NAMI talk

NAMI of Temecula Valley will host an event during their monthly meeting on January 21, 2015, at 6:00 pm at the Assistance League of Temecula, 28720 Vía Montezuma, Temecula, CA 92590.

Sana Johnson-Quijada, M.D., will speak at 7:00 pm on the topic of, “The Effects of Sleep on Brain Health”.  Dr. Quijada attended medical school at Loma Linda University School of Psychiatry, and was Chief Resident at Harvard in 2002.  She has written two books on being a “Friend to Yourself” and facilitates a variety of community presentations.  She currently is in private practice in Murrieta, California. 

For more information on NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) please visit our website at 

your Love is not without form

I keep hoping she calls and tells me she regrets this.

I’m amazed every time at how much suffering any one of us experiences.  If we live long enough.  This statement above was from Frank.  He and his wife separated one week before Thanksgiving and now Christmas had passed.  And now New Years was here. She wasn’t though.  The pain came, deep where he thought his roots once lived.  Frank found that some mornings, he would roll over in bed, reach out and in the empty space that found him, he would awaken. He was alone.  A pain that only the absence of something important and enourmous can bring, gaping, vacuous, and with it’s own force of gravity, that pain would grab at him, cold and sticky. Formless.  He was losing shape.

Why won’t she come home?

This is familiar perhaps to you.  In some one thing or another.  You lost.

As this 2014 slips away, we hear a lot of the gratitude we “should” be feeling.  And, well, we should.  But for Frank, and those of us who have a struggle against the loss, if you can in any way, pick what to remember, remember that your love is not without form.  Love is that way.

…Even so, just for the fun of it, to Frank, and the rest of us, let’s shake our fist at the losses like this!

you did not deserve my lashes

my curves the

drop from my hip

these lips or ankles I wear.

remember holding hands under the table?

you did not deserve my efforts

my passion that came like buckets of milk

nor the whisper of my

thoughts my nuggets of gold


the best that I have was

almost yours but you did not deserve

Self-care tip:  Let us discover the form of Love again, in 2015, knowing that although we will inevitably again suffer, we will still have Love. That makes all the difference.  Keep on!

Question:  What have you lost?  How does Love show you Her form?  Please tell us your story.

Hear this a lot?

Well you just have it all set up, don’t you?

Your life is cush! What are you complaining about?

Quoting good Theodore again, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Well life iiiiisssss easy,

…like chaos.  chaos

Self-care tip: Whichever side of these statements you find yourself today, take notice.  Keep on.

Question:  Which side of these thoughts do you find yourself?


Today was a great day to pick up sea glass.  My intent was to get the walk in, until I saw the glass.  Then my intent became intentions.

For all of you who are throwing these bottles into the oceans, I prefer blue.

Picking up sea glass is about as distracting to me as the weeds in my garden when I am “just trying to take a walk,” but it wouldn’t be, if I didn’t want the glass or the perty garden.  I am not a victim.

This morning, at Crystal Cove, the big number of other folk sharing space wasn’t expected.  Too funny how many of us were out there trying to walk as much as we could for the right to eat. As much as we can. True. I project.  Reality as defined by my perceptions. I ate a lot today. 

Walking on the beach, sometimes I feel proprietorial.  I think, “This beach is mine.  These shells, these rocks, nobody else gets the wonder of this.”  Then I remember, there are a shucking load of other beaches out there and walkers who call the sand under their feet of personal value.  And isn’t that useful.  

While walking, I came across an unfortunate bird. Fortune is a two way mirror, however. This Life, fishing wire and multiple hooks, ensnared. Fortune-Bird was discovered by other foot-stompers-for-eating. The fishing wire had encircled its right wing and throat. Fortune-Bird could not fly without choking itself I suppose. Bummer. Other more MacGuiver-like observers, on (My) beach, threw a shirt over the bird to allow handling.  However the hooks in the mouth required more extraction tools. We contacted the Rangers who shared what fortune would bring, and the bird was free free free at last. It was almost too much for my little heart. 

Here is Fortune-Bird. Fishing wire and hooks are around the neck space.  Not great lighting for visualizing them but you see Life and value.



Later, thanks to Runmeter, Twitter captured: “Finished Run, Newport Coast, 564 calories, time 2:08:12, 5.07 miles, average 25:16 /mile, ascent 161 feet. ”  It didn’t explain the glass, or the effect of seeing hooks pierced through the face of Fortune-Bird, or the families who were clustered here and there – at least one member or more understanding at some level that they were with us just for the upcoming eating.

That little tweet did give enough though, for remembering, for connecting, for increasing presence – distractions included, and allows my experiencing, with you, gratitude for Life.

Self-Care Tip:  #Gratitude.

Question:  What are you thankful for?

Grass Stains on My Knees – Fresh words to speak about God and self-care…

you are where I go when I go home

grass stains on my knees, I return,…

ak-mak and saladI chewed despite the sensory scream to stop.  Stale ak-mak crackers.  Not much can compare.  These usually wonderful “sesame crackers made with organically grown ‘Whole of the Wheat’ flour stone ground crackers,” which my children love to eat like bread in peanut butter sandwiches, or like chips with guacamole, had been opened and left unsealed in the dark of our pantry.  What happens to crackers without preservatives?  Most of our packaged foods are preserved to last until Jesus comes, but not ak-mak.  They are good for about thirty minutes.  That is exaggerating it, but you see.  They are lovely and healthy and like a smile on any face, best served fresh.

Why did I chew on?  They were sucking up the saliva in my mouth faster than the spigot would allow.  I chewed, insisting the memory of ak-mak experiences would triumph over the current reality.

Exploring ideas about God and self-care has been sometimes fresh and sometimes not.  She is a smile that jumps on the face before the thought even comes out in words.  He is the energy we awaken with after depression lifts.  She is the space on Mother’s lap.  A sun-dress in a California winter.  He is not forgotten, oxidized, and dry supplement.  This I know.  So when the thoughts and the words contradict this Truth, I spit it out.  Or I hope to.  None of us need that.  But if I don’t spit it out, if I chew even after it is obvious to the rest of you, “Time to spit!,” would you, in your generous hearts, please pull the kindness forth and call it?  Stale.

This poem is my current humble effort toward speaking about God.

you are where I go when I go home

grass stains on my knees, I return…

More to come from poetry and thoughts on God and self-care.  How does God intersect with your self-care?  Please engage and speak.  We are designed for community and need you.  Keep on!

Dr. Q

More Good News on Increasing ECT Awareness

I so regret my distance lately from you here at Friend to Yourself!  Thank you very much for your presence and forgiveness.  I am not “gone” although quiet.  My brain has been working on this idea of God and how he intersects with self-care, which has been challenging for me.  I’ll start talking again soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to connect you with another wonderful article,

Investigating ECT

Sana Johnson-Quijada MD:

Excellent personal story, insights, and disclosure. Thanks for speaking out. We don’t hear enough about ECT. Keep on.

Originally posted on bi[polar] curious:

Yesterday I had a consultation with a local ECT specialist.

ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) is generally considered a last resort treatment for people in severe manic or depressive states whose symptoms have not responded to medication. The procedure works by producing a controlled seizure in an anesthetized patient by means of a low controlled electric current passed through the brain.

I can probably guess what you’re thinking at this point, and yes… it is a serious procedure. Though this form of treatment has undergone significant improvements since its early usage it is still highly stigmatized, even by many of those within the mental health community. At the same time, it is one of the few “proven” (i.e. studied) treatment options for people who experience severe symptoms that do not respond to medications (like mine).

I also feel inclined to note that I have not made any solid decisions regarding this form…

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