Weird in a World That’s Not

I want to give readers hope for choosing the road(s) you want to go down in life.

I’m reading a book: Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures by Jennifer Romolini.

The author is Italian like I am.

It’s a get-ahead book for left-of-the-dial folk.

This guide is for you if like me you felt you didn’t fit in. I was miserable working in insurance office jobs in the 1990s.

Possibly you can relate: I thought that to prove I was normal I had to get a job in a corporation like other people did to make buckets of money.

That particular bucket had a hole in it–so I didn’t make any money nor did I rise up to become a corner-office superstar.

I was forced to change course–to abandon that failed career and do something else. I chose to go back to school to get a Masters In Library and Information Science.

The graduate school coursework was not hard at all (at least not for me). It was simply labor-intensive–not hard work only a lot of work.

I recommend readers consider becoming a librarian in a public library or else working in another job at a public library.

This is because it’s the perfect career for those of us who are Weird in a World That’s Not.

I simply go left when everyone else goes right. (Though I’m not a Liberal party or Democrat or Conservative or Republican party member.)

I align with the Green Party. I listen to alternative music.

I use the word “operate” to describe how a person functions.

I operate differently from how so-called normal people operate. I’m not “in it” in this lifetime for tons of money or tons of fame.

Thus I recommend you read the book Weird in a World That’s Not.

I’m proudly as left-of-the-dial as you can get. So I think I know of what I speak in recommending this Jennifer Romolini career guide.

Lastly: A librarian job has the potential to be bulletproof. Automation is taking over. Audio Engineers for TV with 4-year degrees are being replaced by machines that do the audio engineering without the need of  a human’s skill.

In this climate, work as a librarian in a public library is sweet because no robot will ever take my job away.

So this is the ideal job if like me you are hopelessly different in how you operate.

I say: be weird if you are weird.

Be proud to be yourself in a world of people who covet being normal. Others might value looking, acting, and living like everyone else on the planet.

I do not. And if you don’t relish the homogeneous  nature of how you’re supposed to live in society, I say: rebel.

Be yourself. You’ll be better off.

Advertisements

The Myth of Having Dangerous Gifts

It’s a myth that mental health issues are “dangerous gifts.”

Trust me there are people who love having mental health conditions.

I’m not one of them.

SZ is a burden, not a gift. It’s hell. It’s painful to bear. More than dangerous it’s simply destructive.

If I could live one minute without SZ I’d take back all the true gifts I was given–like my writing talent and anything else–for one minute of freedom.

I’d like to know what it’s like to be accepted; to be understood; to be given compassion not screw-faced looks.

I take no joy in passing as a normal person.

Meg Jay, PhD wrote a new book about people who compensate for their hardship:

Supernormal: The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience.

You can take the quiz in the book to see if you fit the supernormal criteria.

We’re in this camp because those of us who faced hardship work longer and harder to achieve what comes easy to regular so-called “normal” people.

We’ve compensated for our early hardship by yes passing for normal when our lives were anything but ordinary.

There’s a solution to accepting and embracing a life with SZ or BP or whatever you have.

Helping others is the foolproof way I know to help yourself have a better life.

“Service above self” is the antidote to pain.

Just remember: I don’t think our pain is a dangerous gift.

Talking About Treatment Choice

In my Google Alerts yesterday I received a link to a revolutionary article posted on The Sun website. Now I don’t know the politics of The Sun, yet you can bet I’m more than willing to link to the article that appeared in my inbox.

I stopped taking SZ medication in 1992 under a doctor’s supervision. Yet even though I had a mild form I relapsed within 3 months and had to go back on the Stelazine. It’s why I choose to take a maintenance dose of Geodon every day.

It’s why I’m going to link at the end of this blog entry to an article in The Sun online.

My ancestors arrived here in the 1890s from Italy. Yes, mental health issues have run in my family since the 1890s–no kidding, this is a fact.

The quote is: “Genetics is the gun. Environment pulls the trigger.”

We each of us deserve better than to be told we’re wrong for choosing how we want to live. This choice might include taking medication for those of us who need it. We each of us have the right to choose recovery in whatever form our recovery takes.

Here’s the link to the revolutionary article in The Sun:

Neurotypicals Need to Cool It with the Advice

Women with SZ and Menopause

I find myself drawn to wanting to write about health topics.

Yet again I’m going to be the first person to write about a hot topic in recovery.

NAMI isn’t doing this and neither is MHA.

No one except me has dared to focus in detail on SZ and recovery at mid life. We need to have this conversation now.

For women, you’ve hit menopause when you’ve gone 12 months without your monthly period. As you approach 50, your primary care doctor can test your hormone levels.

Reading the book Menopause Confidential: A Doctor Reveals the Secrets to Thriving through Mid Life by Tamara Allmen, M.D. might be helpful.

It’s a short book yet has vital information. You can also read Body-for-Life for Women by Pamela Peeke, M.D.

Women as we age gain fat in our abdomens–the dreaded “menopot” according to Peeke.

Her book talks about the 4 stages of a woman’s life and how to cope with the changes we experience in each stage.

It’s possible to not have it so hard when you’re in menopause. Taking 400 mg of Vitamin E is thought to help with hot flashes. You can ask your mother what kinds of symptoms  she had at menopause if you’re able.

The average age of getting menopause for American women is 51. I’m 52, and I have 2 months to go. So far, I’ve had no hot flashes, I’ve been the same weight (because I strength train), and I still have a photographic memory and no fuzzy thinking.

It’s a joy not getting your monthly period.

Yet if you’re having sex, make the guy wear a condom and get tested for HIV/AIDS. People diagnosed with SZ have a higher risk for HIV/AIDS, according to research I reported on when I was the Health Guide at the HealthCentral SZ website.

A More magazine news article years ago reported that a significant number of women over 40 develop HIV/AIDS. If I remember right the statistic was 1 in 4 women over 40. They’re not having a guy use condoms, and they’re at higher risk.

I’ll end here with what I think makes sense:

If you have to take SZ medication, or thyroid pills, or whatever you have to take, do this to have a better life at 40 and beyond. You shouldn’t have to be in any more mental, physical, or emotional pain than is absolutely necessary.

A therapist told me years ago: “Suffering for the sake of suffering is bullshit.”

In coming blog entries I’ll feature a guest blogger–a guy who’s a peer in his fifties–to talk about mid life from a male perspective.

I’ll report more about the female view of mid life in the coming months.

Holiday Season

I want to write about the holiday season.

At my Left of the Dial blog you can read about my experience with the United States Postal Service.

In here I want to talk about how the holidays are often hell-idays for a lot of us living with a diagnosis.

I lost my father in January 2016. I lost a beloved aunt in March of this year.

You are not alone if you are actually depressed at this time of year and not in a good mood during the festivities.

What can help us feel better when we’ve lost our loved ones or otherwise don’t feel like celebrating?

A modest amount of retail therapy could help. Doing a bout of spring cleaning now might seem counter-intuitive yet it might help too. Helping others by volunteering at a soup kitchen could help you.

My friend who is a soul mate to me I really think he is told me:

“Just be a good person and do good.”

That was his advice for helping yourself overcome having a hard time.

Just be a good person and do good is what I urge my loyal blog readers to adopt as a life ethic.

When all else fails, strive to get at least 7 hours of sleep straight through every night as often as you can.

I will end this blog entry by thanking you for reading this blog.

I’ve reached 5,000 visitors so far which is a great thing.

Gracias. Merci. Grazie.

A million thanks.

Ongoing Psychiatrist Questions

Questions to Ask Your Psychiatrist (Ongoing)

  1. What is my diagnosis and how did you come to that conclusion?
  2. What medication do you propose to use? (Ask for the name and dosage level.)
  3. What is the biological effect of this medication, and what do you expect it to accomplish?
  4. What are the risks associated with this medication?
  5. How soon will we be able to tell if the medication is effective, and how will we know?
  6. Are there other medications that might be appropriate? If so, why do you prefer the one you have chosen?
  7. What are the side effects of the medication? How long should I “wait out” any side effects before calling you?
  8. Are there other medications or food that I should avoid while taking this medication?
  9. How long do you expect me to be on this medication?
  10. How often will I be seeing you until the medication takes effect?
  11. If I’m taking more than one drug, when and how often should I take each one?
  12. How do you monitor medications, and what symptoms indicate that the dosage should be raised, lowered or changed?
  13. Are you currently treating other patients with this illness?
  14. What are the best times and what are the most dependable ways for getting in touch with you?
  15. What do you consider an emergency if I have to call you after hours?

Feel free to add your own questions.