Please know right off that your written words as comments in my 7/1 diary entry, or even at your own diary entry of 6/30, did not hurt me. In fact no one's (or anyone else's) words can really cause me harm. Only I can cause my self emotional hurt (and possibly physiological harm) from reading or listening to words written or spoken by someone else. Currently there are very very few people (less than the fingers on 1 hand) whose words could result in me experiencing hurt feelings - this is because there are very very few people I hold in very high regard and therefore would feel less secure about myself or less happy in general because they did not think well (or well enough) of me. And in most (probably all) cases, if what was spoken or written by these very few people sounded cruel or mean it would be totally out of character or accidental for them, since they have made it very clear repeatedly that they never wish/intend me harm in any way. Very occasionally one of these people will in very high frustration at something that involves me, use terms or tone of voice that is harsh and I sometimes feel a pang of hurt. But I try to quickly think about everything in context, rather than just let this one episode become a mountain. I have not always been good at doing this fast, and I still sometimes take a bit longer than I'd like. As a result I still sometimes - though not really often - find myself downright depressed for a day and maybe even into a second one. But I'm getting better, even with the occasions that still do occur. And I don't expect perfection from myself, because it just is not possible to always be happy, especially when there are so many unpleasant aspects about the world of people, though I contend that this is not a fact of nature - something that simply must be accepted.
You express right now your frustration with the world, and believe me Brian, I do understand being frustrated with it to the point of wanting to scream at times. My husband Paul feels this way more often than most people and I feel the same kind of frustration too. There no two people more adamantly opposed to and unhappy about the current state of North American society and the policies of George W Bush, and all other politicians, than Paul and I. Paul's frustration is a bit different than mine because he's written so many wonderful things that go to the essence of the problems in society, and the solution to those problems. He has discovered those principles of practical human reality on which a non-coercive (government) society must rest in order to come into being and continue to exist. Paul thinks (and I concur) that his discovered principles eliminate the inconsistencies and missing items present in previous philosophical works by others, or at least make a very good start on doing so, and that they are therefore a practical basis for a viable society that is much more optimal in terms of generating happiness for all, than has ever existed before. Paul does not consider his ideas to be cast in stone and is always seeking the truths of reality, wherever that may lead him. But far too few people have recognized this in his writings and/or will act on it, at least to the point of public discussion with him. So there are times when an incident or situation will result in him becoming extremely angry and strongly expressing that to me (and a few times to others if they are involved) - followed often by periods of severe discouragement and doubt whether anything he does will ever have any positive effect. And he so very much does want to see a better world, so that he can enjoy it while he's alive. When he and I are dead, what happens in the world has no effect on us for better or worse. (If we "return" after cryonic suspension, as is our hope, then we will be capable of further enjoyment - or misery if society is worse. But this last is unlikely since I doubt that any cryonics organization will survive in a worse society.) There are many times when I encourage Paul in various ways to pull back from reviewing the mess of the world - and it's not just the political aspects of which I write, but the underlying lack of reasoned interactions between people and their expressed thoughts. Instead, a day or even a few hours away from all Paul does and thinks in the philosophical realm can be a great aid in stepping back from the precipice of despair, at the edge of which he often finds himself.
I think - and did so even before the last reply comment of yours of 7/1/08 10:27pm - that you are basically a very societally caring person, even though likely angry much of the time, and maybe even negative in your expectations. I doubt very much that you like being angry but rather that you would like to be able to enjoy your environment much more than you do. I hope that you will seek assistance in evaluating the world around you, putting everything into a perspective of what you can and cannot do immediately regarding the interactions of others (and people interacting is a society), but maybe in the future. Assistance can be found in many forms - books, papers, articles, people, activities, to name some - for understanding and combating this thing that has the label "bipolar disorder", and even schizophrenia. The activity of you writing down your thoughts here at OEN can be helpful to you - and to someone else you consult to help you in the process of understanding and dealing with the myriad of situations you may have that bear down on you. Maybe you will investigate the cognitive therapy sources I mentioned in comments at my previous diary entry of 7/1/08 6:44pm, or other sources beyond these. The value of this tool to me has been and continues to be enormous, and I am strongly convinced that understanding and practicing the principles underlying cognitive therapy can be beneficial, at some level, to all others diagnosed or even suspected of the numerous mental health "disorders" that fill the current psychiatric literature. I am not at all suggesting that pharmacotherapy should be dismissed as a potential benefit - this is a very individual measure and your consultant can and should help you determine this. (I personally will continue to make use of low doses of lithium in the future, and take additional amounts if I experience hypomania. I eat a nutritionally dense low calorie diet, exercise regularly, get restful sleep and take a large number of supplements. I am a very healthy and mostly happy 63 year old woman - who wasn't always the latter.)
What I am suggesting, Brian, is that you can do things to help yourself - you do not need to be a victim of your neurochemicals. And please keep in mind that each person is a mass of chemicals (neuro ones are simply those present in the central nervous system) that are affected by what s/he eats/drinks/wears, where s/he lives, quality/quantity of sleep, hir interactions and activities, as well as thoughts and ideas held both consciously and subconsciously. A person can take actions that will modify all of these and therefore the levels of various chemicals that are part of hir body. I think you did a bit of that when you wrote the comment of 7/1/08 10:27 pm, which I have been addressing here. You expressed different emotions, which likely resulted from your reevaluation of what I and others (and maybe you too) wrote and/or rethinking your previous assessments. Your brain chemical levels were different at the time you were highly angry (6/30 and much of 7/1) than at the time you were expressing what you did in the 10:27pm 7/1/08 message. Which came first, your changed neurochemical levels or behavior/actions, is an interesting area of study, but the practical application is that actions, emotions and brain chemicals are interconnected - in both directions.
So Brian, I have not given you "any overflowing SYMPATHY, or anything like that" (from your last comment message). I do hope that you've seen this to be true. I do not say things that I do not mean. I very rarely say things even in anger that I don't stand behind later. So I hope that you will read everything I write here - and even in responses to others regarding your other comments. Nothing I have written to or about you has any intention of causing you emotional pain. I am simply conveying the information I know of reality and hoping that you will - at least at some time - see it that way.
And BTW, while I am both a former registered nurse and mechanical engineer, I have not obtained a doctorate in any subject area.
**Kitty Antonik Wakfer
MoreLife for the rational - http://morelife.org
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