Good Samaritan

Who is a good Samaritan?
“A person who gratuitously gives help or sympathy to those in distress”

MI-Jamie-Humans-of-Dublin

©IrishCentral.com

Thank you Jamie Harrington from Dublin, Ireland for taking the time to talk to someone who needed help.
You are a good Samaritan.
Read about his good deed here.

Imagine versus Pretend

socrates

Socrates ©Musei Capitolini

“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.”
― Socrates

I had an epiphany only yesterday. I realised that I’m not good at pretending and that pretending and imagination are not the same thing. I always associated having an imagination with the world of pretend. But it’s not. The two are completely different concepts. I hadn’t really thought about it until now.

Pretend: to behave or to make appear something that is not true. (Isn’t it just another way of saying lying?)
Imagining:  forming a mental image or concept, or assuming or supposing

The world of pretend and the world of imagination sounded like the same place for me. You hear the expression, “fake it until you make it”, which is really a modern take on Socrates’ quote. I can form an image but I cannot pretend. I always wondered why I was unable to follow this concept no matter how hard I tried. I felt like a failure with each attempt to be someone I am not. The logical part of me will not accept falseness. It rejects it. It is like an immune system rejecting a virus. I cannot accept it. I cannot do it.

I now know that my fantasy dream of being an actor is just that, a fantasy. Of course I would loathe people staring at me the entire time plus I would hate to pretend to be someone else. However the empathy side would be easy. I could relate to the character as that requires an imagination. The dressing in other people’s clothes wouldn’t be half bad either. I will continue to enjoy being the audience.

I also know why I have performed so poorly during job interviews. One excruciating one was an impromptu one arranged by a friend many years ago. They thought they were being helpful. I didn’t have any interview clothes so I had to go out and buy new ones. Different city, different country. I couldn’t get my size in anything so I had to wear men’s clothes, shoes, the lot. I felt so uncomfortable before I walked through the door. I was nervous and stiff. I was not myself. I was trying to pretend to be somebody I was not. I tried to be somebody else. It was like “the pretend switch” was turned on and the circuit board wasn’t soldered correctly and it kept short circuiting. I didn’t pull it off. The entire process was torture. I didn’t get the job. I wouldn’t have hired me either.

I believe people should be hired on their actions rather than what they can say. The system is wrong. Some people are excellent at pretending but lack imagination and action. Of course it depends on the job. Some jobs are all about pretending. And all I can say is good luck to them. I will not be competing. Create your own job. Create your own niche.

“There’s a difference between playing and playing games. The former is an act of joy, the latter — an act.”
― Vera Nazarian

I am excellent at and enjoy playing, but I detest and am poor at playing games. I am a straight talker usually. I know I hold my tongue sometimes because I have been burnt with the results. I also have learnt to soften my words at times. Other times I just don’t join the conversation. I know I am occasionally blunt which can come across as rude. I remove myself from those I don’t wish to communicate. Other times I forget to reengage with people. Laziness perhaps. Other times we just out grow our peers. Life is too short. Why should I try to convince someone. Discovering for yourself is the best way to learn. Okay not always but the lessons self learnt will be retained better. We learn and grow right up to the time we die. Who says we stop when school finishes.  The mind must keep moving or it goes moldy.

“Pretending is such a hard game to play sometimes.”
― Bushra Khanum

Pretending may be a hard game but how about trying to pretend to pretend, exhausting. Pretending to be fine. Pretending to be average. Pretending to be normal. And I have no idea what that means.
These days I am me. I’m good with that.

MUSIC
Pretend – Nat King Cole

Semicolon ;

Tattoos or just a mark made by a marker pen, people are choosing to show in a subtle way that they are living with depression, anxiety, addiction, suicide, self-injury or other mental health issues. They are willing to start the conversation of mental health. 

Project Semicolon (The Semicolon Project) is a faith-based non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love and inspire.
http://www.projectsemicolon.com/

Stephen Wiltshire – Artist

Stephen Wiltshire is an artist. He creates art from his amazing memory. He draws what he sees from what appears to be just a casual glance. He doesn’t need to take photographs to refer to at a later date, he remembers what he sees and sketches.
Phenomenal talent. And by the way he is autistic.
Specialising in cityscapes and buildings.
The title of the documentary is not one I would use however naming aside it is a worthwhile documentary.
I wonder what music he listens to when he draws and paints?

http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk

Court clash between Green Bay High School and student with Aspergers

DSC05381
Students have the right to study. In fact there is a legal obligation to attend school until the age of 16 years old in New Zealand. After your 16th birthday you can chose to stay on or leave.
Ignorance, lack of empathy and apathy has a lot to answer for today. I only glance at the news these days because I find the negative spin quite disheartening. Yet this headline caught my eye because of the word Aspergers.
The Human Rights Commission, The Disabilities Commission, Crown Law, IHC and the Green Bay High School all have an interest in this case. The school is trying to overturn a ruling to allow the Asperger’s student back into the school. The student was 14 years old at the time of the incident back in 2013. It was an altercation between the said student and a teacher with a skateboard. The student is no longer in the area but would like to return to the school despite the obvious resistance from those in authority at the school.
Give this student the support and help he needs to allow him to stay in a main stream school environment.
When a student has a desire to learn, give them all the help they need. This is the time to build their foundation for the rest of their lives. Let’s make it solid so they can stand on their own later in life feeling loved, supported and encouraged.
For more details on the story see the links.
Shame on Green Bay High (20 March 2014)
Green Bay High School clash (31 May 2015)

Selfless

Selfless
Harman Singh made my day yesterday. His selflessness touched me. He removed his turban to help stop the bleeding of a head wound of a child who has just been hit by a car. He acted without thought. You might be thinking how kind but it goes further than that. Harman is a Sikh. Sikh men wear turbans for religious reasons. Aside from covering hair the turban or dastar represents honour, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and piety. They never show a bare head in public.

Selfless Sikh praised worldwide article

Look before you leap doesn’t always match the ocassion. Sometimes it is better to leap before you look. Perhaps he has read W. H. Auden? Thank you Harman for caring.

The World Beyond Your Head

world_beyond_your_head

©Amazon

The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming An Individual In An Age Of Distraction
by Matthew B. Crawford

I am 9th in line to read this book after requesting it at my local library. There are three books in circulation so I urge those reading to read faster. Any book that makes you think for yourself is a good one. Looking forward to getting the email to come and collect it.

Portrait of the Autist as a Middle Aged Man by Rod Dreher

Have I been living under a rock? Am I the last person to know the term autist? Even my spell checker doesn’t recognise the word. I checked the definition and it is someone who either is autistic or plays minecraft too often depending on the source. I confess to owning minecraft but I would say that that was beside the point.

In reading Rod Dreher’s article I noticed something that I had in common with him. I’m not a middle aged man yet I also have noticed as I age that I am living more in my head and also becoming more honest with myself. I am tending to listen better to my inner self and do things that I actually enjoy, spend time with myself and discard the parts or people in my life that I find toxic. I am finding myself and learning to get to know the me that has been here all this time.
I am seeing better, listening better and feeling better.  Today at least.

Autistic child treated as a criminal

Kayleb Moon-Robinson has a record now and is classed as a felon.
He was arrested in the state of Virginia, USA.
He is an 11 year-old boy.
He has autism.
The police officer arrested him for “kicking a trashcan”. The police officer saw him do it. He tried to grab the boy and the boy resisted and was also charged with resisting arrest.
Again I say he’s 11!
Over zealous law enforcement, by the looks of it. Where is the justice here?
April is Autism Month. More understanding needed by the arresting officer.
If you want to sign a petition to get the charges dropped for Kayleb Moon-Robinson click the link here at change.org.
123,723 supporters 994 people have signed the petition so far today. 3226 signatures and counting…
For more on this story please click the link below.
http://thefreethoughtproject.com/autistic-6th-grader-assaulted-school-cop-convicted-felon/

MUSIC
James Bay – Hear Your Heart

Peri-Menopause, Hot Flushes and Night Sweats

I am quite prepared to go off to the doctor to ask for medication to relieve or eliminate hot flushes and night sweats but I am stick in the mud stubborn to not ask for help with depression.  Yet the medication that I received for the hot flushes turns out to be the same for depression. Go figure. It turns out that Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor medication or SSRIs in low doses can actually stop women in peri-menopause and menopause from getting hot flashes and night sweats. This side effect was discovered when doing anti-depressant trials. As I was researching hot flushes as how to get relief or get rid of them I discovered the SSRIs, along with black cohosh, soybean/tofu and wild yam creams.

I decided that I would try SSRIs and supplement that with soya milk. The SSRI that my doctor recommended was one with a long half life (slow release; easy to begin taking and easy to stop taking). Fluoxetine was what was chosen for me. Would it work? There was only one way to try. 10mg daily.

The first two weeks I became an insomniac and I was beginning to suffer from a lack of sleep but I managed to get into a normal sleeping habit and can now fall asleep within 10 minutes, for me that’s normal.

I discovered that I don’t like drinking soy milk, the natural unsweetened kind, no matter how many bananas or blueberries I put in to disguise the taste, I just don’t like it. So that idea went out the window. Tofu once or twice a week is a much more sensible option.

I don’t drink coffee or tea, as in no caffeine. I cheat once a month, but I don’t count that.
Because I don’t drink lattes anymore nor do I indulge in masala chai I don’t drink milk anymore. That was a natural progression. It didn’t occur to me for a while that I had stopped dairy.
I am not eating bread, noodles, rice or potatoes just now, I am a meat and vegetables eater.
I am not eating sweets from a bag. I have cut down on sugar a lot!!!
I do however still bake and make everything in smaller sizes. And instead of eating many in one sitting I can make the tin last for a week sharing.

I feel healthier and lighter and I am becoming leaner. All a welcome change.
I feel brighter too. Cloudy days don’t bug me as much anymore.
The hot flushes have gone.  Hooray!
The sweats have gone.  Hooray!
One particularly bad day I had hot flushes and sweats every half hour. Now. Nothing. Absolute bliss.
I am going into winter and the one good thing about hormonal changes is that my body temperature seems higher and I don’t feel the cold the same.

On getting home from the doctor’s that first day I went home to check the medicine, Fluoxetine. It gave me a bit of a jolt. That’s the generic name for Prozac. I panicked a bit and thought of addiction but then realised that I would not be upping my dose anytime soon this side of Sunday, or the other side either. A plus for Aspergers, being able to follow the rules. I was actually killing two birds with one stone. An ugly saying but one that seemed the most appropriate. Killing the sweaty monster and the dark shadow, what could be better than that? Was I hoping too much?

I just about cried in the car park. With relief. Why did it take me so long to get help for myself? Finding a good doctor was important. Moving around a lot makes it harder to settle on one. Now I feel settled.

So how do I feel?
Menopause feels under control.
Depression feels under control.
I feel that I have my life back again. I feel like someone left the gate open but I don’t realise yet that I can walk through. I can’t believe my luck.

For those of you wondering the difference between a hot flash and a hot flush, well, they are the same thing.
For those wondering what a hot flush feels like, honey, it ain’t anything like a royal flush in cards, it’s more like a wave of heat that hits you suddenly, and only you, it creeps up your body to your face and neck, it makes you come out in a sweat, soaking you to the point that you think everyone must be staring. You feel like you need to mop up fast in case anyone saw. You stand anywhere with a breeze so you get some relief. It can last for years, only weakening in strength with age. It affects everyone differently. Some don’t suffer from them at all. Probably a tiny minority.

Update: Exercise habit is almost nil. I’ve upped the dose from 10mg to 20mg to balance with my weight increase. Drinking tea and the occasional coffee. No night sweats, no hot flashes/flushes. Could do better. Why is it that we know what we should be doing yet we just don’t do it? That in itself makes it doubly frustrating. One day at a time. Don’t be hard on yourself. I know. I know. But still…

Read more on perimenopause and aspergers

MUSIC
Lou Reed – Perfect Day

Wednesday with Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne, French philospher (28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592)
Wrote essays about his life speaking frankly about man’s insecurities of intellect, body and how one perceives the judgement of others.
Had an arranged marriage.
Lived in a chateau and began writing his essays at the age of 38 in a library of 1500 volumes at the top of a tower. That tower still stands today. 44.8783° N, 0.0300° E

The Essays of Montaigne are to be read time and again. On each reading you will see something new or find relevance to a part of your life that you may not have noticed on your first time reading through.

You can chose to read Montaigne electronically for free thanks to the Gutenberg Project here or go and buy a paperback to thumb through. You can jump in anywhere in the book. Enjoy talking to an old friend or find him as a new one.

Montaigne Quotes:

  • Stubborn and ardent clinging to one’s opinion is the best proof of stupidity.
  • I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.
  • The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them… Whether you find satisfaction in life depends not on your tale of years, but on your will.
  • If there is such a thing as a good marriage, it is because it resembles friendship rather than love.
  • Of all our infirmities, the most savage is to despise our being.

MUSIC:
Jimi Hendrix – All Along The Watchtower