Dammit, Begone “Sally Field Syndrome”!!!


 Sally Field in one of my favorite movies “Mrs. Doubtfire” with my hero Robin Williams


I saw the Oscar-winning actress Sally Field in the flesh once.  The sighting took place when I was a teenager, during a time when I didn’t idolize older, gifted female celebrities the way I eventually would.

Sally Field appeared to me not on an exotic movie set, but in the mundane doorway of my 11th grade Chemistry class.

Her son, who I didn’t know except by face, was in my class.  For some reason his mom needed to see him and that was that.  This was the same class that my friend S. arrived at one day to tell our teacher she couldn’t take the exam as she just saw someone jump to her death from Ocean Avenue on to the Pacific Coast Highway.  I remember feeling deeply, deeply shocked at her news, and I almost couldn’t take the test myself.  S. was excused, but it turned out that S. lied about the suicide just to get out of the test.  (Our friendship melted away soon after that happened.)

That was a looong digression!  Please forgive me!  Sometimes I include kooky, off-topic anecdotes that I suddenly remember from my teen years, in part, because I get so excited that my ECT didn’t erase these memories.  I feel really good knowing that certain brain cells are alive and kicking.  Who cares about the fact that I recall S.’s crazy lie and not the lines to a Shakespeare sonnet I learned in college.  It just doesn’t matter!

While the Sally Field Incident is one of my “neither-here-nor-there” facts about my life, I always found Field intriguing for uttering a famous Academy Award acceptance speech that moved me.  Here’s a seven-second-long peek:

I checked out Sally Field’s Wikipedia entry, and I was surprised that while many recall her saying “You like me, you really like me!” she actually said “You like me, right now, you like me!”, and this speech was inspired by dialogue in the film Norma Rae.  Here’s what Wiki states,

“Then came a second Oscar for (Sally Field’s) starring role in the 1984 drama Places in the Heart. Field’s gushing acceptance speech is well remembered and has since been both admired as earnest and parodied as excessive. She said, “I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it—and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!”Field was actually making a humorous reference to dialogue from her role in Norma Rae, but many people missed the connection. Field even parodied herself when she delivered the line (often misquoted as “You like me, you really like me!” in a Charles Schwab commercial.”

So where am I going with all this?

In my last post I wrote that I was thrilled to be nominated by the writing dynamo Wendy K. Williamson for a WEGO Health Award for “Best in Show” blog.  This is me:


I let my nomination completely go to my head and instead of enjoying the fleeting moment, I started obsessing about getting endorsements, which are needed in order to win the award.  I became a smarmy politician, so to speak, asking for endorsements wherever I could.

Wendy is going to kill me when she reads this, as she’s my writing mentor, but I spent more hours than I care to admit caught up in getting endorsements and learning about WEGO Health when I should have been writing as I had originally planned to do.  Even cleaning my house would have been a better way to spend my time than my WEGO-ing.

As I read many of the other nominees’ very moving profiles that detailed amazing accomlplishments despite their having chronic illness of all kinds, I thought to myself,

“I haven’t got a prayer to become a finalist.  Why the hell am I wasting my time and getting so obsessive???”

I made it into a popularity contest that I wanted to win.  My irrational thinking went along the lines of, ” If I get enough endorsements I’ll prove to the WORLD that….wait for it….




Let me state for the record that I get really freaky and competitive when it comes to trying to win contests of all kinds. When I was fifteen I came across a contest in which ten Izusu Impulse cars were being given away, and that a postcard had to be filled out and sent for each entry.  I filled out and sent a whopping 500 postcards to win this car, paying for the considerable amount of postage with babysitting and office assistant money I had earned, and no, I didn’t win.

Within twenty-four hours after being nominated for the WEGO, I realized I had to stop asking for endorsements here, there, and everywhere.

I accepted the fact that I won’t win.  I can’t compete with the other nominees’ enormous followings and/or their incredible accomplishments.

AND that’s really, truly okay.   I need to be happy with my nomination and let it go, let it go….

That is all.  I’m forgiving myself for letting this nomination go to my head because I don’t get nominated for awards, you see.  It’s a novel event in my life.

I don’t need a bunch of votes to prove that I’m a good person, that I’m talented, that I’m likable, and so on.

I need to believe in myself first and foremost and realize that:


I’ve made it through times of acute suicidal lows.

I’ve made it through many med side effects.

I’ve made it through both unilateral and bilateral ECT.

I’ve made it through chronic bipolar depression.

I’ve made it through the hospitalizations.

I’ve made it through my Dad’s death.

I don’t need to have an organization declare me a winner.

I’ve always loved what Saturday Night Live self-help guru Stuart Smalley (played by Senator Al Franken) said,

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!”


I’m going to let the illustrious Stuart Smalley’s words of wisdom be my motto for 2015, and I’ll look within instead of to accolades.

Of course if there’s any kind of contest to win a lifetime supply of chocolate, all of this goes to the wayside!