alcohol

An Incredible Book About Love, Sex, Feminism, That Everyone Over 16 Should Read

Every Boy I Ever KissedEvery Boy I Ever Kissed by Nellwyn Lampert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am an author of numerous books and I am also a single disabled adult. Being disabled, at a certain point in my life, I lost a sense of connection with my generation (generation X, I am now 47). I wanted to read this book because I briefly met the author and found her to be intelligent, polite, and kind enough to ask for information about my own books, and to be honest, the title grabbed me. What resulted after I picked up a copy at my local mall is sheer wonder and amazement. I have read books about ships, about battles, about courtrooms, and on and on and on, but this book takes a bold step and addresses a topic that is intertwined among each and every human being’s story and the author bravely brings it to light.
Nellwyn Lampert’s memoir follows her life categorized by relationships, through an almost ideal life of growing up in a well off family, having a mother who is open and confident. The main character does well in everything she focuses on, and is in a tight-knit group of University Theatre Students for most of the timeline of the book. She does well in everything except in managing her relationships with the opposite sex, never understanding why or how this continues to happen. This book drew me in because I have often wondered, after writing a book about my own youth, what a book about today’s youth would be like. Nellwyn does such an excellent job of explaining how young people are making different choices in a very different world than ours, and reminded me at every turn how hard it can be to grow up and take on the world as a new adult.
The brave and brutally honest story Nellwyn weaves is at times hilarious, and at other times moving and highly emotional. By the end of the book I felt extremely invested in wanting to see her find the peace and understanding she seeks. This book is not about sex, at least not in any way it has been spoken of before in a memoir like this. It has no overdone fantasy erotic stories but what it does do is offers a very unique viewpoint with poignant insights of topics such as equality, feminism, LGBTQ+ issues and so many subjects that have been danced around for years and now finally, bravely taken on at full speed by an incredible up and coming writer.
This book is for the young person who feels unsure of themselves, for the popular party girl who can find sex but not intimacy, and for anyone who wants to reach out into the core of a human being’s inner self and leave changed forever. I highly recommend this book.

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DSCF5316

Good day dear readers!  this picture is a repeat, but still a pretty cool one I think.  I took it at a place called “Two Step” which is a popular diving spot on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Scroll past today’s poem for today’s blog!

 

Real Love

I can’t abide these bold young men

Trying to change the world with a stoke of a pen

Not by writing poems for the good of all mankind

But by the size of the checks that they can sign

I was once like them it’s true

I thought I had to be rich to win over you

I thought that if I could give you everything

You would one day want to wear my ring

But my journey down that path

Was never meant to last

You spurned my love and I forgot

About gaining happiness from the things I bought

I once thought the best people had the most wealth

But found they had lonliness, wasted lives and poor health

And someone beautiful intervened for me

I’m so glad they did, they set my soul free

Love is never real when you find it while pretending

Love like that always leaves an unhappy ending

Someone has to see the very best in you

For any love to be strong, lasting and true

I was born my father’s son

And from the very day I had begun

I wrote poems, stories of love and life

And that was what always got me through strife

If someone had ten times their present wealth

They would have no extra love, happiness or health

Life is really just an inner journey in your mind

To find what makes you more real, more loving and kind

When you give up on owning worldly things

You can learn what joy undying love will bring

Love with your whole heart and see it’s true

All other things will one day be added unto you

Leif Gregersen

March 15, 2016

 

Hope you enjoy today’s poem, I haven’t been posting much lately as I have a new job as Editor of two online magazines.  They are both magazines dealing with mental health issues owned by the same person and I think it is a fantastic opportunity for me.  I will still be posting blog entries when I can though, I can’t forget about all of my followers!

Anyhow, I wanted to talk a little today about recovery.  There are two kinds of recovery commonly thought of when you are dealing with a person who is afflicted with a mental illness, you can talk about recovering from the illness, and being in a stable state or you could also be referring to things like alcohol dependancy and other addictions.  I woud like to briefly touch on both in today’s blog.

I feel that right now I am in a state of recovery both from my addictions and from my illness.  I have stabilized on medications, and gone through a very long process of getting better.  I have not come all the way.  Some of the symptoms I still experience are bouts of mild mania, times of slight depression, but luckily two things are in place: I have a very good life that I am leading that gets me through tough times and I have found medications that work well for me.  Many people may wonder if once they get to a position like mine if they can stop seeing their doctor.  I really don’t agree with this, I actually like to see my Psychiatrist once a month if I can though he is confident with me waiting longer periods.  I still need tweaking sometimes with regards to medications, like my last visit when my doctor prescribed me an anti-depressant to help me get better sleep, and not only is it important that your doctor be aware of how you are coping, but also that you are plugged into your best source of advice on new medications and treatments and many other things.  For this same reason I also feel it is a good idea to get to know your pharmacist.  The cool thing about your pharmacist is that he gives quality medical advice for free.

That was a short bit about recovery from a mental illness.  I guess I should also say that it is so important to keep up hope that life will get better.  One of the best ways to keep hope going is simply to try and keep busy.  Get a membership to your local pool and if you aren’t the athletic type just dog paddle around a bit and enjoy the sauna or hot tub if they have one.  Get involved in support groups or your local Schizophrenia Society if there is one, they can offer a wealth of resources.  Having friends is also a huge thing.  Before you know it you will be doing and feeling a lot better.  I myself was very sick 15 years ago when I got out of the hospital after a long visit and my Dad would come and get me and we would go for a long walk in the park each day.  I often think these walks saved my life.

But I should try and get in a few words about recovery from addictions.  When I was a teen alcohol was an allowed substance.  I could drink at home or at parties, sometimes my Dad and I would even drink alcohol together.  I was in a poor state in my teens, mostly in a depressive mood and it seemed the only times I was happy (more than likely manic) was when I drank.  I never progressed to drinking every day, but I often got into trouble and had negative behavior when I was under the influence.  Fortunately I am now more than 4 years sincde a drink of any kind and I feel I am in the best years of my life.  What it took to get here was a lot of determination, a lot of effort to change negative patterns, and for the first while, a lot of time in support groups.  Alcohol and drugs is such a sticky subject for those of us with a diagnosis of mental illness.  I have heard a doctor say that once a person is put on prescribed medications for mental illness they should never drink again.  This choice is yours, I just want to say that it is not impossible and can really change your life for the positive.  I also quit smoking and stopped going anywhere near any form of gambling and with the help of part-time work I am able to do some amazing things like going to Hawaii or even buying the computer I am typing on right now.

Thanks Dear Readers, I hope you got something out of today’s post, as always, feel free to comment or email me at: viking3082000@yahoo.com

In The Wake of Halloween

DSC_0163                            Here’s a Little Friend Who Posed For Me At Hawrelak Park This Summer….

 

Well Dear Readers, I regret that I haven’t been keeping up with my blog entries, there really has been so much stuff going on in my life that I haven’t been up to the task mentally.  I have been doing a lot of presentations for the Schizophrenia Society which is very interesting work and rewarding in many ways.  What I mostly do for them is show a Power Point presentation and give a bit of a lecture on it as I go through.  It talks about a lot of things like famous people who had a mental illness, there is a video where Anderson Cooper from CNN participates in an experiment to replicate what it is like to hear voices.  Then I give a 15-minute speech I prepared about my own experiences.  I am kind of excited about this month because on the 19th of November I will be giving a talk to a lunch of faculty members at the University of Alberta.  So much has been going good for me, sometimes other people are a bit amazed at where I was at compared to what I have been doing.

It may seem a bit funny, but one of the most important things in my life right now is one of my friendships, with a friend who is an incredible author, an amazing storyteller and also a film producer and public speaker.  I first met him at the U of A writer in residence office and he has done so much for me and mentored my writing career and all kinds of stuff like that.  Sometimes it seems a bit funny at my age to value a person so highly, but this guy is really incredible and is one of the few people I have ever been really close to that didn’t seem to want to take advantage of me in some way.  He kind of inspired me to write the poem you will see at the bottom of this blog post, I hope you enjoy it.

A lot of things are on my mind.  The other day I went out to my home town of St.Albert and had dinner at the house of a friend I have known for a very long time.  We talked and talked about the people we grew up with, all the crazy stuff that used to go on and it was so amazing.  It is odd though because I am so used to isolating myself that I kind of decided to duck out early even though there really was no rush to go and I was having a great time.  Ever since I became mentally ill a lot of people except my oldest friends seemed to never invite me to their houses or seem to trust me much, but a lot of that is changing.  I not only went to see this old friend whose son is this amazing, cool little boy but we also hopped in her husband’s truck and went to visit her parents who I have always had so much respect for.  It was neat because the house they live in always used to be a great place to hang out, they had a pool table in the basement and her parents not only cared for her friends a lot and kept up with their lives, but they trusted them to use their house as party central.  I can recall this one incident when I went out with a different group of friends on New Year’s and got so drunk I couldn’t see straight then came back to St.Albert and ran into this young woman’s brother and somehow we ended up going to his house in my car and a bunch of us, girls included, curled up under blankets and watched an ‘R’ rated cartoon called “Fritz The Cat”.  I am so glad I don’t drink like that anymore but I miss those times when freedom and possibilities in life seemed endless.

Well dear readers, I don’t know much of what else to say except that I am working on another short story collection and possibly another poetry collection soon as well.  I am posting today’s poem below, as always anyone who reads this blog is totally free to email me with any questions or comments they may have, my email is still viking3082000@yahoo.com and I would love to hear from you.  Keep reaching for your dreams, keep setting goals for yourself and writing out plans and most of all keep being you.

 

Old Friends

 

Sometimes our lives can get so difficult

Make us wish we could just collapse and shout

Let out all our hopes, anxiety and fears

Lose ourselves in our self-pity and tears

 

In these times we long for friends to be close by our side

To talk; embrace them, to hell with our pride

Loving, dear friends can always do so much

With so few words; with a gentle touch

 

When friends are by your side in times of pain and doubt

It seems there is nothing that you and them can’t figure out

It can hurt when the passing years take things away

When true old friends have nothing left to say

 

Please don’t let your heart grow indifferent and cold

Because this is when one truly grows old

Hold tight those who have shared their lives with you

Hold tight to your close friends be they old or new

 

Some people have let things get in the way

Of those times of joy and bliss, of camaraderie and play

Don’t look down on those who are alone and sad

Think instead of how they must have been treated bad

 

Remember it is a noble thing to go the extra mile

Just to warm a lonely heart and make them smile

And know that if you show your kindness to them in a special way

Someone may do the same for you one dark and lonely day

 

 

Leif Gregersen

November 1, 2015