It is the silence that kills

I have suffered for most of my life with depression and anxiety. The depression was identified but not controlled for years. There just wasn’t any effective diagnosis or prescription treatment of either depression or anxiety until recent years.

When I was in my teens, I was told by “experts” “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get on with things”. The general consensus was that if you got involved with activities, worked at getting friends, and “showed some interest”, you’d shed that depression. The fact that depression prevents you from doing ANY of these things was lost on them. Sure. they MIGHT have worked if I had not been depressed AND shy.

Correct diagnosis, appropriate medication, and insight has gone a long way. But it is silence that kills. I have learned that I have to be aware of the signs of impending crisis and being open about when I am heading into and in a depression or feeling anxious. Sometimes, it is a matter of deciding I need to take my Ativan (the “crisis” medication that has saved my live more than once) when and for as long as I need to take it. … once or for a few days or a week. Other times it is a matter of telling family and friends… or my doctor… that things a a little or a LOT bad. “Not wanting to bother anyone” not just CAN be dangerous, it IS dangerous.

I’ve been lucky — very lucky that when I have had a serious crisis that I have been able to count on the love and concern of family and concrete help from my doctor.

I have also failed to get the help I needed and hit bottom. Bottom is not a place to get to. My most serious bottom was in August 2001. Pure luck… serendipity, as I prefer to call it… saved my life. In this case, it was serendipity in the forms of a Great Blue Heron. I survived. I might not have, otherwise.

Today os a bad day. However, I was able to cry, which I haven’t been able to do in some time and a friend has offered to have me over to watch a movie. Hopefully, that’s all I need.

I were able to offer advice to anyone suffering from depression or anxiety:

Recognise the signs in yourself.

Speak up and speak out to family and friends.

Let your family doctor know what the problem is. If they can’t or won’t help, be persistent and ask for a referral until you do find someone who can help.

Don’t be afraid of being medicated but if your medication isn’t working (it takes a while to work) be persistent about getting something that works.

Don’t be afraid of therapy. It can work. Be aware… In Ontario, psychiatrists are covered by OHIP, psychologists are not and they can be expensive.

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How to be an online critic.

With the recent popularity of viral video sites, “blogs”, and a vast array of online media-sharing sites, the career possibilities for online or “armchair critics” have become infinite!

Anyone with access to a computer and steely nerve can become an “online critic”.

So. With all these possibilities, how does one set themselves aside from the “wanna-bes” and rise to the top of the heap?

Following just a few of the following pointers will immediately make you a leader in the field of criticism.

The first step…

Screen name

The most important thing and the first thing an online critic needs to do is set themselves up with a “screen name”. It is important to note that most websites require anyone commenting to have an account.

The exception to this rule is “blogging” sites. Most blogging sites allow one to make comments anonymously. If you wish, you can acquire a screen name for posting your critiques here. It isn’t necessary but anonymity is a double-edged sword. Many critics use the “cloak of anonymity” to shield their identity. This allows them to cut and run which can be a powerful tool. Alas, without a screen name, you remain unknown.

You COULD choose a name which conveys the idea that you are a critic — such as “internetcriticno1” — or even that you are a critic who specializes in a particular media — “moviecriticno1“, for instance. However, to really make your mark, you need a name that sets the tone for your criticisms and lets folks know YOU MEAN BUSINESS! Here are a few suggested screen names which fit the bill:

  • asshole54564
  • fuku54233545
  • dipshitz7878787

While there may be 54563 other users named “asshole“, YOU STAND OUT!

It is always a good idea to have several accounts with such names in case you are blocked by the person whose piece you commented upon. You can continue making your point until all your profiles have been blocked.

How to criticize….

While many critics “get by” spending a long time writing long, well-crafted and educated criticisms or “reviews” and may refer to specialized knowledge gained by attending colleges or universities (called “places of higher learning”) or many years immersing themselves in “books” and studying the work of other experts all this takes time, energy, and effort (and even MONEY!). This is all needless in the fast-paced world of online criticism.

You don’t have time to waste with all this.

You can whittle down what these blow-hards have said and say it better by limiting yourself to a few words, instantly making it clear you know what you’re talking about.

Remember too, that while there may be many millions of videos or blog entries you will dislike, there may be ones you do like (usually involving tits [women’s], people falling off skateboards, people being run over by trains, anything with either heavy metal music or rap music, or animals being tortured). These may require you to make positive comments.

The negative comment

This sort of comment should be reserved for videos you hate or don’t understand or opinions either with which you disagree or which you don’t understand. Other reasons to dislike a video or blog entry are because the person who made the video is fat, wears glasses, is homosexual (or appears to be homosexual), is handicapped, or because other people like the piece you have chosen to comment upon.

And remember, if you know nothing about the topic there is no need to familiarize yourself with the subject. After all, if someone had made a video about something you know nothing about, they are obviously an asshole and need to be put in their place.

As previously noted, short, to-the-point comments are always better than spending the time and effort of writing long or well. Spelling well and using good grammar are not necessary and simply make you look like you care. In short, unnecessary.

Here are a few excellent examples of good negative comments:

  • “This suks”
  • “boaring” (alt. “boreing”)
  • “I wasted 3.28 seconds of my life watching this shit”*
  • “WTF is this shit an why it it featured”*
  • “Fuk Of and dye”
  • “Wat is this shit”

*While these are often used comments, they are tried and true and never get tired.

And, remember any comment is better than no comment so you might wish to remark on the attributes of the person who posted what you are commenting upon (see above).

  • “fag”, “gay” and/or “lesbo”
  • “UR FAT”
  • “Fuking Fat Faggot”
  • “fatt cunt”

You may also wish to make it clear that you are an expert in the topic of the piece you are commenting on.

  • “shitt art” (on a video of a well-known and well-respected artist because you know what you like and this isn’t it. After all what do people with educations know?)
  • “ive studdied bisniss in colege 4 8 year and U dont no shit”
  • “ure music suks”
  • “suk my dick”

The positive comment

  • “nise titts”
  • “Fukin A”
  • “I hope that fuker died”
  • “ur hot!”
  • “suk my dick” (Note! This can be used in both a positive or a negative critique!)

What to do when challenged on your comment

Remember, only YOUR opinions matter (or the opinions of anyone who has posted similar opinions – safety in numbers is always good. Bolstering your like-minded colleagues with comments such as “Haha” and”fukin right” is always good).

Options available when challenged on your opinion

  • repeat your comment
  • call anyone who disagrees with your opinion “Faggot” or “gay”
  • “Fuk U” (when someone calls into question your “8 year in bisniss colege)
  • Say nothing (This is for suckers)
  • “suk my dick”
  • “i hop U die”
  • “i hop u die fagot”

Welcome to the world of online criticism! Good luck!

Joy in life or lack, thereof.

This may seem like a big whine-fest. It isn’t. It’s how I feel.

I wish I could truly say that on a fairly regular basis, maybe not every day… more often than not… that I experience joy in life.

There are moments which are happy and moments when I find a true  joyful moment. I laugh. I enjoy a good joke and have a good sense of humour. I love listening to music. I love my nieces and nephews (for the most part). I like my work (for the most part). I have some friends that I love.

But experiencing joy in life… in my life… I can’t say that I have ever felt, as an adult, that I enjoy my life or that I have a life I enjoy.

For the most part, I spent a lot of it going through the motions. Part of it, I guess, is that I don’t love me.

I was sort of off the cuff calculating the other day… I spend about 40% of my thinking about killing myself and 40% of my time trying to keep myself from killing myself and the other 20% of my time just humping along.

I don’t think that’s what life is supposed to be. Do you?

I mean, I know that life isn’t a giant bowl of cherries all the time for everyone and I know that my life isn’t “horrible”. I just don’t enjoy it.

Having to look after an ageing parent with a number of health issues, of course, doesn’t make things anyone’s dream life. I have no one to share the burden with… and I don’t mean sharing the day-to-day necessities and demands… I mean that I don’t have anyone to turn to and cry on their shoulder.  I don’t have anyone to just curl up with and not talk about things. Hell, even my cat doesn’t “curl up with me”.

I have always been a solitary person. Not necessarily by choice. I didn’t have any really close friends when I was little and we moved a lot and I changed school so frequently that either I didn’t have time to make friends or didn’t keep them. I suppose all those “abandonment issues” also meant that I tended to sabotage relationships because I inevitably thought they would end, and not end well.

Even now, with a number of good friends, I tend to spend a lot of my time alone out of habit. As well, most of those friends have families and relationships which limits the time we can spend together, anyway.

In some ways, I have always found it “safer” to be alone. But it’s “alone”. That isn’t conductive for forming a healthy attitude to life.

I have gotten involved with things but often find that I am more interested in the activities or events than the others are and they gradually drift off and there I am, alone, again.

I seem to go through phases, and I don’t know what brings them on, where I feel absolutely at the depths of despair. I could blame the news of my mother’s diagnosis on Thursday. But in reality, I have been feeling crappy since before Christmas. Christmas will inevitably throw someone for a loop. Some say that it is one of the most stressful things in your life.

It could be winter doldrums. Of course, I get them in spring, summer, and fall,as well so….

In the past, being able to have a good cry always helped a bit. I wish I could. I don’t know if it is the medication I take but every time I am on the verge of what I know will be a good cry, I end up having a gigantic yawn and the feeling goes away. I actually managed to have a little bit of a cry during Star Trek NG, if you can believe it. I fell a little better as a result.

Maybe I need to sit down and re-read The Diviners by Margaret Laurence. The ending ALWAYS makes me cry and cry and cry and I fell all the better for it.

Years ago, when I was living in New York, my miscarriage was still fresh in my mind and I was watching an Oprah program about the right (and necessity) of grieving over miscarriages and still-born babies. I was just starting to finally cry and my landlady knocked at the door. When she saw me crying and found out what I was watching, she dragged me out and refused to let me watch it.

I truly wish that I had stood my ground and watched it. I probably would have finally done my grieving, which I still haven’t completely done, 16 years later.

Trouble is, there are so many ungrieved things bottled up inside that I worry that if I actually let go and le them out, I’d explode….

I guess it is one step-at-a-time and one grief at a time.

I started to look for images to express joy for this post. I came actoss this one and staring at it actually made me feel good!

Joyful Heart

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