Return of the Living Dead Blogger

Sorry for the disappearance. My computer decided that it was time to give up the ghost. While this is inconvenient most any time, the day it decided to do this was the day I was giving a presentation on podcasting. Thankfully, I was smart enough to have uploaded my PowerPoint presentation but notes, examples, and other things were simply gone and gone for good.

I need a computer to work and a prolonged downtime is very, very bad for me. However, in the near two weeks(!) that I’ve been offline, I’ve managed to scrape, borrow, and otherwise secure monies to procure another computer and… VOICI!

Y’know what’s consistent? Consistency, and without a computer, there was no way I could have any sort of consistency. My handwriting is abysmal — and I’d have to take my blog “on the road” by knocking on my readers’ doors — and I’m so used to typing on a keyboard that all of my writing and creative whatnots stopped dead. NO LONGER, DEAR READER, as I have returned from the outer regions with my brand new laptop.

On this computer, I’m forgoing Microsoft Office apps and starting anew with Google Docs. Yes, I know, Google is evil even though their motto once was “Don’t Be Evil”, but its ubiquity won me over. If I can remote login to a computer and have all of my stuff ready for use, I don’t mind whatever minor bit of data mining they get from me. I’m not really that important to be spied upon. Neither are you, really. We’re not that interesting enough, but it does give me a slight thrill to drop “did you hear that, NSA” in the middle of phone conversations.

Quantum theory contradicts itself, in terms of binary choices. The waveform on this particular issue has collapsed to a fine point. Maybe duality isn’t the thing we’re looking for.

Let me backtrack…

I spend a lot of time trying to grapple with fourth dimensional thinking. My science background isn’t quite stellar and my maths is rudimentary at best, but they are hurdles to be overcome. For now, I’m trying to visualize myself as a fourth dimensional being, a time worm, a line segment that goes from A to Z in a curvy, wavy, chunky little line. It starts from my conception and ends whereever my physical body ends up being. The me that is typing when I’m typing this is a point on that space/timeline alone this hopefully long journey.

And that’s just the physical aspect of it. My mind exists in a more fluid state, exponentially larger than the worm-me that skitters along 4D space. Because the mind is a highly complex machine. According to the book Rebel Buddha, we have a day-to-day (or moment-to-moment) mind made up of three minds: perceptual, conceptual, and emotional. The perceptual mind takes in the information, (ex., a leaf during the fall), while our conceptual mind tells us that it is a “leaf”, and our emotional mind gives us our response. However, a leaf becomes an abstraction in that as soon as we perceive that we see a leaf, our mind is already labelling it as a leaf. This then subverts our concept of leaf unless we allow ourselves to have a direct experience, such as picking up the leaf and observing it closely, admiring the colors, twirling it in our hands, and so on.

The mind is quite an interesting organ. Imagine just looking at what’s right in front of you. For example, if you’re in a familiar setting — for me it is the living room where I am typing on this laptop — your mind has already filled in the blanks and labelled everything you see within your field of view. Therefore, everything you see is an abstract concept. If your mind has filled in the blanks and defined everything you see. So one could say that we let something else do the observing for us, so we sleepwalk through a lot of what we perceive on a day to day basis.

But it’s only when I perceive with knowing, with having a direct experience, that I can start to consider this table that my computer rests on. This table was built by a student in a class, which gives me a lot of threads to consider such as:

  • How he built the table.
  • Where the wood came from.
  • What store did he purchase the supplies to make the table (the screws, the varnish, etc.)
  • Where he built it.
  • Who built the place where he built this table.
  • What he had for breakfast each day.
  • Where the food that he had for breakfast came from.
  • And so on and so on and so on…

Obviously, sourcing everything within our field of vision is a great path to madness — if not obsessive behaviors —  but it does serve as a reminder to “stop and smell the roses”. In other words, to perceive, conceive, and feel the moments that we’re having.

I remember reading an article on the director David Lynch and how he would stop to observe an anthill and be completely engrossed and fascinated by what he saw. In a lot of ways, this is the path I’m looking into.

What all of this has to do with quantum theory is never mind.


Coming Out of Hiding

The author

I recently got out of the hospital.

That’s a killer opening line, I know. It got your attention and I bet your eyes are all perked up wondering just why I was in the hospital. Was it surgery? Was it to gain super powers? Was it to remove a growth? Alas, none of these. But I will share what happened.

For years, I’ve been battling depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. It’s safe to say that these three factors have played a major part in my life for quite some time. The anxiety and low self-esteem have been a companion with me since I was a lad. Without going into extreme details, my upbringing was pleasant and idyllic but also slightly traumatic. My mother had a temper and both of my parents were very into “capital punishment” whenever it was time to mete out discipline. But mostly, it was the verbal portion of my upbringing. I can safely say that my issues are based on my mother’s voice, my grandmother’s voice (“candor”, the preacher at her funeral called it), as well as a moderately sadistic older brother who took glee in making fun of me, pushing my buttons, bullying, and generally making me dread being around him whenever he visited my parents.

That said, a lot of the negative self-talk and bad self-image is wrapped up in these three people.

My stay in the hospital was triggered by a very manic depressive/anxiety state. I guess you could say that I’ve been sliding for quite a long time before the episode occurred. I’d had gone camping back in July and was woefully unprepared for facing the elements. To add to my stress, I was a bit homesick, missing my comfortable bed and the CPAP I use to sleep at night. Then, I lost my wallet and I think that began the slide towards the episode which led me to my hospitalization.

I spent five days in the hospital before being discharged. My meds were adjusted and I have seen some progress on my new regime. After the stay, I did some day treatment program that went for about three weeks. It was good to have something to do, even though what we did in the program was pretty routine and regular: Work Occupational Therapy (ie, painting stuff like sun catchers and ceramics), Art Therapy (a favorite as it gave me a chance to flex some artistic muscles in my head), then Cognitive, Assertive, and Goal-oriented group therapy. That ended and… well, I’m back to my own devices.

Since the hospital stay and med change, I’ve been trying to reintegrate myself into normal routines. The catch is that my brain is… mush. I don’t feel like I’m as smart or as interesting. Maybe it’s the information overload of books I’m trying to shove into my head, books on Chaos Magick, the Upanishads, self-help books, fiction books. I suppose it’s a possibility. All I know is that most days, I feel like my brain is sluggish and it feels like I’m not able to hold conversations like I was once able to do. It’s led to a new depression strain that I’m currently stuck with, fighting hard to make myself somewhere near the semblance of who I used to be.

I feel like a drag most days and really wish there was something, anything that I could focus on to take my mind off the tedious new cycle it’s on. I’d like to enjoy things again, maybe start climbing out of this dank and deep pit I seem to find myself in. It was so bad last night that my girlfriend asked if I needed to go back to the hospital. I would hate that idea but if I needed to, I would do it. It just doesn’t seem like I need to.

I called my therapist after hours and after a few over-the-phone breathing exercises and suggestions of journaling, reading, and a shower, I was able to get my fretting head to a manageable level so I could go to sleep.

Thoughts of suicide do go in and out of my head but I have so many people who depend on me for things that I can’t go through with it. In a way, I just feel stuck. Stuck in this life, stuck in this head trying to make sense of where I’ve been and where I need to go. I only wish I had the nib of a clue to point me in that direction. Otherwise, I just go about my daily duties, cook, clean, and then go to bed. It’s a very dull brain, did I mention that? Mostly, I just want to feel normal, to get out of this headset. As for now, I just do what I do. It’s what’s expected of me.

So this is me, coming out of hiding for a brief update. Maybe writing more about my condition here will make things better. I don’t know. I really don’t know anything at the moment and that’s what’s the hardest thing I have to deal with.