl. Call someone, anyone. You are not alone. I did once and it does work. It’s ok to reach out.

  11. You know who I am or was. I spent time with you in the deepest pits of your fears and places no one else dared go least they be destroyed by the horrors there. YOU survive those times. I came away, as you did , with scars on the soul, but WE BOTH SURVIVED THOSE TIMES. For I had seen you on the steps , hugging your guitar with a love i envied, yeah. you probably dont remember the nights and days, the calls from your brothers and Michelle , the days when your survival was measured out in “coffee spoons:” you survived then , the fear of the postitive tests, the diagnoses , the trips to the emergency room and shots or Toredol and the insanity of delusion and the Beast that ate your body from the inside out. You rose above all that. No one can handle the long road and the pain? sorry Molly , I did it over and over. I was neve jaded, just lost to obscurity and the dusty corners of a past that involved the rug your mother gave you for the hall in that Regency Apartment with concrete block walls where I lay awake at nigh hearing your sobs through the small distance. Never stoped caring, never gave up on you or me. What is flesh and suffering? I am an expert in that realm. I can see YOU beneath the shell that covers you with shame and guilt and fears of failure. I am a dinosaur, but in the last bellows before the quagmire swallows me i have to say……. I am still here. despite the pain, despite the prognosis of death, despite the doubt and the fear. We are all just human after all, even Tara knows that, and loves without condition. as you are loved unconditonally. Lean on me or someone. it is not weakness, it is survival, you opened yourself before people long agg in a small coffee bar and bared your soul with Patty, you opened yourself to the blogoshere here is my latest bad musings just for you on remembering my long gone Grandmother, the crazy indian, she always counted coup even when she made me cut the switch she never used to correct my bad judgemets. Love ya unconditonally. always. YOU KNOW THAT>

    My Grandmother used to say
    “Ain’t nothin free Ronnie-even that tiny white blossom you pulled up to sniff will now die”
    Transient introspection often gives me headaches now.
    One day in March. I left for three years and six months only to have to dissociate from carnage and the smell of peace they told me rose from bodies that were now free, maybe more free than the idea of freedom that ate them alive.
    That was over thirty years ago. I came back to a missing world, missing ideas, missing beliefs. You are right, “Free” is now a reason
    It is the adhesive that binds people to their chosen places along the time line. They are free to not move, to not think, to be less than, to forget that even the air that fills the lungs comes with a cost now. I am a dinosaur, covered with dust and trifles of ideas that crumble to the touch.
    Grandma, danged even sleep is not free now either. When it does come there is always a price. even your memory costs tears.
    All of those people must be mistaken.
    alone here in the dark it is not free
    the hollowness that aches was once that
    sacred place a heart beat and labored
    Proving life was never free even from the beginning. Something is wrong, not just there, but everywhere maybe. I refuse anymore to bare my entire soul least it be suffocated. That is wrong. I am the ultimate enigma? I am a figment of my own imagination? “Take me, I am Free, why not?” “Oh, ok” maybe my grandma was right after all. Goodnight. 😉

    Excerpts From The Frog Pickle Chronicles- Ray Remembers sometimes, wishing he could forget.

  12. Read your post last night on a pda, couldn’t comment before now.
    My thoughts have been with you since yesterday, though. All of our thoughts are with you.
    You take care and now this community is here to support you.

  13. Wow I so hate the JesusFreaks taking advantage of someone who’s down. Take your garbage somewhere else, it doesn’t help anyone!

    Molly if you feel like a break, and wanna some see Scarborough in England just let me know, i’ll put u up and show u the sights n things, peace :o)

  14. grr it messed up my smiley with a nose…. :)

  15. Sometimes words seem so useless but they are all we have at the moment.

    I trust you are in the arms of friends that can help.

  16. I don’t know you personnaly, only through your books, blog posts and work. I cannot do or say much but I just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you and about the friends that are now with you.

    As others have said, you have people behind you and true friends. Do not underestimate the burden they can share and the love they can give !

    Wish you a whole lotta “soul sunshine” ! Take care !

  17. Molly, it is my understanding that you are in the arms of friends. Look around you, the world is telling you that we love you and need you and want you around. You make the world a better place just by being in it. Everyone brings pain and sorrows to the world but at the same time, they bring peace and love and joy. We emailed about the suffering being a necessary part of life once… For without the bad, how can we really know what good is. You are someone who touches so many lives on such an intimate level because you are willing to put yourself out there. I cannot tell you how much I admire and respect you, but I do a great deal. And even though we have never met, I still love you for who you are. Please let your light shine on in this world. You are stronger than you think or feel. And when you feel you don’t have the strength to go on, lean on those who love you to help you through. We love you Molly, we need you Molly and we are here to lend a hand.

    Prayers for your safety and healing,

  18. Hi
    (follow me please)

    We don’t know each other but boy do we kinda know each other!

    New to this site, astonished to read such open soulness.

    Earlier: A couple of nights ago sent for my free chapters for the Dreamweaver 8 text.
    (So new to this web design stuff…I’ve never created a thing in it…yet.)

    Even Earlier: Quit drinking and junk… just 12 days ago…
    hopefully… for the rest of my life
    Even Earlier: Started drinking 30 or so years ago.
    Even Earlier: born into a small, small world where everyone drinks…
    all my family…and so…all my friends drink;
    thats mostly all we do together.

    Earlier tonight: feeling decent (its not the weekend quite yet)
    Earlier today: found a great looking movie for sale for only $2, cha-ching
    Movie: Requiem for a Dream
    Review: FUCKING FUCKING FUCKING DEPRESSING – motivating too – don’t watch it or do
    all about addiction…time…life is shit…if we allow it to be
    maybe its what you pay attention to…where you put your energy
    JUST TRY (is all we can do sometimes)
    Blessed is the air you breathe… because it keeps you alive – BREATHE
    Got home and plugged it in the ole VCR
    Opened up the pdf and clicked on

  19. Wow. I’m watching you speak at @Media2006 right now. Literaly right now. I can tell that you are stronger than you think. The very fact that you can express these things as you have means you are stronger than you think. In the great British tradition: keep your chin up and don’t let the world get you down. You will get through this.

  20. (sorry accidentally sent previous message too soon)
    (and please continue to be patient, as my head is not yet too clear- trying to keep it simple)

    anyway, as i was saying…

    I put this tape in the VCR thinking it would make me feel ok…but noooo
    after watching it…
    I felt like “shit…and shit on shit on shit”
    and for the first time in 12 days, I wondered
    “Could just one drink do me any harm?”

    Then…in an effort to do anything besides be depressed 9or drink) I started surfing…

    checked my mail

    saw that I recieved the free chapters and opened up the pdf
    within seconds clicked on the CSS ZEN GARDEN link and

    FEELING OK AGAIN…even better

    In all, I looked at about 30 or more designs (for an hour or two) and decided
    I would save some for tomorrow
    (the weekend is so hard when you’ve just stopped drinking you know)
    in case I needed some inspiration then.

    You see, I plan to make something out of the crap that has been my life someday.

    So, saving some INSPIRE for later…
    I started beating on the back button until I returned to the pdf.
    then i read the “about the author” and then I read about you
    actually I had already read that you were…
    “A popular and colorful individual”
    somehow this stuck with me and I thought…I think this must be true
    not the usual judgment from me… because i’m often blue
    still I wondered
    and so I clicked
    on this link that brought you so to me
    and so many other friends to you, apparently
    this is easy to see

    I thought, as i read this most recent blog…
    Is this chick for real
    can she be this freakin’ real…as I read…and as I see…
    how her heart beats so true

    Failing not… she does the hardest thing…

    she shows she can appeal
    Just Let your friends carry you dear
    you are not a burden
    but your friends will be burdened irrevocably
    if you do not let them help you in your time of need
    I had a friend this year kill himself and the woman he thought he loved
    and he came to me for help with his jealousy
    I am burdened by the sadness that came out of this for so many
    I think I could have said more
    maybe i could have at least saved her
    I wrote to you because of this
    because we should not let go of lifes chances
    no matter how insignificant they seem
    you are obviously not insignificant
    I am positive that some things u’v done
    for your friends here…and others
    that u thought were small things
    were larger than u thought
    I even think maybe…
    I may need you too someday
    a little or a lot
    Many will, undoubtedly, that are pleading here

    As with all life we never know what’s around the corner
    or at the end of our little deeds
    like me picking up a cheap video tonight
    I went from depressed to inspired to saddened and back to hopeful

    the amount of friends that claim you is in direct proportion to how well you live life
    Remember…even when…

    Life is pained

    it is soon JOY-ous after that

    take in all this with whatever you’ve got at the time and you will be alright.

    (I need sleep now or I will be more likely to be depressed tomorrow.)

    So breathe and sleep and Joy to you, you are in our prayers this night.

    (sorry, my thoughts rhyme when i am tired)

  21. Molly:

    Just get through today. Stay with friends. Keep asking for help.

    And see a doctor (with friends so it’s less scary).

    You are in the UK. They have good health care. They will take care of you.

    Nothing a doctor can tell you is as scary as not knowing.

    Remember you are loved.

  22. Molly, I only know you through your blog, but I’m praying for you. Sometimes God puts us in situations that make us realize we can no longer rely on ourselves and our resourcefulness. I’m not saying that if you put yourself out there and ask for his help that he’ll heal you with a miracle, though he could. But it is amazing what peace comes with realizing that you matter to God – that he loves you. So, I’m praying that you feel God’s love today : )

  23. If I’m right I think Cameron Moll is at that conference in London. I’d talk to him. I don’t know him either, but my guess is he’s got more wisdom than just design. A shot in the dark.

  24. Molly,

    I’ve just returned to Cambridge after a horrendous train journey, having spent all of the second day at @media shivering and barely able to keep my eyes open thanks to some random man-flu I managed to pick up at Sugar Reef last night, but having read what you’ve written now, I feel almost ashamed to have let it dampen my spirits. I think all I can do at this point is echo the words of the hundreds of other people who know and love you; I for my part have only met you the once in-person (at the bar after last year’s @media) and I enjoyed every minute of your company. Very few people have such an immediate impact on me with their wholehearted and spirited enthusiasm towards this field of ours and the people who populate it.

    I’m not sure as something so trite as a piece of music can do much more than set you off in the right direction, but for whatever it’s worth, there’s a piece I’d like to recommend to you; it’s by Moby and it’s called God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters. I’d be happy to pass it on for you to listen to if you’d like (the MPAA can kiss my arse; this is fair use).

    Anyway, I probably deviated a fair bit here. Just be assured that I, like so many others, have been touched by your vitality and energy, and desperately want you to come out of this dark spell a happier and healthier person. Keep fighting the good fight.

  25. Keep talking.
    Know that your friends can offer more than you realise or believe.
    Be as strong as you need to be.
    Cry when you must.

    You are in my thoughts.

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