Life Is Like A Prison…

…but not quite how you might think.

The lovely LisaH posted an interesting entry to her blog today that got me thinking. (Always a frightening thing.) I was going to leave my thoughts in the comments, but at the 100,000th word, I decided it might be better to post it here and perhaps start a discussion among the six people who actually read my blog.

Lisa quoted Hugh McLeod, or more accurately, one of his cartoons, as the base of her post: “You cannot have it all. You can only have a sliver of it all. So pick your sliver well, my friend.”
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Mental Illness Isn’t The End Of The World

May is finally here, bringing with it spring flowers, Mother’s Day, and tornado season for those of us of the more Southern persuasion. May is extra special to me, though, because it is Mental Health Awareness Month.

It’s pretty hard to know me (especially the six of you who read what I post here) without knowing that mental illness/brain disease is the cause I champion most fervently. It’s equally hard to know me without knowing that I have several psychiatric conditions of my own. (Six? Is it sad that even I’ve lost count?)

All of those closest to me either have/had conditions, or have been affected by someone in their past who did. I won’t break their confidences, but think this is a perfect time to say that I’m so proud of you guys for how you have and continue to handle your challenges.

I’ve never been secretive about my psychiatric health — in fact, I discuss it on the About page here on the site. I also don’t hide that I take medication, quite a lot of it in fact, or that I often do things a bit differently (like living on Australian time) to accommodate one condition or another. I like to think that I still have a pretty normal life, and I’m vocal about it in the hope that it will demonstrate that being sick, even acutely so, isn’t the end of the world.
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Thoughts on X Games XVI

This weekend was the 16th annual X Games in LA, and of course, I was glued to the screen. (Sadly, sleep issues and the inability of ESPN to distinguish between EST and PST caused me to miss some events I really wanted to see.) Having spent most of the weekend watching some of the most awesome athletes out there do what they do best, I have some thoughts to share.

The Ugly

Chaz got robbed. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m a rabid Chaz Ortiz fan, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m absolutely biased when it comes to how he performs. With that said, he was totally robbed in the Street Finals — he went in #1 seeded, and they handed it to Sheckler. Why? For the same reason that every promo for the Street competition mentioned “Ryan Sheckler and the boys.” Sheckler is the big name, and having him win looks good. It’s as simple as that.

The Rally competition was a fustercluck. When one car in a field of a dozen or more is eliminated from a round, it’s disappointing, but to be expected. When all but two races end in an elimination, and one of those ends with a car breaking down, it’s not competition, it’s a waste of fans’ time. Changing up the course route four times in one day (practice, qualifiers, semis, and finals) is outrageous, and eliminating co-drivers was one of the stupidest things the Games have ever done.
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Thirty-Five Years of Roses

Purple WaveMy grandma loved flowers, and always had beds filled with them. There were annuals like multicoloured inpatiens, Purple Wave petunias, Scarlet Sage, and whatever else might be interesting when the Spring visit to the nursery rolled around. There were also my favourites, the perennials: irises, gladiolas, and her favourites, roses.

When I was little, Grandma had five rosebushes in a bed right outside her back door, along the side of her sun-porch. There was a red climbing rose around the corner at the end, and then small white, yellow, and pink bushes coming down the line towards the door. As she got older and couldn’t tend to them, these (except the climbing one) all slowly died.

At the very end of the bed, right next to the door, was a large pink rosebush. Of all of the flowers in her garden, this rosebush was the most special. Pink roses were her favourite, and this particular one was a Mother’s Day gift from her third son.
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Angels, Airwaves, Kittehs, Columbus

Angels & Airwaves

I’m not afraid to say it:

I love Tom DeLonge.

I’m talking madly. Probably inappropriately, but when has that ever bothered me?

I also love his band, Angels & Airwaves (A∀A). If you don’t know that they released their new album Love on Valentine’s Day, then you obviously weren’t paying attention to my tweeting, because I was having Tweetgasms all over the place.

Even more exciting, on the 16th they posted the dates for their Spring Tour. I’ve been waiting for them to go on tour forever, and now, finally, they are.

I. Can’t. Wait.
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Be Careful

A lot of you guys know that I have Obsessive-Compulsive disorder. Some of you may know that the disorder involves having intrusive, irrational, disturbing thoughts that produce varying levels of anxiety — thoughts the individual knows are irrational. The “solution” to the anxiety these thoughts create is to develop a compulsion — some activity or series of activities that, though it is equally irrational, relieves the anxiety.

I have a number of obsessions and the accompanying compulsions. One I’ve had for years — long before it was diagnosed — was the obsession that something awful was going to happen to my Grandma between the time I left and the next time I saw her. I had no idea what specifically was going to happen, but it was something awful, and it was imminent. Of course, I knew nothing awful was going to happen, but that didn’t change the obsession — it was there, it wasn’t going away, and it created a great deal of anxiety for me.

For years, every time I left, she would tell me she loved me and to be careful. Eventually it developed into the compulsion for my obsession. The ritual went like this:

Grandma: I love you.
Me: I love you too.
Grandma: Be careful.
Me: I will.

Now, I’m not stupid — I know that saying those lines in that order isn’t going to influence the Fates in the least. If something is going to happen, it’s going to happen, ritual or not. But, it relieved my anxiety, and we always went through it. I forgot until I was in the car on a couple of occasions (and nearly knocked the door off the hinges once to get back in). I forgot entirely once — only once — on a Monday. Grandma fell and broke her hip that Friday.
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