Broken Mosey

Mornings for me are a bit wonky.  Is this not an accurate statement for 80 percent of the population?  I have always felt that I have a knack for empathy and can sense what is somewhat “usual” for others.  I can’t imagine that there are many people that don’t feel slightly off-kilter in the morning for at least a modicum of time.  Depending on how I feel the night before, I set my alarm for a “get up and write” amount of time, or a “latest possible” time hack.  Either way, I have to have my “mosey time” each morning or I am not suitable for the outside world.

For those curious among you – “mosey time” is that dimension of space between now and then that is not assigned to any required outcome.  Continue reading

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Tea Time with Idaho Indians

This past week I had tea over at the independently owned grocery store.  Not the “heat your water and throw your tea bag in there” kind of tea.  I had the “British Empire leaves India but the tradition still remains” kind of tea.  My new friends Ekaraj and Mishti, the husband and wife that own the place, had extended an open invitation to the store at 4pm, just about any day, when they host tea time. Continue reading

Birthdays

I don’t know why I dislike the idea of people celebrating my birthday.  Maybe I didn’t get the memo from my family that the big giant deal made on birthdays ends at 18 and it crushed me.  Maybe I actually like it a little, but a deep sense of guilt permeates me for liking that kind of attention?  Lord knows I like to be listened to and watched as if on stage sometimes.  What I mean is, I want people to view me as knowledgeable and charming, dependable and as someone to look up to.  But I’m a wall flower by nature (and occasionally by hormones).  So I want people to only pay attention to me when I’m seeking it, when I’m ready for it, when I know my lines.  Otherwise, I like to be able to melt into the cracks of everyday casual and relax as I disappear into usual.

So when people make a big deal about my birthday, Continue reading

Following

You can really tell a lot about a blogger by the blogs they follow.  I’m still relatively new to blogging, but I read an interesting article the other day and learned a whole new way of looking at blogging.  Now, granted, I started posting because I wanted to be a writer.  (I only say that in past tense because I got sick of saying it and decided, for efficiency and the sake of my attitude, I just AM one.) Continue reading

Mentor

Dear Sheri,

I miss you.  I wish I could still have your example to ponder and appreciate.  I wish I could emulate your direct, organized, no-nonsense, matter-of-fact leadership.  I wish I could find the combination of language, persona, and demeanor that would convey calm cool and collected while also stealthily wrapping people in your love.  If you were still alive, I would have called you at least ten times by now. Continue reading

Beer, Bait, and … Homos?

This is not political.  I’m not taking a stand here on the right to bear arms or the logic behind background checks.  I’m simply explaining why I personally do not want to own a gun.  But it appears that to even make a personal statement of that “magnitude,” some would have me clarify my thoughts on their choice to have guns.  So I allow me to answer in like fashion as some of my favorite gun-toting pals have shared with me on some of my other “issues.”

I have lots of friends who own guns.  I don’t ever want my friends who own guns to feel like I look differently at them, or that I fear them.  I don’t have a problem with their choices or how they live their personal lives.  I just don’t like the kind of gun-freaks that want to flaunt it, make a big deal about it, and even flash it in my face that they own guns.  You know the ones; they wear t-shirts that say things like, “Gun Control is a Tight 5-Point Shot Group,” or “God, Guns, and Glory.”  I also don’t think they should prance around talking about their guns in front of children.  I think it’s okay for gun-owners to raise children together as long as they don’t force their gun beliefs on their children and make them decide about guns before they are old enough.  When I see pictures of elementary school children with guns in their hands, smiling parents standing next to them, I often wonder why CPS isn’t being called.

What really ticks me off is when they try to convert me.  I don’t know if they get some kind of prize or a box of free ammo when they sway someone toward NRA membership, but I really don’t want them telling me that I should own a gun.  That’s where I draw the line.  Keep your leather holster to yourself there, buddy.

Here’s why I don’t own a gun.  I think that when you look at the Adam Lanzas (Sandy Hook Elementary School) and David Berkowitzs (Son of Sam) of the world – there’s really only one little synapse or chemical imbalance in the head between them and us.  I mean, how much does anyone really know about psychopaths, sociopathy, and insanity.  Even the experts can only speculate.  Likewise on the current research on depression, impulse control, and other brain and socio/psychological disorders that have blossomed like earthquakes, hurricanes, and tsunamis over the last 50 years.  Fact is, what separates you from me is one false move, one spark of recognition, one apparent threat that turns a calm demeanor into a raging lunatic with a finger on the trigger.  I don’t own a gun because I know myself enough to know that I don’t know what I don’t know.

I’m one of the most self-analytical people I know.  So when I say that I choose not to own a gun because I don’t ever want to allow the possibility that I might use it on myself or someone else in a moment of darkness or a rage of anger – I don’t say that lightly.  I have aged to the point where I control myself when people piss me off.  I have overcome severe depression over the years and I’ve done it (for the most part) without drugs.  So I’d pass a background check.  All in all, I’d probably be just fine with a gun my home.  In the state I reside now, I’d be able to get a handgun before you can hit “like” on this post.  But I think I’d rather die at the hands of an idiot with a gun who doesn’t like that I love another woman, rather than hurt the ones that I love by taking my life or that of someone else.  Some might say that logic makes no sense to them.  I respect their right to disagree.

I don’t judge gun owners.  I know there is a percentage of gun owners that take their own lives, and those that use guns to murder or rob.  So I pray that everyone that owns a gun does so from a right mind and heart.  I don’t know how I feel about the variety and types of guns there are out there.  I don’t know what I think about limiting magazines, or types of bullets, semi-automatic versus automatic, etc.  All I know is, if owning a gun makes someone happy and feel safe and normal – as long as they don’t point it at me or someone else – I’m okay with that.

2006-08-23 - Road Trip - Day 31 - United State...

Photo courtesy of http://www.cgpgrey.com/

 

Photo by inturruptingcow

What’s Wrong? aka The Three Stooges of Depression

For many people who have never experienced major depression, it can be hard to understand why, on any given sun shine laden day, a person can be low and have no apparent reason to explain it.  Those who have experienced it will tell you, there’s no question more annoying, or that can turn the pain into a burning desire to rip someone’s head off, than this one: “Why are you sad?”  Even marginally intelligent people, when dealing with an actual tangible “something” that makes them emotional, can figure out a way to deal with it.  Asking questions like, “What happened that’s got you down?” to a major depressive is like asking a Harley owner if her bike is broke because it needs a new fan belt.

Just chalk it up to gang warfare in the brain.  As best I can tell from what I’ve read or been told, it’s like this.  There’s these three stooges on the molecular level who like to call themselves “The Monoamines.”  Individually they are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine*.    Serotonin is a sort of “trafficker,”  and deals with neurotransmitters in the brain to help move messages around.  When it gets low or doesn’t show up in force, messages don’t move like they should and symptoms can occur.  The other two fools are like enforcers, only in a positive way.  They don’t break your knee caps when you don’t pay up, they give you a high when you do.  That’s why some depressives turn into addicts – because drugs and alcohol can serve to boost these two clowns (at least for the short term).  If you prefer to see the movie rather than read the book, check this video out.

Video on this Brain Gang

So you would think that someone with major depression would want to take advantage of prescription drugs that help fix these brain wire wars.  Maybe save everyone else the mystery of being around them?  Some do.  Some have played that drug roulette and won with a solution that helps them.  But try and see it from my point of view.  Let’s say you just bought a shiny new sports car.  Imagine someone telling you they have done the research and had some trials and would like to use this new chemical to help keep it shiny when it rains.  This new batch of chemicals will not only keep it shiny when it rains, but it will keep off the dust and dirt when driving it regularly.  Are you skeptical?

You should be.  What are the unseen effects of this sludge that keeps your car looking so good?  What if it means that your car will lose its resale value in half the time it would have otherwise?  What if it looks great, but smells like a paper mill?  What if it looks great, smells just like a new car, but there is a very slight chance that you will encounter circumstances while cruising that cause the chemicals in this auto-pharmaceutical to explode, killing you and everyone around you?  Would you take that chance?

lambourgini

Never trust an MD to prescribe any kind of antidepressant.  I suspect many of them work for the sludge companies.  Either that, or they are just blissfully ignorant; Hippocrates be damned.  I once had an MD see me for under 10 minutes, ask me a few questions about the depression I reported experiencing, and prescribe me Effexor.  It was the 24 hour capsule and, although I feared taking drugs for my funk, I was desperate.  I waited until bedtime and downed the thing at 9pm that night.  I had the deepest, most disturbing sleep I’ve ever had … every two hours.  I dreamed of dark shapes, muggy, stale air, and reptile like movements.  I sat bolt-upright in a cold sweat every two hours on the dot.  I felt creepy-crawlies on my body and sensed evil demonic elements all around me.  I checked the clock each time, went into a brief panic-mode for fear I would not make it to the morning; then I convinced myself I preferred the dark tank of my dreams to the freakish alter-reality around my wakeful self.  I had to be driven to work and home the next day, and had to get help finishing sentences on a project I was on. The drug committed homicide on every thought I had before I could finish them.  It held me, a helpless hostage, until it finally wore off that evening at bedtime.

The sludge lackeys recommended I try a different sludge.  Trial and error no doubt.  No thanks.

There’s another, non-medical way to look at depression.  Spiritually, depression is quite easily explained as severe selfishness.  Don’t get flustered with me.  I’m not one of those religious ignoramuses that blame people for lack of faith or prayer when they are depressed. I know this explanation sounds shocking and insensitive. Americans especially don’t like that word.  Hmm.  Try and see it in a non-blame way – a kind of psychological diagnosis.  Because my experience is that it really applies.

Of course, don’t ever tell that to someone who might be dealing with depression unless you are just evil or cruel.  Instead, ask them for some help.  Seriously.  Be sensitive to their stripped-down exposure by putting yourself out there with them.  That’s the highest form of love.  And if you have no need of help in any way (talking about a struggle you have and asking them for advice, or help moving some things from one place to another, or help getting organized) … then do this.  Find a volunteer service project and tell them you need someone to go with you because you want to help, but feel awkward going alone.  It’s brainwave therapy for the mind.

The chemical mafia that controls moods can affect your thinking patterns.  We could argue the chicken-egg question – is it selfishness that causes depression or depression that causes selfishness? None of that is the point.  When you can’t own a gun because you are afraid you might use it on yourself one day – who the hell cares about the blame game?  Point is – doing things to help others and giving of your time helps shift thinking patterns and the types of things the brain focuses on.  This, in turn, helps adjust production of the three stooges and can improve mood.

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