Life With an Anxiety Disorder

It was 1987. I was five years old, playing out in front of my house. I was with my friend Darryl, and we were using sticks to try and dig out the edges of a sewer grate because we thought that would be a great way to meet the ninja turtles. The sewer grate was in the middle of the parking lot that was part of our housing complex. On the grass in front of my house, my ThunderCats castle sat, a hose going through the front window. I like the idea of a castle with a waterfall.

Darryl got up quickly, seeing a danger that I couldn’t. I turned and began to stand. At that moment, a car shoved my body to the ground. I woke up about 50 feet away, under the car, having been dislodged by a speedbump. I stood up and ran home, passing out on the grass in front of the house.

I remember sitting in the car on the way to the hospital. I was in the car that hit me. I looked down at my leg, seeing meat and bone. I was interested in it, and tried to touch it. My mom stopped me, and told me I was in shock and that’s why it didn’t hurt. She asked me what I was doing when I got hit. When I told her that I was looking for the ninja turtles, she started asking me questions about them. She was keeping my brain going so I wouldn’t pass out.

At the hospital, things were much different. They didn’t want to anesthetize me because I was in shock, so they stitched my leg immediately and without anesthetic. It was a very cold stinging feeling.

In the years that followed, I remember things like walking back to the school from the schoolyard and feeling like something was pulling me backward. My friend Michael asked me why I’m walking as slow as an ant. I had no idea what it was. At such a young age, it might well have been a ghost holding on to me, preventing me from walking.

I was suddenly terrified to get on buses. The feeling was much stronger then, almost incapacitating. A complete, enveloping terror. My mother couldn’t make heads or tails of it, and eventually took me to a psychiatrist. I was soon diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder. The likelihood is that it came from head trauma from being hit by the car.

My ability to socialize was stunted. School was difficult. I had no idea what my triggers were, I had no idea that triggers even existed. I would find myself in blinding terror in the most innocuous of situations. Even as a youngster, I had the presence of mind to explain it to the person in front of me though. That didn’t stop me from getting bullied. The bullying, in fact, became so severe that my mother moved me to a different school. In retrospect, it was easily a very burdensome process for my mother.

Junior high came, and though I made friends, my disorder still relegated me to the realms of obscurity. This lasted through high school. Girls made it very clear to me that they liked me, but I could do nothing about it except seem unfriendly.

As I grow into an adult, I felt afraid to do anything but take the path of least resistance. Getting and keeping a job was difficult. No one understood what my problem was, despite knowing I had this disorder. My doctor, on multiple occasions, even recommended that I go on disability. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be limited.

I met my wife online. I had a fairly popular blog in the early 2000’s. Does anyone remember Mightyskunk from open diary? She was one of my readers, and we began talking on MSN, and eventually on the phone. She took a plane ride up to Toronto to meet me. My anxiety attacks lessened around her. She understood me, and even learned to soothe my attacks.

Skipping far ahead, I ended up moving to the United States. She and I got married, and I started holding down good jobs. My confidence grew. I also began looking at my anxiety attacks analytically. I started studying them. Instead of avoiding my triggers, I tried to encounter as many as possible. Eventually I got a drivers license, despite all reason. Driving is one long anxiety trigger.

After years forcing myself into my triggers head-on, my strength against my anxiety disorder has grown. Though regular daily life is still a constant source of terror, I’ve become good at masking my symptoms and sublimating the terror within me. There are still things that I won’t do. I love roller coasters, and go on them any chance I get. The Tower of terror at Disneyland, however, is a different animal. The worst anxiety attack I have ever had was on that ride. Just thinking about it scares me, even though I know it’s deeply irrational. I actually find the humor in the situation.

I still need to pause and compose myself when a person is walking toward me. I still have difficulty making eye contact during handshakes, though that’s mainly due to habit at this point.

In the 30 years that I have spent dealing with a severe anxiety disorder, I have found that confronting it head on is by far the best remedy. Avoiding triggers and succumbing to fear only makes it stronger.

In related news, has anyone out there listened to the Black Eyed Peas? Even if they’re not your kind of band, they cover some interesting subject matter, including anxiety disorders. They actually have a song where they discuss an anxiety disorder, and how truly terrifying it is.

 

I don’t fear none of my enemies

And I don’t fear bullets from Uzi’s

I’ve been dealing with something that’s worse than these

That’ll make you fall to your knees and thats

The anxiety

The sane and the insane rivalry

Paranoia’s brought me to my knees

Lord please please please

Take away my anxiety

Yet More Dangers in Obfuscation

With the meanings of words changing, and some words being given more power while others are given less, it comes as no surprise that a popular magazine would release an article that appears to attempt to normalize incest. 

This article go so far as to change the meaning of incest, however, softening it into genetic sexual attraction. This has been going on for decades, and has even been lampooned in a popular George Carlin rant. Adding softer language to something does not change what it is. Instead, it serves as a line of division with which someone can call themselves proper and another person improper. 

Beyond that, it blurs the lines yet again of hate speech. When will come, the first instance in which someone calls it incest, and another person gets offended because they were merely engaging in genetic sexual attraction?

The term “slippery slope” gets thrown around a lot, but in this case it is clear that we are on one.

Don’t fall.

I’m not with Kap, Part 2: Leave Your Baggage at Home.

Colin Kaepernick is reportedly hiring a lawyer and turning toward litigation as a way to try to get his job back with the NFL. In other words, America is being forced to watch a rich spoiled brat grandstand about and force a company to act against its own best interest.

I’m going to tell you a story. When I was a little bit younger and a lot more foolish, I was at work one night, and I and my colleagues were bored. We started trading jokes back-and-forth as any group of people with any amount of sense does. It all went downhill, however, when I decided to up the ante. I proceeded to jump up onto the desk of the officer in charge. Now, I didn’t hear anything about it after that, except that it was an occasionally funny anecdote shared between other officers.

One day, after saving up a lot of money, and having already enrolled in college, I decided to put in my two weeks. That was all well and good, and I thought that I was leaving on good terms. A few mishaps later, I found myself looking for a job again. Well, where did I have a good reputation? Where did I have a captain who would take me back in a heartbeat? So, I applied. Turns out that my little incident came back to haunt me.

Even though it had been years, my name was on a list of people that were not eligible for rehire. I have since matured quite a bit, thanks in part to that cold whiff of reality. The thing is, I don’t blame them. I had, unintentionally, made myself a liability. Someone who might make the company look bad in the future. I excepted this, like a rational adult, and moved on.

Colin Kaepernick’s recent bout of tantrums only goes to show how poor of an employee he truly was. The NFL isn’t ignoring him due to racism. They are not ignoring him due to any desire they have to see black people shot on the streets by cops. I would be willing to go out on a limb and even say that they are not ignoring him because he protested.

I will absolutely say that he is not rehireable due to the fact that he chose to act on his own agenda while on the clock at work. I say that because that’s what happens to any person who has a job with any company. If you work at Walmart as a cashier and choose to take a knee instead of helping a customer, you’re probably not going to get rehired.

But that’s normal folk, right?

Colin, being the rich spoiled brat that he is, gets to flout the rules, and be his own boss.

And, this is the crux of the problem, isn’t it? The rich have gotten away with so much for so long, that the millennial generation, having watched this for decades, now feels that they are equally as entitled.

Whether it be pulling your parents in for job interviews, or simply hiring a lawyer to try and sue your self back to work, it all comes down to spoiled brats feeling entitled and not willing to suffer the consequences of their own foolish actions.

Apparently, responsibility is a thing of the past.
Companion video here.

Why So Negative?

Image somewhat related.

It’s strange in this modern day that people take such pride in the negative things about humanity. There is that quote that people often attribute to Marilyn Monroe that goes “if you can’t handle me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best”. I understand, as do many people, the intention behind it. It’s trying to make it clear that people, as a whole, are flawed. The thing is, it’s unlikely that there has ever been a time when people didn’t know that. Everybody knows that every person that they encounter has their own set of problems, difficulties, and things that make them less than perfectly appealing to be around.

“I’m a bitch and I know it”

The problem that has become apparent,however, is that far too many people use that quote and others as an excuse to be lazy about their interactions with people, or to be less pleasant. Most people that are encountered on a daily basis are decent people. They’re willing to have a conversation with a complete stranger, and don’t at all put up a front that suggests that they might have misanthropic tendencies. There are, however, a very few people however, who believe it is their duty to show the world and everyone in it just how crazy or angry they are. They hold it close to their heart as part of their identity. They go so far as to tattoo it on their body. They take any opportunity they can to tell you how “Loco” they are. Facebook would suggest that these people are the majority. Reality makes it clear that this is simply not the case.

I Miss Mayberry

It used to be that people put on their best face when they left the house. No matter what was going on in their home, they wanted everyone to believe that everything was going perfectly. The term “fake it till you make it” seems to apply pretty well here. The glut of TV shows and other media that suggest that every family is a dysfunctional band of misanthropes that has become popular in the past decade or so is disheartening. The Cosby Show was a wholesome program that did not center on race, people’s various mental problems, or disgusting things that people do. Instead it focused on creating good habits and following good patterns. There was even an episode in which Cliff taught Rudy how to mop the floor. Real, actual parenting happened right on the screen in front of all of America.

Full House was another of these shows. Bad things would happen, and instead of succumbing to the difficulties found, the characters would find ways to overcome. Oddly enough, the show featured a family that was far from normal as well, yet they were not portrayed as dysfunctional.

With the advent of Netflix, the show Fuller House has shown that this sort of wholesome programming is not only still acceptable, but popular.

Why, then, do we focus on the negative so readily?

A popular argument that has been bandied about for years is that we crave things that make us feel better about our own selves without having to actually do anything. This is why people still have losers from high school as friends on Facebook, even though they wouldn’t be caught dead associating with them in real life. It’s also why reality TV is such a big deal: we love to watch awful people be awful to each other so that by comparison our somewhat dysfunctional normalcy looks like an example.

That’s great for most people, but what about the ones who actually do go around being awful in real life?

Short answer: some people are just naturally assholes.

The long answer is a little more entangled. Due to Asperger’s, high functioning autism, or simply having had a bad upbringing with useless parents, some people just don’t know how to function normally within society. The problem comes when an Internet and a media full of people like that try to make it look normal, and suggest that it’s actually normal people who are abnormal.

Suddenly, treating people like human beings instead of treating them like statistics is frowned upon. This point will be expanded upon in a future article.

So, what’s the takeaway? I’ve got shit to do.

In short, normalcy is being attacked, as is decency, because those who are incapable or simply too lazy to do it are trying to make their version of normal into everybody’s. It’s just like the Healthy At Every Size movement. They simply can’t or won’t take the effort, and so try to normalize it while stigmatizing anything else.

Oddly enough, they take a lot of effort in doing so.

 

Jimmy Kimmel and Other Celebrities

I’m sure that celebrity is a hell of a drug. The power and attention must be intoxicating. It’s no small wonder then, that people like Jimmy Kimmel and Colin Kaepernick, just to name a couple, feel that their celebrity is an appropriate vehicle for their political opinions. Now, I’m not talking about doing their own independent thing and telling us how they feel on their own time. I’m talking about football players going out onto the field that they have been paid to stand on, and choosing that time to stage their protest. Jimmy Kimmel, a couple nights ago, talked about the Vegas shooting on his show. That, in itself was not inappropriate. Using that platform, however, to spout fallacious political rhetoric is absolutely inappropriate. This is not what you were hired for, Jimmy. Celebrities exist solely to entertain us and distract us from the mundanity of every day life. When disaster strikes, celebrities are expected to be there to put a comedic light on the subject, or distract us altogether.

We have already hired politicians for political discourse. There are even political programs on TV. When we want politics, we tune in. When we tune in to you, Jimmy, we are looking purely for entertainment. I’m certain that your ratings will reflect the desire and will of the people. I wonder, however, if you will simply blind yourself to it as the Daily Show has, or will you see the light, and do just what we told the Dixie Chicks to do back in the early 2000s, and just “shut up and sing”?

I, for one, hope you do the former. You’ve shown your true colors, and your motives are clear. You no longer care for your viewers. You care for yourself and your interests. I’d like to see somebody else take up the mantle of your late night host spot.

Personally, I’d like to see Steven Crowder take that spot.

Projecting Your Own Issues.

If you’re smelling something bad everywhere you go, it’s most often coming from you.

There is an expression that I like to use. It says, “if you smell shit wherever you go, maybe you ought to check your own shoe”.

It’s a pretty universal expression, and can be applied to just about everything. That girl you know who’s constantly bitching about her awful boyfriends? It’s not them. It’s her. That guy putting out thousands of job applications, and still can’t get hired anywhere? It’s not them. It’s him. If a person has a nagging problem following them around, the problem is usually with them.

So, let’s get to the meat of this.

In the wake of hurricane Harvey and hurricane Irma, “journalist” Sarah Jaffe, A white girl with far too much make up who looks like she would say something along the lines of what follows, says that arresting looters is racist against black people.

Now, nobody said anything about black people. The cops were simply arresting anybody who was found stealing things during the hurricane. And yet, Sarah Jaffe, paragon of inclusion that she is, comes out and says something not only racist, but completely unnecessary and divisive. That’s like me chaining up my bike, and somebody coming up to me and saying “what are you, afraid of black people?” While I am doing nothing to suggest me being racist, you, an actual racist, decide to virtue signal, using me as a scapegoat.

And it’s not just her.

In the wake of the bombing at Parsons Green yesterday, people immediately come out not decrying the blowing up of innocent people, but instead bitching about how all of the Islamophobes would be coming out of the woodwork. In fact, people saying nothing about Islam, but saying negative things about the as yet unknown bomber, still stirred reactions such as “your Islamophobia is showing”. Donald Trump called the bomber a loser. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing about Islam. Care to guess what all of the replies were? Yep. People calling Donald Trump an Islamophobe. After he said nothing about Islam.

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After the bombing at Manchester arena during an Ariana Grande concert, metro police were actually going around and investigating anyone who put out a mean tweet about Islam, Instead of actually protecting the people. Even after it was proven that yet another terror attack was perpetrated by a member of the Islamic brotherhood, there were people far too publicly showing their disgust with anyone blaming Islam.

Is this an example of people trying to voice their own feelings, while appearing to remain politically correct?

Back when Obama was running for president, I still remember how many white people voted for him just so that they could prove how non-racist they were. Whatever happened to calling on a person’s merits, rather than their race? Nope, gotta vote for him because he’s black.

Well that seems pretty racist. Plus, Herman Cain was better.

Readers, this blog is about personal responsibility. Virtue signaling is about as irresponsible as you can get.

In other news, the Parsons green bomber was arrested a few hours ago. They only describe him as 18 years old. By their omission, the media makes it clear what motives this man had. That’s exactly what virtue signaling does. By trying to hard to look impartial, and thus not describe the man who was arrested, they make it clear exactly what the man was.

Lies and obfuscations should not be tolerated. Virtue signallers still trot out Timothy McVeigh when a bombing happens, and yet managed to take time out of their day on September 11, 2017 to post on their Facebook and Twitter that we really need to get over the attack perpetrated by Islam on September 11, 2001.

America, this is not a time to be divided. Hurricane Harvey showed us that race does not really exist. We are the human race, and have a rainbow of colors within us. Don’t let ideologies and virtue signaling take us down.

Silencing Your Opponent.

It is important, whether in the world of politics or one’s everyday life, to be able to debate, and do it cogently and elegantly. You must know your opponent’s side as well as your own, and be able to see why they can see validity in their argument, even if you completely disagree. It is important to be educated on both sides of the issue at hand, and be willing to play devil’s advocate to yourself.

It’s important to simply do it at all.

This is a sticking point for most college-age special interest protesters. From blowing air horns at Milo Yiannopoulos speaking engagements, to creating white noise to drown out any rational discussion, to blowing air horns at a Toronto men’s rights talk, special interest groups make it clear that one interest they don’t have is rational discussion. It’s surprising that Ben Shapiro’s talk at Berkeley went off without a hitch, with police actually doing their job and keeping Antifa away. In other news, Berkeley professors are now on strike to protest Free Speech Week at Berkeley.

It’s alarming that people who are supposedly educated, and supposedly educating tomorrow’s leaders, are so invested in the new art of not debating.

I’ll give you a pro tip, free of charge: If you cannot argue your point, whether or not you convince your opponent of your position, without resorting to interrupting noise and a refusal to continue or to let your opponent speak; then your opinion has no value.

Silencing opinions you don’t agree with does not help you grow or learn, and the more quickly people can figure that out, the quicker we can get back to growing as a nation. I encourage everyone who reads my blog to argue with me, and to please seek out the opposite of your own opinions.

If you don’t know everything, you don’t know anything.

My first quote! Tell your friends!