Category Archives: health

Peaks and valleys or Axis II? just kidding, DSM 5 uses no axes.

Standard
Peaks and valleys or Axis II? just kidding, DSM 5 uses no axes.

As always, in this non-stop over-analytical brain of mine, I have been pondering a lot of things as of late; mainly the fact that over and over again I am told that I am a narcissist due to my verbal observations that I am the common denominator in all of my failures, from relationships to interoffice communications. I have been reflecting on this a lot, as I was studying for my clinical board exam. (I do not fit the criteria, in case you were wondering).

However I do find that I tend to be a pessimist, I feel paranoid often, and I make trust issues themselves suspicious. It’s a thing. I know it. I have done lots of therapy over the years.

As a teenager, I used to tell people I was bipolar, as if it were a cool thing…something to be proud of that explained how much of a special, creative, and emotional snowflake I was… Not knowing how fucked up that was. Ignorance is bliss right? But I do know that I have occasionally fit the criteria for a variety of personality disorders, namely dependent and/or borderline personality disorder, but they wax and waned over the years to the point that while I may feel it sometimes it is no longer acutely “diagnosable”(sp). I know that is the least professional way to put it but I am not sure how else to word it. Go with me, please.

Many times, I have found that I am jealous of people that are bubbly, happy, ridiculously positive. I have even caught myself assuming that they are less intelligent than I. I mean come on, how can you know what is happening in the world and still be that FUCKING happy? But the world is always fucked up. I have nothing to show that it will ever be anything else. We just have more knowledge of it these days, right? So what is the secret? Mindfulness? Ignorance? “staying present”? How do you get there? I believe that thoughts are things and that aside from being a commercial success, things like “The Secret” have something to them, albeit financially fleecing as they are. That does not mean they are not correct, real, or accurate. If the people getting rich and being successful from sharing this info are doing it, then huzzah, it works? Who knows. But how do you maintain it? How do you stay positive, happy, etc in the life we are given?

It seems to me that there is a common theme throughout all written history of humans, we suck, we are unhappy, and yet, we persist. We run the spectrum, from being capable of the worst things imaginable, to being capable of the most awe inspiring things. I always think of the movie, The Abyss and the part at the end where the distraught aliens decide NOT to annihilate us because of this observation. There is always the question of why, for what, how come, what is the meaning, what is happy, how do you find it, etc etc etc.. I have no illusions of being a special or creative snowflake for thinking about this. I am no narcissist in this regard. But really, how do people do it?

What is THE SECRET?

How do you feel satisfaction and fulfillment in a sustainable way? How do you maintain relationships? Jobs? Sanity?

How do you become a Katie fucking Couric? So maddeningly fucking positive that you can find a direction and impetus in tragedy?

How do you stay in the moment, when everything is distracting you with shiny lights or terrifying depths?

You know, asking for a friend.

 

How could I forget?

Standard
How could I forget?

How much I love(d) Sarah McLachlan… whilst listening a soul sucking mean social media music provider, this song came on: Drawn to the rhythm and afterward I fell in a rabbit hole. The second CD that I ever bought was ‘fumbling towards ecstasy’. I think I was 13 or 14 and I spent the next few months with it on repeat constantly. I really felt connected to the words/songs and thought that they meant one thing, and I suppose then it did. I listened to the entire album today. I found myself instantly reconnecting. It was like visiting an old friend, one that you held secrets with and wax nostalgic but realize how much you’ve both changed. You realize with age and hindsight your previous way of understanding things are no longer the reality. 

To you at least, everything has changed and you have a hard time remembering what made you love them before, because you didn’t even know then, the things that make you love them now. Ha. Perhaps this doesn’t make anymore sense in written form than it did outloud, but in my mind it was quite a profound thought to me. 

Which led me to the train of thought about sharing things with friends or people you consider to wise, as you respect and value what they think and say. I’ve been having some pretty big contemplations as I’m want to do, as soon as things slow down, become complacent, comfortable (usually during the winter). I started thinking about the people that I would talk to then, and now, and the differences in how I would make decisions based upon what they would say. For example, I need to make a couple big decisions in the very near future and if I asked ten of my “go to people” (ha, ten is a stretch of people I would talk to about things) and how I could anticipate the ten, very different opinions they would give. They would be based on who they are, what they know about me, what they know about the situations, where they are in their own moods, lives, development, maturity, what they could have to gain or lose based on the outcome of the decision, etc. etc. etc.

And like the lyrics and meanings of songs, it’s all up to the listener’s present, their parallels to draw, their position to filter through. 

So how does one make a decision about big things? Do you meditate? Ask your parent? What if that’s not an option? Peers? Siblings? Bosses? Therapist? TAROT for goddess’s sake? (Which again, is just like the lyrics… concrete definitions are applied to the words which communicate the meaning of the song but what is heard and inferred, well… that’s on the listener.)

Who knows. Maybe I just think too much. Just watch the lovely Sarah not trying to guilt you into gifting to the ASPCA. Isn’t she beautiful? Ughhh it kills me. 


When a part becomes apart…

Standard
When a part becomes apart…

I have previously written about loneliness, here. It is interesting to me how loneliness changes and presents itself; and in what situations. I have often lamented in real life and all forms of my “virtual” life that communication is becoming less personal, like AI. No longer are skills like reading people, situations, exchanging energy, gazes that inspired poets, as valued…or learned. There is an entire generation growing up, (socially disadvantaged in my opinion) without making eye contact, without interacting, without the time or distance to be mindful about what they say or how they react to things. We cause ourselves anxiety over not getting likes, not getting responses back, etc. In our effort to feel a part of something, we make ourselves apart. We can be in the same room as someone and not even look at them. Cursory, rote greetings have become a standard. We sit at restaurants with our loved ones and don’t make eye contact… with our lovers, our parents, our kids.

We get some sort of a chemical addiction to the instant gratification… Our Pavlovian response encourages us continue the high… the goddamn blue bubbles of solace. But we may have someone LITERALLY right next to us. And yet, we seek communication from the ether…We have a cognitive dissonance about the links between loneliness and being alone. Because those of us, with the privilege to have technology, have created a culture of slumber parties consisting of a group of adolescents snapchatting each other from the same room, no one looking at the stars unless they can get a pic of them, instagram, pinterest, etc. We are past the point of sexual revolution gratuitous hook ups, online dating, facebooking, pornography, vines, vaguebooking, comparing ourselves to real and imagined foes, stalking, bullying, trolling, sexting, mentally checking out, gaming, hunting, shooting, racing, battling, flying, etc….

ALL WITHOUT BEING WITHIN THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. 

It truly makes me very sad. For us all. Now granted, I know #noteveryperson whatever. BUT we are going that way and very fucking fast. I am guilty. You are too. You are reading a goddamn blog that was either in your email, on your twitter, on your facebook, googleplusokcupidpinterestKiKtindergrindrzoosk, whatever the fuck. You didn’t come looking for a blog by Jani B.

I am lonely a lot. And upon a lot of alone and lonely time countered with a lot of around people and still lonely time, I have realized it is not the being alone part that bothers me, it really is the loneliness. When you have an entire manic world in your head to talk to someone about and no one asks. When you spend all day giving and giving to people who are not in a position to give back, and you are spent, lonely. When you have an amazing day and want to share it with ANYONE but all that is available is social media..or yourself… When you are in an office full of people, all day, all week, and unless it is a client or someone needing something, no one talks to you. When you shut off your Facebook and the only people that contact you now are family members wanting to know if you blocked them specifically. I am lonely at times around friends because I am either so up in my own head that I am not really interacting with them or they are so engaged with someone else my introvertedness makes me wilt and seem disinterested.

I have always prided myself on my communication and intuitive skills. Technology however, has made me crazy, made me anxious. I am happy that I grew up in an era where real life communication skills were more important than properly formatted for office politic emails. Back in the good ol’ days when you didn’t abbreviate much and spelling counted, in love letters, gossip notes, poetry, cards, and invitations. When you used words, those oh so important words, combined with physical existence, body language, and observed emotion, not texted emoji.

I think that is why so many elderly couples die so close together or remarry so quickly. The loneliness. So many losses…having someone breathing next to you at night, someone that no matter what is going on out there, you know you have someone to share with here. The loss of that must wreck havoc on the soul, the heart, the immune system. I know what I experience after not having that for a much shorter time than the elderly couple I imagine. I cannot even fathom what it would be like after 30, 40, 50 years.

I fear for the current and future generations. Those with the skinniest thumbs and curviest necks will evolve via natural selection in an unnatural way. Homo Curva. That’s the next evolutionary leap.

We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness. —Albert Schweitzer

 

Co-regulation

Standard
Co-regulation

Growth is a painful process, this is definitely not a new concept. However, in the course of learning about oneself and how your own behaviors affect those around you, it gives you an opportunity to see the tangible and observable ways that all interactions are cyclical. Energy is an observable phenomenon that can power the light in the darkness, but it can also blow circuits; it just depends on the wattage and capacity.

Ideally in relationships, at least for me, the dyad is a constant give and take. If one person is needing more support, energy, love, whatever, the other person gives it to them with the faith that when the roles reverse, the current receiver will be the giver. When this does not happen repeatedly, resentment builds into all sorts of negative things. Eventually the strain causes a blow out, one you can’t always see, but you can definitely feel. It is at this point that you have to make a decision: increase the size of your breaker or reduce the load on your circuit.

Once you know that things are strained and communicate what the needs are, one would hope that the other half of the circuit would respond in kind to make the adjustments needed so that the cycle continues in a positive way. But often, the other person is simply not capable of giving the energy needed to complete the current cycle. It is what it is.

Love is energy. It is neither positive or negative. It IS an alternating current. When it becomes a direct current, the chance to be shocked increases. Being shocked isn’t always bad, hell, that’s how a defibrillator works on your heart, right?

My power strip is overloaded right now. My heart swells with love and explodes with confusion. It is a very difficult place to be in, this place of understanding and yet, this place of confusion. Process is fucking uncomfortable. Regrets are useless but still valuable tools. “Fear of missing out” is a truly a fear of regret… But if fear is what keeps you from accepting and returning the love that you are actually being given, you have created your own short.

Sometimes you just have to wait for someone to complete your circuit… but first you have to ground yourself.

April Showers

Standard
April Showers

Rain can bring things back to life…

Rain can also drown them.

All power is an illusion…

Yet energy exchanged freely is tangible.

“Love” can be an adverb, a noun, a verb;

it’s really just like “Fuck.”

Hope can be a welcome gift…

She can and will, also fool you.

One commits to seeing it through,

the other remains righteously based in fear.

A secret can encourage alliances,

concurrently it feeds into concern.

Sunshine is what allows all life,

but the sun can cause also cancer.

Chemo is a curative,

while simultaneously it poisons the body.

Intimacy is not to be forsaken,

dismissed for the idea of “What if..”

Regret can turn to reflection…

Reflection can change your reality.

Emotion influences logic,

logic without emotion is cold.

Opening Pandora’s box gave knowledge and insight,

wisdom not always appreciated.

Patience is a virtue,

but one that can quickly grow sour. 

Bitter on the tongue of the confused,

waiting to be swallowed hard by the word…

YES.

To Whom it May Concern:

Standard
To Whom it May Concern:

I am not a mind reader.

I am a very empathetic, intuitive, über feeling, and generally good person. I do my best to understand others and to not cause negative things to happen within them due to my actions or words. This, however, is not always enough it seems. But I am.

I cannot be held to such a standard of knowing all intentions. If you are wanting to talk, tell me.  If you are not wanting to talk, tell me. If I am wanting/needing to talk and you don’t want to, I might need to understand why. It is a simple thing. If you simply want the presence of another human, tell me. If I assume you must want to talk and you are not talking, so I talk…Do not assume that I am just telling you about my day or problem or whatever because I need to fill the air with the melodic sound of my voice, give me the benefit of doubt that perhaps I am making an assumption about your intentions and trying to give an opening for you to bring something up. I might base this on nothing or I might base this on what I think is happening or what I feel is happening. I promise I am not “trying to social work you.” I try very diligently to not social work the people I love, but it is kind of difficult to not think in the ways I do now. It is a Pandora’s box situation. I try and I fail. I can ask “Do you want advice or do you want me to commiserate?” but that in itself seems to make people angry. I am more than willing to sit in silence with you, but I need to know that is what you want. I cannot simply know it.

I am not a mind reader.

I am an anxious, hyper-vigilant, and sometimes neurotic person. I see things and feel things, KNOW things that may or may not exist in all realities. I have experiences, like us all, that make me jump to conclusions. Granted, sometimes my conclusions go straight to catastrophe planning and risk mitigation. This is an issue, I know. BUT it is also a survival technique. A way that I have learned to survive, emotionally and physically. Maladaptive at times, yes. Controlling at times, yes. But my burden to bear.

When I am given 1000 pieces of a 1500 piece puzzle, I put what I can together and until I know the rest, I use my best judgment to consciously and unconsciously matrix what I see, feel, or hear. I will arrange those 1000 pieces into something that I recognize and understand, until I have the rest of the pieces. I cannot yet handle the missing pieces. My shit, not yours. But what is your piece, your “shit”, is the way that you react to how I proceed. I am only accountable for my own actions, my own words, my intent. I cannot be held accountable for your feelings, your reactions, or how you are impacted. If you assume I am coming at you with ill intent, then you obviously do not know me. I try to anticipate the outcome of all interactions, but alas…

I am not a mind reader.

But I am doing my best. And I hope, I assume, I presume, I pray…You are too.

 

Call to action!

Standard
Call to action!

Two of my favorite people and longest friends recently found out that their dream house that they’ve has been living in with their two wee kiddos has been infiltrated to the point of almost not being correctable by MOLD……. They are doing what they can (luckily it is summer so they can sleep in tents while they try to get it taken care of) but they need help.

I can not financially assist, but I thought I might be able to send a shout out to my followers (there are over 100 of you!) and if you all threw in a buck or two, that would be amazing.

 

Do a good thing.

Spend a buck.

Love and light!

AND SHARE!

CLICK HERE TO HELP OUT MY SOUL SISTER!!!

For the love of Moses must it be so damn hard?

Standard
For the love of Moses must it be so damn hard?

Just a brief observation:

I have employer provided insurance and my kids have insurance provided by their step-mom….however, both do not cover everything so we have “Medicaid” aka “Washington Apple” as our secondary. I just received our renewal packet and a lengthy application, in English. The instructions say to do it online because it’s faster and easier. Mind you, it says this in English.

So I go online because I have that privilege and there is an option for Spanish.

Cool thus far, everyone knows that people in Washington ONLY speak English or Spanish. Duh.

I go through the damn lengthy process where I have to answer some tax questions that confuse even me, because of the verbiage. Now, I consider myself to be a pretty savvy person, masters degree and all….but please don’t ask me about my filing status as it relates to the amount of student loan debt or other deductions I might itemize….direct all such questions to Turbo Tax, thanks and goodbye…

I digress.

I finally get to the end and they can’t process it because of an “error code 3079.”

I call the fancy number and sit on hold forever because (lucky me) I have the privilege of unlimited minutes. I finally get a person, a nice well spoken person named Tracy who figures out the problem (I put “$0” as my personal insurance cost through my employer, which is the truth; but the website requires me to lie and say it costs me a $1, then electronically sign something that says I swear under threat of perjury that everything I put is truthful, you know whatever…ANOMIE) and BAM everything is better and my decision is immediate. Yay! We have health care totally covered in case I need to get me some birth control and abortions! (cause what else could a 34 year old divorced woman need it for?)

Now what if I can’t read?
What if I can’t speak English or Spanish?
What if I don’t have an address to send the packet to?
What if I can read, but for fun let’s say I read at a say 6th grade reading level, but do not understand the tax language?
What if I do not have a computer?
Can’t get to a library?
Can’t use a computer?
Have no interwebs?
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.

Oh sure, I know some of you are going to say, well there are people to help! Options! Go to the social services office! Some, like my pal Daniel, will probably go on some rant and tirade that makes me question why we are friends about poverty and education and “woe is the poor white male American,” but seriously.

Do there have to be so many barriers to getting health care that is MEANT for people in poverty?

With barriers already?

For real?

What happened to this magical Obamacare y’all were so scared of making it so easy for those lazy immigrants to come steal your insurance and jobs?

For fraks sakes.

(*&*&%&%$%$#@&)((*()_

For fucks sake.

Spring Contemplations

Standard
Spring Contemplations

I haven’t really had the chance to do much as far as blogging lately, I have lots of excuses; the job, the partner, the kids, the promotion ;), the gym, the tv, the birthday, whatever; I could go on and on…But I shall not digress.

I got news recently someone that I loved had passed away. It is oddly still affecting me but I am not sure of the effect yet. I am still processing. Mostly it is feeling like a morbid curiosity that I can’t resolve because I don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle. I am not sure how I should feel which further confuses the fact that I am not aware of what I am feeling other than the physical effects. I have been hyper-focused on the unknown details which truly are irrelevant. But the relevant details of my own life feel almost peripheral. Mostly it is physiological. I locked my keys in my car yesterday, I asked my boss a question and immediately forgot his answer resulting in me having to ask again (a midst his laughter of my spaciness.)

It took me a couple days to realize what was going on with me.

It’s strange to grieve something, someone whom you don’t feel like you should grieve about.

It’s odd how one’s mind processes things.

But it is Spring now, Ostara. Ēostre. So I am going to take this time to bury any negativity that might be residual, as they are buried. It is time for new starts and the closing of a chapter to make way for a new one. Like picking up a book you stopped reading and coming back to finish it, so you can fully commit to starting a new one.

Blessed be.

Grace….

Standard
Grace….

I caught myself this morning, whistling an ace if base song in it’s entirety….dancing in the kitchen, making a lunch, putting away dishes, etc… And then it hit me: I was completely present and happy. There have been three moments in my life I remember experiencing this sort of grace. It has been a very, very long time since I had one.

Today I am thankful for it.

Xoxo,
Jani