BlogInspirationMusic and Movies

I recently read the book “Contact” by Carl Sagan. You may remember the brilliant but oft criticized Zemeckis movie with Jodie Foster and McConaughey.

I’m not going to get into a breakdown of either work, but if you want to watch a movie (or read a book) that attempts to deal with and reconcile science, religion and faith and what it means to be human as well as 2001, or Close Encounters, for sure check out “Contact”.

Anyway, in the book, aliens make contact with Earth through a radio signal sent from Vega. It is discovered and decoded and how it is known to be generated by intelligent life, as opposed to random noise, is that they are transmitting prime numbers.

AnxietyBipolar ThoughtsBlogInspirationTherapy

Week #3 of thankfulness blogs

This week, the purity of sound

A few summers ago I was camping with my family and one entire day was rained out. I had an infant that wasn’t entirely happy, and I was just beginning the recovery process after ECT.

Anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks just after lunch and I went to my tent to lie down and get away. And there is where I discovered something that has been an effective part of treating my anxiety ever since, the sound of a hard rain on that nylon/ polyester blended surface.

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BlogFamilyFriends and Relationships

“The cruelest lies are often told in silence” – Robert Louis Stevenson

 

I’m still angry. I still cannot really believe that what happened actually happened and how quickly it was swept under the rug. Worse yet, how it was made to be my problem, like I had been the cause of it.

There hasn’t been so much as a word spoken about it, by either of us, in months and yet I still get visibly upset when I think about it, like this morning.

I was then, and still am now; ready to completely burn the bridge. What I do gain from the relationship is easily trounced by how much side-stepping I have to do to avoid pitfalls.

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BlogInspirationMusic and Movies

Week Two of the thankfulness blogs:

Last week was a pretty deep and serious thing, a way my daughter delights my heart. This week is something much simpler, but something that has been huge for me lately.

A couple months ago I traded a guy some guitar equipment I no longer used for some that he no longer used. I ended up with a new (to me) guitar amplifier. It happened to be an amp I had been wanting for a decade. And I couldn’t feel more pleasure playing through it.

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BlogFamilyInspiration

I am starting a new series of essays on this blog. I’m going to be posting them on Saturday mornings, as this one was, hoping to inject some good vibes into your weekends. However, I might move them into my normal weekly slots. Stay tuned.

But here is the plan: I’m going to write one piece a week about things I am thankful for, or at least things that keep me positive. I don’t plan on doing the big obvious things, though. Anyone who knows me or has read enough of this blog understands that I am a lucky person, born into a situation that most people envy, and given enough talent and ability for it to be a real shame if I don’t do something with my life.

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BlogInspiration

My whole life I have been a huge fan of both science and science fiction.

My favorite movies when I was a kid were things like Jurassic Park, Apollo 13, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Alien and Terminator. The novels I really gravitated towards as a kid were HG Wells and Jules Verne. I was a huge Dr. Dolittle fan as an even younger child which is an adventure series about a scientist, nothing like those god awful movies.

This is probably even more pronounced today. Almost all of what I read is science fiction, and most of the movies I make a point of watching are sci-fi as well. My favorite author is Arthur C Clarke, followed by PKD, followed by Vonnegut. The best movies from 2015? Ex Machina, The Martian, Star Wars VII. Best movie I saw in 2016? Arrival!

You’ll never convince me that Childhood’s End isn’t the greatest book ever written, unless of course you bring up Ender’s Game. What movie am I most excited about coming up? Beyond Star Wars, I would have to say Ready Player One, one of the best novels I have read in years, one I consumed in about four days.

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BlogParenting

I think you pretty quickly find out what type of parent you are going to be. While you don’t really need to discipline a kid for a couple years, and that is a large portion of what type of parent you are, you can look at your interactions and figure out who you are pretty early.

It turns out that I’m the type of parent that likes to push my kids.

When Jocelyn was born I had read a lot about how holding your child in different positions, and especially laying them on their stomach and making them look around, could really develop their spatial awareness. The science isn’t exact, of course, and a lot of people believe that this is just a head-start and all kids will eventually reach average perception regardless. However, my opinion is simply “why not do it?” I gotta play with this kid anyway, let’s work on stuff too.

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Blog

October 20th. That was the date of my last entry to this blog. Shockingly, this page has actually increased in foot traffic since then, I’m not sure how.

Why haven’t I posted? Well the answer is pretty simple:

  1. I haven’t been writing as much. Life with two kids and a busier work schedule has shrunken my time. Also a couple other things have taken up a good deal of my time I will talk about in a minute.
  2. The things I have written either were not any good, or things you guys don’t typically read much anyway (science and medicine heavy), or extremely dark and I didn’t really want to sparsely put out really dark things. It might give the wrong impression of how I have been feeling.
  3. I’ve been feeling really great! Even my sleep has been pretty normal for the last few weeks, even though sleep is a continual issue for me. I’ve had a handful of rotten stuff happen, hence the dark essays, but I felt great throughout the holidays despite those things.
  4. The election. I don’t really want to get into politics here. But somehow it became and unavoidable thing that all of my essays for the last several months devolved into. I hated it, so I chose not to publish it.
  5. The election. It has consumed most of my brain space. For the last few years, most of my brain space was devoted to mental health stuff. I spent all of my free time reading about mental health stuff and now that time is dedicated to politics. I’m sure there is a good essay in there about my obsessive nature when it comes to diving head long into a topic for months, or years, on end. Maybe I’ll get into that later.
  6. The election. I can only handle putting so much of myself out there for public consumption. And since I have been putting a lot of my political opinions out there, I felt less inclined to put this side of myself on display as well.

So here is the rundown:

The holidays were actually pretty bad for me. It was an odd flip. Normally the holidays are great and I feel terrible, but this year they were terrible and I felt great. Who knows. The issues I did encounter during the holidays almost exclusively centered on family, so don’t expect any big write ups about that.

I have maintained a level or even up mood sustained since March. I am fully off of medication, only occasionally taking some klonopin when anxious, especially when I cannot sleep.

I recently traded some old guitar gear for a new (to me) amp. It is a fun amp to play on and I have retooled my pedal board and I have played on it at least half hour everyday for a couple weeks now. It has been a great source of stress relief.

So, that’s that I guess. I just renewed this website for another year. The middle of February will mark my third year of this endeavor, and I still consider it to be one of the best things I have ever done with my time. Over the holidays a handful of people contacted me with depression and anxiety problems. I have noticed a lot more people willing to discuss there struggles on social media. And I feel like the blogging community is really working to scale down some of the stigma. I’m proud to be even an insignificant part of that.

So I am hoping that this means I am back in the saddle with some stuff I have been working on. Expect the first blog to publish on Wednesday.

Thanks for still being here and I look forward to sharing more with you again.

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Bipolar ThoughtsBlogMedicationParenting

I took my sleeping pill, Trazadone, for the first time in months yesterday.

The decision came before Jocelyn had her several meltdowns I mentioned in the last blog. I was actually planning on taking one on the night of her first meltdown. It was one of the first things I told my wife when I got home from work. But alas, Jocelyn had other plans.

The great part: I slept through the night.

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BlogParenting

Not more than a couple hours ago I found myself lying face down on the living room sofa, face in my hands, crying harder than I have cried in a very long time.

I cried that way for maybe fifteen minutes, but I had just come from my daughter’s bedroom where I had been lying next to her while she slept. I was holding her, kissing her head, and crying then as well.

Tonight was the second consecutive night of extreme tantrums lasting several hours.