Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quit date depression.

Once again I have set a quit date to stop smoking. Tuesday, November 18th. As usual, two days before the event, I am going through a deep , suicidal depression. My mind, in advance, just locks on to every negative. It as if I am playing a game with the assorted demons inside my head and losing. Getting my rear end kicked, in fact. Someday, when I've actually quit, if such a day ever arrives, I won't have to go through this anymore.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cultivating an Illusion: The Aftermath

So yesterday, due to external circumstances, an illusion I've held crashed and burned. I am going through the depression of withdrawel. In trying to examine my motivation, it was as a result to a natural occurence that I chose to read much more into than was realistically possible. Call it an unsubstantiated hope, but it gave me a peace and a joy I would not otherwise have had. Note this was not a mishapen perception caused by my schizophrenia but an illusion clearly understood and freely cultivated. The difference may be subtle but it exists.

In looking back I wonder if I have not done myself somewhat of a disservice. For the vast majority of us, we seek what we can to fill in the empty spaces within. I believe this can be done in a healthy way, although given my circumstances I cannot so experientially say. I think the problem with substituting an illusion to fill that emptiness is that it supercedes the possibility of personal growth. Kind of like taking the easy way, where true value can only be obtained by the difficulties encountered in the journey.

So I have resolved not to willingly buy into illusions anymore.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Had this Dream...

I don't remember to much in the way of specific detail. I was with some people, and a female member went over a hill. I followed her to make sure she was safe. Walked over the hill, through some woods and came to a clearing beside a stream. There were perhaps thirty or fourty people around the clearing, all of them busy with their hands. I don't know exactly what they were doing but it was my impression that they were all working both conjunctively and seamlessly. There was an extremely attractive yet ineffable vibration that permeated the group. It was as if they were of one mind, one purpose, each playing their part perfectly. Neither myself nor the woman I had followed knew how to connect to the work, and a representative of the group came and gently escorted us to the side where we could still see the work, but were not in the way.

In the next scene the same group had arisen and were dancing, nude, in a procession. Again there was a sense of perfection. A unity between the individuals and the whole. There was an indescribably beautiful music playing and once again I was struck by the vibration.

Finally one of the female dancers danced by me and seemed to offer her right breast. I moved to take it into my mouth, but she quickly withdrew. I looked up a little hurt that she was teasing me, but she just laughed and kissed me on the lips. That woke me up!

My waking impression of the dream centered on the vibration I had just experienced, and I spent much of that first day trying to attune myself with very limited success. I don't know whether there are literally groups that exist like that, or if it's an idealization whose reality is encompassed by being tuned to that level of vibration. I only know that I want to be tuned as they were. Finally, as nice as the ending was, I think its principal function was to wake me up, so I would remember that vibration.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Manufactured Meltdown

Welcome phantom readers to the Cous's Thursday Blog Off. Check out Melanie's exceptional entry here

Moving on then, he was having a problem. Well he was having a number of problems including one with personal pronouns. But for the sake of this exposition we're focusing on his deadline problem. Mostly. See, he has this deal to crosspublish some kind of writing with a friend. And hers, superb, is already rightie tightie in the can. Whereas he, lefty loosey, on the other hand, if that's not redundant, was as yet bereft of any ideas, yet alone a workable one. Extended sentence or no. He chewed his nails as vigorously as he did subconsciously, and more to the nub, to no avail.

Meltdown, meltdown. That was the agreed upon topic. An idea came to his head which proved, as was so often the case, utterly unusable. But panicked, he mentioned it anyway as if the project could somehow be stoked and satisfied with alliterative filler. See, there was a Vice-Presidential debate that night and one of the candidates, you won't say who, was rumored to be in over her head. Get it, over her head. Meltdown? But that would require a comic touch, something he hadn't exhibited since he'd partied like it was 1929. Which maybe it kind of is, but that's beside the point. Unless you're heavily invested. Meltdown? Anyway no reason to alienate no one and who knew how much of his phantom readership was Republican. Oops.

He couldn't think of anything else. And neither can I. The End.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Last Fall

(Part of the Thursday blog-off with Melanie. See her entry here)

For me, last fall was a time of unraveling tensions. At the end of summer, I had been homeless for more than a year, living in a tent when it was dry and in a car when it was wet. I was surrounded by thousands of flies and hundreds of yellowjackets. During the long days I had very few minutes when my face wasn't being buzzed by one or the other. I was suffering from a slow healing serious injury which stretched from my shoulder blades to my fingertips. I was adjusting, poorly, by degrees, to new medication prescribed to clear up the fog of my newly diagnosed schizophrenia. As such, I was suffering extreme anxiety attacks. I was constantly depressed. I had woken up from the fog to discover I had no discernable purpose in this world. Oh, and I was told by a dentist I needed a biopsy to see if an abnormality on my lip was a carcinoma. In short, my life was in hypertense shambles.

Fall brought, gradually, a resolution to most of my problems. As the weather grew cooler, the number of flies and yellowjackets lessened. That may not seem like much, but having these insects constantly in your face and after your food wears you out, trust me. The injury to my left side gradually got better, though I never recovered full feeling in my two outside fingers. I came, if not to a peace, then to a partial understanding of my circumstances, and with the help of medication stopped having the anxiety attacks. I had an epiphany which reminded me of my life's purpose, though I wasn't presently mentally healthy enough to make much progress in that direction. Progress was gradually made by a charitable organization trying to get me an apartment, and eventually, on the same day I found out I had cancer, I found out the organization had gotten me a place. On October 31st after 14 months of homelessness, I moved into the apartment! A week later, I found out the cancer had not spread, and within a few days I had a successful operation. It took a while to heal, but by late November everything that had pushed my life to the extreme limit was resolved except my depression.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


(This post is published as part of the Cous's Thursday blog-off. Look here for Melanie's entry.)

After giving the matter some thought, I've come to the conclusion that dedication to task is a combination of self-discipline and degree of belief in oneself and one's objective.

My ratio of successful accomplishment is considerably worse than marginal. Much of the problem, historically, is no doubt attributable to my mental illness, schizophrenia. Yet my track record hasn't substantially improved during the last year, when medication has obviated the 'fog'.

I am habituated to failure. I have ragged self- discipline and even when I believe in the task, I do not believe in my ability to fulfill. My brain is an instrument structured around the concept of immediate gratification, which means I am particularly weak at accomplishing anything requiring sustained effort. I thought when I overcame alcoholism and drug addiction that would change, but perhaps because of my mental illness it did not.

I am programmed for defeat. I have broken through the subconscious level often enough to have witnessed a destructive array of programs and metaprograms designed to internally undermine my efforts. From a tactical perspective this is the biggest impediment to change. I have to somehow induce a creative response at a level of sustained awareness to catch and deny the autooperation of these failure inducing mechanical programs.

As bleak and seemingly impossible as it seems, for my adult life has been nothing if not an excercise in futility, I do have a couple things in my favor. For one, and in spite of everything, I remain an optimist, a romantic. I may not believe in my abilities carried through, but I do fundamentally believe in myself. Otherwise I would already have given up. I think that at some point I will get this ship's course corrected, and when I do, the difficulty will be of sufficient degree to provide me with a far deeper understanding of my life's purpose, and how to integrate that with furthering the well-being of those around me, as I believe, for all of us, the two are inextricably related.

The other positive is a firm belief in an active involved Creator. Among other things this allows me to see life as a process of becoming. So all of yesterday's mistakes and failures serve to underscore tomorrow's understanding and realization.

I have a task before me that has been beyond my capacity to accomplish these past fifteen years in spite of voluminous efforts. It is a task which will fundamentally change myself and the way I look at the world. I need a miracle. Something along the line of what my higher power provided when I quit drinking. But I don't believe miracles occur in a passive state. Which brings us back to dedication. Over the next month I am rededicating myself to the objective, indeed I am looking at a hyperdedication where every single thing I do, and my intent is to be as active as I can, leads me to the greater goal. I believe the time has come...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Christa's Graduation

(Welcome to the Cousin's Blog Off Thursday in which Melanie and I each tackle a specific idea or theme. This week's topic is 'shiny')

This is my daughter Christa upon receiving a Masters Degree in Life Science from Nova Southeastern University.

I think of all the transitions we go through in life, graduation is the most ennobling. It is a time of great wonder, and also, some well deserved relief. Graduation represents not only the culmination of our desire and dedication, but the direction of our aspiration. It is also a great threshold, when we are recognized by society as having mastered such detail as necessary to be what we have chosen to become. The time when we most figuratively come of age.

In Christa's case, she will become an Anesthesiologist's Assistant, which means that she'll be on the front line in the operating room, not only sedating the patient, but functioning as the last line of defense in case something goes wrong.

I am so very proud of her! Shine on Christa!