Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Burning out in a flame of glory

Hi nzexpat! Come on in and comment.

In the life is strange category: phone call to a friend after several months, hi how are you:

(1) She has cancer, most likely will be ok, but that 'mostly' still at home....

(2) A close relative of hers just got elected to Congress in a tight race.

Thus leaving me about as close as you will ever come to speechless.

Comment from rumi/fdl: damn,...moderation just never seems to find you, does it? Hope you're doing ok and congrats on the election.

Moderation never seems to find me---that's the story for somebody with bipolar, OCD, -and- ADHD. Colorful til we burn out in a flame of glory.

The election is in my friend's family. It was quite the one-two punch for not having heard from her in a few months.

Re the election in general, except for Lamont I am ecstatic. The SENATE. The United States SENATE. We WON. Ok and the House too. Webb...Tester...Good things can happen.


egregious said...

Depression open house, welcome everyone!

NZ Expat said...

Hi egregious!

I've been putting in more time at work lately. Kind of necessary, trying to fund two American educations on NZ dollars.

Anyway, I've tried to skim in and out of the fdl comments, but find that to do that, I'm not doing anything much creative. So I'm letting that lag behind a bit.

We got to know Nancy Boyda fairly well in her 2004 run, and, given who she was running against, she is an improvement. She is representing a big military district and is trying to make sure that the troops don't suffer in all this chaos of what Bush is doing. And she is getting flamed during her first week on the job for her comments. My husband is trying to nurture her along and he has the credentials to do it, being a Naval Academy grad. But it is strange to have someone who has been in our house, now in the House.

I've also been thinking about how we must protect the more sensitive ones in our world, or those at sensitive times. We rarely discuss politics with our daughter, just because the impact on her is so much more intense. This isn't the time for that. So do protect yourself. I myself pray that the citizenry will rise up in the streets soon, very very soon.

egregious said...

Mornin'. Hey nz, interesting what you say about protecting more sensitive people from politics right now. That would be sensible if I could make myself do it.

Sounds like Nancy Boyda is someone to get to know better. At least by the rest of us, you apparently know her pretty well! Keep up the good work.

GrandmaJ said...

Good morning egregious. I am currently practicing "take one moment at a time" theory. If I try to view this whole mess Bush has made out of America, let alone the threat of nuclear war, I would be in the closet cowering.

That is no way to lead a life. But oviously I am having trouble sleeping. This is where quilting comes in. I become so obssessed with small little pieces of fabric and getting them in a precise design, my brain has no room for worry.

For a while.

Haven't had those terrible thoughts intrude in my brain for a while. Sometimes every phone call is going to be 'someone died'. Terrible thoughts and subsequent panic. I have learned what to do then for myself or I would be institutionized. Which I almost was at one point.

Oh well -- another day and I learned to do a 'link' at FDL.

Thanks for the space to vent.

egregious said...

Hi GrandmaJ,

Congrats on learning to make a link! I saw that over at fdl. Way to go.

The quilting is an interesting idea, how you have found something mentally absorbing as a way to calm and protect yourself.

I need to figure out better protection and mental discipline. Maybe instead of trying to clamp down with discipline I can find a way to gently lead my thoughts into something more interesting and positive, like your quilting. Food for thought :)

egregious said...


One other thought about the fear of phone calls. I have a friend whose brother died from CF as a young man. She said that for months she would wake up in the morning and "feel like something dreadful was going to happen."

Maybe that's easier to grasp than something dreadful did already happen. Or it could be our attempt to protect ourselves for the next such event.

Does that make sense? Need coffee.

GrandmaJ said...

egregious - it does make sense. I have had these 'episodes' of total dread since all three of my teenage kids were addicited to alcohol and/or drugs. All three went through treatment, but the agony of those years still resides. The kids (all over 30 now so..) say that I should just live for what is happening now, but I think I was conditioned or something.

There is logic, and there are the workings of my brain. Two different attitudes.

My oldest now going through depression said he learned it from me. Probably so. And my guilt meter is off the charts. He is now 38 and the choices are his.

Sometimes I avoid thinking about anything but the next quilt I will make -- otherwise the guilt and grief for what has happened in the past threatened to overwhelm

and NOW we have to worry about a mad man in the White House. And so now on with the day...

And so I start another quilt... pretty fabrics, difficult patterns... keeps my occupied.

I know for you going to Russia to concentrate on helping those kids keeps your mind focused like a 'laser' beam on something other than your worries. That is also very good.

Take care.

egregious said...


I know the guilt feeling, if not the quilt feeling.

My girls got their depression from me, whether by nature or nurture, they got my genes and they drew up with a depressed mother.

We can only do so much. This is a very tough lesson for moms. I prefer to be superwoman but every once in a while I begin to suspect this doesn't always work.

Good to hear from you. Hope you'll come back soon.

NZ Expat said...

It's Sat morning down here. We're in a session of rainy days, which is sort of pleasant for us reading sorts. Most of my reading, though, is on the internet, and I need the peace of a book more often than I take it.

Grandma J, what you said about quilting makes so much sense. When my daughter was identified as OCD, she was advised to get a craft hobby (luckily she already had one) which involved small repetitive motions. It is one of her soothers. And I find that embroidery and crochet have some of the same effect. I liken it to the adult version of being rocked or walked as an infant.

We are rhythmic beings, from our beginning heartbeat. But we get out of rhythm, we panic, we feel out of allignment with out moods and our body. We need to be grounded back into the rhythm of our own heartbeats (I don't practice meditation, but I would guess that does it for some).

I met a man who has done much work on creativity and positive psychology with the wonderful name of Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi. I'd recommend his book, Finding Flow: The psychology of engagement with everyday life. He talks about paying attention much like Thich Nhat Hanh does. If every task, even washing dishes, is approached with care and quiet attention, everyday life becomes your work of art.

One think I like about his book is that he talks about good and evil (particularly in the last chapter) and the need for the self to be involved in the larger community. "But a good personal life is impossible while staying aloof of a corrupt society..." but "the real challenge, however, is to reduce entropy in one's surroundings without increasting it in one's consciousness" (entropy being the evil of disintegration). He recommends the Buddhist thought "Act always as if the future of the Universe depended on what you did, while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference.....With this attitude one does not need to win to feel content; helping to maintain order in the universe becomes its own reward, regardless of the consequences. Then it is possible to find joy even when fighting a losing battle in a good cause."

egregious said...

nz I think you've got a good idea going there with the concept of soothing small repetitive motions.

First of all knitting is amazingly quieting for me, as is quilting for grandmaj.

I have a new kind of puzzle that involved coloring in the identified squares, it's very soothing. Making the mathematical calculations about which squares to fill in and simultaneously drawing them is quite calming.

egregious said...


Walking is also most excellent. Walking in an interesting environment, especially along water, works for many levels of my brain.

NZ Expat said...

Yes, yes. Walking is very important. There is a lovely walk here by the lake. I see three volcanoes to the south, the shallow water is full of black swans and herons, ducks and cormorants. I try to walk at least an hour a day (though so much rain today, so I've stayed inside and read).

JACQRAT said...

Late to this "Party" but wanted to let you know all of your comments are resonating with me, and I love each and every one of you.

I also have OCD, and my sister was smart enough to send me a "Knifty Knitter" kit and sends ample supply of yarn periodically. ...anyone need a hat? :)

Thank you all for putting yourselves out there and helping me feel less alone.

egregious said...


Great to hear from a fellow OCD person.

Have been hearing from a lot of people about small repetitive hand motions being soothing. Knitting does it for me, also a number puzzle where I spend a lot of time filling squares after doing numerical calculations. Seems to feed two parts of my brain at the same time, with harmony.

Hope to hear more about how you are doing.

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?