I've Got Issues...And Peace


Boulder, Colorado,
October 22
Family, marital, and individual psychotherapist. Mother to four who no longer need my services but still enjoy my love as I do theirs. I specialize in stepfamily dynamics and difficult transitions. I try to write from the heart with a sense of vulnerability, humor and a frank look at myself. Art shown: "Four Pots" by Lindsey Leavell


Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 28, 2009 10:08AM

Mary T. Kelly's Top 10 List for 2009

Rate: 42 Flag


You know what they say about people who choose to become therapists?  CRAZY. 

C R A Z Y.  I can’t say that I disagree.  However, there is a disclaimer.  I was not CRAZY until today.  Today I became crazy.  Why you ask?  Because I was trying to come up with my “Top Ten Favorite Posts for 2009”.

I’ve been tossing and turning about this the last couple of nights.  Practically ruined my Christmas with my family it did.  I started dreaming about all the posts…tossed and turned the last couple of nights if the truth be told.  Mumbling and talking in my sleep…what to do, which one to pick, so many posts and so little time.

So, I narrowed down all the posts I loved to a few hundred, I swear I love every single one of them so much, tossed them in a hat and pulled out the following:




Knightwriter's Running Away From the White Light.  Knightwriter is a brilliant writer, reminding me of the style of the masterful genius, Pat Conroy, a literary hero for both of us.  He makes family dysfunction look inviting and funny.  It takes a rare and bright mind to accomplish that.


m.a.h.:  My Addiction:  Chardonnay vs. Breasts 

m.a.h. and I became fast friends the last year or so.  She is a diverse writer, ridiculously talented and we don't see enough of her.  I love her honesty, sense of humor and masterful way with words.  I had the most fortunate advantage of meeting her when she felt sorry for my addiction to American Idol and had some connections and got us tickets to the finale.  She is now stuck with me as a life long friend and avid fan.

Roger Fallihee 

Roger Fallihee:  I'm Not An Alcoholic:  Alcoholics Go to Meetings

Roger has an ability to poke fun at anything, I mean anything.  His posts are always a sure fire guarantee to have a good out loud laugh and see the humor in almost everything.  In this piece, he takes his wit and humor and brings in some major vulnerability as he tells us about his struggle with alcohol.  A must read. 

irritated Mom

irritated_mom:  Failure

Irritated is one smart, talented of those women that other women envy but despite themselves, love her to pieces.  She can do it all. Mother to five, cook extraordinaire, passionate truth teller, especially when it comes to people like Michele Bernard.  Funny as all get out, but the Failure piece, this is what blows me away when it comes to irritated. You're all ready to be ROTFL and she knocks you off your socks with a dark and provocative piece that invites us into the most cavernous places of her heart.

 Monsieur Chariot

Monsieur Chariot:  Running Into Faye

Monsieur Chariot is someone who doesn't grace the OS pages very often, but when he does, it is a treat for the day.  Read his words carefully because it is clear that he has painstakingly and carefully chosen each word, each sentence with the greatest of care.  He has brought back the lost art of graciousness and civility, a rare and well crafted literary gift.   


neilpaul:  In The Spirit of Christmas Giving

neilpaul has been quite prolific as of late and I'm struggling to keep up with his posts.  But when I do, I'm well rewarded for the time invested.  His is a strong masculine voice that talks about childhood, male friendships, and relationships between men and women.   And despite a voice that sometimes tries to come off as bravado, his vulnerability and heart felt emotions come shining through, melting the heart.

Sandra Stephens

Sandra Stephens:  

Writing Down The Bones:  How I Survived My Anorexia




Sandra is another diverse and varied writer.  She'll seduce you into a tale of romance and passion, wrapping you around her fingers as you read, only to be met with some dark and vampirish conclusion, leaving you searching for your childhood blankie.  She also writes from the heart and is generous enough to share her stories of personal struggle and triumph. 


Spirit Man SF 

Spirit Man SF:  The Death of Rob and Bob:  A Sacred Love Story

I've never met Spirit Man, but I love him and I love his writing.  This is a man who has a passion for the underdog and his posts reflect this, especially for the uninsured and disenfranchised.  This story of the loss of his beloved partner seared this heart of mine.  It is an incredible tribute to his lover and best friend, and an indictment to a culture that has gone mad with irrational beliefs and fear.  It's hard to believe that even Carrie Prejean wouldn't be moved and transformed by this story. 

 sheldon the Wonderhorse

Sheldon the Wonderhorse:  Please Stop Doing Your Christopher Walken Impersonation 

Humor is one of the more therapeutic techniques we can use to ward off the blues.  Sheldon is a genius when it comes to the use of humor and puts Jerry Seinfeld to shame.  The man can take nothingness and turn it into laugh out loud laughter everything.  He always leaves me shaking my head and asking myself, "How does he come up with this stuff???" 


Z Bitch 

Z Bitch:  Sorry Father!  You Have a Gay Son! 

I've never met Z Bitch and I love him too.  His writing is reminiscent of the character  Agador played by Hank Azaria in Birdcage.  He takes us all to the edge, gently tickling us along the way.  He is playful, full of life, and deliciously outrageous.  And just when you think you know exactly what to expect, he goes and writes something like this post, a story about his father and himself. Keep the Kleenex handy.

 the squirrel

the squirrel: If Anyone Disappoints Her It Should Be Me

The squirrel (and I may lose some friends here, but I'm gonna say it anyway), the squirrel is my favorite writer on OS.  And that's saying a lot because there are so many of my favorite writers on OS.  I think he's a rare and gifted writer.  He's driven some people crazy with his avatar (silly people!) and back in the day, before he became a responsible father, his lack of punctuation and capitalization drove some nuts (no pun intended). It's never mattered to me.  His posts make me cry, laugh, nod my head, make me hungry, and always leave me wanting more.   His posts of the last six months have been incredibly endearing as his life changed dramatically...he got married and had a child.  It's always a privilege and a treat to read his words.  He is an enormous talent and I won't be satisfied until I see him published and getting paid for that which he richly deserves.

Quick honorable mentions to Lea Lane's, The Inner Journey I Had To Take:  Two Weeks Alone on a Cliff, Steve Blevin's courageous and heart rendering, A World No Less Sublime, and Frank Indiana's chronicles of his marriage and his wife's illness, a transformative and profound piece of work, be sure to read all 26 chapters of So It Was Cancer.  

And now I'm feeling a bit sick to my stomach because of all the other writers I love so much and their posts that are flying through my mind and I realize I could easily write a book about my OS favorites.

A fine place this OS turned out to be.  Very fine indeed.

*Not only am I crazy, apparently I'm lousy at math.

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Great choices, Mary. A baker's ten.
First! Well done, Mary. That hat definitely gave you a perfect mix of posts! xoxo
Awesome . . . well done!
You should write a book about your favorite OS posts; you could do it easily.
You have excellent judgment, Mary. And as much as I like to growl and bark, I have an inexplicable soft spot for your particular variety of open-hearted and considered niceness. I'm not sure how you manage to make "nice" not-boring. It's a neat trick. (And I adore you, damn it.)
How do you folks do it? I spent three days messing around with a top ten and just couldn't get it together. Too much excellent work too many excellent stories. You are included in that group Ms. Kelly.
Thanks for the mention, Mary--and thanks for:

a) sharing the work of excellent writers here; and
b) being one of those excellent writers.
I'm honored and flattered to be on your list and for the record, I'm still not drinking. Thanks Mary!
Awesome job! Now get some sleep!
Thanks for pointing the way to some fine work here. :)
Augh, even more great reading to do...
Some of my most favorite people in there (and a couple I haven't read yet, so I'll be bookmarking this post to come back again and visit some new friends ;-D).

So far, of all the "Top Ten" posts I've read, I've noticed a slight commonality which I think speaks to the strength of those particular writers. But I have to read on to see if it becomes a pattern and not a coincidence.

Thanks for being here, Mary. I always look forward to seeing a post from you, and you've never disappointed me.
Great list, Mary. Every list I read ratchets up my anxiety a bit because I wonder where I'll ever find the time to read all the great talent - some I've read and some I haven't, but my favorites list is already so long I can't keep up! I may have to toss that New Year's resolution (that I intended to make in a few days) to get up off my butt and lose a few dozen pounds!
I always new therapists kept lists; yours is a keeper. Happy New Year.
Great choices.. I am going to have to check out the ones I haven't read yet. Now that your list is done, go get some sleep.. Happy Holidays..
You give me a feeling for how terribly difficult this assignment has been for those chosen. So hard to be responsible and truthful at the same time. You've done it well.
I've decided not to make a list this year because I just have no way of choosing. I am pathetically weak in that department. I do love everyone else' list though and realize that I don't have enough hours in the day to keep up with the great talent here. In fact I have missed at least half of the posts you mentioned above. Where can one find a 36 hour clock? That might help.
A sincere Thank You, my dear Mme Kelly. And yet I fail to see how my irrelevant ramblings make a place for me in this questionable collection. My very best to you and your family in 2010.
OUTSTANDING choices. I am bookmarking all of these best-ofs so I can go back and read every last word down to the last drop.
I have my reading cut out for me.
I’m loving all these year-end lists! Being basically CRAZY BUSY since this summer, I haven’t been able to stop in here (or anywhere, really) for far too long. What a great way to catch up. Thank you!
Very nice job, Mary. Your appreciation and description of each writer was wonderfully precise and warm. I've missed a couple of these fine writers, and now I want to catch up...which is exactly how these lists are intended to work, I think -- and they are working that way on me!
Tremendous list with good variety.
OS has its good writers and its popular writers -- in you, it has both.
Another great list. Thanks for sharing.
Excellent choices, Mary. I'm especially fond of Roger Fallihee's alcoholism post.
Nice! Reading one of my favorites list, brings pause... Another affirmation aired... Funny/sad, how we haven't enough ticks in our clocks! RRR
I read your list---read your reviews ---of these writers I have too long been missing, and I want to drop everything--- every. single. commitment. ---and spend the next month just catching up on old and new friends.

I am speechless, honored, humbled---and more than a little shocked---to be included in this company. Really, buying dinner, paying for parking, and navigating were more than enough payback for those Idol tickets:-).
I think I will faint!! Thank you! Thank you!
When I moved this country I was 31 years.
I wasn't speaking a word in English.
Some of my friends told me I was too old to learn a new language.
I can't believe I made Top 10 List of Mary T. Kelly.
It is like winning Oscar for me.
I'm NOT kidding.

I will show this to my vicious friends

I love all these. They're on my list too, along with your post "I Was A Racist Little Girl" and especially Roger's on alcoholism. An example, I have to admit, of the fact that some posts gut-punched me so much I couldn't include them. Dr Mary, what should I do about that?

Bravo to all here and there!
A wonderful list, and most of whom I do know, but always a few I need to get to. I suppose this is one way to spend my vacation...thanks for sharing!
Based on your recommendations will be checking these posts. Always enjoy reading yours too. Thanks for the list.
Thank you so much Mary, for the mention and for reminding me that OS is my family too. I've been so busy with the holidays I've been neglectful.
Great picks, Mary! Most of these I know, but I've only recently discovered Neilpaul myself, from trailing his astute comments, and Spirit Man SF is completely new to me, thank you. I appreciate your difficulty in making this selection but I feel as if I've discovered another Christmas present, thank you!
A few of your links aren't working for me, Mary. Did someone mention that already? Anyway, I've read most of these and agree wholeheartedly that they are great. I'm excited to read the others.
Thanks Mare ~ you are a true gem. If I could, I would take my little poem right off of this post and replace it with "Confessions of a Former Pro-Lifer". Who wrote that anyway ... oh yhea, it was YOU! You rock, Mary. And I sure love ya!
You are so kind to mention here, Mary. Thank you.

Great picks. I adore M. Chariot. His "Bombarded by the Booty" from August 2008 is the funniest post I've ever read. Sheldon and 1IMom are my dearest friends. I read them religiously. Thanks for the recommendations. You mention many posts I haven't read, but will visit. Thanks, Mary. Happy New Year!
Thanks so much for including my drivel with these FINE writers!
Great list!!! I've missed a couple of those. Must start reading.
Fun stuff. Thanks for the different places to go read.
I loved Roger's piece. That would have been one of my top choices too.

Thanks for suggestions. I have a LOT of catching up to do today.

Sorry about your agonizing. I don't envy you!