Tag Archives: mental health

Pardon the Politics

My heart goes out to those victims of the recent Las Vegas shooting, as well as their friends and family. I’ve said a couple prayers when it has occurred to me to do so. Now normally I may hint at this or that as far as politics go, and in person I can often get frustrated with many things that happen in our government, but I want to try to address at least one of the things that has personally bothered me deeply.

First off, no disrespect, I am always willing to have a conversation about philosophy and government, I don’t hate people with dissenting views, if anything, I encourage these discussions to be civil and plentiful. This is how a democracy works, with open minds and willing compromise, learning, and engagement.

Okay, so following that bit about the shooting, until this tragedy occurred I had not known President Trump kind of quietly signed legislation that removed a policy President Obama had made close to the end of last year.  This law was making an effort to database people that are mentally ill to make it more difficult for them to buy guns. Notably gun advocacy groups and lobbyists such as the NRA are promoting their interests and philosophy and believe that mentally ill people have the right to buy guns just as much as the next guy.  Why? Why would you even want to consider that? Granted “mentally ill” is a broad term, but it isn’t as if anybody seeing a psychologist, psychiatrist, or some other doctor for treatment cannot own a gun.

Here’s the thing. I have legitimately met a person who refused to seek help for his mental illness because he was concerned about how it would impact his ability to own guns and conceal carry.  This should not be the culture at all. I have mental health issues and I would want to be prohibited from buying guns.  If I bought one in a manic state and suddenly dropped to one of my suicidal depressive states, I might not have been taking just me when I pulled that trigger. Now I’m healthy enough to be honest with myself and others.  There have been many points in my life, particularly when being bullied and treated like shit, that I fantasized about the sort of things I could do with guns to other people.  And that isn’t okay, the fact that an administration is willing to let us (people like me or some other significant mental health issue) legally buy these guns is awful.

I also have despised the rhetoric that both parties claim the other side is doing, but when you are rolling back legislation like that, it’s kind of hard to justify in my opinion and when your view is that it’s better to have bullets flying in both directions in the event of a mass shooting, it’s hard for me to respect your ideas, because at that point it seems more shady, something along the lines of quid pro quo more than actual interest in public safety.

One of the arguments I have heard from people when discussing gun control is that if a person can’t get it legally, then they can get it illegally, we might as well let the citizens within the law stand a chance against the ones outside of it. This also is strange rhetoric, I would not have the connections available to me to really buy a gun on impulse illegally, but it if it is as easy as walking the 2 blocks to that nearby gun store, that’s a different story whether someone wants to admit that or not. I’m not saying guns are bad, I’m saying stupid people and mentally ill people with guns have the potential to be bad and I think we need to develop a culture that addresses these things better. I wish laws could fix these things and they don’t always do that or it takes a while to see the effects, but if you are removing sensible legislation like this, how do you defend that?

If the rhetoric is allow these militarized guns to be owned and fired by private citizens in order to protect their homes. Where do we stop loosening gun control? Where do we stop justifying actions by saying it would be worse if people could only do certain actions illegally so make them legal.  Granted this is a unique example because many justify that their homes are safer if they can access guns, this same logic doesn’t apply to illegal drug trade or something similar.  Should people be able to get guns faster and easier? Maybe they don’t need to be registered right away, just in case they don’t like it and want to return it. Maybe they don’t need an in depth registration at all. Let’s just have serial numbers and someone’s address, if it’s used illegally they will dispose of the gun anyway, so why waste the time? See these arguments don’t really hold water. And that’s my point.

Maybe some homes are safer with guns in them, maybe some people just feel safer in their homes with guns in them. But me? I would be liability. Just a bad day away from death, and maybe not even just mine. But I guess I should be entitled to that right? I mean I could kill myself other ways, why not let me do it with a gun so I can have my second amendment rights. Anyway, long winded I know, but there is no justifiable reason to roll back such efforts to limit the access of weapons from the mentally ill.  And this isn’t about me being a democrat, there’s been plenty of smart gun legislation brought forward from Republicans too, including our last Republican President, President Bush.  I just think we need to legitimately pause and consider the actions and motivations of moves like this and this one hits very close to home for me.

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Binary Can of Chicken

I struggled with what a binary can of chicken would be. At first thought I wasn’t bothered by it being binary, I was concerned about the reality if chickens were stored in cans.  I was reminded that chicken is canned and sold as such, which made me make a face closely associated with “blech”. But then I realized, I’m a computer scientist, I know what binary is, so obviously this can of chicken is digital. I corrected myself though, acknowledging that anything with two and only two distinct values is binary.  Maybe the can is or isn’t there? Maybe that is what applies to the chicken? Maybe the chicken is good or bad? Wow, that one actually kind of fits. It took me a couple of minutes before I realized the strangeness of binary cans of chicken.

The phrase of which I write came to me when I was getting in my car to go to school one morning. My brain likes to not work entirely at times. I’m used to getting weird phrases and snippets of conversations in my mind that don’t make sense. At one point I was very concerned that I had schizophrenia. Then I even chalked it up to being bipolar. I even had “dreams” while I was awake. Slight hallucinations, sometimes just morphing of colors or words, other times full on confusion when there is a witch drawing dots in the window of my RV full of balloons plummeting off a mountain. You know, dream stuff. Sometimes very alarming and can briefly summon me to reality in a panic.

Now that I have been diagnosed with narcolepsy, I feel I have a better grasp on this because these symptoms fit much better with that illness.  It’s hard having this many things wrong with you, but at least I am learning and at least I am getting treatment. I now think these weird one off phrases or mid conversation blurbs are issues related to narcolepsy. It often provides me with weird things to reflect on. Now I believe that every can of chicken is implicitly binary. I don’t think I would have ever considered that on my own. Anywho, meant to write in here more often and before now, but I’m also extremely tired and confused at work, so maybe later.

When the Going Gets Rough

You know what they say right? “When the going gets rough, get the bipolar people out fast”.

I suffer from a few psychological issues, as I am so careful to insert in almost every post. I know no one reads these, and to be honest, I’m not sure why I find it so compelling to catalogue the events of my life and beliefs. I don’t dress up this blog. I don’t remain committed to it. And I certainly have little value to offer others I feel in this capacity.

Anyone who reads this one, drop me a comment, let me know how I am supposed to write these things. I mean, I have a ton of content I can write and rant about. I’m not just mentally ill and a mental health awareness advocate. I like board games and video games, telling stories and memories. I like unique debates and getting to rant about social welfare and philanthropy. I love being challenged and getting to offer people a new perspective by opening their mind a little. I can empathize with others who have suffered great loss. I can tell you the many stories of how I apparently have super powered bad luck. I’m a huge geek who works on computers and is in school for computer science.

I’m trying something new here though. Small sporadic burst posts when the interest happens. So thoughts are super scattered. Right now I’m trying not to die of boredom at work. I also have little motivation to do anything in general. I’m definitely in a depressive episode and I know that. I just have to wait it out as my fiance reminded me and that’s true. But while I could be studying or working my way towards a certification, I just feel tired and useless. I’m honestly surprised I ended up here at all.

My depression has come a long way from what it used to be. I’m finally on a good treatment. I used to be told that a treatment was successful if I was doing well 50% of the time. And we didn’t have money to go see a different set of doctors. But they didn’t legitimately care about me. I tried to explain how I would have an awful week or two where suicide was a constant, if remote, temptation. And that was fine as long as I didn’t think I would act on it and I was doing well the other 2 weeks of the month.

And my doing “well” was not good either, it was simply just not dreaming about dying. But that was “success” I was told. Screw that right? I lost faith in the system pretty quickly, especially after so many medications failed to fix the problem, worked only temporarily, or had such intense side effects they had to be stopped immediately. No wonder why I want to advocate awareness right? I don’t want people to go through that. Everyone needs to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but there isn’t enough accessibility to the people who need it. We need more programs that provide funding or other means to address mental health awareness and treatments.

Now I don’t think about dying. I don’t wish I could fall off ladders and make everyone think it was an accident. I don’t have impulses to steer my car into the opposite lane of traffic. I don’t scream and throw things around. I just feel depressed. Low energy, a general malaise and wanting to be left alone. Not concerned about anything. That may sound bad, but it isn’t, not when you have some context. And they don’t last as long either. But it is a little bit harder right now, because everything keeps reminding me of my mom which also reminds me I won’t have her at our wedding. Or my dad. Or my brother. But, I think they’re still proud of me anyway, I’ve come so far. And I’ve still got a ways to go, but at least I have the means to get there. Godspeed readers!

What’s This All About?

When you ask about me, my mind races.  Maybe you ask what I do.  I read, I play games, I’m a student, I do 3 part-time jobs, I think, I sit, I dance (when no one is looking), I push for destigmatization of mental health issue, I go to church, I pray, I draw, I scream, I collapse, I take care of my dog, I dote on my fiance, I code, I break things down, I freak out, I sleep, I dream, I try to sleep but can’t, I don’t watch movies except when I do, and when I decide that my body is betraying me I subject it to overwork in unsafe conditions. I clean. I don’t clean, I buy too many things and regret, I buy not enough things and regret. I do so many things that when you ask me what I do, despite me knowing the question typically addresses working or student interest, my mind fires all these things and sometimes none of them, or some subset between the two.

Nothing is ever really simple for me. When you ask me where I grew up. I remember the apartment we had near the medical center, from before I was three. Not many memories, but enough. I remember nightmares I had, I remember moving towards a slightly better part of town into a duplex and while the people toured us through different duplexes in the area all owned by their company, there was a dog running around the one we ended up at. I think what preschool was like, where I was at when I learned I was “different” or smarter. I remember growing up with the Russian kid whose dad had broken English.  I remember my first best friends and growing into adolescence and how I wanted to keep them all and then remove some and then make new friends altogether. I say “I ‘grew’ up in San Antonio, but moved to Lubbock for high school.” Because the answer they want is I grew up “here” (Lubbock). But I grew up a lot. I still am growing up. I’m not a grown-up even if I get classified as an adult. I think to middle school, I was bullied, witnessed gang violence, was considering gun violence of my own, got in to see a doctor when I was young, had depression, likely due to my father’s accident. I stopped sleeping, I dreamt more and more and remembered so many. There were hallucinations and then we moved to Lubbock and the story goes from there. I can’t simplify things for people in my head, I have to find the response they want because my life story hits me most times when I am asked.

Sometimes I hear the thoughts of artists. I sing to music that doesn’t exist and when I try to write it down, it fades to the void that I’m all too familiar with. Sometimes I see amazing art in my head, and when I take to paper I’m nowhere near adequate to even get remotely close. I write poems but forget the words, I romanticize ideas but forget what they are.  I lose thought mid speech because my thoughts went so far ahead that some buffer limit was hit and I had to reset.

I analyze all the things that are wrong. All the things that are right. All the things I see in other people I would like to see in myself. I get social anxiety, I fake my charisma. I acknowledge a person’s problem as not a problem but when the same circumstance comes to me it is a problem again. I can’t keep quiet or I won’t speak at all, it always, always depends on the day.

Having Bipolar Disorder can be a lot like gambling (even causes people to gamble witlessly). I never know what I will face when I wake up. Who I will be. Maybe I change me midday and forget that problem that was life ending. Maybe I tell myself I will never be who I want. Then I hit it back into my head that it’s just symptoms and remind myself they are better and fewer even if still present. It all depends on the day.

When you ask me who I am. When I’m honest, I tell you I’m bipolar. I tell you that I’m smart and scared and will never compromise my integrity. I speak about my suicide attempt as a fulcrum to a better life. I grab your attention when it hits me because you have to know I’m not ashamed to be bipolar. You need to ask me what it’s like being bipolar so I can arm you with knowledge and encourage you to destigmatize.

I started this post with no intent. I finished it with something resembling one I guess. Today it’s a mixed day. A Grant can’t keep up with Grant day where I’m pulled in a million directions.

What was I doing again?

 

Insert Wit Here

Please follow the instructions the title provides.

Good. Now that it’s established you have great wit, I have little else to write.

Seriously. I got on here to write, but that’s about all I got. Oh, I agree it does not satiate one’s appetite. Well, let me try a different tactic. I have nothing planned to write in general, I’m actually quite adamant about just typing here until something exciting occurs to me.

Actually that reminds me. I saw my psychiatrist today, meds seem to be working, even if my brain apparently isn’t. I recall most of my dreams with fairly good detail. Yesterday I spent some time in an underwater city that collapsed and someone was able to save me. But oh the whales were something to be marveled. It was almost celestial, their appearance in my dream.

I guess I have that a lot. And music and words to it too. But they are so intangible and my brain has no proper way to coordinate that into the same beauty that I hear in my dreams or as I am even waking up. This gets me in trouble though, the whole, I take a while to fall asleep and wake up and in both transitions I start or continue dreaming.

I was concerned something else might be going on, but it genuinely seems to be just an oddity, which I can live with.

In other news, my expunction is being filed tomorrow. As you may or may not know, I was arrested for assaulting an officer. At the time, I was incredulous. My mom got pulled over for speeding, I was giving her a bit of a ribbing while the officer checked our IDs. Turns out there’s a warrant for me. I was incredibly confused but stepped out of the car as asked.

Officer asks if I want to tell him about what “happened the other day”. And I try my damndest to figure out what I might have been caught up in. Nothing. Not a single offering of a guess arose. He tells me I assaulted an officer, bit him actually. I shake my head no, I sure as heck didn’t. I tell him he must have something wrong. But he doesn’t, so I get in the car, really nice officer actually, I don’t generally have a lot of experience with officers, but I’ve had more negative ones than positive ones and strangely the one time I was arrested was probably the most positive one.

Turns out I bit an officer when I was in the hospital. Didn’t break the skin even. But he filed a report. Given the circumstances, I would argue again and again he was in the wrong. I wasn’t even fully aware of what was happening. My body was struggling to keep me alive and apparently that made me combative somewhere. He put his hand near my mouth in an effort to restrain me, what I feel is an obvious don’t, but he did. After entering the hospital that night after downing too many pills, I remember talking to my mom, I remember getting into a room. I remember starting to fall asleep and some woman urging me to drink something. It tasted like chalky chocolate milk. Then I remember falling. Then nothing, not really. Lots of noise. Beeps and voices, couldn’t focus on any of it. My body was moving, but it wasn’t me.I hear a man yell in my ear and suddenly the world is spinning. I don’t have any vision, but I know I was flipped somehow I hear the words “You deserve this, you did this to yourself” said angrily into my ears. I am panicking I try so hard to scream. I can’t breathe and I’m being crushed by something on my back.

Then I hear lots more noisy voices. Next thing I remember is coming to in bits and pieces. I tugged at a catheter which made me hurt, I wasn’t intentionally tugging it, but when I did tug it, the pain made my mind surface a tad. When I finally came to for  a few minutes, I immediately recalled the event. I was suddenly scared and even a bit tearful, I told my mom that something happened to me, I think I was abused in some way, but wasn’t sure. She thought I meant sexually and told me that was my catheter. I passed back out. When I came to again she told me what I told her and I told my mom it wasn’t that, but didn’t say more at the time.

Well when I leave the hospital I have one hell of a lump on my forehead just a bit below my hairline towards the side of my face. Also joining that is a black eye, what I felt to be evidence of what I experienced. Later I would find that a CT scan was done for an “acute head injury” though no incident for why this was is indicated in the medical records. The officer I bit while not having control worked security at the hospital and ended up in the room to restrain me. In the end, I know that was the event that happened. But I was in the wrong, and I had charges filed against me. The officer made a personal vendetta, that if I lived after trying to kill myself, I should face felony charges. Because I “deserved this”, I did it to myself.

I’ll continue this story some other time, but I wanted to leave my impression of how an officer handled me. I was hurt worse than him and I was not acting of my will, I was already hospitalized, and the officer was not intelligent enough to keep his hand away from my mouth when I was so out of it and being combative. I feel for officers, I really do, they have a really super difficult job that I don’t envy. But there are those in the ranks that aren’t there to serve the public, whether you admit to it or not, there are. I believe that mental illness should of a greater education to law enforcement given that a large population of incarcerated individuals are mentally ill. Sometimes they die unnecessarily too. We put a lot of responsibility in the hands of the officers and maybe that’s not fair. But in my opinion, neither is it okay for what happened to me to go on. I mean not only am I left with a traumatic experience, I was charged and have had to undergo some things over the past year to get the case dismissed (which I would have loved to be on trial for quite honestly) and now it will finally be expunged. I feel bad that I bit the officer, that’s something I would never do in my right mind. But I feel his response was uncharacteristic of someone representing the safety of the public. Imagine if that jail trip triggered something in me, I was incredibly lucky to have it together as much as I did, I know many thousands do not, and it’s certainly unfair to them too.

A few scattered things

I’ve stopped trying to write recently. Lately, it’s been more or less a thought of something I should do. A thing I should return to. And, I started and scrapped posts a lot in the month following my mom’s death. I haven’t even pulled up this once in the past month. 3 months since her death. Not sure how far I will get to in writing this, my meds should have put me under a while ago, maybe writing will fix that. I’ll post whatever I have if I start to go under, but it’s probably all scattered anyway.

I’ve been crying half an hour tonight. These come and go and the reality of who I am and the fact that I’m less and less normal occurs more and more. I have vivid dreams, I guess that’s uncommon, I frequently recall mine. I always have. I still remember nightmares I have had when I was young, non recurring, just one time things, some very docile. I also remember good dreams from when I was young, as well as weird dreams. From before I started elementary and throughout. I have memories from then too. Some I know I was under the age of 3 simply because I know when my parents moved us to that duplex in San Antonio. All these things are highly unusual. Maybe they all were indicators that my brain was a bit off. Instead it was seen as me being gifted. I never felt especially gifted. I felt like I was told I was gifted and thrown in with the kids who actually were.

Ever since I was 10 and my dad’s accident happened, I have tried to prepare myself for his death. Sometimes I thought I might have some sociopathic tendencies because at moments I welcomed the thought of his death, and didn’t grieve things other did. But, I was young, that stuff is traumatizing. I don’t have anyone to talk to tonight and I can’t really stay focused. My point is. I have dreams, vivid ones.

The night before my mom’s heart attack, I had this dream. Post-apocalyptic in nature. I was seeking shelter after a few people in my group got sick and died. I found this big church that was expanded out for some ways, a real survival colony thing. They offered food for work. I settled in, there was a bartering system, you got a meal a day, plus a certain amount of vouchers based on how much work you did a given day and the nature of it. There was something of an exchange for these vouchers as well, so that if you had scavenged something useful, it could be bartered for in a sense. The exchange was in a former grocery store. The area where they have meats and things that are refrigerated. The open former refrigerators laid out the contents of would you could spend vouchers on, you could also get an extra meal or a better meal if you would rather. But I was interested in all the board games that had been accrued.

Anyway, during the course of my stay with this group, I learn they are recruiting people for defense because they are actually at war with another group. They stop recruiting, stop asking and start forcing us to learn to fight other people. It’s during one of these assemblies that the doors bust open and the group that they are at war with barges in and starts shooting first, no intent on taking names. I’m able to dive out a side door, a few others following me in the chaos. I sprint, not looking behind me and I’m caught, snapped back into a small alcove of this hall, I am about to scream when my captor quickly turns me to face her, finger to her lips. She reaches into a bag slung across her and throws out a few little black marble looking things. At this point people who had followed me in from my own group fleeing in terror are running by getting gunned down. I hear a hiss and this girl hands me a bandana covering her own mouth with one and running yanking on me to follow suit.

Long story short, she helps me escape, she’s associated with another party altogether and has been saving people she found interesting. Was my board game collection that had piqued her interest.  Her group’s settlement is out of the mall. She’s got good folk, and she’s just a scout of sorts. The group realizes that I’m a man keen on keeping up the spirits, whether it’s helping people regain mementos, singing about a long lost time, or leading prayer. She saves me again escaping the mall, telling her I owe her twice now. Her name is Avery, I suppose I should mention that. She winks and nods her finger as if to jokingly disapprove.

Well. We hide out, our group splinters. We eventually have to make another run for it. Reaching into her bag again, she’s got me covered and will catch up later as she turns to divert attention with some other trick up her sleeve. Except she dies. I don’t rightly recall what happened to the rest of the people we were trying to escape from. But I ran to her. I held her as she is heaving her last breaths, her eyes distant, not knowing I was there. It was then I awoke. I wasn’t perturbed by this dream, this sort of thing is very regular actually. That one I thought was sort of fun. But it was the morning of my mom’s heart attack. In actuality, my mom had already had the heart attack by the time I awoke, but I had already gone on to work before getting a couple calls and scurrying off to check on her.

It was rough while she was in the hospital. But I kept telling her she would get out soon, because she would. Improvement every day, no indication of damage. Was just having a hard time coming off the respirator, doctor says it’s because she’s a smoker. I tease her about it. Keep her face cool with wet rags. She tries to worry about work, I do my best to not let her. Boldly keeping appearances up at the hospital, falling apart in fear at home.

Then they try to take her off the respirator after so many days of improvement and doing well. Something goes wrong, back to the respirator. She’s high on meds when I see her this night, her eyes won’t focus, but she’s trying to look at me. I tell her I love her very much and she’s gonna quit smoking when she gets home. I tell her I know it sucks she couldn’t come off the respirator and she nods. My girlfriend’s parents assist me with anointing her with oil to aid in healing the sick. I let her get rest. I go to work. Get off work, and have a migraine. I go lie down in the pitch black of the bathroom in the floor for an hour. Go up to hospital a little later than I intended. Bad news. But we don’t know what yet. I was gonna tell my mom happy birthday, I remembered this time. I wait around maybe 15 minutes with my family before we get news. It sounds foreign to me what’s being said, but I know it’s bad. I can’t bring my thoughts to focus. I’m already thinking of what I’m going to tell my mom about how I insisted smoking was bad, because this was a scare. I come back to the conversation when they are asking if things do take a turn, do I want them to try everything. Yes, there’s not even a question in my mind, of course.

Then 10 minutes later a doctor comes out and talks about things that I definitely don’te understand, my aunt with some experience with this asks questions about certain levels, I get the idea it’s worse. I suddenly feel very sick. Doc says what they are trying to do right now and leaves. My aunt looks at me and says she’s very sorry. In that moment I knew my mom was dying. This was a real fear from the previous week and it was here. I call my girlfriend and tell her to have her parents there too. I fall apart.

Eventually we go back to the room. And there is a nurse. I swear she looks exactly like Avery. And the room spins and I just latch to the idea that she’s here to save my mom. But she doesn’t. Complete organ failure for no explainable reason, and she’s gone, on her birthday, just like that.

I’ve been working through it a lot. And things like that, the Avery thing, I can’t tell if they are always real. Like I have a distrust for my brain from years of mental health issues and hallucinations. But I frequently recall my dreams with great detail and some memories don’t fade well either.

I keep telling myself my mom would have died when I was older anyway. I’m just getting it over with so I can be there for when someone else loses their mom. It doesn’t brighten me up, obviously. I remind myself I was lucky to have as much time as I did with her, that some people have more tragic stories.

And there’s chunks of peace and overall good grief work and progress. But right now, a lot of anxiety in this moment, but writing about that was a focus for something at least, my meds are finally starting to sink. Maybe I can catch the needed sleep before work

 

 

They Scratch.

The thoughts. Aching to break loose, manifest and be digested. They itch. I should let them out. But every time I set about to do so, they fail me. Like people that were interested in your birthday when that really popular kid was going, but then they realized it was just a ruse. (I didn’t know until my birthday that James wasn’t coming, thanks mom for lying).

No. Seriously though. I need to let loose some of this energy. Whatever the reason. I just about ran out of meds and had canceled the last doctor’s appointment the way it conflicted with my schedule for my new job, which is great by the way. But now I go in Friday to touch base and get a new prescription, life is good.

More than that, I realize how quickly my girlfriend has become an inseparable part of me and my day. I look forward to those brief disgustingly cute exchanges we have before we both settle into the thought that we are glad we found each other. Things moved fast, in lots of ways. But, I can’t say it would have done it any differently, and I think that’s a beautiful thing.

I had a minor depressive episode lately. In it, I took up a random rhetorical analysis and disagreement online. One of the ways my depressive episodes manifest is obsession, and I was obsessed with the idea, I was going to prove somebody wrong. I dropped it. Because I’m better than that. My morals somehow triumphed, and I just walked away. Only after spending almost 2 hours to write 2600 words of why I was correct and they were wrong. Breaking apart their own words and providing an analysis of my own. I just never used it, deleted the words and mostly put it out of mind.

That’s good. That’s progress, haha, no matter how small. I’m a good person. I am. I’m tired of being so terribly humble and convincing myself that anyone would do these things or offer these things, when the fact is, I am in a minority. Everyone likes to believe they are a good person. But so few are.

I used to be Catholic. Now? Not so much. I still go to church. A Christian church, but not a Catholic one. Mass so inconsistently connected with me. Even though in high school, going to a Catholic school afforded me opportunities to go into church often and pray, sometimes by myself. But now I’m closer to God. And it’s none of my business what anyone else believes in terms of being spiritual. I do not care except for the fact that some people can be brought to a better place with that in their life, no matter the focus. I do think that’s ok. I don’t push my views on anyone, I don’t judge for anyone not believing in mine. I do get frustrated when on a surface level I think about the various arguments in policies. As a country we will always be divisive, that’s part of how a democracy operates. It needs to shift back and forth to maintain some level of balance before it inevitably crumbles from some other type of strain.

But for now. I just need to be a good person. I don’t need to incite my fellow man. I don’t need to tell everyone or even think when some people are wrong. For the most part, I can’t change that. Those people won’t change the way they think, and to be honest, if it isn’t hurting somebody, should I really care?

There’s this odd amorphous shift in the way I start viewing things. I still wince when people say something about kids need to toughen up because bullying was worse in their day. I think it’s mighty shitty of adults to straight up put blame on the victimized children. To compare themselves is inconceivable to me. Now, I do agree that if kids that are being bullied, were better equipped to deal with it, it could go better. That could mean martial arts, it could mean confidence, a lot of things. So in some ways I see the hypersensitivity, but adults simply saying bullying is part of life and that kids should just get used to it is a frustrating mentality. So there are a few things that set still set me off. I was bullied. A ton. It sucked. No one stood up for me. Eventually I stood up for myself.

There’s a lot more to that story. I wanted to kill my bullies. Literally. Firearms and the whole shebang. Not every kid can be backed into a corner and come out ok, and I think adults shouldn’t be so asinine. Now I forgot what I was originally going to talk about. It was gonna be about my shift in philosophy in an individual level. But I hit one of my triggers I guess haha.

Using that word, “trigger”, another one comes to mind. And suddenly this entire post starts devolving around me. Let’s try to bring it back.

I work in a call center now. I don’t mind dealing with people on the phone. I thought it would stress the bejeezus out of me, but it doesn’t. Funny thing happens when you empathize, truly empathize. You can understand the person on the other end. They may be weird as Hell, or have a problem, you never could, but that’s their role to call you they feel, and it is your role to assist. I don’t get the people I see as I walk around who make violent pantomimes or flip the birds to the phone after a call concludes.

No one is being hurt. And if you can empathize, the job isn’t hard. I still get angry. I still have a cauldron full of social issues that boil over, but even in the people I can’t disagree more with, I cannot harbor an anger. Again, the caveat, that their actions or opinions are not hurting anyone. I am finding the ability to love people no matter what. As I find the inclination to love a woman more than I would have thought possible with the way things have been. And as I find the strength to love myself.

I deserve to be here. I deserve to be more. I owe it to myself. But what is more? That’s my call. Right now. That’s a wonderful boyfriend. A patient son. A damn good charitable soul and someone who can turn a call around. It doesn’t need a lot of money for me to be more. It doesn’t need a fancy paper telling me I’m qualified. My success is my happiness. And I’ll be damned, but I’m bloody happy.

Anytime I write that. You can’t begin to imagine how wonderful it is to stare at those words knowing the truth in them. Or maybe you can. Maybe that’s something you know all too well. Or believe that you could never know for any reason. I’d be right there with you half a year ago. Wondering when I could just let it all go. No life is worth losing. As someone who has been all sorts of dark places in their own mind, I consider it a statistical anomaly that the only real problem I seem to have is random binges of porn. I should be a drug addict. I should be an alcoholic. I shouldn’t be alive. I shouldn’t be happy. But, just listen to me. I am.

Now, I know I don’t carry the weight in my words I would like. And I know there are so few who will actually read this. But I’m a good person, and I love people. No matter how weird. So, if you ever need an objective opinion, a person to talk to, somebody to console you. I’m here. Don’t hesitate. I don’t expect anyone to ever take me up on this offer, but it is sincere, I won’t material needs, but I will do what I can to help. Consider that my gift to anyone who needs it. I was crazy once. Still am by some standards. But, doesn’t mean I can’t be stable, doesn’t mean I can’t be happy. I would love to help someone achieve that, so I’m here.

That may have taken an odd turn I guess. I should write more. To try to support people who might read this but not have that bit of courage to say something. Maybe I will. I certainly want to. The dark times have passed, and even should they return, I shall not fear any longer.