sometimes, my head explodes

forever young vs. addicted for life April 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — somniare @ 10:36 am

This world is not youth-friendly.

Today was one of those days where I felt completely inadequate at my job. Not from a technical standpoint, but as far as my own personal standards go… well they just weren’t met.

Despite my failure to walk away from my shift feeling satisfied with the extent of how I was able to meet my patients needs, I did walk away with something. Youth is dying.

You’d think that in a profession where I see people in various states of illness and all out decay, I’d have faced this fact much sooner. What I choose to see isn’t the decomposition of a person’s shell though… it’s what remains in their minds.

Less and less am I encountering those lively spirits that take their challenges in stride. I often find my assignment riddled with those like my 35 year old who succumbed to 2 bottles of wine a day for nearly 20 years, trashed her organs, and became as equally dependent on the pain and psyche meds she was given to “help” her. Addiction is sad at any age, but it’s even worse to see a life devoid of any real childhood as a result of such a personality. One could say that they do it to themselves… but does a predisposition based on uncontrollable synapses governing conditions such as addiction really fall under the realm of what is technically under our control?

Then on the other end of the spectrum, I had a 70 year old man who spent the week bantering with me, laughing and connecting with anyone who crossed his path, even high-fiving me when I’d come up with a new witty insult. I discharged him home today, he hugged me before getting into his car and thanked me for being so giving. I think I gained more from him than he really gained from me. It’s spirit like his that keeps me from giving in to complete misanthropy. I can keep the faith in eternal youth as long as those people continue to cross my path. Despite the fact that it feeds my optimism, the aforementioned question relating to the alcoholic still applies on a level here. Can an unfailing sense of youth and optimism be just another form of addiction that’s truly out of our control?

This contrast inspires quite a large mystery to me though. We encounter people with severe problems with addiction every day. Sometimes it’s easy to tell the difference between a person who’s personality has dictated those choices from a very young age and those who have made a conscious decision to escape reality via that route at points in their lives when they should have had the common sense to know better. The youthful personalities on the other hand… well, you really don’t ever see someone who has grown to become that person. I have never heard of someone developing in that way as a result of the struggles reality has handed them. Can we feed off the memory of whimsy in the same way a junkie never forgets their last good high?

Personally, I find myself to fall somewhere in the awkward middle of these two states of mind. I can fall into an addiction quickly and easily. While I’m aware of this flaw, I suppose I’ll never be able to tell for sure how long that awareness will prevent me from falling into the traps that lie in waiting nearly everywhere. At the same time, I also frequently resort to seeing the world and all of it’s many experiences through the eyes of one much younger than I truly am. You’ll see me making jokes at my own expense far more often than you’d find me in the midst of a tearful breakdown. I find myself embracing the sensation of prepubescent adoration in my relationships. I daydream, I laugh, I have hopes for my future. While much of what I was has been shredded with time, I can hold onto the pieces and assemble what can only be described as an inner franken-child. You can stomp on it, you can remove some limbs… but what powers it is untouchable.

Perhaps I can be one of the few to become addicted to youth. Not in a state of regression… I would never want to go back to the years of terrible decision making and hormone swings beyond your wildest imagination. I’d like to evolve to see the world in a way that resurrects the lost hope of adulthood… take it in stride always. I find that thought very addicting…


my war against pennies April 25, 2008

Filed under: from the mute to the deaf,philosophical muse — somniare @ 12:37 am

I think there’s a portion of everyone’s brain that is fascinated with the science of relationships. Even those who live ignorant to the actual psychology behind social interactions will find themselves counseling they’re friends, loved ones, or even complete strangers on their dealings with others. What sticks out to me as the most common reassurance to those in the middle of a crashing relationship or dying friendship is that you can’t expect to change someone who doesn’t want to change themselves.

Okay, so we’ve established that. There’s a reason we hear this statement time and time again. There’s a reason it doesn’t prevent one from feeling the need to speak those words to others over and over. It should be clear that maybe, what we see on the surface when observing this misstep isn’t all that it seems.

From my experience, my tendency to keep myself in unhealthy relationships and associations isn’t because I’m driven to change the other person. It’s because I remember the better times. I struggle to let go of the earlier stages where we’re driven to please and learn about each other. I believe people are pulled inexorably toward each other for a reason. The problem comes in when that reason turns out to be different than what we desire it to be.

In every association with people around us, we should always find ourselves walking away with something valuable. Pain is like the penny if we were to convert these values monetarily. There’s only so much you can take before your pockets are full and you have to cash it in if you’d like to hold something more than a virtually worthless piece of diluted copper in your hands. Pennies are everywhere, we don’t even notice them until there are so many that all the other coins in the jar seem to be becoming usurped by them. We hate them, they burden us, we vacuum them up with the dust on the floor, we throw them out with our pocket lint. Pain accumulates in a very similar fashion. Eventually, when this is all you can seem to find yourself storing away, the time has come to give up on those brief times you were gathering quarters, dollars, and gems. You can only gain so much knowledge from pain… you can only live for a short while on pennies.

Living off of the memory of happiness gets you even less. This is like recycling cans, gathering the change, and using it to buy more cans of cheap beer. The time will come when you can no longer feed off of what you gained early on… and we all know what years of cheap beer will do to one’s body. We collect memories for the same reasons we get drunk. The ultimate digression. We remember so we can forget… many an alcoholic was born from the temptation of numbness. Our futures can’t be built on a desire to go back.

The most we can do is see those who are important in our lives for what they are each day. Take something away with you every moment you share. Make the effort to show a different side of yourself on occasion… your thoughts, your feelings, your hopes and dreams… these things should change as quick as heartbeats.

Give what you want to receive, be bigger than the penny.


the hope that only sleeps April 24, 2008

Filed under: about me,my evolution — somniare @ 12:17 am

I think I need to force myself to write even when I have nothing to say. It’s simply easier to pity those who stumble on this and hold expectations for words laden with worth than it is to feel sorry for myself for my own repression.

Today was a word storing day. Every now and then I seem to collect every utterance… words, whispers, sighs… I tuck them away and reflect in the light of my monitor.

I updated a friend of mine on my divorce proceedings today, which I don’t usually speak much about. When I told her that no matter what was taken from me or how much I had to sacrifice to the undeserving that I couldn’t bring myself to reflect such selfish behavior in retaliation… she looked at me as if I had sprouted an arm from my forehead and did a handstand. I’d be a liar if I said I hadn’t played those games before. I’ve lived most of my life lashing out at those who damaged me. Somewhere along the line, I learned that payback doesn’t get you anything in the long run. The temporary satisfaction in punishing those that have done me horribly wrong always ends up shadowed by the guilt later. I can tell myself over and over that my actions are validated, I can hear it from everyone else… hell, the person I hurt can come back and tell me they deserved what I did… it doesn’t matter. I can’t hang on to my humanity and make deliberate efforts to knock a person down no matter what the circumstances are. It may or may not make me an easier target, but I don’t care. I’d rather be under siege then fight a war with a person who has quickly become dead to me.

As is typical, what is currently at the forefront of my mind ends up making appearances everywhere. one of my patients got me talking about my divorce though not really in detail since I find it extremely unprofessional to drag your personal life into your place of employment. Her final statement of the matter was, “Well, you’re beautiful. I’m sure you’ll bounce back quickly and move on.” Is that so? So I should rely on my looks to obtain a life partner since the ugly ones will fully recover and move on. She herself had been through a divorce and the look of genuine sorrow for the fact I was going through it was a bit unnerving despite the horrifically worded statement regarding my ability to get through it. As is typical with me though, I smiled and told her not to be sorry… these things happen and it really wasn’t going all that badly. She nodded and said, “Yeah, but no one gets married to get divorced.” Ain’t that the truth. I was touched by her concern though… she spoke with her eyes and that’s important.

My coworkers breathe sighs of relief when they find I’m working with them. Even if our personalities may clash or we’re not exactly friendly, it’s known that I’m there to do my job and do it well even when I’m so miserable you can see new lines etching in my face by the second. The patients will never see it, they always comment about my perpetual smile. My coworkers know that I will still help the one who’s floundering even when I myself am buried.

The theme today seemed to be my unfailing sensitivity and dedication to people around me… under any circumstances.

My sensitivity is becoming less sickening to me every day. Yes it burdens on occasion, especially in the face of my willingness to accommodate the individual needs of everyone that steps into my life and the continuing neglect of my own. The smallest things can claw and twist my insides and cause my brain to run circles on itself weighing pros and cons until exhaustion ensues. I beg to the vacant space above my head to just once… please… let me encounter reciprocation in the beautiful way I know it can manifest. For once, I want to leap into open arms and prove to the doubting that under no circumstances would I entice one to reach for me just to have the safety net yanked out from under them. In every last one of my failed friendships and relationships, not one of those people would ever tell you I wasn’t there for them. Every.. last.. one… will tell you the story of the collapse and takes the blame. Most of them try to contact me regularly. I’ve made my share of mistakes and will continue to do so until the day I die… but I have yet to lose my grip on anyone I’ve held close… and I don’t intend to. This is my one pride. Without sensitivity, there is no true dedication. Before my time is up, I hope I’ll have earned what I am so willing to give. I’ll work every day for it. If I never find it, at least I’ll have died trying and hope that in the next life, I can continue moving toward this goal. Despite everything, the hope of this experience will die only with me, never before.


dissonant April 23, 2008

Filed under: almost poetic,bits and pieces — somniare @ 12:22 pm

I hear you listening.


can’t be but whispers now…

Hear them ring lovely
my wind chime cries-
here lies my child’s eye.