Friday, January 25, 2013

Your Feelz Aren't My Feelz

So, a bit of a short story is in order. I'll call it "Michael's Nervous Breakdown 2012"

Around Thanksgiving something (current theory: Holidays= Time around dad w/ no escape) triggered me to start having anxiety and panic attacks with alarming and annoying frequency. Basically,  I was nervous and pretty much crippled by it. Anyway, I started a new medication, because Dr. C thought that perhaps the reason anxiety was breaking through so strongly was because I had bi-polar disorder. THAT THOUGHT was/still is horrifying to me. I didn't really agree with that assessment at the time, but also knew that my desire to not be Bipolar like my Dad was very strong.

So, I started that medication and sought counseling despite the cost which had made me avoid it during some previous issues. I picked a counseling practice to contact after doing a little looking on the webz. I got an appointment and that was a big help.

In the meantime, I've been going to weekly sessions and dropped the added medication (with the consent of Dr.C).

So, context sort of achieved.

Anyway, counseling has been very helpful so far. Getting a third party who is totally removed from my situation provides clarity that I was severely lacking. Things are ridiculously obvious, but I'm trapped in my own perspective. It helps that she is awesome.

The thing that she's helped me see that I'm not responsible for other people's feelings and moods. I mean, that isn't really a brilliant thing. But it was such an "ohhhhh" moment for me. In a very simplified version of events, here's how she dropped this nugget of knowledge on me*:

Tasha: Do you think you could make me happy.

Michael: I'd like to think I can

Tasha: You can't. Even, if you come in and are charming and funny and kind. I get to decide whether I'm happy or not.

Again, this is kind of obvious stuff, but I've too trapped in the prism of being me to have seen it. I've always let other people's emotions affect me so much. If someone I care about is upset for whatever reason, I internalize it and stress about it; I take it as my burden when it isn't.

I definitely don't want to make it sound like she is suggesting that I stop caring or that I plan to do so. I care, I care a whole bunch about the people in my life. I just need to start doing it in a healthier way. I am not the center of anyone's life but my own. I am only responsible for my own feelings. So, while I want to see everyone happy, I need to stop feeling like it's my responsibly to make that so.

Basically, I need to take care of the head of #1 playa. Stressing about other's peoples feelings does nothing to help them. All it really does is double the burden. And I can still be helpful or caring or supportive or whatever without having to carry the full weight of the burden as well.

As I said, my counselor is great. She's gotten to one of the roots of my daddy-anxiety issues and it's so obvious and something that happened this week made it click and I definitely know she's right. She also gave me a brilliant strategy to try; it'll just require a little bravery on my part**.

I do want you all to know that things have improved so much from where they were at the start of this. Life is going pretty well right now. So Blawg Post

Thanks for reading

*She was more graceful and intelligent and I was less graceful and more dumb
**I'm not a Gryffindor, okay?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Special Comment- Political Brinkmanship

I cannot claim that I'm not an ideologue. I wish that policies were put into place that I like and I truly believe that they would make the nation a better place. However, I cannot pretend that the other side doesn't believe as I do. I also cannot deny the possibility that I could be wrong. Simply, I can not say that I am truly above the fray calling for civility and compromise.

That said, My feeling towards Congress is disdain. Too many people in Congress are putting their political identity ahead of the strength of the United States Government. There are many things to blame for the radicalizing of the House of Representatives. Gerry-Mandering, the influence of the special interests and the vicious-cycle that is created by the high incumbency rates. However, a person in Congress should have enough sense to avoid doing damaging things to the nation's government and economy.

We saw in the last Congress and I'm certain it will continue, unless there is a surprising rise of sense in our Nation's Capitol, the game of political brinkmanship played by, namely, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Issues that Congresses past had enough sense not to make a big deal about or hold hostage suddenly became major issues that required last minute deals. Notably, the fight to raise the debt ceiling, nearly causing the U.S. government to default, which would've been disastrous for our country and the world. That led directly to the recent 'fiscal cliff' fiasco and the punt made to stop that from being a disaster has just created a new, more dire situation.

It is a pretty obvious secret that government power and economic strength are largely illusions. There is no backing for the dollar. It's strength is the fact that U.S. treasury does not default. When someone is given a dollar it is backed by the power of the United States government. It's a long standing and stable government in a relatively peaceful society that has not been susceptible to sudden change.

This illusion is broken when House Republicans hold the debt ceiling hostage. Creditors suddenly see how close the Treasury is to defaulting at the whims of extremists within the U.S. government. U.S. citizens, even if ever so slightly, lose faith in the dollar. Consumers of our nations goods lose confidence.

The opportunity for those who have been elected to Congress was created by the relative stability of their government and economy. That was a result of Congresses before doing the basic things to maintain stability. Ideologies need to be put aside when it comes to severely damaging the nation's economy. To hell with a potential primary challenger. To hell with the Tea Party. You are there to govern and key to that is keeping the government functional. Your striving to please the political extremes by harming the government is damn near traitorous.

Basically, just do your fucking job, Congress.