Double Fudge Brownies

“All That We Are Is A Result Of What We Thought” –Mah Boy Buddah

Today was a good day.

I sure am quoting Ice Cube a lot lately. Straight Outta Compton’s been injecting subliminal messages into my head. I go to search some song lyrics on A-Z lyrics and their background is promoting Straight Outta Compton. It’s just everywhere.

Tonight I’m clawing underneath my skin. I’ve awoken from the dead with a little more energy, a lot more anxiety, and an insatiable craving for double fudge chocolate brownies. Mmmm brownies. I feel like I need to jump out my window (i’m ground level, ya’ll), dance on the yellow line in the middle of the street, whip out my bat signal, throw up some jazz hands, stop: hammer time, slap my momma, and then reach a moment of enlightenment. That’s how Buddha did it, you know, I asked him. He’s Mah Boy.

I’m just restless. I went to bed at five am, woke up at seven am, and have been running around ever since. I feel good but I don’t. My energy is fueled by the pent up anxiety I subconsciously slapped a “dunce” cap on and shoved into the dark corner of the classroom in my head. So I inject a full dose of Imagine Dragons and sit back in emotional bliss. Whenever I listen to one of their songs my bones melt into my veins, my inner ear enjoys convulsive orgasms, and the neurotransmitters just sitting in the synapses in my brain (like the lazy fucks they are) unleash their inner interpretive dancer. I have no other way to explain the emotion I feel from this man’s voice. A few songs I’ve heard are unbearably generic but hot damn that February 2015 album Smoke and Mirrors has me transfixed. I feel every emotion and no emotion simultaneously when he powers through a chorus and I’m reminded of what raw talent sounds like.

Everything is so fake around us that it’s a bit of a refresher to hear creative lyrics with meaning behind them and an unbeatable voice bringing them to life. It’s better than “ass, ass, ass, ass, ass, ass” or “I never fucked Wayne, I never fucked Drake” (Like any of us care, you dumb skank) or “blah blah blah blah I broke up with someone” (#TaylorSwift). I’m  not trying to be a hater on anyone who likes those artists, but they’re not for me in any way, shape, or form. Reading their lyrics causes temporary blindness in my eyes. I get tired of listening to things about sex, love, and ass. I get those things are pleasurable but what are we all, cheap knock offs of Hedonism Bot from Futurama?

Don’t even get me started on listening to the eleven year old’s walking down the street singing to that stuff on their Iphone 6’s.

Growing up with this anxiety and my perhaps “odd” imagination made me realize there was so much more to life than what people told me. I feel things more intensely than others. It adds substance to this existence. Anxiety is the opposite of sociopathy and if everyone in between thinks they’re the sane ones, they better lift up their arms, take a good, long whiff, and step down off their high horse; we’re all tainted with a scent of insanity. Just deal with it. You’re not normal! Be happy! Fuck, man.

My philosophy professor a few semesters ago suggested we not think about how fragile life really is, so I did the opposite. Think about it. You could die right now. Right before you finish reading this sentence. How weird is that? Blackness. No more Iphones, no more blogs, no more ice cream at one a.m when you know you should be sleeping, no more pets, no more anything. So are you wasting your time worrying about how to have a successful, normal life in the eyes of society or in the eyes of yourself? I’m going to choose myself. I have to die with me and what I do or don’t accomplish. The C.E.O of M.T.V isn’t going to be by my bedside assuring me I did the right in thing in spending my entire paycheck on that one outfit Snookie wore on that episode of Jersey dumbfuck Shore.

Once again, sorry if you liked Jersey Shore, I don’t mean to be offensive. I’m also sorry it existed for you to like.

That’s why I love this song “Dream” so much:

The message is so simple: life isn’t what people make it out to be, this place is a mess, so let me dream. I’ve lived in a fantasy world since my childhood. Inanimate objects contained personalities (e.g. cars had expressions) and they spoke with me in my head. Your eyes probably got wide and your finger probably made circles around your temple in response to that. It’s fine. But when you’re six, seven years old and every day is an anxious nightmare clawing at the walls of your skull, you need an escape. I couldn’t talk to people so I talked to objects. And to this day, I feel more connected with, objects, technology, than I do with peers. It’s not because people are “so judgmental” and objects aren’t, it’s because objects can be whoever I want them to be. An alien. A pope. A ghost. A novel character. Whatever. It’s the endless possibilities that keep me clinging to my fantasies. There are times I bask in my disassociative episodes for that very reason. Existence itself is called into question and I get the pleasure (and often displeasure) of experiencing it.

It’s like feeling reality’s heated, seductive core without ever leaving my room.

Reality as we know it is an irrational comfort for humanity; theoretical physics taught me that. And double fudge brownies taught me that heaven does exist. In the form of baked goods. I shall stuff my face and I shall enjoy it. Fuck your bikini season.

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Comfort: The Bane of My Existence

I’m terrified of getting better.

Seriously, it scares the shit out of me. When I read tips on how to reduce fears and obsessions the idea of any of it working makes me cringe. The coping strategies I’ve used since kindergarten give me comfort. If I take those away, what do I have left?

My depression is my most revered enemy. He’s fatally attractive. He’s also my best friend. He’s loyal, he’s consistent, and I always know he’ll be there when I need him. He keeps away responsibility and gives me a reason to degrade myself. It’s not comforting to think I could live a life without him because I’ve never learned how.  If you’ve lived your whole life on the sea how would you feel being stuck on an island without your boat? I don’t want to get trapped without an escape and he’s one of my many escapes from this reality. It’s like a drug addiction; while you’re in it you can’t get enough, and once you’re in recovery you’re fully aware one more dab into your previous lifestyle can send you spiraling downward. The terrifying thing about that is you would simultaneously hate it and love it.

I have the number of a potential psychologist but I know the amount of work I have to put in to peel away fourteen years of carefully devised maladaptive behaviors will share the weight of two full time job positions. I always complain about being tired and the reply I get is “why? You haven’t done anything”. Really? I haven’t? I haven’t stayed up all night because my heart’s beating out of my chest and I think I’m going to choke on my own perdition and die twitching on the floor if I go to sleep? I haven’t spent countless hours listening to circuitous voice-like thoughts over and over again in my head like a broken record (You’re an idiot, you keep doing everything wrong, you’re hopeless, you’re stupid, you can’t do anything, you’re an embarrassment, you’re going to die, don’t get that cup it’s going to kill you, that food was probably poison)?  I haven’t sat here, staring at the wall, disturbingly aware of my own existence and non-existence? I haven’t spent days, weeks, fighting off suicidal ideations or laying in bed wrapped in blankets imagining the bliss of death? I haven’t hurried back to my house after going to the corner store because I feel everyone’s watching me or listening to the stupid, anxious thoughts in my head. Oh, and I never, ever have panic attacks.  And . . . and what did you do today again? Oh, went to the beach? Spent a few hours at work? Damn, you life is fucking stressful man, I feel for you.

Maybe work is stressful, I don’t know. I mean I had one job that lasted about three months until I just walked away. No two week notice, no mention of anything to one of the seven managers; I just stopped showing up. I was hired to be a cashier, not to sell five different types of credit cards and two reward cards by lying about all the specs. I worked my ass off trying to juggle all my classes and five hours spent ringing up toys at Toys R Us without losing my mind. My social anxiety crippled me but I tried my best because I just wanted to be a normal college student. I wanted to know I could make it on my own if I needed to and I failed miserably. I couldn’t speak to my managers, I looked like an ass in front of my coworkers (I literally felt them reading into my awkward posture and red face; I’m pretty sure everyone could hear my thoughts–they were pretty fucking loud in my head at least), and I couldn’t stand the clueless customers. I didn’t mind the children, it was the parents who got on my nerves.

Sometimes it’s not even my social anxiety that stops me from doing “normal” things like having a job, sometimes it’s just the fact that I hate being an elf. Like Ice Cube says, “I wanna be like Santa Claus, I don’t wanna be no fucking elf” (#HoodMentality). I know you have to work your way to the top but I just don’t do well in those kinds of situations. I’m a huge fan of routine. I have to be in control of what I do or else my anxiety is, dare I say, a million times worse and in that place no one had control over anything. I mean, they switched the fucking contents in the aisles every two or three days! No wonder no one could find anything! Even my coworkers and I couldn’t find anything! I could have ran that place better without ever saying a word. I’d just give them one of my patented death stares and they’d get to work. That’s how I’d run a business. Someone keeps running their lips or sits on their ass all day, just give them a death stare until they’re uncomfortable enough to do what I say. You’d be surprised what people would do if they’re uncomfortable enough. Like walk out on a job without any notice.

I like creative things. I have control over what I create and I want to put that to use. If I get another job, i’m going to be a janitor or something, anything that doesn’t require too much social interaction. I’ll spend the rest of my time working on my photography, on my writing, on my gaming, and on my school work, things that actually matter to me. Eh . . . okay school is only important because I know I can’t do what I want without it, otherwise I would have dropped out a long time ago.

Of course in the absence of depression anything is possible. I almost applied for a position at Best Buy the other day because I felt so good and I knew I could handle it. I was feeling great! I could do anything in the world as long as the world let me. Thank God Best Buy’s website was fucking up all over the place and I couldn’t hit that apply button. I bought some frivolous things online (I don’t know how I have money????) and now as I’m winding down to a normal level of . . . whatever . . . I can see I have a lot of work to do. All my projects, all my ideas, take so much energy, I don’t know where it comes from. I’d like it with me for the first week of classes though. I could use that extra boost of confidence.

Taking a breath

Basic Physics: my best friend

The Most Basic of Basic Physics: My Best Friend

Sometimes I think I forget how to breathe. Classes start again in two weeks and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I suppose I’m excited because I’m almost ready to transfer from my Junior College (a whole other set of anxieties) but I’m very disturbed at my previous semesters. I suppose A’s and B’s and one C isn’t something most people freak out about but I’m a definite perfectionist. Getting a “C”? Are you kidding me? That’s an F. That’s what it is, I’m sorry. I hate being average; I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I have this insatiable need to rise to the top and I have this insatiable need to guarantee my place in one of my choice private universities.

I probably sound snobby or whatever. I just know how much potential I have, I know what I can achieve, and I know the mental obstacles I need to overcome in order to reach that full potential. I broke last semester. No, physics broke me. I love the subject (fun fact: my career path would have been in theoretical physics had I not found psychology) but that professor was incompetent. He started off the first class awesome with a cool power point presentation about reality or some shit, and a nice “ice breaker” activity with “partners” which went well. I actually talked to one guy who was a University student picking up some credits. I could tell he was smart and my plan was to leech onto him and steal his smart essence. We didn’t need a textbook, so we didn’t need to spend more money. I was loving it.

The professor said a lot of words that meant nothing. Literally, nothing. He assigned homework on topics he never covered. We did one problem in class (sometimes we didn’t even finish) and that was supposed to be enough guidance for the fifteen problem homework assignments. In the lab we got into groups and I got royally fucked. I’m sure my partners were nice people but they made my social incompetence look like gold shit on a silver platter. The one chick who was about six feet tall spoke very quietly and did calculations very quickly in her head. The other guy stuttered heavily (probably why he chose not to talk) and was a math major (I knew I was fucked) and also calculated things in his head. When I asked for clarifications they answered me like I already knew the answer. In other words, they didn’t explain jack shit. They left me to roll on the floor in my inadequacies. The professor didn’t explain shit either! He’s like oh, hey class, goodmorning, listen to the oldies i’m playing over the speaker; here are your materials to do some weird shit *makes it rain with motion detectors and conduits* so hurry up and do it so I don’t have to teach.

I could have dealt with all that, honestly. But the PLC (Physics Learning Center) weekly assignments were the last dagger in my back that took me down. The space was about two prison cells wide by two prison cells long. There were three tables, the largest reserved for computer science. I’m a person who can’t handle a lot of conversation. When people are talking all around me I automatically assume 1) they’re talking about me, 2) they’re talking shit about me 3) the shit they’re talking about me is making them laugh 4) they’re all watching me. All the noise just sounds meshed together and I can’t hear myself think. I once tipped my bag over by accident and my heart thumped so loud in my ears I couldn’t pick it up. I figured the five strangers at my table and the twenty strangers behind me all laughed at how stupid I’d been to knock it over. They knew what I thought and they also thought that was stupid. I couldn’t even write on the paper in front of me because I was paralyzed.

PLC attendance was not optional, it was mandatory. You can’t pass the class without them. Now, I could have walked up to my weird ass professor (assuming I could talk to him, which I couldn’t) and said hey, bro, you know, the PLC’s just aren’t jiving with me; you see, I’m crazy and I’m pretty sure everyone up there thinks I’m a freak so, hey, cut me some slack. But he’d just laugh in my face because he isn’t there to hold your hand. No one is. If you need help, you’re responsible for making sure you get it. If you can’t talk to people . . . well, sucks for you.

I was so stressed out panic attacks woke me from my sleep two or three times a night. I was scared to close my eyes. Depression reared it’s ugly head the more I realized how unfit I was to hang with “the big dogs”. One of my attacks had me up until five in the morning and I slept the remainder of the day only to wake up that night with the realization I had my first calculus test of the semester the following day. Needless to say I got a D. Now that pissed me off. I’m relatively good at math, in fact I enjoy it. But I didn’t study enough, I couldn’t focus. I dropped the shit out of physics and no matter how many A’s I got on my quizzes and homework or how many B’s and a C I got on the tests couldn’t bring my Calc grade up. The C in that class plummeted my GPA and I’ve spent my summer rolling in self pity, self loathing, and anger. How the fuck do I let myself get this bad? That was my first C in my two and half years of college. It’s disgusting.

And you know, Crisis Intervention (who I seem to talk to relatively often now) keep telling me to talk to student health services but I don’t have goddamn test anxiety people. I’m not depressed over a relationship. Health services is like the salvation army of mental health care for students; they’ll give you some shit to get you through this moment but they don’t have the tools to help you pick yourself up. Honestly, if I told them how I really feel they’d probably label me a suicide risk, call the damn authorities, and make me miss a week of school I couldn’t afford to miss. Their resources are information about other resources, all of which require medical insurance and/or money up the ass, neither of which I have.

How am I supposed to make an appointment with them anyway? When I can’t talk to people? Is it that hard to understand?

I need those classes. I need social skills. I need coping skills. I need confidence, not this petty arrogance I substitute for it. I need my life back together. The longer I fight for it, the worse I seem to do.

All this is making me anxious. I should stop thinking about it. I’m going to go run over some hookers in Grand Theft Auto 5.

My Better Half

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I pretty much use the name “Alucard” for everything I’ve ever been apart of online, lest it be business related which . . . uh, never happens. I’ve wondered for so long why people thought I was a fan of anime. I . . . I hate anime. Okay, I don’t hate it, but it’s never struck me as cartoon genius. I can never catch the stories from the beginning so I come in like what the fuck why is there a floating teddy bear following that person and why does it puke rainbows? I don’t know. The animation bothers me too. Yes, it’s because of their mouths. They’re like triangles and they move like triangular mouths would move. I actually like the over size eyes and all that fancy stuff, but when it’s out of sync with the English over-dubs it’s just . . . it’s a pet peeve of mine. I’d prefer to watch it in Japanese. I can’t even stand it when English video is out of sync with English audio.

Anyway, I borrow “Alucard” and “AlucardEverlasting” from a song called, well, Alucard by Tech N9ne. It’s a song I go to when I feel on top of the world, when I’m sure I can conquer anything in my path and when I’m sure everyone else is writhing below me in their stupidity. Whatever. I just love that line: “All these stars never last, yet I will still stand while everyone’s passing”; yes, it fuels my crazy ego when it gets out of control. I think it’s worth pointing out it wasn’t until Tech literally said “read it backwards” in the song that I saw it spelled Dracula. Just thought I’d point out how smart I am.

So I googled the name after I noticed a lot of other people used the name too. Apparently Alucard is the main protagonist of the “Hellsing” anime/manga series. He’s a “Transcendent Vampire”, whatever the hell that means. I guess it’s different than a normal vampire, because he’s a part of the “Hellsing Organization” which works against supernatural forces like Vampires. I have to admit, reading about it hooked me and when they said he is apparently the “most powerful vampire” I grew giddy. Maybe Anime isn’t that awful after all, eh?

I love how the website I read denoted one of his pictures with “Alucard’s twisted side”. I totally have a twisted side! How completely relative to my life is that! Is it bad that I laughed at the fact that he rarely kills his victims by shooting them unless he’s totally disabled and humiliated them? My dark side is humored by his malice. I’m not even immortal or invincible, and I’m egotistical like this dude. Taunting and belittling an opponent? My pleasure. Break an opponent rather than kill an opponent? My greater pleasure.

Now, before I make myself out to be some kind of psychopath, it’d just like to say I don’t actually have opponents and I never break people. I’m also not a Transcendent Vampire. Unless someone makes me angry. Then I’m a God and I will go after their ass. So just . . . don’t make me angry.

Besides, Alucard’s got quite an honorable personality underneath all that arrogance. He respects humans who have the willpower to go through old age and death. I read he wants to be killed by a mortal because “that which defeats a monster is always a man”. I’d say that’s fairly accurate, especially since monsters are created by man in the first place. This made me dislike anime a little less. I have to admit, the characters are pretty much always developed with depth, the story lines are crazy, and the adventures are wild and I like that part of it. But I had a traumatic experience with Manga. I opened the book like a normal fucking book and everyone was like “YOU’RE READING IT BACKWARDS” and I’m like “I’M SORRY THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE” and that was another shining moment of my genius. I stay away from Manga. But I’d be willing to give Anime another chance. I love the creativity.

I’m always attracted to these kinds of characters because I think they embody what it means to be human better than humans do. We all have a dark side. I know mine is fairly intricate, arrogant, sophisticated, angry, and quite manipulative when she wants to be. She’s my guardian. When I’m out in the world and I’m hurting, she protects me. Sometimes it’s at the expense of others and I feel guilty afterwards. But I take advantage of my dark side whenever she arises, however she arises, because she’s powerful and unashamed. She could do whatever she wants and I get to ride along with her, pretending I have the same amount of self-esteem she has. I guess she’s my alter-ego. I don’t know what you call it, all I know is that I’d be lost without her around. We’d all be lost without our better halves.

Burn It Down

Hello darkness, you piece of shit. I was wondering when you were going to sneak up behind me and put me in a headlock. It’s been a while. Usually I’ll get a little warning, maybe a day or so of light sulking but I guess that game is all over. He means business now.

I swear there are little people in my head. Not voices, I mean literally little people. Like that movie Inside Out or whatever. And whenever they fight I’m stuck being launched into space or slammed into the ground or smothered in fire. There were so many thoughts I didn’t feel were mine scrambling around like crazy this afternoon. They cried for my help but what the hell was I supposed to do? I’m stuck out here, they’re stuck in there, what’s the point of asking me for help? I’ve been fighting with them for too long, they need to leave or I need to leave.

I’m the first person to stand up proud of myself and the unique parts of my brain. Doesn’t mean I enjoy it, not like this. The twelve hour naps are nice I guess.

I can’t write or think when I’m monotonous. I don’t know why I’m posting this since I can barely gather my thoughts. If I had insurance I’d be the first person shuffling into the halls of the hospital and making them feed me and drug me up and shit so I don’t have to take charge of life out here. Classes start in two weeks.

Yeah, I’m fucked. Nothing new in this neck of the woods.

Life Is NOT Like A Box Of Chocolates

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Because in a box of chocolates you certainly do know what you’re going to get: there will undoubtedly be chocolate. I don’t care if it’s chocolate covered peanuts, coconut, cherry, or shit, it’s still chocolate. Chocolate is sweet. When mixed with peanuts or sea salt we call that savory. You may not know the flavor you’re getting (although all you need to do is look on the back of the lid) but you will know it’s always going to be sweet or savory. Unless you’re one of those unfortunate people allergic to chocolate or peanuts in which case ignore every word up until this point.

Life is not sweet or savory. Life is like Wheel of Fortune with an infinite wheel and you’re playing blindfolded. You could be sitting on a million dollars and a trip to the Bahamas and then all of a sudden you’re bankrupt and the Bahamas just seem like a waste of cash you no longer have. Half of the time you don’t even know what hit you. You have something, then it’s gone. You know someone, then they’re gone. You live your life and then you’re gone. It’s some kind of vicious cycle that may be so completely random that it’s utterly organized.

I was feeling good this week. I spent some time outside, went bowling again, went mini-golfing (something I usually hate but actually enjoyed) and got my cars ball joints fixed. I have all these projects I’ve been planning for about a month now–including buying a new computer system to add to my three laptops, getting into more graphic designing and photography (two things I’ve loved for a very long time but never had the patience to master), getting all my supplies prepared for this semester starting August 31st, and even getting back into making digital rap beats for online sale (another thing I’ve enjoyed and never had patience to master). I feel good about all these things. They give me a reason to wake up, they give me a reason to feel and act positive, they give me a reason to risk sleeping every night.

And then here we go again: waking up after ten minutes of sleep, heart racing, limbs tingling, throat closing up, and my brain absolutely convinced I’m not real, I’m not me, I’m not in reality; I’m still in a dream. At five thirty am I’m jumping out of bed and racing into the living room to pace, my only solution to these sleep attacks. I hate panic attacks in the day, I hate panic attacks in my sleep, I hate panic attacks in general, but these particular ones are traumatizing. To wake up thinking i’m on the brink of death, waiting for the white light to come sweep me up and drop me into Satan’s gaping mouth (he’s such a slut) is not the way I pictured my morning starting.

They used to happen every week or so, until I learned they came only when I’d been ignoring something that caused me anxiety, something I should have been facing. I’ve always had anxiety, but I didn’t start having panic attacks until the week before my first semester of college and ironically a month or so after I got off some medication. For three years now, they’ve been interrupting my ability to be a student. They send me to the hospital and charge me 13,000 dollars, and they make me drop classes that keep causing them. I have a prescription for Ativan but let’s be honest here people: fuck benzo’s. They’re too much for me. I end up in and out of a fog for a few days and wake up unable to remember the last forty eight hours. I haven’t taken it in a year. It’s just sitting in its little orange bottle giving me the puppy dog eyes and crying when I slap it across the room. I don’t have time for useless treatments. I have better success in stopping my panic attacks by pacing (or any repetitive motion really), breathing with a ten second rule, and carefully navigating through my head for reasons of why this could be happening. It might take an hour or two, but at least I’m not suppressing it all with a stupid white tablet.

So I was happy, and now that’s gone. I’m achy, I’m tired, my head is throbbing, I’m tired, I’m hungry, and did I mentioned I’m fucking tired. Here’s another sleepless forty eight hours on the way.

That’s the thing about anxiety: you have to plan your life according to its rules. If it says you shouldn’t do something, chances are you won’t do it. If it says someone’s going to die if you step on a crack in the sidewalk you’ll spend your whole life skipping. If it says every word out of your mouth is stupid, you’ll spend your whole life not talking. If it says wake your ass up and pace around like an idiot because you’re about to die–oh wait just kidding; you’re going to wake your ass up and pace and not laugh at the joke it’s just played on you. It’s not because you’re weak, it’s because fear is strong. If fear wasn’t strong, we’d all be dead. We’d be walking along the Safari, whistling with our shirts and pants made of meat and we wouldn’t flinch when six lionesses charge from the brush.

I don’t want to be stronger than fear, I want to work with fear. I want it to be my business partner, not my C.E.O. Even on days like these when I’m completely beaten, ready to throw in the towel, I’m still thankful for the way I am and the differences that make me who I am. So life is like nothing. Life is just life. It’s random, it’s organized, it’s chaotic, it’s tidy, it’s obsessive and compulsive, it’s enjoyable, it’s deplorable, it’s everything and nothing. But it’s certainly not like a box of chocolates.

Authority? Nah bruh.

I saw The Stanford Prison Experiment today, an IFC films film. It’s been out for a while I believe, but it barely came to my town on July 31st.

If you’ve ever taken a psychology class, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you’ve taken a social psychology class, you definitely know what I’m talking about. It’s one of the most famous experiments in psychology, but just in case you have absolutely no clue what I’m talking about, I’ll sum it up pretty quickly: Dr. Phil Zimbardo at Stanford in the 1970’s wanted to study the effects of incarceration on human behavior so he gathered willing male college volunteers to partake in a prison simulation. He and his graduate staff flipped a coin to see which students would be guards and which would be prisoners. They turned Jordan Hall at Stanford University into a prison and shit went south real quick. The guards got physically and mentally abusive to the prisoners who lost sense of reality and identity. Some were allowed to leave. The study meant to last two weeks lasted six days. Here’s an awesome documentary with raw footage. It’s a long one. 

It’s always been one of the most interesting studies to me, along with the Milgram Experiment (Link to it if you don’t know what it is: http://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html). Anything with studying obedience and the influence of authority interests me. Maybe it’s because I have a problem with authority. Don’t get me wrong, I respect everyone even when they don’t deserve respect, but the moment someone abuses their power and involves me in their escapade . . . let’s just say it doesn’t end pretty for them. It’s really a contradiction, especially with my social anxiety. I guess you could say I’m one of the reasons why people say “don’t trust the quiet ones”. I’m fired up on the inside. I’d be the most talkative person in the class getting sent to the desk facing the wall or the wildest person at the party doing “the sprinkler” on top of the table spilling my beer on everyone’s head if I weren’t so damn terrified of everything.

But the moment someone in an authority position tries to dismiss me as “unworthy”, most of my anxiety is squashed by an insatiable desire to rub these people’s faces in the dirt. But I also find it easier to talk with authority figures. For example, whenever I speak with an officer or anyone at all who carries a gun that can easily blow my brains out I automatically know I just need to tell the truth. If all I have to do is state facts, whether it be to a cop, a security guard, or a teacher in front of fifty students, my anxiety is non-existent because I know I’m right. Any social anxiety sufferer knows the bulk of the anxiety revolves around being wrong about something in front of people.

Doctors, however, are another story. I will argue with them day and night, whether they be General Practitioner, Psychiatrist, Psychologist–hell, I’d argue with a chiropractor if I knew anything about backs. At fifteen I started reading medical papers, research journals, and other books (instead of doing my shitty high school homework; can you believe state standards these days? Do they think we’re dumb?) so I knew when they were lying to me. I knew about atypical and typical (neuroleptics) anti-psychotics, Anti-depressants, stimulants, mood stabilizers, benzos, opiates and other pain medications, and even Trycyclics and MAO inhibitors. I learned anatomy, some physiology, and a lot about publication bias, and the APA’s consistent, intimate affairs with insurance companies. Call it paranoid, whatever; it’s justified. Doctors these days don’t control themselves, the pharmaceutical companies control them, especially if you visit one who isn’t private practice.

If you didn’t already know, their businesses and offices benefit with each prescription they write when they’re endorsed by an insurance company. It’s something that pisses me off and something that makes my anxiety fly out the window. Now, my father has an addictive personality. He’s battling alcoholism but he’s had addictions to other things in the past with the alcohol, including pills. I took him to a doctor’s appointment once and all of a sudden he started getting a “back ache” in the waiting room. When we got in the doctor’s office he was milking it real good and I soon learned it was because his doctor was a complete moron. He didn’t care about whether or not his patient told the truth, he cared about writing that nice, fat prescription page. He talked about prescribing him pain pills. I said no; he has a past history of being addicted to pain medication and sleeping medication. The doctor gave me one of those sly “where’s your degree?” smiles and continued on with the appointment. Halfway through, he started talking about the pain medication again. I said, “did you not hear me a second ago? He gets addicted to those.” He gave me his patented bullshit smile again and started talking about the dosage of the pills. I interrupted him: “if you’re going to give him the pills, make the dosage lower than that. If you don’t do that, I swear we’re walking out right now. Because you’re trying to screw us.” He agreed. We continued with the appointment. When he started talking about the medication again, he restated his previous, high dosage and I just about let my eager fist lay one on his arrogant face. I told him he wasn’t prescribing any medication and that he had no right to disregard what I was saying; I had first hand experience on his client’s mental state and addiction history, who the fuck was he to tell me I was wrong?

We eventually settled on a one time shot. My father was furious, but I wasn’t going to let some idiot ruin his body anymore than he already ruined it. I can’t control what my father puts in his body but I can control what a doctor does.

I’ve had doctors try to tell me symptoms I told them of a psychiatric medication I took was wrong. Really? What I experienced was wrong? So I’m hallucinating now? Yeah, that’s probably a side effect of your bullshit too.

I’m not a hater because of all the stuff that’s happened to me, instead I’m thankful it did, it helped me find my passion. But a piece of paper with a signature on it from a dean of some university doesn’t give doctors power, nor do the insurance companies or pharmaceutical companies. We give them power. An important line I’ll always remember both from the Stanford experiment film and from raw footage of the actual experiment and analysis is when one of the men who was assigned a guard position mentioned “no one ever told me to stop” (in regards to violence and mental abuse). I fear that’s what happened to this medical industry. Not enough people they consider “worthy” have told them to stop. Everyone thinks my interest in psychiatry stems from my own “disorders” but nothing is more inspiring for me (much to my anxieties dismay) than battling with people whose heads have grown larger than our solar system.

Positive Eyes in Negative Light

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When we struggle in life we tend to focus on the magnitude of the negative rather than the possibilities of the positive. When we feel confused, we think about how confused we are; when we feel hopeless, we think about how hopeless we are, but when we’re joyful do we ever pay attention to that feeling? Do we ever think about how wonderful it feels to be happy instead of the looming idea that we’re going to feel bad again? When we feel bad, do we ever tell ourselves we’re going to feel happy again?

Don’t double standard yourself. A positive feeling is simple: the opposite of a negative feeling. I don’t practice “pushing” negative thoughts from my mind, I let them come and I feel them and I acknowledge them and then I think the opposite. For example, if I wake up thinking today is going to be horrible and the usual list of why streams behind my eyes, I don’t analyze it or try to disprove it because, hey, all those horrible things could happen. Instead, I think the opposite: today is going to be good. I list the reasons why. Once again, I don’t try to approve of it or disapprove of it, I just let it be. The point isn’t to make yourself think positive–you don’t make yourself feel negative on purpose, do you? The point is to make those positive thoughts as free flowing as the negative ones seem to be. As much as people hate to hear it, negative thinking is indeed a habit. We’re not breaking the habit (have you ever been around people who are constantly happy? There’s something wrong with them man, straight up), we’re giving it a friend.

There is a huge difference between negative thinking and depression, I certainly understand this. However, hearing a positive thought once in a while from yourself at the same magnitude as you hear negative thoughts from yourself may very well help improve depression. Thoughts influence neurotransmitters, neurotransmitters influence thoughts; it’s all one big cycle that you can manipulate for yourself if you so choose.

I think the biggest mistake people make is trying to get themselves to stop thinking. It’s a quick fix, for sure. In that case, pop a couple Haloperidol and you’ll stop thinking real quick. But thinking got you in this mess, thinking can get you out of it. Quick fixes don’t exist; they’re a myth, a legend, a wish. We as a country adore individualism and we advocate hard work to obtain what you want in life (regardless of obvious sociological issues with this creed) and yet we’re told a little pill could fix our worries without any work. I’m disgruntled by the fact that so many people are placed on anti-depressants, and that so many get it from their General Practitioner, and even more so that therapy is not partnered with their medication. Perhaps if they went into talk therapy they’d see they don’t need the medication at all (a valid reason for pharmaceutical companies to never, ever, ever promote such a thing). Millions of Americans alone are on antidepressants. What are the chances all those people are actually depressed to the point of needing drastic medication treatment? If I’m wrong, and every one of those people are clinically depressed then hell, why is depression still considered a disorder? They might as well consider it “normal”. The same could go for ADHD and even Anxiety.

I’m ultimately disgusted in every way possibly by the lack of therapy for those with psychotic disorders. Perhaps some of them do need medication to stay in our reality but that doesn’t mean they’re not frustrated and unhappy with the fact that they just got labeled with a “disorder”, with it’s stereotypes, and with its “lifetime prevalence” percentage. They could use some positivity in their lives. If they’re depressed, it’s probably not a part of their other illness but it probably is a product of it. It can’t always be solved by medications for the first illness. Yes, I believe comorbid diagnosis exists; however. that does not mean we pile medications onto the person for five different disorders. The definition of comorbitiy states each diagnosis must be independent of each other, but let’s be honest here people–how much of that is true? Just another medication scam, in my opinion.

Not to mention it’s all subjective: comorbitity to one psychiatrist may be different to another. There criteria of course, but maybe their client didn’t specify things correctly. Maybe the psychiatrist didn’t understand them correctly. So what’s the point of diagnosis if the diagnosis itself is subjective?

*Takes a deep breath* The system is torn. It’s battered, beaten, misused, abused, hopeless, whatever word you want to use for it. But that doesn’t mean the clients in the system have to suffer. Doctors are wonderful people. Most of their hearts are in the right place, but a lot of them are sheep. You don’t have to be a sheep. There are ways you can help yourself and one way of doing that is changing how you think about yourself and how you think about others. Write a positive thought down each day in a journal or a blog. It doesn’t even have to be about you, it could be about anything! Have goals for yourself. Give yourself a reason to wake up in the morning. Give yourself a reason to get a good sleep the next night. Give yourself a reason to take care of your health. And most importantly, your disorder is not a disorder, it’s a part of you and that’s a fact. Embrace the parts of it you can, improve the parts of it you can’t, but most of all don’t ever fight it. Leave that kind of internal warfare to politics.

Mental Illness Awareness Challenge-Day 24

Amber keeps breathing

Day 24: What is your opinion on alternative treatments that aren’t commonly used?
I have worry stones that I use for my anxiety that work like magic! They are wonderful!! They help to prevent anxiety. If anyone has questions on these or wants to know more about them, please let me know.
My therapist has me do relaxation exercises that I have mixed feelings about. Sometimes I do them and they work really well, and other times I do them and all I can think about is committing suicide. It’s weird because it helps calm my body every time, but not my mind, which is super frustrating.
I tried getting a massage the other day, and it didn’t work as well as I thought it would. It worked well for my body, but my mind was crazy the whole time.
My mind is constantly going 100 mph. There are plenty…

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