Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Light A Candle

I don't do well with discussions on religion or when people ask others to say a prayer or whatever.  I don't begrudge anyone the right to practice whatever religion they like as long as it doesn't involve hurting other people.  But it makes me uncomfortable when someone says "I'll pray for you" because I never really know how to respond.  Thank you?  It's the thought that counts, I guess, right?  Even if I don't actually believe that their prayers will have any bearing on what happens in my life.

Some religions pray, some light candles, some do both.  Some keep someone in need in their thoughts and hearts and wish positive energy on their behalf.  Even those who don't believe in any form of religion believe in showing love and compassion to their fellow man, many an atheist will toss a coin into a fountain or wish on a star because it can't hurt ... right?

We all wish the best for others; we all wish for a world without famine, war, or pain.  Today I will be lighting a candle for myself in the hopes that someone, somewhere, with authority might witness it and accept the symbolism.  At this moment I need peace more than anything; I need a still small voice, or a feeling deep inside, or a wash of comfort to bathe me and let me know that everything is going to be alright.

Another panic attack tonight, the worst one I've ever had; scared the hell out of "Temptation" when I lost consciousness.  Another early bed time feeling sorry for myself.  I wanted to walk but I couldn't find the energy to put my shoes on or tie my hair back.  Upside: I don't eat when I'm depressed so intake was low enough today to make up for the lack of exercise.  No guarantees for tomorrow either ... I'd much rather crawl in a hole and sleep until it all goes away.

3 glasses of water
1 cup of coffee w/creamer
1 whole wheat bagel
2 light laughing cow cheese wedges
1 can clam chowder
2 slices bread (dry)
Intake: 877


  1. Ok I just typed somthing out and it dispaeared so I have no idea if you got it or not..
    I so I am retyping it..
    Looks Like you got your new bed..Looks comfy..I too dont know what to say when people say God bless you. I believe in god but have my questions. I got my new memory foam bed topper and I love it. I sleep so much better.
    I hope you get to feeling better!

  2. You should start taking flax oil, or fish oil with high omega 3's. Make sure you get the proper amount of fats and proteins. And eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Your brain is craving this food. Bad diet = unhealthy brain. Exercise is essential too. I know all this from experience. Panic attacks are the worst, but they can be overcome, doll.

  3. Anonymous: I am not disagreeing with anything you've said but I thought I had better clarify: my panic attacks are triggered by extremely dramatic or traumatic events and the past few days have been really dramatic/traumatic for me. I start to cry and get myself all worked up and then I can't take a full breath in or out so hyperventilating starts and then I start coughing, choking, and dry heaving (or vomiting if I've got something in my stomach). Then I start to panic more because I feel like I'm suffocating myself and it's all just not good.

  4. I don't believe in "wishing" nor relying on some unseen power to get me through the tough-times.

    It's not that I'm an atheist, you know I'm not.

    It's just that, in my view, God/nature created us already with everything we need to manage our own problems and triumph: our rational mind!

    We were born, unique from every other creation, with the ability not to merely consume what's around us and hope it gets replaced -- but to take the raw-materials around us, and *CREATE* an entirely new world for ourselves.

    When we give in to despair and hopelessness and fear, we fail to realize that are living in the most prosperous time in all of history and that we can literally get through any demand of modern life. All it takes is *PRIDE*, grit, and determination.

    You can "wish", if you want; personally, I think it undermines your own strength and insults the creator who created you to be a strong independent person -- and I think it's counter-productive because it allows the opportunity for weakness to sneak in and fester.

    Far better, in those moments, to remember who you are and what you are capable of -- and then stand up straight, chest out, and start walking through life with PRIDE once more.

    To cry for others is a sign of compassion; to cry for yourself is weakness. And I don't know about you, but I don't believe that nature's god created us to be weak.

  5. Panic attacks suck. I have found a few ways to cope. Perhaps I should blog on that because so many people seem to suffer with panic attacks. I know how you feel wanting to just crawl in bed and sleep it off. Take care, Kiddo. Love the new bed.

  6. Having just explained your non-interest in religion (ish?), I'm going to give you this recommendation with full understanding of where you stand.

    There's a great book out there called "Anger" by Thich Nhat Hahn. It's a Buddhist book about handling (duh) anger, but the techniques and trainings he uses work for any strong emotion--including fear and panic.

    Someone recommended it to me about the time I was having panic attacks because of repressed stress over my son's diagnosis. I'm no Buddhist, but this book was a beautiful thing. Blessed my life. It might bless yours.

    Anyways . . . I'll be praying for you. *Evil laugh*

  7. Ki,

    I will put the book on my Amazon list for sure. I've been reading a lot about Psi and noetic science lately; I find it all very fascinating. I am especially drawn to the concept that the "mystical" powers that many religions associate with gods may actually be latent human abilities and that the rituals or religious symbolism we use to enact them is merely a subconscious trigger to our higher mental cognition.

    Sometimes I wish I could go pay a visit to Chani's dad again; you three taking me to see him when we all lived in Cedar City was probably one of the best things that have ever happened for my overall health (phsyical and mental). Last night's panic attack turned into a seizure (hence the loss of consciousness and the gagging/dry heaving) just like the ones I was having in college. They've reduced so much that I didn't have even one at all during the entire year of 2010 but apparently I need to get my emotions under control or I could resurrect a world of crap for myself. Any idea if he's still practicing?

  8. I challenge the commonly-held belief that strong 'uncontrollable' emotions are the due to factors outside of our control (ie: chemistry, genetics, etc), as well as the assertion that we are to rely on 'mystical powers' offered by religion/gurus/spiritualists/etc in order to learn to cope with them.

    Feelings/emotions are not tools of cognition, they are not fountains of input from the beyond, and they are not mystical.

    Feelings/emotions are the physical manifestation of the thinking we have done (or have *not* done!), and nothing more. They are the mirror into our soul/mind -- a reflection of how well we have integrated our thought-processes (or have *not* integrated them!)

    --> In other words, panic attacks are due to us not having taken the time and effort to position our station in life in such a way that we feel confident and in control. PANIC ATTACKS MEAN YOU DO NOT FEEL LIKE YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR OWN DESTINY. <--

    Other feelings have a very similar explanation.
    And it isn't up to God/nature/the universe to fix it for you. And mystics/religion/swamis don't have the power to do it for you -- they are just a crutch that provides us a temporary sense of order/understanding/control... but that crutch is temporary.

    In order to solve the problem, you have to do a lot of *honest* thinking... about life, about yourself, and (most importantly) about the nature of reality and ethics.

    Read Rand, seriously. Start with Mentzer's writings on Rand. Before I read Rand/Mentzer, I was lost too. I had times where I felt that spiraling loss of control. The moment I read Mentzer's writings on Rand, my eyes were completely opened like at no other time in my life. I'm not claiming either of them have all the answers to everything -- nor that they are 100% correct. But their insights are nothing short of amazing (Rand brings the insight, Mentzer dumbs it down to make it easier to digest).

    I have not felt confused or lost or anything like that ever since -- and it's been about 6 years since I first read them.

    You are probably going to slough this off. Most who look into Rand/Mentzer will laugh at me for promoting 1)a novelist who doubled as a lay-philosopher, and 2)a pro-bodybuilder.

    That's fine.
    They mocked and killed Socrates too; and condemned anyone 'foolish' enough to subscribe to his philosophies.

  9. I may or may not slough it off but I do disagree, at least partially. Not on the misticism aspect but on the fact that mere thought can control panic attacks. Hormones are an extremely powerful aspect of the composition of the human body. This is why pregnant women become emotional, why men try to lay blame for a pissed off woman on PMS, and why women going through perimenopause are often given hormone replacements to control mood swings, anxiety, and sleep deprivation.

    In all the crap I've gone through in my past, all of which you know about, I didn't start having panic attacks until the summer of '09. Even though they always happen in response to traumatic events and fear, some of the situations that have caused them this year have not been nearly as traumatic or frightening as things that I dealt with in my past that were far worse. Sometimes they even defy logic, when I know in my mind that I am over reacting but can't stop it from happening. I firmly believe 100% that those are the result of hormones affecting my emotions.

    p.s. Chani's dad (mentioned in my previous reply) is a Chiropractor; he did adjustments for me after I had that accident at Wal-mart that displaced the first disc in my spine and started my seizures.

  10. I'm not suggesting there are not *natural* hormonal-responses to *natural* and *explainable* events.

    But panic attacks are not natural, and they are not easily-identifiable as being linked to a simple explainable condition.

    If you look back across human history you will find that anytime humanity encountered something that seemed abnormal/unnatural and for which it could not easily identify a simple source, the natural response has always been to label it as 'complex' and 'outside the realm of human understanding', and then laid it at the feet of mysticism -- expecting the mystic to deliver an answer.

    And time and time again our history has shown us that after a sufficient amount of time and investigation, we are able to discover an answer to that 'complex' problem. I'm not suggesting we've solved every problem out there, nor that there aren't *some* problems that may truly be outside the realm of the human-experience (God is certainly one of them, I think). But the vast majority of problems that are directly-experienced by us in everyday life do have much simpler answers than we often first suspect.

    The fact that you didn't start to experience panic attacks until very recently means nothing (in terms of the discussion regarding the true source of your stress). All it necessarily means is that recently you maybe experienced a *catalyst* that pushed your already-unstable psyche over the edge a bit further enough that you are now observing it's instability. Like a moderately-malnourised person who otherwise feels fine but then suddenly gets very ill -- malnourishment for years feels fine for a very long time, but eventually it manifests itself; the source of the problem was around for years.

    By the way, the fact that you label what I suggest as 'mere thought' -- you may want to rethink that. Humans, if nothing else, are ruled by so-called *mere*-thought. Without thought, we would not be humans, and if you look to the world we have created for ourselves over thousands of years of work it all boils down to one predominant key-factor: THOUGHT. Our genes and chemicals are certainly very important ingredients; but nothing is more important to us than the ability to reason.

    Thought is the vital tool that separates us from the animals and the sane from the insane.

    And yet I am not talking about general thinking -- what I am talking about is *REFLECTION*. To reflect on reality, ethics, and oneself is the hardest type of thinking there is -- there is no way it is "*mere* thought".

    "Mere thought", by the way, was the source of the development of the A-bomb, the luxuries of modern-life, and even the source of all forms of mysticism.

    Hormones may indeed be powerful, but they are not all-powerful. It has been demonstrated time and again that "mere thought" can overpower the strongest of hormonal-responses; people learn to walk on coals, undergo the most difficult of tortures, and abstain from sex, food, and water beyond the average person's (supposed) tolerances.

    Very strong hormones push the average man into a natural desire to mate with as many females as possible -- and yet the average man resists that hormonal-urge the vast majority of the time through no other means than the fact this his reasoning mind tells him that the social-price would be too great.

    "It's my hormones/genes" are just the scape-goat of the 21st-century; it's the boogeyman and the-devil-made-me-do-it of our time.

  11. You should look into the words of Dean Radin. I used the words "mere thought" out of habit but I should be the last person to make that mistake because I've been so heavily interested in the noetic sciences and "the power of thought" for such a long time.

    Take this weight loss effort I'm making ... no magic pills, no super new exercise equipment, no external source of motivation that got me to finally make an effort. I just woke up one day with a paradigm shift and decided it was time to stop "wishing" for weight loss and start doing. Everything I've accomplished this far has been the result of a thought process that started a chain of events. I see your point; sometimes it's just hard to break the modern habit of under estimating powerful thought.

    Seriously, Dean Radin - google him, pick up a book or two at the library. He's even got some lectures on YouTube that I thought were impressive to say the least.

  12. Yeah, the noetic sciences are fascinating. I've never read a serious book about them, but I've come across mention of them in a few fictional books and a documentary or two about other topics but which touched on the noetic sciences in order to explain something they were talking about. Very interesting stuff; I'll have to look into Radin.

    So I'll make you a deal... you send me the easiest-introductory text to Radin (ie: shortest/most basic/most interesting) and I'll exchange it with you for my easiest-introductory text to Rand. Sound fun??? Email me, we'll arrange it. Seriously. That way neither of us have to spend the money buying a new author we may/may-not read again, but we motivate each other to actually read the author (because we have to return the books at some point!) Then we can compare notes. :)

  13. BTW, another very interesting read (and though not terribly easy, it's *very* short and still fairly easy) is "As a Man Thinketh -- the Effect of Thought on Circumstances" by James Allen. It's the thinnest book I own, but one packed (in my opinion) with more insight and wisdom than any other (including the huge Bible).

    Here's an excerpt that serves to convey the core of his entire message:

    "Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles. Men understand this law in the natural world, and work with it; but few understand it in the mental and moral world (though its operation there is just as simple and undeviating), and they, therefore, do not co-operate with it... The soul attracts that which it secretly harbours; that which it loves, and also that which it fears; it reaches the height of its cherished aspirations; it falls to the level of its unchastened desires,-and circumstances are the means by which the soul receives its own."

    If you want to do the book-exchange, I could send you my copy of Allen as well, if you want.

  14. One last thought... glad to see you realized what I was talking about (re: the power of thought in our lives and how hormones are not the all-powerful catalyst for most people that we are often led to believe they are).

    It's interesting when one of those "AH-HA!"-moments in life happens; very glad to hear you've experienced with regards to your health, that's a very nice thing that not everyone experiences. You should be very happy and proud of yourself. After all, according the Allen, the fact that you had that life-changing event was no mere accident -- it was the direct-result of THINKING you'd *ALREADY* done... the fact that you had been "wishing for weight loss" for so long was catalyst to your paradigm-shift. You wished and thought about it long enough and hard enough that you eventually forced your brain to shift gears. You didn't know it at the time, but you changed your own life -- and now you are doing it again! CONGRATS! :)

    BTW, I just discovered that you can read Allen online for free: