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The most wonderful discovery I made after leaving the Mental Health System

What the System taught me amounted to a bunch of very bad ideas. It took me 31 years to realize this, and another few years to get myself out of the tangle the System had put me into. I date my turnaround to February 8, 2012. From then on, my life’s focus made a steady journey to the nearest exit out of the System.

I think of myself as like the band of Jews, my ancestors, whose 40 year meanderings in the desert were wrought with unanswered questions, far more than those recited by the Four Sons at Passover. However, we all know that the limit of four is reflective of the Jewish tradition of keeping down the number of mouths to feed, and to see to it that the Seder length ends before the whole family falls asleep at the table. Never mind that there always seemed to be an uncle or two who inadvertently revealed that the third or fourth glass of wine had done him in, punctuating the final prayers with loud snoring. Which leads me to the fact that I am a person whose questions refused to stop at four.

I don’t think my precociousness bothered my parents at all. My dad liked having curious kids. My mother told me once, “You were always an oddball kid.” And with that, she beamed with pride.

Growing up means becoming who you are. It is a continual process that doesn’t stop at adulthood. For me, it was a process of asking progressively more obnoxious questions. Obnoxiousness disorder ranks among the top priorities of those in power, since those of us who assert ourselves vocally seem to unearth society’s best kept lies.

That’s how the System stopped my growth. I am still working at unraveling how that all happened. One moment, I was a promising music student who had the nerve to compose her own music. I was more independent than anyone I knew, except for my friend Kevin. He was another music student whom I envied. I wasn’t the only one who marveled at his unique lifestyle. I strove to mimic it. I settled for Second Most Independent, meanwhile trying to absorb Kevin’s independent spirit by osmosis as often as I could. The contradiction was clear: hanging out with other people might weaken one’s autonomy. We kept a cautious and extremely respectful distance.

I’m not surprised that Kevin and I began to branch away from each other when I got roped into Mental Health. MH is the epitome of neediness. Back before I started, “therapy” was something you did in your spare time, not much unlike restaurant dining or sitting in a sauna. Right around when I started, the System was pushing its way into the mainstream, now calling itself “health care.” If this keeps up, it’ll push further to “mandatory health care,” but never mind that.

I was convinced that some people needed MH, while others didn’t. In 1981, entering this wacky world seemed like the Road Less Traveled, as if we were doing groundbreaking work. Now, of course, defying all their advice is the oddball thing to do.

That’s why, later during that turnaround year of 2012, after a particularly annoying hospitalization wasted yet more of my time, I found myself standing in my kitchen, alone. Puzzle was by my side, staring up at me. I realized that now that I had stopped therapy, and ended most of the accompanying bad habits, most had lost faith in me.  Except Puzzle. I had no “go to” person. What on earth was I doing?

I was standing in my kitchen. Just that. On my own two feet. I felt a sense of elation. I am free.

I was free to be the person that I was all along. It took a while, but I truly feel proud to be the stubborn and rebellious kid who once protested homework. I was amazed at all I was capable of, knowing that so many of the rules and regulations I had thought were absolutes were in fact, not.  I was no longer obligated to remain a slave. I could do what I wanted and be who I was.

Think of it as being like on the top of Mount Sinai. Moses could see the entire surrounding terrain. Which way now? Moses spent one heck of a lot of time up there having it out with God. He returned to his people with the Revised Draft of the Ten Commandments. Not that anyone needed to be clued in on what had happened to Draft One.

It’s okay to pick  your nose, just do it in private.

That said, how I live my life is my business and not the business of the psychiatric corporate regime. No, I don’t have to consult anyone regarding my life decisions. I am an adult and free to decide or not decide without having to wait for the next shrink appointment to beg for permission.

Earlier today, I was out walking Puzzle, and as usual, writing  in my head at the same time. I proudly multitask whenever I can since I believe that ability to do more than one thing simultaneously is a valuable gift. One hand presses the strings, mustering up the most exquisite vibrato, and the other draws the horsehair bow in an entirely different motion. I’ve always maintained that the differences between humans should be honored and respected instead of obliterated. Some humans are meant to squirm and in fact, thrive on it. The touting of mindfulness insults those that don’t work well while sitting still, and coercing them into stillnesss will cause stagnation.

My moods never did well if flattened.  Without fluctuating moods, I lacked passion. Lately, I’ve been telling myself that being in the Worst Mood Ever means I am growing very fast. I’m going to enjoy my growing pains.

The wandering in the desert happened for a reason, they say. The Jews needed to mature as a people before they were ready to break ground in the Promised Land. As we know, the Middle East seems to be at war almost endlessly. Why is that? Maybe it’s one of those obnoxious Unanswerable Questions. Or perhaps unrest is inevitable, since we are never truly grown up.


Psychiatric diagnosis is by nature, misdiagnosis.

Psychiatric diagnosis is by nature, misdiagnosis. Psychiatric diagnosis is an act of power, a hate crime, designed to subdue a large portion of the population, in particular, those of us who are brave enough to defy the status quo. Rebellious children, that is, kids like us who think, are best subdued as early as possible, thereby averting further developmental differences and ensuring the uniformity of the human race. Should the state of affairs get truly out of hand, a bit of genocide is required to clean out the stray hairs, dust, and vermin of society. The various barbaric “treatments,” touted by psychiatry are not only efficient, but barely perceptible, leaving the masses clueless.  One of the most  useful distortions of the truth is, “Mental illness diagnosis isn’t a death sentence,” when in fact, those of us who dare to think also tend to die young. We’re told that exactly why that occurs is something we’d better not think about.

What is a mental patient?

There’s no difference between what constitutes “mental patient” and the rest of the population. Here’s why?

What makes a mental patient? All a person has to do to become one is to go to a shrink. Any ole shrink will do, find one on your “insurance” plan and poof! You’re now the proud wearer of a diagnosis. After that, expect your quality of life to sharply decrease. You will be seen through the lens of that diagnosis now, and for life, so it’s time to start acting the part.  That’s how a mental patient is made. I swear they were right when they said most of life is showing up. Get your foot in the door and you’ll see.

Are you labeled “bipolar”? Now, everyone expects a bipolar out of you. What happens is you will begin to act out your diagnosis. Why? It pleases the shrinks and you get praised for it. You don’t even realize this is happening.

Labeled “danger to self”? Before you know it, you’ll act out that part, too. You’ll start collecting pills and sharp objects. You will get praised every time you say “I’m unsafe.” You don’t even recognize this as praise.

Labeled with “personality disorder”? Go out and act that one out, too. If you’ve never cut before, you can use that label as reason to go buy razor blades and try it out.

So go chart those “symptoms.” The shrinks will love it. Now, they can more precisely “medicate.” You will take those drugs totally convinced of your dire “need” for them.

That is not freedom. It’s slavery to a bogus system based on lies. If you ever make it out, you’ll realize, just as I did, the extent of the deception. Most of their “research” is funded by corporations who have a vested interest in keeping people sick. Taxpayers pay to keep otherwise thriving individuals enslaved to all that baloney.

Ditch it. All of it. You can’t keep one foot in and one foot out. Get off the drugs but do so responsibly.  Please don’t get on their payroll under the guise of “peer support.” Don’t work for some government funded agency. I don’t care how liberal it is, I don’t buy it.  If you are going to be a mentor, work for yourself and for godsakes don’t charge an insanely high fee. You’re just ripping people off.  Better yet, do for free.

Above all, live well. Live responsibly. This means respecting others just as we humans expect others to respect us. Do good things in the world and spread goodness. Show the world that you NEVER needed their “treatment.” Show the world that you are fine on your own, better off without their programs, appointments, monitoring, management, supervision, and other babysitting. This way, we will prevail. We will be strong. We will be a wonder to behold.

Is it cowardly to flee psych diagnosis and its consequences by leaving the USA?

I am appalled at fellow survivors who now claim that leaving the USA to get rid of ones medical records is cowardly. I believe anyone making this ludicrous claim is envious of those of us who have mustered up enough courage to leave.

I reiterate: We aren’t here for luxury, easy living, summer camp, the “good life,” opportunity, or vacation. We aren’t here because we are copping out. We are refugees.

Let’s look at one refugee story I learned as a child:

The Passover Story: Do you know the story of Passover? Most people are familiar with it, but in brief, the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt. Moses decided he’d had enough and wanted to free his people. First, he tried negotiating, and that didn’t work. He said, “Let my people go.”

These were people who were once valued, cherished, and honored. However, over the generations, there were changes in Pharoah leadership. The new ones weren’t very open-minded, apparently.

Moses teamed up with what you might call “God,” and inflicted ten plagues on Egypt, and with each one, he said, “Let my people go.” Pharoah finally conceded after the tenth plague. Suddenly, he wanted to be rid of the Jews. Then, again, as they were leaving, apparently he changed his mind and began to pursue. His leadership style doesn’t seem particularly “stable,” does it? Meanwhile, Moses’ style is consistent and firm.

Imagine: You are scared to death of anything resembling one of Pharoah’s cops. You see one and your heart pounds, your hands clench, and your instinct is to run away or “fake” that you aren’t Jewish. Why? You are in survival mode. Your body will fight to stay alive even if it means you have to lie to survive, or disguise yourself, or hide.

Imagine: You can only pack very few things. You leave all that you know behind. It’s so urgent that you cannot even wait for bread to rise. Think of it: bread rises awfully fast.

I’ll bet many Jews were so scared that they insisted on staying behind. They didn’t trust this guy Moses. They were okay with slavery. They thought being beaten every day was okay or justified. After all, they were lowly Jews. They didn’t deserve freedom. This man Moses with the word “Freedom” on his lips sure was a bizarre dude.

Imagine: I’m sure some other Jews who had managed to partially get away or got in cahoots with their captors, that is, were paid slaves, felt that being an activist meant sticking around. Maybe they thought that leaving meant not fighting anymore.

I would like to suggest to those paid slaves out there who are criticizing those that fled please realize that you need to put yourself in another’s shoes. The captors aren’t even capable of doing that! We, as former slaves, need to be compassionate with one another. We need to be good examples of freed slaves, however it was that we got free. This will show those that worship the captors that maybe slavery ain’t so terrific. We need to demonstrate that we are fine on our own and do not have biological need to be treated as subhuman.

You also need to realize that leaving is a huge step for us. We won’t see our loved ones again. We won’t see our homeland again. We left all our belongings behind. Some of these things included wall hangings, photographs, memorabilia, ashes in urns, our homes and vehicles, our jobs, and everything we know and love. Do you realize how brave this is?

I’m sure, after the Jews left Egypt, the fleeing ones were blamed for all of Egypt’s woes. In the Passover story, Egypt had the mess of the Ten Plagues to clean up.

Look what’s happening in USA right now. Police beatings on the rise of people of color and people with psych labels. Arbitrary imprisonment. The demand for more cops, more safety, more monitoring, even bracelets or microchips planted into people with MH conditions. You might think life is great. But YOU and your kids are next.

Can you flee the USA and still be an activist? Aw, c’mon! Of course you can! What do you think I am doing right now? I fled because my freedom of speech was denied in USA. Every time I spoke out I’d end up with the ole cops at my door with that stretcher. I wanted freedom of speech so I could continue writing articles like these without fear.  “Lest we not forget.”

At Passover time, my older relatives got together and spoke in their secret language, Yiddish, about the Nazi Holocaust. They felt it was important that young people understand that we are not entirely immune to something like that happening again. We celebrate Passover for that reason, to remember, and to tell the story, so that history won’t repeat itself.  The Passover table is a wonderful teaching tool to young people, with each food symbolizing an important part of the story. It is the hope of the older generation that the young know what slavery is, what hardship is, what antisemitism is, what discrimination and racism are, and the importance of staying alive in a tough world.

Lest we not forget.


Psychiatry Home Edition, coming soon!

The future is looking bright for the field of psychiatry these days. Researchers are finding new and better ways to evaluate your loved ones and see to it that they are given the health care they rightfully deserve. This means the end of all suffering on earth.

There was recent objection to evaluating people on a scale of 1 to 10, even though it certainly simplified our jobs so anyone can perform them. Now, we have the ideal alternative. Emoticons! Get yours now!

Are you devastated over a breakup? Grieving because a loved one died? You don’t even have to put your feelings into words anymore. Crying is unnecessary.  Just click on the appropriate emoticon. These are free to download. We track your responses for your convenience. We will be extra careful to track your kids. We’ll even do it for you to keep our communities safe.

Are you annoyed by those eager and enthusiastic students that excel in their classes? Psychiatry is great for that. We have cures for adolescence, too. Sturm und drang will be a thing of the past. Vision Quests will be outlawed, and Communion and Bar Mitzvahs will soon be unnecessary. You don’t need spiritual meaning in your life. We discourage asking such questions as, “Who am I?” or, “How did I get here?” or, “What is my life’s purpose?” (This last one is such a terrible nuisance.) We have standardized answers for these annoying questions, simplifying parenting and teaching.  Kids will do fine in school once properly normalized. Our standardized tests will surely improve your child’s quality of life.

We have emoticons for any discomfort, and easy, standardized cures for all of them. Are you happy? Did you respond with “lol”?  We have required treatment for that. Falling in love? Don’t worry, we support the avoidance of such falls. It’s called preventative medicine. Be sure not to miss your checkup!

Treatment doesn’t hurt. Just a pinch. Turn away and don’t watch if it bothers you. However, for your safety, keep those blinders on at all times. For those who insist on natural materials, we encourage the use of wool, which can quickly be pulled over anyone’s eyes in case of emergency. The truth is dangerous!

Soon, no one will have to worry about even the slightest differences between humans. We’ll all be alike, so this will solve all the world’s problems.  Western medicine, especially psychiatry, will be hailed as the Saviors of Mankind. A CCTV camera on every corner will ensure your security. Not that they’ll even be useful anymore because everyone will look alike.

In case you are worried that you might marry the wrong person by accident, we are installing chips in everyone that can be instantly read by our devices. These will be required in all health care facilities, schools, and day care centers, so you when you come to pick up your kid, you won’t bring home the wrong one. Originally, there was objection to such chips, but we eased the public into this by requiring all sorts of ID cards, computerized everything and put flags on those people that we find objectionable. Get your free app now!

A safe and well-monitored home is a happy home.

Please, keep those apples away from your kids. You can now only obtain these by prescription once a year. After all, doctor knows best, and an apple a day is a danger to society. We regulate sneaky grandmas who insist on baking apple pie as well. Beware, apple pie conflicts your other “medications,” so the FDA (that corrupt agency In Which We Trust) has required warning labels and is shutting down any black market bakery.

Do you think this New Order is completely ridiculous? We can silence you rather quickly if you are suffering from Doubt. “Doubt and questioning is Mental Illness talking to you. Get Satan out!” We know it’s a superstition, but it’s so effective to convince people of anything, so why now not use it? We got caught in that old lie about “mental disorders” being just like diabetes years ago. However, we invent and mass produce new lies every day. Line up at your pharmacy!  And handy acronyms for everything to more speedily dispense our cures. We are creating so many lies that we now use child labor overseas to mass produce them. We keep those minority kids, and anyone in a hood (those that of course aren’t yours), plenty busy so they won’t cause trouble.  We now ensure absolute sanitation by enforcing our lies in remote areas all over the world. Suffering is terrible, isn’t it? Those bright colors, pungent aromas, and of course all things too bright and beautiful will surely come to an end, and in so doing, we are all Saved.

God Bless Psychiatry.

New DSM diagnosis, just accepted into the Baloney Bible

Name of disorder:  Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Type Z.

Characteristics: Type Z is the most dangerous. Type Z seems to be treatment-resistant. In fact, Type Z has severe obsession with refusing any and all treatment. Type Z suffers from delusions of persecution.

For instance, a Type Z will claim that strapping a person to a bed is inhumane.  Other delusions include the notion that damaging a person’s brain with electricity strong enough to cause a seizure is also inhumane. Of course, we know this is correct, and of course we know these “treatments” have caused far more deaths than we want the public  to know about, but those with Type Z refuse to stop yapping about it.

Another characteristic of Type Z is their insistence that locking a person up who is more likely a victim of a crime than a criminal is also inhumane. The Type Z’s are dangerous because they spread these delusions around on social media.

Type Z is especially worrisome because we are seeing this tendency in the general population to be on the rise. Sociologists, anthropologists, medical specialists other than shrinks, journalists, writers, scientists, religious leaders, shoemakers, artists, attorneys…anyone can fall prey to this disorder. It seems to be spreading exponentially.

Type Z denies this disorder, therefore, they lack insight into their own condition. They are accepting of the term “activist” or “psychiatric survivor,” however. They are obsessed with human rights.  They seem to be enjoy convening and organizing pesky protests.

Type Z disorder, since it is now becoming so prevalent, poses a clear danger to psychiatry and almost all forms of mental health care. This “dangerousness” is a threat. Since these Type Z sufferers claim they are thrilled to be away from mental institutions, the disorder is even harder to treat. In Type Z, actual “dangerousness” is difficult to prove, therefore, illegal means to forcibly treat Type Z’s have been employed with limited success.

One treatment method, which is illegal, has been to involve the police. This can be especially effective in geographical areas where the police forces are bigoted. We have found that a mere call to police, admittedly full of lies, can be effective to forcibly round up these sick people, since the police defer to our psychiatric regime without question.

Another method of caring for these very sick and deluded people is to increase psychiatric power wherever Type Z is prevalent. Psychiatry’s ever-faithful ally, Big Pharma, is producing new drugs to tempt these sufferers, but clearly, this has had limited effect in decreasing Type Z.

Type Z sufferers tend to be obsessed about “helping” others we have captured and held spellbound. This is a danger because we will lose “patients” as more and more escape or refuse. Our treatments of most “mental illnesses” aren’t effective, but most sufferers are so disabled by what we do that they don’t notice. Caregivers are instructed to use the word “compliance” to describe this disability, Carers should praise those that continue to follow “treatment plans.” Note: the use of fancy lingo makes us look more legitimate, therefore, it should always be employed.

As a result, we justify the use of criminal means to harass Type Z sufferers. This is an acceptable modality since Type Z is so treatment-resistant. Our ability to justify criminal harassment usually stands up in court since treatment of these suffers is “necessary.” If worse comes to worse, bribing judges is also justified.

Our aim is to save lives. That is, our own asses.  Even though psychiatry and its diagnoses in fact maims and kills an awful lot of people. Our professional services will sweep all the damages safely under the rug. Practitioners are advised to consult their other rich golf buddies with questions and concerns.


Why is psychiatric diagnosis a hate crime?

Why is psychiatric diagnosis a hate crime?

Psych diagnosis tells otherwise productive members of society that they are defective and subhuman. It tells people who are going throuogh a tumultuous time that their condition is permanent. We are told that the remainder of our lives will be limited and devoid of meaning outside of “treatment.” We are told we will “require treatment” for the remainder of our sorry lives. We are told we are best off segregated from mainstream society, in our little world of treatment. We regress to a near fetal state. Giving a psych diagnosis to even one person is a crime against all humanity.

Did I believe what I was told? Of course I did. I defended diagnosis for many years, stating that without “treatment,” namely, therapy and “meds,” I would perish. I stated that I had terrible moodswings and depressions. This was true. I realized one day that it was all a farce. Three decades of steadfast belief in psych diagnosis came to a screaming halt right then and there.

Today, I am fine without therapy and “meds.” Yes, it’s been a struggle to break free, but I found out the truth. I know I must be patient with others who, just as I did in the past, faithfully continue to uphold the lie of diagnosis. Breaking free from over three decades of wrong assumptions was the hardest thing I have ever done, and the most painful.

Today, I live a far more productive life than I ever did on “meds” and therapy. I do struggle, but not from the consequences of current “treatment,” as I choose to have none. I respect the choice of others who continue to have faith in theirj psych doctors and endless pills, but I am done with that world/ Today, I have progressed to a more fulfilling, more productive, and more meaningful life, without psych diagnosis.

Didn’t we all play “doctor” as children? Here’s how that game changed…

I remember, don’t you? The plastic stethoscopes, the doctor bags and bandages, and fake thermometers because children sure shouldn’t play with the mercury ones. “You are cured!” and that was that.

We operated, took pipes, keys, pencils, and pens out of people’s stomachs. We played doctor and extracted all sorts of documents out of each other. Whole, of course.  If it was the dog, any retrieval was fruitless because dogs love to completely obliterate homework. That meant the “my dog ate it” excuse worked………once.

You bet we played psychiatrist.  I good find was an old, beat up psychology 101 book. Better yet, Abnormal Psych. Complete with psych diagnoses.

“Oh wow, look at this!” We’d read up on narcissism, all sorts of sexual obsessions, and that weird thing “manic depression.” Of course, the cure was the couch! We’d use whatever one was free so long as no  parents were around. If they were, I’m sure they got a good chuckle if ever they overheard.

“So how do you feel?” That was usually the first question.

We’d make it all up! “I’m in love with my mother.” A few fake sobs were loads of fun.

“So you are in love with your mother.” That one always worked if you couldn’t think of anything else to say.  Repeat back.

It would all end in some wonderful cathartic confession. “I killed my brother years ago! Over a pot of soup.” The patient would be then pronounced cured. Oh, don’t forget play money as payment. Or penny candy or Bazooka bubble gum.  Don’t chew that in front of Mom and Dad.

When we were older, we went through the usual “troubled adolescence” all adolescents are supposed to go through. So whatever it was, we’d get out that ole “Abnormal psych” book and rattle off the diagnoses.

“What do you think it is? If you show less emotion, that’s “flat affect.” That teacher’s schizophrenic! What about the class clown? Mania for sure.”

Nowadays, the kids have the Internet. You can imagine, with every diagnosis right at their fingertips. They probably use their cells and look up what’s “wrong” with their classmates all the time.

I don’t know about you, but giving a diagnosis made me feel powerful. Okay, it was all play. But I felt powerful when I knew that I, and I alone, could cure the ailing patient. I had control now, and the patient was at my mercy.

“Cured!” We’d break into peels of laughter.

Just like them.

Song: The Hive, by Jimmy Webb, made famous by Richard Harris and Meg Christian

I think this is still under copyright, but I’m not sure.  Here is a link to the lyrics:

I purchased the Meg Christian album, I know you know, in 1979. I played the LP to death. Of course I did! The famous song, “Ode to a gym teacher” is done live on this album, if I recall correctly. She does a narration beforehand about how her “favorite” (ahem) gym teacher had to teach a hygiene class, as gym teachers often did. One day, Meg states, this “Miss Berger” (I could be wrong on the name here, but that’s what I recall) got passionate about some hygiene issue. She held a ruler in her hand and used it to punctuate her thoughts, much as a person might use a pointer, gavel, flag, writing instrument, or perhaps show emotion by throwing a fist in the air. Miss Berger slammed the baby blue ruler down and…Oops! It broke.

In Christian’s narration, she and another girl went running for that piece of ruler. A piece of Miss Berger. Another girl got it first.

At this point, there’s a slight pause.

Then Christian screams, “And she sold it to me later for a dollar!” The whole audience cracked up then.  Then she adds, “She could’ve  gotten five.” This is followed by even more robust burst of laughter. I believe this is when Christian begins the song, “She was a big, tough woman, the first to come around, who taught me being female meant you still could be strong….”

Okay, are you crying now? I must admit, I feel nostalgic.

If you haven’t read Jimmy Webb’s lyrics, go up to my link I provided above. Christian does a wonderful version of this on the album. I was deeply affected, actually.

I was 21 years old. I read it as a warning: Stay away from the trap of marriage. But you could read “The Hive” many ways. Anyone who lost  friends to “mental health care,” and the myth of psych diagnosis can relate. We’ve watched so many people whose lives would otherwise have been productive slip away into the hive.

I certainly was one that slipped right in. I fell for it and defended the mentality and rationalized all that they were doing for years. Note that the song states that the people supporting the marriage are “pretending they’re essentially alive.” As for the bride, “She never really fought it.”

“Sanitized, homogenized, and pasteurized.” Drugged, therapized, they call it “symptom free.” It’s a trap, folks. After all, “There’s no place like numb.”

Shrinkage had it all wrong

Today, I laugh. Those doctors asked me if I knew who the vice president was. Did they really think I cared? Sure, I’d voted, but did it matter to me? It didn’t matter, and I told them so. A person with no voice in the world isn’t going to be helped by that man in the Oval Office.

“Oh, excuse me, doc. You did say, ‘Vice president.’ Yes, I heard you. I didn’t vote for him. I voted for the irrelevant pair of them. When I was a child, long before you were born, I was told girls didn’t stand a chance of ever becoming president.” But by then, they’d already walked out of the room.

Today, I laugh. They had their priorities all wrong. They had no clue what mattered to me. They were trying to test my memory, right? Why the hell didn’t they ask the following:

“So you weighed yourself this morning. What was your weight?” See, something like that I happened to recall. It actually mattered, and I happened to recall the moment I stepped onto the scale Monday morning, August 12, 2013, the day I was already in kidney failure. I still do recall that moment. I remember specifically how it felt to see that number. I remember what I told myself.

I don’t recall watching a vice-presidential speech on TV, not for decades, anyway. Maybe I saw a few of Clinton’s campaign speeches or a couple of those silly court scenes back 1997, when the media decided to distract us by proving that he was human.

Maybe they should have asked me what I had to eat. Maybe they should have asked me how it felt every single time I went food shopping. What it was like to hold a cherry tomato in my hand and look at it, smell it, bite into it.

No, they wanted to know if I could remember the name of the vice president.

What had the vice president ever done for me? Was he planning to call me up and tell me that when I got home, he would personally see to it that my community apologized to me for the neglect I’d lived through? Would the VP say to me, “Julie, you were denied a voice in your community, and I’m going to see to it that this never happens again. You have suffered enough. I’m the Fairy Godmother. You now have a voice. Poof!”

I do wish that had happened. But it didn’t.

I had to say Fuck You to the whole scene. I had to walk out and start my life over. The best thing I ever did for myself was to ditch shrinkage entirely. I would highly recommend that to anyone. I don’t promise instant happiness but the freedom is well worth it.

Satisfaction is not happiness, nor is it health. If you are satisfied with your healthcare, it means you are a slave to doctors and appointments. That’s all it means. They own your body financially, chemically, and legally. I decided I was done with that.

On the plane, I realized my Medicaid and Medicare cards no longer had relevance. No one here asks about the USA vice president. However, we do have all sorts of tomatoes here. I dare to bite into one now. I can make an ñ on my keyboard. And I might guess my weight in kilograms. Roughly. And Puzzle’s a bit more precisely.

Tell that to what’s-his-name. Never mind. He won’t give a shit.

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