Having All Your Ducks in a Row

I’ve contemplated this post before, but I wanted photographic evidence.  I know depression and anxiety disorders can be hereditary.  My maternal grandfather often had severe depressive episodes as he aged, requiring hospitalization on more than one occasion.  My mother suffers from depression and anxiety, and I seem to have gotten a full blown anxiety disorder.  I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 12, but can recall, in retrospect, episodic evidence of the problem as early as eight years old.

My husband also has some issues with anxiety and depression, although I’d wager not all of his issues are due to chemical imbalance like mine, but also partially stem from loss and abuses he suffered in his past.

So my poor kid has got her work cut out for her.  I have often wondered and worried about if she would inherit these issues from us.  It seems possible, if not likely.

And now I have the evidence! Two years old and already obsessed with lining things up!

Hold on, don’t get your knickers in a twist.  I’m just kidding.  I know she’s likely just exhibiting normal two year old learning behavior when she lines up her little rubber ducks, or our shoes, or her diapers…  I mean, I’m assuming that’s the case, because even though I was a psych major, I didn’t study kids specifically, and as this is my first time raising an actual child (as opposed to an imaginary, fictitious, or counterfeit child,) I am learning a lot about child development as I go.

But in all seriousness…  I’m going to be watching my kid like a hawk as she grows up.  Luckily, I felt comfortable enough to talk to my Mom (who actually worked for a shrink for many years) and to her credit, she got me evaluated when she began to recognize in me patterns of obsessiveness and sadness.  I often felt abnormal and guilty.  Still, in my mind, memories of my childhood often come with a painful bittersweet twinge.  I had way more worries than a child my age should have had.  I don’t want that for my daughter, and you know what they say…forewarned is forearmed.  So as she grows, I’ll try to foster the kind of relationship where she knows she can tell me anything, no matter how weird it may seem.

Mommy’s got your back, baby girl.  I’ve got this shit under control.  I’ve got all my ducks in a row on this one!

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AlienRedQueen’s Golden Rule of the Internet

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again and know I’m not the first;

A lot of people act like complete assholes on the internet.

Perceived anonymity has endowed many people with big, brass bull balls.  Many of these people are likely timid or unimposing in their everyday lives, likely feeling “bullied” by people in their own lives, and just looking to be on the giving end for a change.  Some of these people are probably asshats in their real life as well as online.  But I’d wager that this second type is a lot less vocal about it in the normal course of their day, for fear of repercussions, such as losing their job or mate, or maybe even being punched in the face for their temerity.

“You, sir, are an Asshat!”

Which brings me to my point-  AlienRedQueen’s Golden Rule of the Internet-

Speak unto others on the web as you would speak unto their face

Sounds pretty fancy-schmancy, huh?  Not necessarily a novel concept maybe, but applicable nonetheless.  Basically, you have the right to disagree with someone.  You have the right to voice your opinion.   But choose your words carefully.  Be respectful.  Even if you don’t feel respectful.  Think, If I were standing in front of this person, who I (likely) don’t know, would I dare talk like this to them?

Because, see… I’ve calmed down a bit since I was a teen.  Well, not really calmed down, so much as reined myself in a bit.  I have a kid.  I don’t need to go to jail for popping some smart-ass in the mouth…  But not everyone has that inhibition.  Mouth off and disrespect the wrong person, in person, and you’re liable to get your ass handed to you.

Which is maybe how it should be.

 Oops.  Did I just say that?  Call the lawyers, get ready to sue.  Sorry, but some people could use a good old fashioned pop in the mouth.  Guess that makes me a bully now too.  Or just someone who is tired of people acting like total douchbags just because they can get away with  it.

In case you are wondering, this whole thing came about today because I happened to stumble onto a random YouTube video, where a flame war was raging down in the comment section.  Basically it was this one person saying uncalled for, negative things, not just about the video, but about the people who made and/or watched the video.  And I thought, here we go again.  What a bunch of idiots.  Likely, this one guy is just a young punk-ass kid who thinks he’s big medicine on the webz.  And seriously, some of the kids nowadays could probably use a swift backhand.  Maybe if their parents had given them more appropriately applied guidance and consequences, they’d not be the little douchbags they are today, in public or online.

**And just to show I’m not all bad and I’m not advocating child abuse, below is a link to an article with a point of view different from mine.  I’m not saying all kids need to be beat, but I don’t agree with no consequences (or delayed consequences or those that the child just doesn’t care about.)  When my kid does something wrong, she usually gets a time out…but apparently, even that is gauche now.  But as long as a child is not injured physically or psychologically, to each their own, all of this is a little off the topic of my Golden Rule, so:

http://earlychildcare.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/why-punishing-your-child-is-bad-and-what-to-do-instead/

The Senile Stalker Strikes Again!

So, just recently I regaled you all with tales of my senile stalker.  Strangely enough, a small (eensy, weensy, teeny) part of me feels a little bad for talking smack about him on my blog and with my neighbor and whatnot.

And then he goes and pulls some shit like he did tonight and I practically can’t help myself from venting  writing about it.

As I may have mentioned before in my other article, he got basically told off by the maintenance man for bothering the ladies around the apartment complex and just generally being a creeper.  Following that incident, there was a small period of reprieve where he was pissed at me I guess because he assumed I had set the Maintenance man on him (which would indicate that despite his dementia, he is at least marginally aware that I’m getting tired of his bullshit.)

Who knows?  Whatever.  Anyway, in that time period, the only person he felt at ease bothering was my middle aged neighbor (we’ll call her Marie, for anonymity’s sake.)  He’s been “setting up camp” there more and more, asking telling her when he needs her to drive him places (he’s a menace behind the wheel,) and “hanging out” in her living room, waiting for me to show up to visit her or bum a cigarette.  I avoid visiting her when I know he’s there, or else I’m in and out as quickly as possible, usually sachaying sideways out the door so he can’t stare at my ass.

Earlier today Marie gave me a small bag of flat breads she had gotten at the store, as she had gotten two and would not be able to use both before they were outdated.  So this evening, I tried out an idea I had for basically turning them into giant cinnamon toast rounds.  As I often do when I cook a new dish, I took some over to her.

The old man was sitting in his usual spot in the love sofa.  I went in with the plate of food and asked her for a smoke.   She was out of her store-bought cigs but offered to roll us some.  I didn’t feel like waiting and being under the Old Fart’s scrutiny the whole time, while he lamely attempted to engage me in conversation.  So I handed Marie the plate and said, “I just wanted to bring you this,” and I left.  She knows I avoid being around him, so I know she isn’t insulted and usually understands when I need to cut short a visit or make a quick getaway.

As I walked back in my apartment, hubs was getting ready to go out to smoke.  It was still nice out so I put the baby’s shoes on and took her outside too.

Not five minutes later, Marie came out the door with her smokes in hand.  At first I just assumed she had heard us outside and came out to talk and give me a smoke because I had left her apartment without one.

She proceeded to tell me that when she went into the kitchen to get her tobacco to roll the smokes, the Old Man picks up the half a cinnamon flat bread on the plate that I had given her and proceeds to help himself to two bites.

She said after that she just walked out the front door, and she tells me all of this, I realize she’s really pissed off, so pissed off in fact, that tears are standing in her eyes…which of course pisses me off even more.  She just didn’t even know what to say to him.  She was pissed, but also feels badly for him because he is old and sick, so she’s probably more tolerant of him than she should be, considering that in his twisted mind, tolerance is almost like tacit permission.  This is a man who seems to think that me returning a wave to him to be polite is indicative of the fact that we might have a romantic future.

I mentioned (more to make her feel better than anything) that she should just cut off the part he ate and the rest would be fine, and she said “He picked it up with both hands.”  Now depending on how germ phobic you are, this may or may not seem like a huge deal… unless you’ve seen him carrying around his ratty, crumpled tissue and repeatedly dabbing at his nose, or worse, seen him sitting in Marie’s apartment mining for nose gold and flicking his findings out into the air.

I even offered to go into her apartment and “take care” of the situation for her and get rid of his rude, imposing ass.  Believe me, I would have let him have it.  But I think maybe he actually had his hearing aid in tonight and heard the three of us outside talking shit, because he came outside a few minutes later…  but not before helping himself to some of the cornbread that was in her kitchen.

~Sigh~  I told her that she can’t keep letting him get away with that behavior.  In fact, I think sometimes he does certain things to see just how much he can get away with.  I understand he’s ill, and maybe not playing with a full deck, but there comes a time to draw the line.   How long do we allow his behavior to make us uncomfortable because “he’s sick?”

One thing is for certain; my tolerance for his passive-aggressive tendencies, his manipulations, his advances, and his bad manners are about down to zilch now.

Caution: Stimulants and Psychosis

Weight loss is something I’d wager many people think about at some point in their lives, and according to a 2011 Huffington Post article, obesity rates are continuing to rise.  And although a majority of the Americans who want to lose weight are not seriously trying to lose said weight, a significant portion of people are always engaged in some form of weight loss endeavor.  If you are not one of those people, you likely know someone who is.  I myself am trying to lose ten or fifteen pounds to get back to my ideal body-type.

That said, obviously there are many different approaches to weight loss.  Some are effective, many are not.  Some are practical, some not so much, depending on your lifestyle (raw food diet, carb restriction?  No, thank you.  I love pasta and I have a two year old.  I need to cook normal food.)  Some are safe, some are not.

Today I want to discuss diet pills.  Doubtless you already know that many diet pills contain stimulants like amphetamines, ephedrine, and caffeine.  Even pills without caffeine can contain one or more herbal stimulants.  Supposedly, these stimulants aid in weight loss by kicking metabolism into high gear for a while, as well as often giving the user a temporary feeling of energy and euphoria.

I personally cannot handle stimulants.  I have an anxiety disorder to begin with, and stimulants don’t agree with me.  I have one cup of coffee in the morning (and if it’s a big cup you’ll likely see me shaking like a junkie for a couple hours afterwards.)  If I drink anything with too much caffeine, even in the afternoon, I sometimes can’t sleep at night.  I can’t take decongestants with pseudo-ephedrine because they make me jittery.

But some people tolerate stimulants just fine.  For these people, diet pills may be an acceptable choice (subjectively speaking, because I am by no means an expert.)  Regardless of their efficacy in aiding actual weight loss, many people can use them with little to no ill-effect.

BUT, I wonder how many people have used these pills, simply adding them to their regimen, with no thought to to the other seemingly benign stimulants they may put into their body everyday; nicotine, inhalers for asthma, caffeine from coffee, soda, and energy drinks such as Five Hour Energy or Red Bull.  A lot of people do not think of these products as drugs but by definition, they are:

drug

Noun:
A substance that has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body, in particular.

Any of these items alone have the potential to cause anxiety and nervousness.  Mix them and guess what happens.  Some people are aware of the possible effects and may intentionally double up on or combine stimulants in an effort to rush or maximize weight loss.  I have no idea if this actually works, but I do know what can happen if you do it and your body has a bad reaction:

drug-induced psychosis (aka stimulant psychosis)

I know, it sounds fancy, maybe like something only “junkies” using illegal drugs would get.

An acquaintance of mine just had to have her husband temporarily committed.  He’d suddenly started acting strangely, speaking bizarrely, and doing rash things like writing several bad checks and making impulsive and expensive buys.  He was nervous and agitated.  The first night the doctors had yet to discover what was wrong with him, and of course they ran tests.  The facts as they were told to me were these; he was on Paxil and taking some diet pills… he was also drinking Five Hour energy and using an herbal supplement called Rhodiola Rosea.  My hypothesis, especially after doing some research, was the the guy (who is a rather large fella) wanted to lose weight fast and he thought he could accomplish that by taking multiple stimulants at once (although I doubt he thought of it precisely in those terms.)  I think he suffered a bout of stimulant psychosis.  Though he recovered for the most part, he is still not 100% “right” in the head.

But I’m not a doctor, and you don’t have to take my word for it.  Here is another example, as told by the sufferer, of a psychotic episode induced by stimulants.

http://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=35612

My intention here is merely to spread awareness.  In rare cases, some people react poorly to small amounts of even a single stimulant.  When mixed, you run the risk of not only physical harm (think of how your blood-pressure would sky-rocket), but physiological damage as well, possibly even death.  When making decisions based on what to put into your body, think things through, do your research.  It’s the only body you have.

source (brain diagram) :     http://www.pharmacy-and-drugs.com/Mental_Health_and_Depression/Psychosis.html

Tidal Pull (IV)

Aug 22

I go to the doctor’s for a physical.  Dr. Carr has been my physician for a while, but he doesn’t really know me, because, like most guys I know, I avoid the doctor unless I am practically dying.  So at first, he looks at my chart with a mixture of mild disapproval and curiosity. Continue reading

My Dirty Secret

No, not dirty in a good way.  Just not something I discuss a lot…or at all.  And not something I really want people to think of when they think of me.  Why?  Not because it’s disgusting, or people won’t want to be near me or talk to me or even admit they know me.  I don’t smell funny or have some weird fetish (well, i do, but I’m not telling you!)  But because it’s sad.  Kinda pathetic really.  But I’m not sure what I can do about it.  But I am willing to bet I am not the only person who feels this way and isn’t sure why.  “What is it, already???” you may be asking.  Just this: Continue reading