Technical Difficults — really a PIBKAC error

Sorry about the confusion and double posts and stuff….my posts weren’t showing up on the reader, i think cuz I was playing with an external host and trying different things.

Anyway, I said to hell it with and went straight WordPress, much easier and I reach all your fine folks, so you can (enjoy) read(ing) my poems, listening to my (dare I call it) music, and see all of my wife’s art work.

Also, I switched my name and the name of the blog…I am no longer Angry1541….while I was never really angry, the name gave that impression and I didn’t want that to be the case any longer….

Anyway, back up and running….phew.

PIBKAC = problem between keyboard and chair, btw.

Notes from Smiling1541….

Hey all,

I have been exploring Buddhism and generally working toward an improved outlook on life, with therapy and all and figured Angry1541 wasn’t the best name I could use.  So, as I have been smiling a lot lately, I figured….okay…Smiling1541 it is.

Same site, same everything, new URL and what not….enjoy!

~smiling

Psychedelic guitar work with computer help!

Added another song to sound cloud, check it out….not the best a really high volume.  It’s pretty shrill in areas, I gotta figure out how to pull that out a bit.

But it’s a full song…I will probably work on it more and remove and re-add versions to sound cloud but this is my work today.

It’s called Through the Gate into Bliss, check it out HERE.

The Dangers and Joys of Living an Open Online Life

There is a certain danger to choosing to live life openly as a blogger and frequent forum user – of which I am both.  One of these dangers recently reared its ugly head and nearly bit my wife and me – fortunately my wife and I communicate very effectively, and it had only a temporary impact in my our life.  However, it brought to mind the various dangers of living and expressing oneself online.  From potential employment issues to family issues – one must keep in mind that you’re are not necessarily anonymous online and if you don’t want the world (include people you know) to know something about you, your first rule should be: don’t post it online.

However, if – like me, an openly recovering alcoholic with bipolar disorder writing about such stuff online – you are willing to take this risk and live freely online openly you must be able to face the nearly certain chance you will face some fallout as a result.   That’s not say there aren’t positives to living openly online, because there are, as we will explore later.

First, let’s explore what it means to live openly online.  It’s helpful to think of the internet as a cyber-punk dream world – a completely different world than the tangible real world (I know, I know, mega-cliche, but for some this idea might help). Today, nearly everyone has a presence in this ‘other world’ or ‘reality”.  This presence may include (among others):

  • email
  • online gaming.
  • social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • surfing for research or entertainment.
  • blogging
  • forum users
  • or any combination thereof.

Regardless of what purpose the internet fills in people’s lives, each person that uses the internet in any way has what I (and others, according to Google) call an online life.  For my purposes I define an online life as:

 

 The personae created via lasting interactions with the internet and with the lasting prior interactions of others (or themselves) with the internet which allows for the illusion of an apparently real and complete individual existing apart and separate from the real individual in time and space.

There are a few things to note in my definition of an online life.

First, it assumes that a one can determine the reality or completeness of an individual, either in real life or online.  Granted, mine is a grand assertion, but let’s take it a face value.  If we can agree that when meeting someone in person we assume them to be real and a complete individual (whether true or not, which is a topic for a different type of study), then we can assume the same about the collected information we have from someone online.  Say we get emails, have read blogs by, and participated in online forums with someone using the same alias (knowing it’s the same person in real life behind that alias) then we can mentally frame (based our expectations in real life) an image of a real person existing online.

If we can agree to the first point, then we must also understand the above definition allows that a person may represent themselves (consciously or unconsciously) differently online at different times and in different situations, as people do in real life (at work versus on the ball field).  It also assumes that people may present a wide array of personality traits online based on the type of interaction taking place.  For example, a person might post a caring response to someone’s cry for help on an online forum, but be a vulgar mouthed aggressive (shall I say) jackass on an online game.  This is not counter to the idea of the illusion of a real and complete online life – it merely shows that, just like in real life, people’s personalities vary widely based on situation, even online.

The above definition also assumes that a person may have a number of different lives online – however, this assumes said person is using a different alias (known or unknown by others) for each online life.

Additionally, we must understand that we can only craft this image of a real and complete person by the lasting interactions they have with the internet or with other’s prior interaction with the internet.  That is, we can only frame an image of a ‘person’ with an online life through the lasting data they have left for others to witness online, be that a status update on Facebook, a Tweet, a blog post, email, a questions/response left on forum, a gunshot in a online game, or any other discoverable and decipherable content they have created via interacting with the internet.

Lastly, allowing that this content is in sufficient amounts to allow for the framing of an online persona, the persona exists outside and apart from the actual individual in the real world.  Put another way, the persona a person presents online (consciously or unconsciously) is not the same a persona an individual has in the real world.  There are a number of reasons for this, but simply put the online life does not have a physical form, it is not a life-form as much as it is a life image.  The image of a live being living in a separate reality (the internet) apart from the individual in the real world in time and space, as this persona can still be impacting the others online without the presence of individual – similar to authorship or the impact of an artist’s work (again both known as a type of persona and not a representation of the real person that created the book or work of art).

So, having defined an online life, it’s easy to see that a person can have an obfuscated online life – that is – an online life that is intentionally, and partly or wholly, nothing like their real world life.  Conversely it is possible to live an open online life, where a person is presenting, as best they are able, as close a facsimile of their real world persona as possible, given the limitations of the online world.

We will continue to explore the idea of living an open online life in the next post, starting with an exploration of the general dangers inherent in doing so.

 

Struggles with Bipolar Disorder

So….I am gonna come out, so to speak…maybe it’ll help my healing.

I have a mental disorder.  Wow…just the words mental disorder are hard to get out.  They carry so much weight….so much stigma….so much bullshit…so much unknown….so much fear.

A little under a year ago I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder type 2 — which is the less severe of the two types of bipolar disorder.   In the last year, I have struggled with accepting my diagnosis. At first I was in complete denial — I had honestly, for the first few months, completely convinced myself the doctor has told me that I suffered from an anxiety disorder.  I was lying to myself because I didn’t want to accept that I have bipolar disorder….funny how the mind can do that.

So eventually, I accepted it, but that’s not even the hard part….accepting it is easy, once you have the facts and can look back on your life, get feedback from family, etc and match up the evidence against the crimes (past actions and feelings).  Once I did that, it was immediately obvious.  The next part of trying to figure out how to get treatment is where the work really begins.

I was okay with meds — I had been on meds off and on my whole life (nearly) for a misdiagnosis of ADHD, so meds weren’t anything big…I was good with them….*but* I wanted desperately for the meds to just fix me…

See….for years I had masked, or medicated, my symptoms with alcohol and drugs (shhhhh)…and I thought maybe just getting sober would help — HA!!!! Yeah, right?!?  Not even close.  My symptoms probably worsened after sobering up.   And I know my wife (love you bean!) has paid a huge price mentally during my sobering up and the discovery (uncovering?, recovering?) of my bipolar symptoms.

So, now I am trying to get better — better another of those words that I have a hard time with….better than what?  Anyway, that’s an idea for later exploration….I am now medicated — 🙂  — but the meds aren’t enough and I have to do what I had hoped I would never have to do.  Pay someone to listen to me talk, smile and ask me about my mother….hahaha….no seriously.

Again, I had hoped that meds would be the magic bullet (don’t we wish that?) — that’d I’d need nothing else.  Boy, am I wrong.  I have had near psychotic breaks from meds. As they work out my dosages, I go up and down, up and down….never feeling centered.  Always depressed for flying around like a maniac (see what I did there…?).

So, all of this started because of bouts of pure rage I would go through.  So my last year has been this:

    1. Rage at my fiancé one night for no reason
    2. Call doctor
    3. Get diagnosed Bipolar
    4. Get meds
    5. Good for a while
    6. Get Married
    7. Rage at my wife one night for no reason
    8. Call doctor Increase meds
    9. Buy a house and move in
    10. Slip into a 3 month long depression
    11. Call doc
    12. Get another med added
    13. Good for a while
    14. Have a two despair event
    15. Call Doc
    16. (Yup, you guessed it) more meds.
    17. Have a slight breakdown due to med
    18. Rebound from breakdown
    19. Finally go to therapist
    20. Write this post

So, in the end, I had to accept that meds alone wouldn’t cut it and I (even though I had tried a few therapists in the past) I was really reluctant (scared) to go to a therapist. I mean who wants to face all the painful BS that’s in the past. It’s scary as hell — particularly some of the shit I have back there….phew….but it’s also exhilarating. The idea that I can get whole and happy again. I mean, isn’t what everyone really wants….to be happy? And I would love to be able to the man my wife deserves, and that I deserve to be.

Anyway, enough of my ramble — just needed to come out and be open and let some emotions out.

~angry1541