Blurb

Tonight’s town hall had some ridiculously good moments:

-Was the only representative of NAMI there until after the event start time, and DOMINATED the organizing and preparation.

-Was called a “fine looking man” and was described as “very cool” by separate FEMALE individuals.

-Endeared myself further with my ED and accompanying staff, and will inherit the full responsibilities of my new title: Peer Connections Program Manager.

-Was thanked dozens of times by all sorts of people for my assistance, and was smiled at more times than memory can accurately retain.

-Provided solutions and tech insight for future meetings with free tech stuff given and access to a working projection system.

Basically, this was another exhibition of my invaluable self to NAMI, on a night when it was desperately needed. They would have been lost if not for me: fact.

I’m doing a good job of being introspective lately. I’m aware that depression is there, and creeping in. It invades like a tiny, little leak, reducing quantity at an undetectably slow rate. Tonight though, I felt like I gave that depression a kick in the teeth, or patched the leak with gum… or something. I was struggling, but I kept pushing forward, lifting, checking, helping, pacing… I was in motion, but, satisfyingly, thoroughly exhausted. It feels good to be deservedly tired; an ache I can reflect on and be proud of.

In the past couple years, I’ve endured doubters, neglecters, forgetters and haters. I offer no argument, for there is no debate to be had when it comes to judging the merits or flaws of my identity. This person right here is who I am: subsequently, it’s who I will continue to be for now. I would like to note that I am constantly improving to find a better way forward, but sometimes I slide down the hill into the poop-trough. My engine runs on work, commitment and respect, and makes lots of foul boy-smells come out. The fires that feed externally derived hatred from others originate from irrelevant, dry and lifeless roots of a long dead tree, reduced to little more than a pitted and rotten stump.

I’m satisfied with my integrity at this point, after years of positive reinforcement. The future is a big green arrow pointed up. Evidence being impossible to ignore while staying honest, I’m quite elated at the current direction I’m going.

Goodnight.

Symptoms

I’ve indicated in past notices that I viewed my current neurochemical state on a downward slope and recent observed evidence confirms that. I am alert in this state, but struggling to maintain good health.

Symptoms I have observed in the last several weeks:

Lack of interest in extracurricular or fun things

Slowness, soreness, delayed response time

Inconsistent sleep

Dramatic increase in effort required to motivate

Isolation

Neurochemical imbalance/deficiencies/symptoms

Dependence on substances in effort to self-medicate

___

So most of that is pretty serious shit. There was no sneaking, these things have been accumulating, or increasing. Now, as I try again amidst the fray to gain some objectivity, I see how the symptoms of increasing depression have begun to surround me. At first, I turned to some default negative coping mechanisms like escape, or regression. I was having a lot of angry thoughts, and consistently find my arrow pointed down at the start of every day.

However, as I told my boss yesterday: “this isn’t my first rodeo.” I’ve been down in the black pit before, and my reluctance to go back is all the reason I need to be introspective. I was also talking about that topic last night at my Peer-to-Peer class. I spoke about how I began to grow “tired” of being down, having my life collapse and all that. I continually sought to treat my symptoms, but for years I never really understood myself, my habits, and my flaws which can cause me trouble. That lack of comprehension provided a parade of doomed solutions for me to splay myself upon prior to detonation. That dynamic proved both painful and unsustainable.

 

Responses I have taken to the onset of depression:

Initiated process with GP to achieve referral to see local psychiatrist (top priority)

Discontinued consistent alcohol abuse as escape mechanism

Discontinued abundant cannabis use as escape mechanism

Established regular exercise requirements outside for at least 60 minutes

Current medications are taken on time and regularly. Organized for minimal dose confusion.

__

I know what steps I need to continue taking to improve my condition. More activity will help contribute where my current neurochemical cocktail is lacking, but it is not a long-term solution. I need to be doing everything I can to sustain until I can see a doctor and get my medications looked at by a professional. Medication management is one of my “three pillars” theory of sustaining good mental health. All pillars must be strong for stability to be achieved, otherwise, things get tippy.

I continue to walk forward, set on improvement, while conscious of potential pitfalls and internally-generated danger.

Head-to-Head Format Fantasy Baseball

I have been watching sports for a long time and am also a very data-horny person in general. Fantasy Football was a good fit, but weekly single matchups are very stressful.

Theoretically, Baseball is much less strenuous, though still very inside-knowledge dependent. Also, because of the unusually long season, presents a more gradual advancement towards some final playoff-like confrontation. I’ve had a look at the formats available, and I think I like Head-to-Head the best. Comprehensive approach to stat calculation presents an uncomfortably large swath of statistical accumulation to process and deliberate about, as Rotisserie would seem to indicate. For me, the contest would have to be rooted in the more elegant aspects of the sport, and values achievements of significance, skill or consistency above others. I’d like to discuss a few of these, and why I believe they should be weighted in some way, and specifically tracked in the H2H format:

Defensive

(Outfield) Assists: The outfield assist might be my favorite play in all of Baseball, because it requires perfect body-mechanics to execute effectively. Also, having a runner thrown out at home, or caught trying to leg-out a double or triple is flaming-hot fried action. It doesn’t get much sexier than that. The deep outfield assist is easily the hardest throw to make in all of MLB (in a close second: the throw from third base foul territory to first before the runner is also a cannon-shot).

Double Plays: These coordinated exchanges can be stressful, improbable and miraculous at times. Among my favorites are the Strike-out/Throw-out, a long 6, 4, 3 or the Fly-out/Throw-out DP. When executed, they represent a tight-knit unit of infielders who can turn-two under any number of precarious, low-success probability circumstances.

Strikeouts: Obvious choice, but also a critical stat for determining the “overpoweryness” of a pitcher, which is a thing I like to track. Strikeouts looking, if they could be divided and weighted from strikeouts swinging, should be a tick or two more valuable than the latter. Either hitters get duped into thinking the pitch is junk, or they swing at something appealing that rapidly becomes junk on its way to the plate. Either way, very satisfying as an observer (except when it’s my guy who strikes out).

Pick-Offs: Though relatively uncommon, it should be a requirement of pitchers to have a sneaky pick-off move. It’s a skill thing, because pitchers should also be effective as fielders from the mound. Pick offs are particularly sweet because it’s the pitcher erasing his own mistake, and also requires a player who is not only good at throwing 90 feet from the windup or stretch, but also slinging it fast to first to nab some unsuspecting, or leaning-too-far-to-second individual.

Offensive

2-Out Runs Batted In: This is all about clutch. Hitting when it is most needed, driving in critical runs… its the sort of thing that light a fire under a team. This would up the RBI value in that scenario by a large degree. There is no more important single statistic for a player, in my mind, than this one. This is the stat that wins games.

Doubles: Why doubles? Because they are a lot like home runs, just on a different, more arduous trajectory. A double requires a batter to suddenly take flight around first to ensure the hit is not squandered as a single. Triples are fun, but they’re really mostly just poorly fielded doubles, which isn’t a miraculous thing IMHO. Doubles are also a good judge of power, and almost certainly boost nearly every relevant stat an offensive player can accumulate.

Home Runs: Chicks dig the long ball, and so do I. Though, if possible the Inside-the-Park-Home-Run would be astronomically more valuable than your standard home run. They are also a rating of power, and is often the engine behind RBI. Simply put, home runs are spectacular, and they are a part of the shiny entertainment value of the sport at its core. Players tend to fall into grooves seeing the ball well, and HR tracks that trend as well.

Stolen Bases: A feat of quickness, timing and keen observation skills. They also have a chance to be very effectual in the course of the game, and stealing home would obviously be massively valued over any other base, not just in statisitcal value but in the “feat of skill” aspect. For me, “manufacturing runs,” which is a “small-ball” concept of persistence and timely quickness is entertaining. Teams that don’t have the higher Batting Averages tend to steal more bases, and finding a player that hits well and steals bases is optimal.

Base/Modified Scoring Breakdown

Defensive Scoring Categories

Win = 5.5
Save = 7.75
Hold = 3
Assist = 2.75 (OF = 4)
Double Play =  4.25
Pick-Off = 5.25
Strikeout = 1

Loss = (-2.5)
Blown Save = (-9.5)
Error = (-.75)
Home Run Allowed = (-1.25)

Offensive Scoring Categories

Run Scored – 1
Run Batted In – 1.25
Single – 1.5
Double – 2.75
Triple – 3.25
Home Run – 5
2-Out Runs Batted In = 2.75
Stolen Base = 1.5 (Home = 2.75)

Caught Stealing = (-2)
Strikeout = (-1.25)
Grounded Into Double Play = (-3.75)

Under terms such as these, I think a low-maintenance league might be fun… but the scope of invested time on research is daunting to say the least.

Roster size is of importance as well, and I have that consideration when amplifying the point totals. It’s a scaled-down version of the standard model:

NL Model Roster Positions

1B (1)

2B (1)

3B (1)

C (2)

OF (4)

SP (5)

RP (3)

FLEX (2)

BENCH (6)

Total = 25

That sort of describes what I fancy about MLB… there are many little corners of statistical fascination and rarity that please my brain. The fact that Baseball is so heavily dependent on stats plays a big part in why it smells interesting and so, I just keep sniffing it. I like to sniff the smoodge.

Concreteafied Toots!

I’ve tooted the horn too much and the dangly string is broken with the thing locked open tooting incessantly. I am made a believer of me, and that is something I have always struggled to do. When I am determined, I am capable of great things; I can forge my own future.

Today, I am the Peer Connections Program Coordinator for NAMI Sacramento. I inherit a role in which I will ensure NAMI support groups are held with at least one coordinator per meeting and hopefully two. I have also been asked to go to Grant Writing Boot Camp at the Impact Foundry, which cost my boss $250 out of pocket to enroll me. He said today “you’re worth the investment.”

TOOT!

Just like back in 2012 when I wriggled my way into a job that didn’t exist at Tech 2U, I created this role, and the only reason I have any relevance whatsoever is entirely based on merit, personality and admirable determination. I am here because I fought like hell to get here, ducking all kinds of flaming hammers along the way. It works, Blog, because it’s real: the energy to advance down this direction and shape my life this way is a reflection of who I am. This person I have become… as I look inward, I am finding a great deal of pride there, and an expression of self that has derived from a place of honesty. These things are truths, and at last, I think I am willing to concede that they are.

There has always been doubt, and undoubtedly, there always will be. Doubty Susan over there is going to have some shit to say… but whether or not I give my investment to Susan is up to me now. I have a pretty good reason not to give anything to Susan. After enough times fucking that up, I figured it out. This is how I survived mental illness… I stopped giving my money to Susan.

 

This new life I have seems to be headed in a markedly vertical direction, hyperbolic you might say. This was only possible because my parents were able to shelter me from homelessness when my life collapsed. They have been a safety net for me so far, and I am feeling increasingly confident that my current career will allow me to be independent, stable and self-sustaining in time. That would seem likely based on the current trajectory of events. I need a career that will not judge me for being mentally ill, but help me cope with it in a constructive way. I won’t have my parents forever, and I can’t fall off the map like I have in the future. What better way to secure stability than to make my mental health my professional occupation? I will not be cast aside or shamed for being a mentally ill person at NAMI.

My parents gave me a chance to rise up and define my place in the world, and I feel confident that I am walking a safe path toward my goals. I am a believer now, so the charisma is quite sticky.

I toot a lot less than I bemoan things, maybe because I feel still somewhat guilty and shameful of acknowledging my accomplishments?

Distinctly Two

There has been some polarity to my life lately, of which I still grapple and contend with. I have always been a person of two names, but never truly two selves. Now, I wonder if that is changing.

E world invaded W world and now everything has been cast in tumult. E was never supposed to be the worker; the consummate professional. Each had time to be as they were previously defined. Now a lot of what made W special has become a part of E, and the personas are merged. At times, I find myself comparing results using the filters of E & W to better understand the potential of outcomes.

Alas, something is happening. I’ve drifted far away from recreation, lust and have a limited scope of interests. My everyday is W trying to scratch out meaning through accomplishment and E is just pacing around the apartment nervously until W comes home from work.

It seems the two of them can agree on escaping together by whatever means available. That’s one thing they harmonize on, at least.

I feel, ripped. Part of me is stuck in this past world where things are already done and only dust remains. Another is accelerating vehemently towards substantive accomplishments, fueled by feedback. The proofs light the boilers and forward is where they’re going.

I don’t know where center is anymore. Some of the flavors are going. The breeze is less comforting and more making me itch. What remains to be done? E and W both have answers, albeit vastly different in nature.

Scrubbing for Clarity

Good morning Blog,

I don’t have much to say now. I am largely unencumbered by the presence of external factors and managing things well internally. The pace of career advancement has been good, so there’s nothing to bemoan. I feel far less than complete, however… still retaining many of the fractures of the past and the lingering smoky haze of recently charred buildings. I think my enthusiasm comes in waves, which makes sense in a symptomatic context. I am in a lull now, but just a couple weeks ago I was not. I guess the busier I am with work, the better chance I have at being stable. That could be argued as a universal truth as well among my kin.

 

I have chosen a path to walk that gives me the best chance to stay sane and life a full life. To have any chance to succeed, I need to stay focused on positive goals and advance progress. I have an obligation to my pride to continue to pursue an ideal path towards effectiveness, bound by morality. Helping the disadvantaged reminds me of so many things, like who I was, and the decisions I made. So many more have made far worse mistakes than I have, yet, it is not a reason for any of them to not have a chance at happiness for the rest of their lives. We go farther when everyone is participating, as it can be definitively stated that the more people one has helping build a thing, the faster that thing gets built.

I could go on and on about this. Nevertheless, I have much ahead of me yet to do some positive good, and affect change in a significant and beneficial way not for myself, but for someone who’s voice isn’t being heard. I know how it feels to not be heard, and it’s pretty much the worst.

I know inside that I have done some good already, and that my intentions are the things that hold me up with a smile. It’s not always easy to bring the energy to that template, but I try as often as is possible. When you, Blogomites, can look at yourselves in the mirror and see the scars, flaws, lines, and beauty, you have begun to see the symbolically metaphorical truth of the inner-self. I still have much to learn, but I understand more now than I ever have before. It helps to combine emotion with imagery, craft states into scenes, and dwell within the moment in a new medium to understand it better.

What remains uncertain s the shining light drawing in my moth of curiosity, hopefully not to be incinerated. Hmm, a regrettable ending, and I don’t have a relevant phoenix metaphor available now to insert here… drat.

Stop

My future is the concern now. Absolutes are not useful in describing the terms. The sum of regret which packmules along behind is never more than a short length of rope away. Ahead.

I don’t know how to let go; to stop caring. To cast out the dead and walk past their graves. This was a world of webbing, sticky messes that continue to be remembered. I regret it. All of it. For what it did to me, for what I became while I was with them. Unyielding, it remains. Even the good was not worth what cane after. I have tried to frame it, but fail consistently do declaw the context. Ruins.

I still have the same story, where one foot goes in front of the other. Why seems clear.

My being alone is likely. Past interfacing with others in this way has reached an all time low of usefulness. Never abandoned, but largely forgotten. Safety concerns regard the station as abandoned.