Posted by: mydarkestplaces | August 26, 2020

White Privilege

I know there are people not just in THE world, but in MY world who question the existence of “white privilege.”

Let me learn you.

White privilege is thinking you’ll get a “Black Lives Matter” tattoo and then changing your mind because it would create challenges and difficulty in town and the work place.

I recently moved to a much more conservative community. A community whose Biden signs may, almost, equal the number of Trump signs in Portland. Maybe. I might be overestimating that.

But I’m making the choice whether to (or not) get a BLM tattoo in order to make my life less combative. My black friends don’t have that luxury. They’re kind of stuck being black.

I’m going to be thinking deeply about this for awhile. If you’re someone I typically bounce thoughts off of be prepared for more bouncing.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 13, 2019

Different ways of learning…

I like hearing smart people talk, particularly when it’s about something they’re passionate about, but that’s not always the best way for me to retain information. It’s something where, as often as I’m told something, I won’t retain it.

That being said. If I write something down I’m far more likely to retain the message. An example. I recently re-enrolled in Become a Master Writer, a course put together by a friend to help her writer friends become better. To sum it up it is a lot of time spent copywriting writers from all spectrums to learn writing from the masters. One has to copywrite in hard copy not just typing something so it means one is processing in a different way than just hearing and seeing something. What’s remarkable about this is that I did this this morning. The piece being copied talks about the beginning of being a writer and looking for more from your writing.

I’m lucky enough to have folks telling me often that I’m a good writer. Heck, sometimes I tell myself I’m a good writer, but because I’m a precious snowflake my issues are all unique and I start to doubt that I’m a good writer the moment I finish reading the piece I’ve written.

Today I hand wrote a piece saying, “It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, [between thinking and knowing you’re a good writer] and your work will be as good as your ambitions.” After writing it out the goal is to listen to a partner piece. Because in my venerable age I now follow directions that’s what I did.

I weighed my comprehension of both messages. Writing and reading has me thinking, “Maybe I can do this. Maybe I can be better.” Listening had me talking with the baristas at Bryan’s Bux. Had me talking with some of the other customers. Had me wondering what the hell I was doing thinking to be so presumptuous that I’m a good writer.

I think, once I remember to bring a ballpoint pen with me (as opposed to a Sharpie) and remember to do further sessions, that maybe I’ll start to find the power to do more writing.

I want to be a writer who believes I’m a good writer. I want to be a writer that (heaven forbid) makes money from my writing. I want to be a writer that can be held up as an example of good writing.

Maybe these are things I can do.

Thanks, Elisa.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | October 3, 2018

For the first time in awhile

I’m posting for the first time in a while, politically for the first time in longer. I’m sorry if this offends anyone – regular reader or happen upon – I’m sorry? You’re welcome to your opinions? But so am I.

If you’re reading this you likely have a working knowledge of my political alliances, but you also hopefully have an idea that I’m open to opposition. I think differing points of view, meeting in the middle, only makes the structure having the conversation stronger.

It’s my opinion that having Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court isn’t just a move to build a stronger structure it’s a move to undermine many structures.

I’m not even bringing Dr. Ford into this (though her story has merit, strength, and I believe her), but I just don’t feel Brett Kavanaugh is capable of sitting on that bench unbiased. I wouldn’t have wanted a leftist on the court under Obama or Clinton. I don’t want a rightist on the court under Trump.

By stacking the deck in any particular way for generations to come we’re not doing anything “to pass the world on a little better than we found it.” [Quote courtesy of “Crackpots and These Women” episode of the West Wing]

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | July 17, 2018

Nailing down an aspiration

So. If you know me in any way or, at the very least, follow me on social media in any way, you know that one of my hopes and dreams had been to write a book about Stalin’s despotism. Particularly it had been to write it in time for publication around the centennial of the Russian Revolution. Well. That ship sailed. We’re now 8 months past that anniversary let alone 18 months past research, drafts, and publication solicitations.

Oh woe is me. This is horrible.

Then the last couple weeks have happened between our unfortunate commander in chief and the equally despotic Russian “president.” My hopes and dreams have been revitalized. World circumstances break my heart, but this is something I can do. Despotism happens, and maintains, because those noticing what’s happening don’t speak up.

It’s time we who do notice don’t go quietly into that dark night.

So. Brace yourselves. I’m going to be posting more about Stalin and his despotism. Hopefully to help teach people about what can happen if power runs unchecked.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | June 21, 2018

Current events

So. Okay. If you’re reading this chances are you know me well enough and/or have known me long enough to know I would have to process current events. What the United States of America is currently doing to immigrants is deplorable. And unpatriotic. And just downright hateful.

Seemed particularly fitting that this piece of history showed up in my Digital Time Capsules this morning.

We’ve seen what happens with behavior like what’s going on today. This is what the piece of history down on the Portland Waterfront warns us of. To ignore tyranny sets us up for sixty plus years of suppression. Recovering from that will be harder than standing up to the suppression to begin with.

We cannot forget the tyranny? We cannot forget the results of complacency.

It’s a short walk from “this is only happening to X Demographic,” to “this isn’t happening to me just my neighbors,” to “this is happening to me.”

By standing up for all we stand up for ourselves. By protecting all we protect ourselves.

We cannot rest on our laurels without imposing suffering upon all successive generations.

Call your representatives, your senators, your governors, hell, even the president. Go on the record that it’s not okay what’s happening now.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | April 3, 2018

Online Psychiatrist

I’ve been rather profoundly lucky when it comes to my med management for my mental health issues. Wasn’t for nothing I called my first psychiatrist Dr. McDreamy nor that I call my current doctor’s office whenever I’m in need of something more. Even when that call is at 3am.

What had me exploring this link (Reasons to Choose an Online Psychiatrist) is that my source of med management is predominantly a Residency program. And that’s cool. My insurance knocks down the amount for seeing the residents. Also when seeing doctors new to the field they haven’t been IN the field long enough to be jaded. What’s challenging about it is that the minute I get actually talking to the psychiatrist about my head issues their residency is up.

I think I’m ready to commit. Ready to commit to actively pursuing better head health (TM pending). In order to do that I need to be seeing a doctor regularly for more than a year. Residents have to split time between individual clients, rounds through P6 (my local hospital’s psych wing), and their own lives. I don’t begrudge any of them that aspect of their training. They’re going to be better doctors for seeing every aspect of psychiatric care. What I think I’m looking for these days is someone I’m not expecting to be gone within six months.

As tends to happen to me I’m thinking. A lot. At rocket speeds. I appreciate the opportunity to explore options for further care.  All that’s left is stepping up to pursue the options presented.

Once again the Internet has me thinking things. It’s good like that for me.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 29, 2018

Passage of time

I’m 34 years old and my last grandparent just passed away. My grandmother, rest her soul, was in her 90s. She’d felt lonely since my Grandfather’s death several years ago. She had dementia or alzheimer’s or some combination thereof. She wasn’t herself. Hadn’t been herself for a long time.

But still. She was my Grandma. She was supposed to be there always. I hadn’t seen her in years, purposely. Since walking into the halls of Alcoholics’ Anonymous, and into the rooms of various Med and Talking Head Shrinks, I’d realized that my grasp on being alive and being sober is very, very tenuous. Seeing such a staunch anchor of my life not who I remember her as would have knocked me flat on my ass. With a bottle and a knife in hand.

I want to remember her as the woman laughing as my Grandfather and friends shot the potato gun off the porch into the lake. I want to remember the woman reading Tikki Tikki Tembo to my brothers and I. I want to remember rainy days putting together puzzles while listening to The Great Mouse Detective playing in the background.

Because I’m me, yes, a slice of me will regret not going to see my grandmother in times when the opportunity was afforded me, but the part of me that will have mostly memories of my Grandmother with it knows that those are the safer memories for me to have.

I anticipate this being a hot topic of conversation with the various Shrinks I work with for the foreseeable future.

What this is also nailing home, though? Oddly? Is that I’m supremely lucky to have a care team not unwilling to say, “Get your ass to the ER now…” If you find yourself in the spot too often where you’re wondering if you should go? Have yourself a care team that will say, “Yes, you should.”

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 23, 2018

This week

This week I’ve been reminded how imperative counseling can be. It’s something I’ve known for a while that’s important for others, but it’s just been another, “I understand it on paper” thing not an actualized understanding for myself. It’s pretty well established I have major trust issues. So finding someone I can actually talk to about what’s going through my head and feel like I’m doing something productive is rather remarkable.

This is not me claiming I’m in a good space – you all know me well enough to know I’m really never in a good space – but this is me saying if you find yourself struggling their are options out there for you to pursue counseling.

Here is a link for finding counselors in your area. They may not have THE answer for you, but they’re at least an unbiased ear to dump things into when needed.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 21, 2018

Passive suicidality

So. Yes. I’ve done a stint in inpatient treatment (yes, somewhat involuntarily). So yes, I’ve spent more than a little time in Maine Med because my passive suicidality has trended active. So yes, I’m smarter than the average bear. But this doesn’t mean I have always understood why my passive suicidality was treated so…dramatically. After all, I’ve long hoped to be dead, I’ve had “I wish I could” plans, but I’ve never had “I’m going to” plans.

Read More…

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | March 9, 2018

Out of nowhere

So. I know I’ve touched upon my alcoholism here and myriad other locations in my blogosphere. Truthfully? It was no where near so close as it was last night.

A tech meltdown at work, interpersonal factors, external factors…all these conspired to want me to drink myself stupid and shut my brain down for as long as possible. It was mainly the weather helping me avoid grocery stores and places selling bourbon, but I still struggled getting home because, hey, the grocery store was right there. But I got home. I went to bed without raiding the liquor cabinet.

In talking with my sponsor today about last night she asked me, “How did you not? Who did you contact?”

It occurred to me that while I didn’t contact any other members of AA there may be other mental and substance abuse health resources that would have been of help with the battles that appear when one fights oneself.

At this exact moment I’m practicing gratitude that I got through last night without succombing to the sirens’ calls, but trust I’m going to keep that resource line close to hand. There are times I don’t want to talk to people I know about what’s in my head. That becomes a little…spotlight-y for me. But if I know there’s a line I can call after I get out of work at 3am chances are good that I’ll do so. It’s how I learned about the Suicide Text line (741-741) and the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255).

When you are willing to look for help there’s help available. The act of actually seeking it out is the hardest, but it’s something that’s possible. There are people there to help you get where you’re going.

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