Teetering on the brink of sanity

I did have a complete meltdown on Friday. I’m dealing with issues surrounding my adoption. I’m dealing with changes that have happened in my life over the past year. I’m dealing with all the problems of the world. I’m dealing with being sued. I’m dealing with not seeing my daughter. I’m dealing with the fact that I don’t function well alone and I’ve felt really alone lately. It all just caught up with me. Sometimes we crack. Sometimes we just can’t take it anymore.

That’s when the tears start flowing.

That’s when the booze starts flowing.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with either. LET IT FLOW!

Unless it’s bullets. I do have a problem with bullets.

It’s okay if every once in a while everything else in the world just stops. I get that I’m not the center of the universe but technically speaking, I am the center of my universe. Anybody who wants to be a part of my universe can either help or get out of the way. That’s how I felt Friday.

I called my band leader and said that I was in no condition to make it to rehearsal. I secretly wished that she would come take care of me and get me to rehearsal but she is the center of her universe and had other things on her mind. That’s fair. And you know what… that part turned out okay. It’s times like these that I’m glad I’m not an air traffic controller.

These are dangerous times however. Someone who was is in the state that I was in Friday night could cause harm. We can do things or say things that our better self might not do. I do have one regret from Friday night. I did tell Ben Folds that he has no right to cover The Cure. Granted, it was only on my Facebook page and he probably never saw it but still; it wasn’t fair of me to say that and I’m sorry.

I did have one friend who was willing to enter into my universe on that night and I will be eternally grateful to her. It was a very brave thing to do and what impressed me even more was that she did it sober. I realize that I use alcohol as a crutch but I’ve got to tell you how much respect I have for people who have found sobriety; not just because it is hard, but because it is good. I realize that the path I am on will lead to recovery or death but I’m doing my best to avoid either of those options because they both scare the shit out of me. That said, I want to give a plug for sobriety. From what I’ve seen, it ain’t perfect, but it is fucking better. It is a path of love.

So what is sanity?

I’ve spent much of the day googling this question. I didn’t get any answers. I also don’t know why my Google Chrome browser is telling me that googling is spelled wrong. From what I can tell, sanity is just a made up concept like everything else. I get that there is a legal definition for “sanity” but to think that laws are not just made up is insane. Law are some sort of common consensus of what is right. They are also a whole bunch of rules that we turn to because there is no common consensus and we still need to function as a society.

So what happens when society goes insane? I think that is where we are. Maybe that makes me insane. Actually, by definition, that does make me insane. I have a couple of major mental illness diagnosis so I don’t really have a problem with being called insane but my diagnosis are not typically the kind of things that are referred to as insanity. I have depression and anxiety. They are both pretty logical considering what I have been through but they do take on some strange attributes from time to time. I break into tears for no reason and I feel like someone is about to attack me when I am sitting at home alone. Still, I don’t think that it is nearly as insane as the way our society is acting.

For example, CEO now may 273 times as much as their average worker. To be honest, I don’t know if this is true, I don’t know if this is fair, I don’t know if this is good. But is seems to be a well agreed upon opinion… and I think it’s insane. Still, this is what is called sanity in our society. There are many other examples but the point of this blog has never been to give you the answers; only to get you to think.

I think that society is doing okay. I think that I am doing okay. But we both are are probably falling over the brink into insanity. It may take some crazy thinking to bring us back. That’s why I’m okay with being on the insane side of normal… for now.

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Don’t panic

Last week in therapy I provided a response that I found rather interesting. When asked what was on my mind I responded that I’ve been focusing on the medium picture; not the big picture, not the little picture, just the medium picture. When asked to elaborate I explained that I had been busy trying to solve all the world’s problems.

“That sounds pretty big to me.” replied my therapist.

“Not when compared to the entire universe. When you do that, the world seems really, really small. It’s important to keep things in perspective.” I explained.

Of course from the perspective of the individual the world seems really, really big. The problems we are facing are gigantic and they are global. From all the research that I’ve been doing I’ve come the the conclusion that we are basically doing everything wrong and that the human race is on a headlong course for destruction.

I really do think that our entire economic system is on the verge of collapse. We really are running out of oil. We really are destroying the environment and the natural resources of the only planet we have. So many of our resources as well as our efforts are simply being wasted. The climate really is changing for the worse and it is our fault. All of our governmental systems are corrupted and broken. We are all addicted to something whether it be drugs, sex, money, power, possessions, fake food, work or even particular emotional states. It seems like all we do is point fingers and blame each other rather than look at ourselves. Everyone is spying on everyone else. We spend all this time and energy focusing on the symptoms rather than addressing the root cause. In the process we are still fighting wars and killing each other. How stupid is that?

It really is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

So why not panic?!? Isn’t it time to totally freak out?!?

I guess the best answer I have is because it doesn’t work. People are going to freak out if they are going to freak out and there is plenty of reason to do so. I’m pretty prone to freaking out myself. It just doesn’t help; at least not in the long run. The other reason is that even as bad things are, they could be worse. Even though I believe that we are doing everything wrong, it is also true that we are doing a lot of things right. Furthermore, some of the things we do wrong turn out good and some of the things we do right turn out bad. The fact is that most of us are surviving and our population is actually growing.

Some point to population growth as being the root of all our problems. That may be true but it is also proof of all our solutions. Even if you believe that overpopulation is what will inevitably do us all in, I’ve got some good new for you there too. Population growth among the countries that are causing most of the problems is actually decreasing. The sad news is that greatest population expansion is among the countries that are doing most of the suffering.

I’ve been delving into some other number as well and what I have found is that things are not quite as bad as the doomsday scenario I painted earlier. I found this empirical data mildly comforting. As a result, I’m pretty sure that the world won’t end tomorrow. We still have a chance to survive this but we need to wake up and take responsibility. If we keep on down the road that we are going, we are doomed. That is undeniable. What is also undeniable is that some things are changing for the better. It’s just very complicated and there are a lot of moving parts. I feel like we are in a situation of taking one hundred steps forward and ninety-nine steps back; but that may just be the optimist in me.

What really concerns me is that it seems like institutions, ideology, technology, philosophy, medicine, psychology and science have all evolved faster than our humanity. In essence we have abandoned our biology to built a society devoid of what makes us human. It does not serve our primitive needs but rather uses us to perpetuate itself. We now find ourselves in a society that requires us to act in inhuman ways for the sake of society.

I want to leave you with this meme that I saw the other day. It has been floating around the internet for about a year but I’m kind of slow when it comes to those kind of things.

this-is-our-society

As with most memes our tendency is to see this and chuckle, “yup, that’s about right” and move on. That’s my typical response but this one got me thinking. It’s easy to think that nothing we do is right. It’s easy to find fault in whatever someone else does. It’s easy to say that anyone who sits around making memes clearly has too much time on their hands.

But I wanted to dig deeper, to think outside the box. I wanted to find the best solution. With a guiding principle of love and kindness I easily concluded that judging others was not the answer. but how about for the couple trying to get where they are going? I guess the real question is, “Where are we going… and why?” Society can’t tell us that. We have to figure it out on our own.

An honest mistake – part one

I have fucked up a lot in my life. I have made many mistakes,  usually not the same mistake twice, but there are some mistakes that I seem to make over and over again. I figure that I will continue to make them as long as I need to in order to learn what they have to teach me.

Society also makes a lot of mistakes and some seem to be made over and over again. They say that if we don’t learn from history we are destined to repeat it. Well, I believe we are learning from history, but we are also repeating it. That is because society is not a monolithic hive mind. We all have different interpretations of history. We have a variety of values, experiences and blind spots. We don’t all evolve at the same rate, at the same time, or even in the same direction. We are evolving though. I believe that we are getting better. We are also finding brand new mistakes to make. That is also a sign of progress.

To put these thoughts in context, let me just relay soma couple stories from the past few days. I stopped by Club Jager for a happy hour beer and food before rehearsal on Monday. While chatting with one of the regulars I mentioned my ongoing struggles with abandonment. This reminded him of the fact that we are both adopted. While we both grew up knowing that we were adopted, we we born at a time when adoption was a very closed and secretive process.  While we grew up in relatively healthy and stable homes we grew up missing a very important aspect of our humanity. We grew up without a connection to our biological parents. We grew up feeling like something was missing, a feeling that we have never been able to overcome or resolve. This feeling is common among adoptees of the era but difficult for people who grew up with their biological parents to comprehend or relate to.

Fortunately, adoption has come out of the shadows in the years since my friend and I were adopted. Society has learned from the trauma caused by closed adoption and now adopted children are able to have a connection with their birth parents where possible. Society has learned that children are capable of comprehending adoption. Children understand that their parents are the people that are raising them but that the person who gave birth to them is someone different. As a society we now understand that a child doesn’t need be raised by their biological parent but they still need to have some sort of connection with their biological past for healthy human development.

Well great, but that still doesn’t help me. It doesn’t help my friend. It doesn’t help the countless number of adoptees who continue to struggle with feelings of loss emanating from the core of their being.

Nope, it doesn’t, but that is the reality of how societies work. When I fuck up, I can make amends and take immediate steps to prevent future harm. Societies are complex with many moving parts. When societies fuck up, change is slow and amends are inadequate if even possible.

If we truly are all in this together, how does society make amends to society anyway? Perhaps all we can do as a society is learn from our fuck ups and strive for a better future. As an individual in society we need to take personal responsibility for our role in causing the problem, take personal responsibility for fixing the problem and personal responsibility for healing the injured, even if the injured is ourself. I cannot expect society to heal my pain but I can take comfort in knowing that through my pain  society can be healed.

To be continued…

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