Saturday, July 28, 2012

Deep thoughts at the end of a phase of my life

I was sitting here tonight, probably the last night I will ever step foot in the home I grew up in, played in, slept in, wept in, laughed in, cried in, raised one of my children in, came back to multiple times during the course of my life when things got rough for me, alternately loved and detested, cleaned, made messes in, learned both joy and pain in.

A lot of my past has come creeping out to pat me on the virtual head tonight, as I sorted through family photos and got them boxed up to go to storage.  Friends and family members now dead or gone their own ways came back for that brief second to offer a nod and a glimpse at what was.  Many of the memories have been good.  Just as many of them weren't so pleasant.  And then I stopped and sat for a while asking myself why I was lingering on some of those memories.

I've spent the majority of my life in and out of this house.  It has been a fixture throughout the years, a point of stability.  It has been, more than any other place or person or idea or institution, the solid point of reality that I could return to no matter where I was in life or what was going on.  And that point of solid reality is now gone.  The lifetime spent living and learning here is over.  The walls of this house will soon echo with another family's laughter and tears, to find a mirror in the mists of forgotten memory and time.

My roots have been severed, and I'm not certain yet where or when the tree will be replanted.  I don't know whether it will retain the strengths it gained here, or lose them and grow in a completely different direction and form now.  Summer's over, and my life has entered it's Autumn. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Going in Circles and Getting No Where

So I've learned a few valuable lessons (relearned them, really) concerning this whole business of moving from one place to another.

I really... Really....... REALLY...... dislike moving.  I hate it.  It's a giant pain in the rump, and it's not even the fun sort of pain in the rump that you can chuckle about afterward.  It's messy, it's emotionally exhausting, it's time consuming, and it's financially draining.

Did I happen to mention that I Really don't like moving?  Yeah, I thought I might have.

When I moved back from Georgia several years ago, at daddy's request as his health began to fail, I settled back into the old family homestead and reset my roots, never intending to move again.  I had lived all over this one city during the early portion of my adult years, while raising my older daughter.  In and out of various apartments and rental houses spread throughout the Oklahoma City greater metro area, mostly in the Mid-Del suburb near where I grew up, close to where mom and dad and my grandfolks were all living.  It was convenient during that time span, since it meant I knew the area well and was close to my babysitters for those times when I absolutely had to escape the pressure of raising a severely handicapped kid by myself.

Then grandpa died, and I moved into the house that the grandparents bought when momma was just hitting her teens.  I'd half grown up in that house, and it was comfortable.  Then momma died, granny the bat went off the deep end more than usual having lost both of them, and gave me that house.  So what do I do when my oldest turns 18, and I have a real chance of starting over to an extent and getting my life back?  Do I do the Intelligent thing, keep that house, go back to work or school to have something resembling a career, and settle in for the long haul?  No - not me.  I sell the house and high-tail it out of Oklahoma as quickly as I can put it into the rear view mirror.  Idiot.  I sell the house and all it's contents that won't fit into my tiny car at the time and I go.

Fast forward 10 months and .... let's see.. OK to PA, PA to MD, MD to GA, GA back to OK... four moves later, and I'm back at the old homestead ready to settle in again for the long term, determined to avoid moving around at all if I can help it.  Short lived plan, as daddy had his stroke a year later, and 6 months after that I moved back out of the house to escape the constant threats from my brother.  6 months later again, and I've evicted my *coughgag* darling brother and moved back into the house, hopefully for good this time - or at least with the plan that I was going absolutely No Where until daddy finally died once and for all, and I could once again leave OK without having to worry about familial obligations pulling me back into this particular black hole in the center of the country yet again.

Fast forward several more years, some ups, a few downs, 3 failed attempts at various relationships of which one was a live in, several failed attempts at room mates to help keep the bills paid more easily, and a year spent with dad back here at home with me while he was on hospice and we waited for him to die (so much for that plan - he's still drawing breath in the nursing home) a nervous breakdown, finally pulling my shit back together (or so I thought) and beginning to get things back in order......... only to find that the financial problems started that my brother precipitated not long after dad's stroke are coming home to roost, and I didn't get them as straightened out as I had at one point thought they were.  The house is sold for back taxes, and I'm once again in a position of having to move - much earlier than I ever planned to get out of this little hell hole.

The search for new housing has been a bust so far.  I don't make enough money to satisfy most apartment complexes or landlords who have rental homes available.  Those who are willing to overlook the fact that I don't have some sort of high paying job where I make tons of money take a look at my credit score and tell me "good luck in your search, but... "

The apartment that I thought I would be moving into - which, in fact, I should have been moved into by now with all my things put away, living comfortably and getting used to the new space - waited until the day before I was supposed to move in to inform me (when I called them to find out the apartment number, so I could have my utilities transferred) that I had failed to qualify in their application process.  Great.  I had a week left to get out of this place at that point, no means of finding another potential place and getting moved in that time, and zero options left.

Or so I thought.

Fortunately, the man in my life at this point borders on sainthood at times.  We've been together happily as a couple for a bit more than a year, and things have never been better for me on the relationship front.  Being the kind of guy that he is - one of the good ones - he had a solution in mind that I hadn't (and normally wouldn't have) considered.  Move in - temporarily - with him and his room mates in their 3 bedroom house. So I went and rented a storage unit which all of my household items are going into, and got started packing things up.

 Dear gods what was I thinking when I didn't just go rob a bank to pay the back taxes so this place didn't get sold??? (Oh wait - I was thinking "prison orange is not my color."  That's what I was thinking.)

For the past 24 hours, since the storage unit was acquired, I've been going through and attempting to get everything packed up and ready to shift into the unit.  And of course, separating out the few things that will actually be going over to the other house with me rather than going into storage.  That's a short list, consisting almost exclusively of clothing and a few personal items.  There are only 2 pieces of furniture on that list - my bed and my desk. 

What I didn't realize until last night as I was sorting things out, and putting some of it in boxes to be moved into storage, was just how much accumulated Junk there is in this house.  I never had a clue as to just how much sentimental crap remained that I hadn't quite managed to get around to chucking into the trash from mom and dad's tenancy of this structure as a home.  The boxes of books, of photos spanning 4 generations on both sides of the family, miscellanea, and unsorted clutter that I had managed during the past 3 years to put out of my mind and ignore unless it was specifically in my way is....... a nearly overwhelming mass of mess.  When I find a place during the next couple of months, I'm going to have to go through things much more carefully as I move stuff back OUT of storage, so that I can effectively toss out a large percentage of that miscellanea,  and cut down both on the number of boxes needing to be moved, unpacked, and potentially repacked and moved again later, and to cut down on the sheer clutter of a lifetime's worth of collected junk.

It's surprising what sorts of things we'll end up keeping as sentimental reminders of some point in our life.  However, I learned a lesson years ago (both from moving so frequently from one apartment to another, and from a procrastinator's email list on cleaning tips) - if it doesn't make you smile when you look at it, or doesn't immediately bring up fond memories when you hold it, it's time to chuck it rather than letting it sit around collecting dust and taking up space.  I've been slowly doing that with mom and dad's various left over items for years now - but it's a time consuming process, when you consider that they had 30 years together in this house in which to collect things that were precious to them.  I'm still finding stuff that I had forgotten that they even had.  And my own collection of oddities, rarities, miscellanea, and nick knacks gets to take precedence in being kept - at least for the time being.

But either way, all of it has to be boxed up and moved into the storage unit during the day today.  And I'm already sick and tired of loading boxes up with stuff and looking at the remaining mess still to be dealt with.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Living with a Chronic Illness

A short time ago at work, I was told by a well meaning idiot (at least I Think he was well meaning - I'd hate to think he's simply that stupid, ill informed, and insensitive) that my "real" problem (while speaking about stress, and it's effect on my Lupus) was that I "take everything too personally and too seriously."  Really?  That's your answer to living with chronic pain, an illness that has No Cure, that I will die With even though I won't die Of?  The temptation to knock the ever lovin dog snot out of him was almost overwhelming.  Thankfully, I restrained myself, since this well meaning idiot is a member of the management team at work.

For the clueless amongst you, let me fill you in on a few details about living with a chronic illness.

Think back for a few minutes about the last time you were sick.  Remember that feeling of lethargy, the apathy, the aches in every joint and muscle and bone, the feeling that your head is about to split itself from back to front and not necessarily along the lines of the bones in  your skull, the desire to do nothing but lay there curled into a little ball while you prayed that somehow  you would simply die because it would hurt less?  Remember telling yourself, more than once, to just hang in there cause it would be over and life would be back to normal in a day or two?  Remember hearing that from well meaning friends who thought it would cheer you up to realize that it was going to be a short lived trial?

Now, think about all that on a daily basis.  Think about waking up like that Every Morning for the Rest Of  Your Life.  Think about not being able to look forward to a time when you Won't feel that way any longer - unless you're looking "forward" to when you Die.  Think about knowing that time won't make it better, drugs won't make it go away - they'll only temporarily mask the symptoms, and sometimes the side effects of the drugs to mask the symptoms are worse than the actual symptoms.

Now think about how you are going to feel, every time you hear someone tell you, "if you'd just Do more"... or maybe, "it'll be better if you just give it time".... or how about, "you're just using it as an excuse to be Lazy"... or "well if you're so Sick, then how come you aren't in the hospital, or at the doctor's office"  or one of my favorites..... "If you're so Sick, then how can you look so Healthy?"

Do More?  There are days when simply getting out of bed long enough to walk to the bathroom to piss is a trial - forget "doing more" or "being more active."  Moving more isn't going to make my joints, bones, muscles, and connective tissues hurt Less - it's going to make me wish some random gang punk would do a senseless drive by and accidentally kill me.  It's going to mean that instead of actually feeling well enough to stand at the sink for half an hour tomorrow to do dishes, I'm going to be in to much pain to do more than lay in bed hoping that my heart will spontaneously stop, because that will hurt less than how I feel at that moment.   Do More?  Sure - as soon as my doctor quits arguing that pain meds are "addictive" - despite the fact that he knows as well as I do that Nothing short of Class 3 Narcotics does anything to even Dull the pain, and I'm going to live in pain for the rest of my freaking Life, whether I've got pain meds or not.

Go to the hospital?  Why? So the doctors and nurses can treat me like I'm simply a drug addict looking for a quick fix?  So they can be condescending to me, and act like I'm a child in grade school who's faking it to get out of class on test day?  So I can be told there's nothing they can really do for me, short of giving me a shot that will last perhaps 5 or 6 hours before I'm right back where I was when I headed there?  So I can have ever higher bills that I have no way to pay, because insurance only goes so far before the insurance companies decide that you're a bad investment and stop your coverage?

Go to the doctor?  Why? To be told that nothing has changed, and nothing is going to change?  To have him look at me like I'm a hypochondriac or a fake looking for drugs because he's not a specialist?  To get argued with that I can't Really be in as much pain all the time as I say I am, or I'd have taken myself to the hospital?  To get told that they won't give me any kind of decent pain killers to make life bearable because I "might get addicted" to them?  WFT?  Do I look like I Care whether I "might get addicted" to something that I'm going to need for the rest of my life Anyway???

Give it time?  Oh that's rich - give it time.  Time, despite the old cliche, does Not heal all wounds.  Time Kills.  Time just makes me remember that I'll be alive and coping with this crap for a Very Large Space of it.  Time isn't going to make this simply go away - it's not a broken bone that will eventually set and grow new tissue over the break point.

Excuses.  I quit bothering with excuses years ago.  This isn't "my dog ate my homework" or "sorry honey, the car gave me trouble starting and my cell phone was dead - had to wait until some random stranger could give me a jump start before I could plug my phone in and let you know I was gonna be late."  Going to the boss with tears of pain streaming down my face asking to go home because I can barely move isn't some Excuse not to work - I can't turn the waterworks off and on at a whim.  And calling in, barely able to move enough to pick up the phone To call  in - same thing - that's not an excuse to sit at home being lazy, that's wishing I would just die and get it over with because it would hurt less.

So how is it that I manage to smile, to get on with life, to not end up in the nut hut a gibbering loon, or in some rehab facility screaming in withdrawls because I can't get pain meds?

I've dealt with this for 20 years now.  I've learned to live with it - for the most part.  I've learned that dreams are for other people, unless it's a dream of being able to live pain free and some semblance of "normal."  I've learned that whether I laugh or cry, it's going to hurt the same.  But that when I'm crying, everyone disappears because they don't want to have to deal with it, and if I'm laughing they at least can pretend that I'm as normal as they are.  I've given up the hobbies that made me hurt so much for a week after taking part in them that all I could do was pray to die quickly - and that's a lot of them, especially any of them that are outdoors in the extreme heat or cold unless it's at night when the sun has gone down.  I've learned to (kind of_) like living like a vampire to avoid over exposure to UV, so that it doesn't cause me to flare worse.  I've learned (mostly) to do what I can to manage the stressful areas of my life so that they don't cause me to flare up worse than usual.  I've learned (sort of) to ignore the pain until it reaches a level where "normal" people would be screaming for narcotics before I even bother to mention that I hurt "a bit."  I've learned to come up with other, at least semi-legit, reasons why I can't go out and do this that or the other with friends, so that they don't think I'm looking for sympathy. 

And I've learned to do my crying over lost hobbies, extremes of pain, a loss of normalcy, or the fact that I'll have to cope with this for the rest of my life in private - both because the crying does little good, and inevitably someone thinks I'm just looking for attention or sympathy over nothing.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

An update on the Search

So I went and looked at more apartments on Thursday and Friday.  And, barring something going terribly wrong in the application process, I've finally found a place.

For a one bedroom, it's actually got quite a bit of space.  710 square feet, as opposed to the 1200 that I've had here,  in a 4 bedroom, 1.5 bath house with attached garage.  All the modern conveniences.  Well maintained.  And community standards that automatically disqualify anyone with certain types of criminal activity in their background (sex offenders of any sort, physical violence convictions, property damage convictions, or any sort of felony conviction at all.)  The rent is reasonable.  There isn't an outrageously high pet deposit (only $150 per animal, plus $10 a month extra on the rent.)   Gas kitchen, but gas and water are both included in the rent, so the only utility bill that I'll Have to keep maintained is Electric - my cell phone isn't technically a utility bill, and while I "can" live without Cable, my internet connection is kind of a "must have" for me - so I guess I should count the cable bill as the second utility that I'll have to deal with beyond the rent.  On duty police patrol on a regular basis at night.  2 pools, on site laundry facilities that are open 24/7, and not that far from work or boyfriend's place.  (His place will be in much easier walking distance, work will be out of walking distance, but I think I can live with that.)

The fly in the ointment, of course, is that I don't know yet whether I've been approved - and won't know until at least Tuesday.  Which means that Wednesday, I could be back to looking, and down to the wire of taking a place in one of the ghetto-tastic junk heaps that I've been desperately attempting to avoid.

Sadly, my rent will consume all of one paycheck per month, and the cable, cell, and electric will consume the majority of the other paycheck, which isn't going to leave me much in the way of disposable funds once the bills are paid each month.  On the bright side (if you want to call it that) since the majority of my paychecks will now verifiably be going to pay for housing (half, really) I'll most likely qualify to start getting some of the taxes that I pay in back in the form of food stamps.  It galls me to think that something of such a nature can be looked at as a Positive outcome at this point.  But hell, since the government isn't going to cut me any slack on my taxes so that I don't Need the help, at least those tax dollars that *I pay in will be coming Back to Me, rather than going to some welfare junkie whore with a dozen kids spawned by as many different men because she'd rather spread her legs than make any attempt to find a job.

When push comes to shove, I won't be losing that much space really.  3 out of the 4 bedrooms here in the house haven't been used As bedrooms in a long time, so there's only 1 set of bedroom furniture to think about moving.  There isn't a lot of living room furniture, my dining set isn't huge, and I don't use all the cabinet space I have in the kitchen so that won't be an issue.  There are 3 walk in closets - 2 in the bedroom, 1 as a "coat closet" in the hallway off the living room - so there's actually going to be plenty of space for storage as long as I organize it as I'm moving things in.  There's a lot of stuff in the workshop which is probably simply going to go in the trash - old, open bottles of specialty oils and such, which I've been needing to get rid of for a while now.  The made stock is already in storage containers that stack easily, and will all readily fit into the walk in coat closet, with plenty of space remaining for my camping gear.  Since the bedroom has 2 closets, both of them really large, it'll be easy enough to put my in season clothes in one half of the first, my out of season clothes in the other half, and my SCA costuming and miscellaneous "stuff" in the other closet, and still be able to find everything without a hassle. 

Because the place is about 500 square feet less than this house (man, I never realized just how Small these bedrooms really Are in this place!) it won't be nearly as spread out - but that also means it won't be as much of a temptation to allow the place to get cluttered up, like it is here.

I'll be starting over with a clean slate.  That will be good for me on several levels.  New environs will give me a boost in motivation to keep things more in order.  Having to deal with rent that's due by a certain day of the month will put me back on track as far as being a bit more financially responsible and accountable to myself.  Everything will work, and if something breaks, there will be maintenance people to come fix it in a timely manner.  And being out of this beat up, run down old house will give my friends new motivation to actually come hang out every once in a while, rather than me having to go hang out at their places. 

I think I'll start planning now for a housewarming party for the first part of August.  I'll be moved in, I'll have things put away.  There will be a paycheck come in a couple of days after I get back from my planned trip to Waco, but I won't have to worry about Rent again until Sept 1st.  (Because of when I'm moving in, I have to pay August rent as part of the move in.)

Life is looking up.  Just keep your fingers crossed, knock on wood, light a candle, say a prayer, send good thoughts - whatever it is you prefer to do - that everything goes Ok in the application process and when I hear from them on Tuesday it will be to tell me "you're all set to get moved in on Friday."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Search Continues

For the past couple of months, I've known that I was going to have to move.  There turned out to be nothing I could do to keep the house from going up for sale at the state tax auction, and therefore I started looking at alternatives prior to the auction taking place.

Unfortunately, the search is still ongoing, and time is running out in which I have to find a place, get packed, and get moved out of the old homestead.  The new owners are already whining at me on a far to regular basis about why I haven't gotten moved Already, and are bugging me on an every 4 day basis about whether I have successfully located a new abode.  I'm getting tired of hearing from them.  I've long since been tired of the search.

Granted I could probably be making "more of an effort" but let's face it, when you have to rely on your friends (and work around their schedules) to do anything, it kind of limits the number of opportunities you have in which to go looking.  I don't live in a city where mass transit is an option.  Public transportation in Oklahoma City is a joke at best.  Cabs are expensive.  And with the summer temperatures routinely well above 95F, walking more than a mile to go look at apartments is simply not a valid option unless I'm hoping that a hospital stay for heat stroke will buy me some time and sympathy from the vultures who bought my family home.  That last one isn't an option that I'm willing to make any favorable bets on, so let's just call walking "not an option" shall we?

The new owners are getting more insistent that I GTFO of this house, so they can get to work on fixing/flipping it.  They aren't even willing to consider the option of doing some of the necessary work (like replacing the water heater, fixing the kitchen plumbing issues, or re-roofing) while I'm here - or better yet, fixing the problems and signing a lease with me so that I continue to live here, but not as the erstwhile owner.  Oh no.  They would rather harass me about moving more quickly, and hold off on doing any of the needed work. 

While they originally agreed with me (verbally, not in writing) that I had until August 1st to find a place and get moved, the closer to the middle of July we get, the more insistent they become that I be out prior to that tentative August 1st deadline.

Finding a new place isn't easy under the best of circumstances.  When you're under the gun to do so in a limited amount of time, it becomes just that much more stressful, and that much more of a pain in the rump.  Every rental place, whether it be an apartment complex or rental house, wants a $25 to $35 "application fee" just to consider you.  Unless they're downright ghetto-tastic, they expect you to have a lengthy (and easily verifable) rental history that is less than 10 years old, and a perfect or near perfect credit score.  Or if you don't have a near perfect credit score, 5 years of employment (at the same place) and a co-signer who is willing to be held legally responsible for the lease should something happen and you be unable to stay the duration.

I hate to break it to the various slumlords out there, but anyone who has that good of a credit score isn't looking to rent - they're buying, and not from you.  

At 46, I have way less than perfect credit.  And so does everyone I know, in the current economy.  Co-signers?  That's a joke, right?  My parents are either dead or in a nursing home (which disqualifies daddy from co-signing anything, even if he still had sufficient brain to not be considered legally incompetent.)  My only living sibling is an alcoholic drug user who has tried to kill me.  My friends are having enough trouble just keeping a roof over their Own heads to worry about whether I'm going to find a roof to keep over My head or will be living on the street in short order.

My choices are rapidly being reduced to 2: move into a ghettofabulous apartment that's falling apart, with drug dealers and prostitutes for neighbors and no choice but to keep a hand gun within finger's reach for when they attempt to break in (assuming they don't simply wait for me to go to work to do so, of course) or leave everything I still own behind for the new owners to dispose of, and start living on the street. 

Moving in with the boyfriend is not an option.  He has room mates, the room mates are expecting a child, and they might all soon be having to move if the bank manages to finish foreclosure proceedings.  Finding a room mate has not been particularly successful either.  There were several room mate disasters prior to the house going up for auction, which is one of the reasons that it ended up sold that way to begin with.  None to certain that I want to risk the room mate route again, though at this point I don't see that I'll have a whole lot of choice in the matter - the economy simply isn't good enough for someone to keep the rent and bills paid on their own unless they happen to be a CEO.

I'm going later today to look at yet another apartment complex in this general area.  I was told about it a couple of days ago by one of the women I work with, as another possible alternative, as it is a complex she and her hubby have been looking at as a possibility.  It's an all bills paid place, which in some ways would make things a lot easier.  No utilities other than my cell to worry about, and possibly my cable/internet.  Hopefully they will be reasonable about what sort of rental history they expect out of someone who has lived in family owned properties for most of the past 12 or 15 years.  Wish me luck, because at this point, I need it.  And I'm getting more than a bit discouraged by the whole thing.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

For the love of lil green apples

I pray that I'm wrong.  I sincerely, absolutely, positively, without a doubt hope that some of my acquaintances are not nearly as naive, blind, or just flat out stupid as they are currently coming across.  By all the gods and goddesses that humanity has ever conceived I honestly hope it's all some sort of massive (if really bad) joke, and they haven't drunk the government's kool-aid on this one.

This whole ObamaCare thing isn't about universal health care.  It's not about leveling the playing field, or forcing companies to sell at a loss.  It's not about making your life easier. It's about creating 165,000 new IRS agents who's sole job will be to determine whether your insurance policy merits a fine, and putting 10 Million more people into the health care system on the receiving end, while making no provisions to recruit new doctors or give young people any sort of incentive to go to college for a medical degree to take the strain off the system.

It's about CONTROL.  It's about America turning into even More of a socialist Nanny State, where the government is the sole entity to decide what is and isn't good for you.  It's about giving up personal freedom for the illusion of safety.  It's about forgetting that the government is supposed to be our servant, rather than the other way around.

It's about all the thousands of pages of regulations that are now going to have to be drafted to ensure that "everyone gets treated the same."

And what is the "same" going to be?

Say hello to the government telling you what you can and can't eat - because hey, that greasy hamburger is making you obese, and obesity is costing the country billions of dollars each year in health care and lost wages.

Say hello to the government telling you what hobbies you can and can't participate in - because hey, that's dangerous, and risky, and you might fall down and hurt yourself - and that would cost the country money in health care and lost wages while you heal from your injuries.

While you're at it, say hello to some pencil pushing number cruncher in D.C. being the one who decides whether or not you Really need that dental work, or those medical tests, or that medication.

Because if you actually LIKE this new law, that's what you've signed on for - and signed me on for as well, despite the fact that I don't want it, don't like it, and would prefer to do without it.

I do not need some government geek telling me what is good or bad for me.  I certainly don't need them deciding what I can or can't or MUST purchase.  I don't want them dipping further into my already over strained wallet to give yet more of my hard earned paycheck to some twit with a twat who can't keep her legs closed and has a dozen kids by as many men, or the brainless dicks who knocked her up because they're too busy getting high and being ghetto terrorists to get a job and pay their own damned child support for the multitude of brats they've spawned.

Reclaiming myself - from myself

Taking a look at my life, I've realized that I would make a really good case study in clinical depression.  I have spent every year since my early teens with at least a portion of my time depressed to some degree.  Some years I've spent more time in such a state than I have in a "normal" (IE non-depressed) frame of mind.  Sometimes there is an isolatable trigger event which brings it on, other times it is completely random and nothing appears to be linked as a causal factor.  I've learned over the years to work around it, and to (mostly) hide it from easy observation by the general public.  There are points when I've been much more successful at hiding it than others.

I have no reason, at the moment, to be depressed.  My life is pretty much back on track.  The past is the past and there's nothing to be done to correct various mistakes, so there's also very obviously little reason to dwell on them or cry over them.  The decisions that needed to be made have been made, and now it's simply a matter of living with the consequences of those decisions and getting on with the act of living.  Everyone's life has the occasional hitch in their git-along, so my life is not exceptional in that regard, to dwell on the various current problems or lack thereof.

Why, then, would I have feelings of random despair, hopelessness, dejection, and basic "meh" towards life?  It makes no sense, but that is the crux of clinical depression after all.  Random, baseless, feelings of ick on the emotional level when things should be looking more up than down.

The rational, cogent brain reminds me frequently at times like this that I have the capacity to bring myself out of such slumps.  The other portions of the brain then proceed to whine a bit, crawl into a hole, and flip the bird at that rational, cogent portion.

Depression on this level is a complex and evolving organism which tends to take on a life of it's own.  There's never any way to really know what's going to set off the loop.  Random thoughts can trigger it even when everything looks positively peachy otherwise.  It is, however, a rather nasty downward spiral which is ever widening and which tends to feed upon itself.  It affects not only a person's emotional responses to what's going on in their life, but their physical well being.  And left long enough, nothing short of serious medication and intensive therapy will pull a person out of the down leaning trend.

In a way, this blog is it's own form of personal therapy.  It gives me an opportunity to vent my various frustrations with life in a manner which no one else is Obligated to deal with.  It imposes on no one but myself to ever go and read, or re-read, the various ups and downs and personal opinions which I write about.  It has no critical voice on the other side of the conversation, telling me to suck it up, or that it's not as bad as it looks - or not as Good as it looks, sometimes - to either worsen or brighten my mood based on the other person's understanding of  my drivel.   In many ways, it's a much cheaper (and less judgmental) route than going to see a professional, and it precludes me having to explain to a psychiatrist why I'm vehemently opposed to 99% of the medications currently on the market intended to treat my various emotional and mental problems.

No doubt I'll continue to blog, both drivel and opinion, for a long time to come.  After all, there's still a lot of crap for me to work my way through in some form or fashion, and this one seems to be working.

Talking to the Voices in my Head

I joke frequently that if you hear me talking to myself, not to be concerned.  Don't even worry if you hear me arguing with myself.  Unless, of course, you happen to hear me Lose an argument with myself, in which case it's probably time to start thinking about calling the local nut hut for an extended visit with the men in the clean white coats.

While most would no doubt rather associate "voices in the head" with Schizophrenia, I'm a tad more forthright than that, both about myself and about what I've learned over the years concerning human nature.  Yes, I have them, as do we all at some point even if we don't admit it to anyone other than ourselves.  No, these aren't the psychotic voices that someone truly off their rocker would associate with "god" or "demons" or anything like that.  These are the little voices of internal conversations with a variety of folks. 

You likely know what I mean.  That conversation you daydream about having with your deceased parent, to fill them in on what's been going on in your life?  Yeah, it's one of those.  What you would say.  How they would respond.  What the two of you would be doing together while you talked.   Or the one you have, silently within the spaces of your mind, with that idiot driver on the highway who just cut you off.  How about the various ones you have with your spouse or significant other, over various slights that you otherwise let pass unremarked upon, or things you would like them to do or not do?  Or the one with  your boss, or your boss's boss, about how things are going at work, or that promotion that's potentially on the line?

A great many of the conversations that take place only within the confines of my own imagination wouldn't go nearly as well if they were actually held.  There would, after all, be consequences to deal with after all was said and done.  At least when the conversation is only within the spaces of fantasy and imagination, one can also Imagine a perfect world where the consequences are always in our own favor, we win every argument or disagreement, and the world is suitably impressed with our witty zingers, our righteous anger, and our remarkable self restraint in not going on a completely postal killing spree.

Earlier tonight I had another series of such conversations within the confines of my brain.  I won't divulge with whom or over what, because that's no one's business but my own.  Suffice to say that by the end of said imaginary conversations, if they ever actually took place, my life would change - perhaps for the better, perhaps for the worse, depending on one's point of view and whether the conversations followed the course of my imagination, or of what I am fairly certain reality would actually throw my direction when the consequences came home to roost.