I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

September 30, 2013 - 12:11 p.m.

Anatomy of Anxiety

I started writing 45 minutes earlier than usual today. I know I have a lot to do. It helps that I let my class out early. The reason for that isn't good. My knee hurts and I needed to get off my feet. It will go away soon. That sort of thing always does.

A short health report. My Crohn's has been quiescent. It is as if I'm taking 40 mg of prednisone when I'm actually off it completely. That's great. It's also an object lesson. Chronic conditions come and go like that. So many of them cycle. My post nasal drip that had been bad for a year has passed too. I didn't do anything different. It's just natural variation. But that's what leads people to believe quack medical claims. I have friends that will say, "try [insert something that has never been shown to work and is based on dubious science]. I know people that tried it and got better." Sure and I got better too doing nothing. If I had tried taking the suckerborneveryminute supplement or the soundsgoodtillyouactuallythinkaboutit diet I'd have probably gotten better but then some people would have given it the credit. If it really works it would give statistically significant results in a study. And if the results are not dramatic I dont' care about statistical significance. I'm not going to change my life for something that makes me have a 1% chance of improving or reduces the length of attacks by an hour on average.

The reason I'm getting right down to writing is that I have a lot to say. I had an anxiety filled weekend and I'm going to write about my subjective experience. All day yesterday I did pretty much nothing. I couldn't get myself to move. It was psychological paralysis. What finally got me moving was going to see the Chicks with Dip's fundraiser for Fred's Team. Meg Braun's runs the New York Marathon for them. It raises money for Sloane Kettering. As Meg said to me, "get a room full of chicks and you'll be there." Yes that's true. They are favorite people and favorite performers. I'll get artistic and personal satisfaction.

Yet that didn't help calm me down. The trip over there no matter what I thought about all I saw was doom. Intellectually I know better but feeling that is what anxiety is. I could not find my happy thought. To make it worse I forgot my phone. I had to make a phone call so it added a real cause for anxiety. The phone is also one way I deal with it. I take it out and play online and it usually helps a bit.

When I got there I even found it hard to be my usual social self. I didn't approach people to talk even though I did talk when people came over to me. The one exception was Anna because I had something specific to talk to her about, the musical she's writing. I didn't get to talk to her after I heard the four songs performed earlier in the week. So that I could do, snap right into music geek mode. But making small talk I could only do responsively.

The show was done in rounds with Meg hosting. Let's see if I can remember who performed when. I deliberately didn't write it down because I thought I had visuals on this. I obviously couldn't take pictures as I forgot my camera.

First round was Allison T, Sharon. I sat in the back and switched between enjoying the music and freaking out. I hated that and the mood change began. I went into the first phase, getting angry at feeling anxious and invoking heroic characters, Henry V, Cyrano, and Bingo Long. What you never saw Bingo Long's Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings? It's one of the greatest baseball films ever. Billy Dee Williams plays Bingo a fictionalized Satchel Paige. In the big game when his team is playing the owner's team for their economic freedom he seems to have fun out of gas and the catcher/manager wants to pull him out of the game. And he refuses saying that he can still blow it by the hitter. Of course he does. And I know that I can pull myself out of a funk.

Stage two was moving up front, where I usually sit, in the midst of the action. I was still riddled with anxiety but at least now I was in fighting mode. I fought in the quietest way possible. I closed my eyes and gave all my concentration to the music. Round two was Elisa, Kirsten Williams (I can't find her website), Allison S, and Anna. I had my eyes closed the entire first round. I was able to open them for Allison's second song, which was fortunate as that's the one she played the Tamburello (is that right Allison) the most visually interesting performance akin to dance. I kept them open the rest of the show and I was no longer riddled with anxiety. I wasn't better but I wasn't consumed. Sometimes that's all you can hope for.

So round three should be easy, everyone else. Honor, Carolann, Victoria Lavington (no website?), and the decidedly unchicklike Jon Sobel. Jon is a Rooster, the Chicks male auxiliary. He plays bass during the Blue shows but last night got to play guitar and sing. But they still put him off to the side because of blatant anti-male discrimination.

The show ended with Meg doing a few songs and all the chicks joining her for Strong Women

After the show I did socialize because I could then had a therapy dinner at Georgia's Barbecue, before heading home and making the phone call I needed to make to arrange plans for today. I'll keep those secret for now.

OK I'm not going to get a chance to write everything I wanted. I will have to leave the me as Jurgen entry for the future, again. I've been trying to write that for a while now.

Oh a practical and good thing to finish off. I got my textbook today! I have to pat myself on the back whenever I'm not paralyzed. I went around the school bureaucracy and got it directly from the publisher. Now I'm going to get my mail and eat lunch. I'm finished early enough to do that.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile September 30, 2013
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