Things got so bad that I deleted my Facebook account. Not because I have any bad interactions on Facebook. I don’t really. I’m lucky. I only have a few outspoken politically-driven friends and they usually have a really grounded sense of humor about their loud opinions. It was more that I knew a whole bunch of lovely happy birthday messages were going to come in and no matter what anyone said, no matter how lovely or good intentioned the messages were, they were going to make me feel worse because I couldn’t respond correctly. How messed up is that?

I’ve been feeling like an empty box of nothing that continues to bash around making a mess of things. I mess up everyone around me who is trying so hard to make me feel better. My family suffers. It’s tiring and exhausting. I just want to stop existing when I feel like this. It’s selfish and it’s terrible but when it’s happening I have no idea how to stop feeling this way. It’s as if an evil spirit has taken over my brain and reprogrammed everything positive into negative. No matter what I do I cannot get a grip and force this evil spirit out of my body.

I know better too. I’ve dealt with these feelings since I was a kid.  I know this is not real. I know my brain lies to me. It’s just that when you are in the pit of despair nothing is logical. The pain centers in on your guts like a ball of ice and you can’t lift it off of yourself no matter what. You just want an off switch. I don’t want to kill myself and hurt my loved ones. I don’t want to make a mess. I just want to check myself into a hotel and cease to exist for two days or maybe two months or maybe two years.

This is not a good place to be when you don’t have insurance.

My insurance got cancelled last month because my books were doing too well and I made too much money to qualify for Medi-Cal anymore.  I know, what a problem! Pffff!  Except, I don’t even use Medi-Cal. I have Blue Shield through Covered California.  I only thought Bug was on Medi-Cal because back in the day when I was super poor, I did apply for it so that just in case if something bad happened we’d be doubly okay. She has her own insurance policy with Blue Cross as well that I pay for. It’s a pain in the butt to try and cancel Medi-Cal. (fax form xyq with your non-existent paystubs because you are a freelancer to your social worker who is not in the office etc etc…) So I kept it. But then come tax time, I keep getting fined for having it which makes sense. I mean, I can afford my own insurance, I shouldn’t be given a break from the government. So I called up California Covered, spent a whole afternoon being transferred from office to office and finally got Medi-Cal cancelled. Then a month later my doctor’s office called me to inform me that my regular insurance was cancelled too and my appointment to talk to my psychiatrist would have to be cancelled until I got new insurance.

That was a doozy. Thankfully, (amazingly) because of Covid-19 I was able to get a new insurance policy starting July 1. If it wasn’t for Covid I’d normally have to wait until November which is the usual enrollment period. It cost twice as much as my old California Covered plan but I figured the way I’m going, I’m just going to have to make it work. It’s amazing how when you start making more money your expenses seem to keep up and you really are at the same budget you always were. It’s not like when you start to make money you are rolling in extra money. But I can’t complain. It’s a good problem to have.

SO. I had to wait a whole month to talk to my doctor. Most of those days were fine. A few weren’t. After a few weeks of pretty low days I doubled my medication on my own, which is probably not smart but it seemed like the only thing to do. It turns out it was fine and I am now on that dosage prescribed by my doctor.

Can I just tell you how much I love my doctor? She has the kindest voice. I’m sad that she’s not a therapist and I’m not prescribed weekly hour-long sessions with her. But I have to remember that she is not my friend even though I would love her to be. She is just someone really kind who is trained to ask me specific questions that will allow her to assess my brain health.  She’s really smart like a scientist. She is a doctor after all and she trains other doctors. I’ve tried to ask her personal questions but the closest she’s ever allowed me to get is to tell me about her students and her dog. She has a dog. I love that she has a dog. One time I asked her if it was hard having a job where you had to talk to sad people all day and she said no. She loves helping people get better. It’s very rewarding, she said. Isn’t that cool?

On my darkest day, the day before my birthday when I was feeling at my lowest, I talked to Payam about it. I finally broke down and shared with Payam that I was feeling suicidal. I’m really lucky that Payam has also felt this way before and he takes me seriously. We spent hours talking, hugging and crying…  I would never be able to pull suicide off but the thoughts were there. Depression does this. It takes a perfectly good normal life and convinces you that it is all worthless. I know that makes no sense but it is what happens. It’s the natural progression. Lots of times I feel like I’m part of an experiment of too many rats in a cage and I’m that weak rat that starts chewing it own feet off.

The good news is that the depressions lifts just as mysteriously as it comes. It’s like a cloudy mist that sneaks in, hovers oppressively for a few days and then magically floats away again. It will come back. I’ve been prescribed something new to make sure I’m okay but I almost don’t want to take it because I feel so much better already. But I will. I trust my doctor.

Normally I wouldn’t share things like this but since I deactivated my Facebook account I don’t think that many people are going to see this. Things will be better now for a while. I’ll be back to my old self, creating, blogging, trying to be a good friend. I think I’ll keep my Facebook account deactivated for a while though. I’m really enjoying having more time not checking it and not falling down bad news rabbit holes. I should deactivate my instagram account too but you guys know how much I love instagram.

Thank you to those of you who left such lovely happy birthday messages on my instagram account. I wish I could respond to each message uniquely but you know that the little heart symbol means that. I bet so many of you go through this too.

High School Here She Comes


It’s been hard to write lately for obvious reasons.

In the meantime, however, Bug graduated from middle school and we had a covid-style white-privilege non-graduation. What does that mean?  We bought some balloons and did a photoshoot in the park. Basic, I know. But it was something sweet to do to remember this time and provide me with some photos to make our annual family calendar. This is how I work.

I wasn’t going to put anything up about it here, us being so freakishly white and privileged but then I remembered that probably only about 100 people read this blog… It’s not about you, Little Hoo and all that. (inside joke)


This blog is my scrapbook for Bug and these years are fleeting. I want to remember every moment like I remembered every moment when she was a baby. Remember her walking on the beach? Remember my new mom voice trying to teach her how to roll over…? I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and wonder at this ever-changing role I have as her mom. It’s so different now.  I have a lot of long moments to myself where I miss being that young mom. All those years that I struggled to work with her interrupting me constantly and hanging on my arm that uses my mouse. Those long nights of sleeplessness and stress worrying about money… I still wake up stressed but now it’s about new and different things.

Bug doesn’t need me much anymore other than to buy food, drive her places or give her money. And and even though it makes me a little bit sad when she doesn’t want to bake with me or take a walk to the beach, it’s a good thing. She’s growing independent. She’s on her way to adulthood. We have a long ways to go but she’s hitting all the milestones and I don’t have to stress about them like I did her first milestones. Remember that? Remember worrying about how many words they said by what age and whether or not she was walking on time and potty-training on time, and sleeping by herself on time??? Oh man. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to stop stressing out so hard.


So that’s what I’m trying to do now. Stop stressing so hard. She’s going to be a reasonable adult. She’s going to make stupid mistakes. She’s going to make great choices and not so great choices and she’s going to be okay. My job is to just keep on loving her as I have since her first moments of life.


This kid. She’s smart. She’s also a smartass. She’s self-driven. She’s talking to way too many boys on her discord channel while she plays Minecraft with a headset on. They mostly talk about Minecraft and make stupid jokes. All day long with the stupid jokes. My life is a walking meme these days and I’m Karen except she doesn’t need to call me Karen because I was blessed with the name, Brenda, which is just as bad if not worse.


Every once in a while we have a moment and I feel just as close as I felt when she was that scared second grader who had so much anxiety she couldn’t go to school without dry-heaving. I don’t miss those days. They were so hard.  The worry circles. The asking the same question over and over and over no matter how creatively I answered.  But she got through them and now she is really strong. She is so strong she keeps her emotions inside which is something I’ve never really learned to do. She says it’s the product of being a child of a worry-wart. I’m really trying not to be a worry-wart but I come by it naturally.


So happy 8th Grade Graduation, Bug! You are beautiful and amazing and you are part of a big piece of history that we will all look back on and talk about. We’ll always remember the graduation that got high-jacked by Covid and the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests. I have no idea what is coming next but I expect great things.