Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humanity, Spiritual

A Micro Second Death Face

I remember the headlights and the shiny bumper on the white SUV. I was swerving and my husband was yelling at me, “You’re going to roll the car!”

The only thing separating vehicles from other vehicles on the road is about five feet of air and an imaginary do not cross barrier. What are drivers on these days? How many believe they’re experienced drivers who are immune to the effects of alcohol or hard drugs, or marijuana for the argument? Or was he texting?

My car didn’t roll, but I felt the unsteady jerking beneath me. I had swerved to the right towards the soft, gravel shoulder, and the SUV driver swerved to the left, missing my little Hyundai Accent by mere inches, tucking himself back in. He couldn’t see us when he thought he could pass? There was no warning. He drove out directly in front me.

That’s all I remember. My husband yelling, near tipping of my car, and the white SUV’s headlights and shiny bumper.

My life is forever changed.

Everything I have worked for, everyone I have loved or not loved, every sticky note I’ve written to remind myself of something wouldn’t matter beyond the micro second that it takes to die, then leave my body, and watch the vehicles embrace, in a crunching tangle from my soul floating 20 feet above. I’d look for my husband as he was extracted. He’d be limp and bent unnaturally. I’d try to see myself behind the battered face I used to recognize. The emergency team would pull my squashed body out. I’d see my husband looking, too. We’d then see each other hovering above the chaos, and we’d remember the discussions we so often had about dying together as neither of us could bear the emptiness if we were left behind. Also, there he would be, the drunk driver being extracted from his white SUV. He’d be bloodied and crying, repeatedly saying he’s so sorry. He’d be banged up, but he’d see his loved ones again. He’d finish projects, he’ll drink again.

He’ll forget about the people he killed when he drinks himself to sleep, but the dead will be there every time he wakes.

Nothing would matter anymore. Not my novel which was accepted by a trustworthy publisher, not the closet I meant to clean out, not the computer I am writing this on— nothing. Not a thing would matter. Our lives would matter to all who had to receive the dreaded news, though. Our grown kids, our friends. Our bosses. Our innocent cats who always wait to hear the door open would be surprised as family came in to do what had to be done. Maybe our cats would pine to death in a shelter, separated from us and each other.

None of this death aftermath happened, though, but my life has changed nonetheless.

Thank God we are alive. No one can tell me God didn’t have the last say at that near head on collision. Why am I here? I’m going to find out. We all should find out why we’re here. A micro second wipe out could be anyone’s ultimate fate, but when?

Live before you leave. Really, really live. God Bless.

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Human Behaviour, Human Nature

Time Has No Wings

The tick of the clock can be a hollow sound. The hollow sound is the waiting, waiting, waiting, like the echo of hard soles of shoes in a dark ally.

There are no wings on time. It doesn’t fly, it passes slowly. The sluggish tick, tick, tick on the hourly tocks about waiting. Time holds us prisoner, it keeps us still in the moments of pause.

When time is not sluggish, it’s pushy. Do this, do that, do it all in a short day, but still, time has no wings. If it did, time traffic would collide.

Swift or dawdling, time has its own agenda. Waste it and we’re sorry we missed it. Use it and we look back on what we did. Spend time on what matters the most if you can.

Notice Time. That’s all it wants.

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Human Behaviour, Human Nature

Waiting Wilts or Strengthens

In a year, time waits for no one; birthdays and holidays seems to repeat themselves frequency.

How is then when we wait weeks, perhaps months for something personally important to us, time moves like a dangling drip from a faucet? It drops eventually, but like a pot put on to boil, it is best not to watch.

Patience is a virtue. A virtue is integrity. Integrity is good character, and this means patience is a good and moral act. It’s a hard act, though. Nothing easy produces great results, slow and steady wins the race. Still hard.

People don’t like to wait. Is it a societal thing? With today’s technology, we wait micro seconds for most things. There’s not even enough time to chew a bite of an apple waiting for something to react to our command on a computer. In nature, that apple took from spring till autumn to ripen.

I’m going though a season of waiting. “Good things take time,” they say. The thing about waiting is the worry often accompanies a long wait. What’s the hold up? Is it supposed to take this long? Has it been cancelled? Have I been forgotten?

Waiting wilts or strengthens we humans. If we worry, we wilt. If we imagine how long it takes an apple to ripen, perhaps we’ll be put things into perspective. Once we get through the waiting, we’re strengthened by having patience with a reward: the thing, the product, the reply. We must wait, the prize will present. After all, nothing happens faster when we worry about the wait; except one thing: wilting.

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Human Behaviour, Human Nature, technology

Disconnect and Disrespect

A glance at a cell phone’s screen, and the decision is made to ignore or answer. Or the cell is shut off thus giving the servant of it pause from notifications etcetera. However, these days a cell contains the world and all its information—and people, so it is everything and everyone being shut out when the cell’s off.

One problem with this is adult kids have aging parents. Sometimes it takes many hours for a call to be noticed, and by then a parent might already be processed and in a morgue. This sounds dramatic, however, it’s a reality of disconnection.

With social media, being connected is also being disconnected. For instance, I often go to my favourite coffee shop alone to have a coffee break from my writing work. More often than not I see two at a table, coffee steaming, and cells in hands. An actual caller rings, gets a glance, and is ignored. As much as we think we’re more connected with fellow humans, we couldn’t be more wrong.

Respect is denied. The cell seems to dictate decisions. Answering a text is somehow easier than hearing a live voice. “Text me,” is more common than “Call me.” Ignoring a caller is more common than simply making a call short, yet humans subscribe to Bluetooth in their car.

I observe this and feel justified for not having data on my cell. I use it to hear my husband’s voice tell me he is safe on his dangerous job. I have a desk top computer. I have a landline. If I’m missing something, I’m yet to notice.

A cell phone is a tool which has become the unscrupulous, multitasking master of human minds, and aging parents often have no way to reach their kids. Landlines are antiquated. Disrespect is fresh and alive; it’ll be a while before it’s outdated.

Thanks for reading~

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Human Behaviour, Human Nature, Humour

Uninformed Greedy Guts

The system was I’d make enough din-din so hubby could warm his portion at work the following night.

Well, I made extra the night before so I could do something quick with it for myself the next evening. Hungry early and looking forward to my already cooked main stir fry ingredient, I went to the fridge. I couldn’t find it. I moved stuff. I squatted down, hung onto the shelves and thoroughly inspected the fridge’s contents. Gone? I shut the fridge door, counted three Mississippi’s and opened it again. I looked like a curious dog, you know, how they turn their heads and relate with their eyebrows.

Then it hit me… uninformed greedy guts left the container with his three course meal and took my extra, because that container was the biggest. I hugged my middle all bent over and scared the cats with my maniacal laughter and slaps on the counter. Utter greed—he took four grey, cooked chicken legs with wrinkled, cold skin on them, crushed down unceremoniously into the container with no veggies, no potato. Ew!

I knew what he was calling about that night. It was either for sympathy or we’d laugh together. I laughed the hardest.

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encouragement, Human Behaviour, Human Nature, information

Bipolar! Now What?

That mind-numbing moment when a doctor tells us that we have bipolar disorder.

Fresh hell! It’s like being sucked into a black hole—no air, no light, no hope—no direction. Mouth dries, can’t swallow. We are now labeled—tagged—might as well write mental reject or maniac or lifeless loser on our foreheads with red permanent marker so everyone can be as afraid of us as we are of ourselves. In the abyss, we’re reeling aimlessly. Head rush. We don’t even hear the doctor explain to us what exactly it is. He or she is telling us is, “Take this medication.” We hear the seemingly amplified scribbling sounds of the prescription being written.

For some, a GP will paste this new identity on our forehead after we were brought in by family, a friend or partner—for being “crazy,” the sharp word they used.

Perhaps we have been hospitalized, observed, micromanaged… then the dreaded news comes from a psychiatrist. Now a nurse holds out a tiny paper cup with our pills; sour apple juice. Friends don’t come to the hospital to visit—because we are too ashamed to let them. We may or may not remember what we did to end up in a crisply made bed in a room with no area carpet, no computer, no stuff we recognize as our own. The bathroom mirror is missing. Gone from the ugly rolling table, too. No sharps, not even nail clippers; that’s the rule.

Either way, we have a mental illness diagnosis. Really?

Bipolar, the two-headed Beast. It scares the hell out of us, because we know nothing about it when we’re diagnosed except the standard one-size-fits-all Oxford Dictionary definition: adj. 1 having two poles or extremities. 2 characterized by two extremes. 3 (of psychiatric illness) characterized by both mania and depression. No wonder the general public assumes that bipolar persons are “happy one minute and sad the next.” If only our episodes lasted a mere minute, and if only it was merely happiness or sadness…. Anyone who has bipolar knows that it is so much more than that—it’s anxiety and panic attacks, uncontrolled, scary, weird, negative or delusional thoughts. Inability to fall asleep or concentrate. Hyperrealistic sensory faculty. Lack of or too much confidence, anger episodes, weeping, death wishes or grandiose plans. We float up to extreme highs and regret what we say and do. We are pushed off a cliff and feel dead.

Perhaps we despise this label, bipolar disorder. Yet like a can of food, without a label, we don’t know what it is—what’s in us. Bipolar disorder is manageable—because of the label—believe this.

I was diagnosed in 1984 when they called it manic depressive disease. I lived in a psychiatric hospital during a severe manic episode, psychotic and terrified, then utterly depressed. Upon release after a few months with medications, and settled in at home with my young child, I utilized the library to research my illness. Computers weren’t readily available. I had to own it and educate myself, for me, my boy. I fashioned that section dust free. Discovering I have bipolar type 1 answered my “what’s in me” questions. This gained knowledge is my weapon against the Beast. I never did kill it entirely, but it has been tamed considerably.

The foremost strategy in managing bipolar is to understand it. Learn why people get ill with it (genetically predisposed; severe childhood trauma; nasty drug and alcohol additions in family history etcetera), discover the symptoms in detail as to recognize what’s happening so we can thrust a sword into the Beast before it takes our heads into its jagged-toothed jaws.

I learned what the triggers are, and I learned strategies to help myself—because the doctors talked about medication, gave me more, but never told me what researching helped me understand what I know today. Triggers are persistent distress (like an unhealthy relationship/toxic people, or jobs); missing medication doses or not having a medication schedule and sticking to it; finances not properly managed. Worrying is deadly, and not having a proper sleep schedule is equally detrimental. Negative self-talk has absolutely no purpose.

Added medications from a doctor can be helpful for controlling moods and the many other symptoms I described earlier. If they are not, never give up, try something different. Be assertive with doctors, tell of feelings and moods, research bipolar medications and ask about them. More often than not, medication combinations will help a lot along with wellness strategies. Looking up medications also helped me to understand their purpose, side effects and benefits. I had to be diligent about helping myself, because if I didn’t, who would do this for me?

With internet we are able to research, but make sure a source is given to follow up. My rule is I need to see information three separate places before I consider it to be accurate. After all, the internet is convenient and loaded with information, but realistically, any “know-it-all” can post answers or create a paying website.

I’m proposing a few sites I know to be authentic. First, I found an engaging documentary on YouTube. The introduction reveals what the general public thinks bipolar is; disturbingly, the lack of education isn’t surprising. However, the documentary (video) is highly relatable to persons who have bipolar disorder and, if family members and friends will watch it, they’ll gain insight since it is a series of interviews with people who experience the multifaceted symptoms. Beneficial characteristics are mentioned by the interviewees, too. Intelligence and creativity are hallmark traits. Never forget this. Famous bipolar persons are also mentioned—and our world would be lacking without them. Medications which persons find helpful are also mentioned. It’s worth watching for an hour and 23 minutes. Thus far there are 37 videos one can subscribe to, it’s copyrighted (2013) and likely to available long term, so, Google, “Up/Down” Bipolar Disorder Documentary. There is also, The Black Dog. It is a creative, insightful animation describing depression. An exceptional site is, Psychcentral.com. This site is loaded with various subjects pertaining to bipolar and other mental illnesses as well as medications. Explore it if you will. But! The most gratifying thing I ever did was to google “famous bipolar people.” Best way to get a fat head—try it—I’m left with a lasting impression. We bipolar humans are in a genre of people who are undoubtedly intelligent, entertaining, expressive, creative, and either successful or have the potential to be accomplish much.

There is nothing to be ashamed of. Bipolar disorder is a chemical imbalance. Stability can be found through lifestyle, educating ourselves, healthy eating, medication(s), and our “I’m going to tame the Beast” attitudes.

Be well, stay well.

 

 

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