Tags: coping

Shaman - Horse

Poem - We're All Magicians

“We’re All Magicians” was inspired by a cartoon that commented that a together life was a finely-crafted illusion.


We're All Magicians

We're all magicians of a sort
impressing others with our skills
building lives that seem pristine
even though the flip is true

towers built to touch the sky
thousand feet, still they climb
if only they were not submerged
two miles beneath a sea of hurt

this city scape fills the eye
monuments to enterprise
just as hollow as the tombs
scent of death to make a coin

I'll climb the rope to impress
attaining heights above the crowd
with the top obscured from sight
the cord goes nowhere, never mind

spoken wisdom come from my mouth
knowledge blessed on those who hear
philosophy of the purest strain
if baying donkeys are wise men

steel and iron form my walls
concrete laid with rebar’s strength
all of this would be a boon
if this barrier was not made of smoke

with great power I'll part the veil
to raise the zombies of my past
the peaceful grave should be their home
instead of dancing for my soul

constructing lives that seem solid
with a frame withstanding life
it's all a farce, I'm sure you know
we're all magicians on this earth.

© 2017. Sean Green. All Rights Reserved. 20170908.
Shaman - Horse

Poem - Halfway

A friend asked "Why is anger always more justified than sadness or tear?". I am now of the belief life is always tinged with the possibility of anger or sadness given the vagueness of boundaries and the always presence of change. The poem “Halfway” explores this paradigm.


Halfway

I'm halfway between the two
tears of anger, rage of sorrow,
not capable of finding either
in my place of serene hopelessness.
The cause of my angst is now plain
as two reactions do compete
on the grounds that fairness rules
when the opposite is the truth.

Anger would be appropriate
in response to boundaries violated
only if I knew where I ended
and the rest of the world began.
Fuzzy separation is the norm
dice are rolled in the jest
of normality discarding sanity
when egos challenge for their place.

Sorrow is the bitter choice
for the loss outside of God's hands
or forced by evil's sleight,
though I'll never know which it is.
The only constant is change itself
with life disengaging at its own pace
as lost souls wail for constancy
in the face of entropy.

in the end I'll smile in retrospect,
knowing that knowledge is a fool's quest.
Only deity knows why we struggle
as mankind seeks answers in the mud.
The smile will show I show respect
for all we are in potential's folly
children of giants, self-made victims,
somewhere between anger and tears.

© 2016, Sean Green. All Rights Reserved, 20160401.
Dark God

Outcomes of Depression

A word of warning to my kind readers.  This article is about depression.  It is dark.  The article is also my attempt to share hard-learned information.

Depression is bad.  It presents a view of the world that is real and unreal.  The perspective is incredibly honest and incredibly terribly flawed.  Depressed people will tell you they are just tired, which is true, but not how you think.  Living a depressed life is like living deep under the water.  There is a normality, but the depressed person knows they are not in the same world with other people, and they cannot relate to the larger world.  The “tapes” that run through the mind of a depressed person are harmful and repetitive.  Their content focuses on the depressed person’s perception of reality.

There are entire books written on depression.  Blogging is not the avenue to pursue a book, but I can provide bullet lists that speak to the depression related aspects of coping, direction, outcomes, and possible remedies.  I give these so you can recognize depression in yourself or others.

Coping:
•    Pursuing outward distractions
•    Self-medication to escape
•    Physically hiding from the world
•    Desire to not be here – suicidal thoughts

Direction:
•    Inward Turning – self-loathing, self-destruction
•    Outward Turning – mania, frustration

Outcomes:
•    Under-valuing personal contributions / abilities
•    Manic outward focuses (shopping, gaming, T.V. watching)
•    Disregard for personal health and hygiene
•    Erratic behavior
•    Isolationism
•    Addiction (through self-medication)
•    Not caring about environment
•    Future outcomes are unimportant
•    Outward personality varies from manic to subdued
•    Sensitivity to stressful situations, an appearance of sensitivity

Remedies:
•    Medication
•    Activities that counter negative behavior
•    Support / intervention that is NOT co-dependent
•    Personal reflection on the reality of the depression
•    Spiritual reflection

There is a lot of confusion regarding the depressed person.  Outsiders wonder “why” a depressed person chooses to be depressed.  While there is an element of choice, this is not a normal kind of choosing.  Why would a depressed person live the messy, painful lifestyles that accompany their affliction?  Why would a depressed person want to suffer the indignations of their life?  The outsider does not understand the evil seductive nature of depression: all the choices lead to the same place, and that place maintains the depression.

Depression can be a lifetime experience.  Full recovery, if it comes at all, can take a very long time as well.   Going back to the analogy of living deep underwater, if depression is all a person knows, than the thought of moving into another state can evoke fear.   The use of medications is an excellent stop-gap measure, especially when the depressed person is a danger to themselves or others.  Sadly medication can just be a band-aid, incapable of performing the true healing required, but they can open the door to seeing there are life alternatives to depression.

Is there escape from long-term depression?  I don’t know.  Normal is as normal does.  What of the people who accompany the depressed person through life?  What are they to do?  To answer these questions, I suspect that chronic depression is a lifetime struggle.   Caring outsiders are tasked with being supportive without creating co-dependent environments.  I won’t go into what co-dependency is, but please look into this if you are the outsider dealing with a depressed person.  The depressed person is tasked with being available to treatment. 

Depression’s destructive nature is a self-fulfilling prophecy if a person does not attempt to break loose. 
Depression is real.  Depression is chronic.  Depression is also part of life, and as such, can be overcome in small or big ways.  The saddest thing about depression is the life potential that it steals.  People do not achieve all that they could.  Sometimes it seems that the people most capable of amazing creative tasks are the ones hit hardest by depression.  Most of all, depression is selfish.  We have to be selfish too, sufferers of depression and caring outsiders, as we strive to retrieve depression’s precious human bounty.
Cat Wet 1

Coping with Stress

A dear friend asked “What sorts of things you use to help manage anxiety, stress, or panic. Your personal things, not the stuff that is always recommended everywhere?” This is a great question!  My life is nowhere as stressful as my friends, it has its moments.  I had an answer that started out snarky (but truthful) and then attempted to share the thing I really do.

As I am terminally depressed, I find myself telling myself "if it gets too bad, you can always kill yourself". Not breathing is my plan! That's one of the perks of being comfortable with the thought of suicide. I wouldn't recommend this as a solution. As you can see, I've not taken advantage of this stress reliever yet myself.

On a more practical note, I shift how I see people and events. I look at the things causing me anxiety, stress and panic. As best as I can, I subscribe probable intent to their actions. Are they doing the thing on purpose? Is it malicious? Is it just who they are? This sets up a framework that allows me to better respond. Are people causing me the stress mean spirited or just clueless? There is a big picture outside of the immediate stress. Consider the big picture. Is there nothing that can be done about a bill today or do I have something I need to jump on to address the stress?

The response is an important factor. I use my intuition to see how to respond. My contract with the intuition is that the path forward be in my best interest. Does that mean I get instant relief always? No, but I have a comfort that I am going in the right general direction. Sometimes I am asked to walk away from a brawl that could be "fun", but not beneficial to easing stress. Other times I am asked to walk towards the source of the stress in order to mediate the situation. Intuition is great for this because it is the dispassionate adviser not blinded by anger or fear.

Now... what about the stress reliever side of life. Forget about addressing the causes! Forget about fixing them! How do I relieve stress? I don't use the breathing method. Breathing in any specific way freaks me out. I instead look elsewhere. Here is the short list: listening to music, reading, listening to audio books, contra dancing, gaming on the computer and console, playing with pictures, reading online technical articles, talking to smart people, thinking about cute people and talking to smart cute people.