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Cerberus

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  1. As you have posted this topic in the Confessional and not asked that it be closed to replies, we assume you are looking for feedback. From the perspective of an uninvolved outside observer, one would suspect that your girlfriend's sister is correct. It would be illogical to conclude that a worker's spilling of drinks on a customer was intentional, as such an action would almost certainly result in a hostile encounter with the customer, and possibly an adverse action from management. It would not have been in her interest or profit to have done so on purpose, and she had no reason for antipathy toward your group personally, therefore she could have had no reason to have done so on purpose. The notion that she would randomly spill drinks on your girlfriend's sister because she considered you "scum" does not appear to be substantiated - you relate that her initial expression was neutral, not negative, so there is no reason to believe she held a negative feeling about your group. Further, as an employee of McDonald's, it is unlikely that she occupies a socioeconomic station substantially above your own such that she would be in a position to think of you, or any of the restaurant's patrons, as "scum". Therefore, if her action was not intentional, it must have been accidental. You relate that her expression on having spilled the drinks turned to 'trepidation'. Trepidation is "a state of fear of something that may happen", so if your description is accurate, her reaction was likely not a reflection of scorn toward your group, but rather fear that her mistake would result in negative consequences. According to your account, her fear was realized in harsh terms, as you responded in brazen anger, attributing to her motivations that she did not have, and mischaracterizing her "dopey" (a baseless pejorative) and "reckless" (an unverifiable accusation) behavior to her superior, resulting in a reprimand of potentially unwarranted severity. The advent of online discourse has emboldened people in recent years to abandon modes of civil discourse and interpersonal tolerance that have heretofore greased the wheels of social interaction and made it possible for people to live together in workable societies. Now, protected by the anonymity of user aliases, people have begun to feel free to give vent to their baser emotions, lashing out in anger, indulging their suspicions, insecurities, biases, bigotries and paranoias against people who have done them no harm. The overall effect of this increasingly toxic dialogue has spilled over into real-life interactions, poisoning our social environment, hardening attitudes and splintering bonds that have held our civilization together. In short, people are getting needlessly hurt by needlessly hurtful words. It would appear, from the narrative that you have provided, that your words were needless. What would have happened had you stopped to consider the possibility that the server had spilled the drinks accidentally, allowed her to recover from the embarrassment of her mistake, and attempt to amend before you drew any assumptions about her motives? One might also suggest, since your description of her thoughts and motives is entirely suppositional (you are not, one assumes, a telepath) that the attitudes about your group as "not good enough" and "scum" could only have originated in your own mind, and you therefore can only have been attributing self-assessments to her. Why do you think you feel this way about yourself? Perhaps if you are able to come to terms with this feeling of insecurity you will find less occasion to be confrontational and 'brazen' with others. It might be a useful thought exercise to imagine yourself in the server's place, picturing yourself having just upset a tray full of drinks onto a woman's blouse - what would you have done then? How would you have felt at that moment? What would you hope would have happened next? What would you fear happening? Answer those questions and then apply your answers to the server in your account and see if you feel the same way about the event.
  2. @agentforbez111 - There's a slight distinction which seems to have escaped you. Gearhead is an Administrator of this forum, whereas you are not. She has informed you that your commentary is unacceptable on this forum, and has both the power and the authority to enforce that 'perspective'. I, also, am an Administrator of this forum. You will cease and desist from any further comment of this nature or you will be evicted from this arena. You may wish to review the User Rules which you agreed to upon registering as a member of this community, which state, inter alia, that no member shall be a bigger asshole than the Moderators, and the Moderators have sole discretion to determine if that threshold is crossed. You're one wrong word from crossing it. There will be no further warning or discussion. Allow me to supply a musical accompaniment as you ponder carefully to consider your next post:
  3. An important point to keep in mind is that suicidal ideation is not a natural human mental state, as it conflicts with the individual’s instinct for self-preservation. Suicidality is a reflection that the person is experiencing a deficit in his or her ability to cope with emotional pain. This may be transitory or chronic, brought about by overwhelming circumstances or the influence of mental illness that generates the cognitive illusion of despair. If the person is diagnosed with a mental condition for which suicidal ideation is a known comorbidity, its onset is a strong indication that the person may be symptomatic, and his or her care provider should be alerted. The key thing to remember is that the person is in terrible mental anguish, and is in desperate for relief — the sufferer does not actually wish to die; the person just wants the pain to stop. At the moment, the only way the person can think of to achieve this is by not living. This is why is is important to listen to the person, encourage him or her to express the source of distress, and acknowledge the pain. This alone is a valve to begin to release some of the distress, and an opportunity to begin to cope. It also opens an opportunity for the use of reason to counteract what may have become increasingly irrational patters of disordered thinking leading toward the ultimate irrational act.
  4. Because they read your mind. 😬 I am a single male, living alone, who to my certain memory has not purchased a single article of clothing for myself beyond underwear and an Irish day coat for the last 40 years. What I wear I receive as gifts from other people. Why, then, am I besieged with ads for ladies' apparel? The closest I've ever come to putting on a dress is considering wearing a kilt in honor of my Scots heritage—and genetically I'm only 25% Scottish.
  5. I am very familiar with this line of thought. The reason it is disordered is that it assumes that the vision of the future life you're looking at is the one that's actually going to happen. But there's no way of knowing that... unless you set out to make it happen. Which is, of course, all too often the result when people don't become aware that their thinking is disordered. In this case, we're telling you. Listen up, cloth-ears. And here it is, the brutal lie that props up all the rest: The truth is, you don't need a drink. You never do. The alcohol is not a need. You need relief from the self-torment of your disordered thoughts. You think the alcohol provides that relief. (It actually doesn't; the torment is still there, waiting to pounce like a leopard as soon as the alcohol has softened you up a bit.) If you're not very careful, you may become chemically dependent upon the alcohol in a physical sense, and therefore need it in an entirely different and highly undesirable way, but even then you won't need it the way you think you do. Do this: Take an indelible marker and write the words "Boris Johnson" on every bottle or can of alcohol you have. Then, every time you go to take a drink, imagine you're kissing the Prime Minister full on the mouth. A little imagination can be a useful deterrent. (If you can still stomach the sauce after that, it's a strong sign that you have a problem.)
  6. Imbecile: "Try not to worry." Me: "Try not to speak." [Instantly begins focusing sharply on the thing I'm not supposed to be thinking about in an effort not to think about it]
  7. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
  8. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is staffed by career professional doctors and scientists who have devoted their lives to public service to addressing the causes and treatments of some of the worst scourges to face mankind. Their task is daunting. Making it exponentially more difficult is the fact that they must contend with politicians who seek to leverage their work for partisan ends. The doctors and scientists, however, know that viruses and bacteria answer to no party or platform, and the people on the ground are doing the hard work of trying to find answers to extremely difficult medical problems while under pressure to do so at an unreasonably rapid pace. That pace is brought on by the need to save lives, but also by the impatience and assumptions of an uninformed populace that has become used to instant gratification. Cut them some slack. They're doing the best they can in an impossible situation, at a time when our society has gone dog-barking irrationally insane. The state we're in with COVID-19 in the United States is one we have brought on ourselves through our dysfunctional politics, our long-festering social divides, and the infuriating American tendency for smug self-satisfaction that says we can't possibly be wrong about anything. The situation has been made incalculably worse by the demagoguery of Donald Trump, who very intentionally sought to discredit science and fact-based policy. Now it's biting us in the ass, and we're still not getting it. The World Health Organization quite rightly shapes its policies around the global situation. That's their sphere. The CDC quite rightly confines theirs to a national scope - they're an agency of a national government. It would not make sense for the CDC to shape policy for the United States on the basis of the statistics of a country, or group of countries, beyond our borders whose situation with COVID is radically different than our situation on the ground. It would make no more sense than one of those countries shaping their policies as though they had already achieved vaccination rates on a par with the U.S. If you have lost faith in the government, or authorities in general, as a result of the current political/social climate, that's understandable. Do not lose faith in science, or the scientists at the CDC who are trying to help us. To say that one must continue to wear a mask at all times is the equivalent of saying that vaccination is ineffective. That is not the case. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to have efficacy of up to 95-98% in preventing either infection or serious symptoms if infection occurs. Early results suggest that Pfizer is 85% effective against even the Delta variant. Yes, the mask will provide an added layer of protection against the unvaccinated. But consider this: As a vaccinated person, wearing the mask may also signal to an unvaccinated person that you believe vaccinations really aren't effective, and discourage them from actually getting one. No one is guaranteed a risk-free life. Every day, we must weigh the risks we choose to take, even if it's only to decide whether to go outdoors to check the mail, or to walk down the stairs. I read recently that a 70-year-old person has a greater risk of dying just getting out of bed than a person has of dying from taking a dose of heroin. (Note to self: Sleep on the floor after I turn 70.) We weigh our risk against what we want to do, we do what we can to mitigate the risk, and then we get on with life. The alternative is to live in fear and fail to achieve the things we want to achieve. If you find you are making a decision based on fear, stop. Gather information from multiple sources, think it through, weigh the risk, make logical decisions to reduce the risk, then move sensibly ahead without fear.
  9. For those of you concerned about the efficacy of vaccines against variants of COVID, research is still limited, but preliminary studies indicate that the Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines all convey at least some protection against variants after the full course of immunizations has been administered. Given the newness of the Delta variant, information is even more limited there, but an early study suggests that the Pfizer vaccine is 85% successful at warding off infection against even the Delta variant after the second dose. The important point isn't so much whether the vaccines are able to absolutely shield one from infection, but whether they can prevent one from becoming seriously ill as a result of infection. It appears that all of the vaccines have a very high success rate in those terms. This is why COVID is so much more frightening than the annual strain of influenza that we're all encouraged to get an annual shot for - COVID has been causing very serious, long-lasting, and frequently life-threatening illness. Pulling those fangs out of COVID is the most important role of the vaccines. According to recent statistics, among the deaths still occurring from COVID, the victims are overwhelmingly from among the unvaccinated. Go get your shots, if you haven't already.
  10. Said every alcoholic, ever. Mass. Of. Contradictions. You’re both acutely aware of the condition you’re in, and in denial at the same time. It’s all right if you’re a fucking idiot. So am I, very frequently. But neither of us is a fucking idiot constantly, so there may be some hope for us.
  11. There's nowhere you can go here that I won't pop up to harass you. No Yes Your liver disagrees narrows your focus dulls your wits Let's not Being a potty-mouthed know-it-all does make one a better person 🤨 You are a mass of contradictions here. You like alcohol/it's shit. You're a "good" drunk, but you start cursing like an overeducated sailor. It relieves your depression but it makes it worse (as it would, being a depressant). You're healthy but you know you're killing your liver. Drinking helps except when it doesn't, and when it doesn't, it doesn't just not work, it makes the problem very much worse - and you don't know which outcome you're going to end up with. I disagree with your premise that it matters why you drink. Coming up with a "good" reason to drink has always been the way alcoholics rationalize continuing the self-destructive behavior even when it becomes evident even to them that they've got a problem. "I'm not an alcoholic, I just drink to unwind." "I don't have a problem, I just like to let my hair down when I go out. Nothing wrong with getting wasted once in a while." "Please. I'm not an alcoholic. I'm a connoisseur of fine wine." "I only drink it medicinally." "It helps me get through the day." Really, any reason will do. Any reason can be rationalized as a "good" reason to an addict. At the end of the day, looked at objectively, there is actually no "good" reason to do something so blatantly adverse to your condition. No, the alcohol does not "help" your depression. You may experience the illusion of relief, but the chemical has not mitigated the underlying biological or psychological causes of your depression in any way. On the contrary, as a chemical depressant, it acts to exacerbate the biological effects that bring you down, and actively undermines whatever benefit you may be getting from taking an antidepressant. (Note: On the prescribing sheet for any antidepressant, you will find the phrase: Do Not Take With Alcohol.) But knowing this isn't going to stop you, because you're using alcohol to self-medicate. Me, I use sugar. At least, I did. Now, I'm a fucking diabetic, and I can't have it because if I don't control my sugar intake, my left leg swells up and my toes turn black. I now have to wear compression socks all day every day. I told my doctor that this may become a competing quality-of-life issue, in that the determining factor of whether I die from the depression or the diabetes will be whether the anhedonia becomes so bad that I can't do without sugar. But - I'm making the decision rationally, and for now, I'm going sugar-free. I'm not telling myself that it matters why I eat the pudding. That would fall into the category of 'bullshit'. Regardless of why I eat it, the sugar would still have the same effect. I don't, thank God, have an addictive nature. Members of my family do - my nephew at this moment is sitting in an inpatient rehab facility. I know that giving up a substance isn't as easy as putting your mind to it, and I'm not going to suggest something that absurd. But it does require an exercise of your will. Even if you are able to get the help needed to overcome the addiction to it, you may always feel its pull, and you may always have to exercise extra cognitive effort to prevent yourself from once again falling into dysfunctional thinking that rationalizes self-destruction. My grandfather was an alcoholic. He loved bourbon (we're Kentuckians, so naturally). He died 25 years ago, and I have lived in his house for the last 20 years. I am still finding empty bottles that he had hidden away. He died at 86 of heart failure, in a state of dementia. He had had a pacemaker installed, and not long before his death he had been hospitalized and could not, of course, have his toddy. He complained of this to anyone who would listen. My cousin considered smuggling a fifth of bourbon in to him; he chickened out, but made the mistake of telling my grandfather about his plan. Later that evening, at the nurses' station, an alarm went off - my grandfather's heart monitor had flatlined. They rushed into his room to try to resuscitate him, only to find him unscrewing the lead to his external pacemaker battery. When they asked him what he thought he was doing, he said, "Trying to get the cap off my fifth of whiskey." When I was a young man, he once asked me, "Do ya drink?" He had a toddy in his hand, so I supposed I was about to be offered one. "No, Papaw, I don't," I said. "Good," he replied. "Never start." Flue, it's hurting you. Any excuse you give yourself to continue is a bad excuse. I know the other pain is bad, but there are other ways to deal with it that aren't going to kill you. If you need help to stop, please seek it.
  12. I didn't teach any lessons. Children loathe lesson-y books, and rightly so. An author who sets out to write a book for children to teach them a lesson has no business writing books for children. And no, I'm nothing like on the level of Rowling - you can publish a dozen books and still nobody will have any idea you exist. It's only the rare few authors whose work gains that kind of notoriety and following. I would love to invent a fictional character or setting that so fundamentally spoke to the human condition that millions of people would identify with it and make it their own - it would be a signal to me that I might actually be a part of the same species. So far, however, no luck. It sounds as though your brain works much as mine does. Very regrettable.
  13. Yes. It most certainly can. The civil war in my head has been raging for nearly 35 years, and got so bad that I had to invent an arbitrator to impose a peace so that the two sides didn't savage each other to death. I split my psyche into two warring halves (and dear God, they abhor one another), and then later had to create a third persona to mediate between them. It's more of a cold war now, but there's no sign of a reconciliation on the horizon. Yet, I consider this state of affairs preferable to the self-loathing I once endured. That was a different kind of warfare, but more like a self-genocide. It couldn't continue. I'm not suggesting any of this is going to be easy. I'm just saying it's doable. It's within your reach. The actual barriers to your making the change are things you will either overcome, or not, entirely because you decide you decide to do it. I'm going to stop you there. Nothing that happened because of COVID-19 counts. The entire planet got set back on its heels by the pandemic, so to whatever degree you feel you were set back or constrained, the guy standing next to you was set back and constrained as well. If we all had to take two steps back at the same time, we're all still in the same position relative to one another as when we started. If you were making good progress before COVID forced you into isolation again, then resume those things that were making you successful now that Flop-Headed Boris isn't keeping you in a bubble anymore. If it worked then, why won't it work now? That's the thing about empirical evidence - now that it's proved something works the first time, you have to either accept it or actively disprove it. And if it was true the first time, you'll have a tough time disproving. That's why acknowledging empirical experience makes it tougher to simply slip back into miserable thinking - you can, but the evidence to the contrary is sitting there staring at you and isn't going away. That is a) a premature statement, and b) not for you to decide. Your life is still in progress. While you live, it doesn't matter in the least what you've done. The only thing that matters is what you do next. Only when you have, as it were, left the building, will it be possible for those who remain to evaluate whether you wasted the time you had on Earth, and they will not evaluate it by the effect your actions had on you, but by the effect your actions had on others. It's impossible for any of us to know the full effect of our actions. Me unknowingly kicking a pebble as I walk could change the direction of a beetle so that it walked along a different path in such a way that it attracted the attention of a bird that flew down to eat it only to distract the driver of a car who veered into the oncoming lane and struck head-on the vehicle carrying the Prime Minister, killing him dead on the spot. Had I not taken that step at that place at that moment, the Prime Minister would have gone on his way without incident. As it is, I would read about it in the news and never know I had anything to do with it. That is to say, this would have happened, had you not inadvertently dropped a shiny coin out of your pocket which attracted a magpie to pick it up, and in its haste to take its new treasure back to its nest, flew by and became entangled in the Prime Minister's hair, causing a five-minute delay in the motorcade getting underway, and preventing it from being in the road at the moment when the previous distracted motorist swerved - and thus, quite unawares, you become a hero to Tories everywhere. Naturally, any action of yours could just as easily save a life, shape the destiny of a nation, or just make somebody's day. You may never know it, but your life will not have been wasted. I am a published author of children's books. Eleven of my picture books for children and two of my novels for young adults were published. When I wrote them, I told myself that if one book of mine could just help one child to learn to love to read as much as my favorite book did for me, I would be successful, even though I realized it was highly unlikely that I would ever know whether that happened or not. Until one day, years later, someone told me that one of my books made them love reading for the first time. No one else has ever said it, but at least for one person, to that extent, my effort was not wasted. It almost makes up for killing the Prime Minister.
  14. Yellow Roze - I'm a Kentuckian, but spent four years in Big D when I was in college, so am somewhat familiar with the way things are down there in the Republic. Your experience at Padre was unlucky, but not unpredictable - North and South Padre Islands are particularly known for the presence of Man-o-War jellyfish, which do sting. The last time I was down there, years ago, I remember a sign that greeted you when you got to the beach that warned about the conditions on the beach for the day, and one of the lines read "Man-o-War: Lots" The thing is, you had a bad experience in a place where that experience was more likely to happen. It's sort of like saying you got a sunburn on the beach at a resort, so you're never going to go to resorts again - of course you got a sunburn on the beach. That's where sunburns happen. But not under the cabana. Not indoors in the resort. That's the thing about phobias: Our minds extrapolate small fears into irrational conclusions and then make decisions based on the irrational thinking. That's not to say that phobias don't feel like very real threats, or don't have very real physical effects. They do. They mobilize our bodies' defenses just the same as real threats. But the threats they're responding to are usually either much less than we perceive them to be, or don't exist at all, and that means we have some room to apply another part of our brains to the problem - our cognitive skills. If the phobia isn't too extreme, you may be able to confront the fear by identifying it as you're experiencing it as a phobia - by telling yourself, "I'm afraid, but I also know that this is a phobia. Maybe it's not as real as it feels." You can challenge it. For instance - River Monsters. Okay, you binge-watched River Monsters. What do we know about a show like River Monsters? We know that: a) They didn't call it River Critters. Why? Because that title wouldn't have been as exciting or drawn as much morbid attention as one with 'monsters' in it. b) In this day and age, tame, calm shows about the everyday habits of wild creatures have zero chance of competing for ratings against the sensational, sex-laden, explosion-filled, profanity-laced, murder-a-minute fare that's all over cable; if they want eyeballs to focus on a wildlife show, the wildlife has got to be wilder than wild - it's got to be downright life-threatening. Whether or not the animals are actually like that is beside the point. c) Watch the news. How many reports have you seen in the last year of people being devoured by river monsters? Yea-hhhh, none. And you'd better believe that if it were happening, there would be film at eleven. So what does that tell us? It ain't happening. So the mind with a river-monster phobia that looks at an inviting stream on a hot day and says, No way am I getting in that refreshing cool water because I don't want to be eaten by a giant eel can be confronted. Obviously, the information on River Monsters doesn't add up. You binge-watched it, so basically all the information you have about what lives unseen at the bottom of the river is from that source, and that's what feeds the phobia. But what if you also consult a different source? Like, for instance, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, or the National Park Service, who know a heck of a lot about what lives at the bottom of rivers. (I was a National Park Service ranger for 30 years. I'm not afraid of river monsters. I get in the water and get wet and everything. I've even been nibbled on by minnows.) Actually, that last bit about the minnows is only partly in jest. If phobias have too strong a grip to be conquered by willpower and cognitive skills alone, there is also the process of desensitization, whereby the person suffering from the phobia can be gradually exposed or reintroduced to the thing or environment or experience that causes the phobia. With each small, controlled experience that demonstrates that what the person fears does not actually occur when the fear is confronted, the phobia gradually loses its ability to stimulate the brain's fight/flight/freeze reactions, and the person is able to begin to function normally. My phobias are of heights, and spiders. The spiders I am able (generally) to work around with cognitive skills. Now, little everyday ones don't bother me at all. Put a tarantula on my arm and I'll squeal like a little girl. I'm working on it. The heights, though - no amount of reason helps there. I don't know why, but there's a primitive kind of fear, as though I'm remembering some ancient terror from when humans lived in trees. If I ever wanted to sky-dive or bungee-jump (not happening) I would have to do some desensitization work before I could even think about it. So, if your phobia of water troubles you - and it sounds as though to some extent it does - you can work on both of these tactics on your own. You can challenge what you 'learned' from River Monsters by getting some information from other sources that might tell a different story that might not be so frightening, and then ask yourself some stern questions when you feel afraid about whether the fear is really real. You can do your own desensitization a little at a time - you don't have to dive into the river up to your neck, just step in up to your ankles next time. The time after that, go as far as your shins. The next time, your knees. If the river monsters don't go for your kneecaps (they won't), you can consider going further, or hanging around at that depth for as long as you like, until you feel comfortable. Go to the sea again, but do you homework and pick a stretch of shoreline that isn't known for jellyfish. There are lots and lots of places where millions of people frolic in the surf without the least risk of any such contact. Or travel to a place where the waters are crystal-clear and you could see anything around you from a great distance. This is something you can overcome, if you wish. You weren't born with it. You picked it up... and you can put it down.
  15. Cheese, is this something your care provider is recommending? Because trying to “reset” one’s meds baseline is not a thing that someone should attempt to do on his or her own. It’s not as though our heads get cluttered like an old attic with leftover bits of meds - our meds get metabolized by our bodies at various rates and the resulting compounds are filtered from our systems via kidneys and liver. If by “meds wash” you mean stopping all meds until you’re certain there’s nothing at all in your system - i.e., that you’re now completely unmedicated - only to start up again, this makes little sense. You’d simply be going right back to where you were before you discontinued, except that now you’ll have to wait for the meds to reach a therapeutic level in your system now that you’ve interrupted the state you had already established. The notion that the meds that you just stopped taking will suddenly start working differently in your system when you start the very same meds again also has no clear basis. Unless you have a specific reason to believe that a pause is going to somehow change the way the med works in your system (and by “specific reason” I mean a reason given to you by your doctor) then it simply doesn’t make sense. If you’re talking about clearing out your system of your current meds in order to replace them with different meds, that’s not a conversation you should have with us; you should definitely be talking about a change that significant directly with your doctor. And to be absolutely frank and candid with you, from what we have observed here of your condition in recent months, I cannot in any way get behind the idea of you discontinuing treatment for any length of time, especially if you’re not doing it on the advice and under the close supervision of your doctor. This “wash” sound very baby-out-with-the-bathwater to me.
  16. 'Scrum' sounds like a some dish invented during the Elizabethan period by poor dockworkers and still served locally at pubs even though nobody likes it because it's the thing everyone is supposed to eat whilst they watch rugby. By "wrestling" I presume you mean "professional" wrestling, which is indeed more spectacle than sport, but then, I truly believe a sizable proportion of the populace would be perfectly happy for us to return to gladiatorial bloodletting if they could stream it live for free. Actual wrestling of the Greco-Roman variety, however, is quite arguably a legitimate sporting event, and was a staple of the original Olympic games. When I was learning mixed martial arts as a component of Tae Kwon Do, the training included a measure of 'ground-fighting', which essentially amounted to wrestling. I do not enjoy it. The whole purpose seems to be to press yourself as close as humanly possible to the other human being, which is the Wrong Direction as far as I'm concerned.
  17. @Fluent In Silence - It occurs to me to ask, given the current topic: Do you ever consider eating a worm? As in Nobody loves me Everybody hates me I think I'll eat a worm Never having done it myself, I can neither encourage nor discourage it, though it does seem hard on the worm. It's also difficult to see how, as a solution to the problem, it works to make one any more loveable. But perhaps that's the point: A nonsensical solution to a nonsensical assertion. Given that the negative perception isn't really true, it hardly matters that the worm would be useless in correcting it and only helpful in amplifying the misery of the consumer. (Especially if it's reference to drowning one's misery in mezcal, which is contraindicated—alcohol is a depressant.)
  18. So, as you're watching, as we assume, unencumbered by knowledge of the rules (aka how the game is supposed to be played), what is it that you entertain is actually happening on the field? If you had to explain the game to someone who had never seen it before, what would you say? I don't know the rules of rugby either, and I don't believe I've ever watched endured an entire game of it. I've always assumed it's called 'rugby' because 'we all fall down' was too cumbersome to say, and because 'collisions and piles' suggests a board game like 'chutes and ladders'.
  19. You can't run away from yourself. You're attached to yourself at the back. I understand exactly what you're saying. The thing is, you're already halfway to the point where you can start to overcome this. What I mean is that you have reached a point of introspection and self-awareness that you can abstractly recognize that your disordered thinking patterns are disordered, point out what isn't normal about them, identify their direct influences on your mood, and speculate on their origins. This is all very good. The next step is to train your dominant cognitive awareness to form an objective distance from the patterns it observes, to consider them as a phenomenon rather than as an expression of normality. Remember - everything that voice says is a lie. It is always a lie. It is either a lie of falsehood, or a lie of omission, or a half-truth construed to ill, but regardless, it is a lie. You must reach the point at which you realize without even thinking about it that that voice is lying, and immediately challenge anything it says. For example: If you can't accept yourself, then why would anyone else want anything to do with you? Are we expected to simply take the premise of that at face value? I might well ask, If someone else seems to want something to do with you, why, then, shouldn't you accept yourself? The argument is a simple reflexive equivalent, but is actually stronger because it draws upon empirical observation rather than an unsupportable assumption like the first argument does. This is the hardest part. This is where the heavy lifting comes in. You can overcome this negative thinking, but you may have to become adversarial with a part of yourself in order to do it. Some part of you is going to have to stand up for the rest of you and tell the liar to fuck off. I don't have a formula for how to arrive at that personal watershed, but ultimately it will be a decision you make whether or not you're conscious of making it, and an action you take whether or not you're aware of acting on it. I always keep coming back to the quote from Milton at the bottom of my signature here: The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n. I'm not going to pity you. I'm just going to wait for you to decide how you're going to live.
  20. I don't give a fig about sports. I find watching them tedious and dull. At the end of all that effort and strain, what have they accomplished? They've moved a small sphere or ovoid from one place to another, only to retrieve it afterward. Or thrown some object as far away as possible. Or ended up at the bottom of a hill (I saw that coming - gravity). Or run madly about in a circle. All in the service of doing the pointless thing more pointlessly than the other person. I find American football an appalling holdover from the gladiatorial excesses of the court of Caligula, and I see nothing beautiful about The Beautiful Game elsewhere, other than there appears to be less ending up in a heap than in American football, or intentional beating of people with sticks as in hockey (internationally). I confess I have always had some intrigue toward cricket, mainly owing to being an Anglophile, but also because it seemed more genteel and less spitty and ass-scratchy than baseball. As a morose school-age youth who suffered from exercise-induced asthma, I did not excel, or attempt to excel, or pantomime any attempt to excel at sports. In those horrid times when forced by Physical Education teachers (loathsome creatures - I condemn them wholesale as an entirely unnecessary blot on Western Civilization) to participate in team sports, I made myself as peripheral as possible. If it were baseball, I would engineer to be so far in the outfield that other participants looked like figurines in the distance. I do not play sports. I never have. With one exception - I fence. I picked it up as an undergraduate, and found that I'm not bad at it. I had no interest in going into competition with it, but I always enjoyed sparring. I think it's because it is the only sporting activity that fits my need for order and precision. The question you need to be asking yourself, however, is what kind of shape your nails are in, and are you using the right shade of polish to compliment your complexion?
  21. As a point of interest, my visit to the urologist (the doctor) was not uncomfortable at all today. Yet at the end of it, when it came time to schedule my follow-up appointment, sure enough, the receptionist tried to shunt me off onto one of their LNPs for the next appointment. She paused for a tic when I said, "No, thank you, I'll wait until the doctor is available." Which he was, at a time three days later on. Bear in mind, the subject of my visit was a discussion about a risk of prostate cancer, and the decisions I would need to make in terms of monitoring versus early biopsy to determine if there was an issue, etc. The potential is not high, but I am not trusting my potential cancer diagnosis, and the source of advice on which to base my next decisions, to a LNP. Just not. Sorry not sorry.
  22. @Iceberg - I say ‘crisis’ in a broad societal sense, but really what it amounts to is the NPs becoming a first line of triage of the mental health care on a community level because the problem is growing too large, by volume, for the doctors to manage it at their level. But MI doesn’t lend itself to triage in the way physical injury might, both because of the complexity of human psychology, and the scientific unknowns about the nature and function of the brain. You can’t ultimately set a brain like you would a broken arm. I’m not sure I entirely fit your description of me as a consumer of psychiatric care. Yes, I am able to pay to see my pdoc, but that ability comes at a significant cost to me - I live frugally on a government pension and I very consciously and deliberately do without some things in order to set aside the money for my psychiatric care. This is not really something I have an option about; without this level of care, my depression will kill me. It’s as simple as that.
  23. My only experience with mental health care providers who are not full Psychologist PhDs or Phychiatric MDs are the Licensed Clinical Social Workers my Ex insisted on engaging for our children when we first started looking for mental health care for them. I found every one of them useless in being able to assist two children on the edge of the Autism spectrum and coping with the beginnings of depression, anxiety, social phobia and ADHD. They were not, however, psychiatric NPs. My daughter sees my pdoc now, and I pay through the nose for it, even though I'm on a pension. Worth every penny. Nonetheless, yes, if my pdoc were to tell me one day that he was referring some of his patients out to a NP and I would be seeing that person (of either gender) I would reply, Au contraire, mon frére. I pay his fee out-of-pocket (he does not take my insurance) in order to pick his specially-educated brain, and I will accept no substitutes. The same would be true for any professional's services I engage. The proliferation of LNPs is occurring as a result of a growing shortage of fully qualified doctors - or rather, of a burgeoning population that is growing faster than the number of doctors available to service it. By necessity, these less-qualified people are taking up the slack because otherwise the need will be unmet. Governments are allowing qualification requirements to edge downward in order to meet the public need. In other words, it's a crisis. An argument will be heard that NPs are qualified to diagnose and prescribe. Yes - but they are not as qualified, and that is both inarguable, and the point. That doesn't mean people need a lesser quality of care, nor that medicine has become any easier or less complicated to practice. It takes roughly 11 postsecondary years to earn an MD. It takes 6-8 to become a LNP. Do I wish to trust my personal health to someone with 11 years of training and experience, or someone with as much as 5 years less training and experience? I'll take the 11-year package, please and thank you. It may be a bit more expensive, and I may have to get in line, but I don't mind paying for quality. It's my health, after all, and if you don't have your health - as they say - you don't have anything. I'm not going to settle for second-best when it comes to my physical and mental health. Perhaps it's because I came so close to nearly dying, and have medical incompetence to thank for it. (Actually, following on Gearhead's comment above, I'm much less selective about auto mechanics. I don't really see how a mechanic's driving ability would affect his engineering skills. The vast majority of people who work on passenger airliners aren't pilots, yet we still board aircraft. My maternal grandfather repaired military aircraft during World War II - and he couldn't fly a paper airplane.) I had a conversation with my daughter today on this very subject. She enjoys playing the Devil's Advocate, or at least enjoys needling me, I'm not sure which, but she said, "You realize you're not special, don't you? You're not better than all of the other people who would like to see the doctor, and he can't see everyone, so some people have to see the Nurse Practitioner. Why do you get to see the Doctor and they don't?" [Note: "You're not special" from one's own daughter - 20 years of therapy down the tubes in one fell swoop. How sharper than a serpent's tooth...] Because, I told her, I'm willing to wait my turn for it, pay extra for it, but above all, because I'm going to insist on it - in a modern medical environment where there are too many patients and not enough doctors, it becomes imperative that you become your own best advocate for your medical care. If you don't, you'll get walked over by someone else with more chutzpa, and they'll get the better medical care, they'll get the better treatment, and they'll be the ones to thrive while you simply cope. Would a psych NP have had the prescribing experience to have given me relief from my refractive, tenacious Double Depression a decade ago? I highly doubt that. My pdoc is a very experienced prescriber, and until him, no other pdoc had ever laid a glove on my condition. Why would I think that a NP with years less experience in diagnosis and practice would be able to do as well as this very seasoned professional? I wouldn't. No sensible person would, and there would be no sensible reason to. I recognize, mind you, that there are a number of reasons that our members here see psych NPs rather than full pdocs or tdocs, and it's not my place to say that that's a bad decision for them - if it's working, if they are satisfied that they are getting the best care available, then more power to them. It's just not the choice I would make for myself.
  24. My infectious disease specialist advised me to take one dose of Tylenol one hour before each vaccination, and a second dose six hours afterward. Apparently this helps to fend off unwanted side effects. Unlike Gears, I felt absolutely nothing, from either shot, and had no sign of any side effect. I'm not as eager to keep the mask, simply because I've never had any success at either monitoring or censoring my own expression. I gather that it doesn't do all that much; for many years people - lots of people - have told me that I remind them very much of the android Data from Star Trek. Intriguing.
  25. How odd. I wrote my previous response to this thread, above, almost a year ago to date. At that time, I reflected on the likely experience of a man seeing a female urologist, and for some reason made no mention of the fact that I had myself had that very experience only a year or so prior. What makes it doubly odd is that I have an appointment with my urologist on Friday - an appointment which had been scheduled for earlier by his office, but I asked that it be deferred until Friday because at the earlier appointment I had been scheduled to be seen not by the doctor but by the nurse practitioner working in his practice Who is a woman. A little background. A have been seen by this nurse practitioner before, at my last visit to the practice. I was not advised in advance, indeed not even until she entered the room, that the doctor himself would not be the one to examine me. She simply shows up and explains that she will be taking care of my appointment that day. The appointment concerned a rather personal matter involving my nether regions, and the examination ended with her inserting a gloved finger into my anus and probing about. I maintained a detached attitude of clinical practicality. So did she. It was a matter of medical business and necessity, was executed efficiently, and the entire affair was over quite quickly. Actually, rather more quickly than it probably would have been had I been seen by the doctor, because I did not feel inclined to ask her questions that I might otherwise have asked the doctor. I felt distinctly uncomfortable throughout, and was never able to shake it. The question is: To what degree did it have to do with her being female? Two other factors were at play. First, given the nature of the condition being dealt with, I was taken aback at being faced with having to discuss such a personal matter with a complete stranger without warning the moment she entered the room. And second, I do not see Licensed Nurse Practitioners if I have anything to say about it. A LNP is not a doctor. I do not consider a LNP an acceptable stand-in when I have come to see a doctor and am paying to see a doctor, regardless of whether that LNP is male or female. So the combination of those two things definitely set me back. But I'm not absolutely certain I can say with honesty that I did not feel at least a small amount of discomfort at not being given a choice as to whether a woman was going to examine that particular aspect of my anatomy. I have no issue whatever with female doctors in general. I see a number of specialists who are women, and a doctor's gender isn't normally a factor I consider when deciding to see one. This case, however, well. Like I say. Odd.
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