A Different Perspective

Hi all! Happy Hump-Day!

In the past week, I came across an article called “How To Be A Guaranteed Failure In Life”. It discusses about how people complain about how unfair their lives are and how they use self-pity as an excuse to not accomplish goals. It talks about entitlement and how it is poisonous. It also talks about how there is an antidote to that. And I majorly agree with the points. Read the article first before reading what I have to say, here is the link: https://chatrisityodtong.com/blog/life/how-to-be-a-guaranteed-failure-in-life/

However, there are some points that irk me. This article takes a look from an average joe’s perspective. From someone with mental disorders perspective, the scene changes ever so slightly. Yes, the problem still remains that I am still the source of my own problems. But, the world is unforgiving and unfair in that these debilitating mental disorders were handed on a silver platter to me against my own will; against my own choosing. That I blame on the world. That I blame on life dealing me a bad hand and being unlucky at almost every turn. That I blame on life always throwing me curveballs when I am not in the right state of mind to handle or cope with the curveballs. Yes, I indulge in self-pity at times, especially at my lowest point when I’ve hit rock bottom. In the article, the author says “I have very little patience for self-pity, especially if you are an adult.” But you must understand, when you at your lowest point in life, you don’t get to see the world through a bird’s eye view of the world and the grand plan you have for yourself. What you see is a very narrow point of view: your own issues and problems. Your main focus is what’s got you spiraling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole. You can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel anymore. It isn’t about myself being the root cause of my own problems. The problems (i.e., mental disorders) are the root cause of my own problems. I can’t control when it’ll strike and how long they’ll last, and I hate that. However, throughout the years, I have learnt how to cope with these disorders. I can, to a certain extent, control the intensity of these disorders and how they affect me. So in this sense, I am my own solution.

I partly agree with the article that “[the] worst poison for the soul is the disease of entitlement.” The world does not owe us anything. Life and time will continue on with or without us. That being said, as someone with mental disorders and thereby a disability, I have the basic human rights to medical aid and support. This may come in the form of professional care, friends, and family. However, you must be cognizant of the fact that you also need to work on these issues yourself so that the aforementioned supports do not become a crutch that you cannot let go of. You have to speak up and fight for your right to be heard and not fear the societal taboo topic of mental health. Ask for help when you need it. Tell your friends and family what signs and symptoms they should be looking out for to help you when you cannot ask for help yourself. You are entitled to your basic human rights. So again, I am my own solution.

And lastly, the article talks about gratitude. This is very important and key to happiness. Always be thankful for the things in your life, even the bad ones. I have mental disorders and I am thankful for that because now I can share with the world, from my perspective what it’s like to live a life that constantly throws you curveballs when you’re incapable of handling them. When I’m manic I search frantically for solutions to combat my upcoming depressive stage. That is one variable that inevitably happens. I cannot eliminate this negative energy, as the article states otherwise. I cannot eliminate the negative thoughts or actions, I can curb them as best I can, but it does not eliminate. I can make it so my cross to bear is bearable. But even then, there are certain times when I lose hope and the tunnel vision closes off and all I see is darkness all around me. Those are the moments I fear most. Those are the moments when a grown ass man reaches his limits and breaks down. Those are the moments when counting your blessings counts for nothing because you can’t see nor remember them anymore. But in spite of all this, I am the source of my own happiness.

Bit by bit I am rebuilding myself, not just fixing. Fixing implies patching up holes and repairing things. I am rebuilding from the ground up, from scratch. It will take time. It will take energy and effort. But if I am to achieve my hopes and dreams, whatever they may be, it is a necessary step. In order to have the “courage to conquer [my] weaknesses, flaws, doubts, fears, and insecurities”, I need to rebuild myself. And so lastly, I am my own solution.

So to sum up, this article is, from a general perspective, is a positive one. It aligns, not necessarily with what my life is at the moment, but with what I would like my life to be. And no, life is unfair, that is not an illusion. There are things beyond our control, no matter the course of action we take. But we can take actions to curb the unfairness and make it work to our advantage. Take for example myself, I am using this blogging platform to spread awareness of mental health and to make it a societal norm to be able to openly talk about it without judgement. To be able to learn from it and understand that there are different perspectives from everyone. There is no one size fits all. It offers a chance for open discussion on how we, as a society, can progress and individually improve upon ourselves. We are the sources of our own happiness and the solutions to our problems.

If you have anything opinions, comments, thoughts, and/or personal stories, I invite you to share them in the comments below! This is an open space for discussion. As much as I’d like to make claims that this is a safe space, I, unfortunately, cannot guarantee it. But I do go through and approve of all the comments before they are posted and made public.

Cheers and have a great WTF rest of the week!

My Daily Routine

Hi all! Happy Hump-Day!

So, what is my daily routine like when I’m manic or depressed? It’s pretty much the same old stick around in my room for the whole day sort of deal.

  1. I wake up and take my medications then crawl back into bed because I’m still hazy.
  2. After a several minutes, the medications have taken effect and now I have enough energy to get up from bed, though I’m still hazy.
  3. I go downstairs and grab a cup of applesauce and eat that then return to my room.
  4. I get on my phone and start playing a mobile game that I’m somewhat addicted to. I’ve made up a spreadsheet to calculate things and set my teams.
  5. After finishing all the quest requirements for the day in the game, I check my emails; most of them are junk advertisement emails. Most of the time I don’t even bother reading them, I just highlight them, mark them as read, and archive.
  6. Then I take a look at my notebook. This notebook is indispensable. I write all my thoughts and to-do tasks in it. I prefer an analog to-do list rather than relying on an app on my phone.
  7. I peruse through my notes and make new notes and tasks, and pick out a task that I’m going to do for the day. Many factors come into play when deciding which task I will do first. Is it easy to accomplish? Do I have the motivation and energy to do it? Is it urgent? Does someone else rely on me completing this task in order to do their’s? This list of questions is not inclusive, they’re just merely some of the questions that came to mind. Due to my condition, I can get a lot done while I’m manic or I can get nothing done because I’m scatterbrained and I’ll jump from task to task leaving uncompleted tasks everywhere. Whereas when I’m depressed, basically nothing gets done. I do the bare minimum.
  8. After going through the list of things to do, I’ll either commence right away or take a bit of a break (after having done nothing but game on my mobile). During this break, which has no set time limit, I usually space out or I start talking to people who aren’t there and I have full on conversations with these people that are purely in my mind. A scenario will popup in my head and I’ll start talking away. And sometimes I’ll impersonate and do accents (very poorly). Then there are times when I stare at the wall and start talking to the wall about my problems. And this is why there’s no set time and a lot of my day is wasted in this process because I can space out and have these conversations for hours.
  9. After I snap out of these reveries, I look at the clock and wonder what happened and how it went from noon to 1600. It’s amazing how time flies by when I’m having these conversations with no one. While I realize it’s a huge time-sink, it’s also extremely therapeutic for me. They actually bring me a sense of happiness, as each scenario is different and I’m put in a different situation each time and I’m left to deal with storyline and the consequences of my own actions. While I was working in Calgary, I wasn’t able to do any of this. Partly because I was busy with work and partly because I was paranoid that the room was bugged and people were watching me. But in the comfort of my own room, I can do whatever I want which is why I lock myself in my room so often; it’s my safe zone. However, my safe zone can also turn into my personal prison. When I’m depressed, I feel confined to the room and I can’t get out and I start freaking out. And the scenarios that popup in my head match accordingly to the current phase that I’m in. And they get more and more sinister as I go deeper down the rabbit hole.
  10. After looking at the clock and realizing I’ve accomplished nothing, I berate myself for being an absolute cockup and then go eat dinner and after dinner try to do some of the work that I was supposed to do.

That’s basically my day at a glance. It’s pretty straight forward and because of the huge time sink, it really sucks up most of my time. So when I really want things done, I go to the coffee shop and I’ll sit there for hours and work on things. What I’d like to be able to do is find some time to read my collection of books. There are several books I’d like to read and learn from but I’m a complete mess and I don’t know how to manage what little time I have each day. But I find that when I’m actually working, I can time manage quite well and when I’m working, I tend to be a workaholic. I don’t stop working until everything is complete. Which may or may not be a good thing.

Anyway, just thought I’d share with you a quick glance at my day. If you have any inputs and thoughts feel free to leave me a comment. I’m always looking for ways to improve my days and my workflow.

Have a happy WTF rest of the week and see you all next week!

Recalled to Life

Hello and Happy Hump-day!

It most certainly has been a while since my last post back in May 2017 when my grandfather passed away, which is why I took the phrase “Recalled to life” from a Tale of Two Cities as a fitting title for this week’s blog post. In many ways, I have been recalled to life again. I have had my ups and downs, and most recently survived a very dark and harrowing time.

Looking back on last year, I say with great certainty that it was the best year I’ve had so far in my life so far. I was doing a contract job that I was very happy and enthusiastic about performing. I learnt a lot about planning projects and time management. I learnt how to edit photos to reflect the actual product (i.e., paintings), I stepped out of my comfort zone and did portraits for the first time. I was exposed to a lot of new experiences. I traveled to Spain to shoot a wedding, and then went to Italy and traveled around there. Overall a very good experience. And on top of all that, I lost 80lbs in about 2 months. Lots of walking, especially in Italy; constantly chasing after trains and wandering the streets, my watch told me that on average I walked 20km every day.

After working in another province away from home, I finally got to go home. And I was back to my old lazy habits. I gained weight again because I had all the luxuries of home and zero responsibilities. When I was out of town working, my depression didn’t hit me as hard as it did when I got back home. I had work to keep my hands busy. When I got home, things started to darken. The ominous dark cloud started to creep back and the familiar face of death came back into view. I couldn’t help but start spiraling out of control. I came back to my little house of horrors. The fear of abandonment, whether real or not, came back and I would sit on my floor and cry endlessly. My anxiety skyrocketed. I would avoid social events, avoid talking to people even though I desperately wanted to and needed to talk to people. I had trouble falling asleep and nightmares haunted me. My hours were all lopsided. These bouts would seemingly last forever, then the sky would clear and I’d be productive and useful for about a week before dipping back down into the depression. No matter how much weight I lost, I would see myself in the mirror and my mind would automatically say, “You fat fuck. You’re useless. Pathetic. Absolutely worthless.” Money matters didn’t help me feel good about myself either. I applied for government aid and they’ve taken forever to get anything done and give me a cheque. I have bills and debts to pay. I’ve done a budget forecast and it just made me even more depressed about my future. I certainly wasn’t able to ride the high of 2017 into 2018. 2018 started off terribly and it felt like starting back at square one as if nothing I did in 2017 counted for anything. It’s a terrible feeling.

Within the past several weeks, I had hit rock bottom again and was either going to be in the psych ward or dead. But I managed to lock myself in my room and keep myself from killing myself or from ending up in the hospital. And during that dark time, I had an appointment with my psychiatrist. I asked him very bluntly, “Do you think I should be in a facility right now?” and he answered very plainly, “No.” He went on to explain that he felt that I needed a change of scenery, just like working in another province was a change of scenery for me. He suggested that I go for a short vacation around the province. But I countered that I had no money to do that. And he countered that I could do an easy hike and take photos while doing it. Ultimately, I didn’t do any of those things, as after the session, I was back on the upswing of things and rock bottom was a thing of the past but will be coming back soon; I just ride the sine wave.

I have cut back on a lot of gaming to try to be more productive in other areas and improve on things. I’ve been slacking off on an online course but I’ll get it done sooner or later. I’m still working out the time management aspects of my day and trying to schedule things like exercise, time to eat, time to do school work and time to relax. But so far, time just flies by and I don’t even know where my hours go. My medications make me spacey and zone out for hours on end and I can’t remember things as simple as what I just finished eating. Trying to cut back on expenditures and instead try and what little money I have left. Overall, I have a very disjointed view of the world right now and everything is all over the place and I don’t know how to reach out for help. My friends are all busy with work and relationships or are overseas working, so there’s very little support from them and I don’t know how to communicate with my family, nor do they seem to care much about trying to understand the underlying issues. So I’m just sort of floating around in the ocean just waiting for the next storm to hit me and trying to stay afloat when it does hit.

Anyway, I think that’s enough of my pointless rant. I’ve set a schedule to write a blog post every Monday and post it on Wednesday because after Tuesday even the calendar says WTF. Hahaha!

Cheers and have a good rest of the week!

A Tribute to a Human Being

Requiescat in pace 1

Hi all! Unhappy Thursday. Today marks the funeral of my third and last grandfather. He passed from this world and on to the next on May 3rd at 21:32. By sheer willpower or good luck, he held onto life until his last son arrived and saw him one last time, then he breathed his last. All his sons and their respective spouses were present along with two of his five grandchildren, my sister and myself. Throughout his last few weeks in this mortal realm, I visited him every day and fed him meals. The staff at the care home didn’t have time to spend two hours feeding him, so I fed him. Either it’s me or dumb luck, I have this ability to make the most non-compliant person want to eat. Sometimes you just have to be patient with them. But as time passed on, he declined rapidly and soon lost the will to eat or the ability to swallow. With his organs failing him and the lack of nutrition, he wasn’t long for this world.

Right now, I’m annoyed and frustrated, not at his death but at the lack of inaction on the parts of my father’s brothers and my relatives. It’s like they don’t even care and it’s true, they probably DGAF. My dad and I worked furiously planning the funeral and in picking a plot of land for the burial. My dad is a solitary, stoic man who sometimes takes on too much work but doesn’t complain about it and still manages to finish everything on time. But for this emotional journey, I didn’t want him to be alone, so I requested that he delegate tasks to me and that I would delegate tasks to the appropriate people and keep tabs on them.

Here is the eulogy I prepared for his funeral for those who couldn’t come:

A Tribute to a Human Being

Hello, as many of you know, I am the grandson of the recently deceased. For most of my life, since I was a baby, I’ve lived and eaten with this man. Nearly 30 years of living with the guy, and I barely know him. I know right? Bad grandson. But we all know what happened and we don’t bring it up often. And I know some of you here today harbor ill will and feelings towards my grandfather. You’ve ignored him and treated him like he’s a persona non grata. And that’s fine, I’m not blaming you. I too harbored ill will against him. But this is a celebration of life, so let us not focus on what we were taught and instilled in us but let us celebrate what he did and what he accomplished.

Yeung Chi Kwong , was born on November 11th, 1926 in Chung Shan, Canton, China to Yeung Yuk Wu, his father, and Chan Foon, his mother. I remember his birthday easily as it’s also Remembrance Day that day. I remember one year we gave him a birthday card, just randomly, he was overjoyed at it. But sadly I don’t recall ever doing it again.

As an adult he worked as a club manager for a, shall we say, gentlemen’s club, if you get my drift. The owner left all the affairs of the club to him to manage, so he effectively ran the show and quite successfully. By all accounts, he was a generous man and was constantly surrounded by a large entourage. Mostly these people wanted free meals from him, as they’d gather at the table where he was at and he’d foot the bill. But it goes to show he was a man of importance and was respectable and respected, even if they were sort of using him, he didn’t mind that. He essentially had the power to make it rain dollar dollar bills. Going back to his line of work, which was shady at best, he never got into the gangs and the Triads. He was an honest working man and took no bribes and cheated no one of their money. He did his part and did it well.

In 1991, he emigrated from Hong Kong to Canada. He acquired his citizenship on March 1st, 1996. I remember being there at the SUCCESS auditorium for his citizenship ceremony. We then took a picture with an RCMP officer. He proudly framed and put that picture on his desk for as long as I can remember. He came to Canada and lived with my family for about 22 years until he moved to the care home. To supplement his pension, he’d work at a factory bending metal wires and working with machinery. For most of the time that he lived with us, he and I shared a room for almost 10 years. We never really talked much. But I remember him taking me to preschool and making sure I was dressed and ready for school every day and then we would walk to school. He’d change my sister’s diapers and have me help out. And then he’d put her in her stroller and take us out for walks and to school. He doted on my sister and constantly gave her gifts. Me? Not so much but what difference does a child know, right?

When we grew older, and mom drove us to school every day he’d go out on daily trips to Chinatown by himself and have coffee and breakfast and lunch and come back in the evenings with the papers for my dad to read. He was independent. He was a fan of hockey and always watched all the games. I’m not sure which team he cheered for, but the two sports he enjoyed watching were hockey and football. I remember in 2002, the FIFA World Cup was taking place in Korea and Japan and South Korea got to the semi finals. If I recall correctly, the match was at 5 in the morning and I asked him to wake me up so we could watch it together. I was so sleepy I kept nodding off, but ultimately South Korea lost the match against Turkey. But that was a time well spent together. Also going back to sharing the same room for 10 years, he was a great snorer. And he always had a radio on beside his ear either playing radio shows or Buddhist mantras. At first I couldn’t get used to it, but overtime, I got used to his snoring and in fact, when we moved to our current house and I had my own room for the first time, I couldn’t sleep at all because the sound of his snoring was missing. But again as time went on, I got used to the lack of snoring. In fact I think I may have inherited his snoring capabilities. According to legend, I snore so sonorously, that my parents down the hall from my room with their door closed can hear me snore. Genes, they’re a powerful thing.

He was also a patient man, whenever I had difficulty with those sliding puzzles. You know the ones where you slide pieces of the puzzle and jumble it all up and you have to move them square by square? Yeah, whenever I had difficulty with them, I’d give it to him to solve and within an hour or sometimes minutes he’d solve it and give it back to me. Or sometimes I had a tangle of strings all in a knot and I’d get frustrated trying to untangle it, I’d, again, give it to him and he’d untangle it all for me. I remember him buying logic puzzles to solve in his free time. You know the ones, where you have to free the ring from the metal bars or whatever, he had a bunch of those and he was quite successful at them. He also had the willingness to learn. I remember this one time he came up to me with this huge vocabulary book, and he pointed at the words “French fries” and asked me how to pronounce it in English. So I said “French fries”, and he tried to repeat what I said “For lunch flies”. And I was like “Gasp! No! You don’t want flies for lunch! It’s Fer-ench Fry-eyes”. I think he may have wanted to order fries from McDonald’s. I’m not sure if he was successful in that endeavor, but he never asked me again for advice. I guess I was a bad teacher and I guess when asked if he wanted fries with that he got what he wanted.

Upon reaching his 90th birthday in 2016, he received letters from the Premier of British Columbia, the Prime Minister of Canada and the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia on behalf of the Queen. That’s as close as getting a letter from Her Majesty as anyone will ever get. I’m sure it was a great honor and great accomplishment for him. Not many people get to live as long has him and experience life as an immigrant and the different environments and culture shock.

I was brought up with hatred in my heart and I hated him. He was a divisive and controversial figure in the family. But I’m going to bury the hatchet and reconcile my differences with him today. In his last few days, I visited him as much as I could and fed him his meals, mostly dinner. I annoyed him, no doubt, as he kept falling asleep while eating, but I just wanted the best for him. I didn’t want him to starve. I know what it feels like to not eat for days and be fatigued. But food is nourishment and he needed that even if his organs were failing him. He’s still a human being and according to the United Nations General Assembly’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 25 Section 1 it states that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” So I tried my best to provide for him his food regardless of his condition. I gained a sense of caring for the man I hate. For the first time I saw him as a human being who needed love and caring. He was a human being and deserved dignity and respect even in death. Although I did not have a good relationship with him, and I hated my grandfather, he was still blood and family. And family means no one gets left behind or forgotten. Lilo and Stitch would agree with me on this point. Without him, none of us would be here today, so go on with your denial, indifference and your hatred but be cognizant of the fact that you are here today living your life as you are because of him and for that be grateful.

I’d just like to finish off with an African story I heard many years ago as a child and it serves as a reminder to us today.

Near the edge of the Liberian rain forest, on a hill overlooking the Cavally River, was the village of Kundi. Its rice and cassava fields spread in all directions. Cattle grazed in the grassland near the river. Smoke from the fires in the round clay houses seeped through the palmleaf roofs, and from a distance these faint columns of smoke seemed to hover over the village. Men and boys fished in the river with nets, and women pounded grain in wooden mortars before the houses.

In this village, with his wife and many children, lived a hunter by the name of Ogaloussa.

One morning Ogaloussa took his weapons down from the wall of his house and went into the forest to hunt. His wife and his children went to tend their fields, and drove their cattle out to graze. The day passed, and they ate their evening meal of manioc and fish. Darkness came, but Ogaloussa didn’t return.

Another day went by, and still Ogaloussa didn’t come back. They talked about it and wondered what could have detained him. A week passed, then a month. Sometimes Ogaloussa’s sons mentioned that he hadn’t come home. The family cared for the crops, and the sons hunted for game, but after a while they no longer talked about Ogaloussa’s disappearance.

Then, one day, another son was born to Ogaloussa’s wife. His name was Puli. Puli grew older. He began to talk, and the first thing he said was, “Where is my father?”

The other sons looked across the ricefields.

“Yes,” one of them said. “Where is father?”

“He should have returned long ago,” another one said.

“Something must have happened. We ought to look for him,” a third son said.

“He went into the forest, but where will we find him?” another one asked.

“I saw him go,” one of them said. “He went that way, across the river. Let us follow the trail and search for him.”

So the sons took their weapons and started out to search for Ogaloussa. When they were deep among the great trees and vines of the forest they lost the trail. They searched in the forest until one of them found the trail again. They followed it until they lost the way once more, and then another son found the trail. It was dark in the forest, and many times they became lost. Each time another son found the way. At last they came to a clearing among the trees, and there on the ground scattered about lay Ogaloussa’s bones and his rusted weapons. They knew then that Ogaloussa had been killed in the hunt.

One of the sons stepped forward and said, “I know how to put a dead person’s bones together.” He gathered all of Ogaloussa’s bones and put them together, each in its right place.

Another son said, “I have knowledge too. I know how to cover the skeleton with sinews and flesh.” He went to work, and her covered Ogaloussa’s bones with sinews and flesh.

A third son said, “I have the power to put blood into a body.” He went forth and put blood into Ogaloussa’s veins, and then he stepped aside.

Another of the sons said, “I can put breath into a body.” He did his work, and when he was through they saw Ogaloussa’s chest rise and fall.

“I can give the power of movement to a body,” another of them said. He put the power of movement into his father’s body, and Ogaloussa sat up and opened his eyes.

“I can give him the power of speech,” another son said. He gave the body the power of speech, and then he stepped back.

Ogaloussa looked around him. He stood up.

“Where are my weapons?” he asked.

They picked up his rusted weapons from the grass where they lay and gave them to him. Then they returned the way they had come, through the forest and the ricefields, until they had arrived once more in the village.

Ogaloussa went into his house. His wife prepared a bath for him and he bathed. She prepared food for him and he ate. Four days he remained in the house, and on the fifth day he came out and shaved his head, because this was what people did when they came back from the land of the dead.

Afterwards he killed a cow for a great feast. He took the cow’s tail and braided it. He decorated it with beads and cowry shells and bits of shiny metal. It was a beautiful thing. Ogaloussa carried it with him to important affairs. When there was a dance or an important ceremony he always had it with him. The people of the village thought it was the most beautiful cow-tail switch they had ever seen.

Soon there was a celebration in the village because Ogaloussa had returned from the dead. The people dressed in their best clothes, the musicians brought out their instruments, and a big dance began. The drummers beat their drums and the women sang. The people drank much palm wine. Everyone was happy.

Ogaloussa carried his cow-tail switch, and everyone admired it. Some of the men grew bold and came forward to Ogaloussa and asked for the cow-tail switch, but Ogaloussa kept it in his hand. Now and then there was a clamor and much confusion as many people asked for it at once. The women and children begged for it too, but Ogaloussa refused them all.

Finally, he stood up to talk. The dancing stopped and people came close to hear what Ogaloussa had to say.

“A long time ago I went into the forest,” Ogaloussa said. “While I was hunting I was killed by a leopard. Then my sons came for me. They brought me back from the dead, but I have only one cow tail to give. I shall give it to the one who did the most to bring me home.”

So an argument started.

“He will give it to me!” one of the sons said. “It was I who did the most, for I found the trail in the forest when it was lost!”

“No, he will give it to me!” another son said. “It was I who put his bones together!”

“It was I who covered his bones with sinews and flesh!” another said. “He will give it to me!”

“It was I who gave him the power of movement!” another son said. “I deserve it most!”

Another son said it was he who should have the switch, because he had put blood into Ogaloussa’s veins. Another claimed it because he had put breath in the body. Each of the sons argued his right to possess the wonderful cow-tail switch.

Before long not only the sons but the other people of the village were talking. Some of them argued that the son who had put blood in Ogaloussa’s veins should get the switch, others that the one who had given Ogaloussa breath should get it. Some of them believed that all of the sons had done equal things, and that they should share it. They argued back and forth this way until Ogaloussa asked them to be quiet.

“To this son I will give the cow-tail switch, for I owe most to him,” Ogaloussa said.

He came forward and bent low and handed it to Puli, the little boy who had been born while Ogaloussa was in the forest.

The people of the village remembered then that the child’s first words had been, “Where is my father?” They knew that Ogaloussa was right.

For there was a saying among them that a man is not really dead until he is forgotten.

And this concludes my eulogy and tribute to a human being, my grandpa.

And with that I conclude today’s post with mixed feelings of sadness and anger. I don’t know what else to say other than farewell and see you on the other side soon.

Requiescat in pace 3

Living in Free Equilibrium – LiFE Part 1 Irritation Diagnosis

Hi all! Happy Thursday! I know this isn’t my usual blog day but I just felt like posting something today, m’kay?

There are several people that I turn to when I need help about something, and then there are those things where no one seems to be able to help and I’m all alone in combating the situation. It frustrates me, it annoys me, it vexes me, and it irritates me that no one seems to understand what I’m going through.

There are two points I’d like to cover today. They affect my self-esteem, my sense of self, and my sense of image. There are days when I can’t even look at myself in the mirror without an overwhelming sense of disgust.

dermatillomania22

Firstly, I have the bad case of dermatillomania secondary to my OCD. What is dermatillomania? Well it’s a skin picking disorder.

“The primary characteristic of Skin Picking Disorder (also known as Dermatillomania or Excoriation) is the repetitive picking at one’s own skin to the extent of causing damage. Usually, but not always, the face is the primary location for skin picking. However, Skin Picking Disorder may involve any part of the body. Individuals with Skin Picking Disorder may pick at normal skin variations such as freckles and moles, at actual pre-existing scabs, sores or acne blemishes, or at imagined skin defects that nobody else can observe. Individuals with Dermatillomania may also use their fingernails or teeth, as well as tweezers, pins or other mechanical devices. As a result, Skin Picking Disorder may cause bleeding, bruises, infections, and/or permanent disfigurement of the skin.”

OCD Center of Los Angeles

I have many scars on various parts of my body from the skin picking. Most notably my is my face. I am always seen with scabs on my face and scars from previous picking sessions. I have this problem, this urge and I feel compelled to pick at my skin till it bleeds then I get a wave of relief from it. It’s this vicious cycle, I pick at it, it bleeds, it scabs over, I pick at it again, well you get the picture. It’s not that I want to do it, it’s just, well it’s there and I HAVE to do it. It’s similar to when I do a task, it HAS TO BE done to perfection. If it’s not done to perfection, I have to restart. It’s hard to explain the feeling, the sensation. But when I skin pick I have to do it till there’s relief. Usually the sight of blood is enough to satisfy the urge, but there are times when I’ll dig deep and end up digging a hole in my skin. I’ll just keep at it till the urge is gone. I get many questions from my parents, who don’t understand this, about why I pick at my skin and why I don’t stop. And I’ve tried to explain to them but they just don’t understand. You really need to feel the sensation of being compelled to do something. To them it’s just a matter of stopping right there and now. But it’s not as simple as that. It’s like someone tickling your brain and then it gets itchy and there’s no way of scratching or accessing that itch. The more you wait, the more the itch intensifies. Anyway, that’s my spiel on my dermatillomania. I hope you guys understand this a little bit more and the next time you see me with a bunch of scars on my face, think about how they got there. How difficult it was to avoid scratching and picking. My hands shake with trepidation when I resist the urge.

restless-leg-syndrome

Now secondly, I also have restless leg syndrome. What is restless leg syndrome?

“Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by throbbing, pulling, creeping, or other unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them. Symptoms occur primarily at night when a person is relaxing or at rest and can increase in severity during the night. Moving the legs relieves the discomfort. Often called paresthesias (abnormal sensations) or dysesthesias (unpleasant abnormal sensations), the sensations range in severity from uncomfortable to irritating to painful.

The most distinctive or unusual aspect of the condition is that lying down and trying to relax activates the symptoms. Most people with RLS have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Left untreated, the condition causes exhaustion and daytime fatigue. Many people with RLS report that their job, personal relations, and activities of daily living are strongly affected as a result of their sleep deprivation. They are often unable to concentrate, have impaired memory, or fail to accomplish daily tasks. It also can make traveling difficult and can cause depression.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

It’s a really embarrassing disorder. In my culture people who shake their legs are seen as rude and are seen as arrogant and uncouth. So having grown up with that perspective, it’s easy to see how embarrassment is an issue. I am by no means an arrogant person or rude but because I have this disorder, some people may perceive things differently. For me it’s just a matter of relief. There are times when it’s more intense than usual but for the most part I probably shake my legs about a good 10-12 hours a day. Usually I’m unaware my legs are shaking and when I become aware of it, I try to stop it by getting distracted. But then I get tense and stressed about it and so it becomes worse. I’ve found that music helps a bit. I can tap to the rhythm of the music and so it’s less intense, but I’m still shaking. It can be annoying for others. Take for example when I’m sitting on a bench on the bus and I’m shaking, I know I’m shaking the whole bench and everyone else feels it, but I just can’t stop just like that. I have to ease slowly into stopping and even then it’s rarely a full stop. I shake when I am in bed trying to sleep and so it’s disruptive at times. It’s usually pretty good in the mornings and then it progressively gets worse as the day goes on. I think this is because the medications wear off. My restless leg syndrome started after starting on some medications but I need these medications so I kind of have to deal with it. Sometimes I shake my legs when I’m standing! It’s frustrating. Again my parents complain about it and they don’t seem to understand it’s not something like pressing a button and thing’s just stop. I WISH that was the case. I wish all my illness could be stopped and go away. I wish I didn’t have to take such a strict regiment of medications to control my illnesses and I wish I didn’t have to deal with the side effects. Thing’s just pile up and gets worse. So that’s the second topic I wanted to cover in this blog post.

So hopefully next time you see someone with a scarred face or arms or body, or someone who’s shaking their leg seemingly uncontrollably, you’ll understand that maybe they’re not doing it on purpose. Maybe they’re fighting a losing battle and they need support. They’re not stupid and they know what’s going on. Hopefully, I’ve been able to shed some light on these two issues. This is part 1 of a planned series of blogs within my Living in Free Equilibrium posts. I hope to continue covering different topics within my life and things affecting my life. I’ll be posting a Free Association Friday post tomorrow, so stay tuned for more!

Living in Free Equilibrium – LiFE Introduction

Lonsdale Quay, Stanley Park and English Bay

 

Hi all! Happy Friday! And welcome again to the resumption of Free Association Friday!

I realize it’s been a while since I last posted anything. Last I checked (a second ago), I posted something at the start of this month. How fitting it is for me to post something again at the end of the month! It’s been a busy month with care plans, written exams, and practical exams and losing friends and stressful all nighters. I seemed to have fared quite well and I’ve weathered this storm well. I borderline passed one of my exams, it was an important exam and a very difficult one. But I’m more focused on just passing than getting a good grade at this point. All my other subjects I managed to pull a good grade so it’s acceptable, within my own limits and expectations, to have this one exam pull my grades down a bit. I mean, in a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to make compromises, but this is the real life, this isn’t a fantasy (hello, Bohemian Rhapsody). I studied hard and long for that exam and turns out I was studying all the wrong stuff. At any rate I’m done with them for now and there’s a chance for me to breathe and sit down, collect my thoughts and write.

Now on a totally different topic, my LootCrate package has arrived.

The Preator
peering through the minds
deciphering the creed
standing on watch
for to sages it was told that they would march
discovering treachery
watching with misery
plotting and scheming
hustling and mechanizing
the clouds roll in
the mountains tumble
still standing
ever vigilant
the watch of the night
the last bastion
the Preator

 

Lonsdale Quay, Stanley Park and English Bay

Procrastination Ultimate Level Attenuation

Lonsdale Quay, Stanley Park and English Bay

Hi all! Happy Friday! And Happy April’s Fool Day!

Wow! It’s been almost a month of no posting! I sincerely apologize. Half of it was due to assignment and the other half was just plain laziness on my part. I suppose also a lack of content was another reason but primarily laziness. I simply couldn’t be bothered. Sleep was more important to me than anything else.

So what’s been new lately? Well, during my Spring Break I got a couple of new tattoos. They need re-inking but that’s for another day. And you know what? That’s about it. I haven’t done much reading or done much gaming. I play games on my phone but nothing like my hardcore gaming days. I miss those days when I’d spend 10 hours sitting in front of the computer playing a game. Now I play like 3 hours tops per week. And even then that’s a lot.

It’s been a hectic week. Three finals to do. That means a whole lot of studying right? Not for me. It was more like procrastinate till the very last second. I just couldn’t get into the spirit of studying. I just felt so sleepy all of the time. But the problem was that when I tried to sleep, all I could think of was studying and so I couldn’t get a proper rest with that on my mind. But when I sat down to try and study, all I could think of was sleep. What the actual…. what even?! Brain, why you no work?!

y-u-no-guy

No me gusta!

Luckily, two of my finals were open book and so I was able to bring with me my textbooks and skim through the text during the exam. It’s a bit of a waste of time but it sorta worked for me in the end. And the one exam that wasn’t open book, I managed to pass with an 80 something %. So lucky me I guess?

Oh! My birthday was this Wednesday. I celebrated it by eating lobster and drinking beer all day long. Had me some good Czech pilsner. Light and fragrant. Spent it in the good company of friends and family.

Let’s end today’s post with a bit of free association!

That is rule
That is law
Law is golden
Golden is rich
Rich is money
Money is happiness
Happiness is chocolate
Chocolate is sweet
Sweet is you
You are my love
Love is patient
Patient is sick
Sick is doctor
Doctor is heal
Heal is medicine
Medicine is expense
Expense is paid
Paid is debt free
Debt free is freedom
Freedom is wealth
Wealth is joy
Joy to the world
World is earth
Earth is moon
Moon is space
Space is cramped
Cramped is messy
Messy is organized
Organized is OCD
OCD is disorder
Disorder is maim
Maim is death
Death is life
Life is complete
The end.

See you all soon! I promise to make my Friday posts more frequent and usual. Today’s song of the day will be Unchained Melody. =)

Lonsdale Quay, Stanley Park and English Bay