First Order Retievability

The Depression is very good at putting up phantom barriers to doing things.

So a simple task can be put off because I have to get the things out of a cupboard or out of drawer or its in a box or whatever.

So for the last year, I have been increasing the amount of First Order Retrievability on everyday things.  By this I  mean I shouldn’t have to open a door, a drawer or a box.

I hang the 3 three pots and pans I use on the wall over the stove.  I have a set of open shelves on my worktable and on it are all the common things I use everyday – burrito wraps, bread, butter, sugar, plates, silverware, cat food, spices.

As I’ve been cleaning today, I’ve been trying to add that concept to my bedroom.  If I use it daily, it needs to be where I can grab it quickly – visible.

In my previous life this would be bad.  Its clutter.  I always wanted everything to have a place to be put away, out of sight.  But I realize now that this won’t work for depression management.

So now I’m considering how to make First Order Retrievability at least look nice.

I believe a trip to the dollar store is in my future.

PS – Today is a success!

Why do we think giving anonymously is best?

Awhile ago, I went to the grocery store and sitting on top the cans of cat food I buy was a VERY good coupon that someone had clipped and left for the next person who was planning to buy this particular brand of cat food.

They gained nothing with the gesture.  They weren’t going to get the accolade of doing a kind thing.  No one would see me pick it up and use it. No one to thank them for their kindness.

If you do a good thing and no one but you know is it, its an odd feeling.  1st, if you do it truly anonymously – you will not even know whether the generous thing was received or how it was used.  So you have no sense of closure.

You won’t get the sense of validation that comes with gratitude.  You won’t even have a third party openly or tacitly recognizing your generosity.  And humans are heavily dependent on validation.  Its a need.

We all do kind things.  Studies show that we do them to get a sense of validation from our peers, thereby increasing our status in our group (We want validation that we are good people).

Which feels kind of icky because of social norms – but its just reality and doesn’t actually diminish the greatness of doing a good deed.  Because it is a choice.  You don’t have to do the generous thing, but you do it.  And that generous thing can have untold benefits on others.

You want to be considered kind and good and not selfish and mean. Why is that a bad thing?  Is it a bad thing to act the way your want to be?  I want to be runner, I run.  I want to be a doctor, I go to school and become a doctor.  No one tells me that I should do so on the QT.

A truly anonymous gift is often a lauded thing.  Religions tout that an anonymous gift is the only true gift, because when  you remove any self gratification from the equation you have given purely from your heart.

The science is saying that we may not even be capable of giving without the ulterior motive of self defining as a generous person. (ie – getting validation)

I think we need to reconsider this idea that the best gifts are anonymous ones.

Studies show that generosity is contagious – so acting generously in public leads to more people acting generously.  So in a bizarre way – we are acting less generously by keeping it anonymous.

We have so few opportunities to build up our self esteem in positive and real ways.  Is it really a bad thing to want validation for doing a good thing, when in so much of our lives we are pounded with reasons to feel shitty about ourselves?

We live in a world where beauty is an airbrushed illusion that marks everyone with a pre-stamped fail.   We have made music into something that only “professionals” can do – no one else can sing well enough.   Only the tiniest percentage of people who play sports can be good enough to be a professional, so everyone who plays a sport is already a failure.  We are judged daily in our jobs by standards that are subjective on most counts, in areas where our bosses see less than 2% of our actual work.  And those are just a few areas where we struggle to see ourselves positively.

We should embrace those opportunities to feel that we are good, we are kind, we are generous.  We should not feel like we are somehow being less good if we publicly helped someone.

I am left feeling a little bit sad for the person who left me a coupon.  A generous gesture that made me a little bit happy inside. But they didn’t get that boost of happy from my gratitude, from being recognized a generous giver.

Sunday is the day of timers

Saturday was good for me.  It was sunny.  I felt good and I got things done.  Compared to other people, it was not a lot, but for me it was like winning a battle with a monster.

Today we will continue the movement of Saturday.  With the help of timers.  I set timers for 45 minutes or an hour and when it goes off, I do one task on my list.  They are small tasks but when you do that all day you get A LOT done.

I know its kind of weird, but it works.  Sometimes.  Anyway, its working this weekend.  So.

The battle is on. I got this.lara-crof-tomb-raider

The Great Disappointment of Farting.

I like to sneeze.  I like the release of the pressure.  Its very satisfying.

I like to burp for similar reasons.

I don’t like to fart.  No sense of satisfaction for farts, which makes no sense.  Its the same idea – a sudden emission of gas that relieves pressure.

I don’t like coughing either – but coughing is occasionally painful, and usually not  relieving a pressure so much as a tickle.  So it makes more sense that it’s not satisfying.

But the fart.  The fart should be satisfying, but I just don’t get any satisfaction.

Farts are the popular underdog of human gas expelling.   They are funny and intrusive and embarrassing and annoying and smelly.  But they just don’t leave me wanting to do it again.

Holy Starving Yourself…

Have you ever heard of Proana?  Its someone who promotes and supports anorexia as a good thing.

I’m a woman who is the antithesis of starvation.  I will eat, even when eating makes me very literally, not in any way metaphorically, sick.  Curled up in a ball, sick.  I do it to myself at least once a quarter.  I deliberately eat things that I am consciously aware will make me sick as a dog.

Yet despite all the pain that eating gives me, I have no desire to starve myself.

Still, in a weird bizzaro world way, I understand the person who decides to embrace the horror of what is killing you.

Under the premise “If you are being run out of town, grab a baton and lead the parade”, I have often redefined my problems as strengths.  That is what the proana person does, of course.  They don’t want everyone to say they have a problem, so they make the problem into a badge of  honor.  A trait that is enjoyed and giving them  happiness.

We are often told to reframe our problems as opportunities or a natural part of our psyche, to be loved and accepted.

Its a dangerous thread to walk.  It takes a huge amount of self awareness and wisdom to weed out whether you are being self destructive or self defining.  And larger amounts of courage to face your deepest most self defining issue and choose to change.

The level of self awareness needed and the character strength needed  are not traits of very young people.  And that is when we are often forming our self definition.  When we are forging those frames that keep us from recognizing whether we are deceiving our self or whether we are accepting our self.

Proana, perhaps, is the flip side of the heavy person who chooses to embrace their size and eating choices, despite all evidence that its not healthy.

Its a weird world we live in.

Ideas vs Beliefs

Dogma has a line that I made me think quite a bit and eventually I adopted it as a sort of motto.  At the point I saw the film I was already disenchanted with all forms of organized religion.  And this line, really struck me.

“I think it’s better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier.”

As my own thoughts on spirituality continued to form, the line became more and more true to me.  Belief is something you defend.  Its part of what defines you. And people will staunchly defend a belief against all logic and evidence.  And I’m not talking about just religions.  Lots of things – Politics, Conspiracies, Morals, music, food…

I try to avoid making my opinions into beliefs.  It keeps me from refusing to accept new evidence.  Ideas are matters for development, they demand that you reconsider and change them as new information is gathered.  Beliefs are set in stone and have to be chiseled to be changed.

Thoughts While Cutting my Toenails:

The big toe nail could easily have evolved into a weapon.  Like the horn on a narwhale.

I have cut the back of my ankle with it twice in my life, when I haven’t cut it down properly

Just walking along barefoot, and BAM- I’m bleeding.

20,000 years ago I think I could have used it while fighting over an animal carcass.

These are the thoughts I have while cutting my toe nails.  I knew you’d want to know.  You’re welcome.

The NON oddity of social media friends.

Social Media like Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter etal are just venues of entertainment.  We like to call the people we follow here friends to some extent or another, particularly on Facebook, but the reality is that these are places we go to entertain or distract or ourselves.

I was thinking about that and then it occurred to me – so are our real life friends.  We go out with or call our friends to entertain and distract ourselves.  Social Media just makes that a less cumbersome process.

And just like Real Life, social media can fulfill the deeper parts of friendship – it can provide emotional support and advice in a crisis.  It can provide a romantic connection.  It can lead to casual sexual encounters.

The biggest difference is that there are FAR FAR more connections on the internet than can be maintained in real life.  In other words – the ability to use social media as a distracting and entertaining element is far more effective than real life humans.  Yeah Internet!

Eyedrops in my eye taste BAD.

What the ever living fuck is up with that?

I put them in and a minute later – TERRIBLE taste in my mouth.  From the eye drops.

I immediately googled it. Because it was obvious to me that I have a Big Cancerous Hole in my eye that leads to my mouth… Its possible that anatomy isn’t my strong point – but the point is – HOLES. Probably Cancer.

Except No.  Turns out its normal. There’s a hole but it supposed to be there.


What is wrong with the Internet?!  Why isn’t there some meme or a viral life hack thing or SOMETHING that would have educated me on the weirdness of eyedrops having a taste!  This should have been done.

I’m just so disappointed in the internet right now.

LIFE HACK:  Press on the inner corner of your eye against your nose to prevent the eye drop from dripping down into your throat and mouth.  I recommend this HIGHLY if you are using prednisone drops.  They taste really bad.

Where is the Republicans Outrage about their candidates?

Liberals tend to paint a picture of The Republican as a white man with quietly or not so quietly held racist views, desperately and obliviously holding on to his white privilege like it’s a childhood blankie.

But the reality is surely otherwise.  We all know at least one perfectly reasonable Republican who is not a racist.  I know quite a few and I tend to believe there are a whole lot of them.

My biggest issue with them is that they are NOT screaming in outrage at what GOP candidates are saying and doing in the name of their party.

Why isn’t Donald Trump being kicked out the GOP for being a flagrantly misogynistic racist candidate?

Why isn’t anyone even demanding that?

If they don’t want their party to devolve into hellish caricatures of candidates, they need to defend it from the cretins who would make it that way.

Saying they will vote Trump out on the primary isn’t good enough.  The tacit endorsement of the Republican Party is all over him.  He represents their party.

I’m unaware that there is an effort on the part of everyday GOP voters to stop the disintegration of their party into a place where scared white racists go to bathe their fears.

Where is the GOP outrage?