After I got back from Kripalu, starting with New Year’s Eve, which ended poorly, I fell into a deep, deep depression. All last week I felt gray. I felt that I had blown up a comfortable and loving life with Drew for no reason except that I am a destroyer incapable of real love. I felt that I am untrustworthy, unlovable, bad. I felt old, my best days behind me, having achieved very little, wasted so much time, etc. All of the things that people feel when they are depressed. People tell you that you are lovable but you don’t feel it. It feels like you’ve fooled them somehow. I cried every day, all day, except when I had to work or be on point socially.

I have never been truly suicidal. I’ve written about walking the streets in my youth, drunk and hoping to be murdered, to this day still looking at buildings and wondering what it would be to fly off. But never serious about it. I’m dramatic, but too responsible.

On Thursday night I worked a gallery opening at my job and went out for a couple of drinks afterward with my girlfriends. Sam was, as usual, because he’s a near-child with ADHD, unavailable for communication when I could have used it. I got home drunk and thought, “A pill would be nice…” Even though I would have fallen asleep right away if I’d laid down. I just wanted to float untethered for a while. I remembered that I had a bottle of phenobarbitol for my recently deceased dog’s seizures, so I went for that. Couple of those should do it.

As I rolled the full bottle in my hand an idea formed. I thought, “Hey…this could work…” This would be so easy. Let’s hit the reset button and float away for real. Die middle aged, leave an almost beautiful corpse…

I dumped it in my hand and swallowed 55 pills with a couple of chugs of water. And I went to bed.

In bed, I texted Drew that I took them. I was so high that I thought it would be good to tell people that I found this awesome new solution. I wasn’t thinking about punishing him or asking for help. More like, “Hey, this is cool…”

Drew has experienced major trauma from suicide, and I think didn’t see the message until morning, when he called my sister. He’s so angry he’s not speaking to me at all. I don’t know that I’ll ever be fully able to make him understand how sorry I am for all of it.

I woke up very late the next morning, got up to get to the bathroom and couldn’t navigate. I banged into the kitchen table, then off into the stove, veering wildly around the apartment and hanging on to stay upright, like I was on a boat on a stormy sea. My first thought was, “What the hell? I didn’t have that much to drink last night…” It took a few seconds standing there hanging on to the stove to realize what was happening.

Boom! My first thought was “Oooooooooh….” And then my second one was, “God damn it!” I’m still here! I burst into tears. The cats looked at me like, “Really, this again?”

An awareness crept in that there was heavy knocking on my door. I don’t know for how long. I swerved to it and opened it to my neighbor from across the hall, who my sister had called in a panic to check on me. She’s lived across from me since the 90’s and has seen it all. I did my best to stand upright and tell her I was fine, in a stained GnR tee and ugly cotton panties, hair and tears plastered to my face. I wiped snot off my nose with my hand and swayed a little. She looked dubious but she accepted it and said she was home all day if I needed her. Then I called my sister, who had also left a ton of messages. This was difficult because the numbers on the phone kept dancing around most uncooperatively. I squinted and poked. She picked up and said,

“You’re a pain in the ass.”

I assured her I was alive, then went back to crying all morning until it was time to pull it together to bartend. I couldn’t call in suicidal, I needed the money. I actually handled it without looking like a total lunatic, although I kept dropping things and my numbers were probably off. I was high as a fucking kite but I’m the queen of keeping it together when there’s a job to do, and no one knew except those closest to me. Once I got out of work it kicked back in again and I had to hang onto Sam to walk home. He, God bless him, was so terrified he couldn’t speak. He thought phenobarbitol was one of my new agey herbs; when he finally discovered what it was he just shut down.

Sam spent the weekend sitting next to me, not talking, ordering food for us and working on art while I watched movies and conversed on the phone to my people. I was high until late Sunday afternoon., but I got guy wisdom from Jesse, love from Storm, love from Samara, love from Grace, love from Christa, love from Wendy, love from friends, sarcasm and love from my sister, unconditional love from my mom. I got so much love. I am so blessed.

My mother is very pragmatic and not easily ruffled. She’s a fucking tank. If there’s a zombie apocalypse, she’s the person you want on your team. She didn’t see me as suicidal, which I wasn’t exactly, so I’m grateful for that. It wasn’t a cry for help either. It was more a clumsy attempt to shift out of pain that felt no longer bearable. I would not have done it if I hadn’t been drinking, and she got that and didn’t get hysterical. She did a reading for me and this is what she said (paraphrasing and condensing):

Kripalu opened up something very deep that you are ready to heal and clear. You came into this life to learn self-love, and now is the time. We are moving into a higher vibration and we cannot carry old baggage to get there. You are carrying cellular memory of another lifetime in which you made decisions that hurt many people very deeply, and you are carrying a lot of guilt and self-hatred. It’s time for you to let it go. This chapter is not a failure, it is a graduation. You don’t need to do anything, achieve anything. Let go and rest. 

Then Grace asked another psychic friend to call me and give me a reading. It was eye-opening and helped me to understand further how I got here.

Something lifted for me. Like really lifted. I feel brighter and clearer than I have in two years. It’s like I went through a tunnel. I could have handled my relationships better, I’m so bone-deep sorry for the pain I’ve caused people. But there were reasons that things went down, and those reasons weren’t all my fault. I can feel that now, before it was just a thought that didn’t seem real. I did the best I could. I’m not a monster, I’m not insane. Wacky, yes, dramatic, definitely. But that’s okay. I’m ready to sit (mostly) quietly and sort out the next chapter of my life.

I’m writing this as it appears to be my bizarre calling to put it all my crap out there for the world to see. It helps some and that helps me, and honestly I don’t care anymore what strangers think of me. Some of you don’t believe the same things that I do, and that’s okay. Take what you can and leave the rest.

We’re all messy, we’re all hurting, we’re all doing our best under trying circumstances. Being alive is hard. If you are feeling depressed, you are not alone. Whatever you are feeling is exactly the same as what someone else is feeling. Be kind to yourself, wear clothes you like, eat food that warms you, call people that like you, watch movies that make you feel good, clean your house so when you look around you feel good about where you’re sitting. Cry more, you’ll pee less. If you need some of the kind of spiritual help I’m talking about here, I’ve got phone numbers.  Please don’t send me letters urging mental care, please don’t worry. I’m not looking for sympathy or attention. I’ve got a big support system and well-meaning scrutiny tends to make me feel like a bug under a microscope. I’m absolutely okay and there are others out there who need you more than I do. I feel raw, but grateful, happy, and hopeful.

Namaste, bitches.

Dick Pics and Other New Year Nonsense

Happy New Year, friends! I hope you had a great holiday season.

My New Year’s Eve was marginal at best. I worked the night before and stayed up way too late and felt like dried out, warmed over oatmeal on the 31st. I wanted to stay home and watch movies. Sam never wants to stay home and watch movies because he’s 12 years old and has the attention span of a fruitfly. Happily, a friend of ours invited us to be his guests at a group dinner hosted by a minor celebrity chef, at a restaurant on the Upper West Side.

It turned out to be Italian food cooked and served by Russians, so it was strange from the get. Now I like Russian people. They’re full of life and fun at a party. They know how to drink, the men are usually boisterous and most of the women dress slutty and completely inappropriately for winter weather, but with expensive shoes and bags. I find that fascinating. I have one Russian friend who makes me laugh so hard my face hurts after seeing him. This is him running around Patricia Field, where we both used to work:

He took this video of my coworkers and I at Patricia Field a few years back, with this description:

“The ladies of Patricia Field gathered to discuss something they don’t get to talk about with their gay colleagues – their vaginas.”

He’s the voice you hear from behind the camera.

BUT, and there’s always a big but, Dottie, the enthusiasm that makes Russians wonderful is the same enthusiasm that can make them problematic, especially in large groups. You can get steamrolled.

I sat at our table, hungover as shit, clutching a martini for dear life and scrambling for a bit of whatever was being served not quite plentifully enough. A platter would hit the table and we’d all dive at it with our forks. Sadly, I never even got near the baked clams. The room was full of helium balloons with long strings that dangled in our faces, caught in our hair, dropped into our food. The owner of the restaurant sat behind me with his chair pushed way out so the waiters had no choice but to bang into my chair over and over again as they raced back and forth. One of his guests fell completely out of his seat, cursed in front of a little girl up past her bedtime, then wobbled around the room unsteadily, still drinking mind you, while the rest of his crew congregated directly behind me to rub their asses on my head, hit my head with their handbags, drip their drinks in my lap, and cheerfully, unwittingly poke at the angry bear that is me. I wanted to set them all on fire.

I sent Sam to the bar for another martini instead. I was a guest of someone generously paying my tab so I sat quietly and drank my free booze like a goddamn lady. The girl on my left shouted endlessly about Billy Idol past me to Sam on my right, hoping to impress him with her rock and roll expertise. I think she ended up making out with him (Billy) at the end of the story but I was too glazed over to pay proper attention. Sam brought up Generation X and she looked confused, having no idea who that was despite claiming to be a huge fan. He knew she was in trouble, the yelling was causing me to sit up taller and taller, which I do when annoyed, so he tried to hustle her through the story quickly.

I was so tired that I left my phone on the table when we exited a few hours later. We were lucky enough to get a sort of cab. It was yellow at least and had a meter, but the meter sat on the front passenger seat. For those of you outside of New York City, NYE is a transportation nightmare here, in which you stand endlessly on corners with your hand in the air and walk many painful blocks in high heels.

A few blocks away I realized I’d left my phone. We had the cab driver turn around and in a quick 20 minutes (yay, NYE traffic) were back at the restaurant, only to discover that the phone had been “claimed”. Ugh.

The rest of the night was uneventful. We had a nightcap with friends at a bar near my place and I left Sam “the night ain’t done til you’re broke and bleeding” Hariss to go home to do a search for the phone on my computer.

I’ll spare the boring details, but eventually and with some diligent computer sleuthing the next morning, I learned that the phone had been taken by the semi-celebrity chef, who thought it belonged to one of his friends, and transported to way the eff out in Brooklyn. I was irritated. But I took a deep breath, harassed him for the address, got dressed and spent the entire afternoon of January 1 traveling out to him and back.

Inauspicious beginnings, but I remain optimistic.

Yesterday I had brunch with a couple girlfriends in one of their apartments. Their names must be shrouded in secrecy due to the nature of our conversation; so I’ll call them Laverne and Shirley to keep it uncomplicated. It was lovely to sit around with our shoes off and gossip privately, and it felt like the real celebration for the new year. aaaaaaaa

Us, being us, we bought too much champagne and spent hours “finishing” it. The topic turned to dick pics, because I had called someone out at the NYE dinner for sending said pics to a co-worker/friend. He has a unique name, and upon being introduced I got a ping on the mental rolodex and realized that although this was our first meeting, I had met parts of him months before via the magic mashup of sexting and male ego.

Me + booze = no filter, so I had called him on it. He seemed mortified and I felt a little bit bad about mentioning it. But not too terribly bad because I never wanted to see his junk in the first place. It had been imposed upon me by a confused friend most obviously in need of guidance. I don’t understand the modern phenomenon of sending photos of one’s penis to a woman almost immediately upon considering dating her. It’s a deal-breaker for me. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but it seems either narcissistic or gay to me. Gay men can send dick pics to each other all day long and I full support it. Hetero men to women, not so much.

Here’s a handy guide for any confused guys out there:


Anyway, Shirley, out of the blue, said, “I really hate it when they want you to snort blow off their dicks.” Laverne and I both choked, set our champers down, and squawked something to the effect of, are you kidding me?? Neither one of us had ever done or been asked to do that.


Shirley opened her eyes wide and said, “What? Really? That’s impossible. I’ve been asked a million times. You mean this isn’t normal??”


She shrieked. “This is terrible! It’s so unfair! I thought every woman had to do this. I’ve been duped!!”


Shirley was upset. I decided to take a quick text poll among all my female friends to get a broader cross-section and thought you might find some of the answers entertaining. The percentages I was throwing out are totally off, I just like to make up poll numbers when I’m drunk. 

Subject A:


 Subject B:


Subject C. She’s led a colorful life:

Subject D, equally colorful:
Subject E:
And lastly, Subject F, the pragmatist:
So there you have it. Feel free to weigh in. And happy New Year, bitches.

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