The C word

The C word

The C word. We all know it. It's a word I feel we need to take back. A word that more people need to know and to support:                      


It's the eloquence of vulnerability. It's that beautiful marriage of trust and love.

When I drew this picture just yesterday it was inspired by a woman I love. But it went deeper than that. It's a picture of two humans facing each other. Connecting. The shirts are different colors because they are individuals. The roots are not tangled because they are rooted independently. Grounded like a pillar, but connected to an equal.

This blog was gonna be awesome and poignant and beautiful but after todays events, this picture looks different right now.

My dear friend is dying. It's happening. I am accepting that. At this time he is on life support. I have asked to be there when they disconnect him. As I stood by his bed today rubbing his arm I thought of all the times we connected. We all have the ability to connect to one another and I'm so glad he and I connected on so many levels so many times. 

The hardest thing about connection is that eventually, we have to disconnect. The easiest thing about disconnecting is knowing that eventually, we will reconnect once more. 

Frenemies in high places

Frenemies in high places

So it's been several months on this new med, Vraylar. I don't know if I've ever felt so "normal." So like I did before I was diagnosed. I can almost taste my early 20s. My three favorite frenemies have cut me out. My delusions seem to be a distant memory. My paranoia is non-existent. My hallucinations are but a thought. So what am I grieving?

The challenge.

There is something about walking uphill. Something in every human that wants to make the choice to persevere. When we are coasting we don't always get that fire. That I'm-not-gonna-go-down-easy mentality. When I find myself in a minor to somewhat-moderate crisis I go into protection mode. I put my armor on and fight the dragon. And usually, I win. Usually. I'm the hero of my own story. 

It's sort of like training for a triathlon. The taste of challenge is bittersweet. There is a certain focus it takes and a certain commitment to self. The sweetness. We know that the race isn't going to feel easy in the least. There are going to be times we want to give up. The bitter.

I've only done a 5k though so who am I kidding...

There is something about contrast that seems so appealing to me. The black and the white. It's in my nature as someone with Bipolar 1. I've had a lot of practice with extremes so it seems like home now. 

I know I don't have to worry too much. Over time my frenemies will knock on my door and I won't have a choice but to let them in. And I will. It isn't always graceful and it isn't always fun, but there is a certain magic to it all. Usually I know what I'm experiencing isn't based in reality so I have to trick myself, talk myself down, live inside the challenge. With a sword in my hand and a spark in my spirits I can fight off anything. Usually.

Suit Yourself

Suit Yourself

After over a year and a half of saving dollar bills here and there the time had come: Tailored Suit time. So I counted up my dough and headed to New York. I had a particular company in mind called Bindle and Keep. The idea was to have the suit ready for my CD release party. The week and a half leading up to the CD release was crazy for me:

1. Talent Show for my students    2. KPBS interview    3. KUSI morning show

4. Sold out Poway performing arts center show   5. Two rehearsals for different shows

6. Keynote Speech for women working in prevention for teens 7. Choir practice for cd release

8. Part of a mental health panel for people with mental illness in need of jobs

Needless to was a lot. By the middle I had found I felt completely locked up. I felt paralyzed. If I had only been able to see from the outside things would have been different. It all came to a head and I spent a day in depression. I couldn't stop crying. Hard. On that day I got a package in the mail. It was my suit. And nothing was going to make this day better. Not on my watch. I tried it on and this is what my brain did.

"This looks like shit! The material is cheap! I can't believe I wasted this money!!"

I sent more than one email demanding a refund. Telling Bindle and Keep what a terrible job they did with such cheap material.

That night was the talent show for my kids. I had to lock it up for them. I was nervous for them. But they all rose to the occasion. They all did an outstanding job and I was able to stay present and really soak it all in. As I drove home I left the cloud I'd been carrying around with me behind. 

I tried the suit on again. I saw it with the same eyes but in a better mindset. I loved it. I sent an email apologizing to Bindle and Keep.

They called the next day not realizing I had apologized. When I told him I sent another email he said, "Another one?"

I explained to him that I had been under a lot of stress and also told him I had Bipolar 1. But at the end of the day, was I just being a dick? Did this have anything to do with my mental illness? Sure, people do cruddy things when they feel anxious but was I giving myself an out?

Am I able to separate myself from Bipolar 1?

I got off the phone feeling like I had lied. But one thing I do know is true: This isn't the person I am. The person I am is loving. The person I am is kind and considerate. But when chemicals and hormones come knocking on the door I feel like I have no choice but to let them in.

Photo Credit Eiji Fuller

Photo Credit Eiji Fuller

And I rocked that suit at the CD release party. 

For real though.

For real though.

What is real? Usually I think I am certain what is and what isn't. When the madness of mania pops its head out of the water just a little I am living in "reality" and "unreality." I am able to observe and recognize that what I'm experiencing isn't real while I am truly experiencing it as 100% real. Until I'm not. Until the madness soars out of the water in a beautiful, terrible flight. 

When I'm in a depression, it oozes slowly out of the cracks of my logic. I know what is real but I don't have the energy to believe it. It seems to last a lifetime and I really just want to go away. 

What can I say is really real? After 34 years I've decided that one of those real things is ironically a dream.

Sidenote: Is that ironic? Alanis Morisette ruined my concept of irony. Rain on your wedding day isn't ironic. It's unfortunate. It just didn't roll of the tongue as well. 

A dream is really just a goal. I realized it was time for me to wake up and start making moves. If my dream is to tour, I throw out 100 emails to get 10 back. But I get 10 back. If I want to become a better blues player I take lessons from people better than I am. I can't just sit here and pray about it. I can't just manifest and will them to come into my life. I have to walk to the door myself. I have to use my own hand and my own power to open up the opportunity. 

So really, for the first time in ever, I have taken complete ownership of my own destiny. Sure, things will move in ways I don't expect, but if my intention turns to action my action will turn into my new reality. My dream, alive.

I'm really scared, but I'm even more really excited. 



The day the music died

The day the music died

Vraylar, meet Veronica. 


This medication can decrease hallucinations, help you to think more clearly and positively about yourself, feel less agitated, and take a more active part in everyday life.

Cool, huh?

Kind of.

I have been taking the antipsychotic, Zyprexa, for about 6 years. It helped me stay away from paranoia, mild hallucinations, and delusions (beliefs that aren't real). An example of a common delusion for me is that I have to drowned myself to save the world. I definitely shouldn't be driving my chevy to the levee...

I started skimming the surface heading steadily to hyper mania so my psychiatrist needed to change things up. Out with the Z and in with the V. In hypo/hyper mania everything just seems to make more sense...even when it is senseless. I see souls through eyes more than I usually do. I recognize the divinity in others and I can tell some recognize it in me. I KNOW that heaven is on earth and I'm lifting that veil. The world lights up. I light up. 

And then I swallow a Vraylar and say goodbye to it all. It silences that side of me. It mutes the glorious music of madness. 

What do I not say goodbye to? My creative abilities. My stability. The longer spans of time between hospitalization. I realized I had two choices: Excitement or Joy. I decided on the latter. Sure, colors might not be as bright, but they are real. Whatever that means. 

So I embrace (loosely) my new Vraylar.  Because if not I will have to say Bye Bye Miss Veronica's Mind.





  1. slang term for a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.

    synonyms:madmanmadwomanmaniaclunaticpsychoticsociopath; More



  1. (chiefly in science fiction) a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.

Yes, I know psychopath is already a word but I'm being creative and pretending like I'm mushing these two words together. Work with me and see where I'm going.


Let me clear the name of (probably) most "psychos" and say, by definition, we aren't all violent in ways one might expect. Although violent tendencies can be accurate, it isn't usually a clear-headed, malicious attack toward someone. When I'm violent in mania it is always because I am inside a delusion and I'm just trying to protect myself and what my delusions are telling me are 100% fact.

One example is when I was burning my family photos the morning I was hospitalized for my 3rd manic episode. My friend, Lindsay, was there and she started dousing the pictures with water. I got inches from her face and yelled as loud as I could. I remember the look on her face. She startled. I scared her. Some part deep inside me, very deep inside me, felt bad that I hurt her. My delusional mission was too strong to make any other decisions. What she didn't know was I thought I had to burn the men in the family photos to free all the women in my family. All women in the world. I thought she knew that and that she was trying to stop the process because she was being brainwashed by my male psychiatrist, whom she was on the phone with. I thought he was telling her to put the fires out. Men controlling women and mind control in general are common delusions in Bipolar 1. She hung up and called the cops. Once I felt I had burned everything I needed to, including my Grandfathers funeral pamphlet, I was calm. I held muddy, ashy, paper in my trembling hands and I felt complete serenity. My mission was complete and I could move on. 


I used to think the things that happened to me as an empath were signs that I was about to go into mania. On a regular basis, I can see things inside people's eyes. It almost exclusively happens in the dark. This "thing" started when I was about 17 years old but was dormant until about 25. In the past 3 years or so it has built and built and built. A persons whole face will change. It seems like a hallucination. If they say something malicious I see a fire ignite inside them. Sometimes their eyelids close from left to right like a snake. Sometimes I get so scared that I have to not only walk away from conversations, but run away. I've left parties and once I get away I have to convince myself that I'm going to make it through the night. Once that door is open, it won't close for awhile.

I used to think it meant that person was evil. Now I've come to realize I'm seeing the persons pain. I can see when someone is suffering. I can feel that suffering. Sometimes I can even predict what the person is going through. 

Mental illness and being an empath play off of each other. If I haven't had good sleep or am already mentally topsy turvy my empath side comes out to play.

But it isn't all gloom and doom.

Sometimes in the light of day or in the peaceful stillness of a special night, I see the beauty unfold in someone's face. When I see someone thriving, I feel someone thriving. I can share their joy. They give that to me.

I've had people tell me they wish they could "take it all away." My dad said if he could take my bipolar he would. But he would be robbing me of my wonderful identity as a human. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is amazing.

As someone with Bipolar 1, I am able to see into other worlds of dark and light because I experience detrimental depressions and mighty, magnificent manias. What I see in myself I can see in you. As an empath, I do the exact same. Don't take this away from me. I am on my path. My psycho path. 








There are two realities in our nation. Maybe in all of humanity. We either think we can make a change or we do not. There is great power when you realize your strength. Your ability to make an impact. For awhile after this election, I felt powerless. Yes, because it was Trump. But almost more than that, the way our American comrades started treating one another.

This needs to change.

The truth is. It takes one person. Every time. If every person that marched with Martin Luther King Jr. had the thought, "It's just me. I can't do anything by myself," then he would have marched alone. It isn't even about making this massive global impact. It's about treating one another well. It's about smiling when you pass a stranger who has a furrowed brow. If we look inside and ask ourselves, "How can I make a difference?" The answer is always there. It just takes one minute to find.

Be the one. 

Here comes the Phoenix

Here comes the Phoenix

Here comes the Phoenix. Here comes the phoenix. And I say it's alright.



What would you do if.... were a mom with a boy who has cerebral palsy. It is rainy and cold and you are outside just waiting for the trolley. An able-bodied, strong, young man approaches your sons wheelchair and with a fervor blazing in his eyes says, "Can I take a picture with your son?"

You would have done exactly what my friend who happens to be that mom would have done.


Not only "No." But "Hell no." As he walked away like a comet burning down the railroad line you would have talked to others around you. "What a creep. Can you believe the nerve of that guy? Some people are unbelievable. Who does he think he is?"

I knew exactly who he was.

I observed his behaviors. He kept trying to engage with people. He couldn't stop moving. I caught up with him and introduced myself. I got a closer look at him and I just peered into his eyes. They were a raging blue and even though he looked back I could tell he couldn't see me. His face was leathered and his mouth was at a constant tremor. I said, "Are you ok?"

"I'm pretty manic right now."

We then talked about how he use to be on lithium and he had been in the hospital more times than he could count. I asked what his name was and he said, "My street name is Dirt."

Dirt. Just the way I'm sure most people treated him when they saw his reckless behavior. A behavior that any civilized person should be able to keep at bay. Each passing trolley was packed and he felt is mission to help my friend's son on the trolley. As a trolley door opened he hung onto it. I pulled him back and as the trolley sped away he ran along side it and looked like he was tagging it. Like he had a spray can in his hand. But it was just his hand. He said he had tagged a lot of stuff around town. 

Sometimes I feel like Dirt too. I've approached little kids and tried to engage with them. Every time I'm hypo/hyper manic I think children have the secrets to the universe. They can see inside my eyes and I see inside theirs. If I hadn't "been there" before I would have reacted the way my friend did.

If you haven't been there, you wouldn't understand. But I think more than that, you wouldn't know what signs to look for, so compassion for his situation wouldn't even register.

The trolleys were so packed because we were on our way to the Women's March. Signs of all sorts sprung up. "Women's rights are human rights" from a woman. "Black lives matter" from a black man and so on and so on.

They fought because they knew what it was like. They have been in the trenches. And I'm sure sometimes they feel like dirt too. 



A-Scare-ica: Home of the slave.

A-Scare-ica: Home of the slave.

We are all a slave to something. That something can fill us with fear. And most times, that something is fear. Fear of the unknown. Our assumptions of a situation are so strong that we feel we must defend ourselves by any means. 

My sister's are actively practicing Catholics. In fact, growing up in the Catholic church, I was a part of marches for pro life. I would yell at people walking into clinics. "Save your baby!" I would cry at the thought of lives lost. Our church leader had us watch a video called "The silent scream." It is a video of a baby in the womb getting injected with saline. The baby is thrashing around until it dies. I even wore a shirt in high school that said in big bold letters: "Abortion is Mean." The top of their list is protecting unborn lives. They voted for Trump, who they feel will protect that right. They are scared that women will terminate a life and in turn, they also may suffer the consequence of eternal damnation. They want to protect all children of God. They do not hate me because I am gay. They are not uneducated Republicans. They are caring, wonderful sisters. 

My father doesn't want minorities coming into the country. In fact, my father doesn't really like minorities at all. When he was in elementary and high school growing up in the not-so-great parts of Queens, New York, he was one of the only white kids. He would get the shit kicked out of him day in and day out to which he was told to be strong and defend himself. In his adult life he joined the NYPD and his beat was only a quarter block as crime was so bad. He mainly dealt with minorities in the area. All he ever saw was violence. As a child he had to protect himself and as an adult he believed he needed to protect others from them. He assumes that every minority is inherently evil. 

As a lesbian who works at a foster school that is mostly minorities, I am scared that my rights as not only a woman, but a lesbian could be shaken at the foundation. I'm scared that what family is left of my foster kids will now be kicked out of the country. They have their own set of fears. What happens when they become adults? Who will be there for them? How will they afford food?

We all let fear take the driver's seat. And wherever fear goes, we go. 

Who am I to say your fear isn't valid?

My roommate isn't pro-gun. She isn't pro-violence. Recently, a man came up to her on the street and said, "Now that is some pussy." He continued to heckle her as she scurried by. We talked on the phone later and she said, "I'm getting a taser." 

I am scared of where our country is going. I am scared of how divided and fractioned we have become. Fear is contagious. And the very first sniffling, coughing, germ-spreading monster that seemed to start it all? The media. It shows our men and boys how they can act. It shows our girls and women how they should look. It shows only the bad parts of our politics. It shows us that we need them. We need to hold tight. We can't let go of fear because what will catch us?

I see a man with a gun and a shirt that says, "Don't tread on me." I think he is a violent, scary person who I want to be far away from. What I don't see is a man that feels the need to hold that gun and a reason to believe that someone might tread on him. What I don't see is a man that might go to some radical church (which is not every church) that tells him every Sunday if he doesn't follow every move, God will show no mercy on him. 

I see a woman with a shirt that says, "Girls marry girls. Get over it." What this man might see is a woman who is trying to obliterate the sanctity of marriage. A man who knows the lines in the bible in Leviticus that says a man should not lay with another man. A man who feels his manhood is being stolen by the weaker sex. Who believes she is the weaker sex because that is what he has been told by magazines, TV, his own father, since day one. What he doesn't see is a women who fell in love with another woman. Who wanted nothing more but to have the same rights as anyone to be with her in the same way a man is with a woman. 

What can break us of this fear? What is breaking me from this fear? My willingness to put myself in other's shoes. Even if I don't get it. What you might see is a muscle-bound dude with a rifle. What you may not see is that his fingers is nervously shaking on the trigger. 

We need to open our arms. Be vulnerable. Be safe. Show compassion. Find moments to share our love. Speak up when something doesn't sit right with us. Have constructive conversations. We can heal ourselves if we try. This is our beautiful nation. America. Land of the free. With purple mountains majesty and amber waves of grain. 

Let's let go of fear and hold on to one another. 


Jesus, it's me.

Jesus, it's me.

jc and um me.jpg

Jesus and I go way back. I grew up catholic and attended Our Lady of The Plains Catholic Church. I loved it. I even had a tiny altar area in my room where I would get down on my knees every night and pray the rosary. At the age of 16 I asked my mom if we could visit a convent. I planned on becoming a nun right out of high school. 

My mom told me to first get my education. I went to college and became a lesbian. 

I always had a prayer through college and into my early adult hood. "Jesus, always lead me back to you. If you are the son of God, I trust that you'll take care of me."

And then I became Jesus.

In May of 2007 it came crashing down. My first manic episode. Diagosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder. In the 3 episodes I've had, I feel his presence. Then the scale tips and I think I'm actually Jesus. I flip between all parts of the trinity. I've thought I was Michael Jackson. Even Elsa from frozen. But the one constant is the man of the hour. 

It wasn't until after this last episode that the thought that I'm Jesus just seemed to linger. On a random day I have the thought. Am I Jesus? At church, a favorite song of mine had the line, "We are one body of Christ." It makes me think that I really am Jesus. That maybe we all really are. That we are all God because we are part of God. That we are all All. 

Historically, Jesus is real. Which kind of blows my mind. In that way I think we all have the ability to follow in his steps. To show compassion. To Love. To create harmony. And in that way, I'm like him. I see myself in his actions. I feel real agony when I see the pain in someones eyes. I feel my heart grow when good comes of the world.

Just don't pray to me. I'll get confused. 

The Good news...

The Good news...

I'm the person that does not like any type of conflict. So much so that when I watched the movie Mean Girls I had to walk away several times when things were in disarray. The friction circulated around high school drama. I'm a sucker for the resolve. I attribute this to the fact that I am a highly sensitive person. I have  yet to meet anyone else who can't watch pretty much anything at all without leaving the room to collect and settle thoughts and feelings. I asked my friends if they would ever watch a movie that was just good all the way through to which they said, "What is the point?"

Then I had a great idea (at least I think it is a good idea). A news station that only reports good news. Because it is out there. The media hides it. I know I forget there is a lot of good happening in the world. In a time where when our country seems to be more divided than ever, we need to see the good in our country. In ourselves. In one another. 

So. Veronica May, reporting live from Influx Coffee House in the sweet neighborhood of North Park in San Diego, CA:

1. Congress in Unanimous Vote Passes Bill of Rights for Sexual Assault Victims                                 2. 7 major cities in the US have a double digit drop in burglary rates                                                   3.87K acres were donated for a new national park in New England                                                     4. California breaks the solar record and generates enough electricity for 6 million homes               5. Generosity hit a record high for the second year in a row, with charitable donations by Americans topping $373.25 billion.

The list goes on a long way. So let's take a moment away from the news we see and find the good. Because it is everywhere.

Ok. You can go watch Mean Girls now. I know you want to. 


I'm not above this: See below.

I'm not above this: See below.

I give talks on mental illness. I stress the importance of staying balanced, taking meds, getting sleep. I'd like to think I set a good example. I'm on the road to righteousness.

1. I couldn't find my meds but knew they were in my suitcase. Decided to wait until the next day. One day isn't gonna kill me.

2. Woke up too late to take my morning meds.

3. Went out the following night, had a scotch. Stayed out late.

4. Decided I felt a bit tipsy in the high altitude of Denver. Thought it wouldn't be a good idea to take my meds again.

5. Walked around Denver while I smoked a joint.

6. Called my partner in a frenzy as I was by myself.

7. Told her I needed to hang up and call 911.

8. A ringing in my ears and my hearing went away for about 10 seconds.

9. Dropped to my knees on the sidewalk and waited.

10. Told myself, "I don't wanna go out like this."

11. Sat down in the ambulance and looked down at my shoes. Tried to convince the man asking me questions that I wasn't really like this. That I took care of myself. Tried to convince myself.

12. Sat on the edge of the hospital bed with my hands covering my face, trying to zone out the man yelling down the hallway.

13. I'm back to being me, but I'm not above this.

Heart is where the home is

I decided to spend a month in Colorado. It has been less than a week and my heart is already rooting. I know when I drive back to San Diego my home will welcome me with open arms and happy doggies. 

I have a really fortunate problem here. 

Should I stay or should I go now? If I stay there will be trouble. If I go there will be double.

-The Clash

I try and weigh the pros and cons but there are just a ton of pros. I compare the two.

1. Both have awesome friends

2. Both have wonderful people

3. Both have creativity in the air

4. Both have so much love for me

4. Both have lots to do


Only one has this:

Oldest nephew: Connor. I took him on a birthday date and we shot lasers at our enemies.

Oldest nephew: Connor. I took him on a birthday date and we shot lasers at our enemies.

Oldest niece: Sarah. She got glasses like Aunt V. She is goofy and kind. Her mom says she reminds her of her Aunt V. 

Oldest niece: Sarah. She got glasses like Aunt V. She is goofy and kind. Her mom says she reminds her of her Aunt V. 

Nephew: Gavin. We pretended his jogging stroller was a car. I made loud car sounds and zoomed around the neighborhood in a crazy zig zag of fun and imagination.

Nephew: Gavin. We pretended his jogging stroller was a car. I made loud car sounds and zoomed around the neighborhood in a crazy zig zag of fun and imagination.

Newest member niece: Alex. She is an easy-going lady with a side smile that melts ya.

Newest member niece: Alex. She is an easy-going lady with a side smile that melts ya.

Rather than spin my wheels I think I'm going to take a moment to be grateful for the overflow of goodness in my life. 

Hate, meet hate.

"You need a reality check. You suck as a singer. Get a job you HOMO. If you have a kid you have no business raising a child. You are going to mess up his life. Just like you messed up yours. Jesus Christ loves you. Repent from your sins and be normal."

10 years ago, had a complete stranger messaged me on Facebook like this I would have been pissed. I would have allowed him to hurt my feelings. I probably would have vented about it to anyone who would listen, which really would just perpetuate awful feelings.

When I discovered this message I ended up laughing out loud in disbelief. People like this exist. Then I was sad. Sad that this man clearly has a lot going on. I decided to screenshot the message and post it on instagram and fb to help remind myself and others that we still have a long way to go when it comes to hate and ignorance. 

What I didn't expect were over 110 comments. What I didn't expect was to have people fight fire with fire. Some people, out of love for me, messaged him awful things and some even commented on how awful he looked and how stupid he must be. I ended up deleting the entire post.

Hate, meet hate.

I appreciated the gesture very much. But in what way can this help? I think that is an important question to ask right before a blow. My sweet cousin asked me if she could give him hell. I said, "He's already in it." The only thing that ends up happening is we remain in the state of hate for even longer. As humans, our emotions take over sometimes. When we bond with other humans we want to show our love and allegiance. But what if we could take one step back and look through another persons persepective?

If I try and do this I see a man who is probably struggling with his own sexuality. I see a man raised by fear. I see a man who genuinely believes his brothers and sisters need to find the Savior. In his eyes, he may be trying to protect me from eternal damnation. His words do not mince me because I already know my worth. He clearly does not see his. 

Next time I see hate on social media I can make the choice. Stoke the fire and watch it blaze or walk away knowing it will eventually die.