Sunday, April 24, 2016

What's Wrong With Everyone?

It seems to me, that people are getting more and more intolerant of each other and much too quick to jump to wrong conclusions.  Especially on the internet.  Now I know you probably think it's always been this way but that's just not true.  Back when chat rooms were the place to be, people tended to be nicer and tried to really get to know who the other person was before jumping down their throats.  And if you didn't like the chat room, you just left.  Now with social media and keeping a 'friends' list of people you hope think like you, it has become more of a shouting match.  Which is not any fun nor is it productive in any way, except to show me how far mankind is falling into an "us or them" mentality.  Whatever happened to having a discussion with someone?  Whatever happened to real conversation, written in full sentences so there is less misunderstanding?  Whatever happened to respecting each others viewpoints with an understanding nod and moving on to a topic that can be discussed rationally?  Or actually having intelligent questions about a different opinion poised so that the opinion can be discussed?  Now people consider rude comments and personal slurs to be a discussion. And it seems that getting in the last word, or slur is the winner.  Like in a discussion, there is a winner and a loser.  Isn't a discussion an exchange of ideas, usually opposing in nature, and not having to be resolved into any change of opinion?  Isn't a discussion just ideas shared by intelligent humans together?  If someone changes their mind, ok...great...but that doesn't have to be the fundamental reason for the discussion, does it?

I enjoy having one social media, and right now it's Facebook.  And I find that people I love to talk to are never this way.  We share ideas and news without it being a shouting match.  But there are others on my feed that seem to never be able to have a real discussion.  Or maybe it's just that they are looking for something to bitch about or complain.  Maybe they are deep down inside, very unhappy people and this is the only place they can vent.  Perhaps it's not who they are in real life, I know there are trolls out there, but it sure makes me form an opinion of who they are by how mean they are on the internet.  You can state your opinion on any topic without being rude, and personal.  But many don't.  And when someone starts a trolling process to someone else on the internet, I sometimes feel a need to swoop in and try to rescue them both from each other.  This never works btw.  Perhaps people just like to argue.  Maybe that's it.  Maybe they just want a good fight and can't get one in real time.  And if they attack me, well I usually try to ignore it after one intelligent question back.  If they keep trying to misunderstand on purpose, I block them or unfollow or whatever so they can't use me for their 'feel good about themselves' fight. 

It seems to me that the internet has opened up a huge can of worms by helping people be mostly anonymous if they choose to be, and be a complete idiot and asshole to everyone they meet if they choose.  And this  is starting to make facebook a place to shamelessly promote yourself, or to see how many selfies in stages of undress you can get away with posting to hit that magic friends number. 

Why as humans do we do this to each other?  We have a great tool and we use it to look at kitten pictures and pictures of each others' meals??  Not interested.  I scroll past so much garbage on my feed.  I unfollow immediately people that post long uninteresting personal rants that seem always negative.  I don't use Facebook to feel more upset about the world and the people in it.  I used it as a place to stay in touch.  It saddens me to see how far social media has fallen and I wonder where all the smart chat rooms are.  I guess all the smart people left social media long ago, and here I sit wondering how different it might have been had they stayed around. 

Maybe if we all were a bit more tolerant of each other not only in real life but here too.  Because people's feelings matter and you could be hurting someones feelings who are a lot weaker than I am.  They might actually be on the edge and your thoughtless words could push them over.  We are probably all guilty of it at one point or another.  Getting into an internet argument and not stopping.  But even with good intentions, as most aren't, I can tell you it never ends well.  Unfortunately, it's better to just walk away, as in real life.   Isn't that a shame.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

For All My Depressed And Anxiety Ridden Friends

Invisible diseases affect so many of us.  I'm sure in their own way, they are all a nightmare.  But I'm only going to talk about a couple that have been with me most of my adult life.  Anxiety and depression.  They usually, go hand in hand as they stomp relentlessly around my brain.  Anxiety hit me at a young age, but I was a young wife and mother so I figure some of it came with the territory.  As both children and divorces grew in number so did my anxiety.  There was so much to worry about as a single parent and I was never a quitter.  Some of you will understand parents that don't quit, and how they raise their children to just get over it and continue.  Being strong is a great talent and one I'm glad my mother instilled in me.  I believe it has saved my life many times.  Especially once depression showed up to help my anxiety levels skyrocket. 

But it's so very hard to be strong all the time, isn't?  I mean when you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders and you have tried everything to help yourself out of whatever situations or triggers have put you in a deep dark place.  And nothing and no one is able to free your mind from its continual round robin of self-sustaining lectures on failure.  Some of your friends and family may try but they never really know what to say.  And if you are in a very dark place usually words don't help.  Only actions help at that point and unfortunately, action, is the last thing depression allows you to accomplish. 

Depression can feel like the warm fuzzy blanket that quiets anxiety and it's hysterical rantings, and well thought out conclusions.  But it's not.  In the words of Admiral Ackbar, "It's a trap!"  But it's such a mind numbing and defeated trap.  One that once you allow yourself to curl up into its waiting arms it will devour you.  Slowly and over a long period of time.  Even once you feel you are out of the woods and have conquered it, you are always on alert for its deceptive comforts. 

I'm one of the lucky ones for depression wasn't a lengthy visitor for me.  She arrived in full force, after decades of teasing me and pulling me toward her, three years ago.  And lasted exactly one year...with a forty year trigger of abuse, shame, and repressed anger.  My anxiety was quickly overshadowed.  While depressed I was just done.  I'd had enough of everything and had been strong too long.  When I wanted to hurt myself and others was when I knew I needed help.  Professional help.  Again being poor helped me here, for I was on state assistance then as many single, working moms are, and my visits to get help were paid for and my meds were affordable.  I'm happy to report that three years later I'm medication free and after changing my location, career, and lifestyle, I'm happy with me again.  I love who I have become on the other side of my breakdown.  Is depression gone for good?  Who knows?  I hope so.  But like an alcoholic, I fight it every day.  I get out of bed almost every day.  The only danger days now are weekends alone.  But so far, depression has left me alone.  Is anxiety finally silent?  Well, not completely.  But she has learned to whisper.  Which sometimes is a much better warning.  Let's say I have her under control. 

I told you all of that to help you understand that I get it.  I know what you're going through, and I beat it.  And I really wasn't sure I would.  So while I have nothing to offer but an ear and experience, I am paying attention and I do care.  On that note:  Mr. Practicle, himself a fellow anxiety and depression fan club member, blogged recently about a writer friend of his who is going through this without help of any kind.  He and his family are suffering from his paralyzing panic attacks and everything that goes along with it.  While I can't afford to help with money, I can help with awareness.  I don't know what I might have done to myself or others had I not had professional medical help.  Help if you can a fellow writer and human who has been strong so very long.

I wish I could post one of these for all of us.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Take A Day to Think

It's hard to know what's on my mind today.  Just getting over bronchitis and knowing I should rest but feeling well for the first time in a month is tempting to do too much and possibly get sicker.  So I'm following doctor's orders and resting as much as I can until Tuesday.  When I should magically feel better and if I don't have to go back for X-rays and steroids, and things I don't want.  SO.  I'm resting....

When I could be out shopping or eating at my English pub or going for a walk, even on this rainy and chilly morning.  I don't make a very good patient.  I tend to not want to go to the doctor until it's almost too late.  I just hate hospitals and doctors offices.  I don't want to know, I just want to feel better.  So I'm trying, as usual, to take care of myself.  Eat better, exercise.  I think about it while I have coffee and bacon or a bowl of ice cream or enchiladas, in my internest surrounded by my TV and laptop and phone and the most comfy king size bed.  It's hard to want to move on the weekends when my studio is set up for maximum non-movement.  Especially when I have doctors orders to rest. 

Too bad I don't have company.  Then it wouldn't seem like hermit mode so much.  But if someone were here, I'd have to share everything.  Including the ice cream, coffee AND the bacon.  Not together of course, although bacon flavored ice cream is probably in our future.  And as fun as it would be to cuddle up with someone right now, I find the thought of sharing anything today distasteful.  I might have gotten more comfortable with my internet friends than actual in-person friends.  This could be dangerous for me as I do enjoy my solitude and my own company.  But if it continues to be enough, I could in effect, become such a loner that I might not ever meet anyone new, at all.  In a city this big, it is very easy to become lost, and no one cares that they haven't seen you about town in awhile because no one knows you are alive.  And yet, as good a show as I put on sometimes, I really do hate meeting new people.  I always feel put on the spot or on stage with no lines.  Uncomfortable at best.  And I guess that's why I detest putting myself out there, even in places I feel comfortable, alone.  I do much better with a partner in crime.  My partners in crime are all too far away. 

Perhaps this is a good day to read or write or just be at one with my thoughts.  We all need days without commitments, without the world pulling us.  Just to be at one with ourselves and breathe.  Of course, the inhaler helps there.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Spring Visions *Reference*

Maybe it's Spring, somethings in the air.  Or maybe it's just time.  I don't know.  But it seems that a lot of strange things are occurring out there and the weather is only one.  Perhaps our emotions are more tied with the seasonal changes than we are willing to admit, or remember.  Perhaps this is how we always come alive, in Spring.  After a long winter of hibernation from the elements with the food, we managed to hunt, preserve or grow.  Perhaps this is just the residual strong instinct of move, be productive, or die next winter.  But for me, it is an almost overpowering urge to make things happen, explore, create, and move forward. 

Personally, I feel fine and in tune with not only nature but my place in the world.  I'm not incredibly happy or sad.  I feel very comfortably content with my life and yet even with that I can't help but feel that something is on the move.  Something is on the edge of the horizon that I can't see, that I can barely make out.  But it's coming. 

I hope it's good.  Whatever it is it's still too far away to make out anything except a gray landscape and a dark shape approaching.  It's rectangular and low to the ground, like the beginnings of a step seen from the side.  And when I try to focus on it, it shifts and vibrates, becoming more alter shaped.  This is the curious part to me, and the part that it starts to feel bad.  As if I'm trying to force it somehow, so I back off.  The whole vision feels off and therefore why I'm curious and keep poking at it.  Mentally.  Whenever I've had this feeling  before it has heralded a great change in my personal life.   Sometimes a move, or change of my circle of friends, divorce.  But it was always change.  With that being said,  I don't think this has as much to do with me as it will effect me.  So I'm paying close attention to all my friends problems.  Now more than before the vision.  Because something is coming, and the more I try to focus on it the further away it wants to jump.  When I try to focus on it, it feels like something bad, but when it jumps I feel completely neutral. 

Either I'm getting better at accepting this gift and trusting it rather than worry about something I can't change, or it's not that bad.  Maybe only appears bad at first.  You know I've heard it said that if we're lost we sometimes have to lose everything we have in order to get everything we need.  And while that sounds harsh, my personal experience can tell you it's very true.  So even if this 'thing' whatever it is, turns out to be bad, what we have to remember is that it had to happen to give us what we want in our lives.  I feel like this has already happened to me, back in, 1985, 1994, and 2013.  So I am rather curious about this vision and I keep poking at it but can never see more.  Who I should warn.  Who's life is going to change, without warning, and suddenly. 

I'm documenting this here in my blog this morning mostly for my own personal reference.  But if my words ring true to any of you perhaps, you know more than I.