35…and climbing

Today is a day like any other for me. It was 35 years ago that my mother shat me out of her womb. (line from “Bad Santa”)

I have had one good birthday over the past few years and it easily was last year. Someone very important to me made it very special for me.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I had a blast. She always seemed to make everything so simple but she did it in a way where it was unforgettable. She always impressed me with how she could turn nothing into something just like that.

I would give anything to have that day back. I would give everything to relive that day one more time. I miss her and every day I think about her. She is all I think about. She is what I want for my birthday.

I know I won’t get what I want. But I will live with what I get instead. Today, its just another day in my life. A day that doesn’t really mean anything to me anymore. After all, we all know what will make me the happiest.

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Depression, an allergic reaction?

This is not my work, I just want to make that clear. Not trying to steal anyone’s thunder. This piece is written by Eleanor Morgan from the site Vice.

This story originally appeared on VICE UK.

Our understanding and awareness of depression has, thankfully, evolved some way beyond the old-fashioned “pull-yourself-together” response. Most now know that it’s a multifaceted, shape-shifting, and frequently debilitating condition that transcends race, sex, and creed. But we still don’t know exactly why some become depressed and some don’t.

We know that people may be genetically predisposed to depression and anxiety disorders. We also know that specific life events may trigger depressive episodes in those who have previously been the picture of mental health. But so far we’ve been unable to identify one single, definitive catalyst. However, new research suggests that, for some people, depression may be caused by something as simple as an allergic reaction. A reaction to inflammation—a product of the body, not the mind.

George Slavich, a clinical psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, is one of an increasing number of scientists who believe we need to be looking at our physiology to better understand depression—that, perhaps, it’s not all in the head. “I don’t even talk about it as a psychiatric condition anymore,” he told the Guardian. “It does involve psychology, but it also involves equal parts of biology and physical health.”

The thesis is simple: Everyone feels like shit when they’re sick. That ennui we feel when we’re unwell—listlessness, lack of enthusiasm, troubled sleep, tearfulness, and a general feeling of wading through tar—is apparently known among psychologists as “sickness behavior.” Our bodies are pretty intelligent, see—they behave this way so that we stop, lie still, and let our system fight whatever infection of virus has us croaking for Gatorade on the couch.

These kinds of emotional responses are also typical of depression, though. So scientists are asking: If sick people feel and act a lot like depressed people, might there be a link?

Yes, basically. It’s all about inflammation—that clever red siren we have in our immune system that lets the body know something is wrong and it needs to be fixed. Proteins called cytokines cause inflammation and flick the brain’s “sickness” switch—i.e., make us sad and still. Cytokines skyrocket during depressive episodes and, in those with bipolar disorder, halt in remission. The fact that “normal,” healthy people can become temporarily anxious or depressed after receiving an inflammatory vaccine—like typhoid—lends further credence to the theory. There are even those who think we should re-brand depression altogether as an infectious disease.

As someone who has experienced two major, debilitating episodes of depression that were both linked to illness, surgery, and painful recovery, it makes sense. When I was recovering from a bowel operation two years ago, my physiological and mental discomfort became one and the same; the pain around my stitches was the same shade as the silent, foggy scream of nothingness and vertigo in my head.

On the one hand, the theory linking physical illness and depression is encouraging. Carmine Pariante, a Kings College psychiatrist who is quoted in the Guardianreport, says that we’re between five and ten years away from a blood test that can measure levels of inflammation in depressed people. If both Pariante’s estimate and the inflammation-depression theory are correct, we could potentially be just five years from an adequate “cure” for depression.

But if the theory gains more weight, it’s possible that it could have negative consequences. As Nick Haslam, professor of psychology at University of Melbourne points out, it might be wrong to believe that a better understanding of mental illness will automatically lead to “social progress.” Believing that a mentally ill person has a deep-rooted, physical defect “may lead us to see them as unpredictable, incurable, and categorically different from the rest of us.” So, if we shift the blame from the mind to the body, will the stigma surrounding the mentally ill decrease? Maybe it will. Hopefullyit will. But even though there’s greater awareness now that depression is a result of a “chemical imbalance” in the brain—i.e., a physical problem—studies have suggested there’s been no significant reduction in the stigma that surrounds the mentally ill.

And stigma is important, largely because it has helped create the mental health-care system at work in this country today. With stories like there being more children hospitalized for self-harming than ever, and the knowledge that our doctors still have antiquated “flag” systems for identifying anorexia in boys, it can feel like we remain stuck in the dark ages. Our general language surrounding mental health doesn’t ever feel quite right, either—consider the phrase “nervous breakdown,” a pair of words that feel both too sensationalist and reductive to describe an evolving disorder whose myriad symptoms can include insomnia, rigid anxiety, panic, intense gut discomfort, weight loss, total lack of libido, and body tremors.

While there are certainly many other physiological causes of inflammation that support the theory—obesity (excess body fat, particularly around the belly, harbors huge amounts of cytokines) being one—it would be naive to suggest that all depression is a side effect of physical illness. For so many of us, day-to-day life is practically booby-trapped with despair; you could argue that we’re chronically inflamed all the time. However, at least this new research from people like Slavich is opening up the discussion and revealing the complexities of mental illness. And if the realization that basically anyone can be mentally ill doesn’t make people more sympathetic to mental illness, is there anything that will?

End article

I found it to be interesting. And how great would it be if there was a cure 5 years from now. Unfortunately 5 years will be too late for some people. However, 5 is better than 6 and so on. Now that depression is finally getting the recognition it deserves, for lack of a better statement, when will we experience more fundraisers for or depression awareness. There are twice as many suicide deaths than HIV/Aids.   I’m not saying awareness for that is not important, but we need more awareness for depression.

What are your thoughts on this article?

I miss you.

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Just like the lyrics of Blink-182’s song. This is my life in a nutshell when it comes to relationships ending. This probably applies to a good amount of other people as well. I’m going to try and pick the words apart and explain what I think they mean. Music video link from YouTube is at the bottom.

Hello there the angel from my nightmare
The shadow in the background of the morgue

-To me, this interprets I think the obvious. The angel would be his ex girlfriend that he is constantly thinking about and is causing him so much pain.

The unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley
We can live like Jack and Sally if we want

-To me, “the victim of darkness” is referring to depression. Jack and Sally would mean living like the average, normal couple. Depending on how you define normal.

Where you can always find me
And we’ll have Halloween on Christmas
And in the night we’ll wish this never ends
We’ll wish this never ends

-Here I believe he is saying that he will always be available to her. That they can do whatever they want (Halloween on Christmas). The last part meaning that they will be so happy, and well, they won’t want it to end.

Where are you and I’m so sorry
I cannot sleep I cannot dream tonight
I need somebody and always

-This part I think is obvious as well. He is sitting and waiting for her return. Apologizing over and over for his mistakes and maybe what she was put through. All of this together, keeps him from sleeping at night. “Needing somebody and always” can be interpreted as him being a serial monogamist or he just doesn’t want to be lonely anymore.

This sick strange darkness
Comes creeping on so haunting every time
And as I stared I counted
The Webs from all the spiders

-Again, I think we see the depression and hurt affecting him every time she pops into his head. The webs could be he can’t think clearly because of how he feels.

Catching things and eating their insides
Like indecision to call you
and hear your voice of treason
Will you come home and stop the pain tonight
Stop this pain tonight

-At this point, his thought of her, are eating him up and adding/causing the pain. He doesn’t know whether he should call her or not, hoping to hear her give in to him and come back to stop the pain.

Don’t waste your time on me you’re already
The voice inside my head (I miss you miss you)

-This is where I had to really think. My thoughts are that she isn’t coming back. Therefore, he is using reverse psychology on her. Kind of Jedi mind tricking her. Basically saying “he couldn’t possibly be more hurt.” Kind of daring her to see for herself. Wanting her to see that things would be the way they were before his sickness. In the end, still reminding her that he misses her.

This would describe my last relationship to the T! How I felt, where I was and so on. Just follow the song and you will see.

blink-182 – I Miss You: http://youtu.be/s1tAYmMjLdY

The Murdered Veteran..

One if the big topics on the local news is about a neighborhood called North Highlands. Its definitely not one you would be caught walking alone at night in. And in some parts if you’re white Mexican, Asian or any other race aside from African American, you wouldn’t walk around during the day.

North Highlands is somewhat, well who am I kidding. Its ghetto! One of those areas where there is a liquor store on every corner, every street has a run down strip mall and of course your hookers and johns. I shouldn’t say its all bad because there are a plentiful amount of African American churches.

Recently there has been a rise of home invasions in that area. Just so happens, one of the homes was a white, World War 2 veteran. I’m not saying it was anything racial. In fact I’m almost positive it wasn’t. It doesn’t matter what race did what. Its wrong no matter what color of person does this. During this home invasion, the elderly veteran was murdered. No details have been released yet.

A couple of things came to mind when I first read about this story. One was, what were his last moments like. I mean, did he try to defend his property or was he just flat out murdered when all he would have done was allow them to take what they wanted.

If he died defending his property, which they say nothing material is ever worth risking your life over, what did he do and how did he try to defend it. If he did defend, I really hope he gave them the fight of his life. Because I’m willing to bet this invasion was planned out and they knew what they would be going up against. Or hopefully what they thought they would be. Not that I want to make death glamorous or anything, but I think you know what I’m trying to say, when I say, I hope he did something that hurt them, that when he passed, he got the last laugh. Its obvious from the news his was the only body in the home. So hopefully he did something to one, if not all of them, to remind them the rest of their lives what happened that day they made that decision to enter his home.

What if he was the type that said “no take whatever you want, please don’t hurt me.” Or something along those lines. And if he did say that, why was there a need to murder him? I don’t know that a person can be more of a coward than to murder an elderly man who was giving you what you want.

This is where my anger came out. I wanted nothing more than to track these people down and curb stomp their faces, put a bullet between their eyes, or simply torture them for what they did to him.

Is there a time when this anger is ok? I’m sure the answer is yes. Because its always ok to be angry at something like this. Its just how you handle your anger that matters.

I feel so sad for him and his family. They have lost a brave man who served our country. And for that, thank you sir!

You had me waiting….

…like a fool. To think you would actually come back was one of the dumbest things I could have done. I guess I really need to listen to my own advice.

Its been almost 2 days since we have said a word to each other. And while I do have my moments where I miss, which is normal, I have my moments where you don’t even cross my mind. You set fire to the anger inside me because of your decision. The only difference now is that I know how to control my anger.

You once said you were afraid I was doing all this just to hurt you. Turns out, you were the one who did the hurting. And yes I could easily go back on my word of not hurting you, but I won’t. I’m not that type of person. You belong in the same category as the rest of my ex-girlfriends. Nothing but a memory that will fade away. I don’t need to tell you why we won’t be friends or why we can’t talk, but I will remind you. There is no point in conversing anymore. You lost that privilege when you decided not to come back.

Now you can find someone else to call when you need to talk or let out some steam. I will not be there for you. I do not need you to be here for me. You weren’t hear when I needed you the most anyway. You walked out and made one of the dumbest decisions you have ever made. The one thing I do know is one day you will see that it was the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. You will wonder why the person who cares the most about you won’t even talk to you. I think that’s when it will hit you, the best thing you had, you let go of. Now I am on my journey to be the best thing for someone else. Someone who appreciates me. Someone who loves me and actually means it when they say it. And I’m not talking about them loving me as a friend. More than that! Someone who loves me and wants to get married.

The lesson learned….

….is that you will be let down in your life. Certain people and events will happen and punch you right in the gut. Don’t think that you won’t let yourself down either. Its become even more evident in the past couple of days.

What I thought was a going to be one of the best moments in my life, slipped away. I’ve taken everything that could have been thrown at me. Everything I worked for, went down the toilet. The one and only thing I wanted is not going to be mine.

Its really hard to type this as the tears roll down my face. But you will soon understand why. You will understand why I hurt so much right now.

Let’s face it, at one point in your life you have had to make a change about yourself or learn something you were doing wasn’t the right way to do it. I have one period of time in my life that I wish never would have happened. Obviously I can’t go back in time. But when Chrissy left me, I was devastated. My whole world was crashing down because of my depression. And the things I did to scare her away are not being excused because of the depression.

Most of you don’t know, me and her have been talking the past few months. Its been a lot better. I knew I had changed and she said she believed I had. We were moving towards this point of her moving back so we could be happy. And then, everything crumbled.

While visiting family she discovered some things about her family that made her think of what happened when me and her were together. The next thing you know, she was telling me she wasn’t coming back. But she said she believed in me, she believed I had changed. However, if that was true, she wouldn’t still be scared of me. Or at least those memories wouldn’t be scaring her off.

I don’t know that I ever believed she would come back. Just with my experience in life, I figured something was bound to go wrong. And when it did, I took the biggest punch in my gut. My confidence, shattered. My mind, lost. My heart, ripped to shreds. Everything I had changed about myself, wasn’t for nothing. I still have changed and I am a better person because of it. But one of the reasons I needed to change, is because I wanted her back. She is the love of my life. I declined relationships with other women because I wanted her. I let so many opportunities walk right by because of my love for her. In the end, I screwed myself.

What is the whole point of this blog? Well, don’t wait on someone. Its not worth it. They will hurt you right back. Our life on this planet is too short and I think way too many people don’t see that. Waiting for anything or anyone, we don’t have that time. If someone wants to be with you, they are or they aren’t. Its as simple as that. So I guess you could say this, especially in my shoes, if it didn’t work the first time and you were hurt because of it, it probably won’t work the second time or trying to get to that point. Its not worth it to hurt twice for the same person. Move on, its over, they don’t or won’t want you or love you or see the dedication you put towards fixing things. Because in the end, you can do everything and if it doesn’t work, being congratulated for trying means nothing. It doesn’t take the hurt away. So please, for your own good, live your life.

Yes, at this moment I still have those feeling for her. However, they will soon be forgotten. She is already a person in my past, and if she wants something, she can approach me. I put my time in and the door was slammed in my face. Never again will I let that happen to me.

The biggest mistakes…

..all seemed to reside in me. Or at least they used to. This a pic of my mistakes. A mistake I will never make again. She suffered from my mistakes. Remember, love does not conquer all.

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Mistake #1: People don’t understand how love works.

This first mistake is the biggest of all. If you fix this, I guarantee your love life will completely transform. If you don’t understand what’s happening in your relationships, how can you expect them to go well? 

People spend way too much time and energy confused about love. They cycle through the same patterns over and over again, not having a clue as to what’s going on. And we all know there are few things worse than spinning in perpetual confusion and doubt about love. 

Guess what? You don’t have to live there anymore! There are many people out there who have been through what you’re going through (myself included). One of the cornerstones of love is that we are one; we’re truly in this together. To me this means that we suffer very similar losses and we experience very similar joys. When it comes to love and relationships, we really aren’t as different as it seems. 

Learning from people who can relate to what you’re going through is one of the secrets to knowing yourself on a deeper level. Find these people and let them show you the way.

Speaking from my personal experience, I’ve had many guides and teachers in love. Without them, there’s no way I would have the found the clarity and joy in relationships that I experience today. 

Knowledge is power. Do your heart a favor and get to know how it works. Your love life will thank you for it.

Mistake #2: People don’t know that love lives in them. 

Once you start to gain clarity about how love works, you’ll realize that love exists within you. 

Many of us don’t realize this. We insist on believing that love lives outside of us, either in people, places, or things. We think to ourselves, “Once I have that, then I’ll feel love.” We’ve got it all backwards.

Here’s the deal: love is not out there. It’s not somewhere else. It’s in you. When you discover this, you’ll have found the greatest truth and perhaps the greatest secret about love. 

Contacting the source of love within you will completely change your experience in relationships. Because you’ll understand that love is an inside-out process, not the other way around. It all starts with you. 

If you sit back and wait for love to show up on your doorstep, then you’re going to be waiting around for love for a long, long time. But if you’re committed to finding love within yourself first, then you’ll see that love can be anywhere you are. Knowing this is a complete game changer. 

Commit yourself to loving from the inside out, and watch the love you feel in relationships completely transform. 

Mistake #3: People don’t know that giving love away makes it grow.

We collectively believe that whatever we give away, we lose. We tend to project this mentality on everything, including love. But love isn’t ruled by the laws of finite resources. 

Whatever love you genuinely give away (without the motive of getting it back), you’ll automatically receive in return. This is a hard concept for us to grasp. Unfortunately, many of us live with the fear that if we freely love, we are set up to lose either ourselves or the other person.

This is a lie! 

The truth is that anytime you close your heart off to love, you lose love. Anytime you protect yourself from love, you lose love. Anytime you withhold love, you lose love. Many of us self-sabotage our experience in love because of this false belief!

So here’s a catch with this mistake: If you don’t understand love first (mistake #1) and if you don’t contact the source of love within you (mistake #2) then you’re almost guaranteed to make this final mistake in relationships. Without knowing on a very deep level that you can never actually lose love, it’s likely that you’ll limit the amount of love you give away. Because limiting is what we do when we’re scared; it’s our way of controlling our environments. This mentality has to be shattered. 

Learn the real truth: the more love you give away, the more you will receive in your life and your relationships. Please don’t hide your love away.

So there you have it: three mistakes people make in love! Now that you understand these truths, I hope that you will do what it takes to change your experience in love. Because when you change, your love life has no other choice but to change too. 

If we can all make an effort to understand love, find love within ourselves, and give love away, not only can we change the course of our own lives, but we can change the world as we know it. Let’s all do our part to make our own existence, and the state of the world, a more loving place.

Brain power

So tonight watched the movie Lucy with Scarlett Johansson. I was kind of expecting the movie to be like Elektra or Ultraviolet. More of an action type movie like those. Not to say there wasn’t any action, but I think you catch my drift.

Well anyway it was about our brain and how much of it or how little of it we actually use. Well there have been many myths saying we only use use 10% and that we actually use 100%. While that may be true that we use 100% does that necessarily mean we know how to use all 100%? I would guess the answer is no. You can easily sit there and “If we are using 100%, yes.” I beg to differ.

You can compare it to working, like lifting weights. Let’s say your at the gym lifting weights all day. BTW, you will never catch me at a gym. But let’s say you used 100% of your body during that workout. That does not mean we worked out 100% of our body.

After watching Lucy, I began to think. What if we used our brain to the fullest potential possible? How would the world be different? I would wonder here in the U.S. if the top 1% would still have 40% of the wealth in the country. I would also wonder what kind of world this would be with the dangers of WMD’s being out.

One of the lines in the movie kind of stated the same question. Basically stating that if we we all knew how to use 100% that the “evil” wouldn’t exist. The reason was because evil comes from a lack of intelligence rather than an overindulgence of it. It quite honestly makes sense.

If you look at the Enron scandal. Those guys were thought to be really smart. But the wrongdoings came from a lack of intelligence. Yes you can say “well that’s obvious.” But I could also say “if they were smart t begin with, the scandal never would have happened.”

Basically you can take any scenario that had a negative/evil outcome and say that. Because ultimately what they thought they were doing because they were so smart, turned out to be a lack of intelligence. I think if you watch the movie you might understand what I’m trying to say if you already know. And some of you might say that its common sense. And while that may be true, when you are so smart sometimes in your own mind, it can blind common sense. Just my take on what the movie made me think about. Give it a try, it was pretty decent.

My life is a lemon….

And I want my money back!

Yes that’s right, it is a Meatloaf song. But it seems to me that it describes my life perfectly. Nothing seems to ever go right for me. Especially over the last year.

Up until the last year, if I got into a pickle, I could easily get myself out of it. But recently it has been one step forward, 2 or 3 steps back. I feel like I’ve reached the peak of my success and am taking the trip back down to the bottom of the hill. Its truly heartbreaking for me. The things I want and still want. I think this goes all the way back to last summer.

Last summer after moving back from Humboldt County, I had it all. I had a house, a girlfriend, mans best friend, and was once again close to my daughter. We had a nice Lexus SUV. We had it all. It was everything that I had worked so hard to achieve. Its something that I dreamed of. I finally was living up to my potential.

All I ever wanted was that. I used to dream of having my own front and back yard to mow on the weekends. A home where friends and family could come over and hang out with us. Finally no more overpriced apartments. No sharing laundry rooms. Nobody upstairs, downstairs, to the left or to the right. And it was in a really nice neighborhood.

We each had our own bathroom. I was happy to give her the master bathroom all to herself. You know, the one with the nice oversized tub. I simply loved our home. It was what we had made of it and it was perfect for both of us. But obviously things changed and you all know the story. Remember, the cheater.

It hit me hard and it seemed like I lost everything. I pretty much had and I knew it was going to take a bit to get myself built back up.

I got my apartment and had a new girlfriend. I was looking toward the top of the hill again. Ready to take the steps and climb.

After that my life started in this downward spiral of depression as you all know. And after the girlfriend left, eventually the thoughts of suicide started to set in. I won’t revisit that either. Once I overcame my depression and suicide, things started looking a whole lot better. I thought to myself that I had finally hit rock bottom and it could go nowhere but uphill.

I didn’t realize how wrong I was. Everything since then has been once step forward, two steps back. And it seems like the fight I had in me was done. My body and mind are exhausted. I’ve all but given up. I look at it this way. It took me 15 years to reach that peak that I was at. I don’t know if I can do it. Well, let me restate that. I don’t know if I’m ready or want to do that. I think its just that I’m afraid of one thing, disappointing myself and others. What if it fails again? How crushed would I be and what would I do?

Many people might say my depression is back. I can assure you it isn’t. I just want at least one step forward without taking any steps back. And there is one thing I have been waiting on for a few months. I think if that’s a success, it will make me feel a whole lot better and be much more positive. That fight I used to have will be back. It all hinges on the one goal everyone knows I have been working towards. If that doesn’t happen ” And we’re always slipping through the cracks, then the movie’s over, fade to black, life is a lemon and I want my money back!”

So please, hurry up and come home. I miss you and love you dearly.