Tag Archives: Depression

Ayn Rand’s karma

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

This morning on my walk from Dunkin’ Donuts to the library, I stopped at the corner of Fayette and St. Paul Sts. to finish a cigarette, before I’d go into the convenience store.  To my right, on a bench, sat this woman, bent over with her head between her knees; she had turned her head to the left and was calling to me.  I couldn’t make out her words.  She is a “taker.”  Sometimes I respond to such folk with compassion; sometimes I respond with contempt.

How would Ayn Rand have responded?

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Serotonin and the individual

Living as Jesus taught actually changes your physical body, in desirable ways.

I will focus just now on body chemistry, and specifically one chemical, serotonin.  Dozens of chemicals are probably involved, and I don’t mean to exaggerate the importance of just one.  However, it happens that, on the one hand, serotonin plays a major role in the challenges I have personally faced in my life; and on the other hand, it has profound ramifications for how well anyone does in life. Continue reading Serotonin and the individual

14:32

Friday, October 6.

I arrived at the shelter where I stay at 14:32.  There was no line of people waiting admission.  They nominally open the gate at 14:30, but in fact sometimes do at 14:15, 14:00 or even 13:00.  When I later asked what time they’d opened today, I was told 14:30.  That can’t be factual, though: given current intake procedures, they can’t possibly have processed 30+ persons in two minutes.

Marvin arrived at the same time.  I stayed outside to finish a cigarette, and he slipped in in front of me.  He got assigned #41, “my” bunk, a bottom bunk.  I got assigned the only available remaining bunk, #40, a top bunk and thus much less desirable.

If I had arrived only 30 seconds earlier, I would have been assigned “my” bunk, a bottom bunk, the one much more desirable.  I found myself scouring my memory as to anything I could have done to have left church even 30 seconds earlier.  I would recognize the mistake of looking only at my last activities before leaving; whereas 30 seconds at any point during the day would have made the difference.

I would recognize that I was “bargaining.”

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Self-comfort

I have suffered with obsessive-compulsive disorder and genetically-based clinical depression all my life.  I first became medicated for these conditions, with SSRIs, in 1991, and the improvement was so drastic I never wanted to be without those medications again.

On or about December 6, 2015, however, it seemed as if they abruptly became ineffective.  I was not in a position to find a medical doctor competent to change them.  So, on the one hand, I’ve lived with clinical depression from then till now and continuing.  On the other hand, a positive is that in this state I’ve obtained certain insights that I never could have “seen” any other way.

One insight in particular would have changed my entire course in life, had I only learned it as a child.

It occurred in four steps.  The blue block quotes below are excerpts from my diary.  However, I recall that C.S. Lewis referred to diary-keeping as a “time-wasting and foolish practice;” that a diary is, “even for autobiographical purposes,” far less useful than one might suppose.  As to the first two steps below, I lost a good deal of time and effort searching for diary passages that didn’t exist.

In mid-December 2015 …

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