The Water Comes From A Well

This title is the excerpt I read while searching for a new place to live. What is this, the 1800’s? Do you know how dry it is in California, people? Just buy some water from the damn grocery store because you ain’t finna find any in the ground, not this time of year.

I’m being forced to look into a roommate situation, which is not ideal, but I suppose it is better than homelessness–at least, that’s what my psychologist is trying to drill into my head: it’s better than being homeless, it’s better than being homeless. I’m not sure I’m convinced. I’ve been homeless before, jumped around from place to place, and at least in all those situations I had some kind of privacy. Someone living in my living room in this apartment does not seem private to me.

The emotions of the break up have kind of calmed within me, I no longer drive in the car crying to songs on the radio, and I no longer huddle in the apartment with a blanket over my shoulders looking at all the things I did wrong and all the things that were my fault. Ultimately, things ended because things needed to end. I’ve had a lot of things I’ve loved end in my life, and I’m still standing. I’ve been through a lot worse than a breakup, and I’m still standing. I can make it through this.

independence-1024x673-1024x673It’s time to gain some independence back too. I think I was pretty dependent in this relationship and that’s something I need to let go of as well. I think this will give me the proper time I need to really recover from the psychosis and get my mental health back on track.

Where I will move, I’m not sure yet, either north or south of where I am now. I have plans to move on with my life at this point. Because, here’s the even bigger news: the mental health program I’ve been working at for the past 2 years may very well be closing in the beginning of December. We’re making efforts to save it, and I think good things will still come from these efforts, but I’m not sure about them actually saving the program.

So, I am also stuck looking at the possibility of having to find another job in the “real world”. The real world meaning: working with people who are not my peers, who do not openly have lived experience. And that bothers me a bit. I tend not to get along with those people.

Classes have also started up again, and I’m swamped with homework. Go figure.

So life is pretty stressful right now. I’m broke, I can’t pay for my prescriptions, I can’t buy food, I can’t afford gas, and it’s hell waiting for Netflix to put up Black Panther. I mean, the wait is literally like sitting on a stump in hell listening to the screams of damned souls while embers lick the top of your head and fire burns through your skin to your bone.

I am writing an article about the closing of 2nd Story, so stay tuned for that on Mad in America. Not quite sure what I want to write yet. I said I’d have a draft by the end of the week, but with classes I’m not sure if that’s going to be possible.

My cat is sitting on my arm and making it very difficult to type. She’s going to give me Carpal Tunnel.

If you are willing to share a GoFundMe page on your Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, that would also be great. The link is here. I know clicking the share button is honestly asking a lot of people I don’t know, but I’ve been apart of this wordpress community for 3 years and I’ve loved every moment of it. You all are helpful in small little ways you might not even know. Every comment I’ve ever gotten, every view, every read, every personal story shared with me is another thing I cherish. So one share is all I ask. I’m asking for 1500 in the Campaign, just as general moving expenses because I have zero dollars. I would be using it to pay for a UHaul and to tow my car if I move out of town. I”m not asking for much, but I am.

If you can share the GoFundMe link that would be great. If you can read it, that would be great. I don’t want to end up homeless again, and I think crowdfunding is an amazing opportunity for a lot of people, including myself. If you can donate even a dollar, I would be eternally grateful.

In the meantime, I’m going to be looking for a place to live so I don’t end up on the streets.

Fun!

Happy Drunk New Year

The first post of 1/1/2017, and it will be done through tipsy fingers.

*Burps gracefully*

Suffering the weird muscle/body shocks of Effexor withdrawal, and insomnia, prompted me to get a little happy new years eve, hoping drunkeness could knock me out. So far it has not. So far all I’ve done is get jiggy to some Tyga’s Faded, snuggle my kitten until she meows and bites at me, and overreact to losing some boardgames.

And I don’t

Give a

FUUUUUUUUCK.

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But the point of this post was to not babble drunkenly. My point was to babble drunkenly ABOUT something specific.

I haven’t been on WordPress often recently, at least I haven’t been looking through everyone’s posts lately, and I miss doing that. I miss reading about people’s lives–not to be a fucking weirdo, but to see how everyone is doing, good or bad. I like communicating with ya’ll and I love meeting new people.

It makes me sad that we’re not a society that likes to know what happened to people. From what I’ve experienced, at least in the places I’ve been, we’re more of a society that takes something at face value. We see someone talking to themselves on the street, so they’re crazy. We see someone hugging their child in the supermarket and think they’re a wonderful parent. We love categories. It’s really weird. It’s like we have this love affair with this wack organization system that isn’t very good at organizing as it is.

Not that I’m one to know what organization is.

But I do know a thing or two about humans, given I’ve observed them silently, in the shadows, waiting to reveal my Reptilian face for so long.

I don’t think I can reasonably claim to be human.

Anyone seen that fucking show on TBS, People Of Earth? My God. These. Are. My. People. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check this:

Anyway, the hell was I talking about?

Oh yeah. Someone walking down the street talking to themselves may very well be struggling mentally. But how do you know what they’ve been through? Who are you to judge anything about them? What gives you the right to put a label? You don’t know how they grew up. You don’t know what pain they’ve suffered and still suffer. You don’t even know their fucking name. You know what happens when you do that?

You create a disconnect. You separate yourself from another human who could very well benefit from a connection. I’m not saying walk up to random people on the street and force friendship down their throat in some kind of weirdly violent-erotic way, life isn’t a freaky porn shoot.

I’m just saying don’t be so quick to exercise your Associates degree in psychology. Your little piece of paper means nothing, and neither does your google search, stop acting like it. It means you can learn and go to school, congratulations. A lot of people do that. A LOT. Doesn’t mean you’re any good at being a human. This is coming from someone pursuing a Medical Degree. I might be smart in academics, but I’ll tell you I’m not very good at blending in or connecting with humans.

Someone hugging their child could be beating them at home.

My point is: you don’t know someone’s story until you know them as a person, and your quick judgement isn’t knowing them as a person.

Everyone faults. Everyone judges at some point in their life, it’s human. But to do it consistently, to do it on purpose because you don’t know how else to act–that disturbs me.

In 2017, don’t avoid the chance to learn someone’s story. It’s not just for their benefit, it’s for your benefit too. It’s for the benefit of the relationship. Because something in their story might relate to your story and the pain you’ve been hiding might be similar to the pain they’ve been hiding. Magical things can come from that sort of interaction. Not cures. But magical things.

My current playlist tonight, to drunk-sleep to:

A Sense Of Yourself

jimmy-mcmillan

The rate at which my hands turn to ice even on a day blessed with sunlight is too damn high.

I can’t even feel the keys on this Chromebook. I’m just stabbing the buttons in hopes my procedural memory will pick up the slack. In the midst of my stabbing I came across an intriguing article on the absence of spirituality in the modern mental health system. You can read the original here.

In case your attention span isn’t up for the challenge and you left your trusty prescription stimulant at home, I’ll provide a quick summary.

'I see the problem, Gibson- you forgot to borrow from your neighbor there in step 3.'You see, it all started when I forgot how to do a derivative. That’s usually how it starts, isn’t it? Then all of a sudden you’re combining some integration-derivative hybrid and you’re subtracting what you’re supposed to be adding and your by-parts turns into a gruesome monster spanning your entire page and you’re scanning your work in hysterics wondering where in the world you could have gone wrong when you’re a damned genius.

On four hours of sleep, I can barely add 2 + 2.

At any rate, I tossed the math aside and the first article I found to waste my time on was “The difference Between My Psychiatrist and My Shaman” by Dylan Charles.

Now, before you roll your eyes at me and say “for fucks sake not this again” and un-follow me, I’m going to say right off the bat this is not a post to diss the modern medical industry, it’s just a post to present to you a different side.

shaman_bA shaman, as I’m sure the majority of you know, is a spiritual healer. A lot of the times those of us assimilated into Western culture consider Shamans as practicing a primitive medicine, healing techniques which follow myths and legends of ancient cultures.

Many indigenous cultures, according to Charles, believe the symptoms of mental disorders are not the result of a defective person or brain, but are rather psychic energies within the person that are incompatible with said person and those energies must be either forced from the body or integrated into the body.

Films exaggerate this. We’re not talking about demonic possession. People infected by these energies aren’t doing the crab walk across the kitchen tile with their tongue flicking a mile a minute at your ankles (haven’t read the exorcist? You should).

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Shamans, then, have a healing purpose, to help restore balance among the energies. Their purpose is “not to correct or remedy anything, but is instead to facilitate change and integration within the patient “. 

Charles goes on to emphasize two plants which have been known for promoting healing and restoration of energy balance: Iboga and Ayahuasca. If you haven’t heard of them, than you probably don’t know about the recent craze of using these psychoactive substances to help treat symptoms of disorders like Schizophrenia and Depression. Don’t know the efficacy levels of those studies yet. It’s probably subjective like every other portion of psychology.

I won’t summarize Charles’ entire experience with a western psychiatrist and an indigenous shaman, I feel those words are better left explained by him in his article. But I believe he brings up a very deep conflict circulating through our culture today: where is our spirituality? Our connectedness with others? With nature? How much of our life, of our interconnection, do we jeopardize when business hijacks medicine?

Financial health check

You don’t have to believe that mental disorders are a a hoax and that the symptoms are incoming energies throwing off your internal balance. You just have to have a mind capable of considering other possibilities. You need a mind capable of understanding that a scientific study created and ran by man (a terribly flawed creature) for a science which is subjective in its majority does not have all the answers. Just because they tell you the reward pathway in the substantia nigra is responsible for relaying addiction doesn’t mean the substantia nigra is responsible for addiction by itself. If it were, you could remove it and cure the very nature of substance abuse.

At the same time, you can’t consider these indigenous and/or ancient traditions “primitive” or “illogical” or “stupid”; what’s the point in doing so? They’re about as accurate as anything else man has thought up. Even physics has spent tireless hours proving our consciousness and our observation of the universe influences our surroundings and what happens to us, and no one seems to give a damn. To put the body and particularly the mind on a purely physical pedestal is, in my opinion, primitive.

funny-anesthesiologist-cartoon

I’m sure people who have grown up with traditional, indigenous treatments out in jungles the “civilized” world has yet to have impact on would find our customs of modernized medicine really . . . odd. Just as I’m sure people in this part of the world find their customs . . . strange.

Westerners tried having a similar, spiritual take on things when they considered “Hysteria” the “Wandering Uterus”. Didn’t really have the same effect.

It seems western minds weren’t too keen when to thinking outside of a physical box.

Could this be true?

Another way to say this, which may make more sense to the Western mind, is that we in the West are not trained in how to deal or even taught to acknowledge the existence of psychic phenomena, the spiritual world. In fact, psychic abilities are denigrated. When energies from the spiritual world emerge in a Western psyche, that individual is completely unequipped to integrate them or even recognize what is happening. [Source]

 

Could this be true?

The causes of depression are not fully understood, but scientists believe that an imbalance in the brain’s signaling chemicals may be responsible for the condition in many of the patients. However, there are several theories about what this imbalance actually is and which signaling chemicals are involved. [Source]

Could they both be true? Could everything be true? Could nothing be true?

You have to consider all the possibilities. If you don’t, you’re lying to yourself. And the fact that we as a culture have simply, and uncritically, accepted simple explanations for complex human experiences disheartens me.

To make attempts at telling our body how to act is essentially vain. Disrespectful, as well. You are a human being apart of an entire universe, not just your job, not just your house, not just your family, not just your neighborhood–an entire universe which at times caters to your observation and which, at times, require you cater to its requirements. It’s a give and take. Don’t believe me? Go argue with a physicist, because I don’t have time for it.

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People (like me) complain about how corrupt businesses and industries and organizations have gotten. We’re human: every part of the Earth we touch will eventually be corrupted because we’ve lost that connection. We’re not in touch with ourselves or where we live. We’re so focused on ourselves we forgot who we are. 

So do mental disorders exist? We’ve created them: of course they do.

Careful: I’m not saying we’ve made up the behavior or the struggle we all face (that’s definitely real) or the “chemical imbalances” if you so choose to believe, I’m saying we’ve defined them as they are. We don’t see them as instances of humans suffering some great spiritual and physical and mental issue combined, we only see them as problems. Sicknesses. Illnesses. A part of our humanity need to be cured.

I believe all of our interpretations of mental health, mental disorders, mental illnesses, whichever you choose to call them are valid to some degree. The fact that we separate them into categories when they all very obviously overlap, the fact that we cater and fund more willingly specific treatments, biological only treatments, only further validates the disconnect in the industry.

You don’t need to go to a Shaman to learn your mind and your body and your surroundings are connected in more than just a physical way. You don’t need to go to medical school to learn that helping the mind, body, and spirit all together, whether that means medication, therapy, sweat lodges, whatever, can help any person regain a sense of themselves, no matter their ailment.