Posts Tagged ‘acceptance

18
May
15

how throwing a plastic disc through the air is changing my life

Featured imageSince the utter failure of my attempt at seeking help for mental health issues over the past two decades, I had resigned myself to a life of despair, and didn’t care much whether I lived or not. Due to a latent childhood trauma I have been unsuccessfully dealing with a diagnosis of “Bipolar 1, Severe with psychotic features and social phobia”, a mouthful, I know. Having healthy relationships and feeling accepted have both felt out of my reach for as long as I can remember, but that has been changing recently. I have now been free of suicidal impulses for over a month, where it used to be a day-long struggle, every day, and I am starting to gain a positive sense of self that I never believed possible before.

Some people will not be shocked to find out what is helping, as I have come to learn that what is working for me has worked for others with similar stories, but we don’t talk about it because of the stigma surrounding mental health issues such as addiction, escapism, social anxiety and the many others that can plague someone for life. I have been in and out of urgent care, psych wards, and dealt with county crisis workers, have seen many psychiatrists and psychologists but no treatment plan developed seemed to do anything for me. I tried counseling, meditation, and prescriptions… I self medicated with alcohol… but always I came back to a bleak feeling of hopelessness. However, what was a glint of hope a few months ago is slowly turning into a viable path forward, one that is actually starting to get at the root of my problems and guide me forward, and that path, oddly enough, is throwing a plastic disc through the air.

Last fall, at the bequest of some friends who I thought were too arty/intellectual for sports, I started playing a sport called disc golf(it’s golf but you throw a disc instead of clubbing a ball), and three major aspects of the game have somehow started to re-orient my psyche.

Firstly, the frequent communing with nature. This is something my life was missing. Before I would go on walks or bike rides, and during the walk or ride I would feel better, but instantly upon returning home my general anxiety would return. I exercise, always have, so I know that exercise itself is not a treatment. With disc golf it’s different. Rather than passing through or over nature on a walk, disc golf causes me to interact with it. Over the course of a season you see the changes in foliage, the swelling and receding of ponds, and the natural processes of life and death present in the woods. You breathe the dense forest air and in the fields bask in sun(or rain or snow!). Being that connected with nature has been something I have missed since living in the mountains and deserts of Mexico.

Second, social interactions are naturally focused and the community surrounding the sport are a more accepting group than I am used to. This is a major aid for someone with my level of social anxiety(and believe me it’s high!) because it takes the focus off of me so that instead of feeling as though I am standing helpless in front of some terrifying monster waiting to judge everything I do and say, I feel I am standing alongside friends all enjoying the simple yet profound pleasures life can bring. I still get highly self-conscious, and my performance suffers because of it, but the overall effect is that the course and the game give me a buffer zone that in and of itself provides reason for interaction and conversation, two things I will avoid like the plague if given the chance.

The third, and likely most important aspect is the… what I will call “zen” of the sport. Performing well requires being in touch with the whole of your body and also your surrounding environment, which is a state that modern Americans very rarely achieve anymore given the 21st century ability to sit on one’s ass all day and still feel as though something was accomplished. In order to deliver that disc in your hand out into the woods or over the field you must surrender not only to nature but to yourself as well, and it’s a very internal, primal part of the self that is being engaged in this moment. If you start doubting your body’s natural conviction you will know it right away. You can see it in the face of every thrower the second they release the disc, you can tell as you let go, without even looking at the disc, if you achieved the line and flight you envisioned, because your mind is thoughtless when you get it right, but riddles with dissonance when you have it wrong. And it has taught me not only how to be present inside and around myself, it has also taught me to let go, because you cannot control every gust of wind or downhill roll, these things happen and you must deal with them gracefully.

The practice at shutting off self-doubt is, I feel, the key factor in what I hope to be my slow yet final healing process within myself. I have even noticed my personal relationships improve from these experiences, and have found that a new voice has begun to emanate from me, that a new love of being and inner peace–acceptance of life and self–have started to crowd out the negativity and fear.

If you also struggle with social anxiety and depression I couldn’t recommend playing disc golf highly enough. It even sounds weird as I say it in my head because the activity itself seemed almost antithetical to my normal mode of being at first(that of a sad lonely depressed artist whom the world stands against), which to the chagrin of magic pill makers is maybe the very rub itself.

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30
Aug
10

saying grace

control control control control control control is power control is power not you you are not the power you do not have the power you are in control of the power control is power control the power you are not the power you are not the power you are not the power the power is control you are in control of the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power control the power the power is not in control the power is control power is control power is control you are not the power you are not the power you are not one with the power the power is control the power is the power the power is not in control the power is not one with control you are not one with the power you are not the power control the power the power is control you do not power control you control the power control the power control the power the power is control
27
Aug
10

Evolution and Filial Piety

Sometimes I dream of success.  Not of rock-star or oil executive success, but of real personal success.  The end of these dreams is always the same, though, which is me realizing that I haven’t paid my dues yet. 

I am currently leaning towards blaming my parents on this one.  I get a chuckle out of saying it too.  I don’t actually believe that we’re all just attempting to heal from our parents and grow our own way, but some of the learning you get as a child must be shed; and paying one’s dues is a lesson my parents had ALL WRONG.  I was taught as a child and young adult that it was not really one’s dedication and acquisition of skill that caused one to succeed, no, the version I got was that God would come down and turn you into a well hung virgin raping CIA agent who drove five racecars drunk on Dom as long as you just kept your faith long enough and were sure to tithe.  Loyal members always get perks I suppose.  And even though I am largely purged of this indoctrination, the idea that my good intentions or behavior would some day pay off like a loaded slot machine never left me.  I have been coasting by like a blind sailor completely oblivious to the nearing reef.  I was sure to sink, in the most dreadful and pathetic fashion.  At any rate, I let this belief stay for some reason.  I accepted credit card offers with the idea that some future reward for my good behavior would cover the costs.  I let women fall in love with me knowing the whole time that that is all I wanted from them; to see if I could get them to love me.  After I had their love I tossed it over my shoulder and walked on thinking that what I gave them was of such value that surely it was a net positive.  I hacked out music to roughly a third of its potential simply believing that people would be so impressed by the evoked emotions that someday I would profit enough from the sales to finally take recording seriously (like a record label jesus coming down to give me $5000 and an 8-ball).  On top of all that, I used my psychological intuition to land jobs I wasn’t qualified for, and with that boosted confidence I started quitting jobs at my leisure, only to grab another one in an industry I had no knowledge of.  Now I can’t get an interview to deliver pizzas.  I guess I thought that someday I’d simply charm my way into a financially secure job should it ever become necessary.  It has, and 300 plus applications later, I am unemployed.  Of course, I did get a wealth of real world knowledge you just can’t be taught from working so many different jobs for such a variety of organizations, but for what?  I can’t take writing seriously enough to even commit to an hour a day… because some day publishing jesus will come down and give me a cabin in the woods stocked with nothing but twelve year old scotch, chronic and typewriters waiting for my genius to ravage the ink ribbon.

Sorry folks, but this was a big one and I hope that less and less children are taught this.

19
Aug
10

We’re all selfish. That’s the bottom line.

hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

19
Aug
10

A Serious Problem

I imagine that more and more heterosexually coupled males and females are going to be running into a serious problem that my feminist wife and I have discovered: the battle of emotions versus rationality.

I believe the reason this is going to be made apparent, soon, is because its a discussion that is appropriate for modern young couples faced with this seeming dichotomy.  I leave out homosexual couplings because I am not familiar enough with homosexual relationship dynamics to either include or exclude them with any intelligence.  However, I am sure something similar could crop up in any relationship where one person approaches conflict emotionally, and the other rationally.

I want to quickly stop you here and clarify the question already forming in your mind; is this guy about to assert that one is better? No.  The first mistake my wife and I have discovered about this discussion is that the initial problem is having emotion pitted against rationality in the first place.  It is counter-productive to start from there.  Both emotion and rationality have distinct and necessary functions in our human development.  However, one theory I am now leaning heavily toward, is that emotion is also a sort of genetic leftover from when humans were subject to more predators than Big Business or general systematic oppression.  I’m talking about the days of “I win because I am larger.”  You know, before we realized we could flourish with technology rather than our biology.

Understandably, you are thinking I just shot myself in the foot by suggesting that emotion is an antiquated, useless leftover of our primitive ancestors.  Maybe, but before you react, do YOU know anything about our historical and genetic development?  Additionally, both emotion and rationality have a dynamic weakness in communication when used one without the other.  For example: in an argument, person X becomes emotional and begins yelling insults.  While the insults do not invalidate person X’s need to communicate, person Y has an easy rational out by simply criticizing person X on the grounds that they are simply excited and acting like irrational.  But… but: person Y didn’t actually say anything at all to the point of person X’s initial concern.   Likewise, if person Y attempts talking about their feelings rationally to person X, who is more resonant with emotion, person X will more often than not try to re-orient the discussion around emotional realities, when that is not what person Y wanted to discuss; therefore, they both lose.

So what should the modern heterosexual couple do about this problem?  Shut up.  Both of you, shut up and think about what you are ACTUALLY TRYING TO SAY.

Good luck.

25
May
10

The Gospel According to imnotme

In the beginning, there was innumerable zero. Each zero, though readily indistinct from the next, contained within it only two things: polar and anti-polar. They could be described as each chasing the tail of the other, so that if a perceiver perceived, it may look like a physical zero we now know and employ. String theorists and metaphysicists describe this state as: a brane/D-brane, sunyata, unity, nirvana, etc.. Anyhow, these individual zeros had locked within them this state of constant aggression, or what Mao Tse-Tung refers to as “necessary contradiction.” Mao means here that the contradiction of the first is necessary for the contradiction of the other. The only way this can be true is if, indeed, they are simultaneously chasing, pushing and pulling eachother. Primal attraction. Relatively controlled chaos. Polar- “YOU: OPPOSITE… COME HERE!”
Anti-polar- “Noooooooooooo!”

Over time, of course, these zeros began to feel differences with neighboring zeros. Maybe one of them, in the nuances of all the push, pull and chase, felt somehow dis-unified from unity. Multiply that phenomena a few billion times and the zeros have started to develop distinctions. Some of them felt they were pulling towards a new point on a ‘y’ axis. Maybe others felt a charge when pushing towards the ‘x’ axis. Either way, and regardless, they developed borders, so that the landscape of zeros might look like a connect four game blown out to infinity. Clearly, all zeros, in their zeroNESS, remained loathe but to stay in direct contact with their neighbor, however (and this would be the rub, as it were), there were little seedlings of 1 sprouting up on top and below them(sprouts and roots) so that they-some innumerable time later- were obfuscated by two new dimensions of growing 1’s. The synergy created in the atmosphere of one quickly led to two(and the mathematical birth of the 3rd dimension). From there three, and four and five. And while these beautifications of 1 were reaching their peaks, other organizations were forming. Some combinations of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 were organizing unpredictably throughout all axis and dimensions, and before you knew it, one of them moved(the accidental birth of modes!). It moved away from all else on it’s very own! Fast forward: it happens again. In the sea of organisms, new collections of groupings and primordial beings were growing ever more sophisticated, and they climbed out of the sea onto the land, where they could continue to become ever reborn, surviving the youngest mind in the universe as long as it could. And that is all that has happened since. We are simply trying to survive our minds as long as we possibly can, by carrying them through the world of forms, in hopes of new vibrancy and secrets of longer life.

28
Dec
09

Jiftus Rhithalixe

Hi reader.  You are wondering what that title means.   It’s complicated.

On the one hand, there is no ready explanation of the phrase, because it is jibberish.  However, something very important is happening right now in our world that may only be summed up as such; and therefore befitting such a name.  Jiftus Rithalixe could possibly express the notion that a nation’s most accurate news reporting is coming from the comedy “sector,” or it could refer to the silly idea of having national level debates about religion.  Why stop there?  It could also refer to the fact that right now it is easier to make money as a swindler than a legitimate entity.  Don’t believe me?  Go to any freelancing site that caters to writers and tell me what the number one job out there is.

Know what, I’ll spare you the trouble.  After weeks of desperately searching for writing jobs I can tell you the hands-down number one: re-writing copyrighted articles ala human thesaurus until the article passes the test of plagiarism software algorithms.  Writers are shitting out hundred of thousands of “rewritten” articles every day for the sole purpose of linking websurfers back to their shitty product (think knock-off herbal remedies and potentially harmful dieting schemes).  They call this Search Engine Maximization.

On one hand, great, someone found a way to create reliable internet search using scales of relevance.  That’s a novel and good idea in its inception, but I should inform you that this method being adopted by the internet community at large is not only criminal, but largely developed by people who knew they could sell ten tons of crap placebocuticals to nimrods slapping their mice all over the global commerce control buttons; wontonly ordering BOXES OF THEIR OWN MENTAL WASTE.

While some of the linked examples are simply funny, the others speak a horrible truth about our culture.  For example, did you see the one about the person who just sold “antenna balls” online and made f’ing millions?  What people don’t know is that there is an entire digital mechanism driving this e-commerce (as business people like to think of it) that is hell bent on getting your Doritos scarfing ass to fork over your small amounts of money until you have mountains of garbage to add to the already terrible garbage problem we HAVE NOT ADEQUATELY ADDRESSED!

Jiftus Rhithalixe.