Caution: Writers at play

tips for the mentally ill/ this holiday season

I have always hated the holidays, ever since I was a child. Sure I liked the gifts, but all the family proximity made me nervous  and uncomfortable.  I used to have this fantasy where I would get to stay up in my room, and all my gifts would be delivered to my closed bedroom door. Later, in my own good time , I would write thank u notes…

Holidays still do  make me uptight. In fact , it’s gotten worse, now that I have fully matured , gained a perspective on my mental illness, even developed rudimentary social skills…yet  have come to realize what a bunch of boring damn fools the rest of the human race is…

This year, Big Sister is hosting Christmas. Unfortunately, she  absolutely  lives for this season, and now that she has her New Man (and his extended family of three kids & also grandkids) she is gonna do it up grandly.

I have no way of avoiding this.

Unless: I play the Mentally Disabled card.

There is a wonderful organization for people like me, called NAMI. National Alliance of the Mentally Ill. I used to go to their meetings, and even took some courses they offered in how to become a “mental health advocate”, which I am happy to tell you I am. Have been for 4 years or so.

I thought to myself, this morning, considering what I was up against …maybe they have some cool tips on how to lessen the stress … I went to their website and found some good advice I plan to use.

“Mental illness: Coping with the Holidays” is the title of the article.

It starts by saying, “Family and friends can include their loved one

in holiday activities to the degree that he or

she is able to participate.”

Useful indeed. It is a terribly unpredictable condition, this mental disorder. I am volatile, fickle, irregular. The prospect of sitting around with a full stomach watching sports with a bunch of well adjusted males is something I probably could participate in, but would choose not to, if I could have my way.


If there is to be a large gathering of family and

friends, plan ahead by preparing

those persons

who may not know the situation.

This is a

wonderful opportunity to help erase the stigma

and shame too often associated with mental

illness. You can help them find ways to be

relaxed yet respectful of any special needs.”


I think I would like people to know of my special needs, and be respectfully relaxed about fulfilling them. I don’t really care about the so called ‘’stigma”, as it is something I can use to my benefit if I get bored or scratchy in my brain.


I can foresee this: I take my sister aside, and tell her , “Sis, I just cannot take all this hoopla. I must retire to the back bedroom, and relax, perhaps with my computer, so I can go on my site and get advice on how to deal with my problematic …uh, symptoms…”


“what site?” she would demand.

“It is called Open Salon”


“A  cybernetic arena for us mentally disabled folks, where I am highly regarded for the advice I give. Also the succor.”

“Hm. Ok. “




If sister gives me any lip about this, I am gonna show her the printout of the NAMI article. It says, specifically, “

It is all right to excuse yourself for some time

away. There may be times when you may

want to excuse yourself and go to a quiet


While continually isolating yourself is not

helpful, there are times when solitude can be a

time of replenishment, reconnection with

yourself and deeply satisfying”


I just hope she doesn’t make me watch her dog, Georgie Doggy, while I am excusing myself. Georgie is not good in mixed company, like his uncle.

Truth is: he  is far more mentally disturbed than me .

Views: 86

Comment by alsoknownas on December 8, 2013 at 10:12am

Brilliant concept Jimbo, the hiding in the back room and searching here for other's advice, but it lacks flair.

A costume is what I suggest for you.

A multi-use costume seems best. Why not a stove pipe hat and a frock-like coat?

You could sport about your sister's house and vacillate between appearances as The Mad Hatter or a favorite of yours, Abe Lincoln. It
will take little for you to memorize lines of theirs to quote here and there.

It would certainly be more entertaining than football games and your
disappearance to the bedroom now and then would not be questioned.

Enjoy !!

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on December 8, 2013 at 10:24am

well aka I am new England born and bred so we don't do flair
too well.
this costume idea of yrs maybe has merit, if I play it right.
It would be easiest to come as Dylan, for that is who I most resemble
already. I would need a silly pencil thin mustache, and a big old
cowboy hat, but I could get that.
I would rather come as one of my SERIOUS heroes , like
whitehead (who said "In its solitariness the spirit asks,
What, in the way of value,
is the attainment of life?
And it can find no such value
till it has merged its individual claim
with that of the objective universe.
Religion is world-loyalty.  There is a quality of life which lies always beyond the mere fact of life;
and when we include the quality in the fact,
there is still omitted the quality of the quality"

Comment by Phyllis on December 8, 2013 at 1:47pm

I feel for you, having to do the family hoopla. This year, there is none of that for me. I am looking forward to the extended time off betwixt New Year's and Christmas, it will be 9 days this year which I think I can handle well. 11 days two years ago was too long, but 9 is the same as a 1 week vacation once you add in the weekends.

Send Georgie to me, Puff and I will keep him company for the duration. She will teach him manners.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on December 8, 2013 at 5:51pm

"...all the family proximity made me nervous and uncomfortable..."
Me too, except for watching small children tear into their gifts under the tree, I always preferred celebrating Christmas at "Beggars' Banquets" in the company of friends and interesting strangers.

However, despite his behavior "in mixed company", I find it hard to believe that "Georgie Doggy" is "mentally disturbed," rather I suspect that his behaviors are simply "dorgish," which in as much as they are inspired by the Divine Heart that Grod has given him, may be easily misunderstood by unenlightened human mortals. Perhaps as anti-pope you might help your sisters and their significant others to understand Georgie and his divine spirit. R&L ;-)

Comment by Rosigami on December 8, 2013 at 6:38pm

I know this holiday dilemma well. I don't do the command holiday performance all that well myself.
This year will be the first time in over 5 years where I will actually have my kids here for the holidays. The BLF is always away visiting with his own, and usually I am completely alone, which is actually more comfortable than it might seem, as I then don't have to do ANYTHING I don't wants to. So anyway this year I might have to do a few things I'd rather avoid, but I can be flexible.
Not gonna do any tree etc anyway, because of two very mischievous cats who would surely cause more wreckage than I am capable of handling. 
I will probably spend at least part of the day sending and receiving irreverent and uplifting text messages. 
And if I wanna go off by myself and hide in the art studio for a while, no one will mind. 

Comment by Arthur James on December 9, 2013 at 6:18am


I out of Here after this . . .

No hide Inn Con C.'s porto

pot. Lawyer CEO no be too

Hospitable. Lawyers usually

Delete and Pushovers go to

Push Over Pot while bi-poler 

Poops ` take dump and nap

on snow white winter nights.

No smoke pot or button can

become broke. No be stuck

in sticky lawyer pot house.

Rednecks call outhouses

the ` Throne. No view

graphic porn star 

drawings on


If stuck in a

stinky outhouse

call NSA on cell

phone. Ask cop

to fin latches.

Pt sigh up?`

Do not

Delete? no.

No Disturb.

graphitti se 

Comment by Arthur James on December 9, 2013 at 6:39am


James M. Emmerling. I see You on the Members Online List.

In The Dream of Scipio - They speak in Greek Days of Moon,

Jupiter, Milky Way,and vast unnamed Planets. We in a Orb.

Mars is a warring planet. Jupiter is benign, Brilliant, Light,

Mars is red.

Terrible too...

No enter stupor.

We ( Spirits ) go

and Leave Sore

Frail Aged Bodies.

We Folk are Caged.

Rib Cage Hides Heart.

Let's Keep Heart Right.

Nature Place Heart Just


Placed on the Right.

No be overly Lefty.

Lefty act Screwy.

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on December 9, 2013 at 6:39am

ARTHUR, no chance of any of these things happening, glad to report.

I once knew a graphic porn star who was talented in drawing. I requested her to do a wallet sized self-portrait, so I could impress my "boys" .

Before she could finish it, she fell into the clutches of a weird religious cult called "The Lutherans".

I am looking for someone to finish it, but everyone I ask says, "We'd need to see the gal , in flagrante delicto or nearly so, sir".

I tracked her down, made the simple request to her, but her Lutheran fiancé (a lawyer, alas) kicked my butt out of the church.


Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on December 9, 2013 at 8:03am

I so get this:  Thanksgiving here w just T and G...terrif!  

Comment by Arthur James on December 9, 2013 at 8:03am


I had a canning partner ( summer ) named Hannah.

She is a feisty Jewish Historian. I've mentioned Her.

She attended Temple University. She was Secretary

Treasurer oh ` Woman's Strike For Peace. Honest.

I don't know IF the group still exist. Then, Hannah

wed a Lutheran. I've learned a few Jewish Curse

Words. The Lutheran Lawyer won a Class Action

Law Suite in the ` $350,000 which is to Disbursed

among Woman who Dance in WV Gentleman Clubs.

It's the Talk Of The Town. Limo Hacks from Loco

Race Tracks Frequent Local Dance Halls. Owners

Of Clubs Exploit Dancers who need Money To Feed

Children, attend college. Buy Computers, Cell Phones,

and buy gas to get to work as Exotic Dancers. Honest.

West Virginia is a culture similar to NYC's Manhattan.

Wall Street Exploit other Humans on a much Larger

Globe Wide Scale. White Collar Crooks Overlook

Each Otters Crimes. Remember How Bush Winked?

Wall Street Would Steal The Popes Gold Ruby Filled

Wine Chalice. The Pope might have his Silk Shoes

Robbed from off his feet in night, or in bare daylight.

Pope Benedict wore $7,500 custom built Red Shoes.

I read that the day Pope Benedict came to DC Town.

I was in DC getting Free Lunch ( Thanks. It was Good )

at The Mass Ave CATO ` Think Tank. Respect. Honest.

I send a book titled ` HYPOCRISY. It's moldy. Pages

Stick together. Water damage MESSES up signed

law books.

I seriously have to get. I need to Plow my lane.

Contractors can't estimate Burned Up/Down Home

Damage. I Do Like my Law Firm Who I call Thee

Ambulance Chasers.

I buy Homemade Pie.

One Guy Loves Mead.

Mead is a beverage.

It is only honey,

and a dry yeast.

If I ever get

hitched I

share jug

with gal.

We sip







I was not here.

I read Jonatahan

Wolfman Later.



In Bethesda, Maryland.

Jon can visit Neighbors.



With each bag money goes

to the Alzheimer Association.

They research. Tell Jon W.?


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