Birthday Retrospect

My birthday is this week. In a strange twist of fate, I didn't know my birth date until I was twelve years old. Even after I learned my birthday, no one celebrated it. Lacking parties and other distractions, I developed my own way to honor the passing of another year of my life and the…

High Expectations – Low Self-Esteem

Yesterday I attended an interview for a teacher residency program. One of the topics discussed was creating and upholding high expectations for students, while simultaneously providing the support to meet those expectations. It got me thinking about the role of expectations in my own life, and the high standards to which I have always been…

Lush: Addiction as a Response to Abuse

I don't know if I was blessed or cursed, but I never became an alcoholic or drug abuser during the course of my life. I wanted to, but was refused the opportunity. My (ex)husband decided we were teetotalers right before my 21st birthday, and illegal drugs were definitely out of the picture. Even legal, prescription…

Self-Criticism: A Learned Response

Continuing my series of posts this week on mental health, I wanted to address the tendency to self-criticize as a survival mechanism in abusive relationships. In normal life situations, self-criticism is of limited usefulness. It can be helpful to look at your work, realize your mistakes, and fix them. The level of self-criticism I am…

Listen and You Will Hear

One of the most difficult things about mental health issues is the stigma society attaches to it. As soon as you admit you aren't "normal" people start to fall away from your life. Even though 10% of Americans take anti-depressants, we still feel the need to hide it from the majority of people in our…

Apathy

Dictionary.com defines apathy as the "absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement," or a "lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting." These clinical definitions cannot convey what it feels like. Many say they feel apathetic, but when you talk further, it is clear they have never truly experienced…

Kidneys…

Last Friday I started feeling bad. I can deal with a lot of discomfort, but this was knocking me on my ass, literally. I had to leave work early, but still didn't go to the hospital. I don't have health insurance. My job doesn't cover me yet and doctors are expensive, so I usually just…

Robotic Overlords?

As our technology has advanced, writers have explored potential concerns and worst case scenarios with an ever-increasing level of artificial intelligence. Isaac Asimov was a forerunner in thought pieces and science fiction dealing with AI; his work is the inspiration for dozens of movies, books, and actual scientific work within the robotics and AI fields.…

2016 Review

It is coming close to the end of January in this new year. Every time January rolls around, I always feel caught off-guard by the need to reflect, release, and move forward. Every year has it's disappointments. Memes aside, 2016 was a difficult year for many, myself included. That doesn't mean I want a do-over.…

Holodeck Coming Soon?

If I could choose just one piece of science fiction technology to become reality in my lifetime, it would be the holodeck from Star Trek. As a copious consumer of stories, the attraction of the holodeck lies in the interactive quality it allows. I remember reading Choose Your Own Adventure books as a child; they allowed for more…