Lighting

Howdy there Blog. It has been a while since I was able to sit here long enough to have a complete thought. My prolonged absence is a sign of what I have been struggling with: bad behaviors. Neglectfulness.

I know I have been, for some time, coping with my mental health in a destructive way by abusing easy-to-get self-meditative solutions. I had become stagnant in my routine and compensated for the idleness of depression through indulgence of pleasurable things. Now I’m back to being annoyingly and uncomfortably overweight and in a hole I had been so good about liberating myself from in the recent past. I have not been idly failing, but actively so; eyes well trained on my doom. I noticed my destructive tendencies a few days ago, and instead of ignoring them, postulated a response.

Tonight is when I realized I had started to turn the thing around. First objective was to get back the lost cardiovascular health established prior to prevailing gluttonous, vacuum-like consumption. I silence urges more often than acknowledge them now, and have a rational consequence to apply to conceived, impulsive decisions. I made a cognitive-behavioral change, and what better a place to reveal as much but at one of my Connection groups tonight.

At the group, I thought about my future and of the potential of the Connection program. People I met at outreach came to the meetings, and people I had been emailing with. My promptness conveyed competency and so did my words during the group. I saw how even though I had been making bad choices, I was still turning it around slowly with new behaviors. The stagnation would not prevail!

I’m going to be facilitating one of my own support groups coming up this week on Halloween, for the first time ever. I used to be more anxious about the prospect of leading a group, but now, there is a calm which has established normalcy. The stakes are not perilous. The cost of failure is not decapitation. My facilitation responsibilities are now viewed in a context of excitement rather than anxiety. My thoughts, changed with intentional reconsideration.

Well, isn’t it fitting that these Recovery groups constantly promote introspection; just the thing I needed for recognition of my course correction? I thought it fitting that a tool well-used in the toolkits is still just as effective as the shiny ones. Have good all. I’m going to bed, but to the official office in the morning. Yay!

35th Anniversary Portrait Album

Clearly this sort of activity truly excludes me from my peer group as most people my age hate all the crap I listen to. This is a good filter though, as this portrait is a fairly good rendering of myself in music. Though, the aspects I chose to depict, and how I chose to express them, is a matter of some debate. Nonetheless, the album is here and it is full of contrasts and apt comparisons. I highly recommend giving it a listen if you are old and h really have nothing better you could be dong. I find this type of thing puts me back in touch with my traits and memories of varying emotional gravity. I highly recommend toiling in this way. The act of pairing oneself to aspects of music seems inherently like it’s at least exploration and quite possibly transformative.

 

  1. Impression AWhat A Fool Believes – Michael McDonald
  2. Impression BPork Parts – Ensemble Studios
  3. CharismaticThe Power Of Love – Huey Lewis and the News
  4. Mentally Ill(Sic) – Slipknot
  5. NaïvetéYou’re The Inspiration – Chicago
  6. CarnalWild Sex (In The Working Class) – Oingo Boingo
  7. IntrospectiveMan In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
  8. “Old Soul”Tomorrow – Joe Walsh
  9. ImmolativeRegular People (Conceit) – Pantera
  10. DetachedHey Nineteen – Steely Dan 
  11. CuriousOn The Road To Find Out – Cat Stevens
  12. AdaptiveI’m Still Standing – Elton John
  13. Original Still Alive – GLaDOS & johnathan Coulton
  14. RegretfulThe Other Guy – Little River Band
  15. HopefulThe Voice – The Moody Blues
  16. ResilientWaves – Blondfire
  17. Obscure Flavor Cats (In The Comfort Zone) – Ensamble Studios
  18. Unsatisfied – No One Like You – Scorpions

Plain and Simple, Part 2

I filled out this silly character sheet like thing way back in the beginning (2012). Perceptions have changed a bit since then, needless to say. The original can be found here for comparison.

  1. Called: W. Eric Bailey
  2. Height: 6′ 2″ (I didn’t shrink)
  3. Weight: 235 lbs
  4. Demeanor: Proactive buddy-pal
  5. Character: Desirous intoxicant
  6. Self-Image: Large, well organized Ant farm
  7. Attributes (5): optimistic, persistent, rational, adaptable, archaic
  8. Nature: Curmudgeon
  9. Abilities (2): technologically savvy, personable relatability
  10. Human vs. Animal Ratio?: Human 88% Animal 12%
  1. Fight or Flight?: Flight
  2. Brawn or Brains?: Brains
  3. Truth or Dare?: Truth
  4. Sky or Horizon?: Horizon
  5. Introverted or Extroverted?: Extroverted!!
  6. Night or Day?: Day
  7. Red or Blue?: Red
  8. Yellow or Green?: Yellow
  9. Risk or Reserved?: Reserved
  10. Lies or Honesty?: Really?
  1. Who you are now?: Dwanglebleeg L. Magoobriuston
  2. Who you want to be?: An artichoke named Susan
  3. What is the best part of you?: I can translate for the cat
  4. What is your biggest flaw?: splat-like eagerness
  5. What drives you?: The promise of tomorrow
  6. What inspires you?: True understanding
  7. What is your conscience like?: Chuck Norris on one shoulder and Joni Mitchell on the other
  8. Who were you?: Not a friend of self
  9. What do others see in you?: Whatever I show them
  10. What do you see in yourself?: someone who has “been weighed, measured and found wanting.”

Remember When..?

1. TV was received from the air with an antenna on a 30 foot long pole?

2. There was no internet?

3. A cell phone was the only thing you could put in your pocket, and the antenna still stuck out a bit?

4. When A CD player was as big as a microwave and jukebox shuffled them around between tracks?

5. Music was good?

6. Kids went outside and played in the dirt and had a great fucking time?

7. There was ice year-round on the North Pole?

8. There wasn’t an area the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean known as the Great Garbage Patch?

9. Things weren’t so fucking nuts?

10. There were only 25 people waiting an hour early out front of the DMV, instead of 250?

Happy Chunks

Hello again Blogomites.

One of the most helpful aspects of my recovery has been participation in community outreach events on behalf of NAMI. The rejuvenating properties of inspired interaction have vast and resounding impacts on my world view And attitude. No better way to get a gauge of individuals than to talk to them earnestly, in my thinking. You’d be surprised how far that energy goes, especially to the vulnerable, the uninformed, and the otherwise course-less.

I find a source of nourishment through my community involvement, and I have a passion for it which is obvious on first glance. I see how it is labor for some, and not met with my level of energizement by most other table-hosts. From within my own perspective, this is what I know I need to be doing.

I profess nothing, but hope to remind that hope and joy are to be found in a variety of places, and I’d say finding them where they were not expected is a great thing as well.

This has been one area where there is improvement. It is not comprehensive as there is no such circumstance which universally applies anything. The best fit for happy is one that snaps in where it was needed.

First or Middle?

I’ve had two names most of my life (um, duh?). My family used my middle name as a first name from the earliest moments, which differs from how most of the rest of the world does things. My creators were quite determined to make sure I had a name that couldn’t be shortened or rhymed with anything profane… so there we go with how that got started.

Early on, I began to run into conflict with the real world: schools, doctors, government and myriad other agencies, as they should, called me by my first name. This was a revelation, and required remedy of some form. Initially, I hassled with correcting everyone all the time, which I tired of doing around my teens.

It was at that point I just started answering to either my first or my middle name as though they were of equal concern. Given, the context and location would determine which of the names I would be listening for. This decision to assign environment to name created an unintentional rift of persona that continues (in some form) to this day. I wish to draw attention to this internal rift, because of the transformative significance an unlikely event can trigger.

Drawing the distinction between the first and middle name “personas” will illuminate the nature of my social mechanisms:

The first persona, let’s call him W, is the active societal participant. He works hard, aims high, holds others accountable if needed and rises up from within to take on more and more. He can be an ass, authoritative, demanding, but doing so not out of irrelevance or malfeasance, but to advance something positive. He is bipartisan, but driven to achieve in all avenues offered. He doesn’t joke all that much and burns the midnight oil when needed. He is well-spoken, articulate and very persistent. The sum of all my professional interactions, effectively, along with a dose of that competitive aggressiveness that was necessary as an outer carapace.

The other persona, E, is quite different. He’s a gamer, a stoner, craft beer enthusiast, and a witty adversary with a dagger sharpened by sarcasm. He listens, loves and sings. He is the “play hard” half of the dichotomy, but a much more developed person overall. E has friends, where W has none. E enjoys all sorts of things, going outdoors, experimenting with new activities, enjoying recreation… the list goes on.

W is concerned with having the moral pride of knowing he did his best, tried hard, didn’t quit, persevered and got back to bed time in one piece. These two seem fundamentally divided in several ways, but each serving a purpose in the mechanism I developed to survive in the real world.

Albeit, having the dichotomy within is not a good thing, and it did have a big part to play in my last relapse. However, something interesting happened when I moved up here from SD. The rubble of W looked like it was headed for a long rebuilding process after the destructive downfall, but, an unknown confusion led to a dramatic and unexpected change of world view.

I needed to start volunteering, so I reached out to the NAMI affiliate and bugged them to let me help. Once I got in with NAMI, the Executive Director and exchanged a few emails and agreed to meet for a table event on Sacramento City College’s campus. When I reached out to shake his hand, he addressed E, not W. I was very much expecting W to be the go-to guy here in the professional role, but instead, E walked in and took a seat at the helm. It was a moment that I found no immediate significance in at the time, but looking back over the last 6 months, I can see something remarkable has been happening.

It is clear to me that E is in W’s role for good, emulating W’s attributes as the innovator, the outward facing customer support geared guy, the do-gooder, go-getter. He still takes on responsibility, and comes through consistently, is punctual, determined and always looking to advance the cause forward. Yet, there is something outwardly-radiating that is not like W at all, but quite distinctively E. The playful banter with coworkers, sharp wit, steely sarcasm and ample laughter are all a part of regular business with this bunch. There are quips, smackdowns and mic drops everywhere, and this is the playground of E for certain. E is fun, and peculiar, and bizarre at times, but quite distinctive as part of the core of the person behind the persona.

Perspective helps me see E unpacking slowly, probing, validating, becoming familiar, but still with many things withdrawn in security as W would to protect himself. There has been an amalgamation of the two worlds I had created long ago, and the blending of them has contributed to the current healthy time in my life. Maybe there are more ways that the personas will draw themselves apart, as circumstances change, but really, having E take the lead has been the greatest oddity of my entire transition up here. I am very, very glad I decided to me E and not W with this crew, because I’ve never been happier to do something for someone.

Combine : Collide

Circumstance accelerated–

Separately decorated rooms,

Their unions indelicate as colliding trains–

Smashed.

Strewn about empty vessels & toppled statuettes,

Angrily flashing lights abound–

Combining colored blotches,

Finding a door hidden in the wall.

Yearning and curious posturing,

Catastrophic yet creative–

Electric when touched,

Running between tall shadows,

Impaled by ruin–

Judged by amalgamation.

Sliding by rust-hooked fragments–

Skewered with twisted iron brambles,

Blood-stained and snarled gloves.

Spiderwebbed glass,

Aching unknowns–

Stresses of anxiety-driven thoughts,

Smearing like palm-clammy hands,

Begging to be inside.

Unable to breathe–

The rooms combining–

Colliding.