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Tag Archives: Mental health

Truths: Early to rise


I often get up really early in the morning, even on weekends.  The reason why isn’t because I’m a morning person.  In truth, I really don’t like getting up so early.  I’ve always been one to sleep late.  When I worked in broadcasting, I was the morning news anchor for three different radio stations.  I hated crawling out of bed at 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning, especially in winter.

When I moved to Outlook, I really loved my job and the place I lived.  So getting out of bed early was easy.  Now I’ve moved here, to Humboldt.  And while the place is alright, I’m not exactly comfortable with the entire work environment.  There’s clandestine talk, people complaining about people, and an aspect of hostility from some co-workers.  Yet, I still get up early in the morning.

This is due to a different reason.

I find the most peace, tranquility and happiness in my waking hours when I’m by myself.  At home, or in a coffee shop, or grocery shopping.  So I get up early.  I wake almost as the sun rises (which around here, is about 3:30 to 4:00 in the morning).

Even on weekends I do this, because I enjoy spending as much time in the sun as possible.  Or around the sun.  Or safe in the knowledge that the sun is up, even by looking out my window at 10:00 in the evening and seeing the sun’s rays still lighting up the world as it sets.

This gives me a great deal of comfort.  It even gives me a great deal of comfort when it’s cloudy, because I’m still safe in the knowledge that the sun is out.  The world is bright, and everything is safe.

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Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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Masks


Sometimes I get the comment that the things I’ve been working on with the Heroic League Project are too hard for many people to understand.  At it’s core, the Heroic League Project is about super heroes and costumed vigilantes.  People with extraordinary powers and abilities or a sense of doing good in the world, even if that means breaking the law.  But the aspects of masks creates something a bit deeper than that, and it’s important to reflect that because often times the reader is someone who can relate to a situation.

Masks are used to hide identities from authorities, to create a different persona.  In the Heroic League Project there are some of the characters who don’t wear masks, such as Britannia, who lay their lives bare before the world and have no fear of reprisal.  But there are others who do wear masks and hide a lot not only from the world, but also from their own friends.

Depression, living in the closet as a homosexual, lesbian, or transgender person, and many other things that people do hide from the world.  These are like masks, and the people who wear them do have some dark secrets they aren’t prepared to share with the world.

Yellow Jacket, Yellow Jacket II, Bowhuntress, Canadienne, Acadia

These five characters represent different aspects of the LGBTQ community.  Yellow Jacket is a closeted homosexual who takes almost twenty years to finally admit to himself about his own sexuality.  He grew up reading and being inspired by the tough cop/tough private investigator.  The qualities of what it meant to be a man.  But never once did any of those inspirations admit they are gay, so Yellow Jacket not only wears a domino mask, but he hides his own sexuality.  Not only from the world, but from himself as well.

Yellow Jacket II is a trans-woman.  Born the son of Yellow Jacket, she comes to terms with her own identity at a very young age.  It’s not clear sailing, to say the least.  But her friends at least know that she’s trans.  She’s a bit more open about it than her father was about his own sexuality.

Bowhuntress is a black woman, a Catholic, and a lesbian.  She’s also a prosecuting attorney for the city of Ravenport, Maine.  Her mask is sometimes a bit more difficult to see, because the one she puts up isn’t so much to the outside world, but to the institutions she has become a part of.  As a member of the Catholic church, she doesn’t speak of the fact she’s a lesbian.  As a black woman, she knows the hardship that women like her face everyday.  Only as a prosecuting attorney does she get any respect at all.  And as Bowhuntress, she’s seen as a criminal who needs to be put down, even if she is partners with Free Spirit, whom many see as an inspiration because she wears the colours of Old Glory.

Canadienne and Acadia are different types of masks.  They’re both very open and accepting of their own sexuality.  It may have a lot to do with the fact they are in the spot light a lot.  Canadienne is the lead guitarist of a Montreal metal band, and Acadia is the band’s drummer.  Canadienne and Acadia are lovers, and they do not hide this fact.  But they still wear masks to hide some secrets from the world, only exposing those secrets to each other and their very close friends.

Depression, PTSD, and other forms of mental illness also have their own set of masks.  Thanks to societal stigmas, mental illness is seen as something bad, something that needs to be hidden away.  In comics we often get this in the criminals that are taken down by the heroes.  The Batman and his rogues gallery is a prime example.  Batman’s not being helpful with those criminals he takes out, because he’s not facing the real problem.  That being the mental illness that many are affected by.  Though, admittedly there isn’t much hope for the Joker.

One of the best examples of how to deal with a mental illness was shown in the Justice League Unlimited episode, Flash and Substance.  In it, we’re introduced to members of Flash’s rogues gallery, all complaining how the Flash stops them at every turn.  Even the Trickster tries to add his own distaste for this, but continually gets cut off from the others.  After Flash, with help of Orion and Batman, meets with Trickster in a shady bar to find the others, Flash has a conversation with Trickster.

The Flash: James, you’re off your meds, aren’t you?

The Trickster: I’m better off without them. Take ’em if I start feeling down.

The Flash: You know that’s not how the medicine works. You’re not well.

The Trickster: I’m fine! You want to throw some darts?

The Flash: No. Listen, James, you’re wearing the suit again.

The Trickster: I am? [looks at himself] Well, what do you know?

Flash doesn’t belittle Trickster, nor does he get into a big punch up with him.  He treats him with respect and treats him as a human being and shows concern for him.

The Flash: Here’s the deal: you tell me where those guys went, and I promise to come visit you in the hospital. We’ll play darts! The soft kind.

The Trickster: Okay. They’re going to ambush you at the Flash Museum.

The Flash: See? That’s all we needed.

Granted, this type of thing doesn’t work with every villain, but it causes Batman and Orion to pause and realize that not all methods work the same way.  This was a good example of how to deal with a mental illness.

Villains aren’t the only ones who deal with a mental illness.  In recent months it’s been revealed that people living in inner cities across North America are dealing with the same conditions as veterans returning from combat situations.  They are affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  One can only imagine in a comic book universe that members of the X-Men at one time or another had to feel the affects of PTSD.  Some still might, considering many enter into combat situations.

I’m even opening that up in the Heroic League Project.  Super heroes and costumed vigilantes who deal with mental illness on a day to day basis and wearing a mask helps them deal with it in a way.  Helping people helps them heal their own mind.  Or in some cases, makes things worse.

Comics shouldn’t exist in a void.  The examples of story writing are all around us.  It’s called real life, the greatest inspiration in the world.

 

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Today is a day


Today is not exactly a great day.  It started off the same as usual, but on my way to work there grew this heavy weight, and I don’t know why.  I reminded myself of two things.  The first that today will be a busy day, as there is a lot to do.  So it should go by fast and I can be home well enough later this afternoon.  The second, this is a short week, so only four days of work and then three days off.  Today and tomorrow are busy, and if things go well, so are Wednesday and Thursday.

I’m looking forward to getting my income tax return.  Then I can get the plates on my car again and get it fixed (needs an oil change and some other minor work).  That’ll give me a bit more freedom and maybe I’ll go into the city on the weekends.  That won’t happen this weekend, but it should happen soon.

I’ve went and planned out what I want to do for my vacation time this year.  I’m going to spend it on the lake (or rather the beach) in Elbow.  Elbow isn’t that far from Outlook, and I went there a few times over the course of the nine years I lived there.

Time is an interesting thing.  When you’re comfortable and calm and quiet, in a good place and happy, it can move so fast.  Even when you’re not doing anything at all.  But when it seems stressful, uncomfortable, and nerve wracking, it can move so slowly.  My weekends and my mornings/evenings are like the former.  Everything else (unless I’m busy) are like the latter.  Maybe, hopefully, that will change in time.  I seem to recall my days being like that when I arrived in Outlook, but there was a lot of worry and doubt mixed in.

There was things I wanted to do this weekend.  Stuff I thought would be fun.  But I never got around to doing them.  I find there is a serious lack of motivation sometimes.

Today is a day, and this was random stuff.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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It’s Friday


Last day of the work week for me (or school week for those who may still be in a school like place).  I’ve been getting to bed early the past few weeks, and getting up early as well.  There’s a kind of peace in the early morning hours.  You can hear things clearly, even the quietest of sounds.

The bonus is that the sun starts to rise at about 6:00 to 6:30 in the morning now.

For me, sleeping in means getting up at 7:00 in the morning.  It’s been that way for several years, and I can get up so easily now.  When I used to work in radio, I dreaded getting up at 4:00 just to make it to work by 5:00 to start the morning news anchor run.  Now, it’s different.

I once knew that if you get up early it’s because you’re in a good place, you like where you work and you enjoy your surroundings.  I don’t have an answer for that now.  Maybe it’s because I wish to spend every free waking hour in quiet and peaceful surroundings, which my apartment has become.

At some point, I’ll get better.  I don’t know when, but I’ll keep plugging away and looking at my options.  For now, I’ll enjoy those times when things are peaceful and quiet.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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It’s Thursday


The past few days have been sort of a blur.  Not because it’s been busy, but because there is the slight euphoria that comes with spring.  Things are melting, the air is warmer, the days begin to get longer.

But there’s also this numbing feeling brought on by the environment I am in.  Things are very automatic.  That’s the best way I can describe them.  I long for the evenings, which go by too fast.  I go to bed around 9:30, I wake at 4:30.

I feel as though there’s no joy, that it’s all been sucked out some how.  I have very little creativity left in me.  What little there is, I use up at work.  Even things that brought me a spark of joy seem faded now.

But it’s Thursday, which means only two more days and the weekend arrives.  Those two days when I actually do feel alive.  When Friday night arrives, it will feel like a great weight has been lifted from me.

I steadily scan the different employment websites, looking for something that might take me away from this place.  The hunt is limited, because I don’t really wish to move while the weather is as it is.

One thing keeps me going; reading people’s experiences, and dreaming of my own.

Maybe I’ll find that spark soon, but right now it’s very faded and dim.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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A quotable Friday


A few quotes I’ve found that have been quite interesting and thought I’d share.

“If you have cancer, you get flowers, visitors and compassion. If you have a mental illness, you get plastic utensils, isolation and fear. If you survive cancer, most people consider you a hero and inspiration, and they tell you so. If you survive a mental illness, most people consider you a feeble-minded degenerate and an embarrassment, and they wouldn’t dare tell you so.” -Haldol and Hyacinths, by Melody Moezzi – page 216

“I love bookshelves, and stacks of books, spines, typography, and the feel of pages between my fingertips. I love bookmarks, and old bindings, and stars in margins next to beautiful passages. I love exuberant underlinings that recall to me a swoon of language-love from a long-ago reading, something I hoped to remember. I love book plates, and inscriptions in gifts from loved ones, I love author signatures, and I love books sitting around reminding me of them, being present in my life, being. I love books.” -Laini Taylor (author of Daughter of Smoke & Bone and Days of Blood & Starlight)

“First…. Many Indigenous Nations have calendars which have been counting the years for a very long time. I am aware that the calendar of the Mohawk Indian Nation has been counting the winters for over 33,120 years. This pre-dates the so-called ‘land-bridge’ of the Bering Strait theory, unless, of course, the Bering Strait scientists decide to move their interestingly illusive time period for “early migration” of Indians back to 40,000 years! Many American Indian early histories tell of events that took place on this Turtle continent (North America) long before any so-called ice age. But, for political reasons, these histories have been mostly ignored. You see, the Bering Strait, in truth, is a theory that was born of the politics and propaganda of early America. In the midst of the American ‘Manifest Destiny’ social climate, the Bering Strait theory provided a ‘scientific’ means to justify the taking of ancestral Indian lands. In short, the mythical theory eased the conscience, as it was a way for land hungry immigrants to believe that, because Indian people were only ‘recent inhabitants’ of this land , it was not really their ‘homeland’. Therefore Indians were, in their minds, not any more the ‘original people’ of this land than they were. This was, and still is, the political power of the infamous ‘Bering Strait theory’.” -The B.S. (Bering Strait) Myth, By John Two-Hawks

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Fun, randomness

 

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Tuesday morning random times


Darkness and light

I think I’m getting used to the dark mornings.  Of course, this is just as winter is beginning to move into spring.

I can’t really explain it, but there’s something tranquil about the early mornings and the dark still there.  Wake up at 5:00 a.m. and it’s still dark.  There’s no traffic, noise seems to carry further, you can hear things much more clearly, and there seems to be a sort of peace.

It might have to do with the fact it’s also gotten warmer.  After a few weeks of -30 to -20 mornings, the temperature now sits around -10 to -5 in the morning.  Which is a good thing.

Eventually, mornings will become lighter again, and I’ll greet that more readily than when summer gives way to fall and fall gives way to winter.  Even with the sun rising at 5:00 in the morning, there’s still a peace and tranquility to be had.

Television

On weekends I’ll usually stay up later.  On weekdays I get up earlier.

Often, I’ll go out onto my balcony with a coffee and a cigarette, and I can’t help but see all the things around me.  Like the building across the street.  It’s a set of condos, and often you can gauge when people go to bed and when people get up.

But there’s one neighbour who has a really big television.  I could pretty much watch it from my balcony if I desired.  Which I don’t because there’s no sound.  But I noticed lately, my neighbour’s television is on later and on earlier than usual.

It’s the Olympics.  You can tell because you know the way footage for play by play hockey goes, or curling, or figure skating.  But my neighbour really seems to like the Olympics.

February Writer’s Challenge

Like NaNoWriMo, February Writer’s Challenge turned into a very big bust.

I’ve had no motivation to write what I want.  I’ve doodled writing, jotting down little bits of things here and there.  Never posting anything, because it all feels like crap.

I’ve read over things I’ve written, I’ve become listless when I want to write.  I’m not at a very good place creatively, and this bothers me.  I suppose it might pass, but I’ve been waiting for it to pass for several months while I write poetry and small stories.

Maybe that’s what I’ll just have to do, to keep some form of creativity flowing.  Poetry and short stories.

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in Life, randomness

 

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