I feel like such a complete idiot.

I owe a debt of gratitude to those of you who got hold of my brother 'cause my wife thought I didn't have anything strong enough in the house to do myself any harm.

Luckily, I was comatose by the time they pumped my stomach and stuffed it full of charcoal. I've had this done to me while awake (not because of having taken pills; it was punch containing really nasty drugs at a party many years ago) and it's not pleasant. No permanent damage - for about a day after they removed the tube down my throat I couldn't really make much more than whispering sounds because the tube was in there for quite some time. The nurses told me that the initial procedure involved a tube of much larger diameter. I guess I was still quite toxic on the drugs; I recall asking a nurse at one point if I'd "ever be able to sing again." She cracked the fuck up.

Thank goodness my own shrink was contacted. He dismissed my behavior as being rooted partially in exhaustion and partially in the need to cry out for help. The term "lacks the ability to express his feelings in a less than-grandiose-way" was used. Shrinks at the hospital where I was recovering were helpful pointing this out to me. I told them, "hey, I have manic-depression. I was manic." They said bullshit and that I was indeed deeply depressed but more interested in getting really high and feeling sorry for myself than using more functional coping mechanisms.

My wife's lack of concern and my brother's lack of willingness to talk to me still hurt. I still miss dad. That hurts a lot. So I've got a lot of fixing to do. This will involve a whole mess of therapy that I really, really, don't want to deal with. However, it came down to this: my prescribing physician said that there would be no more "happy pills" for me unless I showed up for my therapist appointments and actually did some work on myself.

I was, thankfully, saved from having to spend Christmas in the looney bin by some sort of bureaucratic "get out of jail free" card played by my psychiatrist. I plan to spend the holiday-time the way I always spend it - spreading joy and good cheer, having fun, and most of all, being charitable. The lady who runs downtown Hartford's homeless shelter always smiles when I come by because she knows that I'm one of the few volunteers willing to wash the huge pots and pans. While singing carols at the top of my lungs (I have to stop and chuckle here again - "will I ever be able to sing again?" What a scream.)

I love all of you. May your Christmas (or Hanukka, or Kwanzaa, or Pagan Love Fest or even Crass, Atheistic Shopping-And-Giving-Spree) be merry.