ego

When Sensitivity and Ego Collide

Ahh, it has been such a long time since I sat down to write a proper blog entry. So much has been happening to me. For starters, I have some savings right now but I have too many commitments to take any long trips. It’s funny but for the first time in my life, I have the means and cash to go to London and don’t want to. I may want to go back there in the near future, but for the moment I am happy just to stay in Edmonton. It is likely I will go to Toronto in the summer to visit my wonderful sister and sweet little niece, but that is at the back of my thoughts right now.

This past Friday was quite a shindig. The guy who got me work as a creative writing teacher hired me to MC the 20th-anniversary party for the building I live in and it was amazing. I felt really comfortable for most of the time I was up there and people really seemed to respond to my jokes and the poetry I read. I went to sleep that night feeling like my world was spinning and I was trying to hang onto it by spewing out a few choice words into a microphone.

What I am starting to slowly realize is that though my medications deal with a large portion of my symptoms, I still have a mental illness and stress, fatigue, emotion and contact with the outside world can affect it. Tonight was my Humanities 101 course at the University of Alberta and I found myself being hyper-sensitive to others and the things they said and did. I put my hand up a few times to ask questions and I got the impression that the instructor was getting frustrated. Then some guy sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I could ‘please’ pull my shirt down. That kind of pissed me off and it felt like it ruined a good night of learning and debate but I thought about things for a while and realized that I was the one wanting to be in control, that I don’t like it when people show their unwholesome body parts in public and that my ego was telling me that this person, though just as valuable as me or any other person had no right to tell me anything. So here I am at home now, playing some relaxing music, sipping a cup of ‘sleepytime’ brand tea and honestly considering an early night and a ‘take as needed’ pill that will help me rest. Well, that’s about it for now, folks. Thanks for tuning in. I will do more VLOGs as time allows. In the meantime, stay real!

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A Little About Dreaming and Sleep Aids

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Well, above is another bee photo I took, this one in my kitchen.  I really like to take photos of insects, but bees especially not only because they are beautiful to me but also because bees are an extremely important part of our ecosystem.

In the news for me this week some may know I had my camera stolen.  Thanks to the fact that I have been working hard and saving I was able to replace it and with some luck I might also get some help in doing so.  I have a casual part-time job as a photographer for the City of Edmonton so it was pretty necessary that I get another one right away.  I was going to get another Nikon D3200 as I was very happy with my last one, but I found out they have been discontinued and so I spent a little extra and got a Nikon D3300 which so far seems to be a very nice camera.

As far as my mental health goes, I don’t know how much of this I should share, but I seem to have come across something that is really helping me.  I recently visited Toronto and found out that my sister’s husband takes a herbal medicine called Skullcap when he gets too far into an ‘up’ or ‘manic’ mood, and I decided to try it myself.  I have also been trying something that I got at a health food store called ‘True Calm” which has valerian and Taurine (one of the ingredients of energy drinks) among other herbal stuff in it and I occasionally take them when I need to sleep.  I have found that they calm me down, get me to sleep and seem (when I don’t take them more than one night in a row) to give me a full night’s sleep rather than just a short sleep which often leaves me feeling tired the next day.  I am very much against sleeping pills and tranquilizers, but lately I have been taking something called ‘Rivotril’ or ‘Clonazepam’ which has calmed me down but I worry it will be addictive, so I try to use it very sparingly.  It is so hard for me to sleep sometimes though, so for now I am going to keep taking it once or twice a week, alternating days with trying to sleep with no help and using the skullcap and true calm and occasionally also using melatonin.  I think the biggest difference with this new stuff I am taking is that it seems to allow me to have dreams that are much less disturbing.  I could write volumes of theories on the subconscious mind and things like delusions and dreaming, but they wouldn’t mean much because I am not qualified to speak on such matters.  I guess I will kind of sum up what I think in a few sentences, but please don’t look to me as any kind of an expert.  Basically my theory goes something like this:  I personally feel it is impossible to have more thoughts than we have had input into our brains, but many people, including myself have things like disturbing dreams and delusional thinking that seems to come from somewhere.  What I feel all of this is, is something that is taken from our subconscious mind, that huge massive 2/3 of the iceberg that we don’t see, the part that is hidden underwater.  These thoughts surface when our grip on our conscious mind is weak, but they are things we have experienced and learned but have forgotten for a number of reasons, sometimes our minds have made them unavailable to our conscious mind because they are disturbing.  Anyhow, I don’t want to get into this any further, but I would love it if anyone who regularly reads this blog could comment and start a discussion with me.  If anyone out there wanted to talk and needed a peer supporter to email, feel free to contact me at viking3082000@yahoo.com  Hope you all had a good Canadian Thanksgiving/US Columbus Day and don’t forget to scroll down to read today’s poem!

 

Growing Up

 

I was so naïve and stupid

Thinking I could beat all the odds

I just simply had to try it,

Hope I had favor from the gambling gods

 

When I look at what they turned me into

Those games of luck and skill

It means so very much something saved me

Despite my self-destructive will

 

One wouldn’t think a simple game of poker

Or the pull of the arm of a slot machine

Could destroy someone so completely

Make them into something lowly and mean

 

How old could I have been

Those all too many years ago

When that demon crawled under my skin

And possessed my very soul

 

I started with scratching tickets

Even with money that wasn’t mine

I found with each bet my beating heart would quicken

As I strayed further from the straight and narrow line

 

I went through pain, withdrawal, depression

At times I wished I could totally give in

But soon with help my resolve was newly freshened

And I learned a weakness isn’t in fact a sin

 

With a lot of work and help I recovered

Managed to set gambling aside

It scares me now the lies I told

In the name of manly pride

 

Love never seemed to find me

Back when I was pissing my life away

The need for risk and danger blinded me

And pushed family and friends away

 

So many terrible addictions

I had to overcome and more

I found precious golden freedom

When faith opened a totally new door

 

Leif Gregersen