Monthly Archives: February 2011

Hello, Anger, my old friend

“Weird Al” Yankovic probably makes a ton of money singing parodies of other peoples songs.   Sometimes something about a song’s lyrics catches me.  Sometimes I realize that I heard something that wasn’t there, and sometimes it sparks the creative creature inside of me.

I don’t think this would classify as a parody though, since my intent wasn’t to make fun of the musician.  It probably wouldn’t classify as any literary device that I know of.  Maybe I can make my own device, Dramatic Imitation?

This is my version of Simon and Garfunkel’s – The Sound of Silence

Hello, Anger, my old friend
I’ve come to walk with you again
Because a vision staunchly creeping
Left its poison while I was sleeping
And the vision
That is eating at my brain
Still remains
It is the sound of violence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets with  broken stones
Beneath the shell of a street lamp
I turned against the wind and sand
When my eyes were stabbed
By the flash of a sudden light
That split the night
And began the sound of violence

And in the fiery light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People running without stopping
People dying without crying
People seeing things they can never share…
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of violence.

“Fools,” said I, “you do not know
Violence like a cancer grows.”
“Hear my pain that it might reach you,
Take my words that they might teach you.”
But my words like shiny blood drops fall,
And echo in the sound of violence.


POSITIVE THINKING

Every once in awhile I find myself in a funk.  Dragging my ass around.  Pissing and moaning.  Stuck to the couch.  Feeling sorry for myself.
Most of the time I don’t even know what has caused it or what I’m feeling sorry about.
I can’t stand to be like that.
I have to make a conscious physical and mental effort to climb back out of it.  One of the methods that I find that works for me is to try positive thinking.  Sound lame?  Generally I would agree, but there is a certain way that seems to work for me.
I’m not a little train engine that thinks to myself, “I think I can.”
I’m not some comedic Rob Schneider character thinking, “I can DO IT!”
I prefer a kick ass Governator attitude.  I say to myself, “I’m Back!”  I was good before and I am good again.
That’s Right!  Lookout Bastards!  I’m here and I’m back!
Start the ’80’s theme music.
I’m gonna get up early, I’m gonna knock this shit out!

You have to take it a step further than thinking “Im going to try.”

Some people find an activity that they enjoy.  For some of us it would seem that enjoyment is either lost or so far diluted it is dangerous.  For me, all I really need to do is focus on accomplishing things.  I need an objective, even if it is only a series of small objectives.  Wake up, go for a run, shower, start laundry, clean the house, grocery shopping, etc…  These tasks seem menial but there is a huge difference in viewing failing to complete them at all or viewing them as a successful accomplishment.  When overlooked and unaccomplished, failing to achieve these daily tasks can actually cause me to sink further into a hole.

This shit isn’t quick sand.  Stand up, put one foot in front of the other and move out.  If you fall off of the proverbial horse, you are no worse off than you were before but at least you were doing something.  Just start from scratch and move out again.

Find a picture or a quote that will keep you optimistic and motivated.  Place it on your bathroom mirror, refrigerator, front door, or someplace where you will see it everyday.  I took a picture of the MMA Tapout logo and scratched the word “Don’t” over the top left corner and placed it where I could see it from my desk at work.

Another important piece of this positive thinking TTP is to surround yourself with positive people.  Most humans are wired to feed off of and reflect the attitudes of those around them.  When you are surrounded by negativity you will only find yourself thinking negatively in turn.  Do you remember going to a bar or club and being surrounded by people who just relaxed and had a good time?  What about a time that you went out and were with that one guy who was just a buzz kill?  I avoid these people.  I actually get irritated and almost irate when I start listening to people start whining about shit and saying things like FML.  Look across some of the blogs and articles to see how many people talk about how much a supportive loved one, friend, or doctor has meant to them in their struggle.

In addition to self motivating, you may also start to work towards becoming self aware of your attitudes and indicators.

* Warning:  Skip the next paragraph if you aren’t interested in scientific mumbo jumbo.

The Mayo Clinic identifies different types of negative self-talk:
Filtering.
You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, say you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. But you forgot one minor step. That evening, you focus only on your oversight and forget about the compliments you received.
Personalizing.
When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled, and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
Catastrophizing.
You automatically anticipate the worst. You refuse to go out with friends for fear that you’ll make a fool of yourself. Or one change in your daily routine leads you to think the entire day will be a disaster.
Polarizing.
You see things only as either good or bad, black or white. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or that you’re a total failure.

Try to have a sense of humor for Christ’s sake.
I suppose I could do some more research, but have heard that laughter releases endorphins and decreases dopamine levels.  I have read that endorphins are chemicals that are 10 times more powerful than the pain killing drug morphine, and dopamine is involved in the “fight or flight response” and is associated with elevated blood pressure.

What works for me might not work for you, but I am putting it out there.  It really takes some effort and self awareness sometimes.  I wish it I had an easy answer, and if you have anything that works for you…I am open to some suggestions.


In your corner

A message to the ones searching for their conviction: You ain’t going this road alone. We’re in your corner. We’ve been tried and have been tested. We never worry about being rested. We are as hard as stone. And so are you. Stay the course, fight the fight. Take your lickin stand up and ask for more. This is not the permanent it is the temporary. Dig your toes in, get off your heels and swing for the fences. Whether you fight your inner demons, fight the transition, fight the traffic, fight the isolation, fight the bottle …. it matters not, you are never alone and we will always be there in your corner, cutting your eye-lids and wiping the blood out of your eye. I never said it was gonna be easy, never said it would be clean, all I am saying is we are in your corner. Never be afraid or ashamed to reach out. The true test of a warrior is knowing when to ask for help. Tuck your chin and watch his left its a hammer.