Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Where Does Depression Hurt?

Today, maybe I am going into a darker area than usual. Today I will let you all in on a semi secret about myself, that I have worked most of my lifetime to keep covered up. Well, sort of covered, sometimes, it rears its nasty head a little too high, and it becomes pretty much impossible to cover. I figured I would spew it out into the world, because, I think that there are far more folks who have this evil little secret.
  I have to tell you, that ad on TV about where does depression hurt, and who does depression hurt, hits the nail right on the head! Those of us who deal with this weight, totally understand. The first time I saw it, was the first time I realized that my little forays into this pit, affected those beyond me. I never thought of anyone but myself when I got into my dark hole. I didn't want to think of anyone else! Depression is one of the those places a person feels totally alone. If they are surrounded by others, they (I) would find anyway to ensure I shut them out.
  I will admit growing up, on more than one occasion I was ready to end it all. My favourite plan was to make my way to the bridge outside of town, and jump off. Thank heavens I never had the energy to make that trip. Never had access to a vehicle, and never felt the urge to walk that far, or ride my bike. However, the thought of doing this came into my head quite a few times during my teenage years. I will say, I never once thought about what it would mean to others. The idea of ending it all, was simply to stop whatever was putting me into this bottomless hole, that I just could not climb out of.
  As I grew older, and suffered one particular "fit" of depression that caused me incredible migraines, so bad I spent days in the bedroom in darkness, one that frightened me so badly,I gave up. In my case that is what happens. I would get to a point I was convinced everything in my world was so f*cked up, nothing would fix it, I considered medication.
  See, depression is something personal. It is not something anyone else seems to understand. Others in your life just think you are not capable of dealing with bumps in the road of life. They figure you are in control, and you are blowing things out of context. I suppose there is truth to that, most of my experiences into this dark hole started with something that would put a wrench into normal life. The problem I had, was the issue would take over. It would dig deeper and deeper, and I would simply give up. It would become so enormous, that my head would tell me there was no way out, no solutions would work, in fact, I would convince myself there was absolutely no solution! I would hear others tell me things were not as bad as I was making them out to be, and that would push me farther into the hole, because they just didn't understand, I was too tired to try and fix things. I just wanted to give up, and never have to think about the problems again.
  I don't think I was ever running away from my problems, I just imagined I was out of the energy necessary to fix things. See, that is what would happen. I would get so very tired, maybe life just drained out of me, when I got to that place? My whole being would feel like everything was drained, I didn't have the energy to stand, to see, to listen, to think, there was nothing left. The only thing I wanted to do, was to lay down behind a locked door, and give up.
  I expect everyone reading is thinking, hey, that;s just normal. Well, I can say, the place I went to, was not normal. I know this, because, after that nasty trip there, when I finally considered medication (which I never did get, but, now I figure those who do, are smarter than me), I was able to make a personal decision to fight this. I can feel myself sliding. That is pretty much how I get into this black place. Something happens, and my grip on reality weakens, and I begin to slip into the hole. Maybe this sounds a little dramatic, but, I never dropped into the pit, I just kept sliding farther and farther in, until it got so deep and so dark, I couldn't climb out.
  Now, I keep close track of things. I have created a warning system of my own, that has managed to keep me on the edge. I understand that if I let down my guard, and hit one of the bumps, I could end up in that vacuum ,with the life just totally drained out of me. My system has worked pretty well for the past 18 years, or so. I have slid a few times, but not near as far as I did before, and trust me, I hit quite a few huge bumps in that time. I admit that I have given up on things, but, not because I didn't have the energy (or life) to fix them, just because I didn't want to waste the energy on things not worth fixing. I have felt the pit open, so I know it is still there, just waiting..just waiting to the right timing to suck me in. I know my system has worked, but, I also know, there may come a time when I do have to accept medication. I am lucky, I have been able to survive depression.
  I expect some will be surprised that I have been in this pit. I put on a pretty good show, I try and be funny, and sarcastic (my specialty) but, I truly believe, folks who use humour as a tool, are more likely to have slid down the same hole as I have. Humour is a way of circling the pit, it is a way to stay in the light, and those who have seen the darkness, understand how desperately they want to stay in the light.
   I have survived it so far. It is always lurking in the background, like a living nightmare, and every single day, I am ready to fight it, to slam a lid on the pit, when I feel it open up. To those suffering with depression, I truly hope you find the right weapon to fight , and you can manage to climb out of that pit.Depression does hurt everywhere, and it does hurt everyone!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Small Town Slants

So...started about 10 blogs, about various subjects, and hit the wall on everyone of them. I have so much bashing around in my brain right now, I can't seem to focus on any one thing. I realize even my little blog space has become an issue. Just so you know, I will not be experiencing anymore episodes in the Hotel industry...but..that does not mean I am totally done . Trust me, I had a bushel of tidbits stashed away, all of which will flow freely, when the urge hits me. See, all of this runs on urges...I can come up with an idea to write about, and then it disappears, and something else takes over.
  For someone who outwardly seems like the world's most boring person, it is totally amazing how much I have going on behind the scenes. Problem is, the stuff is behind the scene, even behind my scene. My life has become one that I simply get handed bits and pieces on what is actually happening in it!!!FYI...I do NOT do well with bits and pieces. I latch onto a tiny piece, and I will tear that apart thread by thread, until I get to the real "meat". I am not one to sit quietly while others decide what my future holds (well, sometimes I have to sit, but certainly NOT quietly).
  So...with that little piece of subtle seasoning...I figured this would be a perfect time to speak on matters I have experience with, small town ways. I have spent the majority of my life living in them, and I have seen much of the good and a whole chunk of the bad. There are rules in small towns, that folks who live in large centers never have to live by.
 See, in a small town, everyone and everything is in your face. You cannot go out your door without running into someone you either know and like, know and dislike, or don't really know, but really don't want to. Or, is that just me? Every single person either knows your business, thinks they know your business, doesn't know your business, but will make up a business you don't even know about.
  Now, as a child, small town was heaven, as a teenager, not so heavenly. That's when you started having your own" business"...and of course, that is when a whole whack of folks decided to stick their nose into your business, and add their own slant to things.
  Hey, you did not have a chance. In a small town, there is very little excitement, in fact, life is often tedious, so, entertainment is found within the population. Nose sticking is seldom nice. Some slants can hurt, and those stickers that slant, do it purposefully. Just because a town is small, does not mean that it doesn't have it's share of evil.
  The only way to survive the "slanters" is to protect yourself with a circle of friends. Friends will have your back, they will keep you informed on all the warped business that gets glued onto yours. O.K. maybe your friends can't fix things with your parents who get news flashes from the "slanters" on a regular basis, but they provide comfort when the slants become painful. They stand up with you, and allow you to continue with your business, maybe hidden behind the scene a bit better, because you have part of your back covered. So, I survived my fair share of business slants, each and every one of those is still a vivid memory, and along with my memories, those friends who had my back, know the whole business, those who didn't ,still believe the slants.There really is nothing you can do to remove the slants, pure unadulterated truth, does not make a lick of difference, because....then it would not be entertaining, or, it would destroy all the hard work spent putting on the slant.
  Now to survive a small town, without friends, well, that folks is pretty nigh impossible, no matter what age. You may as well be walking into Dodge with a big red target plastered on your forehead. Hey, like I said, if they don't really know you, likely they don't want to. I can speak from both sides on this matter.
  I remember new kids showing up in my hometown. I am glad I never really had to travel their roads, back then, but, I can totally commiserate now. Unless the new kids came in a group, which often happened in the small mining town, or...they were the mine manager's kid, or, the boys thought they were cute (which kind of screwed things with the local girls) they were on probation. I can't tell you how long probation lasted, because sometimes it was over quick, like if the kid did something to annoy the teacher the first day, hey....maybe we wanted to become a part of their business. However, some kids never ever got business partners, they had to keep their own backs covered, and, as hard as that is for an adult, I can't imagine what their lives were like. That red target never ever left their foreheads, and I admit I likely aimed for it along with everyone else.
  So, to find your place of business in a small town, you either must be home grown (and in this case, every single nasty thing about you, is somehow acceptable, because you grew fertilized by the town), be a part of a specific group, with the rule all group members must have each others back, be a business person, with enough money folks accept your slant, and can't possibly slant it anymore than you have, or, and this is the most difficult, dig around in all the crap to attempt to find a friend.
  I have used my blog as a place to put my business out in the open, for everyone to see. I want the scene to be wide open, I don't want any glued on bits, belonging to someone else, hiding behind. I actually feel some sense of compassion for the Slanters that have chosen to foray into my business, as I am far from exciting, and to have to spend time and energy on such a boring business, is sad.
  I figure it is time to simply cover my own back, because I have reached a point in life that it becomes clear, I can always rely on me. I am responsible for my own actions, or lack of actions. I am of an age that I know what is important to me. I will accept the harm that slants have caused, not quietly, but with the realization there is nothing, not even the truth, to remove them. That old adage "the truth will prevail" has been proven wrong more than once, and "honesty is the best policy" is another that no longer seems to apply. All the rules I was taught, and tried to live my life by, have been replaced, without a new list mailed to me.
 I guess I will simply have to learn to stand up straight when all around me, seems to be slanting!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

The Vicious Cycle of Political Correctness

retard - definition of retard by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus ...

v. re·tard·ed, re·tard·ing, re·tards. v.tr. To cause to move or proceed slowly; delay or impede. v.intr. To be delayed. n. 1. A slowing down or hindering of progress
   Now, I assume what I am about to write, may offend some people. Remember, I simply vomit what I feel, and there is a way to comment if you wish to argue, state your take on things, or..whatever. I am just sick and tired of the rules changing to suit a specific group, and a separate set of rules for everyone else. 
  Now, I am just not up to dealing with all the facts on the "N" word, although that is one of the worst words that the world has attempted to remove from their vocabulary, and...those who claimed to find it so offensive, and taught the rest of us to erase from our language, spew it on a constant basis, and we are suppose to accept and ignore...Somehow this word has become race specific, and is allowed to be used only by those who previously found it offensive.
  The word that set me off this time is the one you see defined above. Today I saw a letter written by someone with Downs Syndrome, in reply to a comment someone made about President Obama, in short claiming he is a retard. The gentleman apparently was offended. The rest of the world seems offended along with him. 
  I am 57 years old! I grew up when all those words we have since removed from our day to day vocabulary were used. I ate filberts...which back in my day, were called N Toes. I ate licorice babies, which also had the N word. When someone did something stupid, they were called retarded. We had Douche bags, Dose's, gimps, spastics, etc. I never used the N word in regards to people, it was simply used to describe things. I didn't do it to be rude, or offensive.As I grew older, and watched TV, and read, I understood the hurt this word caused others, and I basically removed it from my vocabulary. 
  We had a family that lived a street behind my home. The mother was the Girl Guide Leader in town. I belonged to Girl Guides. She was (what I am now) an older woman, likely in her 50's. This couple had one child, her name was Helen, and Helen was born with Downs Syndrome. I realize now, Helen was much older than us, perhaps in her late twenties, or even 30. I can't remember her coming to Girl Guides with her mother, but, we (and by we, I mean all the kids in town) used to hang out with Helen. Of course we knew she was different, and in all honesty, I know we used to call her retarded, but never to her face. I have thought of Helen often, over the years. Like many things I did when I was young, and foolish, I wish I could go back in time, with the understanding I now have. I can't, but, I have done the best I can, and that is taking the time to educate myself (a little) about Downs Syndrome.  
  I thought the world had grown. I thought that folks recognized that terms can be derogatory. I know that words can hurt, because I have been the brunt of words , and I am sure almost everyone I know has at some time, realized how much pain words can inflict.I am glad that we reached a point, that we understand words are weapons, and we teach our children how hurtful certain words are, and that they are not acceptable. 
  But...then I see something like this letter spewed about. I see this person with Downs Syndrome immediately becoming offended because the word Retard is used in context with the American President, somehow makes him feel belittled. HELLOOOO.....Look to the definition, world!! My husband drives a truck, the truck has a brake, called.....a retarder. That means it slows the truck down. This word has an actual meaning, it has been around long before it was picked up and used by humanity as a descriptive remark for those folks who are "handicapped" (gosh I am likely offending here, but, not trying to). 
  Now, I still use that word, I use it when folks do something stupid, yes, because it is a word that means slow. I use that word to describe things I do, that make no sense, and cause me to go backwards. I use the word along with others, idiot, twit, stupid, dumb, because...they fit the moment. Perhaps this woman should have said the President, in her opinion, was slow, and lagging behind? Her mistake was using a word that is in the dictionary and has a meaning behind it, suiting her opinion of the President. I highly doubt she thinks the President has Downs Syndrome. So, because she used a word in the proper context, with a valid meaning behind it, she is accused of discrimination. 
  To have truly grown out of the dark ages, we have to understand, words do have meaning. We cannot continue to go around in a circle deciding when a proper word is allowed. We must accept that people can be slow, trucks can be slow, movement can be slow, time can move slowly, we can pick up a book, and read a statement "his movements were retarded by the darkness" and understand, he was moving slower than normal. We realize he wasn't moving slower because he had Downs Syndrome! 
  I love words. I used to jump to the list of words in the monthly Reader's Digest, hoping to increase my vocabulary by exotic words,seldom used by others. I honestly admit to using words to offend, like Slut,whore, b*tch (I AM a catty female) but except for my beloved pets, I don't speak the words directly to those involved. I am the first one up in arms if I hear the N word used to describe someone, and I would definitely be up in arms if the word retard was used in regards to someone with Downs Syndrome. However.....this is not the case, and we have got to get a grip on being politically correct. 
  If you listen to almost any conversation, or read any article, you could likely find something to pick out and become offended. It is simple to take things out of the context they are written or said, this happens all the time in the media, and it is becoming bizarre. Rumours and gossip are frowned upon, however, jumping the gun on a single comment, and twisting it about to make it mean something it was not meant to, is suddenly cause for the world to get up in arms. Too continually focus on a word that we have tried to use in the correct context, and refuse to accept the true meaning of, puts us in the position of now having to pick up the Thesaurus and go down the list, in hopes that we can chose the politically correct word that means what we want to say. Holy cow...(hopefully not offending an Eastern religion). Perhaps the solution is, folks should immediately stop speaking and writing. Then we can get in trouble by the way we look at people....

Monday, 3 February 2014

Punch 0 for a Person

Yes, I have been quiet for awhile, now...Sorry, it's not as though things haven't had me ranting about the house, just some things sort of took over my time to spew on here. I understand, there are likely some out there, who are very upset they missed a voyage into my poisonous mind, don't fear, it never frigging stops, and there is plenty more, to come.
  See, I have just finished a battle with Unemployment Insurance. Well, they changed their name, now it goes on so long, a person can easily miss one of the words. They also must have cut back their staff. Calling to speak to a person, is a little like pin the tail on the Donkey. There are about 10 different numbers, and then...a Service Canada office in every town over 3000 people, with a phone number. However, almost every single number brings you to the same automated message. Now. I know they (the government) have
 some very smart people on their payroll. I understand we never see these people , because they keep them all shut into one room, but they are there.
  Their job is to attempt to make it totally impossible, in an acceptable way, to speak to a civil servant (what an oxymoron). I mean civil in the context of "government", not in the context of "nice". In this day and age, they have to have phones! No getting around it, the people would be very upset if they had no option, besides the computer, so...there is this list of numbers one can call. I was going to say dial, but...guess people seldom "dial" they punch. Hey, maybe "punching" the phone is a result of attempting to contact government departments? So...if you have never had to reach a specific department within the government, consider yourself lucky!! Almost every single number dials exactly the same place. It is that automated message that tells you absolutely NOTHING, and does not offer an option to speak to one of the few humans left in the building. Thankfully I am  experienced (somewhat) in attempting to contact earthlings, and after dialing and listening to every single option, including the incessant one that suggests I can find everything I want to know, on-line, I tried the one trick that has worked in the past. I simply pushed 0! HELLLOOOO...it is a magic button, the repetitive stream changed...Really, why did one of those brainwaves shut in that room not include this information in that recorded message? Why did they not offer the selection "if you wish to speak to an actual employee, press 0"? Hey, obviously they do not want people using the phone numbers to bother those folks busy ensuring all information is on-line. But.....again, due to extreme cutbacks in civil employees, apparently they only have one person per Province/Territory, and once pressing the magic 0, you must sit and wait for, another constant message... "Our wait time is 45 minutes"!
  O.K. I know I am now unemployed. I don't have to clock in at a specific time, my days are my own, I have all the time in the world....But Holy Cow, really, sitting with a phone stuck to my ear for 45 minutes, listening to nasty music (something one could hum along to, would be far nicer) with interruptions from Ms. Auto voice, again trying to get me to hang up and go on-line, or.... this is the one that really riles me up " Thank you for your patience"! WTF!!! 20 minutes into this, I certainly do not have an ounce of patience left! My patience was used up trying to figure out how I could find a person to speak to! I am pi$$ed, and to leave someone pi$$ed for 45 minutes, simply pushes the average adult over the edge(let alone someone like me). So, because anyone calling this department isn't working,  they will ensure you don't do anything at all, except wait for their provincial representative to wade through the calls till they get to yours.
  I wonder, are you like me, as you sit, waiting your 45 minutes, do you play games "on-line"? Do you wander about, making a coffee, peeing(and secretly hoping the call goes in when the toilet is flushing), having some toast, putting dishes in the dishwasher? I get nervous, because I simply put the speakerphone on, and zone out. I am shocked back into reality when I hear the music stop, and the line ringing to...a person!
  Hola!! The anger drains right out of me, and is replaced by indignation. The voice is always so  caring and considerate...because, they know every single person is likely over the edge. I explain my plight, and become even more offended when I am told the f*ck up I am dealing with "happens quite often". Hey, I am at the end of month 3 waiting for my UI, because my employer screwed things up. I am told that they have initiated a "call-back" to correct the information, but apparently that can take up to 3 weeks. I am told that if this isn't fixed by a set time, I will have to call them back again. Ack!!! No....not another 45 minutes? Suffice to say, I made this call 3 frigging times!! It wasn't as bad the last two, because...you got it, I knew to punch that damn 0,so we cut out the hours of attempting to listen carefully to the automessage, to hear the secret password to humanity.
   Like  Christopher Columbus, and Alexander McKenzie,I think of myself as an explorer. I have explored the dark regions of the Unemployment Insurance department. I have managed to make my way, through the red tape forests, and telephone wire traps. I have discovered that hidden tribe "the Civil servants" and made contact with them. If, in the future you set off on this journey, be sure to pack a sh*tload of patience, hold the phone away from your ear (to ensure you do not injure the soft tissue), and ......save your fingers, simply punch 0!!!