Monthly Archives: July 2010

My “Frustrating Mess” (and how I might clean it up)

Okay, so Hendrix may not be everyone’s cup of tea, right? Read on and you might find something more suitable to your taste buds. But first, my “frustrating mess.” Seems like home life is going well, so not too many worries there. My frustrating mess is finding a job I am capable of doing. There are some contenders. Newspaper delivery, Personal Assistant to an elderly person, housecleaning, and possibly some odd jobs here and there.

Several problems, though. The local newspaper is not hiring carriers right now. I had them put my name on a waiting list and a substitute carrier list in case something arose. PA to an elderly person: Not too many elderly persons want a male PA, especially since most of the elderly who require help are female (apparently, most men die younger than women and don’t need a PA…or so the theory goes). I have PA’ed before for an elderly lady and it seemed to work out. We got along well, but she died a couple of months after I started, so that job went bye-bye.

Housecleaning: Same deal as PA’ing. Not too many people want a male housecleaner, even though I know I would do a good job. Can’t get much cleaner than when I scrubbed and buffed floors in the military.

That leaves odd jobs. I do help a lady with her personal finances. I really like helping her and have thrown around the option of starting my own business…even went to the Small Business Development Center. Start-up cost: probably around $2,000 – $2,500 when you consider attorney’s fees, liability insurance for the first 6 months, marketing costs, and working capital (whatever that is).

So, that’s my frustrating mess. Any suggestions?

Manic-depression is part of the equation, I will admit. Most days, I am up and/or level, but there are a handful of days throughout a month when going to work in any capacity is too much for me to handle. Whoever my employer would be would have to be understanding about those days. And, this doesn’t include the social issues I would face in the workplace environment.

Meds, therapy, support, and self-advocacy. Those are the only ways I know to “clean up this mess.” I’ll need plenty of each.

As promised, I have chosen a couple of tunes that, in musical form, do a more than adequate job of what manic-depressive illness feels like (and even more appropriately, felt like…before meds). Hope you find them interesting and worth your while.

Best wishes…

eb
A classic case of manic-depression. With the interplay between sweet, flowing melodies and dark, nefarious, almost pounding tones, this to me is the penultimate portrayal (in musical form) of manic-depression at its worse. Enjoy?

Life is much less torturous in the relatively “level” phase of this disorder. The rendition of this piece promotes harmony, serenity, and contentment beyond measure. It’s the kind of thing that those of us who have this disorder strive for everyday of our lives. Medications do help. Enjoy!

It’s A Frustrating Mess

In 1967, Jimi Hendrix released “Manic Depression.” Three years later, I was born. So, I don’t remember if this song made an impact on American society. However, as someone who started listening to Hendrix a few years ago, this song has made an impact on me. “Manic Depression is ugly times music,” Hendrix once quipped. “It’s so ugly you can feel it.”

The song is full of cacophonic chords and dysfunctional drumming. It reminds me of “trash art,” the kind of art that is made out of the scrap metal from a ’74 Pinto found 30 years later in a junkyard. Apart, the pieces are still ugly; together, they somehow strive (and almost get there) for artistic value. I don’t know if Hendrix meant for this kind of analogy to be drawn about this song or any of his other works, but that is what it feels like to me.

In the song, Jimi says, “Manic-depression’s a frustrating mess.” Yes, it is, Jimi, yes it is. Your song may not convey the ups and downs of what is today called “bipolar disorder” (a rather sterile, scientific term, if you ask me), but your song is a “frustrating mess”, and that’s why I like it.

If you’ve never checked out any of Jimi Hendrix’s music, I would highly recommend “Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix”. He may not have led the cleanest life, but then his music is unclean, raw, and, at times, distasteful. I don’t think Mr. Hendrix cared whether or not his music left a pleasant aftertaste on anyone’s palate, however.

As for me, I can vouch for the validity of Jimi’s statement. Cognitive, mood and behavioral disorders (including schizophrenia and manic-depression) are extremely frustrating. I’ll save that topic for another post. Suffice it to say, I’ve got things I want to do, things I want to be accomplishing, and almost every time I try to do something (especially gainful employment), I fail. Like a computer virus attacking “The Great Firewall of China”, I can’t seem to break into that system. Like I said, more on that later.

For now, just know that I am doing well, that I am thoroughly enjoying the summer, and that until further notice…if you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

Best wishes…

eb

PS For a decent recording of “Manic Depression” by Jimi Hendrix, visit this website:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkkO_eiJIkY

Although I could not find a video recording of this song, a well-done slideshow accompanies this particular version of the song.

Winds of Forgiveness

“Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey, they had an argument and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything wrote in the sand, “My best friend slapped me in the face”.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After he recovered from the near drowning he wrote on a stone “Today my best friend saved my life”.

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, and now, you write on a stone. Why?”

The friend replied, “When someone hurts us, we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But when someone does something good, we must engrave it in stone, where no wind can ever erase it.”

[This post was inspired and provided to me by a dear friend.  Thanks.]

So Much To Tell…

so little space!  🙂

43 days have passed since my last blog post. What’s been happening?

  1. I learned I need cigarettes to keep the psychosis at bay. Studies and personal experience have shown me that. And, my family has told me so also.
  2. I got my own apartment…in the same town as my (nuclear) family. Rent is cheap. Water’s paid for. Electricity bill was less than $30.00 last month. It has a pool.
  3. I need the apartment but don’t use it very often. It’s a place for me to go to think and sort stuff out.
  4. Went to Walt Disney with my parents and Abbey. We had a nice time. Abbey loved dinner with the princesses. The weather was hot.
  5. I was supposed to give a presentation at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. The professor whose class I was to talk with was very disrespectful toward me. That gig got nixed.
  6. Speaking of Chicago, Angela and I just got back from a two-day trip to The Windy City. Relaxing time — Art Institute, a little shopping, swimming at the pool, reading, Scrabble, and all of the fun stuff of getting away together.

Well, that is my 6-week update summarized in 6 minutes (or less)!

Hope to hear from you. Would like to know how you are doing, too.

Best wishes…

eb

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