Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

 

Decaying Faces

Decaying faces

Buried in decaying places

Chasing dreams in empty spaces

Stench of death embraces

That which the light erases

Displaying those decaying faces

Replacing the traces

Of those decaying places

Those rearranged decaying faces

Lost alone in decaying places

Those dreams you chased in empty spaces

Reluctant to believe in warm embraces

Popping pills to find something that erases

A lonely walk that leaves no traces

The decay displacing those funny faces

Oddly drawn to those dark places

Where decaying faces erase the traces

Of empty spaces

Where death embraces

The places and empty spaces

Where light erases

The truth behind the decaying faces

Faces changing places

The memories it erases

Funny faces

Empty spaces

Decaying faces

Hidden in decaying places

Embracing those empty spaces

Erasing the traces of happy faces

By: TimLundmark

 

Two years ago by happenstance I discovered I possessed the ability to draw, little did I know this singular event would initiate a butterfly effect that would alter my very existence. A major piece of me died when I quit writing years ago, as a result my dream, joy, and self-esteem died. I was sentenced to an agonizing existence; locked away within my own mind. From time-to-time the memory of how I felt during that period where I was pursuing my dream would take over, and I would attempt to return to my passion very little success.  Something which at one point came so effortlessly seemed impossible. As time passed I lost my creativity piece by piece until I had nothing. One of my only sources of inner and outer positive reinforcement was gone.

Until one day at work mindlessly working the phones I found myself looking at this picture and attempted to draw what I was looking at. To my surprise I was able to produce a near perfect duplicate of what I was looking at. This was just simple line work with no shading or other drawing techniques.  I was so proud of myself I continued to do this working my way up to more complicated and detailed duplicates. In January of this year I completed a drawing I was proud enough of I decided to pin it to my cork board behind my desk. The same day I hung this drawing I started to receive compliments, and positive reinforcement for something I managed to accomplish.  It had been some time since I felt good about myself. This was the only motivation I needed to jump into this drawing thing and seriously work on improving my skills so I could continue to feel positive about myself.

Between the positive reinforcement, along with the return of my creativity I ended up being freed from the shackles of oppression I had been suffering. As my confidence grew, so did the reality and realization of where I was in my life. I went on a journey of honest self reflection of my life, and who I was. This has been a painful, yet liberating voyage I continue to this day. With a little outside push of extreme hurt and betrayal from someone close to me I was given the final reason to end a horrible marriage, and a real chance to experience a new life. The details behind this can be saved for another time.

I am amazed at how much my life has changed from then to now. I started selling my drawings, which if I can figure out how to do it I will begin to post them on my blog. I have started writing again; although I have yet to hit my stride where my thoughts can be translated as effortlessly as before, but I continue to make positive steps forward so I can achieve this once again.

Along with the joy and excitement I am feeling about returning to this blog, the spark to start writing my “Dylan Thomas” children’s book series is alive, and feels like it could actually become a reality. Words cannot describe what I am feeling at this moment. The chance to fulfill a dream I have had since a child has been returned to me, and I intend on embracing this second chance.

What We Learn From Failed Relationships

Posted: May 27, 2014 in Absolute Truth, Abuse, Anxiety, Arguments, Blog, Blogging, Change, Childhood, Children, Coping, Crisis, Culture, Dating, Debates, Depression, Diary, Dilemma, Divorce, Dreams, Emotional Abuse, Ethics, Evil, Faith, Family, Fatherhood, Fear, Forgiveness, Freedom, Fun, Greed, Grief, Growing up in abusive homes, Health, Humor, Inside My Mind, Journal, Kids, Learning, Lies and broken promises, Life, Lists, Living Your Dream, Logic, Love, Lust, Marriage, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Misc, miscellaneous, Moral Theories, Morals, Motivation, Mourning, NA, Opinion, Pain, Parent, Parenting, Personal, Philosophy, Poems, Poetry, Published Author, Quotes, Random, Random Thoughts, Rants, Rejection, Relationship Issues, Relationships, Sadness, Self-esteem, Self-Help, Self-image, Social Anxiety, Social Debates, Society, Sorrow, Spirituality, Stress, Suffering, The Invention of Lying, The Philosophy of Lyrics, The Philosophy of Quotes, Things That Give Me Anxiety, Thoughts, Top Ten Lists, Uncategorized, Unity, Verbal Abuse, Writing
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I would first like to start off by thanking all of my readers and subscribers. I learned today; I have readers from 61 different countries. I think that’s pretty bad ass. I am aware that my readership grew from the topics of philosophy, theology, and madness. So bear with me as I stray a bit from those topics. Today I would like to release that which has been permeating in my mind. I would like ponder for a moment the importance of learning from our mistakes in a failed relationship. Through all of this I am trying to maintain a positive attitude and outlook. So here we go.

The one thing I can say with out a doubt is I am far from sainthood. I have made my more than my fair share of mistakes, and bad decisions which played a role in the overall destruction of my marriage. I am ashamed and consumed with intense guilt because of this. This combined with my wife’s lies, and infidelity has allowed me to see the light. I am sure I could write a 200 page paper on this topic, but I will try to keep this short and sweet.

There are 10 main things I have learned in my failed marriage. Now mind you there are far more than 10, but as I said this is not a 200 page dissertation on my failed marriage. I will do my best to not place blame, because it doesn’t do anyone any good. Some things on this list will undoubtedly overlap, even though this is the case I feel each one deserves to be mentioned. Without further ado here is my list of 10 things I learned from my failed marriage.

  1. Never Lie: I did a lot of research after I found out about what my wife did. I learned that in humans our first response when we know we have done something wrong, that will ultimately lead to a negative outcome our immediate response is to lie. We do this for two reasons one we want to avoid conflict, and two we don’t want to get in trouble. Since I am a proponent of the tabula rasa theory (mind being born as a blank slate.) I feel this is a trait we learn as children, which carries over into adulthood. Lying to your partner no matter how small is a terrible idea. We can overcome this childish trait, by knowing our partner as well as ourselves, focus on understanding and know that mistakes are actually learning opportunities.
  2. Never Cheat: I think this one doesn’t need further explanation. It’s a painful and shitty thing to do to those we love. Even if (insert some attractive famous person) wanted to be with you, nothing is worth hurting the one you love.
  3. Trust: it should go without saying that if the two things listed above are followed then trust shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately we all carry the baggage of past hurt, what we need to realize is who ever we are with now is not the person who caused us hurt in the past. I would imagine it would be a good idea to be open and honest about these past hurts. A relationship that is not built on trust is like trying to build a house of cards on a windy day, neither of these two examples will be successful. The perfect advice one can give in fostering trust in a relationship is this; if you would not say or do something if your partner was there with you, then you definitely shouldn’t do it.
  4. Accept and Love Each Other For All Their Good Qualities, As Well As Their Flaws: let’s admit it people, no one is perfect, and those who claim to be are probably the most screwed up of them all. Initially I am sure that we all fall in love with our mates good qualities. During the “courting” or “honeymoon” phase of a relationship, it is kind of like interviewing for a job, you really are not being completely honest your just trying to get the “job.” As the relationship progresses and begins to become serious is usually when we start to notice each others flaws. The important thing is that we learn to love that person regardless of their flaws. In fact I believe our flaws can become the most exciting part of a relationship. When you love the good qualities along with the flaws you know you have found true love; when everything seems to fit like a glove.
  5. Never Put Your Partner Down and Break Their Will: this topic has a lot to do with item number four. There are just two things I would like to add. The first is from an article by John Gottman, PhD in an article titled “4 Signs of A Troubled Marriage” Here is the link.http://affiliatedpsychologicalservices.com/4-signs-of-a-troubled-marriage/ Gottman talks about “The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse” which are clear signs you are headed for a divorce. The first two he brings up is “Criticism” and “Contempt.” If anyone out there grew up in an abusive home where as a child you were faced with these two horsemen, having to deal with such things in a marriage is a key ingredient in a divorce. If you tell someone something negative about them enough times, with the right amount of nastiness it is only natural the other party will believe what they are being told, and inevitable this is who they will see when they look into the mirror. I don’t think people are aware of how serious the long term damage can be. My second point comes from a line from the song “Weight of The World” by Blue October. “Don’t bother changing things that won’t give into changing.” It is one thing to help your partner grow and become the best person they can be, but in the process don’t try to change who they are inside. If you are hell bent on trying to force someone to change, there is always medication. If this is your goal please take to heart one of my quotes “Medication is to fix the people we don’t like.” If you feel you need to medicate your partner, it’s time to call it quits.
  6. Freedom: As your relationship grows, it is imperative that you do not take away your partners freedom. When I say freedom I am not referring to allowing your partner to go out all the time neglecting the relationship, and engaging in behaviors which fall into the first three categories I listed. When I say freedom, I say that it is clearly healthy to share and be with each other, but it is also healthy to have a respectful life outside of the relationship. I have made this deadly mistake in one of my relationships, and I have now been on the receiving end of how damaging smothering and isolating your partner can be. If your relationship is built on a strong foundation of trust and respect this should be something you encourage each other to do. I have always admired the relationship between my best friend of 26 years and his lovely wife. I will not mention names, but I truly hope one day I can figure out whatever their secret is, and apply it to my future relationships. I am going to encourage them to write a book.
  7. Support Their Dreams: There is nothing more precious and sacred than some ones hopes and dreams. For some our dreams appear to us when we are young, others do not fully realize their dreams until they discover who they are. When I was young I had the normal boyhood dreams to become a professional football or baseball player, unfortunately like normal boys those dreams were not meant to be. Beyond those two options, I really didn’t have anything else that drove or inspired me, until the 5th grade. Long story short I ended up doing many writing assignments and I remember my teacher signing my year book, saying she could one day see something I have written being published. I was not a very well behaved child, so positive reinforcement from the teachers I tormented was rare, but from that moment my dream changed. I wanted to become a professional writer. As I grew older I held onto this dream, and wrote in private. I never thought anything I would write would be read let alone published. Again long story short one of my poetry books was published, I started this blog, wrote two children’s books, and two other poetry books. Needless to say this was the greatest I had ever felt about myself, because I accomplished something I never thought I could… my dream. I did not receive support from my partner, and in fact was highly put down and discouraged from continuing to write, until finally I had no option but to stop writing. The details behind this are not important at this moment.
  8. Open & Honest Communication: You would think this is a no brainier, but for my marriage and I would imagine many others this proved to be too challenging to overcome and sowed the seeds to our divorce. I feel if you have all seven of these things listed above then number eight would be a given, but if you take out one or two of the above it makes communication a challenge. I avoided and ran away from open and honest communication. I could make a laundry list for why, but this is already becoming too long of a post. Mainly I was afraid to honestly look in the mirror, I was scared I was going to receive an unhealthy dose of items four and five. Regardless of those reasons it is on me for failing in this aspect of our marriage. I need to take ownership for this, and like everything listed learn to not make the same mistakes. It is very difficult and challenging for me to be social, and communicate even with those closest to me. I know this is something I need to work on, but what always ends up playing over and over in my mind is the Pink Floyd lyrics from the song “The Final Cut” which I will add at the end.
  9. Be A Selfless Lover: This is actually one area where I have and feel the most accomplished. I felt I needed to add this, because in my experience men in general put their intimacy needs, or the final “outcome” before their partners. I will not go into detail in case my mom is reading this, but as men our primary focus and goal when it comes to being intimate is placing our partners needs before ourselves. Any man can do his business and be on his way, but this is a man who has failed. When it comes to intimacy your only goal and desire should be the feelings and ultimate “outcome” of your partners needs. Everything else should be secondary.
  10. Find Your Genuine Light: Tomorrow I am going to post a quick poem describing the meaning behind this comment. I do not believe in soul mates. I do not believe there is only one true love for everyone. I believe for everyone, there exists many individuals who could be considered your genuine light. I believe they are rare, but they are out there. My advice is if you feel you are holding your genuine light, don’t let them slip away because you cannot be certain another one will come around to light up your life.

 

“And if I show you my dark side
Will you still hold me tonight?
And if I open my heart to you
And show you my weak side
What would you do?
Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone?
Would you take the children away
And leave me alone?
And smile in reassurance
As you whisper down the phone?
Would you send me packing?
Or would you take me home?”

Pink Floyd

These lyrics describe perfectly why it is so difficult for me to open up to people, which hinders my ability to effectively communicate.

“Hi my name is Tim and I am an addict.”

I am happy to say it has been around ten years since I have uttered those words in an NA meeting. This does not mean I have been totally sober the entire ten years, it just means I haven’t been co-dependent on meetings to stay sober. I have discovered a much more successful approach at staying sober, and that is controlling the addiction instead of the addiction controlling me. Learning this key lesson is in my opinion the most efficient way to maintain sobriety. As addicts if we are talked into, forced or just decide enough is enough our options to beat this thing is through treatment and NA/AA. Unfortunately this system does not work for everyone and those who it does not work for are in danger of allowing the drugs to continue to control them. I am sure there are programs out there that do not follow the traditional NA/AA model; I have just never heard of any before. I have often times thought about sharing my experiences to others in hopes my approach and philosophy may help them beat their addictions.

In my life I have had my fair share of issues with addiction. I started using at the age of thirteen and from that very moment I was in love with getting high. I would spend the next ten plus years getting high everyday all day. I have almost thrown my life away several times in the name of getting my next high, and in the midst of it all I really didn’t care. My life had zero value to me, and I felt it had zero value to anyone close to me. Since my life had zero value and nothing really mattered I might as well enjoy life and party. Because of my chronic using I have been through treatment several times. Except for the last time I was in treatment I always used while I was going through treatment. For some reason I was never able to buy into the NA/AA model, and because of this I took very little lessons away from my time in the program. The last time I was in treatment I was there for a week and I had to go AMA (against medical advice.) I didn’t want to leave to get high, I just hated being locked up. There was no way I would survive getting clean in this place, so I checked out and went to wage battle against my addiction.

I am not saying the NA/AA model is completely useless because it does help many people get clean, it just didn’t do it for me. The sad part is I do not believe I am alone in this thinking, and to my knowledge there are not many treatment centers out there that take a different approach on getting people clean. I think NA/AA takes vulnerable individuals and creates co-dependency upon the meeting and the collective in order to stay sober.  I was never able to get past the concept of handing my life over to a higher power. For those of you who read this blog a lot you know I am stubborn and have strong feelings and opinions on religion. It was this step that almost always caused me to shun this organization. The only higher power I recognized was myself, and I was broken so this is scenario simply wouldn’t work. Little did I know at the time that this concept would become a huge component of my personal plan to beat addiction.

In my journey from being a drug addict to a non-addict was a long and hard road. I had many relapses some worse than the others. I do not look at a relapse of using just once. I look at a relapse as thrusting yourself back into the using and abusing routine. My last relapse was probably my worst ever. I am not going to get into great depth of what I was using or how it was systematically destroying my life. I will just tell you that by the time I hit the absolute bottom I spent two weeks curled up in my bed detoxing, insanely sick from withdrawals. My doctor recommended I go to a detox center to be monitored because the drugs I was using were dangerous to come off of. I being the stubborn man I am wanted to do this without the aide of professional assistance. I wanted to prove to myself that I had the strength to beat this thing. It was an extremely rough road, and I can tell you with certainty this last binge/detox episode changed my life. I have not nor do I ever plan to relapse again. I can say this with complete certainty because of the personal program I built myself.

Among many other things I realized this lifestyle I had been living my entire life has been nothing but destructive, and has hurt those I loved. There is no high worth fucking up the lives of those who care about you. There is no high worth my kids seeing me as a junkie. This last situation will be my last. Since this last episode I have had many chances to take my drugs of choice and every time I have turned it down. I realized that if I put myself in safe situations then I am limiting the possibility of being confronted with the option to use. The times where the drugs were still able to find me I said no every time. I may have wanted to say yes so I could experience the sweet embrace of my drug of choice, but I realize that these particular narcotics had a profound control over me, and if I gave in even one time it could be my last. Unlike the AA/NA model I do not believe that once an addict always an addict, and to stay sober you can never touch another chemical of any kind. I think this concept is the downfall of many people who follow this model. It is possible to enjoy chemicals without completely throwing your life away. Personally I just needed to know which chemicals I had control over like drinking for example and which ones had control over me. With these things along with the other lessons and practices I put together I went from my addiction controlling me to me controlling my addiction. This my friends is part of the magic key to finally beating addiction.

I do not recognize addiction as an illness. I view it as a self-induced affliction. We all had the choice to say no at one point in our lives, and many more after we said yes for the first time. We all had the choice to make better decisions but we did not. These choices in the beginning were not made because we had an illness it happened because we made poor choices, because of this we were lead down the path of addiction. I believe the withdrawals and suffering which comes from getting clean is tough, but far from an illness. We did this to ourselves and taking ownership is a huge step in looking at your life of using, and as a result beating it. I believe many people use the cop out of addiction as an illness to justify their behaviors while they were using. I know when it came down to making amends I whole heartily blamed my horrendous actions on my using, as if I had no control over my decisions. These types of justifications keep us from seeing who we really are, and what we are capable of becoming because of our using. Saying “the illness made me do it” almost makes you blind to the person you have become.

I recognize when the drugs control you the addiction seems like an illness. But more so I consider addiction as a choice. I understand this to be true because in looking back at my using days my drug binges always started with a choice to relapse and use again. Even in the beginning I made the initial choice to use drugs I knew were highly addictive and destructive. I knew this yet I still made the choice to try them, even after trying them the first time I had to make the choice to try them again and again. At any point I had the choice to make a better decision. Relapsing was my choice which threw me back into a self-induced affliction. We addicts are very much in control of this decision; we just need to possess the strength and common sense to make good choices. We may sit back and blame it on our “illness,” but in reality it is our choice to use once again which is the issue. Finding the “why” in this scenario and facing it will assist in solving the problem. This along with learning to control the addiction instead of the addiction controlling you is a good start in getting sober.

We are traveling to northern Minnesota this weekend to see my family. While we are up there we are going to just hang out and enjoy some merriment while drinking and playing games. This sounds like a blast, but what I didn’t mention is we will be spending Saturday at the water park. It was a blast the last time we went, but I am having a lot of anxiety and shame over having to take my shirt off at the park. I wrote about this a month ago so I apologize for repeating myself, but I am tremendously insecure about my body. I have been intending to do something to lose this weight for sometime now, but it is just that intending not doing. I have been trying for years to either come to grips with my belly, or take accountability and do something about it. I am sad to say that I have not accomplished either. I feel confident that someday I will get around to it; I am just not sure when. There are a few body tattoos I want to get, but there is no way I am going to get them due to my girth.

I am desperately trying to find peace with who I am; both inside and out. I am 5’ 7” and currently weigh 188lbs, but when I look in the mirror what I see looking back is someone weighing 350lbs. I am in-between a 36/38 in pants size, which I do not think is a very good thing. I know I can lose the weight if I really work at it. About three years ago I dropped a bunch of weight. I was eating healthy and working out. It felt great because I was in-between a 34/36 pants size and weighed 160lbs. I still had a belly but it was nothing compared to what it was or what it is now. I had a bunch of energy, my moods were more stable and best of all I felt happy with my body. I was staying home with the kids at this time so when my wife got home I would head off the gym five days a week. Once I started working again I stopped going to the gym and hence gained all this weight back. It is very difficult for me to work all day, and once the home stuff is done it is eight o’clock and the last thing I want to do is lift weights and do some cardio. I think a bigger problem is I have my nightly routine and it is very hard to stray from that routine. I know all it will take is a week of following a workout schedule before it would be fully intergraded into my nightly routine. So why do I not do this? Why do I still eat extra cheddar goldfish at 8pm at night instead of going to the gym?    

There are many people who are overweight, but they carry their weight very well. I admire these people because of regardless of what they weigh they have this certain confidence in themselves. The only time I have confidence in myself is if I am dressed well. There have been a few times I look in the mirror and say to myself “damn I am sexy.” This is usually accomplished the first fifteen times or so times I wear new clothes. I just wish that confidence and sexy feeling lasted every time I wore those same clothes, but it wears off after time. I would love nothing more than to just embrace my appearance, and just live my life. What I try to say to myself is if it is good enough for the Buddha than it should be good enough for me. I would much rather be like the Buddha instead of some shallow perfect everything type of person.

I suffer from an anxiety disorder which gets worse when I am around people; because of this I become more astutely aware of my surroundings. In order for me to feel safe and secure in my environment I need to be alert of what those around me are doing. I feel I am able to see an aspect of human interaction many others do not. One aspect of said interactions interests me more than most, and this is how fake people can become. I know a large portion of our population is too afraid to act as they truly are. Why? I do not know the answer to this. It would be arrogant of me to claim to know why others act the way they do. My issues stem from insecurity, and the fear of making myself vulnerable, but I have no real psychological knowledge and very few ideas for why this is so. 

I do know from experience people are chameleons and act according to their surroundings. I myself have many different faces I put on everyday, and sometimes it gets hard to keep track of them all. I think I am able to pick up on the fakeness of those around me because I am consistently scanning body language and tone to identify perceived threats. My paranoia sometimes gets so out of hand I start to see threats that are no more than mere passerby’s.

This last fall we took the kids to this massive corn maze in Shakopee. In this maze you had to find these signs each with a letter of the alphabet; they all contained random Viking knowledge on them. I was anxious to go at first because I was worried I would have an episode like I had at the high school football game. When we first arrived I was completely unaware of what was going on around me. I was in the moment, it felt great; I was able to enjoy time with my family. The first letter we found was Z, followed by Y, X, then W. I was beginning to love the order in the madness of this maze. We kept searching and the next letter we found was K. Immediately I slipped into a full blown anxiety attack. This attack heightened my spider senses and I started to watch everyone for suspicious behaviors, after all I had to protect my family. Everyone seemed on the up-and-up (although this made me suspect them even more.)

I noticed the interactions of the people when they were in their groups, and how they acted when confronted with speaking to those outside of their party. I have always seen and been apart of being fake around others, but this time it was bothering me more than normal. This could be because I forgot my meds at home, and I was now stranded lost in this massive maze. Throughout the maze people were for the most part able to stay and interact strictly with their groups. Everyone was doing there own thing, until we hit a letter station. It was here where everyone seemed to huddle so they were able to read the sign and mark it off their maps. This congestion of people yielded a fog of fakeness. You had those who were highly insecure who would not even look up to acknowledge the sign. Then there were those who seemed filled with ego making comments like “blah, I already knew that, blah, look how cool I am, blah.” Then you had those who were uncomfortable and started to make uncomfortable small talk with those around them. What got me the most annoyed was the one liner followed by fake laughter. I was lucky enough to only get pulled into one of these one liner then laughter scenarios, but I refused to laugh.

I notice and take part in this fakeness all the time. At work I am considered weird and strange. I assume this is because I keep to myself, have tats, and will from time-to-time sport a dyed mohawk. The very few times I leave my office I walk with my head down. Even the times I have had to talk to people I am unable to make eye contact. It is because of this I have never been invited to play in their reindeer games. The one time I get stuck speaking to people is when I go outside to smoke. I try to not speak unless spoken to. I get so nervous that sometimes I will hear them say something and blurt out a comment. This is usually followed by a self chuckle, and the thought “what did I just say?”

When I do get roped into a conversation I have this painfully forced smile, followed by the worst acting laugh to stupid jokes or comments. If I am engaged in this type of situation I smoke my cigarette super speed style. The minute I turn around to head inside the smile immediately goes away and the fake laughter ceases. I try my hardest to not speak to people because it gives me panic attacks and I usually say or sound stupid. Words never come out as my original thought. Watching me interact with people is painfully uncomfortable.

I have one final example of the fakeness inside of us. There is a woman who is almost always outside when I go out. She is an older woman who loves to complain and loves to gossip even more. This woman has a distinct disdain for her co-workers, but there is this one man she hates from her very soul. This woman just tears him apart every chance she gets. If I didn’t already know this person was real I would have a hard time believing such a douche even existed. She will go on-and-on, but the minute this guy walks out the door she is all nice, and you would think they were best friends. The minute he walks away she is like I f’ing hate him. This transformation is very interesting.

I just wonder where all the genuine people are. In our daily interactions how are we to believe this is the “real” version of this or that individual. This concept makes me a tad uncomfortable. How am I able to stay safe if I can’t see the real you? When I am in public I see a sea of people wearing their masks. It is distracting and most likely a part of my anxiety induced psychoses, but either way they are there. Could I possibly have it all wrong and I am the only person who is fake? I can’t buy into this because where there is one there is many.

Do you remember the feeling you had after watching movies such as “Shutter Island,” “The Sixth Sense, or “The Others?” This feeling where the whole story just seems to flip on you, where everything that was is now wasn’t. These types of twists are mind fucking adventures, and I love them. I remember thinking to myself after watching “Shutter Island” that nothing of this magnitude could ever happen to me… I was wrong.

I just discovered the greatest mind fuck of my life. My wife made a comment on a post I did last week where I said I was basically kicked out of Crown College. My wife sent me an e-mail and said I was never kicked out of that school so why would I say that? I sent her an e-mail back going over the situation which occurred and questioned her memories of this situation. She then informed me I dropped out because my mental status had worsened to the most dangerous of levels. I immediately told her to stop messing with me, and relayed that this is not a funny joke. She proceeds to tell me she is not joking, and is indeed very serious. This was my Shutter Island moment.

I am really bent by this because I have no recollection of what she is talking about. I literally have no memories of this scenario she had laid out, and what’s worse is my reality which once was is now wasn’t. One of my symptoms of my mental illness is memory loss and or confusion with my thoughts. My thoughts can get jumbled and I will interpret what I hear or see differently than most. I know I have had issues in the past where the combination of dreams, media, and real life get melded together to form an altered reality. I am now in a state of what is, and what is not. This causes me to blur these alternate realities together where I cannot tell one from the other. Perhaps I was in such a state and took memories from my dreams and supplanted them into what I now know as reality. This is really twisting me up inside because this calls to question how much of my memories are even real memories, or which ones were supplanted into my mind. I then need to question the reality I am in at this moment while I am writing this. Is this what is, or is it what is not? Is what I remembered from yesterday what is, or what wasn’t?  

I try not to think of this very often because frankly it is mind numbing. I enjoy this topic on a philosophical level, just not on a personal one. It is as if I am looking at hundreds of puzzle pieces from many different puzzles mixed together. I then have to somehow put these pieces together to form one puzzle. This is hard to explain if you have never experienced it or lived with someone who has, but it’s almost like déjà vu, but what you think you have already done before, really happened on television, in a movie, a dream, or something that has happened to someone else. It is almost as if this cross fires my brain into creating something that is not.

I have had this fractured memory in my head for seven years. This means for the last seven years I have been living a lie. I want to sit down with everyone who is close to me and unload my memories to see what is and what isn’t. I am haunted by not knowing my true reality. I wish I knew the exact reasons my mind created this alternate reality in my head, and was strong enough to have me forget months of my life. I was in a panic and called my therapist a few times to get some advice on this. She finally called me back on Friday to council me. I laid out the situation to her, and explained I was in a panic not knowing what is real and what isn’t. She told me this scenario was normal for people who reach intense mental breakdowns, and often causes the subject to create false memories.

I felt better after the call to at least know what I was experiencing was normal on a mental illness level. I am still left wondering what reality is, and which other of my memories are not real. I suppose I will only be able to find the right pieces of the puzzle by checking with those who are close to me regarding memories I have. This still does not cure the way I shape reality. I think what it comes down to is I will always be in a state of what is not, but I suppose since this is reality to me, then what is real is; so I shouldn’t worry about it.

“A drink a day keeps the shrink away.”
Edward Abbey

I am not a big drinker by any means. The very few times I do drink I feel a deep sense of relaxation, and often times I am less shy. I would envision if I had one or two drinks a night, I am sure it would help many of my issues. I would be less stressed, feel good, and have a laugh. The problem with this is you risk the possibility of addiction. I have an addictive personality, and if I were to drink daily it would lead me down a dangerous path. Since I only drink a handful of times a year I get buzzed and relaxed after only two drinks. If I were to continue this pattern, soon I would require three drinks, then four and so it goes. This pattern induces unhealthy self medication, leading to addiction. 

A more appropriate quote would be “a joint a day keeps the shrink away.” I am all for the legalization of marijuana, and I am devastated proposition 19 did not pass.  It is by far safer than alcohol, and would create a stable money source for our government. Life is stressful as it is; people need an escape from reality from time-to-time. Smoking weed can be self medicating, which is not as horrible as alcohol, and the medication drug companies’ produce. This medication eases our maladies, but come with side effects. These side effects can sometimes be worse than the problems they are supposed to cure. In some cases we become physically and mentally addicted to our prescription medication. I look at some of the prescription drugs out there and think to myself marijuana would cure that problem, and is far less destructive to our bodies and mind.

We as a society have become dependent on some sort of unnatural drug to cure this or that. The drug companies would lose billions of dollars a year if people medicated themselves, or if marijuana was used to treat certain issues. This is a huge road block to the cause of legalization. If we all smoked a joint or two a day our society would improve; people would be chill, less tense, and happier. We would have less people in prison; eliminate crime caused by the selling and distribution of weed, and decreasing the money source for illegal operations. The government would make billions of dollars which could then go back into the community. This is a win-win type of situation, the only people who would lose are drug companies, and I believe it was the drug companies that killed proposition 19.

I am not able to see into the future which is why this is an opinion piece. I believe that anything in excess is a bad thing, whether it be alcohol or marijuana.  I have a friend who does nothing but smoke dope from the moment he wakes up to the moment he falls asleep. Although he is a high functioning user I am still able to see the negative outcome his use has had on his life. It is my opinion that the good outweighs the bad in the legalization debate.  I feel the legalization of marijuana would cure some of our society’s maladies.

In the end it is important for people to sit back relax, and enjoy the moment, but don’t forget to pass it along.

Edward Paul Abbey: (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an author and essayist noted for his love and protection of our environment. He spoke out against big government and some accused him of being an anarchist. His novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by radical environmental groups, and was a how-to-guide for non-violent ecotage. He was born in Pennsylvania, but felt compelled to head west. In his travels he felt a connection with the land and fought hard to preserve its beauty. I find many of his quotes inspirational.

Like most people in America I am very self-conscious about my body and the way I look. I feel very uneasy in my own skin, which I think adds to my shy nature and lack of confidence. I have never really thought I was part of the “beautiful people” which over the years has really bothered me. I find this kind of strange since I am very anti-conformity. A sure sign of conformity is letting society dictate to you what is beautiful over what is ugly, and what is popular over unpopular. I am not sure why I have allowed mainstream media to say to me whether I am beautiful or not, but I have and still do. I trace the root of this complexity to my early experiences with television.  

We are bombarded everyday with television, magazines, movies, and commercials’ telling us what is sexy and what isn’t. When I was younger I was introduced by the media to something called “popularity” and the opposite side of the spectrum the term “geek.” I was not yet judgmental of anyone until I learned of the social divide within the subculture known as public schools. I knew from movies such as “Lucas,” “Pretty in Pink,” “Weird Science,” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” the last thing I ever wanted to be was a geek. The popular and beautiful people in these and other movies of that time showed me that my highest objective in my youth is to be on the proper side of the cool meter. (Apparently during the eighties if you had any sort of eye conditions you were doomed to being a dork, and most likely a part of the AV club.) I did not need glasses but for most of my childhood I was on the wrong side of the cool meter. The more I found myself in this crowed the more resentment grew towards myself. I think the years of being teased only furthered my desire to be “beautiful.”  I was never able to achieve this elusive label.

I wish I felt more comfortable in my body, but I don’t. In my lifetime I hope to see a world that puts very little emphasis on the outward appearance of people. I want to live in a world where your beauty is judged by who you are inside not what you look like on the outside. I know ultimately I am responsible for my own body and if I wish to change it then I need to quit whining and do something about it. I know this but it is so much easier to say then to actually do. The problem I have is I lack any self discipline when it comes to my eating habits. I do not eat breakfast or lunch during the week, so my only meal is dinner. This is never enough to fill me up and I end up snacking until late at night then lay my fat ass down and go to sleep. I work a desk job, so I am sitting down all day long and get very little exercise when I am at work. The last thing I want to do when I get home or on the weekends is spend hours at the gym, when it is so much easier sitting on the couch watching football. I know because of all this I have only myself to blame for my appearance and I am in a cycle of self-loathing, then acceptance then self-loathing again. My body is by no means as out of control as some others, but I definitely have a belly and love handles this is where I end up carrying all my excess weight. I have never thought I carried it well hence why I am so self-conscious about myself. I just once want to be noticed as an attractive man, instead of what I am.

Why do we place such a large emphases on beauty? The Tao teaches us to never judge, and says the only way we know beauty is because we have defined ugliness. Children are far crueler than adults. I know now I will not be teased for my appearance as I had in my youth. I feel confident in not being judged by others, but I still feel a sense of sadness knowing I will not be judged for my beauty. I know I won’t be judged for my non-beauty so I guess I will take what I can get. I have hit the point where my self-loathing of my appearance supersedes any positive feelings I have. I have reached the point where my worries over others judging me have turned inward where I am always judging myself. This inner judgment has been destructive on my overall self-esteem. I just want the day to come where I can purchase extra large clothing and not feel like a complete slob. Although I am between sizes I want to hang my head high when I purchase size 38 jeans. I want to see some commercials where my peeps are doing underwear commercials.

I think an aspect of the American Dream is to have a membership in the beautiful peoples club. I do not know many people who would willingly shun this exclusive membership. I am sure you wouldn’t find one single man or woman who would say “I really just wish I would get fatter to further distance my chances of ever getting laid.” I don’t need to worry about this though because my wife thinks I brought sexy back years ago and hasn’t left since.

I have been diagnosed with almost every single mental illness you can think of. Currently I am unaware of what my exact diagnosis is. I have referred that I have a mental illness, but not exactly what I have. I will explain in this post. For many years I had the label of schizoaffective disorder. My med doctor and therapist at that time agreed on this diagnosis. My current therapist thought otherwise when she started seeing me. We have only talked once about possible diagnosis, and her thoughts were bi-polar 1, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), and severe anxiety. Like I said earlier she has yet to give me her definitive diagnosis. I think her diagnosis fits with how I feel, but I may add ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder.) I have an appointment with her this week; I think I will ask her again. I would really like to finally have an answer to what I suffer from. I think mentally if I know what I suffer from it would help me cope. Today I am going to focus on my OCD, and perhaps this entire week choose a different aspect of my illness. This does make me feel a bit vulnerable, but it is not like my readers think I am normal anyway.

My OCD is not the type where I need to do everything in threes of such; mine is a tad different. It is complicated, but I will do my best to explain. I am a man of routines. They define my life in everything I do. If I need to deviate from these routines I am spun into intense anxiety and panic which triggers me to become agitated, angry, and triggers psychosis. This cycle of madness never changes. If there is a part of my life that is void of routine I become scattered brained and lost. An example of this lost feeling is doing laundry. I have a routine where I sit in the man room and watch football Saturday and Sunday. As long as I am down stairs watching football I can breeze through the laundry. I check the laundry every eighth commercial. If I am not doing this I cannot remember to do laundry.

When I go to places I visit often I need to park in the same spot. If I am unable to park in this spot I will either leave or get spun into that panic and agitation. I have battled this a bit where I have been able to broadened my routine to include a few different parking spots within a small region from my original spot. This has helped me a bit. I do have issues with things being dirty. I get into a funk when things are not perfectly clean; being that I have three children this is impossible to achieve. I have battled this by tuning my senses off to what the house looks like. If I notice any filth I again get panic and agitation. I try to stay away from cleaning that one spot up, because then I need to clean the entire house. I can never get it perfect enough, and this throws me into a psychosis.

I need to have a coffee before and after work I put a chew in at exactly 8am and another one at 2pm when I am at work. I then need to smoke at the exact same time everyday. When I am driving I need to smoke at the exact same location. I have to take my meds at the exact same time everyday. There was just recently an episode when I was not able to do this and it totally fucked with me. I had a therapy appointment and it happened to overlap with a time when I take one of my night meds. I forgot my medication at home, and I was a complete mess the entire therapy appointment. I was freaking out. When I got home I went to take it and my wife tried to talk me down from this obsession. I immediately became agitated and angered. This caused an argument, and I eventually agreed to do differently. I was not able to sleep at all that night, and it triggered the depression I had last week. This was part because my routine was interrupted and part of lack of sleep. I do not blame my wife for this, because she was just trying to help me.

The final aspect may either be a result of my OCD or is a part of my bi-polar 1 disorder. I get these ideas in my head of things I either need to buy, or things I need to do. Once I get these ideas in my head they just continue to replay over and over again until I am actually doing them or I have bought the item. The longer I go without satisfying this need to more psychotic I become. These thoughts completely consume me. Like I said this could be a component of my hyper-mania. I suppose I could ask my therapist this. This is just a few examples; There are many more routines or obsessions and compulsions I have. If I were to address every single one this post would become a novel.

All I know is whatever this is it consumes me in everyway possible. When I am deviated from my routines it destroys my mental state. I would prefer if everything in my life was a routine. I think I would function so much better. There are many aspects of my life that does not revolve around a routine, and this tends to cause issues because I am just off in la la land doing whatever first comes to my mind. This thought or need then ends up consuming me until it has been done, so I suppose even my non-routine essentially transforms into an obsession. I am also not sure if these things I get in my head that must get done is a result of my bi-polar 1 or a component of the compulsion aspect of my OCD. I do know that none of the current medications I am taking help me with this, at least none that I am aware of. I am sure if a component of my medication treatment was removed these symptoms may increase and become worse. The best coping method I have found is meditation along with counting beads in twenty-six intervals using my meditation/prayer necklace. If any of my readers suffer from OCD and have found methods to cope and battle this I would love to hear about them.