A Thought For A Sunday (2023/01/01)

We (And I mean me) are starting the new year with side effects from the Aripiprazole. Three, in particular, and maybe a 4th.

1. Sleep. It’s all I want to do. Sleep. 24/7/365.

2. Hunger. I want to eat everything. I mean everything. A Whopper with Cheese sounds so good. So does that milkshake from Cook Out.

3. Lethargy. I can’t get out of my own way. My speed on the stationary bike has dropped almost 10 MPH in the past 2 weeks.

Maybe 4. I can’t keep my hands as still as I used to, and my attention span is at a record low.

So… The question is what to do about the side effects. Do I kack the 5 mg of Abilify? Do I cut the pills in half, and move to 2.5 mg (roughly). Do I keep taking it, and monitor myself very carefully, and see what happens over the next couple of weeks?

I’m trying to be positive here. Trying to do the best thing. I had psychiatry on December 8th. That’s when the dose level on Abilify went up. So, this is now 3 weeks and 3 days. Per my psychiatrist, it takes 4 weeks for things to stabilize, and reach full effectiveness.

Do I want to take this out another week, to hit the 31 day mark, and then see how I feel?

I plan to call the psychiatrist’s office on Tuesday to ask questions.

Reading the material for the Aripiprazole, the side effects usually fade over time. Well. Time is something I clearly have. Perhaps, in another week, things won’t be as bad, because this 63 year old anatomy of mine will begin to adjust to the medication, and what it does. Sort of like tuning a car engine, or optimizing a computer program. It takes time, and experimentation, and practice, lots of practice, and experience, to get it right.

Maybe that’s where I am right now. Tuning the engine. Optimizing the program to work better.

Just in case that’s what’s happening, I’ll stay at the 5 mg dose for now. And see how it goes, and monitor myself carefully. After all, it’s still 2 days until I can really call my doc, and ask questions.

In the meantime, can I take a nap?


A Thought For A Tuesday (2022/12/27)

Tonight, I’m doing a few different things in this journal. Gonna write about ideas for stories. And responses to things like “Ancient Aliens”.

With respect to UFOs and Ancient Aliens and such.There are so many other intriguing possibilities that you never touch on. Like, how long were there dinosaurs on the planet? Something like 165 million years, right? Think about that. Humans have been around, in various forms, for something like 2 million years. Modern humans have been around for maybe 200,000 years. And here we are, with computers, flying machines, roads, cars, ships, and all the rest.

How do we know there weren’t dinosaurs that did what we are doing now? The reason is because there are no fossils of human-like dinosaurs. The only fossils we have of dinosaurs are of big dinosaurs. Even then, we don’t give them any credit. How do we know that they didn’t have a civilization like that of the American Indians? Because we can’t find any signs of it, right?

Would signs of such a civilization survive 65 million years for us to find them?

The American Indians did stone carvings, and built dirt mounds, and even a few buildings out of mud and rock, that we can still find after several thousand years. But, will those be around in another ten thousand years? How about 100,000 years? How about a million years?

And we can’t find any signs of civilization from the days of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago.

Ancient Aliens talks about lizard people. Let that sink in for a bit. Lizard men. Dinosaurs. And they put lizard men in space ships. And underground. And say they came from another world.

What if the Lizard men are the dinosaurs? What if they have colonies throughout the solar system? What if they have spread to Alpha, Beta, and Proxima Centauri? What if they are an interstellar species now that managed to get off the planet before the big rock hit?

They would be 65 million years beyond us in science and technology. They would have technology we don’t understand, that would be like magic to us. How do we know the aliens aren’t dinosaurs?

For that matter, why can’t they be humans? Why can’t humans have achieved that level of technology before now? And what happens if we did, and then managed to cause a catastrophe that wiped us out. You know. Like we’re doing now with the damage we are causing the biosphere of the planet.

What happens if those advanced humans from thousands of years ago, maybe 12,000 or more years ago, managed to bring about the collapse of their own civilization?

Or perhaps, they didn’t collapse. Perhaps the planet changed. Maybe we got struck by a whopper solar flare? Maybe there was a comet that struck the Earth. We don’t know. That’s the entire point. We don’t know. We do know that something happened about 12,000 years ago, because there is a global sediment layer from roughly that time. As if everything caught fire and burned. Maybe there was a big volcano that went off and destroyed that civilization?

How would we know? Would there be any signs that such a civilization had existed? And would we recognize those signs if we saw them? What if those signs are places like Gobekli Tepe? Made of stone that we can’t carbon date? How would we know how old those places really are? How would we know who built them? Would any of the signs of the civilization that made them have survived?

Personally, I don’t believe any of what I’ve just said. And I certainly don’t believe there are aliens visiting Earth. But, if we have people who believe aliens have and do visit us, then why not make those aliens dinosaurs, or the survivors of a previous civilization of humans? That certainly makes more sense than saying aliens from other star systems visit us all the time.



A Thought For A Monday (2022/12/26)

Yesterday was a lost cause day. Christmas Day. The single worst day of the year for me. The day I simply survive.

Today is better, just because it’s not Christmas Day.

I’m learning something new, but I’m not sure I can put it into words yet. It’s about my depression and my anxiety, and my Autism, and the way they all interact.

I’ve been studying Korean. The language. On Duolingo, for over 430 days now. And I’m coming out of a bad stretch, where it was hard for me to practice Korean at all, let alone a consistent amount daily. I reached a point where I looked at the Duolingo web site, and said, “Time to practice.” And part of me wanted to practice. And part of me wanted to scream. And part of me wanted to cry. And mostly, I just wanted to curl up in a little ball in a corner somewhere, and give up on everything in life.

Last night, I started to pull out of that deep blue funk on Duolingo. I did all the practice I normally have done over the past year. Today, I ran into a cross mix of feeling good about practicing, and of wanting to turn my computer off, and never look at anything Korean again.

Because my brain cells have been turning it into a competition. Into something I have to do. Not something I want to do. Not something that’s fun. But a daily torture session where I’m expecting myself to make progress, endlessly, daily, and to measure up to everyone else’s performance on the Duolingo site.

When I realized my brain cells were doing that, I was able to start undoing that. To start reminding myself I’m not competing with anyone. That I don’t have to finish the day in the top 20 in whatever group Duolingo put me in. That I don’t have to keep up with the top 3 people in that group. That I don’t know any of those people. Or why they are on Duolingo, practicing Korean.

I’m having to remember that I’m on Duolingo, practicing Korean, for fun. For me. Because I want to understand Korean more and better, so I can start to figure out some of the Kpop music I listen to. And I understand it could take years for me to get that adept at Korean. I certainly won’t get there this week, this month, or probably this year.

What I have to remember is it’s not a competition between me and people I’ve never met on the internet. It’s me. Period. Learning a bit of Korean. Slowly. Steadily. At my own pace. Because I want to learn Korean. Not because I have to. Not because someone has challenged me to. Not because I’m in a contest with other people.

But because I think it would be fun to understand, even a little bit, of Korean.

When I started figuring that out today, Duolingo got a hell of a lot more fun.

And yes. I realize I need to do that same thing with the rest of my existence. Figure out what parts I do for fun, and enjoy the heck out of those parts. Even if I have that voice of that stupid social model in the back of my head screaming, “What’s in it for me?”

Fun. That’s what’s in it. Fun. And it doesn’t have to be anything else.

Knowing why I wash the dishes, why I want to wash the dishes, has helped me wash the dishes, even when I’m feeling blue, and don’t want to. I know why I wash the dishes. All the reasons why. The sanitary reasons, the healthy reasons, and the social reasons. And it does make her happier if I get them washed. I have to admit I don’t mind the sinks being clear, and ready for me to put dirty dishes in them, without having to pile those dishes on top of an ocean of other dishes that need washing. And, I’m learning something else. If I keep up better, it’s less of a headache to wash the damn things. Because there are fewer of them to wash each time I wash them.

See? I know why I wash the dishes. And as a result, washing the dishes is becoming less and less of a chore, and more and more of something I understand, and know to take care of. Because I know why the dishes should be washed.

Now, I’m starting to do the same thing with Duolingo. Learning why I practice Korean. All the reasons why. Learning about the concept of fun. Of doing something new, learning something new, just for the fun of learning.

See? There’s the reasons why I practice Korean on Duolingo.

It’s complicated. It’s not because I have to. Not because of a competition. Not because it’s part of my job. It’s because I want to learn something new, just for fun, at my own pace, with no pressure to learn anything at all.

If learning Korean ends up helping me maintain my cognitive abilities as I get older, well. That’s another reason to have fun learning a new language, isn’t it?

One day at a time, I’m learning. Not just Korean. But so many things. So many things.

I’ll have to watch as I learn to do this, to use this understanding of why I do things, and why I want to do things. Slowly, I know, but still, even if slowly, I’m making forward progress. And I’m good with that.

A Thought For A Monday (2022/12/19)

Some rules are obvious. Like you don’t pick a fight with the guy that’s 3 times your size, and he can throw you like you’re a paper airplane. Those aren’t social rules. Those don’t explain how society works. Those are survival rules. Wild animal rules. If you aren’t the alpha wolf, you don’t pick a fight with the alpha wolf in the pack, ‘cause you may not survive the fight.

Some rules are anything but obvious. I call those the wink and smile rules, because everyone seems to know them except me.

“You can’t say that!”

Yes, Hellen, I can say that! I just fucking did say that! And nobody died! Now, if I can figure out why everyone went stupid, or crazy, or got up and left, or said, “OK, Marcus! Out of the pool,” when I said that, then maybe I’ll figure out what you really mean when you tell me I can’t say that.

Telling me that I can’t do something and expecting me to understand why is like telling your child to not eat chocolate chips straight from the bag. You know damn well what that child is going to do. But, you tell the child, “If you eat chocolate chips from the bag, I won’t be able to make cookies, and you won’t have cookies in your lunch for school, or for dessert after dinner.” Or maybe, “If you eat the chocolate chips, you’ll get sick as a dog, and have to live near the toilet for a few hours or even a day, because you’re going to have a bad case of diarrhea,” provides an explanation of what could happen, and the child might damn well think, “I’m not getting sick,” and not eat the chips.

There’s an enormous difference between, “You can’t do that,” and “You shouldn’t do that because.”

Think about that. See? It’s like I’ve said endlessly. It’s complicated. It’s not black and white, up and down, left and right, good and evil, just and unjust, moral and amoral, courteous and rude. It’s complicated. Framing it inside an on/off switch doesn’t explain anything, and doesn’t help anyone figure out how to deal with life.

Stop oversimplifying things. And stop trying to make everyone the same. We’re not the same. None of us are the same. Deal with that.