Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Classy stuff

In an ever shrinking world the chasm that seperates us is still rather wide it appears. Today's Daily Telegraph shared this little gem: Hitler menswear store upsets Jewish community

If you're not prone to clicking on links to get the whole story I'm leaving you with this:

In India - Men's wear shop

So, the owner of the shop was apparently shocked when he learned what the name Hitler coupled with the swastika really meant - he's changing the name of the shop!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We don't need more Tom Cruise

Today I'm at odds with cults.

Yesterday I was at odds with the self-help industry because sometimes it''s not so helpful to try to help yourself. Today I'm pointing out that getting help is also something you have to be careful of.

You all know of my "fondness" for Scientology, I say in my absolute best sarcastic tone so that you, my dear reader, will be left with no doubt that I despise it. In fact, and to be fair, I despise most cults, or perhaps even all since I've not found a single I would call useful.

The reason for why cults come to the forefront in my rather muddled and messy mind today is that I was reading a post on Facebook by my "favorite" (again, with the sarcasm...) shaman.

I used to study with this woman, and I place it in the category of trying to self-help, and I did so for two years so I do know her quite well, in the internet sense anyway. She "friended" me on Facebook and at the time I saw no harm in having her own especially since I don't find Facebook all the useful (and the main reason I got an account to NOT use was to shut my silly ex-husband up because it gave him the illusion that he could keep track of me and what I was doing). As time passes I can't help to notice that her messages are kind of getting on my nerves because they basically confirm that silly little suspicion I had that she was trying to gain followers (and I'm not talking in the Facebook sense here).

It was when this woman managed to persuade a "follower" to buy her a plot of land in Missouri to set up a healing center that I jumped off the bandwagon. When it was followed by an outburst via e-mail in which she accused us all of working against her by not believing in her cause and therefore making sure it wasn't manifesting, well it was then that I slowly backed away without turning my back on her.

I watch now as her following keeps growing and how "students" of hers hang on every word she types on Facebook. She comes up with the most spectacular spiritual dribble and all this is met with adoration and much grovelling. I sound like I'm jealous, after all I barely get a like for my sporadic Facebook posts, but I'm not. I am worried.

Today she spoke of her own death experience, including seeing the light and all, and meeting Jesus and Mother Mary. (Is it just me or are we practicing a very eclectic kind of shamanism here...?)

It was all very Sylvia Browne until she started talking about how her husband had hated her, how she knew for sure and she really then knew how much he'd wanted to hurt her.

Now, I don't want to poo poo anybody's experience but if you're going to talk near death experiences, the light, meeting your death relatives and that fantastical feeling you apparently get as you die, well then I don't think, I just don't think, that you would be feeling someone's hatred. I say this because that sounds like something you would think as a result of having been mistreated.

It bothers me that people like this get a following and it bothers me that religion and spirituality pretty much get a home free card to say and do whatever the hell. Get a bunch of people saying they people something in the name of religion and it's suddenly a lot more legit.

There are a lot of people out the professing to be awfully spiritual and asking people to listen to them for the right path. If all of them say they're Jesus, surely some of them must be wrong.

I'm just saying.

Monday, August 27, 2012

We don’t need another hero

Today I’m at odds with the self-help industry.

I’m a former self-help junkie. There was a time when all that occupied my bookshelves was one self-help book after another. As much as I can say that it at times helped me enormously trying to help myself - it sure beats apathy – and that I did learn a lot about myself and how to help myself I also wonder about the wisdom of taking some strangers “word for it” just because they managed to get a book published.

If you have not seen yet seen through the rather transparent workings of marketing and how it influences your day to day life you probably need to start taking notice. You’re at the mercy of marketing people in your daily life and they dictate your life in so many way. These people don’t know you, they don’t have a vested interest in you; they’re interest lies in making money for the company they work for so that they can in turn make more money themselves. I have no problem saying that marketing is probably one of the most evil and detrimental things ever conceived on this planet.

I think a lot of the time when you buy into the self-help merry go round you but into hope. While that can be a very important part of getting you through a difficult time in your life it doesn’t beat having support from other people. This idea that you can cure yourself is a tad bogus.

I’m not saying that you can’t. I’m saying that you should seek help when you have a problem. This whole isolating process we have adopted is rather insane and I don’t think it promotes wellbeing. We need, possibly more than anything else, to belong to a group, a unit, where we feel cared about where we feel safe and where we feel part of something. Humans are not solitary creatures.

Too many people I know try to be their own hero and while it’s admirable they also fail a lot. They end up being more worn out than they ever were before and they muddle through a process that would be quicker and easier if they had help.

It’s not easy to get the help you need. The barriers can be great and sometimes it’s just pure luck that you end up stumbling on a person who can actually help you. Trying to convince your doctor that you need help is sometimes hard because your doctor nowadays doesn’t know you as well as doctors used to know their patients. Navigating medications, treatment options and advice is not easy especially since you doctor now has to leave it up to you to choose what treatment option to accept. They can suggest a range of options but ultimately it’s up to you. You’re not qualified to make those decisions and you may not even be in a state of mind where you should.

Self-help is in my opinion something that you should digest before you get into something deep, dark and depressing in life. Trying to fight major depression with affirmations (and several authors tell you it can be done) is like spitting on a house fire hoping it will do the trick.

There’s no regulating body for self-help books and yet I feel there should be. If mental health is a health problem then why aren’t at least some parts of the self-help industry scrutinized and vetted? I know it sounds like I’m advocating something that isn’t free speech but I’m not. I just think that some of these books should come with warning labels.

What I’m really trying to say, or the point I’m trying to get to, is that you should never try to be your own hero when you suffer from certain conditions. Anxiety and depression require treatment and help. If you refuse those options then you’re at risk of causing yourself and others a lot more suffering than that’s needed. There are things you really need to seek and accept help with.

Speaking from experience. I’m just saying.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sporadic, at best

If I wasn't so lazy right now I would show you what I've been up to but I just can't be bother. It's not that I don't care about what I share with you, it's just that it seems such an enormous task to dig out my camera, toddle out in the garden, take photos, downloading them from the camera and then uploading them here. All that just to justify my absence and silence. I have two words for you instead: Mosaic Tiles. Adorning backyard.

Apart from producing and eclectic bunch of mosaic tiles for my garden I'm also busily crocheting beanies. If you have ever grown your hair from short to long you will sympathize with my need to cover it with something pretty. Growing your hair is not an acceptable excuse for not having a hairstyle but wearing a home made beanie is. So there!

I've been thinking a lot lately and it's mostly brought on by my new favorite hobby: Listening to Human Behavior Biology lectures from Stanford. I have learned a lot about human behavior (and all this while I'm at work doing my thing) and I'm only on lecture five! There's no doubt a whole term of lectures, or more, to look forward to and by the end of it I will know what makes you tick. All of you. You and you and you and you! I will however reserve the right to remain completely confused about myself.

For the first time in like ages, right, I'm not anxious. My anxiety only comes about when I'm forced into a room with a bunch of faking adults and I have to force my urge to talk in silly voices just to make it fun for me down to my toes. Not having to deal with my anxiety all the time leaves me free to deal with my depression and it now seems to me that my depression lacks some of its previous power. I'm getting there I think.

The only thing that really gets on my nerves right now is that I just can't seem to find anything really to write about here even though my head is full of what I think is really interesting stuff. The problem seems to be me thinking that I would be the only one to be interested in that stuff and I really have no wish to bore the pants off the few readers I have here. I suppose my posting will be sporadic, at best.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


It's a kind of weird thing this friendship thing.

When you 're a child/teenager you forge friendships that sometimes last for life. When you skip the country like I did, you lose those connection to a great extent.

As you get older your new friends may be work colleagues, parents of kids your kid knows and your neighbours. You don't have the same time to make friends with likeminded people who perhaps are are in line with yur interests as you are.

The question is, especially if you divorce and you end up splitting  your common friends as a result of your relationship breakdown, how you go about making good friends for life later in life. It can actually eb quite hard.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm not the worst blogger ever but I'm getting there, but I'm a thousand times stronger

I've been working too much. I've been so busy at work that I have no words left for blogging and it's making me a little sad. It's not that nothing's happened or that I have nothing to say; I just run out of words and brain power which means I can swing anything together for anything even remotely looking like a blog post.

And, I'm a bloody great whinger. I know. That's what happens to depressed people. :P

Seriously though, I have had a lot of things to tell you about but I've just not been able to summon up the energy to even begin talking about it. Things have happened in my life that in themselves were not big events but they had a massive impact on how I feel about myself.

You know when you have one of those moments when someone who used to tell you you were useless and/or stupid ends up in a far less fortunate situation than you, and you triumphantly think to yourself "Ha! Who's useless now? Who's stupid now?", you know when that happens? That just happened to me.

My first husband is a charming man on the surface but under the pleasant veneer lurks a psychopath. Not a psychopath in the serial killer sense but in the con-man sense, but in the "can't help but committing illegal acts but never ever admit it's my own fault" sense.

He used to be a prison officer and a policeman. It was a "where are they now" moment of giantic proportions when I found out he's facing a possibility of serving 13 years in an American prison. Why? Because a few years ago he got drunk and ran his car into a car with a family in it. He was given four years for. He was given a chance after a year to take training and three years probation which he apparently blew a few months ago by getting stoned and serving a minor alcohol at his house.

I'm not gloating, no really I'm not, but there is something sweet in the knowledge I have now that it wasn't me, it was him. It wasn't because I was dumb, incompetent or anything else that he had to scream at me, push me up against walls with his hands around my throat or punch holes in walls just beside my head only to tell me I was lucky he's a nice guy or it would have been my I've finally really allowed myself to realize that it wasn't my fault, it was who he was. It was him! It wasn't me!

I spent a total of a half day in utter amazement when I found out trying to figure out what drew me to this man and what made me marry him. I spent the other half of the day thinking about how low a price I had set on myself to sell out to something like that. I spent the night resting peacefully in the knowledge that I would never ever allow it to happen to me again because now I value myself infinitely more. Infinitely more.

I grew up. Suddenly in the space of 24 hours I grew up. I realized I'm a thousand times stronger and I'm a million times more valuable. The next day I rocked my Dr Martens with a short skirt and funky stockings at work. Because I could. I can wear whatever the hell I want. Despite anxiety and depression I felt on top of the world because I had won the battle of the monster created years ago and that I have fought for so long.

I'm not quite at the point where I will say that the breakdown was the best thing that happened to me. I'm at the point where I can say that I have learned so much about myself since the breakdown and I have healed so many wounds. And, I'll say it again:


Thursday, August 2, 2012

need to blog more :P

it's pathetic, not quite as pathetic as the fact that i haven't secured a new keyboard for myself yet, one that has a working shift key, but it's still pathetic that i have left it for a week to post here. i'm a bad blogger. what can i say?

i don't have much to tell you though, oh except for some advice i have for you. don't ever join a group on facebook that deals with anxiety if you're actually suffering from it. it just gives you new ideas about how to panic because you suddenly realizing you're not even close to covering all basis when it comes to worrying anxiously.

i can report though that my depression seems to have become better.,,..or rather i'm better and my depression is not as bad.  it's one of those things you desperately cling to the hope that it will stay that way and when you have some sort of "dip" it makes you nervous because you enjoy when the darkness lifts a bit. well, it seems that it's holding well this time so i will do a little celebratory dance, right here and now. there. done.

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