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Round 7: I’m Not Dead! Just Like Seven Billion Other People

The following is a copy-paste of a reply I wrote on a friend’s post about mental disorders. Now edited so there aren’t [i] and [b] tags everywhere! I’d also like to say, for the record, that any ads you see floating around here aren’t mine. I have nothing to do with them and I can’t stop then without paying gobs of money. Probably not gobs, but a non-zero amount, which is more than what I have unless it’s rent or sushi. Ahem. Would you kindly continue.

Funny you mention it, there was a Cracked article I just read today about OCD and how most people’s view of it is total bullshit. I presume the author is a sufferer therein based on the narrative style and context clues.

As for ADD, it and it’s subsets have been rolled into an umbrella “ADHD” category, with emphasis on hyperactive, inattentive, or combination. Mostly a categorical change. Diagnosis and what not is basically unchanged.

I believe, according to personal review and not-quite professional analysis, that I have a touch o’ the ADHD. I’m not as bad as what you describe in your post up yonder, but there are signs that I wouldn’t have recognized until I read up on it.

The stereotype ADHD kid is the bugger in class who can’t stay in his seat and forgets things all the time or chases after squirrels instead of girls at recess. I can sit, even as a child, pretty much forever. The catch to that is something has to be moving; I have to twiddle my thumbs, shake my leg, tap my fingers – I’m rubbing my feet against themselves as I type this and I don’t think I can stop without feeling wrong somehow.

If my body stops my mind kicks up. Pieces of songs, TV shows, movies, conversations, inconsequential memories from 15 years ago all start co-mingling in my frontal lobe taking up my otherwise prodigious processing power. Just now, even, I stopped my feet and started staring into space thinking about some stupid thing I can’t even remember now with a Jimmy Eat World soundtrack playing on top of it. 30 seconds between beginning and ending the sentence, and the subject of my zone out was gone just that fast.

When I was a kid I would sometimes, rarely, feel the compulsion to move, with big bold letters, yes. It wasn’t a want, like, “I’d like to play outside, yay!” It was a need as deep and dear to me as the breath in my lungs. I’m not athletic and I’ve been plagued with allergies and almost-asthma my entire life, but when that spirit of movement came over my watch the fuck out because I’m couldn’t stop. It felt great, really. Not having my throat constrict, feeling the wind rush through my air by virtue of my own leg power. It really was amazing. The last time it happened was sixth grade, I think. One night in the field behind my house I ran and I ran and I ran and nearly chased down the local Freshman track…not star, but guy I guess, which is still pretty impressive for a sixth grader.

I did great in school, too, right up until I dropped out of high school with one semester until graduation. I’m quite bright, you see; though I can’t play music to save my life. Working on trying again though. I played viola for two years. In retrospect some of my difficulties there were likely due to more than just not having a talent for music. I was having issues learning my notes and reading the music. “Issues” is putting it lightly. I was an extremely well behaved, disciplined kid, but as soon as I hit that roadblock (possibly my first real one outside of Mega Man boss fights) I broke down. I couldn’t do anything. I was paralyzed by the shame, or guilt, or maybe it was unbridled frustration. More than just frustration I was encumbered by a deep, unfeeling sadness. I had been sad before, of course, but this clung to my insides like a sickness. It still happens to this day and my academic and social life have suffered for it. I’ve lost entire semesters and squandered rare visits from dear friends. It’s only gotten worse as time has passed. At my absolute lowest there are times when I consider being just a little more reckless on my motorcycle. Just a little extra.

Just enough.

And then I’ll be fine a week and a half later. The storm will pass and I’m my usual chipper, leg twitchy self again. I’m coming off of one of those swings right now. I can function at my normal levels. I do my homework, pay my bills, text my friends and have a jolly laugh about stupid shit. That will last for about eight weeks and then back down the hill I go.

My research tells me that ADHD often manifests other disorders to go along with it, most often depression and anxiety. These are called “co-morbid” disorders, as they would not necessarily manifest without the enabling disorder. As a child I never would have noticed the patters and emotions for what they were. Even now, knowing what I know, on my upward spirals I sometimes entertain denial. But only entertain; never embrace. On rare occasion during my childhood I mentioned the depth of my sadness to my family. They listened, and were concerned, and even tried to cheer me up more often than not! But nobody recognized any deeper currents. As an adult I still find myself frustrated when I open up to my loved ones during my downward spirals. They still try to cheer me up, and – bless their ignorant hearts – offer to listen if I need to talk. But there’s nothing to talk about. I can’t negotiate with the clouds on my horizon. They come, bleed hollow sadness into my life, and then they leave.

I’ve finally mustered what resolve I have and am actively seeking a properly qualified professional for diagnosis. This is likely going to be expensive with no insurance. The cost now will hopefully be offset by future gains; my academic and employment futures no longer being in constant jeopardy should be relief enough to justify the expenditure.

For honesty and posterity I must confess that I have taken ADHD medication without a doctors prescription on more than one occasion. I must also confess that those were a couple of the best days of my life. Being clear, and calm, and focused, I moved from task to task with all the finesse of an ice skater. No depression awaiting me on the horizon. No anxiety. Just me and what the hell ever I wanted in my head at the time. Complete control over my mental and physical faculties. Complete bliss if ever I did envision it.

Thanks guys, for letting me vent this here. I didn’t intend my reply to be so enormous or personal, but here we are.

 

~ Rao

Round 6: If Not Anonymity, Seperation; Chicken

I took a pause today after remembering a tale from a wayward author with whom I once held a modicum of correspondence. He, according to the blog post at the time, was denied employ at a writing firm of some sort (I really don’t remember what the exact job was) because his would-be employers found some of his more erotic works online.

Time erodes my memory. He later claimed that something he had said was simply a draw for attention, but his posts were many and varied. I don’t recall if this was that thing. Nonetheless, I choose to draw wisdom from his fable.

If I could go back and create the online persona I use now as a whole and separate entity from my real identity I certainly would. I have a cool name and a pretty well designed pony avatar. But hindsight knows no mail carrier, and I have to settle for the next best thing. I’ve made the best attempt possible to clear my real identity from my online activities.

The only things I buy online are food, really, so the financial aspect is pretty simple. I have a single email for my online accounts, but I also used it for damned near everything else with the exception of games (I’m a sucker for Bloons Tower Defense). I also used it for YouTube, where I’m not always the most pleasant character. My very first email, likewise, is linked to who the hell knows what by now.

In preparation for any future issues, I’ve created a clean email for my real life stuff. The name is concise, professional, and leaves no traces to my prior activities. It is designated for professional contact alone; job applications and submissions, if I make it that far. My secondary email is now used for important things, like paying bills, ordering food, and that sort of thing. The elder account is now for juvenile tendencies and trolling. Hurray.

To the second part of the title: I’ve learned to make chicken. So far, it’s quite tasty. I have a small toaster oven thingy so I can easily do one or two pieces at at time. Very convenient, very versatile.

~ Rao

Dear Liver,

You want to play this game? I’m going to make you work for it from here on out. No more Mr. Sober Writer. Get ready.

Best regards,

~ Rao.

Round 5: Emotional Health as Mathematics

I’m on an upswing in the roller coaster that are my moods. I feel good. My apartment is pretty clean, I helped my sister move into her first apartment – beat me by nearly 7 years – and I’m none too upset about having dropped a couch on my hand. All in all, not bad.

From two weeks ago until this week, however, I was in a bad spot. I work my way into those sometimes. Nothing bad ever happens to put me there; beyond the day to day humdrum that is a byproduct of being alive. I get there all the same though. Imagine, if you will, a sine wave. You may not know it by name but if you saw a picture you’d immediately recognize it, I bet. Maybe someday I’ll figure out how to imbed images! In the mean time: Edit: HA! I got it!

Like the seasons turn, turn, turn.

I spent way too long messing with that. Anyway.

So the sine wave goes up and down, all around, and has a great time. Well screw you sine wave, I’m not having a good time. My downswings are getting progressively worse. This last swing was the worst one that I can remember. I deleted some 40 contacts out of my phone. Several of those were old contacts for my old job, but a few were friends I haven’t spoken to in a while. That’s not inherently a bad thing, it’s good house keeping. But I also rolled over the idea of mass texting my friends I do talk to regularly and telling them to lose my number forever. None of them did anything wrong, or upset me, or anything like that, but I was feeling like such a worthless piece of shit that I didn’t want them to have anything to do with me anymore.

Generally speaking, my friends are pretty cool. But I was so wrapped up in what I can only describe as my monthly depression festival that I was going to toss them all away, like so many pennies onto train tracks (they make a neat shape when they get plowed over).

I said my downswings are getting worse, and this is true. Another problem, and the one that is starting to concern me (and convincing me that I’m not manic-depressive or bi-polar) is that my upswings are getting lower as well. I don’t laugh as much despite my efforts to seek out funny things. I’m still incredibly reclusive – by my standards – and the thought of hanging out with people gives me the shivers more often than not. Being tucked away from the world at large makes job hunting difficult and I’m in dire need of acquiring one of those pronto. I’m thinking about QT since GoDaddy seems to be a nonstarter. Open 24 hours, decent pay, good benefits, and it forces me to interact with people. While horrifying in so many ways, it’s probably something I need to do.

I have to take a moment to point out that I did have a lovely spot of tea with my British friend, whose blog nickname will mirror my cellphone: Wheatly. Yes, like the Portal 2 A.I. core.

To summarize: The trig function that is my emotional health is gradually becoming worse and I fear if I don’t do something drastic to change that I might not get the chance later. That’s the trouble with fixing problems that make you not care about stuff; you kinda don’t care enough to fix them a lot of the time.

~ Rao

Dear Bioshock Infinite,

What the fuck?

Sincerely,

~ Rao

Round 4: This One’s a Surprise

The final volumes of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series were finished by another author, due to his death. One of the MLP fan fictions I quite enjoy, Equestria’s Twilight, has been on hiatus for just over a year now. The status of the author is unknown.

It’s stuff like this that makes me wonder. I wonder about all the things people might have done if they had the time. I wonder about the beautiful, wonderful things people would do if we all just quit wasting our damned time.

I’m guilty of it, I know. I spend most of my time watching movies and playing video games. Neither of those things are particularly productive or beneficial to my well being; physical, mental, or financial. And yet, knowing my time is finite and probably way more limited given my poor health choices and all that, I continue to waste time.

Waste not, want not, they say. Guess time is well within that sphere of application.

~ Rao

Round 3: Updates, Inquiries; Truth or Friendship?

Updates, Inquiries

Finally got internet at the new place. Would have had it a couple weeks ago if I wasn’t such a lazy bastard. I get the feeling someone tried to screw me somewhere down the line, however. Someone came out to flip on a switch outside somewhere on Wednesday. Yet, no internet. I called Thursday to get to the root of the issue and the nice lady on the phone told me there was a “signal problem” and I’d have to drop the $50 for a “Professional Installation” to have the problem fixed. It seemed a specious claim, but I ran with it because I’m addicted to information and very nearly capped the data plan on my phone in the first week of March alone.

A very nice man came out today to set up my system and get to the bottom of the issue. He was most impressed with my ability to connect basic cables into my modem-router combo (sarcasm; I do IT for a living usually so he wasn’t impressed at all), and went outside to check on the “signal issue.” He returned, neat testing tool in hand, ready to fix my shit right up. However, after rebooting my modem I had instant access! Huzzah, right? Well, no. He said, quite plainly, that all he did was go flip the switch in the cable box that the guy was supposed to have flipped on Wednesday.

I don’t know if I’m already boned into paying the $50, but the guy who came out was professional and kinda funny, so I might let it slide regardless. Wasn’t his fault someone tried to rob me at web-point. Probably.

On a happier note, I’ve gone grocery shopping again and come back with more than ramen and beer! On a sad note, I have zero idea what to cook with chicken breast, spicy Italian sausage, mixed veggies, and various breads. Oh, also garlic and onion. I’m going to see what I can whip up without making something too inedible.

I’m really missing my chef friend right about now. Not that I wouldn’t be anyway, but her culinary skills would be incalculably valuable right now. She’s quite adept at making awesome meals from scraps. On that note, the titular inquiry: Anybody know a good place to find tasty recipes? Or does anyone have any ideas what to do with the ingredients listed above? Not that anybody reads this yet, but it can’t hurt to ask for future viewers. You can never have too many recipes.

Truth or Friendship?

There’s this neat little ditty floating around the annals that are groggily shared Facebook posts. You know the kind. There’s a neat story, a cuddly message, and everyone walks away feeling good. Well, a friend of mine shared one of those and I made the mistake of reading it. Upon realizing it was entirely bullshit, I set about making that information known in the comment section. The story, for posterity, is copy-pasted as such because screen shots get REALLY big sometimes:

Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?

Student : Absolutely, sir.

Professor : Is GOD good ?

Student : Sure.

Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?

Student : Yes.

Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?

(Student was silent.)

Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Is satan good ?

Student : No.

Professor: Where does satan come from ?

Student : From … GOD …

Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?

Student : Yes.

Professor: So who created evil ?

(Student did not answer.)

Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, who created them ?

(Student had no answer.)

Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?

Student : No, sir.

Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?

Student : No , sir.

Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?

Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student : Yes.

Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.

Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

Professor: Yes.

Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

Professor: Yes.

Student : No, sir. There isn’t.

(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)

Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)

Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?

Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?

Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.

Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)

Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

(The class was in uproar.)

Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?

(The class broke out into laughter. )

Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)

Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

P.S.

I believe you have enjoyed the conversation. And if so, you’ll probably want your friends / colleagues to enjoy the same, won’t you?

Forward this to increase their knowledge … or FAITH.

By the way, that student was EINSTEIN.

I’ve said somewhere that I won’t overtly discuss religious topics here, so I’m going to ignore the fact that the arguments present in this story are, on top of being wholly fabricated, bullshit; and address only the authenticity of the story itself; as below in beautiful, edited-for-privacy screen shot quality!

Image
Image

I, of course, am the red boxes. Some chick I don’t know is grey, and the friend who posted the story originally is green.

To the titular question: Truth, or friendship? Can the latter be legitimate without the former? Better to hold my tongue and not upset the balance, or was I justified in pointing out the nonsensical story’s falsehood?

I’m leaning toward: Truth, no, and the latter option; but it’s always nice to get other opinions.