Twenty Years Ago




Dyane, 2013

Twenty years ago…

1) I was twenty-four years old.

2) I worked at a special event production company, where we produced huge annual events including the San Jose Jazz Festival and the San Jose America Festival.

3) I had two angels with fur, a.k.a. dogs: Tara, a Sheltie/Wolf mix, and Shera, a fluffy white American Eskimo spaz who I adopted to keep Tara company.

4) I lived in a studio in Santa Cruz, California that I suspected was haunted.

5) I was depressed, though not clinically yet.

6) I was considered to be “sane” by everyone, even by myself.

7) I didn’t know the actual definition of “manic depressive” (bipolar) despite the fact my Dad had that mood disorder.

8) I didn’t exercise regularly or eat very well – I worked from 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. in a stressful job, and I was too exhausted after work to do much of anything.

9) I didn’t have use of the internet.

10) I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

11) I had given up on the idea of romantic love and marriage ever happening in my life.

12) I didn’t think I’d have children except for my fur children.

13) I didn’t take a single pill for anything.

14) I had no problem hopping in my car at a moment’s notice to drive seven hours to Los Angeles.

15) I went to the movies every week.

16) I was untouched by the death of a parent.

17) I was untouched by the death of a grandparent.

18) I traveled solo to New Zealand and Australia.

19) I felt that I was meant to something special with my life.

20) I had never seriously contemplated suicide.



9 thoughts on “Twenty Years Ago

  1. It is sobering and painful what the onset of severe mental illness does to us. But now you have the greatest gifts, a loving husband and two beautiful God-sent daughters. I can tell from your posts that they love and support you. You are blessed. God knows our path. It may be painful, but meaningful and rich. With the pain of our struggles comes a purpose to help others.

  2. You are so right, Kitt. I am blessed. And, as usual, you have a beautiful & insightful way with words.

    I believe in God. I don’t attend church anymore (I was born Jewish! However, I wasn’t educated in Judaism, nor did I attend temple/Hebrew school and I’ve never felt drawn to my religion to birth.) I didn’t always believe in God, so I am glad that I do now.

    I consider myself fortunate to have a psychiatrist who is deeply religious/spiritual and who shares his Christian-inspired views with me occasionally, but not in a proselytizing way. (Thank God! 😉

    Anyway, thank you for commenting. Your comments always lift my spirit.

  3. Dyane~~Looking at your lovely picture reminds me of how it’s so easy for the outside world to look at those of us with mental health issues and never see beyond the faces we present to them since
    we look so healthy and “normal”. Which can be both a blessing and a curse.

    • Thanks for reading, ksporzynski!

      The day I took that photo, I was getting ready for my daughter’s birthday party. I was tapering off my medications& beginning to teeter into hypomania that day, although I seemed very normal to everyone else – perhaps a tad exuberant, but nothing alarming.

      Plus I was genuinely happy because my soul-crushing depression had lifted so that I was able to host my child’s party. That was huge.

      You are absolutely correct that when we seem healthy & normal to others it can be a blessing & a curse as well. Hopefully our society will become better acclimated to mental health issues in the years to come. I have hope that will happen, but I know it will take longer than any of us would like!

      Take care & thanks again for stopping by!

  4. Ahhh, the freedom of NOT knowing whats coming. To be spontaneous without fear of consequences. Sounds nice.

    • Yes, it was nice Doreen – and I like how you put it. I don’t mean to romanticize it too much – I was pretty miserable & lonely!!!! But it *was* nice to recall a time in which I didn’t know I had a latent, severe mental illness.

      • Yeah, okay, well… miserable and lonely is not so great either and I can relate to that perspective too!! Thanks for re-focusing me there!

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