Monday, December 29, 2014

Working the detox shift!

My latest and newest and fanciest job role is as a volunteer/intern/thingymadoo at a hospital in Brooklyn. I am working in the detox inpatient ward. To cover the basics, my co-workers are absolutely lovely, my atmosphere is grand, and the patients are at their very best. That is, considering the horrors of withdrawal, I have been very impressed with their smiles and decency. More amazing than that is the types of people I've met. These patients are coming into the E.R. of the hospital, are then interviewed, and then, depending on their rating on the "You an addict, son!" scale, they are then sent to outpatient services, inpatient services, or sent out to stop whining, get a cab, and go home.

Now, I want you to imagine the type of person you would meet at an inpatient detox center. Be honest. First thoughts. Are they old? Young? Professional? Extroverted? Depressed? Mean? Sickly? What do you see? Who is this person?

You can erase that person. Well, maybe not.... Most likely, however, the person you just drew up is unlike anyone I have met in the hospital yet. Not to say that whoever you viewed is not the more typical type or overall, more commonly seen in these settings. The surprise to me was how many of these people were NOT who I was expecting, nor who you would expect, I am sure. I've seen people in their 30s, 70s, 50s. Women, men, muscular, heavy, thin, blonde, bald, tattooed, with glasses. Some homeless, some with respectable jobs. Others don't want to get well. They just came to detox for a place to sleep and free food. Although, the fella who did this was the one who saw me watering the plants one day and the next day said, "I watered them for you today, flower girl."

They all had one thing in common, though. They all wanted to call their mother. Many of them relapsed because their mother was sick. Many are addicts because their parents were addicts, or because their kids are addicts. Others because they became addicted to prescribed medication or they were stressed or lonely or depressed. I met a chef, an introverted intellectual, a mother whose daughter graduated from John Jay.... There have also been many couples. They detox together, they relapse together. As one co-worker said, "They're starting to call us 'Sandals Detox Center' because of all the couples who are starting to come."

Some of these individuals only drink, only do benzos, only do opiates. Some think smoking cigarettes is awful. Though, cigarettes aren't allowed, anyway. Most of these people have been hospitalized or detoxed or in a special community for addicts before. Others are in for the first time and are very nervous and scared of being judged. They're not bad people. They know they're not bad people. And they want everyone else to know their not bad people. Some of them are just better at showing it than others. We don't know what they've been through, where they've been, what they've seen.

There's no real point to this blogamadoo.... I just wanted to share the experience, the stories. This is just a beginner's tale that I may add future stories and facts to for your benefit, and my own. We can learn about these people, their illness, and the path to a cure (or treatment) together.

Not to mention, the reminder that it is indeed a disease. An illness. A sickness. As another co-worker explained, just like any other disease, we have medication and upkeep. Sometimes we forget to take out medication and take care of ourselves, so our body warns us. Seizures, blackouts, shaking, hangovers, quivers, and various other symptoms remind these people that they are unwell. However, fortunately, they have some control over this sickness. They can get better and overcome it. As a matter of fact, at least half the staff are ex-addicts of one sort or another. They got better, they made a life for themselves. Judgment and cruelty are not cures. My view is: help these people, be part of the solution, or get out of the way.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Great Irony

What do you say when a friend texts you late at night, "I want to die." ?

You ask, "Do you really want to die? Should I be concerned?"
"Of course I do. My life is f*cked up"

This conversation continues. You ask several times, "Do you plan on harming yourself? If so, how do you plan on doing it?"
Followed up with, "Do you plan to be alive tomorrow?"
He responds with vague answers; not truly answering, or just changing the topic altogether. He seems serious.

You put aside the books you were studying. You minimize the document you were just working on titled, "What is a counselor?" and you open a webpage with a list of suicide hotlines.

---------------

This means you have put aside your education, your future career and livelihood to help someone. Not a client or a patient, possibly not even someone you consider a friend. Many professionals in the mental health field would say that it is not your job. That the person should contact someone and you should focus on your own stuff. However, that wouldn't be their advice if the person texting you were willing to pay, would it? Of course, if you don't have a license, that would be illegal... but you're getting off topic. Point being- what do you do? No compassionate and decent human being would just go back to their schoolwork after hearing something like that.

This is the sort of conflict anyone with empathy and patience has encountered. No doubt, the older one gets, the more calls of desperation you are likely to receive. And the answer only lies in the person in the moment facing the situation. There is no wrong answer (between speaking to them or pawning them off to someone else), from a professional and ethical aspect, this is entirely subjective. It depends on how capable you view yourself to be, what you believe your role is in this person's life, and how you think you will respond in the worst case scenario. If things go downhill, there is no good solution or outcome. Most people in this position will find a way to blame themselves, no matter how much time and effort they devoted to the person at risk, or how many resources they recommended. On the other hand, if things turn out being okay, you need to learn to take credit. Not necessarily dancing around singing, "I saved a life! I am the best person who has ever lived!!" but... just taking a moment to recognize the good deed, the skills you have, and an appreciation for yourself. This is the part most people forget to celebrate. Saving a life is not minor feat. Many (if not all) of the biggest names in the mental health field have experienced losing a patient or client. Win or lose, it will be traumatic. So, no matter what the outcome, self-care and even therapy may be necessary.

Of course, sometimes you may also get impatient with the people you are dealing with. Oftentimes, self-harming people will ask for advice, then tell you everything you advise is stupid and wrong. This can be so, so very frustrating. Or they make the horrible statement, "I have the hardest life ever." Pretty sure you're not from Sudan or Syria, dude! Keep in mind, however, that to them, their life is THEIR hardest life ever. This makes it a lot easier to empathize. It's no competition, but everyone who is hurting is looking for a reason. An explanation for the bad things and the pain, even if there is nothing there to blame. Sometimes you just have to tell them, "Yep. Life is hard."

Validation is way more comforting than hearing, "No! Life is good! Stop being sad, chum!" I can say from firsthand experience that when you're bummed out, being told you're wrong and that everything is sunshine and lollipops, you just want to stab yourself (and the other person) in the vulva and watch the knife come out through the larynx. Positivity is not always the answer. While hope for the future is nice, it's not always realistic. Feeling understood and less alone is the goal. Of course, maybe don't convince them that there is absolutely no reason to hold on and they'll only become more miserable throughout life. That might not be the way to go, either. Let's aim for a healthy middle, shall we? Life is awful, but we're all miserable together. So, we aim to enrich other people's lives and we try to make our own lives as decent as possible. Being dead is super boring, anyway. If nothing or no one else, you, you who is giving them your love and care, you'll be there and you want Mr. Sadface dude or lady to improve your life. You probably benefit from this person being alive in some way (accept it- we're all selfish jerks), so let them know that. Maybe they're working on a project that you want to see completed, or they owe you money (but they have all the time they need to pay you back) or... whatever. If it's someone you've yet to meet in person, all the better! Try, "My goal right now is go to _____ with you!"

Keeping someone alive is NOT easy. Keeping them from harming themselves is an exhausting, long-term process. So, I think common sense is key. Whether you're up for the task or not is the first step. Don't take it on because it's the "right thing to do" or it's a new challenge. That's stupid. Don't be stupid. If you KNOW you can handle it on all levels, and the person at risk refuses to contact anyone else, then giving it your all is worthwhile. Of course, there should still be 911 on the other line. It shouldn't be all on you, anyway. Don't tell the whole neighbourhood and have a suicide block party... no. That might be fun, but probably not helpful. Just contact a close friend or family member (of yours AND of Mr. Sadface) and see what wisdom they can offer or if there's anyone they think you should talk to that may help. Again, that's if Mr. Sadface won't contact a hotline or anyone. A professional is ideal. You may feel like you're betraying this person's trust or they may get angry at you, but... get over it. Priorities. His/her life or his/her trust?

So... that's all my suicidey advice for today! I hope you don't run into a situation like this anytime soon, but now you're fairly prepared if so.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Money, Monet

Let's get the elephant in the room dealt with- I am most definitely a "privileged white person". Am I a "privileged Christian" or "privileged man"? No. I am just a very fortunate white person. I was born white. Thus, no one hates me for being black or otherwise. Being a Jewish female, on the other hand, has gotten me into some sticky situations. That's okay, though. Well, not okay. It shouldn't happen. Stop picking on me, guys! BUT, it is not a unique experience I've had, because, unfortunately, everyone at some point or another suffers for being who they are. Unless you're a white, male Mormon. I think bullying a Mormon is punishable by four years of feet-dangling.

And... this doesn't have much to do with my topic today. Well, it does, as, money certainly helps one be privileged. On the other hand, I don't have said money because I am caucasian. I have it because my parents are very intelligent and hardworking people. They came from the nether-regions of New York City and they worked their way into a new tax bracket.

If your grandparents or great-grandparents arrived to America from Neverheardofit, Pakistan, Dontcare, Mexico, or Weate Ourkidz, Russia; they definitely suffered. Woe is them! How they suffered.

Then, they had kids who worked hard and achieved "middle-class" status, despite their religion, gender, or background - believe it or not, growing up in the Depression as a Jewish (in my family's case) immigrant from Wemightaswellbedead, Austria, was no easy task.

So, these fine men and women all went on and had families. One kids, three kids... whatever it was, they had those kids and they made them live together; shoved into a one-bedroom apartment or studio like lox in airtight packaging.

These children went on to become doctors, lawyers, and engineers. Again, in my case, literally. Thus, money came into play. Money was not plentiful at first, but with a lot of hard work, dedication, and wacky tobaccy, (but not really. Or, maybe!) these kiddos became successful in their field(s) of choice and moved into the upper-middle class, or possibly even the upper-class. Ooh la la!

The next step was the tricky part, however. When these children grew up and achieved great things, they then had children of their own. Now, these children were in a difficult position. They were growing up with the luxuries of wealth and privilege, so where was "up"? They might be able to do better than their parents. They might make more money and have a fancier job title... but that would require twice the time, money, and effort. Plus, the more modest children would then feel like a spoiled, overly-ambitious copy of their parents.
They could do just as well as their parents, but that wouldn't be too interesting. Or, they could do less than their parents due to laziness, disinterest, fear, or self-doubt.

Not to mention, the years of being told, "You don't understand, your life is perfect. You have money..." pays its toll on a person's conscience. Depending on an individual's personality and experiences, money and success can really mess with one's head. Guilt may lay on one's shoulder like a sack of Moonpies filled with steel instead of cream, and result in depression, anxiety, self-loathing, and way too many cats named "Mitzy Boo Boo".

So, the real question here is, does money make the man? Can we assume someone's life is easier, happier, better... because they have money? Or, does it come with its own stressors, challenges, and not make living life any easier? My vote is "Yes."

Yes- having money means you can travel, eat well, buy gifts, go out, stay clean, maintain a little more safety in your life, pay bills... so on.

No- having money does not make you immune to diseases and disorders, lost friends, no friends, friend who take advantage of you, people who hurt you,  stress, expectations, fears, anger, loss... so on.

If your entire life is defined by what you can pay for, or not pay for, (which is perfectly legitimate, as most things cost money) then, you may see the Yes. You may assume your life would be perfect if you could pay your mom's medical bills, buy your kids Christmas gifts, pay off your student loans, or not have any in the first place, and take everyone on a trip to Disney.

However, if you have all these things, and still feel a sense of loneliness, confusion, and fear, along with all the emotional, and sometimes physical symptoms of life, then you may disagree. Wealthy or not, humans are made to hurt. No human is made to never be sad, but some humans are made to never be happy. Whether there is a fair and right reason for this, that is not the issue. The point I am making is, well, I don't know. I don't know if wealthy people understand unhappiness and suffering as others do. I don't know if it's equal. No one can understand the pain another person is going through. There is no equal or worse pain, there is simply pain and obstacles.

Personally, I don't feel any sympathy or empathy for those who disregard the pain of others. If you get by in life with the mantra that money isn't everything, there is no room for you to treat a "One-percenter" as if they are not human. That they are a different, heartless, cold species that doesn't get how hard it is to be you. Of course, this doesn't work for either side. You can donate to every cause in the world and I still may not respect you if you are doing it for the wrong reasons or partaking in a slave trade on the side. Or, if we learned anything from Plato's Republic, as we should have, we have no use for actions if there is no intention. Sometimes the actions are good enough, but typically, intention is a huge part of things! Huge.

Friday, November 7, 2014

¡Viva México!

Let's talk Mexico, shall we? You know- tacos, sombreros, chihuahuas.
No.
Just, no.
However, this year's "huzzah" goes out to the citizens of Mexico. They've finally caught the fever. The revolution fever, and they are kicking their government in the groin!
"Why?", you ask? Let's discuss.
Forty days ago, forty-three Mexican college students disappeared. Yeah. Like, literally, just vanished! Now, one might say, "That's sad. That's terrible. how awful! But, protesting doesn't bring people home!"
True. It does not... directly. Just like guns don't kill people. Except, nothing like that. In this case, however, the saying is, "Protesting kidnappers doesn't help, but protesting a useless government may!"


Forty days later (and hereon,) tens of thousands of demonstrators are protesting in Mexico City. They are there demanding more action from federal authorities. These protestors are sick of the government corruption, and sick of the cooperation they have with the drug cartels that are overtaking their country and causing their people harm.

The popular chant they are repeating is, "They took them away alive, and alive we want them back."
The sad reality is, we don't know if they were alive when they took them, or if they still are at this point.

To put the situation into perspective, the federal authorities have reported 26,000 disappearances between 2006 and 2012 in Mexico. The causes of death and involvement with illegal activity was not mentioned.

This particular sad case began on September 26th. On this day, students from a teacher training college went and protested and raised funds. Later on, after police stopped the students, six people were found shot shot, and the 43 students were gone.
To add to this tragedy, while searching for the lost students, authorities have come across many mass graves with the remains of hundreds of unknown corpses.



Yesterday, alongside Live Streamer and much-more-informed-than-me-activist, Matt Hopard (www.ustream.tv/stopmotionsolo) wandered uptown to one of these Mexico protests. Unfortunately, at this point, it was down to a small number of demonstrators. Maybe about 10-12 chanters were walking in circles within the limits of a tiny gated-off area. There were signs and chants, but not nearly as many people as there were in the past weeks. Cold weather, daily life, and less-than-enthusiastic passersby must dishearten these folks, but the brave few left still keep chanting and circling; like vultures eyeing below, their goals and dreams for a safer tomorrow. *dramatic exit music*





Thursday, November 6, 2014

Impressing the Ladies!

How to impress a girl (according to my date last night):

1. After trying to meet up for 3+ years, make sure you are 2 hours late to your first date. Now, I don't mean for work reasons or family issues or anything mature or responsible; I mean, you're showing up two hours late because you were getting drunk with your buddies. Oh, yeah...

2. Get drunk with your buddies beforehand. Not too much, so she can sense it and knows to run right away. No, no, just to that point where the two more drinks you have with her will send you over the edge. To the point where you are slurring, wobbling, and falling asleep as you speak.

3. Obviously, you should be falling asleep throughout the conversation. Which, might I mention, is understandable, since the conversation is incredibly dull. You're either pretending to listen, but not responding, talking about yourself (including, but not limited to, showing her pictures of yourself on your phone), or texting/chatting on your phone every 5 minutes. Along with the fact that you only have one passion in life. Only one thing you do in life. No time for hobbies or a life outside your artistic endeavor of choice. This will mean you have absolutely nothing to discuss. Because, you wouldn't show interest in her hobbies, after all. 

4. Speaking of every 5 minutes, make sure to go to smoke or pee every 10-15 minutes. Hey, if she waited two hours for you already, I'm sure she'll be perfectly content waiting alone at the bar for you as you go across the street and buy a new pack, or a sandwich, or get married (as, you'll be gone ridiculously long....)

5. If you have a beard, and I do hope you have a beard, it'll be all kinds of scraggly and unruly. This way, when you take a swig of your bourbon, it will be soaked up by said beard. Then, when you insist on trying to kiss her every now and then, your beard will act effectively as a sponge and instead of your intended lips touching hers, your beard will squeegee out all the bourbon onto her face. This will leave her smelling cigarettes and beard bourbon (beardbon?) This is super attractive.

6. Finally, when she rejects your offer to either go home with her or take her home with you for the 8th or 9th time, you will them promptly check your phone and, coincidentally, your band mate will need you present immediately. Thus, you leave in a hurry, leaving enough money to cover your drinks (which you requested be the cheapest liquor they have available) and a 2 dollar tip, despite the bartender being a fan and complimenting your music, as well as offering to let you play at his bar sometime. 

Follow these rules and your new lady friend will be chasing you around like a bloodhound on a fox's trail. Hot diggity dog! 
And, hey, even if it doesn't work out, the bartender will remind you that you just weren't meant to be with a "4'3'' hairy and broke accordion player who showed up late and drunk." I guess it's not for everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Step One in Life

Being organized is important. This is because, if you aren't organized, and you're just frazzle and absent-minded, you look like an idiot. I should know; I'm an idiot, after all. However, I am a fairly organized idiot. You can be, too! So, how about we discuss HOW to be organized? After all, research, and every person with a 1st graders education, knows that people who are disorganized are negatively affecting their mental well-being. True fact! Chaos around you represents chaos within you. Now, I don't know if a wacky mind leads to a wacky home, or visa versa, but I'm going to assume it's a two-way road. Just avoid all the wreckage and get yourself together.

1. Get a calendar, you animal! What is wrong with you? How do you even remember to breathe? A calendar is the most essential item you could possibly possess. I am ashamed to even call you a human being. There's a calendar in your phone, on your computer, on your tablet, and they sell adorable calendars with puppies on each page. They're practically bursting out of your spleen, you have so many options!
Every adult whose head has never been kicked by a horse should use a calendar or notepad or write on their hand. Because, you moron, remembering stuff can be difficult. Because, you imbecile, you're going to complain that you forgot or are late because you didn't write it down. Let's fix that now, and just maybe, one day, someone will like you. Go get one.
You sicken me.

2. Put things back. This should be the most obvious and clean-cut rule. If you turn on a light; or a faucet; or use your keys; or put your child somewhere; or put your butcher knife in someone's body, after you're done, put it back where it belongs. Turn off the light or faucet, put your keys on a rack, put your child and butcher knife back to bed. I realize this is a complex concept for some of you zombie-esque lead-munchers, but today's lesson is going to reinforce ideas that your goldfish could have told you. I know you're lazy, though, so, when you get home, putting your umbrella in the stand is not your first wish. Either, stop being lazy (those love handles won't tighten themselves) or write it down. Where, you ask? HEY! Look at step one! Funny, that.

3. Create folders. Whether it's a physical folder that you label or a box or a file on your computer, make it happen. Because you are retarded, you will lose track of where you put important papers. The good news is, this isn't the year 1500, we have places for papers. We have folders that hold papers. We have binders and cardboard boxes and 2-pocket folders with pictures of ponies and sparkly lizards on them! If it's a folder on your computer's desktop, you have the potential to be SO organized.

Files:
1- 2014
2- December
3- Office Party
4- Photos of you crying under your work desk with a bottle of peach Schnapps in one hand and a picture of your dead mother in the other.

The photos of your mother's funeral will go under:
2014 - October - Funeral - "She never loved me"

But she probably didn't love you because you always left the kitchen light on.

4. Give things order. Not that everything you own has to be in alphabetical order based on colour, but some control is very important. The organization of your things represents the only bit of sanity left in you. So, don't mess this up, you psycho.
Organizing a drawer, or closet, or stack of stuff is much like the aforementioned file and folder thing. You start broad and then get more specific. If you have 5 drawers, you can fix things up by size. Undies on top, then shirts and skirts, then extras, like sweaters, and then pants and dresses. Or, go by season, how often you wear the things, or, yes, even colour is acceptable. Though, I imagine there will be much more of some colours than others. In your case, I bet there's a lot of black.
If your drawer then overfloweth, you should try to designate a special spot for the stuff you probably won't be wearing everyday (or sell/donate these things!) Because you're a privileged and spoiled individual.
This brings me to step 5!

5. Chuck it! I know how much you loved your best friend's ex, and you planned on them getting married and making you the best man and the maid of honour, but you seriously have to throw out that custom "Best Person of Honour" badge you bought. It cost you $5 on Ebay and no one wants to see it on your wall when they enter your home. Learn to say, "Goodbye!" The same way you said it to that guy you accidentally ran over and then ditched behind a garbage dump two summers ago. Your secret is safe.
Things seem like they will eventually become useful or cool or have their time to shine, but they won't. Things get old and useless. You'll experience that one day. For now, just get a sane friend to come over (we're assuming you have one of these from camp as a child, when everyone was mean to you, so the camp forced another child to be your friend. After 4 years of this, she felt weird ditching you, so she stuck around), pick things up and let them decide for you whether it's a 'Keep' or 'Chuck'. Don't argue. Don't rationalize. DO IT. It will hurt, but so will being a hoarder with 16 cats.

I think that's everything. If you're not completely useless, you can use these hints and apply them to other things and whatever.  I don't care what you do.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Veeeery Interesting!

"Here come da judge! Here come da judge!" - Sammy Davis Jr.

Self-fulfilling prophecy; that's a phrase you hear too often, isn't it? It is. Rarely when it's accurate, though. It's not usually applied in the time and place it is supposed to be in. It isn't.

Yet, the truest application is always around us. It's going on practically constantly and everyone's too busy with their own busy to notice!
Kids, why do you think your Type-A daddy drinks a- wait- why don't they sell beer in milk cartons?? Who would be more likely to find a runaway teenage girl than the drunk down the street with his torn carton o' booze?

That's not what I was discussing, though, was it? It was not. The reason your daddy drinks a keg of milk everyday is because he's miserable, kids.
Okay, yes, that's a big part of it. Alcoholism covers a lot of underlying issues. Okay, okay. How about this? The 16 year old girl who is top of her class and is about to graduate high school and proceed to go to college at Geniusbutt University. She walks in confidently; belt on pants, hand on boots, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth... and she swigs her weed stick!! *brainsplosion* WHY!? Why are you ruining your life, honey? Your future! Your friends! Your kitten! Your teeth! They're going to be all yellowish! ew.

Well. Tell me, if she fails her first semester, what will she blame? Who will she blame? Her friends for being bad influences? Her parents for pressuring her? Herself for not being smart enough or not being ready? Or, will she blame the pots?
The pots can't defend themselves. Most people already have their prejudices. So, the pots will get blamed, if she tells her parents, she'll get in trouble, BUT, no one will think her a failure or a dummy, just another victim of the Mary J. Bli-jane. After some lecturing and finger-wagging, she'll go back to the comfort of her parents' arms and escape the scary Geniusbutt U. for a little longer.

Now, was this self-fulfilling in that she wished it and so it came to be, or that she wanted it, and therefore, unconsciously caused it to occur?
Did she protect her butt? Hey, she had it good: either, she'd pass nonetheless and be a potman hero OR she's get out school without blaming herself or feeling a loss of dignity. Not quite as large of one, at least.

Unborn pair

Saturday, October 18, 2014

You're a pain in the colon!

Actually, the doctor says my pain comes from my stomach. Though, that was simply based on a push-and-go method. You know, she put pressure around my abdomen and asked where it felt tender or painful. The painful area was around the stomach. So, there you go. Stomach cancer... or ulcers, I suppose. Maybe just my diet. But I'm going to assume tumours, unless otherwise informed. Makes things sound more exciting.

I was asked if I could write a description of my pain and woes as a blog. For the most part, I avoid discussing physical pain, as we all have some sort, and in the bigger picture, it's usually not a huge deal. I guess my stomach pains are the most I've ever been affected by a physical pain, though. This also forces me to talk exclusively about myself, which may have been the idea. In which case, boo on you.

Just because I am stubborn, I will aim to distance this blog about MY pain from ME as much as possible.

First of all, let's discuss the different symptoms of all those thingies I mentioned....

1 - Stomach cancer :
In the early stages of stomach cancer, you may have:
Indigestion and stomach discomfort
A bloated feeling after eating
Mild nausea
Loss of appetite
Heartburn

In more advanced cancer, you may have:
Discomfort in the upper or middle part of the abdomen.
Blood in the stool
Vomiting or vomiting blood.
Weight loss.
Pain or bloating in the stomach after eating.
Weakness or fatigue associated with mild anemia

Chances I have stomach cancer: Pretty much, no chance. It's typically found in Japanese coal-mining men over 70 with a family history.
Last I checked, none of those apply to me. BUT, the early symptoms sound very familiar!

2- Ulcers :
A gnawing or burning pain in the middle or upper stomach between meals or at night
Bloating
Heartburn
Nausea or vomiting

In severe cases, symptoms can include:
Dark or black stool (due to bleeding)
Vomiting blood (that can look like "coffee-grounds")
Weight loss
Severe pain in the mid to upper abdomen

Chances I have ulcers: Fairly high, since it runs in my family. However, I tried the medication, and it did nothing. But ulcers are common in Ashkenazi Jews, as is Crohn's and, well, pretty much any stomach issue.

3- Crohn's disease :
Diarrhea.
Fever and fatigue.
Abdominal pain and cramping.
Blood in your stool.
Mouth sores.
Reduced appetite and weight loss.
Perianal disease.

People with severe Crohn's disease may also experience:
Inflammation of skin, eyes and joints
Inflammation of the liver or bile ducts
Delayed growth or sexual development, in children

Chances I have Crohn's: Fairly low, since the pain would not stem from the stomach, as mine does. However, the pain test was not very scientific, so who knows what we'll find. The benefit of Crohn's is that, though there is no cure, there are treatments and, like, sympathy. If I just have IBS, no one cares and there's nothing I could do about it.

4- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) :
Abdominal pain or cramping
A bloated feeling
Gas
Diarrhea or constipation
Mucus in the stool

Chances I have IBS: Middle of the road. I have been informally diagnosed with it before without tests or anything. The doctor just said it's probably the issue. Although, mucus in the stool sounds like the most horrifying thing in the world. I never want to know what that looks like. That is probably the worst thought a human (or body) could conceive of. "Hey, let's just take the two most disgusting human things, put them together, and inflict it on someone." Now, this could very well be my issue, but, as I said, it's just as painful as the other stuff, so I may as well have something unpleasant but treatable!

There are probably other options out there, but these are the four usual suspects. It's funny, I am NOT the type to go to the doctor. I rarely went as a kid, and I just never felt things were bad enough or worth the time. However, I've had to run to the hospital for this pain, I've canceled a million plans because of this pain (though, no one ever believes that excuse), and it's become very difficult to focus in class or on work when I am going through the pains, so, I knew it was time to deal with it. Of course, it's taking forever, but it's better than not bothering at all!

I guess one thing I've gained from my stomach issues is the ability to focus on everything I do. I no longer take my healthy days for granted. They've become uncommon, so when I am not in pain, I make sure I get out of the house and go somewhere interesting and fun. I also always know what I'm eating, how fast I'm eating, and I'm very conscious of what hurts and what helps. Or, I try to be. It can be hard to tell. Not to mention, I'm really good at falling asleep on the bathroom floor. Ya know, because sometimes the time is NOW, and you do not want to be in the wrong room.

While whatever I am dealing with is not the worst affliction ever, it does affect me and it does affect my life, so, of course, my answer is, JOKES! That's what I do. It's not everyone's first choice. And, I try to be appropriate about things, particularly since I blush easily. But sometimes the only way to get through a rough night is to joke about it.

One day there will be a movie:

There are two lovers lying under the stars, looking deep into each other's eyes, the lighting is perfect, the temperature is perfect, the moment is perfect... and then she doubles-over in pain and runs to the bathroom for half an hour. She comes skipping in afterwards and giggles, "I need to borrow a pair of pants, babe."

Or....

Our heroine is exploring the forest with knife in hand. She's ready to fight anyone or anything that comes along. Suddenly, her stomach starts gurgling. "Not now!" she whispers.
On she goes. Seeking out Dr. Badguy. Killing snakes and bears and whales along the way. Then her stomach gurgles and growls again.
"Oh, no."
She runs and runs, trying to find her way to the end of the forest. She can't be caught pants down, she can't be found so vulnerable. She runs, and then walks and tries to remain calm. She's now waddling. She's now holding back a single tear that has formed from squeezing her buttocks so tight. Then she sees it; a heavenly and divine bush to crouch behind. She jumps behind it and finds sweet relief. That is, until she looks beside her and sees her foot sliding down towards 30 feet below, where there is a running stream. Pushing herself out of the slipping dirt patch, she jumps back out. Nearly having broken an arm or leg or her neck, she realizes, she hadn't made it entirely in time. She runs back home, finds her mother, and giggles, "I need to borrow a pair of pants, mom."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Who's cool? You cool.

This "I'm a cool parent" or "we're a cool couple" thing is getting old. I don't mean parents and couples shouldn't be cool, I'm saying they should be cool within their own lives. With those connected to the situation. NOT posting cute/cool things they are doing all over social media. Now, we've all been there; you do something really cool or clever or funny and you WISH your life was The Truman Show, so you post it to your friends. Sure, that's fair. Once in a while, we have to brag about our coolness. However, when it becomes this, "Like oh my god, just a reminder, don't forget! I do really amusing things ALL the time. Aren't you jealous that you aren't as much fun as I am?"

That makes you look sad. Dare I say, pathetic?

A cool parent, to me, means that you are making your kid laugh all the time. A cool spouse/significant other brags about the amazing things their other half does, not what THEY do. If you're doing it and looking forward to showing it off to other people, you're probably in it for the wrong reasons. NOT COOL.

I do get it, though, as I said. Life can get mundane at times, one must spruce it up and, yeah, show other people that you're doing something interesting with your life and free time. Of course. Or, you need evidence that you are raising your kid in a unique and progressive way. You're proud when your kid is a little odd and original. Surely! There's always a limit, however. Some things are just best kept private and hey, eventually someone will notice how cool you guys are all on their own. If you're really doing a good job at it, someone will notice. Word will spread, you'll be the coolest mom/dad/spouse on the block. Like, whoa!

Hey, I've considered having kids eventually just so I could do weird, experimental things with them. I can say that because I don't want kids, otherwise. If my kids turned out super boring and stupid, I'd just punch them and lock them in a secret pathway under the wood floors. How cool would my kids be if they lived underground? They'd be super cool until they starved to death. See? This is how bad parenting begins! I will not have kids just to prove how unique they can be; I promise!

As for getting married and doing cute, weird couple things? I don't know if that would work... most guys think I'm too weird. I don't think they could keep up. I don't mean trendy positive weird, either. I mean, like wanting another dog so I can name him "Kuru". Yes, the fatal epidemic spread in New Guinea due to cannibalism. Like, that *would* be an awesome name, but most guys are not impressed with the idea. (To be fair, I've spoken to other guys who LOVE the idea, so... that's good.)

But cannibalism aside, I'm just trying to say that being present in your situation is the most important thing you can have and appreciate. Rather than worrying about how you look to other people. This is something we all unconsciously focus on much too much. When we're little we want to be the most normal, popular kid who does all the trendy stuff. As we get older, some people stay that way, and some people remember how they got attention for being the most weird and unique, and therefore, become hyper-focused on that aspect. In the end, the concept is the same. Don't you see, man? It's all the same! We're all sheeple. Brainwashed by the media, man!

I hate that word- "sheeple". It sounds gross, and, of course, overused. Do people still think that's a clever term? "Whoa- what if we take the word PEOPLE, but imply that we're all just following THE MAN by adding in the word SHEEP. It would totally become SHEEPLE. Where do I come up with this stuff!?"

Dangit, Johnson, you're not even trying anymore!!

Where was I?

My point is, this is why relationships are so poo-y these days. As soon as someone's spouse isn't being cute and "on" all the time, one gets bored of them or disappointed. Rather than looking for the little things, we are all seeking the big things. Now, that's not to say, I don't expect to be amazed and surprised and laughing all the time from whomever I choose to settle on one day, but that's only because I'm one for providing the entertainment. I expect it return. My standards and expectations are higher than healthy. BUT, still, I want it for me. Not to show off to other people. Therein lies the difference. I think. Maybe it's just as bad, but I am acknowledging it now, and I've remained single for 400 years in order to... um... not inconvenience anyone. Yes, that's it. It's all a choice, I say!

That reminds me of a conversation I had the other day. With someone. And I can't remember what the conversation was. I was talking about something... OH! About moving to Tennessee and being a redneck. I was saying, "I don't think I could do it. They say it isn't a choice, but we all know God intended us to be city-folk. Being a redneck just ain't natural!" I was being told I should try it and see if I like it, but I was adamantly opposed.

What does this have to do with anything? Nothing. Nothing at all. I just found it amusing and I don't have any children or spouse to brag to about how amusing I am, so I will do it here. Then again, you had to be there. It isn't funny at all written down. I just can't win.

But see how I brought it all around to a point? I wasn't just rambling!

If we could all just make our point and focus on the children - think of the children!! - then we'd all have healthier relationships and lives. And maybe we could all adopt animals and name them after brain diseases. That's all I really want.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Woke up with a concept.

I would like to take this opportunity to discuss the rumour spread of a cookbook being released by the author, humourist, director, and beloved philanthropist Woody Allen. These rumours were correctly and fairly spread by one correct and fair... me!

Mr. Allen, born at the intolerable and inconvenient height of 5'5'' had the chutzpah to begin a career in cooking at the newly inspired age of XX. An age censor requested by his agent, in order to uphold his high standards of secrecy and vanity. Alongside these inflamed and accurate allegations of his authorship of said cookbook, he was also honoured earlier this year with an award presented by Melanie B. AKA Scary Spice of late "Spice Girl" fame. He received the honour with the title, "Scariest Person with Potential to Sport a Cultural Afro". Ms. B was heard chuckling at the apropos terminology used; "sport", reminiscent of her fellow Spicy girl "Sporty Spice". Unfortunately, no one else found this joke as amusing as she did.

It is noted that this Spice Girl's sense of humour, or lack thereof, is no reflection of that of Mr. Allen's. As a matter of fact, he found her humour, "... as stupid as the term Zigguh Ziggah!"

The data of utmost importance in this case is the recognition of what Allen has chosen to include in his cookbook. Firstly, the title he has aptly chosen is, "Filet it Again, Sam". One which in disclosure, he reveals was actually a second desirable choice next to, "Everything you always wanted to know about steak, but were too afraid to ask." A long title his editor felt was too close to the more risqué title of a movie he directed many years prior.

Nonetheless, recipes in this book include:
- Starfruit Memories
- The Purple Onion with Taro
And, of course, a special recipe for a Manhattan without ice. Because no hypochondriac need face brain freeze on any given day.

Further information will be shared soon... if I think of anything else. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

And, now what?

It doesn't particularly make sense to me as to why our options are so limited in life.
That sounds absurd. You can be a doctor or a hobo or a police chief or a lion tamer or.... well, you get the idea. Yes. This is true, you can BE whatever you want (if you BELIEVE!) but that's a tiny particle amidst the bigger picture!

Still, in order to survive and not disappoint those you love, you have to "grow up", to some extent. You have to LIVE and be independent and let go of people you care about. You have to lose people you enjoy having in your life. You have to be born and you have to thrive and you have to die. You and I don't have a choice in the matter.

I may want to go through life without stressing about taxes and work and grades, but in order to live a full life, I am expected to do this. Even if I live on my own terms, not caring about what anyone thinks, then I am just living a selfish life, and what's the joy in that? Majority of people allow themselves to be stressed and anxious and sad because we care about other people. Which would be fine; if we got to determine WHAT mattered.

What matters to those around us matters to us because of pre-determined expectations. What's "average" and "right" is what's "best".
If someone doesn't like the rules, they have no say in how it will affect others. If someone decides to live with their parents, not have a traditional job, and just work on their paintings or their inventions or their book their entire lives; sure, they could do that. But who does that benefit throughout? Not many people. Success and moving "forward" is what people want to see. Otherwise, you're not doing a whole lot. Even if in the end your invention helps millions of people, what good were those years between? Even if you were helping people and being a good person; chances are, no one will be impressed. Except, maybe other people who didn't bother doing much else with their life. This especially applies if one comes from a history of "successful" people.

**** Yes, I am putting a lot of words in quotes. This is because they note which terms are subjective. What one considers successful will differ greatly from what another does. But there is an objective view of what is success and selflessness and respectable. Myself included, I have my own bigoted views and snobby attitude from time-to-time. We all have standards. Some people just cut it off at "Well, if you have no desire to murder me, you aren't bad!", and others expect a lot more. Also, what I stated above is not necessarily my opinion (obviously!)

If your entire life, you've been surrounded by blue-collar influences, then you may view that as being the hardest working type of people. The most decent sort, and the kind of person you aim to be.
If your entire life you've been surrounded by white-collar folks, your standards will differ. You may hate that world, you may resent it, but that may still be the kind of person you aim to be. You may not become an accountant or CEO, but that is probably still what you view as the height of achievement. This won't immediately be obvious to you, or you may be in denial, but if there is an ingrained sense of degradation towards the blue-collar (or alternative lifestyle) variety, there is little chance one setting their goals at that point. Education and knowledge will always be a higher form of success and intelligence in your book.

There is certainly a high-anxiety-level in people of this type. Being an artist is difficult in its own right, due to the fact that making money and earning respect will be more of a difficult task. However, being that humans are social creatures, if expectations upon you are higher and more difficult to attain, stress will be higher.

This is another of those unfair aspects of life. Being thrown into the world, being labeled and boxed, and then told, "Maintain this or live knowing you've let us down." This is the opposite of what some professionals would call 'unconditional positive reinforcement'. A rare find these days. Everyone has felt that pressure. "If you are not like me (or what I want you to be like), I won't love you, or like you, or be proud of you, or support you.... etc."

Above all else, without UPR, life is more challenging. Bills may not get paid, assignments may not be in on time, but if at the end of the day someone still can appreciate you, I imagine you will still find joy and a purpose for living.

The thing is, most of us never leave the adolescent stage. We seek approval from others and we're spiteful. We're spiteful because we seek approval. Odd, isn't it? Like teenagers, people are so terrified of being rejected that we sometimes intentionally ruin a good thing before we can unintentionally ruin it. We also will stubbornly give up if we do not receive the feedback we seek.

Where one's priorities lie will nearly entirely determine their potential for contentedness throughout life. I can't say what will improve one's standing and pleasure. I cannot say how one resolves and rebirths. I suppose the most important thing is remembering that, one day, you'll be on your death bed. You may be surrounded by people who love you, you may be all alone when it happens. But, at that point, you have to face your choices and your life. What you've accomplished and seen and tried, that will be what's left with you. Sure, your time alive and suffering will be much longer than those weeks, days, or hours before death, when you can really contemplate everything, but what sums it all up are those last 20 minutes. No matter how senile or poorly you are, what you have experienced through life will be there with you in that moment. Maybe what matters the very most is what you find once you're at that point.

After all, we've all experienced what's prior to life, we'll all experience what's post-life; the time in-between the two is quite long and arduous, but maybe it's worth making it a good time.

Friday, August 29, 2014

They say, they say

They say you "have insomnia", but I assure you, no one HAS insomnia; insomnia HAS you. It holds you and cuts through you like margarine through a knife.

On this fine evening of subtracting sheep, I've made a life decision. A change of paths, one might say. Climbing a different valley, swimming a different lake, rowing a different boat ashore!

-I've decided to quit seriousness-

Anything of serious nature, unless of utter importance, is not for me. Maybe one day I'll come back to it, but for as long as I can hold off, I plan to be all silly, all the time.

Being serious bores me, and I don't aim to be bored. I aim to be have, because mother always told me to be have. She may have been telling me to haver, though. Makes me think of the term "keen"... you know, like an Irish keen. Not to be confused with quinoa. Which, if you didn't know how to pronounce previously, you do now.

Anyway... I am getting off point. And, you know what they say about getting off point, don't you? Oh, boy, well, I'll tell ya... I'll tell you right here and now. You won't even believe it. It's absolutely incredible what they say. If you want to know, you listen up right now, because it will truly astound you. The thing they say will knock your boots off, make your arm hairs stand right up, and send chills right through you. You'll be blown away, mind blown, blown outta town! I tell ya, you really will, once you hear.

Heck, being serious is an important part of life, this is for sure. Not much would be discussed, discovered, or disgusted if not for serious-talk, but I just don't think it's for me right now. Not at this conjunction, conjecture, construction, constructor in time.
Don't play dumb; play the trombone!

I've spent so many years of my life (62 to be exact) playing that part, much of the time. Talking philo-sisyphus and psych-oncology and any other word that I have to double-check when I write it down. The mind needs to relax sometimes and take a break. Sometimes it even needs to give a break.

I mean, heck, it's five in the morning! That means I've been awake for about 18 hours. Not that I've been counting... just basic math.

Well, anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I've reconfiguring my life. Hey, I'm even working on sorting out what I'll be when I grow up! Yes, sir, I really am. As those who know me know, I've had trouble with this for a while now. Always changing colleges and fields and paths.

Remember that time I was going to be an economist? I went to the meetings, I wore all red, I even studied in China and Russia! But when they told me I had to go online and support Karl Marx and Hugo Chavez, I knew ecommunism wasn't for me!

Then, next, I wanted to get into racing. Boy, did I! No one believes me, but briefly, I was the biggest racist around!

I actually worked at a watch store for a while, too. I wasn't so good at that, however. Whenever they told me to go find what made them tick, I would throw rocks at them and call them names!

Well, forget about being a personal trainer; that wasn't working out.

Anywho, my next gig is going to be as a cabin girl on a big cruise ship! Yeah! My only concern is that, when I go on a cruise, I tend to gain 20-30 pounds. The cruise director doesn't like that. If they don't pay me on time, I'll rock the boat.


Bah, you're ridiculous.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ignor-what?

Normally, I would say ignorance is a wonderful thing. To some extent, at least. I don't want to know everything. I want to ponder and debate and question certain things. However, I've recently realized, if there is a Heaven and a God, and he doesn't let us know he exists, that's simply not fair. That's cruel.
Not for the sake of Earthly pain and trauma, but for those who have died. Some people are so good and kind that WE deserve to know the truth. Are they simply in a box underground being eaten by worms? "Oh, darling, this human is delectable!"
Or, are they still somewhere? Do they still get to exist? Because, for some people, I really hope they do. And, if they do, I want to know that. Otherwise, don't bother.
It may not be that I am an adamant atheist because I am *certain* there is no God, but more so, because I don't want there to be. If there is, it is sad to think "someone" like that could exist. Of all the evil we know of, God would be the very worst. The most heinous of them all. I hope for us all that he does not exist.
It would be much better to go on without meaning or purpose. To think it's all a chaotic mess and science has done us some good and done us some bad, but no one consciously chose to do such things to us.
What use is dying if there's no opportunity to jump back and forth between the Heavens and the Hells and the in-betweens. We can pop into Hell and greet Groucho Marx, and pop upstairs for a breeze and a chat with... who am I kidding? There's no one there I'd want to chat with! Then go back to Earth for a bit to make sure someone's been feeding your dog (or not, if you miss him!)
But that gets me thinking about the fairness of all existence! Which is way too big a topic to cover. However, think about it! I want you to THINK about it. In this big world of actual, real conspiracies. Ones we will never grasp. It's incredible. I mean, why did those bath salt zombie people suddenly disappear? Why did they suddenly *appear*? Reminds me of a friend I briefly had... He was an "activist", sort of. He showed up at all the rallies and whatnot, but never spoke of the cause. He'd simply tell me how much he wanted to hurt people. He had a rage disorder in which he would randomly harm strangers. He was delusional (he thought a cup of ketchup was blood....) and he really was an aggravator at these events. One day he disappeared. Gone. Everyone forgot about him. He caused trouble, made us look bad and dangerous, and then, who knows! It's so easy for xxxx to create these illusions, these events without anyone batting an eye. You have the conspiracy theorists making up crazy stories, no one listens, but then when odd coincidences and events come about, the "normal" folk rationalize it. Which is good, because there's enough crazy out there as it is. But, what about the things that could be happening right underneath our noses and we rationalize them, or we're so distracted by whatever the media wants us to focus on, that those things walk right past us. This scares me. This is why I try to avoid media, but media IS society. It's how we socialize, how we spend our free-time, how we make money and travel and bond and survive. If we live entirely outside of it, we have no power or say in what goes down. So, that's just as useless. If we speak up, we're given just enough rope to feel a sense of chaos and freedom, but never enough to unveil anything.
Humans are just animals, along with all the other "just animals", yet, our "intelligence" has given us the ability to ruin ourselves. De-naturalize ourselves. We've made life unfair. We live to complain and witness how unfair it is. We have no other option than to follow the lead of what we know. We're all part of a bigger picture that we label as nature or life, but, as far as we know, we've made everything we have. We've turned it into the something or nothing or meaningless pit of depression and anxiety that it is. Am I the only one who is angered by this? That we have NO other option than to obey? Even if one is outside the rules and expectations, they are still part of it! They are defined by living outside of it. Their existence is meaningless and useless for anyone but themselves. I can't speak for random tribes and communes elsewhere in the world. People living in caves and underground in the pipes or whatever.... I don't know what kind of life that would be. I'm not sure it's one I could live (then again, that may only be because I've adjusted to this pampered life.) But those people are suffering in their own ways. I am sure. They still experience physical pain and rejection and anger and are insulted and feel hungry and lack things.

It may seem as though I am jumping large topic to huge topic, but this is what is on my mind. This is why I barely sleep anymore, so pardon me. Especially if you're not really catching my points and thoughts.

Originally, my theory was that life was more pleasant in the past. That things were better. But, first of all, that's a very general statement that I can't really support without hours of research and hundreds of more pages. Second, that sort of conclusion is useless. It's a nihilist statement, because it is impossible to start over. What I seek is the solution for tomorrow. Not for the world, but for my own words of wisdom. What could I tell a child to help them live a happier life or a more fulfilling one? What would my graduation speech advice be? Or, is it simply, that there is no ultimate answer? Do we have to accept that there will be days when... when it feels as if there is no decency left? Is fairness not an attainable goal? Should good things happen to good people? I suppose not. Not unless they happen to.

I think I am having a legitimate existential crisis. Or a hair extension crisis? An extra-terrestrial Jesus Christus!

I'll stop now.

Friday, August 15, 2014

And, what did you die from?

You've read that article too, haven't you? "No one DIES from suicide. He/she died from depression."

Well, shut your mouth! I did not know that! Here I was thinking cut wrists caused death. Meanwhile, all along, he died from being sad. One second he was talking about disappointment and heartbreak, next thing you know; KAPOW! Spontaneous sad-splosion. Pieces of his soul were splattered everywhere. Police found dried blood on his emotional wall, which he could never break through. Poor fella.
He left behind only one item; his diary. Last page states, "Goodbye, sad world. If you're reading this, I've either died from sad-splosion or my sadness was so immense that my hands fell off and I became a leper. Don't blame yourselves, nor the rope I am dangling from. It's just bad timing. Funny story, actually. Remind me to tell you about it sometime. Just kidding!"

This is my favourite statement. Next to, "Guns don't kill, people kill."
True. The gun was all like, "Be cool, now. Let's talk this over. I don't want to start no trouble."
You know how weapons are. They keep chill under pressure.

Sorry- just a little gallows humour.
~Gallows don't kill people, racist Southerners kill people.~

Thing is, I know society needs to discuss depression. I realize it's a hot button, a sexy topic. But why are we still terrified of the s-word? That is, "Superfluous". I mean, I get it, it can be a tricky word to get used to. All those random U's and whatnot, but it's a really good word.
Oh, and also "suicide". That's another word that's taboo.
What good is that? We already love discussing mental disorders. That's already a big thing. Autism and OCD and ADD and PTSD and N64....
But, that's already out there. It's being talked about. People are getting braver about admitting and accepting that they have depression. Which is great! It's a major accomplishment for the little minds of our time. However, what's not being talked about is suicide. People will use any word, any excuse, anything to avoid that topic. Why? Because we don't get it. No one can speak with certainty. It's easy to say, "She was depressed. I know depression. I get why she's depressed, I know that feeling, and I know what we can do to help her."
However, with suicide, ain't no one got a clue!
We can guess and try things and whimper and moan, but at the end of the day, once someone's dead - le poof! You are too late. There's no reversing that, "I hate you. Go die." You regret saying that now, don't ya? Thought so.

How's about we talk about suicide? How's about we stop holding onto it like it's our "special" child. When we discuss him, everyone has to cover their ears, lest we offend or use the wrong words. That we say something insensitive, or, ohgod, make a JOKE! Don't you go laughing 'bout suicide. Nothing funny about that. Because, you know, you could be next.
Suicide is coming for you next, boy!

"One day I done sat here fer 'bout a hour forty-five. That's when I done seen it! It come right down along here with its lights and sounds, and I swears, it lands right next to me. As close to me as you're standing now. Well, I run to the barn and tells my wife, Susie. I tells her suicide's coming for us. I knew it would come, and it come. I got my shotgun, but by the time I get out there, they already done suicided my little girl. I says, " WHY!? Why you done suicided my little girl?" She just lay there; gun in hand, hole in head. Dead because of that damn suicide! Do not tread on me, suicide. Ya'll hear me? DO NOT TREAD ON ME! You go tell the president, you tell the governor, you tell Al Gore, we will not stand for this! We will not be defitted!"

You know how it goes.

But that's how it is. That's where we are right now. We are still terrified of discussing the matter, and it just grows and grows. Young people, old people. They see it, they know it's out there, and it tempts them. They have no idea what it feels like or looks like. They don't know what they're getting into, because no one ever talked about. Everything else was to blame, so it seems like no one has ever felt like them. Other people have been depressed, that's easy to talk about and sort out, but the only people who felt suicidal are now dead. They seem content!

That's not true, though. We know that's not the case. People survive suicide! Many people regret the choice they made. Others felt it was the best option for them. There's no way of hearing about it if everyone is too scared to touch the topic. They're made to feel guilty and weak and stupid; being told how they must feel, what they must do now.

We hide those people away and drug them up, so no one will ever know what they did and went through. Society is in trouble, we're making some big mistakes. So, don't be scared to talk about it. Don't shy away from the jokes and the questions. "How", "Why", "What"... these are the things we must find out and hear about. That's the only way we can begin to understand it, begin to prevent it, and most important, begin to treat these feelings. Not just teach people to resist any urges or "keep going because it gets better" (stupid fools), but to teach people how to overcome these urges. How to accept life again. And, if someone doesn't want to or can't, we have to learn HOW to let them go and how to deal with the aftermath. There's a way of cleaning up the wreckage without covering it with layers and layers of dirt. I want to see more dead bodies laying around, I SAY!

Or... something like that. Let's learn.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Commit? Sure, I can com

No. I can't. I can't commit. Schools, homes, jobs, relationships, plans, city, state, country... I don't want any of it.
It's not a conscious decision, like, "Hey- I'm going to accept this and ditch last second because I'm a jerk-wad!"
It's more like, "Ooh- that sounds great! Yes!! .... huh. Ya know, I don't think I can do this anymore. Nope. Can't."

And that sooks. SO BAD! A human being needs stability and the willingness to make things stick and work. The patience to find a passion for what they are doing and return to it each day. Hopefully, out of pleasure, not necessity. Sometimes, however, it is out of necessity, such as a job.
Maybe that's the problem, there are few things in life that I HAVE to do.

*Fills up shopping basket with stuff (i.e. food, clothing, stuff I need....)*
"erm. I don't really need this stuff..."
*empties basket and leaves*

This is an uncommon problem in society, an ignored one. As, typically, one sticks with something for more than a short period of time, because they said they would do it. Like it or not, consequences or not, most people will do something because they said they would.

Others of us are so stubborn, so sickeningly anxiety-ridden at the idea of committing to something they don't want to do, that they can physically become ill and find a way out. I myself have experienced this. A psychosomatic reaction to commitment. Normally, such things will take time. One might be so stressed by work that they find themselves in pain and must leave. Incredibly, there are those of us who can have the same reaction within days or HOURS! We might not even make it to the occasion.

There's only so long a person can thrive this way. Eventually, people walk away, jobs run out, and a person gets left behind. Not permanently, I hope. There are just spaces of time where there are no more options. No more things to cancel or quit. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy, inability... depression! Not THE depression, as there is reason and logic to it. Depression, nonetheless. General sadness; boredom, even.

How can the non-committal type learn to commit? Is it possible at all? I couldn't say for certain. It's especially interesting because, for me, personally, punctuality is very important. This being the case, you'd think I would hate the idea of unexpectedly backing out of things. Au contraire! Backing out avoids the task of being on-time. The stress of being early. Or, that could be a way I justify it to myself. We do that, as well. We find ways, unconsciously, to justify our unreliability. Our flakiness.

The term "flaky" has a stigma, does it not? Of course it does. It should! We're kind of jerks. We inconvenience people immensely. However, it's not out of irresponsibility or feelings of superiority. Well, that might be the case for some people.... In my experience, however, it's been an unconquerable fear and anxiety. As angry, hurt, or annoyed as the recipient will be, the one who is feeling the heaviness of anxiety is just as miserable. Again, that has been my experience. The loneliness and guilt that follows is beyond words.

I don't explain this infliction as an attempt to excuse these behaviours. Simply, to share a new view that most people don't understand. It doesn't just apply to any particular type of person, or just flaking out of plans, but it applies elsewhere in one's life. If someone transfers schools a lot or changes majors. If someone feels a constant need to move or travel. If you see a person who always seems to have a new job or a new beau; be aware. Be ready for an unreliable friend. This is not to say you should avoid these people, they may truly be trying, they may truly care. It's simple another personality trait. Just like the kleptomaniac or the incessant liar. They don't mean to be the horrible person they seem to be. It's this urge that bubbles and boils inside you until you can't control your words or actions any longer. You try to do the right thing and make the right choice, but next thing you know, you find yourself in the same unpleasant position you have a million times before. Forgive us, please. Don't let us ruin your life, of course. Be aware of our misdeeds and challenges. But don't write us off. We will be the first ones to understand and accept your flaws. Remember that.

I am curious whether there is a correlation between those who have this trait and those who have experienced an unstable childhood.

It's funny - I lived in the same house, went to the same school, and was surrounded by the same people most of my childhood. You'd expect that to imply stability. However, there was also much disarray. No rules, no schedule, nothing in my household or my life was set. People were late, bedtime was non-existent, and getting in trouble was a matter of whether or not someone was around to discipline you. Which was uncommon. Unless, of course, the timing was just right. There was certainly no certainty, nothing was absolute. Dinner was whenever food was ready, we got to school late practically everyday, and we did our homework around midnight or later. There was little order or sanity. So, commitment was unnecessary! I joined every team and club, I quit every team and club. No one cared. I never studied, never had a tutor. Well, we hired tutors, but I never went to them. There was a lot of pain and suffering as my parents tried to get me TO the tutor, but the next day, things went back to "normal".

But anyway, as you can see, I wasn't raised to commit. No one ever said I HAD to do anything. So, as soon as soon as something got unpleasant or hard, I could simply walk away from the situation. Unless it was a sibling beating, that was something one had to endure. The good news is, I am tough as a rhinoceros nowadays! See? Balance!

Upon reading further on the topic of commitment-phobia, I came across the term, "self-absorbed" a lot. Saying that people facing this disorder are self-absorbed and focus only on their own care and comfort, as opposed to the people they affect. While this is true to some extent; the individual cancels or breaks promises in order to ease his or her own discomfort, I think there is too much focus on this.
There are many negative ways I might describe myself, but to say I am self-absorbed in any way is highly judgmental and inaccurate. I do what I can to avoid inconveniencing people, as do most people with the same infliction. We do not aim to hurt. Sometimes, that comes with the territory, but we are aware of it at ALL times. It probably encompasses our thoughts more than the annoyance of commitment does! That is why we feel so guilty, that is why we are so depressed! Not because WE missed out or are bored or disappointed, but because we know what we did to others. How we let them down and made them feel unimportant. That is the worst part of it all. So, please, do not confuse our disorder for our self-indulgence. I am sure some commitment-phobes are indeed completely self-involved, but do not place such a cruel word and trait unto us all. It's simply not true.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Let's talk taboo

In the past 30 days, 4 people who meant a great deal to me have committed suicide. That is four. Four lives gone. Off the face of this planet, as far as we know or are concerned. How do we explain this? How do we provide closure and understanding? We do not. We cannot.

Barbara Richardson
Anthony Sandi
Jonny Ryall
Robin Williams

All four are now dead because they could not tolerate life. They could not find joie de vivre, nor anything to make-up for the misery or challenges they faced. Therefore, they ended it.

These names should not be forgotten. I want them written out, said, seen, and heard.
Because suicide is evidence of how selfless humans are.

Yeah.

How can you say suicide is selfish, but not credit those of us who are living to be selfless? To some extent, this is logical, is it not?

Not that I believe there is anything wrong with the selfishness of suicide. If anyone is going to decide when you die, it should be you! If you choose one time to be selfish, why not make it the time you can conclude your own story? Seems only fair to me!

Q: Does this mean I condone suicide?

A: I do not.

As a matter of fact, I beg you not to consider it. Not for a moment. Not for half a moment.
As I have now been hurt by the act 4 times, I can certainly say it hurts like all heck. Nothing gets better! Sure, you don't have to deal with your problems, but WE do, and that is the worst thing you can do to someone else. To lay that all on someone else is cruel. Albeit, it alleviates your pain.... Just, be aware; your loved ones will suffer. They will suffer more than you could possibly comprehend.

Will I look at you with disgust and shame if you are contemplating it? I would not be such a hypocrite.

As a person experienced in the thoughts and feelings of a suicidal mind, I know the only answer is to find help. Cliche, yes, but what else do you expect? A magical fairy to make life fair and easy and happy? Shut your face.

I guess the one member of this list that is most relatable, because we all know and love him, is Mr. Robin Williams. A God amongst comedians. The man we all want to be - at least, in character. What I fear most is, if Robin Williams; a man who has brought joy to millions across the globe, has a great career, lovely family, and such strength and intelligence - if even he could not and chose not to face another day; what hope do the rest of us have? What hope do I have?

There should be hope. I believe there always will be hope. But, do you see the conundrum we must face? The terrifying reality? Now, I know things didn't start out so simple for the man, and there were drugs involved, of course... but, why do you think that is?
Williams was a genius. Maybe he saw and knew too much for his own good...?

My other friends were equally as beautiful in heart and spirit. Wonderful musician, loving family person, delightfully charismatic and intelligent. The traits that make them each, individually incredible is endless.

What differs them from those of us who have less to offer in this realm?
I guess to answer that is to answer the question of the ages! The thing is, some people will never find joy or pleasure in this world. That may be called depression, that may be called awareness. After all, we do live in a world of emptiness.

Our lives are just buckets full of holes. Each day we fill them with things and stuff and people and whatever, but slowly everything drains out. We keep filling them; faster and faster. Convincing ourselves that they are just as full of flowers and bunnies as they were, but we will never fill them to the top. We will never be satisfied. Some people give up. Their arms ache, and they see no point in filling the bucket anymore. They know it will just empty out once again. They stop putting things inside. Eventually, their buckets fade away.

This is why I don't fill my bucket with pretty clothes and school papers. As a matter of fact, I like to sit in my bucket. How silly is that?

Sometimes I will sit down on a broken piece and get hurt. Other times, I will find something in the bucket that makes me smile. People will put things in my bucket from time-to-time. Good things, bad things, things I don't fully understand. But there's always something in there for me to explore. Not for the sake of filling empty space, but because, while learning more about my bucket, I learn more about other people and their buckets.

Some people may pass my bucket and think I look funny sitting there, or that I am wasting the space I have available, but I don't mind! Everyone must do with their bucket as they see fit.
Once in a while, someone will see me sitting there and they will put their bucket next to mine. We will chat or trade, or look inside each other's buckets. Scandalous, I know! It makes it all worth it, for whatever time we have together.
Buckets come and go, but mine is always under me. Grounded and safe. I like that.

Maybe if someone had helped those 4 people named above (go look at their names again) find a sturdy place to sit in their bucket, maybe their bucket would still be here. Instead of having been kicked into... well, who knows where?! Or maybe those buckets were worn out. They were kicked and dropped so many times that the hole grew bigger and bigger. So big that even when they sat in their own buckets, THEY drained out!

I wish I had known just how big their holes were. I would have tried to patch them. Then again, I'm not sure I have the right tools.
I will have to go out and buy stronger ones, and I hope you will, too.

Hole repair shopper's guide:

1 - Compassion, empathy, sympathy, patience, forgiveness
2 - A heart, a smile, a listening ear
3 - Breathing, hugging, kissing, hugging
4 - Music, art, dance, theatre, books
5 - Animal babies, human babies, flowers, sunrises
6 - Love, love, love, love.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Satire? More like, Sad...tire?

Hamas is Palestine's only hope.
Hamas fights for the Palestinians.
Hamas is protecting the Palestinian people.

The Israelis are trying to kill all Palestinians.
Israelis are baby-killers.
Israelis want to destroy Palestine.

And, who, of all people is defending Israel? Backing this evil, powerful force?

The Jews.

The Jews who only defend Israel because of its Jewish population





The Jew gives money and weapons and love to the Israeli people.
The evil Israeli people who will to kill innocent people.

We do not hate the Jews, but we must put an end to their evil reign. Before the 0.2% of the world population (the Jews) take over.

We are not anti-semitic, we are anti-Israel. We are anti-Zionist. We are anti-semi- um... we are against the people who wish to kill civilians.

It is not the we do not recognize the genocide and cruelty and inhumanity that takes place elsewhere in the world, we just need to focus on the Palestinians who have died. That is the only number that matters because the J- um, Israeli people are ruthless and will not stop until they are all dead.

Hamas did not agree to cease-fires because they want to kill more Je- Israe- well, because they want to protect their people.
No- because they will not make treaties with terrorists!!

They put weapons and rockets in hospitals and schools and civilian houses because they knew the Israelis would come for them.
Those who lost their lives were martyrs.
The Israelis did not HAVE to destroy our weapons!
They waited and continued to warn the people because they were scared, not concerned.
Scared of the repercussions.
Hamas forced the families and people to stay because they wanted to call that bluff.
They wanted to show the world that the Israelis would harm the innocent people.
They're sick! The Isra- Jews are SICK!
Well, not the Jews. Not all the Jews.
Just the Israeli Jews and the Jews who support them.

They need to stop bombing Palestine! They have the Iron Dome, they can find safety within 15 seconds. Sure, if they're not fast enough, they may die. Their children or aunts or fathers or lovers may die, but... BUT! they have a stronger army, so... so it's okay!
If the Iron Dome does not intercept rocket number 300-something, a city or two may be blown into oblivion, but the selfish Jews had it coming, they stole, well, were given that land unfairly! That empty land mass of nothingness rightfully belonged to the Palestinians! And what did those Jews do? They came along and built houses and synagogues and planted trees and vegetables. They made hospitals and art schools and developed companies and invented medications that benefit people/Americans... why? So they could influence America, influence the world, and take OVER!



Now, the Jews and Israelis in America?
We can't trust them! They're coming for all of us next. They will try to conquer us next.
All .02% of them!

We can try to label them! YES!
Maybe with menorahs or stars, so we know who to watch out for. Keep an eye on them and look-out for any unsavoury actions or statements.

No... wait. I don't think that's the solution. I don't want to find the bad ones AFTER it's too late.


There's only one solution- Internment camps. Didn't they work well after Pearl Harbor? Didn't we win?
We didn't hate the Japanese, we simply did it to keep our country safe. To prevent anymore killing or cruelty.






We CAN NOT condone cruelty.
It's not about hatred or anti-semitism; we MUST protect ourselves and the Palestinians.


Remember, you are not a bad person.
We are dedicated to protecting the innocent.
These people will be treated well. They will be fed and clothed and cared for.
This is for the safety and protection of us all. We can no longer trust the Jewish people.
Whether they are Asian-Israeli, African-Israeli, Muslim-Israeli, Hispanic-Israeli... they are a threat to the well-being of us all.
They must be put away and separated from the rest of us.

For the sake of our children.


For the sake of our women.


And for the sake of all that is decent and humane.


Now that we have covered that, I would like to discuss the blacks who are destroying our society....

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dream, Dream, Dream....

"I wish I had told her I loved her"
"I wish I had visited more often"
"I wish I had been nicer"
"I wish I had forgiven him"

We hear these phrases a lot when someone passes away. We always think we could have done more. If we had done more, the death would be less painful and we would have less regrets. Maybe we'll look like the suffering friend/daughter/lover/etc....

Or, maybe, is that what we just convince ourselves? The opportunity was there all along. Yet, in the end, you didn't follow-through. It's easy to say you wanted to or wish you had, but when you don't, you prove that you didn't want to. Not enough, not when the opportunity was available.

"Visiting more often" is easier and takes up less of your time when the person is gone. You can no longer be called on your bluff. You can no longer be the bad person who didn't visit enough. You don't have to deal with listening to his problems or sit down with her and work through the tough times. Now all you have to do is WISH you had.

You're not a bad person if you have been in this position. Reality is, humans get exhausted. Especially of one another, even the one's we love. Tasks can be daunting or make you feel vulnerable or hurt your pride, and some people, even if they pass away, didn't make it easy.

Wishing leads to guilt and more hurt. It reminds us repeatedly of how we wronged someone. Someone who very well may have done the same thing or made the same choice.

However, what if we could erase these wishes? Or, minimize them?

What if, throughout our lives, we acted like the person we wish we were? A writing professor once said to my class, regarding writing about our personal lives, "Write about someone as if they were dead. Especially your parents." By which she meant, don't limit what your criticism of someone or what stories you tell, out of fear. Fear that they will be embarrassed or angry, or just deny the truth. Write as if you have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of.
Now, imagine we did that every day of our lives? We did the things we would regret not having done once someone is gone, or we ourselves die?? Imagine how much more we'd all live and love!

Woody Allen is often quoted and despised for speaking of the meaninglessness of life. He's an existentialist to the core! Most recently he was criticized harshly while promoting his new film "Magic in the Moonlight." The following are quotes from Allen that have been selected in many published pieces and attacked:

“I firmly believe, and I don’t say this as a criticism, that life is meaningless, I’m not alone in thinking this — there have been many great minds far, far superior to mine, that have come to that conclusion. And unless somebody can come up with some proof or some example where it’s not, I think it is. I think it’s a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing, and that’s just the way I feel about it.

I’m not saying that one should opt to kill oneself, but the truth of the matter is, when you think of it, every 100 years, there’s a big flush, and everybody in the world is gone. And there’s a new group of people. And that gets flushed, and there’s a new group of people. And this goes on and on interminably — and I don’t want to upset you — toward no particular end, no rhyme or reason.

And the universe, as you know from the best of physicists, is coming apart, and eventually there will be nothing, absolutely nothing. All the great works of Shakespeare, and Beethoven, and Da Vinci, all that will be gone. Now, not for a long time, but shorter than you think, really, because the sun is going to burn out much earlier than the universe vanishes, so you don’t have to wait for the universe to vanish. It’ll happen earlier than that. So all these plays and these symphonies, the height of human achievement, will be gone completely. There’ll be no time, no space, nothing at all. Just zero. That’s why over the years, I’ve never written or made movies about political themes. Because while they do have current critical importance, in the large scheme of things, only the big questions matter, and the answers to those big questions are very, very depressing. What I would recommend — this is the solution that I’ve come up with — is distraction. That’s all you can do! You get up, you can be distracted by your love life, by the baseball game, by the movies, by the nonsense. Can I get my kid into this private school? Will this girl go out with me Saturday night? Can I think of an ending for the third act of my play? Am I going to get the promotion in my office? All this stuff, but in the end the universe burns out. So I think it’s completely meaningless, and to be honest, my characters portray this feeling. Have a good weekend"


I may be the first person to defend Mr. Allen and his somewhat "Debbie Downer" view on life. I think it directly relates to the message I am trying to convey as I write this blog-a-doo today. The reality is, we all are going to be that guy or girl, sooner or later. The one who died after 80, 90, 100 years of distracting themselves and lying to themselves and everyone around them. This is the nature of living, to contradict, lie, and deny the inevitable downfall of us all. However, and here's where you can put down the razor, this is not reason to give up and end it all! Au contraire! Existentialism, the realization of the pointlessness of it all is a lesson in freedom! You have the freedom to change your entire persona and being and life. No one can dictate your life for you. There is no purpose for you to chase or meaning - that just sounds like an elephant in the room. What we learn from people like Woody is that you have NO other reason to be on this Earth, very little affect on what will be in 100, possibly even 20 years, so why fill all that time being a useless jerk? Why dwell and regret and hate? I get the feeling Woody wasn't being quite so cheery about the whole thing, but his message does not have to be as drab and morbid as every single journalist pegged it to be. He didn't tell you what to do with your meaningless life, he just said it was meaningless. Interpret as you may! It could be you who is the downer, after all, if negativity was all you got from this quote.

I also wonder, what would the reaction be if I had made these statements? Heck, I HAVE made these statements. You know what responses I get? "Wow, you're right." ... "You're so morbidly adorable!"
It's all positive. It's all light and agreeable. I will leave you on that note. Think it over. Have a few drinks and talk it over. You're welcome.