Friday, December 6, 2013

No Shame

Because I am desperately trying to live above and beyond the shame spiral in which I have dwelled for most of my life, I am about to share something with all of you.  I am deeply disappointed in myself (which, I suppose, isn't much different being ashamed but I'll allow myself this, for now).  I really truly HATE quantifying weight based on a number on a scale but, such is life, and I'm going to do it.  I currently weigh 175 pounds.  Thud.  I am 5'6" (and, depending on the day, I'm told, 1/2, so I'll grant myself that as well).  If I felt good, was healthy and fit clothes well at 175, I truly believe I'd be okay with it.  But I, most definitely, do not.  I not only look but FEEL overweight, for me.

I have gained at least 10 pounds since being back in New York, if not 15, and I am not pleased about it.  I literally just tried on every pair of pants I own and put each pair that doesn't currently fit in my hall closet, which is good, in a way.  I fully believe that I WILL fit into them again.  I am not just going to sit around and bitch and moan and drown my sorrows in chips and chocolate the way I usually do.  (Gee, sensing a pattern here?  I sure am.) I despise exercise but I will figure out something I can tolerate, even if it's walking the chilly Long Island winter streets.

That is the key here.  I am going to change something I can.  Everyone, every last one of us, can put the Serenity Prayer into action in our daily lives and damn it, that is what I intend to do.  It startles me how relevant those words are to each human being on the planet, whether one is in recovery of some sort or not.

So, despite my gloomy beginning, I want to end this post on an uplifting note.  I CAN and WILL change my weight.  I WILL fit into those pants again, if not a smaller size.  I am not going to beat myself up about this (more than the little bit I already have, taunting myself aloud as each pair of pants went into the hall closet).  I am going to CHANGE.

I feel lighter already.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Rough time for me, December. It's hard to remember a time when December simply meant snow and vacation and Christmas and presents and my family the way I used to perceive it. Now there are so many more associations, new ones that have virtually obliterated the former.

I kind of dread December now and I hate that it has to be this way. I want to go back to that innocent carefree time it was in my youth. Although honestly, was it really so carefree? The more I ponder, the more I recall stressing myself out for most (if not all) of Christmas break about one term paper or another or whose house I'd be going to for Christmas dinner that year.

Of course, in retrospect, those were minuscule worries compared to the ones I face now like how will I get my mother through this, only her second Christmas without her son. He died on December 21st, Mom barely had time for it to register last year. Now, there is nothing but time for the reality to sink in. Then there's December 28, the fourteenth anniversary of my father's death, from which my mom has moved on in no way whatsoever.  This will be the first Christmas we have spent together since 2003 so it will be interesting, to say the least.

Rough time for me, December. I guess now I just wait and see.

Friday, November 8, 2013


I'm learning, albeit slowly, that the fact that not everyone in the world likes me is not only acceptable but kind of a gift. I mean, after all, it's not like I like everyone I encounter, far from it. I've become far more selective over the years about who I want in my life and I've decided that keeping my circle small is not only advisable but necessary to my overall well-being.

That being said, far worse than not being liked is being patronized by people who clearly have issues with me but lack the balls to address them. I can empathize with this plight to a degree because for most of my life, I lacked the courage to engage in much conflict and simply bit my tongue to avoid such. However, now that I've evolved into a self-loving (okay, not quite, not always) or at least a self-liking rather than self-loathing individual, I realize what a true disservice it is not only to me but to the other person to dance around that elephant in the room rather than engage in an honest discourse about our true feelings.

So, the point is, like me, hate me or anything above, below, or in between but please, whatever you feel, be fucking honest about it.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Wow. Clearly, blogging has not been a priority for me for quite some time. However, the lack of recorded musings does not stem from a lack of thought. My mind races at a hundred (thousand) miles per second, even when I wish it wouldn't (which is most of the time).

I'm well-acquainted with insomnia and I was long before I began taking new depression meds in August, (a story for another day, perhaps,) due to my unquiet mind.  Hell, here I am at 11:30 at night, knowing that my near-constant stream of thought will keep my mind unsettled for some time to come.

I kind of wish I could think a bit less but such is the lot of being me. Well, one aspect of being me. I'm learning, more each day, that we all have a myriad of dimensions, light and shadings, unique to ourselves and seemingly in constant evolution. I'm also learning that this is decidedly okay.

So, rest assured, dear readers (if there are any of you out there) that I am well, better than well, actually. I am pensive and introspective and bemused and 109 other things at any given moment (including this one) and that includes safe. I am safe in my home, in my bed, in my heart and in my head and right now, that is all I need to be.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Little Bird


Silent cries
never heard.
Could not utter
a single word.
Your sickness
went uncured
sweet broken
little bird.

Monday, July 8, 2013

One Never Knows

So, there's this guy I follow on Twitter, I shall call him F, who is celebrating one year clean today.  I'd love to say he's a friend but, to be honest, I don't know him all that well, he knows me even less and I think that would be a rather presumptuous statement to make.  Suffice it to say, F makes me laugh (hard), cry (occasionally) and think (often) a lot more than he probably realizes.  Reading of his achievement made me think two things.  Firstly, that I'm awfully proud of him and secondly, that I will never ever get to share such a joyous moment with my brother, Jeff.  In December of last year, he lost the ultimate battle with his addictions when he died on my mother's bathroom floor, all alone, succumbing to acute pancreatitis brought on by 20+ years of alcoholism and addiction. He was 36.

The first time Jeff admitted that he "thought he had a problem with drinking" he was 15 years old.  I remember it being in the evening.  He called my parents and I downstairs because he wanted to talk about something.  Not long after, he entered the first of many treatment programs, none of which stuck.

I can't presume to know what Jeff's last moments, days or even months were like.  Hell, I can't step into his shoes for even one moment.  I know what his addictions cost me as his sister but that is a tale for another time.  Despite everything he ever did to me, my mother, my husband, every unkind (okay, hideous) word he ever spoke in the midst of drunkenness, he did NOT deserve what happened to him.  Nobody deserves that.

I will be filled with regret and loss every day for the rest of my life.  But, unlike my brother, I still have the opportunity to LIVE a life, which has changed my perspective on my own deep-seated issues enormously (again, tales for another time).  I miss my brother, who he once was, who he could have been again, and I always will.

So, to F, who may or may not ever read this, who may or may not ever become my friend, I congratulate you with my whole heart and I thank you for reminding me that not every addict's path has to end in a cemetery. Well, it does, as everyone's does, but it doesn't have to be as the result of active addiction.  It can be in a nice warm bed, surrounded by loved ones, at the ripe old age of 103, Barbra's voice in the background, singing one off to sleep.

Wouldn't that be nice?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

What Matters

Sometimes, I reflect on the huge strides I've made and think, "Wow, is this really me?  Am I truly and finally kicking depression's ass?"  Then days like this hit me like a Mack Truck and I realize that this process, this fucking battle, NEVER ends.  Some days, I am the girl who is fighting and seemingly winning and then, out of the blue, the house of cards that I've so carefully crafted comes crashing down around me and I am a bawling mess like I am right now.  Slights, real and imagined, cut me to the quick and I find myself back beneath the bell jar, looking up and out and wondering if the moments of peace and clarity and, dare I say, joy, were the illusion and this hideous state, my reality.  Needless to say, the pain that I keep dodging and weaving to avoid always seems to find me. I guess the trick is to realize that the pain, like the joy, is temporary, that the clouds will lift and that in time, I will once again see the sun.  Where's that magic when I need it?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Baby, I'm Amazed

I wonder if it will ever stop surprising me when I find myself feeling happy for no apparent reason. It is such a strange and foreign experience but so fucking wonderful. It is my nature to suspect and question everything but I'm trying really hard not to analyze this and to just enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nine Months

Today marks the nine month anniversary of the day I decided that loving myself would no longer be optional.  It is the day that, for whatever reason, I discovered my Rosetta stone, the one thing that spoke to me louder and more clearly than years of therapy, good advice or even medication ever could.  It was the day that I plain and simply decided that I had had enough.  No more wishing to be anyone but me.  No more hoping and praying for answers that would never come.  No, it was time to take my quest for happiness into my own two humble hands and hold on to it for all I was worth.

Do I still have my dark moments?  Sadly, far more than I would like.  But I also see light, more than ever before.  I am grateful to be alive.  I cherish the support of those I love who, imagine this, love me back.  I have finally realized that  Nine months ago, today, I would have never dreamed any of this was possible.  Now, I am bound and determined to keep moving forward and stop looking back.

So, congratulations, it's a girl and that girl is ME...well on my way to becoming who I was meant to be.

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Unanswered questions
silently waiting
stealthily lurking
someplace I cannot
see or hear
but most definitely
can feel
taunting me
not just in my own mind
but on every plain of existence
daring me
to discover the answers
I may not ever
really want to find.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Thursday, April 4, 2013

In Recovery

So, I've been thinking. (Rut roh.)  No, seriously, I've been reflecting for a while now on what constitutes "recovery". 

I've known many people addicted to some form of substance or destructive behavior. Some I count amongst my closest friends. Traditionally, it seems, a recovery date is defined as they day, upon which, someone chooses to stop partaking or engaging in that which has harmed them. It can usually be clearly delineated, "I stopped drinking, drugging, cutting, shoplifting, compulsively overeating, gambling, etc., on such and such date.". But, how does one "recover" from a mental illness? Specifically, how could I "recover" from depression? 

The answer is, I can't, any more than an alcoholic, now sober, can cease to be an alcoholic.  The key is to recovery is not simply or necessarily the cessation of a behavior but the decision to actively choose to rise above one's condition and behave accordingly.

Talk about an "aha moment" (with all due respect to Oprah). I will NEVER stop being a person living with depression. There is no remission, no cure. But, there IS recovery. I realize now that mine began on August 21, 2012, the day I decided that I would no longer be defined by my depression. It wasn't until today that I truly realized how much my life began to change on that very day. 

Do I still feel depressed? You bet your ass, I do. Do I sometimes feel hopeless, like I'm tempted to cash it all in? Sadly, absolutely. But, I haven't and I won't because I realized, on that day and every day since, that I am worth MORE. It struck me, for the very first time, that my depression does not have to be the focal point of my life. It was, in many ways, the first day I realized that it was not only okay to love myself but necessary. 

So, let it be known, from this day forward, that I, Kari Murphy, am in recovery and I am sure as hell not looking back.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

More micropoetry. Why? Because I can.

Fires are burning
and unafraid
and reckless
and destructive
and I
can merely watch.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Waxing Poetic

So many tales to tell
of sorrow and fear
and I will
but right now
I am crafting a story
of triumph and strength.

Monday, March 18, 2013


I cannot
and will not
be anything less
than exactly
who I am
but I can
always be
infinitely more.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Thanks to my lovely friend, Nicole, I have been introduced to the amazing world of micropoetry.  Wikipedia defines micropoetry as follows:
"Micropoetry is a genre of poetic verse including twaiku (also known as twihaiku or twitter poetry) and captcha poetry, which is characterized by its extreme brevity."

For someone like me who wants (needs?) discipline to write on even a somewhat regular basis, this is perfect.  It only takes a few moments to write and it gets those old creative juices flowing.  Anyway, though I've only been tweeting my micropoems, so far, I thought, perhaps, that you, my lovely readers, would enjoy reading it as well.  Here's just a li'l taste for you.


The cloudless sky
endless and glorious
vibrant and light
so very different
from the blue
that is the color
of my soul

I hope you'll enjoy reading my poems as much as I enjoy writing them.  As always, thanks for listening.  It matters, truly.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I am a fucking mess.  This statement is not only true of me right now but most of the time, unfortunately.  However, every once in a while (more lately than in the past, thank God), a ray of sunlight peeks through the darkness and I find myself writing affirmations not only to "the world at large" but also to myself.  Here are a few I'd like to share with you.

Be absolutely nothing but your true self, always.  If others don't like that, it is their loss, I promise.

Alone might be very safe but it is also very cold.  I like having the warm blanket of contact, even if it's scary sometimes.

Keep putting good into the world, even if all it gets you is a kick in the head.  You will always be the better person.

I am way too smart to act this dumb.

Another day, another chance to get it right.

I need to learn that there will always be people who care about me and people who don't, cherish those who do and fuck the rest.

With these humble thoughts in your mind, I hope this day finds you a happier, healthier person than you were yesterday and well on your way to feeling even better tomorrow.


Monday, January 21, 2013


Generally, I am the first person in the world to admit to my flaws, which are many. However, one thing that truly pains me to admit is that I am very fucking naive. I experience occasional moments, however fleeting, in which I feel that what I say matters to someone other than me. These delusions of grandeur, the idea that when I speak, people are listening, absorbing, caring, usually vanish as quickly as they appear. But, every once in a while, they linger. I wonder if, by sharing my thoughts and experiences, I can help someone else, lighten their load, make them feel less alone, but really, that is me at my most naive. I don't think anyone really cares what I have to say, not for long, anyway. Who am I to counsel anyone, being the completely fucked up mess that I am? Who can blame anyone for disregarding my trivial thoughts? I certainly can't. I'm just mad at myself for ever thinking otherwise.

My brother has been dead one month today. What was once my family of four now consists only of my mother and me. I contribute nothing to the world, merely existing, biding my time until it's my turn to go.

I might feel completely different tomorrow, might re-read what I've written here and think, "No, Kari. People do care. You're not worthless, not useless," but right now, that doesn't make one damn bit of difference. Right now, I am a naive fool, talking to myself, for absolutely no reason at all.