Wednesday, April 4, 2012

At Long Last! Raccoons Respect My Piss But Watch Out For Skunks ...

When you're both depressed and crazy, life has a way of becoming hilarious. I always sort of knew this, but it wasn't till my friend Therese Borchard (author of Beyond Blue) urged me to emphasize my funny and personal side that the message came in loud and clear.

Soon, I was writing about some of my comic misadventures in dealing with life on a planet seemingly built for other people. We are outsiders, all of us, all of humanity. A lot of us simply don't know it. I soon discovered that I was rewriting my favorite piece of literature, Homer's Odyssey, the story of a battle-weary man, living by his wits, longing to return home.

Except that I was dealing with things such as skunks walking in through the cat flap. I was also pondering life's impenetrable mysteries, such as the purpose of Ramen noodles. What was the connection?

It wasn't long before I figured out that our purpose here on earth is to make God laugh. Trust me, every day we do something to make Him snort milk out of His nose. But I also came to this important realization: Every time we make God laugh we have the opportunity to learn an important life lesson.

I have had plenty of opportunities to learn. This is my story - an outsider, cast up on a strange shore, seeking a place I can call home. In many ways, it's your story, too. We all face similar challenges, deal with similar issues. We may stumble in the dark, gritting our teeth through the pain, but we learn along the way, and that's a start.

Whether contending with mental illness or contending with normal, RACCOONS validates your worth as a human being, a band of light, a soul with neurons. Let the healing begin.

A quick sampling:

From Chapter One:

I perform my own stunts. Trust me, through large parts of my life I would have loved to employ a stunt double and perhaps someday I will. Take my depressions—please. It was around the time I was in seventh grade that I had a profound sense that I wanted to return to the planet that I was born on, any planet but this one. I was small and skinny with glasses and had a nerdy personality.

A nerd is an individual not smart enough to be a geek.

From Chapter Eight:

Life, unfortunately, doesn't come with a manual, and the tech support is a joke. Seriously, when has God—or St Aloysius, even—ever gotten back to you? Is it too much for God to stop what He is doing for just one second and tell me that the vital piece of hardware I dropped on the floor—the one I desperately need to assemble my counter extender from IKEA—rolled under the refrigerator?

It's not like I am asking God to move the refrigerator for me. Or, for that matter, to assemble my IKEA furniture, though that would be a very nice gesture. IKEA, by the way, is Sweden's revenge for not being allowed to be Vikings, anymore.

Hannibal's elephants, in battle formation, about to unleash a deadly volley.

From Chapter Eleven:

Thursday morning, I got hold of a cab driver and we negotiated a flat rate to go shopping for used cars. "They say it's best to buy a Japanese car," I opened. (Who said I didn't do my research?)

The cab driver (who was driving a Lexus) enthusiastically concurred.

We pulled into the first car lot on my list. Five VWs with silver paint were lined up in a row. "Get the car with the silver paint!" the two-year-old part of my brain screamed at me. But I'm way too sophisticated for that.

"Uh, German is kind of like Japanese," I said tentatively to the cab driver. Yes, he agreed. Good enough for me. After all, they both lost World War II.

From Chapter Eighteen:

And when it comes to a loving relationship, it's not just one person we're talking about. For starters, there's her family to deal with. Every time, the same sense of deja vu. "Weren't you 'Patient X' I was reading about in the New England Journal of Abnormal Psychology?" I am tempted to inquire of the scheming sister of the clan.

From Chapter Twenty:

Bipolar is the "crazy" diagnosis. Call me crazy. We do things that attract unwanted attention to ourselves, you know, like discovering America, painting the Sistine Chapel, founding the US, figuring out gravity, coming up with alternating current, and inventing rock 'n roll.

As I like to say to people: "We give you the gift of civilization and how do you treat us? You marginalize us."

From Chapter Twenty-Seven:

1. If you think you are experiencing God—it's probably dopamine.
2. If you think you are experiencing love—it's probably dopamine.
3. That doesn't mean God or love is not real ...
4. ... but we know dopamine is.

My idea of hell.

You can start reading my book right now by clicking on the link below, which will take you to Because I am cutting out the middleman, I am offering RACCOONS at the very low price of $4.99.

If you don't have a Kindle, you can download your free Kindle app for your iPad, phone, desktop, or laptop by clicking the link below.

Download your free Kindle app.

Happy reading!

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