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Posts tagged “stress

Are you Addicted to your Own Chaos?

Lying here in the muted candle light, the sound of Josh writing a song on our electric stage piano has a tranquil, sedating effect. I feel mildly euphoric, despite having a wicked migraine. It’s noteworthy to add that I haven’t had a migraine in many weeks. I became my own lab rat when I experimented with a variety of medicinal, herbal, natural pain modifiers and thankfully, discovered something that worked for me. It’s such an effective medicine, that it not only eliminated my 3 day migraines altogether, but doubled as natural Adderall; increasing my ability to focus and concentrate by more than 60%. As a result, my grades shot up and I became an honor roll student virtually overnight. And, as a result of the medicine, I’ve been able to eliminate my doctor visits 100%. No need for pharmaceutical pain medication, no need for nerve pills, no need for Ambien to help me sleep. It’s been my panacea and it works. (Unfortunately, I’ve been without that medicine for 3 weeks now.)

I realize finding a cure-all on this level is slim to none. Even doctors and therapists are unable to “fix” people for the most part. Why else do people continue seeing a therapist after 20 years and so on? You’d think that there’d be nothing left to discuss. Ahh…but what they don’t and won’t tell you, is that they will help you to perpetuate your own disorder; it’s called job security.

You would think that I, of all people– a psychologist-in-training– would be hesitant to talk openly about this seldom-disclosed medical deception, but I’m not. Because it’s disgusting how Big Pharma and (many) doctors and therapists are all in bed together, and they work incessantly to keep people sick- year after year- and benefit from it.

Disclaimer: there are people who genuinely need therapy and benefit from it, and absolutely should continue on with it and take the proper medications. I’m not talking about those people.

I’m talking more about people that really don’t need medication or therapy at all…like children who are excitable, and are simply being children. They wiggle in their seats with anticipation and raw energy. But do you know what the teachers are doing in most all schools now? They’re being conditioned and programmed–like militants–to report ANY children who exhibit signs of “excitability”, and they’re mandated to report these “excitable children” to school officials, CPS workers, CASA workers (who are merely average Joes and Janes who volunteer to work with children, despite their lack of any kind of training whatsoever- scary), and a plethora of other workers.

What happens next is nothing short of societal rape. They then tell the parents that their child needs to be medicated, because he or she is exhibiting signs of ADHD- which is a “catch-all disorder” for a child simply being a child! Big Pharma has created this disorder in the last 20 years or so, and has pimped it out to society at large, and the whole world has swallowed it up- tail and all- because they’re told it’s true.

This is scary crap. For real.

School teachers- who have absolutely no psychological training whatsoever, are reporting children to case workers, who then report those children to “other officials”- who in turn, report them to CPS- the baby snatchers and the family destroyers. Why? Why would they do such a thing?

I’ll tell you why. Because every child in the public school system who is put on some type of behavioral disorder medicine receives bonus money for that school. For every kid that’s diagnosed–by a freakin’ teacher–and reported- the school’s bankroll gets fatter. And now that school district has a sweet chunk o’ change rolling in, no matter where that kid goes (as long as he’s medicated and the “problem” persists- and oh believe me, it will) and that kid becomes a “lifer” most of the time. Meaning, that child will be told it needs medicine year after year, for many years, and sometimes it lasts for the rest of their lives. Because after 10- 20 years of pharmaceutical medications, a host of side effects and other disorders have now been created (and are real), because of that one prescribed medication during the child’s most formidable, impressionable years.

Look it up. Knowledge is power, they say. Kids are being altogether destroyed at an alarming rate in the U.S.  and parents are frightened into obeying, because they’e told that their child has “a disorder”. They’re threatened if they don’t take their kid to a therapist and worse, they’e threatened if they refuse to medicate their child.

This is a sick, twisted business. It’s absolutely horrific and yet it continues on, year after year.

I watched this documentary called The Drugging of Our Children and it blew my head off. Seriously. It scared the crap out of me. I could not believe that our system is that perverted. Well, yes I can, but don’t get me started on that.

Alas. I really didn’t want to rant on about all of that. This is just free association.

I really wanted to write about something else entirely. My migraine, and pain in general. I’ve noticed that when I’m in extreme pain, especially for 72 hours relentlessly, that any little comfort feels reeeeeeeeeally good. Way better than normal. Take for example, stretching my muscles. By nature, I really can’t stand to work out. It’s boring and repetitive and sort of pointless to me. I can think of many fun ways to get exercise, rather than spin around on a wheel like a sad hamster.

But a few moments ago, I noticed that when I stretched my leg muscle, it felt incredibly good. More so than if I didn’t have a migraine and it got me thinking: What’s the correlation between pain and good feelings? Is it possible that pain actually releases endorphins? 

And then I found this article that stated that not only pain releases feely-good endorphins, but so does stress. Hold on- let that sink in a minute.

Stress (chaos, worry, contention, strife, bad traffic, an ugly altercation, hard donuts, etc.) releases endorphins. A while back, I wrote a post about a theory that I posited, called The Chaos Theory.  There’s already a chaos theory in math, but not in psychology. Well, now there is. 🙂

My theory is this: In childhood and adolescence, some of us are thrown into derision and pain, or, chaos, and not unlike adaptation, we get used to crazy crap happening to us all of the time. (Sorry, I get tired of writing academic research sometimes and my rebellion is being able to dumb it down- teetering dangerously on the edge of slang.)  In short, if the chaos ceases for any length of time outside of what we’re familiar with, we’ll create our own chaos, because then, at least we know what to expect.

In this way, we condone and accept self-induced chaos more readily than foreign peace.

Heavy words, but not untrue. As with anything else, each person’s experience will vary, and this hypothetical scenario is individuated and subjective. In other words, it’s not the same for everybody.

In the article I pointed out up there, it states that our stress and pain activate our opioid receptors; very much like drugs do. However, it stated that we do not become addicted to pain and stress as we would with drugs.

I beg to differ.

And I bring your attention back to my Chaos Theory. I believe some of us seek out chaos, not because we like it, but because we’re trying to alter our brain chemistry. Stress produces endorphins! When we experience prolonged stress, our brain dispatches the EMT/ambulance  (little neurotransmitters- endorphins) to patch up the damage. This is likened to taking a hit off of an opium pipe. Not enough to knock you down, no, and maybe not enough to even notice- on a conscious level.

But what’s happening behind the scenes is that as the stress is increasing, and the sympathetic nervous system throws the body into “fight or flight” mode, our endorphins are being pumped out from the pituitary gland and are circulated throughout the body via the bloodstream, certain neural pathways in our brain are being rewarded with those feely-good hormones. It’s very much like biological classical conditioning.

This is bad though, because it teaches the person that “heightened stress” is rewarded.

[Another “let that sink in” moment.]

In this way, we absolutely can, and sometimes do become addicted to stress, and our own chaos- because it’s what we’ve learned to do in order to “fix ourselves”- not unlike a junkie.

I’d like to conduct a few research studies in the future in this area. But for now, I’m going to get my own fix; listening to Josh play and sing, as I lay here in the candle’s warm glow with the smell of pumpkin spice filling up the room sweetly.

Interestingly enough, my migraine has dissipated almost entirely.

 

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What does god say?

I noticed today that somebody stumbled upon my blog by searching for these keywords:

what does god say when u fallaid a test

Oh dearie me- let’s just leave that one alone. 

In other news, I’ve managed to knock out three of my five classes a month early. I still have 5 strong A’s at this point, but I’m approaching my finals- let’s hope that sticks. Things have been a big messy blur lately; it’s pretty standard stuff for rounding up another semester. High stress, deadlines, cramming 200+ pages and living as a virtual hermit for days on end, lost in my studies.To top things off, I’ve just discovered my internet may be shut off on the 20th. And wait- there’s more! Although I paid the rent this month on the 1st, as I always do, there was a notice on my door this morning. Something about having 5 days to pay the rent or having to vacate. (WTF?!) I’m going to chalk that one up to the fact that my landlord is pushing 90 or so. (I have an excellent rental history and have had for years.) [grumble]

On the bright side of things, I’ll be graduating on December 7th of this year. I really wish I didn’t have a chronic case of PMS PMDD so I could report that I’ll be graduating with lots of exclamation marks and enthusiasm, alas, that’s not the case. I’m wanting chocolate and tea and I think I need to cry or break something. I guess I’ve been semi-depressed since finding out yesterday that Micah died. He was Josh’s former roommate and a closet junkie. Josh had come home on numerous occasions to find Micah lying on the floor with his dope needle in his hand- blood and dope lying messily about. I had told Josh that he needed to get away from him before Micah took them both down. Josh was always being taken advantage of by his friends, giving them a place to stay and letting them slide on the rent, etc. One day, when Josh was hanging out at my old apartment, Micah called on the phone ten times or so and then he finally showed up at my door. I was highly annoyed. He continued exhibiting bizarre behavior over the months and finally, I told Josh that he needed to kick him to the curb. I could tell that he was going to drag Josh down into an ugly black hole eventually. Josh didn’t want to, but I kept pressuring him to throw him out. One evening, I walked down to Josh’s apartment with him and refused to leave until he literally threw him out. Josh had already had numerous items stolen- valuable jewelry that had been given to him, small sums of money- Micah was constantly stealing from Josh to support his habit. I was livid that Josh had been taking my son around Micah- sure he was a “nice guy” but a junkie is a junkie. So, Josh threw Micah out the night I was there. Josh had dropped out of school when Micah was living with him and I could see him losing direction. The changes were small at first, but more and more, I could see how Micah was influencing him negatively. We don’t know how Micah died and the obituary didn’t reveal it. I can’t help thinking it was a drug overdose. 

Josh has just finished up his semester; he did well. 
I can hardly believe I’m one week away from completing my degree in Behavioral Sciences and CPC in Substance Abuse. Finals are always so stressful! You can have a strong A in a class, consistently throughout, then fail a final, bringing your overall grade down to a C. All of that hard work for a C! That’s happened to me before so I have to avoid that like the plague. Study study study! My grades are very important to me and a C just isn’t going to cut it. 

I think it’s time for my Sleepytime Tea + Ambien. 

Happy trails.

Image
 Homeless man sleeps. Downtown Louisville, KY.


Stress Management

Take picture. Edit photo.
It always works for me.

Image Selfie. Taken this morning. Lensbaby Composer/Double Glass/f/ 5.6
[20+ layers in GIMP]


Drowning in Schoolwork- Literally

I’m up to my eyeballs in monster assignments.

Although I’ve been chipping away relentlessly at my backed up assignments for days, I can barely see the light at the end of the road. Here are just three assignments that I’ve had recently and have completed. 

Assignment # 1 (Public Speaking) <<<<<<<<<<

  • Discuss the tips for formulating a specific purpose statement.
  • What is the difference between the specific purpose and the central idea of a speech?
  • Identify the six demographic traits of audiences, and discuss why each factor is important to audience analysis.
  • Discuss the five elements involved in situational audience analysis.
  • Speakers need to use audience adaptation both before and during a speech. Identify three hypothetical situations that might occur during the presentation of a speech, and discuss how you would adapt to these unplanned circumstances or experiences.
  • In your first set of speeches for this course, you will be presenting four speeches with a hypothetical audience. Audience analysis affects the ideas you will present as well as the instructor’s evaluation of your ability to adapt your remarks to a particular group of listeners. With these thoughts in mind, prepare a written analysis of your audience using your knowledge of demographic characteristics. For example, a hypothetical audience may be comprised of nontraditional students, international students, European Americans and/or minorities from various geographical locations, individuals varying in socio-economic backgrounds, persons of different genders and body types, and scholars with various majors and academic abilities. Your analysis may include details related to each of these variables or others that apply to your particular audience. The hypothetical speaking context could be a classroom containing 23 students, who have convened for a 50-minute class session at 10:00 a.m. Incorporate applicable factors into your analysis related to demographic and psychographic variables outlined in the textbook. In addition, discuss any needs that you are going to try to fulfill for your audience.
  • Discuss the five resources noted in the textbook for finding information for your speeches in the library.
  • Discuss the three criteria for evaluating research material that you find on the internet.
  • What should you do during the three stages of an information gathering interview to ensure a successful interview?
  • What information do you need to record in your preliminary bibliography for the following: (a) a book, (b) a magazine and (c) an internet document?
  • Discuss five things you should do to take research notes efficiently.

 

Assignment # 2 [Earth Science] <<<<<<<<<<

MINERAL AND ROCK IDENTIFICATION LAB EXAM

 

NAME________________________   DATE_____________

 

This exam has 3 parts.  The first two parts can be answered in tables in this document and submitted as a .doc file, but the third part should be submitted as a word document or powerpoint file (.doc or .ppt).  Please attach the two files to an email and send to my address which is rlmetz.metz@gmail.com.  I will send an email confirmation when I receive your exam.  You can use your notes and the textbook for this exam.  Use the samples from the Rock and Mineral Kit that you purchased from the VU bookstore to make observations as needed.

PART 1.  Minerals

Task

For each of 9 minerals in your kit (numbers 1, 3, 7, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19), record the following information:

A.  Write the mineral name.

 

B.  Write the mineral’s chemical formula.

C.  If the mineral exists in one or more of the rock samples in your kit, name which ones, OR, if not, indicate the name of a rock in which it does commonly occur.

D.  List three diagnostic properties (properties that can be used to identify a particular mineral) and their values that can be observed in each of the 9 samples.  For example, the gold color of pyrite (number 6) is a diagnostic property of that mineral.

E.  Indicate an economic use or societal importance of this mineral or a rock that this mineral is commonly part of.

 

Record your answers in the table below. 

 

Mineral ID

Mineral Name

Chemical Formula

Occurrence in rock samples

Diagnostic Properties

Economic Use/ Societal Importance

1

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

 

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART 2. Rocks

For each of the indicated samples from your kit, please record its name, rock type (igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary), and sub-category within each rock type (e.g., foliated, extrusive) to which it belongs.  Also describe the texture including features such as fossils, sedimentary layering, foliation, interlocking crystals, etc.  Include minerals observed in the samples.  If there are two or more, record two of the minerals.  If only one mineral is present include its name.  If no mineral grains or crystals are observable, write “not observable”.

Rock ID

Name of Rock

Rock Type

sub-category

Description of Texture

Two minerals observed in the sample (if visible)

21

 

 

 

 

 

22

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 

 

 

26

 

 

 

 

 

30

 

 

 

 

 

31

 

 

 

 

 

33

 

 

 

 

 

34

 

 

 

 

 

37

 

 

 

 

 

38

 

 

 

 

 

40

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3. 

 

Find three different geological materials, each at a separate location (at least 0.5 miles apart) near you.  These can include bedrock outcrops (road cuts are convenient), pieces of three different rock types so long as each piece is large enough to cover most of your open hand, or large boulders used in landscaping. You also may find it helpful to wash the specimen off.  Don’t use soils because I haven’t given you enough tools to work with them.

For each of the materials, take two pictures (one showing the whole area of the material exposure, and one close up), sketch and label texture and minerals on the photos in MS word or powerpoint.  For each of the separately located materials, also include a paragraph or table with the rock type, complete texture description, sub-category, and rock name.  If using landscaping cobbles or gravel, pick one piece and describe that.  Be sure that each specimen is of the required size.

Assignment # 3 (Health Psychology) <<<<<<<<<<

 

Assignment: Unit Two

1. With respect to the Stress scales:
a) Discuss your results on the three stress scales
b) Do they agree/disagree with your perception of your stress level
c) How do you know when you are under stress
d) Identify whether the indicators of stress that you listed are physical, psychological and/or
social
2. Discuss your results on the two coping exercises.
3. Using information from the text/lecture, how do these results affect your life and what can
you do to reduce stress.
4. Regarding Proschaska’s stages of change model:
a) identify and describe with regard to your stress and your plans to manage it, at which
stage of Proschaska’s model you believe you are at the present time.
b) if you are planning (or were to plan) to manage your stress, describe yourself in terms
of each of the other four stages (minus the one from question 4a).Which of the following events have you experienced in the past 12
months?

Life Event Point Value
Death of a close family member 100
Jail term 80
Final year or first year of college 63
Pregnancy (yours or your partner’s) 60
Serious illness or injury 53
Marriage 50
Any interpersonal problems 45
Financial difficulties 40
Death of a close friend 40
Arguments with your roommate (more than every other day) 40
Major disagreements with your family 40
Major change in personal habits 30
Change in living environment 30
Beginning or ending a job 30Problems with your boss or professor 25
Outstanding personal achievement 25
Failure in a course 25
Final examinations 20
Increased or decreased amount of dating 20
Change in working conditions 20
Change in your major 20
Change in your sleeping habits 18
Vacation of several days 15
Change in eating habits 15
Family reunion 15
Change in recreational activities 15
Minor illness or injury 15
Minor violations of the law 11
Score: ________
(1) Interpretation
Life events can function as stressors that influence the body through
activation of the stress response. An accumulation of 150 or more points
(see point ranges below) in a 1-year period may lead to increased physical
illness during the coming year. Of course, you must remember that, for a
given person, certain events may be more or less stressful than the point
values indicated.Less than 100 limited likelihood of stress related illness
101 to 200 moderate likelihood of stress related illness
201 or above high likelihood of stress related illness
(2) To Carry This Further
Having completed this Personal Assessment and evaluated your responses
based on the interpretation, were you surprised by the number of stress
points that you generated? Are there stressors listed that you have not
en-countered either in your own experiences or in those of your close
friends?DETERMINING YOUR STRESS LEVEL
To evaluate your level of stress and to help you identify changes that you
need to make, circle the number under the appropriate response to each
question.
Use the following guidelines in making your decisions:
Rarely Almost never
Sometimes Once or twice each week
Often Four or more times each week
How Frequently Do You: RARELY SOMETIMES OFTEN
Experience one or more of the symptoms of excess
stress such as tension, pain in the neck or shoulders,
or headaches?
1 3 5
Find it difficult to concentrate on what you are doing
because of deadlines or other tasks that must be
completed?
1 3 5
Become irritable when you have to wait in line or get
caught in a traffic jam?
1 3 5
Eat, drink, or smoke in an attempt to relax and/or
relieve tension?
1 3 5
Worry about your work or other deadlines at night
and/or on weekends?
1 3 5
Wake up in the night thinking about all the things
you must do the next day?
1 3 5
Feel impatient at the slowness with which many
events take place?
1 3 5
Find yourself short of time to complete everything
that needs to take place?
1 3 5Become upset because things have not gone your
way?
1 3 5
Tend to lose your temper and get irritable? 1 3 5
Wake up in the night and have a hard time getting
back to sleep?
1 3 5
Drive over the speed limit? 1 3 5
Interrupt people while they are talking or complete
their sentences for them?
1 3 5
Forget about appointments and/or lose objects or
forget where you put them?
1 3 5
Take on too many responsibilities? 1 3 5
1. Add the numbers together that you circled.
2. Enter your score here: ________________
Evaluate your score according to the following criteria:
Potential level of stress
Low #60; 35
Moderate 35-42
High 43-50
Very high > 50HASSLES IN YOUR LIFE
The following gives a list of common events you may sometimes find unpleasant because they
make you irritated, frustrated, or anxious. The list was taken from the Hassles Assessment Scale
for Students in College, which has respondents rate the frequency, and unpleasantness of and
dwelling on each event.
For this exercise, rate only the frequency of each event. Beside each item estimate how often it
occurred during the past month, using the scale:
0=never, 1=rarely, 2=occasionally, 3=often, 4=very often, 5=extremely often.
___Accidents/clumsiness/mistakes of self – e.g., spilling beverage, tripping
___Annoying behavior of self – e.g., habits, temper
___Annoying social behavior of others – e.g., rude, inconsiderate, sexist/racist
___Appearance of self – e.g., noticing unattractive features, grooming
___Athletic activities of self – e.g., aspects of own performance, time demands
___Bills/overspending: seeing evidence of
___Boredom – e.g., nothing to do, current activity uninteresting
___Car problems – e.g., breaking down, repairs
___Crowds/large social groups – e.g., at parties, while shopping
___Dating – e.g., noticing lack of, uninteresting partner
___Environment – e.g., noticing physical living or working conditions
___Extracurricular groups – e.g., activities, responsibilities
___ Exams – e. g., preparing for, taking
___Exercising – e.g., unpleasant routines, time to do
___Facilities/resources unavailable – e.g., library materials, computer
___Family: obligations or activities
___Family, relationship issues, annoyances
___Fears of physical safety – e.g. while walking alone, being on a plane or car
___Fitness, noticing inadequate physical condition
___Food – e.g., unappealing or unhealthful meals
___Forgetting to do things – e.g., to tape TV show, send cards, etc.
___Friends/peers: relationship issues, annoyances
___Future plans – e.g., career or marital decisions
___Getting up early, for school or work
___Girl/boy-friend: relationship issues, annoyances
___Goals/tasks; not completing enough
___Grades – e.g., getting a low grade
___Health/physical symptoms of self – e.g. flu, PMS, allergies, etc.
___Schoolwork – e.g., working on papers, reading hard/tedious material
___Housing; finding/getting or moving___Injustice: seeing examples or being a victim of
___Job: searching for or interviews
___Job/work issues – e.g., demands or irritating aspects of\
___Lateness of self – e.g., for appointment or class
___Losing or misplacing things
___Medical/dental treatments – e.g., unpleasant, time demands
___Money; noticing lack of
___New experiences or challenges; engaging in
___Noise of other people or animals
___Oral presentations/public speaking
___Parking problems – e.g., on campus, at work, in the mall
___Privacy; noticing lack of
___Professors/coaches – e.g., unfairness, demands of
___Registering for or selecting classes to take
___Roommate(s)/housemates: relationship issues, annoyances
___Sexually transmitted diseases – e.g., concerns about, efforts to reduce risk of
___Sports team/celebrity performance – e.g., favorite team losing
___Tedious everyday chores – e.g., shopping, cleaning
___Time demands/deadlines
___Traffic problems – e.g., inconsiderate or careless drivers, traffic jams
___Traffic tickets; getting
___Waiting – e.g., for appointments, in lines
___Weather problems – e.g. snow, heat/humidity, storms
___Weight/dietary management – e.g., not sticking to plans
Add all of the ratings for a total score. You can evaluate your relative hassles with the following
schedule compared to the stress other college students have from hassles. A total score of 105 is
about average, above 135 indicates much more stress, and below 75 indicates much less stressPositive and Negative Coping Skills
People react differently to stressful situations. Following is a list of what
would be considered “positive” responses.
Check off the appropriate response for each of these. If there are other
positive ways that you deal with stress, please list them at the bottom of the
list.
Response NEVER SOMETIMES OFTEN
Meditate _____ _____ _____
Stretch _____ _____ _____
Engage in progressive muscle relaxation _____ _____ _____
Listen to music _____ _____ _____
Exercise aerobically _____ _____ _____
Watch television _____ _____ _____
Go to the movies _____ _____ _____
Read _____ _____ _____
Work on puzzles or play games _____ _____ _____
Go for a leisurely walk _____ _____ _____
Go to a health club _____ _____ _____
Relax in a steam room or sauna _____ _____ _____
Spend time alone _____ _____ _____
Go fishing or hunting _____ _____ _____
Participate in some form of recreational activity _____ _____ _____
such as golf _____ _____ _____
Do some work in the yard _____ _____ _____
Socialize with friends _____ _____ _____
Sit outside and relax _____ _____ _____
Engage in a hobby _____ _____ _____YOU’RE FOCUSES IN COPING
Think about a very stressful personal crisis or life event you experienced in the last year – the
more recent and stressful the event, the better for this exercise. How did you handle this
situation and your stress? Some of the ways people handle stressful experiences are listed below.
Mark an X in the space preceding each one you used.
___Tried to see a positive side to it.
___Tried to step back from the situation and be more objective.
___Prayed for guidance or strength.
___Sometimes took it out on other people when I felt angry or depressed.
___Got busy with other things to keep my mind off the problem.
___Decided not to worry about it because I figured everything would work out fine.
___Took things one step at a time
___Read relevant material for solutions and considered several alternatives.
___Drew on my knowledge because I had a similar experience before.
___Talked with a professional person (e.g., doctor, clergy, lawyer, teacher, counselor) about
ways to improve the situation.
___Talked to a friend or relative to get advice on handling the problem.
___Took some action to improve the situation.
Count how many of the first six ways you marked – these are examples of “emotion-focused”
ways. How many of the second six – “problem-focused” – ways didIdentification of Coping Styles
Directions
There are a variety of ways and methodologies to help us deal with stress.
Consider each of the activities below and determine whether you are
currently using any of them to deal with stress.
Often Rarely Not at
all
Listen to music
Go shopping with a friend
Watch television/go to a movie
Read a newspaper, magazine, or book
Sit alone in peaceful outdoors
Write prose or poetry
Attend athletic event, play, lecture, symphony,
etc.
Go for a walk or drive
Exercise (swim, bike, jog)
Get deeply involved in some other activity
Play with a pet
Take a nap
Get outdoors, enjoy nature
Write in journal
Practice deep breathing, meditation, autogenics,
muscle relaxation
Straighten up desk or work area
Take a bath or shower
Do physical labor (garden, paint)
Make home repairs, refinish furnitureBuy something – records, books
Play a game (chess, backgammon, video games)
Pray, go to church
Discuss situations with spouse or close friend

******************

Yeah, and this doesn’t include all of the precalculus problems.

DROWNING IN SCHOOLWORK. <<<<<<<<<<


Black Storm Rising

pain

******************************************************************************************************

[Skip to bottom of post for specifics on PST/poppy seed tea.]

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I can’t believe my migraine is still raging. There’s nothing the doctors can do when I have a massive attack like this, short of shoving a needle in my arm and jacking me up on morphine. The last time that happened, I forgot to breathe. Everything was numb from the waist up and contrary to how many people feel, it was not fun!

I know that if I went to the doctor’s, he would only be able to write out a script of Lortab, which would do the same thing as morphine, and because it would make me sick, I would then need to take Phenergan, which would completely knock me out. I can’t get anything done in that condition. Since I’ve vowed to never take pharmaceutical pain medication again, my options are limited. I could always take a couple of puffs of weed- it’s an effective form of pain relief- but I simply can’t stand to get high! (Yes, I really did just say that.) I don’t like the semi-paranoid feeling that accompanies weed, and I just can’t stand the feeling of being stoned. There’s really no such thing as smoking it and not getting high, and for me, being the non-weed smoker that I am, one puff and I’m higher than a kite. But for somebody such as myself who actually doesn’t like to get high- weed isn’t an option. I have a lot to do all of the time; being down for two and three days at a stretch with my head smashing in pain is a real problem.

I rarely get these migraines anymore, because I control my pain holistically, homeopathically, and all naturally- without smoking weed- but it’s still controversial as no doctor will ever sanction homeopathic, all natural pain management (where drugs are concerned) – they don’t make money that way. And because they’re sleeping with the pharmaceutical companies, they must promote the new drugs that are giving people cancer- but hey- they need a paycheck too, right? (Note the sarcasm.)

So…I’ll stick to my own pain management (naturally). This is why I must aggressively confront my migraines and take a preventative, proactive approach rather than reactive. I have a very small window of time to manage my pain, and I have to do it in a time-sensitive manner, or it will be too late, which is what just happened to me.

The past two days have been brutal. I’ve taken about ten 200 mg. Ibuprofins (over a 48 hour period), 1/2 of a Phenergan to counteract the nausea (which allowed me to sleep) but when I awoke, the migraine had spread over to both eye sockets. it’s like being smacked into a world of pain immediately upon awakening.

It’s exhausting to hurt for this long of a duration. The blood vessels around my head and right eye socket are taxed, completely. This is what living with an arachnoid cyst in your head is like, that is, until I began managing my pain myself, rather than choosing to be jacked up on pain meds which is what the doctors are doing to so many people in this town. The doctors have added on an entire new building next to the old one, doubling its capacity for new patients. It’s a pain management center and it’s jammed packed when I go in for Ambien refills. I decline any form of pain meds, but you better believe I’m going to take my Ambien- a girl needs her beauty sleep.

This is part of the reason why I study Substance Abuse. I live with chronic pain, or at least I did until I took matters in my own hands, and so many people are becoming addicted to prescription pain meds. It’s not a mild problem across the country, it’s an epidemic. I’ve seen people that I grew up with die from overdoses; the methadone and suboxone clinics are overflowing, and people are getting addicted to that crap too.

I was told about a guy recently who went to the pill mill down the street, and received 150 Lortabs. He was trying to get rid of them at $5 a pop. That’s $750 that guy is hoping to make on one doctor visit and this is happening to hundreds of people in this town. Grandmas, bankers, teenagers- the doctors are giving them pain meds and instead of the patients getting out and walking, cutting down on fatty foods, quitting smoking, drinking more juices, etc. they’re becoming overweight (from lack of exercise) but also because the pain meds are giving them the munchies- just like weed- and they’re staying high and eating themselves into an early grave.

I’ve spent the past few years researching pill mills and alcohol and drug addiction in school: I’m passionate about it. Our “system” is broken.

Although my head feels like ground meat, I’m not able to go and lie down and simply rest. My mom is house-sitting and her battery is dead, she’s run out of her medicine, milk, etc. and although I have four siblings (FOUR) -not a one has gone over and seen her, or taken her food, or helped her out in any way- in weeks- so that leaves me and Josh- in this condition. Yes, I’m frustrated.

My mom has told me that her bladder is practically falling out- she needs surgery soon. It really perturbs me that my sister has only been to see my mother once in 6 months- once! This means that I will naturally pick up her slack where my mom is concerned. My mom is one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving women I’ve ever known.

She deserves to have all 5 of her kids taking care of her and helping her in her older years- sadly, that’s not the case. Josh and I are going to go and pick up her meds, take jumper cables over there to recharge her battery, cook a delicious, healthy dinner for her, and stay the night with her. And sadly, I can get more done with a migraine- and a cyst on my brain stem-  than my siblings (combined) do without one.

I think I’ll be back to my sunny ole self by tomorrow, according to my pain cycles. It usually doesn’t last more than three days. What works for other peoples’ migraines don’t work for me, because this isn’t a “stress migraine” or too much sugar (or anything along those lines). This is due to the arachnoid membrane in my head becoming inflamed, and the pocket of fluid (cyst) on and around my brain stem swells, pushing down on my actual brain stem, which is the area that controls nausea. It causes my head to feel like it’s being squeezed in a terrible vice, while sending acute, needle-like pain through the entire region, as well as causing unilateral pain in the frontal and temporal lobes.

My main reason for documenting this pain isn’t to “complain”. I want to provide information and support for others who suffer with an arachnoid cyst. That said, I don’t want my whole life to be about my cyst, or migraines, so I don’t write about it so much. Poppy seed tea is extremely effective when using it as a preventative measure to stave off migraines, but it’s not effective where trying to eliminate a migraine is concerned- not one of these monster migraines, anyway. I want to write a post about poppy seed tea (another day) because it’s an all natural form of pain medication that works. There are a good number of idiots who use it to get high, however. There’s no difference between that and shoving a needle in your arm. Misinformed people are dangerous, because ignorance breeds fear, and when a person is operating through fear, bad choices will be made. I would highly recommend that if a person is going to manage his or her own chronic pain (using poppy seed tea or any other form of natural pain relief), to research everything thoroughly and use what is known in psychology as contingency contracting; that’s a fancy way of saying “tell somebody about your plans”. Don’t try and manage your pain alone or you may find yourself with a new addiction. And remember, anything can become an addiction. (Ever seen the show My Strange Addiction? Point made.)

I’m determined to have a good evening despite my present condition. There’s no way I can read 120 pages of what I need to read in Earth Science, Health Psychology, and Public Speaking, but I can read some. Ever try to do schoolwork with a blinding migraine? I’ve written numerous essays (MLA format, of course) with my head splitting open, even working throughout the night on occasion.  I met my deadlines too. It’s going to be a long weekend…

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**************************************POPPY SEED TEA INFO****************************************

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For those of you researching PST, you can read the comments related to this particular post for more useful info. And here is an update one year later from the date of this initial post and I will update my status annually here in this particular post:

It is February 4, 2014. I have graduated from my University with a degree in Behavioral Sciences and CPC/certification in Substance Abuse last month (Sum Laude/Dean’s List), and am now working on my 2nd degree which is Social Work. I will transfer this summer to begin work on my BA in Sociology. I have taken PST for pain management for two years now. I haven’t had a roaring migraine in months, and I am no longer a chronic pain sufferer. Because of my poppy seed tea regimen, I’m able to not have to return to the doctor. I don’t have to take pharmaceutical pain meds or any pharmaceutical pills of any kind. If I were still taking doctor-prescribed pain meds, I have no doubt I’d still be suffering tremendously, as I used to, even after two years of following the doctor’s recommendations. In the end, I was worse off than when I initially went in to see him, and it was due to the many (many) experimental medications that were prescribed to me. Pain meds (Lortab, Vicodin, etc.) absolutely kill the body, especially the liver, over time. PST is all natural. It’s absolutely the way to go. I have taken my life back. 

  • Be very careful with PST
  • Use it in small doses [200 to 300 grams per dose. No more!] That’s an effective dose that works every time. It not only modifies your intended pain, it kills all pain in the body for the duration of the dose. Do not exceed two doses in a single day: if your pain is moderate, take one dose in the morning. If your pain is severe, take one dose (200-300 mg. of poppy seeds, shaken with water and lemon) in the morning, and another in the evening. Each dose lasts for 6 to 8 hours. Your goal shouldn’t be to “get high”. Your goal should be to manage your pain effectively and safely, without having to be chained to a doctor. You save heaps of money in the long run too.

Sidenote: It’s very important to take periodic breaks from any form of pain medication, whether it’s doctor prescribed or self-medicated. The reason for this is that you need to regularly cleanse the body from any impurities. So, choose one day per week, and drink only fruit juices, herbal teas (no poppy seed tea allowed on this day!) – chamomile, green tea, lemon-ginger, etc. and do a colon cleanser too. Flush the toxins from your body. Exercise and “hydration therapy” (lots of water, juices) helps to flush poisons from your liver too. Milk Thistle  is a natural liver cleanser. I take it regularly. Do this once per week, faithfully: It will keep your blood clean and your heart and organs healthy.

  • Be sure to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day: the result of any form of opiate use is constipation. I highly recommend taking a laxative every 2 to 3 days as it helps tremendously.
  • Take vitamins and get plenty of exercise daily.
  • Eat properly! Don’t be lazy and pork out on junk food all day in front of the TV. Take CARE of your body. A poor diet contributes greatly to pain in the body, poor heart health, obesity, lethargy, depression, the list goes on. You are what you eat. Eat fresh foods (fruits. veggies, whole grains, etc.).
  • Take one capsule of Valerian root at night- this doubles as both a sedative to help you sleep and also keeps your nerves calm throughout the next day. Excessive pain over time causes nerve damage: this stuff works, and it’s all naturalThe combination of poppy seed tea in the day, and one valerian root (capsule) at night, creates an environment that is calm, restful, and pain free, thereby allowing you to be productive. (I was able to completely replace my Ambien with Valerian root successfully.) Take one capsule of Valerian root per night if you weigh between 100-180 lbs. If you weigh 185-300 lbs. take two per night, but no more.
  • Educate yourself on drug use! There’s a difference between drug use and abuse.
  • It doesn’t mean you’re a “druggie” if you use drugs. It does if you abuse drugs.
  • Keep your threshold and drug tolerance LOW. This is so very important. I’ve taken the same amount of PST for two years now, having never increased my amount. I purposefully keep my thresholds very low. If you do this, always, you can continue taking a low dose of PST, and it will continue to be effective. Once you trade in that tried and true dose for a bigger one because you want to “feel more”, you’re increasing your addiction chances. Be mindful of this, always! Keep your motives in check and use PST for pain management rather than recreationally. If you want to get high, smoke a joint. Don’t use PST to get high.
  • You can never have too much education about drug use, the brain, the effects of various drugs and substances and the brain, behaviors, drug-related behaviors, tolerance levels, the digestive system, the list goes on and on. Educate yourself!
  • Be safe!

And for the record, GFS (Gordon Food Service) has the most effective seeds I’ve ever used: Trade East brand- spice section. They’re a little more costly, but worth it and consistent in quality. Use 1/3 of the container’s seeds (again, found specifically at GFS in most any state) with two or so cups of water in a 1 liter bottle. Your goal is to add enough water to cover the seeds by 1 to 2 inches. (Two fingers worth, horizontally.) Add a good squirt or splash of lemon juice- this helps extract the medicinal properties from the outside of the seeds. Now here’s the unfun part: shake that mixture like there’s no tomorrow- for a good 10 minutes, but no longer. Don’t let it soak, don’t deviate from these instructions and you’ll get solid results every time. Use the bottle cap as a filter, and strain out the liquid through the cap into a glass. Drink up. Usually, you can feel a significant reduction in pain within 20 minutes.

Be careful reading stuff online! There are a lot of junkies out there with bad information whose goal is to get high. This is not one of those posts. If you have a substance abuse addiction already, and your drug tolerance is already abnormally high, this amount of PST is not going to help you in any way, you won’t even feel it. If you’re reading this, and this is the case with you, I encourage you to get help through a recovery or drug rehab treatment program.

This PST information is for people who are actual moderate to severe pain sufferers who do not want to go the traditional medicine route. Doctors write prescriptions all day, every day, and so many patients become addicted to the pain meds without a whisper of a warning! I’m telling you to educate yourself in these areas.

You have a responsibility to yourself- and others- to educate yourself on substance use and abuse if you’re going to put substances in your body, no matter what they are.

Here is a list of natural things that I take which may help you too:

  • PST pain management/therapy
  • Valerian Root- natural sleep aid, promotes good nerve health, creates calming effect
  • ground ginger (spice aisle) It promotes healthy digestion and quells nausea.
  • cayenne capsules/Health Food aisle (Kroger, Walmart, etc.) Cayenne kicks up the metabolism and is a natural fat burner. It’s good for the heart too and gives you a boost of natural energy.
  • green tea- no creamer. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants which fight cancer-causing radical cells. Adding creamer neutralizes these necessary and powerful antioxidants, so, don’t use creamer! Add honey instead.
  • Colon cleanser/psyllium husk- taken daily, psyllium husk keeps your colon clean and healthy. The colon is where many cancers begin. Keeping it clean and healthy reduces your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other things.
  • Milk Thistle- cleanses the toxins from the liver and kidneys. This is the best all natural liver cleanser in the world.
  • 1/2 of an antihistamine per day (such as generic Benadryl). Opiates cause your body’s histamines to become fairly active. This causes itching and scratchiness. Taking a whole antihistamine can be cause drowsiness (you don’t want that) so keep the antihistamine amount to 1/2 per day. This not only kills any opiate-related itching, but doubles as a potentiator, which actually makes the poppy seed tea even stronger. This means that you will get the maximum benefits from a small dose of PST/poppy seed tea, without having to increase the dosage. This is a great help! Your goal is to receive effective pain management therapy without raising your dosage over time. Keep your doses low- always. 
  • lemon juice- (taken with PST)- acts as a natural anti-parasitic cleanser.
  • multivitamins
  • Filtered water- 8 to 10 glasses per day. Proper hydration lowers blood pressure and even cholesterol. It helps flush toxins from the body and eliminates unhealthy waste and poisons from the blood. Proper hydration is important for every organ in the body, especially the brain, and also helps regulate the body’s thermostat. It also aids in the secretion of proper hormones into the blood: many health problems would be remedied if people simply drank more water.

Hope this information is helpful! No matter what, choose health and life, and take care of yourself, physiologically, and psychologically/emotionally. Never use any type of substances for emotional pain. Seek treatment and therapy for that.

Be well. x


Stress Level: Blowing Gaskets

Today has been an unusually stressful day. I’ve been working on my new art site, which I won’t reveal until it’s completely finished. It’s definitely in its embryonic stages. I have so much school work to catch up on and we’re financially strapped, as usual. Some of my photography art acquaintances have Donate to PayPal tabs up on their sites and many are actually receiving donations. I can’t bring myself to do that. I will work hard to sell my art work instead; that means pounding the virtual pavement and hobnobbing with the elite in the art world. Nothing to complain about, I assure you. But work is work, and I’m so limited on time these days. To put it simply, school is eating me up alive. Research, essays, and reports: my head feels like it’s in a pressure cooker, or an olive that is being slowly squeezed of its precious substances. The arachnoid cyst on my brain stem is acting up again and the pain is relentless and intense, but it doesn’t slow me down- it should.

It’s snowing outside- March snow. I should be taking a Psychology exam but I’m going to pop an Ambien and call it a night. It’s 1:00 a.m.

I just needed to write something.
I should cry.

Image


Photo Therapy [part 2]

Things are incredibly stressful for me today. Right off the bat, I had to be at a business meeting first thing in the morning. I have an egotistical flea (who happens to be the owner of an art website) biting my &^% to appease his ego. I’ve never known anyone so full of him or herself, honestly. The guy blasted me publicly- which is defamation- and you better believe I’m gonna blast back. I don’t take slaps lightly.

When I reach a breaking point, and I just want to hang everything up- shut my door- and “retire from everything”, I go take pictures.

It gives me a great sense of control to be able to compose my environment; even master the very lighting around me.
I think every person wants to feel in control of his or her own life, down to their very eternal destination- if one believes in such.
To be able to “design my surroundings” by manually adjusting the controls- it’s far more rewarding than simply “pointing and shooting”.
I would have little joy as a photographer if I merely pointed and shot. Manually adjusting my exposure in-camera is an integral part of the bonding process with my equipment.
For me, it’s a must.

My head feels blasted in about five areas.
Pain everywhere.

Nevertheless, I can’t simply sit around the house in pain and be pissed off.
So, I’m going to go out and take pictures.
Of what, I haven’t a clue.

I know of an online photo challenge and the theme is colour.
Perhaps I’ll go out and induct a spash of colour into my day…