Friday, April 27, 2007

A Cause for No Concern

Let me start off by saying a big Thank You to everyone that has written and phoned me in the past 24 hours about my last post. I was really touched by your concern and it was nice to hear from everyone. I didn't intend for any response, so let me just say that you all overwhelmed me!

I've written back to everyone individually at this point, but I'd like to publicly state a few things so that everyone gets to hear them directly from me.

First; This blog is part entertainment for me and part therapeutic. While I like to share myself and views with everyone, this site also allows me to deal with any issues I may have or may be going through. It is an introspective mentor, sounding board, and healer for me. Sometimes just by going through the movements of writing out my thoughts and feelings, I come to a better understanding of what I'm facing or even what I want to do. After almost 18 months of writing, this blog has become an integral part of me.

Second; In no way do I feel slighted or neglected by anyone. We are all very busy and have responsibilities and obligations that we have to see to. At the end of my post when I mentioned friendship, it was a very raw sharing of my feelings as I was attempting to combat my depression that night. It wasn't a major concern to me, but for whatever reason it came out as I was writing and sharing. Part of depression I think is the illogical embracing of ridiculous feelings as doubt creeps in. Meeting them head on, no matter how trivial, silly, or minor, helps me to dismiss them and think healthier thoughts.

Third; I am not currently treating this with any form of medication. I touched on it a bit in my previous post, but I am just tired of the medications. It's not that they don't work because some of them do, they just don't always work for everyone or on me. Currently I wasn't happy with any of the meds out there that I had tried, so I decided to try something new and that was to combat this without the meds using a very hyper-vigilant approach. What this means is that I am pretty constantly analyzing my feelings, motivations, and actions as I have become very aware of the patterns and destructive behaviors of this problem. For lack of a better term, I am fighting this out mentally. So far I think the results have been very good. But as a result of all this, I will possibly need to write and vent from time to time. It could be like a post such as my last one, or it might be something different, but it's all part of how I am combating this.

Fourth; I used the term "Self-Destruct" in my last post. I just want to iterate to everyone that this does not in any fashion mean physical abuse or suicide. It refers to making choices that are unhealthy and destructive in other ways. Such as purposely picking fights with people, neglecting responsibilities, or purposely making bad choices. Please, for those of you who may have thought this, I am fine.

Lastly; I just want to say that I took a risk in revealing this. I said in the post that one of my biggest fears and reasons for not bringing this up openly in the past was that I didn't want to be treated differently. That still holds true. I knew that bringing this up potentially opened the door to created a "Damned if you do, Damned if you don't" type of feeling for others. Rid yourself of those feelings and continue like you always have.

Again, I really appreciate the out pouring of concerns and interest that everyone has expressed. I means a great deal to me and I will definitely use it as part of how I deal with things during the real lows of this problem I have. Thank you all so much for caring.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How I feel

I suffer from depression. Big deal right, who doesn't? The older I get, the more I think that it is a big deal. It permeates into all aspects of my life and as I approach 40 I can see how it has even affected me physically. This is not something I talk about much, and I don't think I've even mentioned it to many people at all--- I would think that most people who know me aren't even aware of it. The reason for that is I've never felt comfortable letting people know about this.

I've always thought I'd be treated differently or that people would want to give me some additional sympathy or even pity as a result. I've never wanted to have a built-in "excuse" for bad behavior or poor choices that I might have made. I think that once you accept that type of crutch, you will eventually come to depend on it and use it in a very manipulative fashion. So for those reasons, I've always avoided mentioning it, especially when I was younger and first learned about this.

I bring this up because I think I'm going through a horrible patch of this right at the moment. This is the first time in years I've gone through this without taking some type of medication for it. The meds are tricky---sometimes they help you, but there are always side-effects that make them unattractive or unbearable. I took one that made me sweat profusely and experience heat flashes, and I've taken another one that worked for awhile but then made me feel jumpy, excited, and agitated. It all boils down to not feeling successful with anything I've tried. So currently I'm combating this on my own without any help, but it's incredibly hard.

I don't know if I've ever had a more difficult time than what I'm going through right now. I honestly think that if I didn't have babies to play with every day that I would have self-destructed by now. The thing about depression is that, for me at least, you feel a heavy solitude, even when you're surrounded by your friends and family. The best way I can explain it is looking at it as though each morning you wake up and find yourself wrapped up in a wet, heavy cloak of doubt. I say doubt because you end up not trusting yourself and you often lack the strength to throw off the doubt that is weighing you down.

The result of all this is that for the last few months I've felt extremely alienated and alone. Maybe I need counseling or something, but from the time I wake up until the time I eventually fall asleep, I feel disconnected from everyone. The worst part is that I know I would be extremely annoyed if I had a bunch of people hanging around. That sad contradiction is what I probably hate the most.

So, I often find myself up late at night, like tonight (it's about 3am), ruminating on everything. One of the things I've been thinking about lately is friendship or friends. If someone is my friend, I want to be there for them in anyway they need. What I've found about friendship is that I can find a more people to help me move or help me hang siding on my house than I can find to talk to or hang out with on a regular basis. I don't care about having help moving or getting a project completed when I've got an emergency, I'm more concerned with someone who just wants to talk to me or hang out with me because they really want to.

Maybe it's just depressed pouting, or maybe I've just become such a cantankerous bastard, but I find I have precious few people that want to talk to me these days.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Powerful Week

Wow, where do you start? The world sure seems to be a little less sane than it was a week ago. The Virginia Tech tragedy is something that I think is going to have a very profound affect on the social and political fabric here for many years to come. The actual event is eventually going to go to the wayside, but the fallout is what we as a country will be dealing with for years.

I don't think anyone needs to be convinced that what Cho Seung-Hui did was wrong or that there were plenty of warning signs that should have prevented this from ever coming to the explosive conclusion we saw on Monday. That's all pretty cut and dry and we can learn from this tragedy. What's more is that we had damn sure better learn from it, because it's going to happen again and it's going to happen on a grander scale.

The media coverage of this event absolutely sickens me to no end. In my opinion there is absolutely no way that Cho's video should have been released to the public in any manner whatsoever. Any website, agency, or broadcasting company that has shown this should be held responsible for the next set of killings that are sure to be inspired from their negligence. By putting his video on the air or the internet they have shown the next killer that their message will also be heard; all they have to do is kill a bunch of people.

Where is the integrity and responsibility to make sure that we don't inspire or promote this behavior to the people out there that are in need of help and someone to listen to, but aren't getting it for whatever reason. This goes beyond the realm of journalism, this is a problem for all people in this society. The people who run NBC and it's news division had the opportunity to be responsible and elect not to broadcast Cho's sick and hateful message to the world, but for the obvious reasons they chose to ignore the needs of this nation, the feelings of the accussed's family, and the suffering of the victims families and they played the video, released his writings, and played it over and over again. This is humanity at one of its lowest forms.


To this end Ihave no choice but to award NBC News with this week's Stupid Site of the Week award. Unlike previous weeks, I won't be including a link to the site to showcase it's stupidity. In fact, I hope that no one visits their website. I for one won't be doing that again. I think it's important for me to take a stand against this kind of behavior and it's probably a good idea for me to boycott NBC News in all it's forms. If I truly feel upset and sicken by their actions, then there is no way I can support them by viewing any of their programs or transmissions. Maybe this will become something of a passion for me, I don't know yet, but at the very least I will chose not to participate in their type of irresponsible behavior.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What a week!

I think I've mentioned here before that we are going to be selling our house soon and moving into a bigger place in a rural area to save money. We've only bought a house before, so selling our current house is definitely a learning experience.......and it's exhausting.

If you didn't know this, they recommend that you pack up as much unnecessary stuff from around your house that you can. Basically getting rid of anything that you don't use on a regular basis so as to make your home look bigger and uncluttered. It's really a brilliant idea, but that's not a good thing for someone like me.

Being part nerd, I've acquired a large amount of crap over the years and it's all been forced into a small 8' x 10' room that was my office, but has since become the guest room now that the babies are here. Just getting that room cleared out was ridiculous. I've left about a third of what was in there and all of my comics, but I still took out 20 some boxes of books, games, and collectibles that I had in that room and the closet. What's bad is that I purposely left behind about 5-7 more boxes of books so that the room wouldn't look obviously empty. The saddest part is that I still have another 15 boxes of books in the garage!! I am a sage without a library!

So anyways, I've spent the entire week trying to get that room packed because I need to get it into storage. We rented one of those portable units that come to your house for you to fill at your leisure, and we had to get it filled and ready to leave today so that we could accept the delivery of top soil and driveway gravel that I have coming tomorrow. All week long my wife and I worked together to pack things up and move them into the unit.

To our surprise we actually filled the 8' x 16' unit with everything we planned on and even a bit more, now it will all be ready to be delivered to our new home when we choose it and are ready to move it. This is where the story turns very annoying and angry for me.

To make this short, the guy who came to pick the unit up trashed my yard next to the driveway and almost knocked the thing over and into my house! I don't know what the guys problem was or why he had such difficulties , but he trashed my yard by digging up the lawn with his tires trying to get the unit and he never even said a word of remorse or apology to me before he left in a huff! Lucky for me I had my camera to take video and pictures of the whole incident. The ironic part of all this is that my brother is coming over tomorrow to help me spruce up the yard for the sale............and that included getting the lawn ready. We had a big job before, but now it's even larger! I can't wait to see exactly what they are going to offer me, because the damage is substantial in my opinion, which is what these photos are supposed to prove.

Now, on to my Stupid Site of the Week

Stupid Site of the Week: Journey Lyrics

This is from a site called SeekLyrics, which catalogues the song lyrics of popular, and less than popular artists. There are plenty of other sites out there just like this, and since I really don't care much for music I don't go to them much at all. The reason I chose the Journey pages for this site is because one, Journey sucks, and two, the songs are all messed up. It's a pet peeve of mine to hear someone incorrectly name a song because they think all songs are named after a phrase in the chorus (which many are) or the opening lines of the song. An example would be someone incorrectly calling Elvis Presley's song "In The Ghetto," His Momma Cried, which I have seen and heard done. The same thing exists on the Journey page with the song "Don't Stop Believin" which has an entry under the correct song title, but it's also listed as "Small Town Girl." Not only is it embarrassingly inaccurate for the website, the lyrics are also wrong! Someone should be editing the content, especially since in this case the lyrics are available on the CD!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Hectic Week

The week has been busy. The kids are growing and taking more time during the day and the wife and I of course have a huge amount of work that we're trying to complete to get the house ready for sale. It's been busy enough that I haven't even had a chance to pick up the writing I've been neglecting. Hopefully that will change after Easter.

My hand is still bothering me and I finally went and saw a specialist, which only took three years. It seems that over the course of the last few years I've broken my hand a couple of times. I really didn't know it and I can't say I can recall any specific time when my hand bothered me to the point I thought it was broken. The result of it not being treated over the years has caused it not to heal properly and the joint beneath my thumb that connects my hand to my wrist is arthritic and I have some bone on bone rubbing going on. Nasty and uncomfortable for sure. He's suggested I wear something called a Spica Splint on my hand for a few weeks and if that doesn't work then it's time for surgery, which would be fusing the bones in that joint together. I'm looking forward to that for sure.

I didn't have much time to devote to picking out a winner for this week's Stupid Site of the Week, but one thing I couldn't shake was American Idol. I know that there are a lot of fans of this show out there, and if I offend you, know that's not my intention. But in my opinion American Idol is a symbol of many of the things that are wrong, selfish, and broken in our society and Television in general.

I'll preface this by saying that I don't have much of any respect for the music industry today. That's probably a separate rant in and of itself, but this show is the epitome of of why this is wrong. Talent is talked about and given lipservice, but it's not valued. Appearance, beauty, and popularity are valued and placed above real talent. What's more is that it encourages those who know that they obviously lack any type of skill or musical ability to demean and debase themself for the chance to look like an ass on TV so that they can have less than 5 minutes of fame. Unless you're so bad (Willian Hung), in which case we will worship you in a way that is a subconscious insult that shows how cruel we are, hiding behind euphamistic worshipping and the all important monetary love as we buy any merchandise that is produced from it.

What makes me even more upset about American Idol is the amount of coverage it gets from the rest of the media and everyone in this country. Talkshows, newspapers, magazines, websites, and news broadcsts devote portions, sometimes ridiculously large portions, to the events and drama that is produced. It's inane, unimportant, and gives nothing back unconditionally. Can I say it any better, it's a blight on societies soul and it will damn us all!