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In Control

I applaud you, Barb, for having the courage to take back control of your life (“Diary of a Diva,” April 18). I have been on Lexapro as well as a dozen other drugs. I understand the draw of the mania and the raw emotion. It is thrilling! Just know your “triggers” and when to ask for help. Lean on your husband, that is what he is there for. Breathe through the panic attacks, and know it will pass in a few seconds. That being said, please don’t feel as if you have failed should you decide to take another medication to help you settle down and be more stable. I am bipolar and a rapid cycler. I am currently on four meds, and for me that is just the way it is. I fought for years to get control and get off meds, but my condition is too unstable. However, on meds I feel really good, a part of the world. I am still me, and my condition does not define me.

I wish you the best of luck and happiness. Stay strong.

Kathy Stevens
via email

Pill Free, Rich Life

Barbarella, thank you so much for your wonderful, insightful columns. I know a lot of people mock what you have to say, and they think that you’re not writing about anything very significant. They call you selfish; they think you’re self-absorbed. Well, what you’re doing is you’re sharing your personal life with a lot of readers. And sometimes it really hits a special chord, like your last article about getting off Lexapro (“Diary of a Diva,” April 18). Thank you so much for that.

I’d like to share my experience with you, too. A few years ago, after suffering from lifelong bouts of fear and anxiety due to a terrible, destructive childhood, I went to the doctor and told him that I couldn’t handle my anxiety, and he promptly put me on Paxil. Well, my experience with Paxil lasted about three days. I was so exhausted, I couldn’t even get up off the couch. So I threw the bottle out the window, and that was the end of that. So, now what I do is I live with my occasional bouts of anxiety; I try to practice Buddhist meditation; I occasionally will talk to my mate or talk to a friend about what’s bothering me — so I just try other things. You sound like you have a wonderful husband in David, a very understanding man.

Anyway, thanks for your wonderful columns, for sharing about your life. You are helping more people than you will ever know. And continue the good, brave work of trying to stay off the Lexapro. Life is so much richer without all the psychiatric drugs, as you’re finding out now.

Thanks for everything.

Name Withheld
via voice mail

Electric Slide

Re “San Diego Gas & Electric: Fat Profits, Fat Pay” (“City Lights,” April 5).

First, Don Bauder, you are simply the best!

Second, years ago I was working weeks of overtime and had basically overlooked paying monthly bills, one of which was the SDG&E bill. One evening, after working a 14-hour day, my only thoughts were getting home, throwing dinner into the microwave, and watching late-night news before heading to bed. When I walked into my apartment, there were no lights, no TV, no air-conditioning, no radio, no alarm clock, and no microwave. A notice had been slid into my door saying SDG&E had terminated service due to nonpayment.

Honestly, I totally lost it. Having previously worked for the chief financial officer of a large company, I knew that certain businesses would get three months behind before SDG&E would call for payment. I also knew that Stephen Baum, chief executive officer of Sempra at the time, had taken home $13.5 million that year — $1 million salary, $2.1 million in bonuses, and $9.6 million in stock. Oh, yeah, my unpaid SDG&E balance? Forty-two dollars.

In the years since, things have only gotten uglier for the consumer being forced to pay these unbelievable salaries and bonuses to this unregulated monopoly.

SDGE/Sempra will say they are regulated. Hah!!! SDGE/Sempra has the California Public Utilities Commission in their back pocket.

And, regarding the wildfires, if Felsinger and Knight would decline their bonuses for only one year, all the costs associated with those fires would be completely resolved. But, that will never happen because we are the land of the brave and the home of the screwed!!!!

Long live capitalism!!!

Name Withheld
via email

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Robert Hagen April 26, 2012 @ 10:43 a.m.

I want to put in a good word for Nathan Fletcher, and assure all parties involved that I will endeavour to bring the hispanic vote, and I think we can do this, and I think we should- it's very important.

With Nathan Fletcher, San Diego stands a chance of breaking out of the corruption mode that has been so much of our political make up, though we continue working on decreases, the malevolent feds, wish to feed our desire for corruption.


Robert Hagen April 26, 2012 @ 10:51 a.m.

The American Led Zeppellin is Led Zeppellin. Consider that. However, if you want to get jazzed up, go out there and


for Nathan Fletcher,

show no fear



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