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.”

If you’re wondering how to get a care team not too scared to tell you to go to the hospital try these sites as a starting point.

Finding a therapist or counselor
Legitimate online resources

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.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | February 27, 2018

There’s help out there

I know there may be confusion as to why I’m going back to Waiting for that Rocket when most of the past couple years has been documented on My Darkest Places. I felt it important to return to my roots .That doesn’t mean I’m out of My Darkest Places. My core is definitely still dark, but with my Program, my various Talking Head Shrinks, Med Head shrinks, my social media circles, my family…and all the crossover therein, I’m starting to notice a brighter edge.

This morning, when I went to meeting, it occurred to me that I’m starting to think myself worth it. It’s remarkable how just the presence of strangers in my life who listen to me judgement free have helped with that. I have to thank friends I never would have met without Twitter. And, as always, my thanks go to Fark and Wil Wheaton for convincing me Twitter was a place to be.

It’s my immediate thought of the Internet teaching me about self care for my mental health issues that has me wanting to spread the word about some online resources that can help you gain a more even footing. Below you’ll find a couple links about finding resources online or a way to find a human resource in your neighborhood to meet and talk with on the regular.

If we don’t share our issues with another human in whatever forum necessary then we’ll never stop being weighted down and resenting our issues regardless of how much said issues endear us to our loved ones.

Use these links to remind you that you’re worth it. Use them to talk yourself out of whatever choice is percolating in your mind. These resources will help you stabilize yourself remind you that you’re an okay, or better than okay, human being.

You are loved. Sometimes we all need that explicit reminder.

Pros of online counseling

Looking for a face to face appointment? Counselors near you.

As always when you find yourself in danger of hurting yourself or someone else please call 1-800-273-8255 or text 741-741. We may forget, a lot, but there are people in the wings waiting to help.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | April 28, 2017

Current events

I end up with a lot of thoughts a lot. You may have picked up that having contributed to four blogs, two of which are my own, and having multiple social media accounts across several platforms. With my thoughts today I thought it’d be best to go back to the beginning with my first public consumption blog. Because today’s post doesn’t really fit anywhere else.

So. You all know how strongly I feel about Fark. I write about them. A lot. They’re the crew that introduced me to Twitter. I tweet at Drew Curtis (the founder of Fark) a lot (because he’s amazing). Fark also happens to be where I get a lot of my current events. Those who submit to Fark help weed out what should actually be news as opposed to what those out to make a buck are saying is the news. For example. A lot of times my email contains headlines outlining the penis contest that the international relations field currently is (“We’ll do this for them so we prove ourselves better!” “But we’ll do THIS for them so we’ll show WE’RE better!” ad nauseam), but Fark shares the things that often get buried under the same headlines over and over.

For example, today I saw a headline on Fark that stopped my heart. “Kids are losing their childhoods…You can see the stress on their faces as they get ready. It’s like, you know, they’re suiting up for battle.” As opposed to many Fark headlines that twist the subject matter or point of an article to show the absurdity of said article, this is a direct quote. From a parent. A parent who lost their child due to unchecked gang violence.

Many of those in a position of legislative and legal power are pointing the finger of blame at anybody else, but themselves. I think they’re missing the point though.

Ultimately it shouldn’t matter where the issue started, it should only matter who’s going to stop it. And – newsflash Washington, New York, every legislator everywhere – unchecked gang violence isn’t a new issue. Republicans, this isn’t something that started five or twenty years ago. Democrats, this isn’t something that started four months or fifteen years ago. It’s not something that started in city halls or on Capitol Hill. What’s going to make the difference is who stops it. And it’s been well proven that parents scared for their childrens’ lives aren’t going to stop it. Teachers scared for their students’ lives aren’t going to stop it.

This has to be a cohesive effort where parents. And kids. And educators. And law enforcement. And flipping EVERYBODY gets together to say, “Yeah, no.”

I don’t remember when or where I wrote it, but I know at some point I wrote that kids shouldn’t be afraid to go to school. They shouldn’t be afraid to ask a teacher to go to the bathroom. They shouldn’t be afraid to join sports teams, go to the library or get on the bus. Our communities shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for their kids so they’re not scared of any of those things.

No. I don’t have an answer for how to strengthen our communities and schools. I do know that putting the kibosh on immigration hasn’t, at any point, stopped reprehensible outfits from getting into our country. And saying, “Yeah, you can’t come in even though you’re twelve and have a family at the receiving end of your trip,” hasn’t done anything to stop the violence. I do know there are a lot of people smarter than me who are trying to do things to change the world. Who are studying and working hard to make a difference. Let’s not impede their abilities to do so.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | December 13, 2016

Why Stalin?

The vast majority of you have picked up on the fact that I’m back to doing Stalin research again. The vast majority have been left asking, “Why??” What follows is my response:

Of all the history I’ve studied over the years if I were to be asked what my focus is, I’d say, “Stalin,” with zero hesitation. Whenever I say such, even to friends of mine who’ve studied a fair bit of history, the reaction is typically a blank stare and an, “Oh…why?” Which is why I want to write this piece. Stalin and his henchmen were so – are so – responsible for shaping the hyper ideological way the world has developed.

One of my goals with writing this…whatever it turns out to be (series of essays, a book, who knows – I’ve never been great at planning) I would like non-academic folks to better understand what can happen if we just allow today’s Powers That Be to run the world unaccountably.

It’s going to take more than a series of letters to the editor and blog and social media posts decrying nominations, proposed legislation, state affairs to prevent President Trump, President Le Pen, the Right Honourable Theresa May from running roughshod over their citizens and any elected and nominated officials.

The global circumstances that led to Hitler and Stalin were nothing if not a global small penis competition that facilitated evil men being responsible for the deaths of tens of millions human beings. I’m not saying we should lie and propagandize so that the Global Powers That Be feel they have the biggest penis in the world, but we need to activate so that they don’t feel there’s no one to hold them accountable. It’s one thing for candidates/electeds to say they have morals and values it’s a completely different thing to have them prove it. In order to prove it they need to not make state decisions that lead to the deaths and/or disappearances of opposition, minorities, anybody that doesn’t fit in the electeds’ acceptable schema.

There’s a lot of work to be done so that we don’t find ourselves walking a path that’s been walked before. We can’t shy from the work. We just have to do it so that there’s never a possibility of finding ourselves poised on this precipice again.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | June 2, 2015

Caitlyn Jenner

Okay. So. Interesting article raising interesting feelings.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Caitlyn Jenner nee Bruce Jenner, transitioning male to female. Words cannot express how proud I am of her. I hope she feels more comfortable, more loved, more herself, in being who she is.

On the sidebar of Facebook came an interesting link. Sherwood Golf Course, the golf course Bruce was a member of for fifteen years, has stated publicly that Caitlyn will not be allowed to patronize the dining room and bar as those locations are men only.

This raised some very interesting feelings in me.

On the one hand, I was upset about the fact someone who’d been a member in good standing for so long patronizing those spaces is now turned away, but on the flip side, I found myself a little happy. The club saying, “Nope, you’re a chick now, you’re not allowed,” means they’re unquestionably accepting Caitlyn’s identity. So, gendered segregation? Bad. Accepting that the man formally known as Bruce is in fact Caitlyn and thus shall be held to the rules that govern female members of the club without any question is kind of…awesome.

Groups that are traditionally more liberal are rarely so unquestioningly accepting, to have a group so traditionally more conservative say, “Welp, you’re a lady now so you can’t come in,” is kind of awesome. And, yes, I am choosing to look at it that way. I’m choosing to think it’s more “no chicks allowed” than “ohmygerd you’re different so therefore not allowed.” It could ultimately shake down either way. Given the nature of the far too public transitioning of Caitlyn and the public status of the men and women she associates with I know this is something we’re going to be hearing about in the mainstream media for a very long time (cod forbid mainstream media cover anything not pop culture) so make no mistake – we will hear how it ultimately shakes down.

I want the news cycle on this to stop now. I don’t want main stream media to go through the process of uncovering and over exposing all the ins and outs of the gender acceptance programming at this country club. I want to remain thinking this country club is saying, “Yeah, you’re a chick so you can’t do what you’ve always done.”

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the gender exclusionary policy is a good one, but I also know if this country club said, “Bruce you’ve been a member forever, why wouldn’t you be able to come in?” that would be far more upsetting to me because it would completely disregard Caitlyn’s gender identity.

So there are layers to this. The country club accepting Caitlyn’s gender identity. Society accepting Caitlyn’s gender identity. … Country clubs ceasing to exclude women when women play golf as well. So we have to be sad about being happy with the start of the country club accepting Caitlyn Jenner’s identity, but at least the country club is accepting Caitlyn Jenner’s identity.

Posted by: mydarkestplaces | February 6, 2015

Help those who need help, help yourself at the same time

Today I went not just off peninsula, but left Cumberland County. Why you might ask? I went to a regional middle school to bring some non-perishable real food things to the school to be put in Go-Bags for kids whose family may not have the resources to provide real food for these kids. Me writing about it in this form and function may come across as, “Look at me and how giving I am!” and, because I’m human and 31 years old, sure there’s a small, small portion of that which is true, but the bigger thing is that there’s a whole slew of things spiraling out of control in my world right now. That’s similar to what these middle schoolers are facing. The difference is that I have a bit more flexibility in my life. With money showing up every two weeks in my name I’m able to get food. I’m able to leave the house. I’m able to see my friends, see my confidants, splurge on coffee, splurge on pizza. These pre- and peri-adolescents don’t have these abilities or flexibilities nor do their families.

So, yes. There’s an aspect of me that gives back for me, but what I get back isn’t a tax deduction. It’s the ability to help someone. Help someone who needs it, help someone who’s asked for it. And the ability to feel something is under my control.

Ten packs of oatmeal may only help five kids – and maybe for only two days – but they’ll help five kids right away who need the help right away. And where I can’t help the people closest to me? Those packs of oatmeal will help someone. That’s enough to keep me connected right now. And that connection? That’ll get me to the next minute and the minute after, maybe even the minute after that. Those minutes? Eventually they’ll get me another hour, day, week, month and year. And eventually? That’ll be something I’m grateful for.


Post Script – There are kids and families in your community who are particularly in need, even if you don’t know who they are. Contact your local schools, United Way, churches, civic groups, whomever so they can give you guidance on how to get help to those people.

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