Sunday, July 31, 2005

Letting Go...

Catching Up...(Gasp...)
Well, here we go - getting caught up again. I am still without a PC. I swapped power supplies, and got the same result. I'm pretty sure the hard drive crashed - Oh well. I guess that I've pretty much decided to cut off any possibility to resurrect it from the dead, basically using it for parts - for anyone else.

Honestly, my life has improved TENFOLD without a computer. Now I don't have a "safe place" where I can hide. I've gotten to that point where I want to function as a normal human being again. It seems that most of my frustration (and depression) stems from my former addiction to using a computer on a daily basis, for hours on end! Not to say that life doesn't have its own challenges, but I seem to be able to deal with them much better now I am making tremendous progress. One of my secrets? Just LET GO!

Putting The Brakes On...
I just got fed up and said to myself, "you know what? I'm not going to live my life like it's 900 miles an hour anymore. Just because the world is moving that fast doesn't mean that I have to. Let everyone else go nowhere fast - I'll just cruise along at my own pace." Compare this to life as a really fast sports car, and I'm driving an old Model A Ford. It's true that I won't get there faster, but you can be sure of one thing - I'll see things that anyone else travelling at hyper-speed won't see. The old saying, "stop and smell the roses," holds true. Don't live your life in the fast lane - you'll overheat and eventually shut down.

A Work In Progress...
Of course, when you change your mindset, life instantly tries to test you. To many people this is a setback, or at the least, very frustrating. No one should just give up after that. You CAN'T! Giving up is the worst thing that you can do! I know that I'm a hypocrite of sorts, because I'm turning my back on technology (almost,) but I have lots of issues with it that I need to confront. I associate way too much pain with it, and I have to learn to change that. This is why I consider myself a "work in progress." I'm like that car you see once in a while - it looks pretty rough on the outside, but open the door, the interior is beautiful. Open the hood, and the engine is a masterpiece. Eventually, little by little, the body gets better and better, until one day - Voila!

Thank you!
To everyone who reads and comments on my blog - Thank you! It took a long, long time to get to this mindset, and I'm truly grateful to be this way. Nothing is "life and death" for me anymore. The things that I previously took so seriously I can just let go of. I still have social issues that I am challenged by, but I will overcome them as well. Working consistently with my therapy group, and going out once in a while by myself seems to help quite a bit. I'm beginning to enjoy life for a change, and not letting my emotions dictate my lifestyle. Oh, there are times when it's hard to get out of bed, but I don't feel down or depressed - I'm just really, really tired.

I know that life is going to throw me a few more curves before things truly open up for me, but that's OK. I'm ready for those challenges to come my way. Instead of reacting to a problem, I'm going to look for the solution instead. Worrying about things never fixed them, did they? I'm not saying that I'm 100% optimistic all the time, but I do try my best to be whenever possible. When I mess up, I don't beat myself up. I just say, "try again."

Newsflash!...This Just In...
I had two job interviews, and they were great learning experiences. I didn't get hired, but I looked at them not as failures, but as chances to learn and grow. One of them was for a $40,000+/year salary! I was more sociable and outgoing than I've ever been in interviews! I can't wait until I get another one. I am sure that I'll knock the socks off of the interviewer! I've never felt so confident in my life! I found the key to acheiving confidence in my life, and it will be my creed for as long as I shall live: LET GO!!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Monday, July 11, 2005

Catching Up...

After reading the comments from Tabor and Radin, I have come to the conclusion that I have been a bit extreme as far as my thoughts and decision-making are concerned. I tend to do that, due to my borderline tendencies. When I get frustrated, I want to just cut out everything completely, regardless of the circumstances. I may lose contact with people, or be missing out on some valuable and sometimes interesting stuff. It is indeed foolish to just make drastic changes in our lives. They may just come back to bite us on the ass.

I get to this point when things just seem to be going completely wrong for me. The answer for me is to escape whatever situation may arise. I may blow up in a fit of rage, and then decide that I don't want to do that particular activity (such as a job,) or talk to a certain person. I decide at that moment that it's the "thing to do," and I stay in that mode for a few days, a month, or even longer. I guess that I'm getting over that feeling now, but I still feel it to some degree.

I remember not touching my pc for about 2 months because I was having sour times with a long distance relationship. To me, it felt better not to even be near the computer, as it seemed to bring me down. Chat rooms and chat buddies can do that sort of thing to you, so be careful, and NEVER (and I stress this,) ever get in a long-distance relationship that has seemingly impossible odds to ever happen. Don't spend years pretending and fantasizing that it could ever happen. It will save you alot of heartache.

Fed Up...
It's this simple: I don't have the funds to resurrect my antique (8 years old,) PC from the dead, nor do I intend to. It's just too frustrating to go through it all again. I think that the hard drive crashed in the boot sector. This has happened about 3 times in the past two years. I get tired of having to spend money on a new hard drive every time one crashes. Of course, it is foolish to keep using the same old 233 mhz motherboard and case, as well as the power supply. I simply overlooked those, and took it for granted that they were still good. Shame on me. However, I still feel that at this time I don't want to sink any more money in the damn thing, and that I really need to find other things to do besides be online too much as it is. As of this moment, I am at my parents' house using their PC, just to get caught up with emails, posting to the blog, and looking at classifieds. Granted, this PC is not very reliable, but it is working, so I can use it just about any time I want to. I don't monopolize it - this is because I usually only come here a few times a month.

I totally agree about moderation - this is something that seems to be lacking within my life. It seems most of the time that my life is "turned up to eleven"* or that it is turned off completely. The area "in the middle" doesn't appear to be existent. Nonetheless, I am aware of this fact - which in turn makes it easier to deal with. In the past, I felt that, "this is just the way I am, and that there is nothing I can do about it." This, of course, is not true at all. It seems that as I grow older, I am beginning to learn how to moderate things. Life doesn't always seem to be "in the fast lane." Naturally, I still struggle with depression, and other things. It seems that the perfect life is all about moderation - not too much of this, and not too little of that. When I was younger, this concept was very perplexing to me. The old adage "everything gives you cancer," holds a bit of truth to it. Not in a literal sense, but in a more proverbial context. There is a such thing as "too much of a good thing."

It seems that in this case, moderation is certainly the answer. Friends have offered to help resurrect my dinosaur from the dead, and I have pretty much turned them away. I guess that I'll take them up on their offer, but I'll be much more cautious with it, and avoid countless consecutive hours online. It's truly an addiction of mine, and I need to moderate myself. It is possible to limit myself to a few hours online and to stick to that regimen. More physical activity would be better as well. I mean, we do have a swimming pool in the back yard, and it is nice to lay out on the deck and get some sun. I have done that a few times since we have opened the pool. Once again, the key is moderation - too much sun, and you'll burn to a crisp!

Things To Work On...
I need to work on moderation, my thoughts and emotions, and how I deal with adversity. I need to stop acting on impulse and living by the seat of my pants. I need to realize that life doesn't have to be so extreme, and that there is indeed the ability to balance our lives - maybe not perfectly, but just enough. Cutting ourselves off only hurts the ones who love us, and ultimately ourselves. Life is supposed to be about gradual change - unfortunately, such is not the case. However, we can within our own lives make it so. I truly believe this, and I am striving to attain this goal. Old habits do die hard, but they can be overcome.

Don't Give Up
by Peter Gabriel

in this proud land we grew up strong
we were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail
no fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams
have all deserted
I've changed my face,
I've changed my name
but no one wants you when you lose

don't give up
'cos you have friends
don't give up
you're not beaten yet
don't give up
I know you can make it good

though I saw it all around
never thought I could be affected
thought that we'd be the last to go
it is so strange the way things turn
drove the night toward my homet
he place that I was born, on the lakeside
as daylight broke, I saw the earth
the trees had burned down to the ground

don't give up
you still have us
don't give up
we don't need much of anything
don't give up
'cause somewhere there's a place
where we belong

rest your head
you worry too much
it's going to be alright
when times get rough
you can fall back on us
don't give up
please don't give up

'got to walk out of here
I can't take anymore
going to stand on that bridge
keep my eyes down below
whatever may come
and whatever may go
that river's flowing
that river's flowing

moved on to another town
tried hard to settle down
for every job, so many men
so many men no-one needs

don't give up
'cause you have friends
don't give up
you're not the only one
don't give up
no reason to be ashamed
don't give up
you still have us
don't give up now
we're proud of who you are
don't give up
you know it's never been easy
don't give up
'cause I believe there's the a place
there's a place where we belong

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Should I Give Up?

I was thinking...
I did have somewhat of a life before I got hooked on computers and the internet. It used to be that my computer was only used for making music and for mp3s. Then I got hooked on the internet - after that, my life changed dramatically. I said that I'd NEVER be one of those people that got addicted to chatrooms, nor that I would ever get romantically involved with anyone from the internet. Boy was I wrong.

Truth be told, I think that before the internet, I was happier. I always found something else to do - but I did have times where I didn't do much of anything, though not nearly as much as I do now. I always tell people that too much television will rot your brain. I now think that this is true via the internet. I guess that it has made me a vegetable in some respects.

Well, Not ALL Bad...
I can't say that everything bad in my life is because of the internet - that wouldn't be fair. I have made some good friends, had some good times, and exchanged valuable information, as well as goodies! I won't deny that, but I wonder if it's time to just let it all go and be an occasional user instead of a chronic user. This would mean that the blog would be updated about once a week, rather than every few days.

I'll admit that I was addicted to the pc and internet. I had my usual rituals (Ebay for the most part,) and several forums and discussion boards. I was also an mIRC junkie, and used Yahoo, MSN, and AIM. For me to lose contact in all of these has been really hard for me. I feel like I need a "fix," but no one can give it to me. Maybe it's time to just admit that I have a problem, and to address it.

Turning My Back On Technology...
I guess that this would mean that I'm turning my back on technology if I decide not to even bother with fixing my pc. It's true that alot of my work was pc-based. Before that, I used to record my "songs" on my trusty, yet antiquated TASCAM 4-track recorder. Yes, it was limited, but I found ways to make my recordings sound pretty good. That was BEFORE I found out about all the cool stuff you could do with a digital sound editor. Now I don't know if I could go back to doing things the old way - It's like stripping me of my tools. Without them, I'm useless.

Things That I Have Been Doing...
Well, I've pretty much reverted back to doing things circa 1996. I've been recording LPs on open reel tape, and tweaking and calibrating my deck to the point of near overkill. I spend hours doing this, sometimes till the wee hours of the morning. Since I don't have satellite tv anymore, I don't watch much television. I never really did to begin with, which is why I had to give it back to my roomies' kid, so she can watch her shows. Oh well - It's not the end of the world.

I've also been playing around with my radio transmitters - AM and FM. They are flea-powered, but they give me something else to do. I do use a very old pc for the music to play over them. I do like the convenience of winamp and what it offers. I can deal with that. It's my personal jukebox, so that's not a big deal. In that sense, I would not be totally turning my back on technology. I guess that it's nearly impossible to do!

We also have a swimming pool in the back yard, so that lets me get outside and get some sun. I do feel better after I have been outside for a while. Sometimes I even have fun in the pool with everyone else. I don't swim much, per se, but I do like to relax in the water, letting the sun's rays hit me.

Idle Time...
With all this idle time, it's hard not to get depressed (especially in the evening,) and I have to hide the razor blades (for obvious reasons.) Sometimes I do OK and I don't think about it - other times it's not so easy. Today was one of those days where it was very hard to resist the temptation. I guess listening to Nine Inch Nails doesn't help either. I'm sure that I'll eventually cut myself, and when I do, I'm going straight to the hospital to get help. I just don't want to get to that point.

I was afraid to tell my therapist today that I've had those thoughts. She asked if I had suicidal thoughts - I told her that I have not, and this is true. I guess that this might be classified in the same category, perhaps? I wonder if Lamictal is making me feel this way, or if I'm just in the low-end of the cycle. I quit tracking my moods a while ago, which was foolish. No sense in beating myself up for that - I just lost track of things.

Trimming The Fat...
To pay for rent and other expenses, I've slowly been selling off musical gear that I don't use anymore. It's not a loss, really. I just have less that I need to take with me when I move. I think that eventually I will have to sell off the entire studio, so I'm preparing myself for that. I think that I'm going to have to hit rock bottom, and start over again. It's really not the end of the world, but it is indeed an inconvenience. I mean, I can always buy more gear later on when I have the money. I can just visit friends when I get a musical spark of creativity. There are things that I will NOT part with though - my guitar and amp, and the bass. If it came down to that, those are the things I refuse to part with.

Should I Let Go?
I have so much stuff from my past that I've seriously been thinking of just selling off. I have an extensive music collection, in various formats, that could probably get me quite a bit on Ebay - vintage stereo equipment that I could auction off as well - a Johnny Lightning die-cast car collection (bought most when I was manic,) and a few other things.

Some might think that this is foolish, and that it goes beyond most of my beliefs. I can see their point, but I think that alot of my problems are rooted in that very past, which involved alot of that stuff. Maybe it's time to throw away that Cure CD - or maybe even all of the damned things. Hell, maybe give them to GoodWill. Maybe I AM wasting my time with obsolete technology, and that I would be happier if I would quit obssessing over silly shit like how vinyl sounds better than CDs. I should just dumb myself down and just be like anyone else who doesn't care about that stuff. There are certainly better things to worry about than quality sound reproduction! Ultimately, it's a waste of time, and not many people care about it. Why should I then? I just have to find other things to do in my life that don't involve perfection, or the impossible task of achieving it. If you think about it, that truly is a waste of time.

The Simple Life...
Maybe it would be better if I just joined a union, got a real job and made good money - so that I can just come home, open a can of beer, sit down, and watch TV all night, only to wake up in the morning so that I can do it all over again. Yeah, it would be nice to make $25/hour just doing stuff like moving the levers in an air-conditioned cab of a crane or a payloader. Then, at the end of the day, get into my $50,000 Dodge truck, decked out with all the goodies and head for home. At least I would probably not be in debt anymore, and I could afford to take real vacations, and to buy new things, not secondhand. Of course, I'd have my guitar and amp, as well as my bass with its amp. I don't think that I'd have a collection of sorts, but I'd have a few nice things. I mean, why have several variants of one thing? It's rather ridiculous, don't you think?

My Thoughts on Collecting...
The older I get, the more that I think this is so. I collected things in the past quite a bit. I was very unhappy, and it was my escape from reality. It's the "wall" that I created to compensate for my unhappiness in the world. Now, I'm not saying that everyone who collects things is an unhappy person, but you do have to wonder. Is a guy such as Steve Howe, of the band Yes, really truly happy? He has nearly 1,000 guitars in his collection, and it's constantly changing. I wonder if he is satisfied - apparently not. I know that it's an insatiable appetite, and it just keeps going. When does it end? I guess for me, it has to end soon, if not now.

Starting Over...
Perhaps if I get rid of all these icons from my past, I will sooner forget those troubled times. As far as thoughts go, maybe ECT will erase them as well. It's definitely an option. Lots of useless knowledge will probably be lost, but it wouldn't be the end of my world. Maybe then, and only then, would I be able to get on with my life and live "normally." Maybe I'll join a church or something, find the woman of my dreams, and have two lovely kids. Maybe I'll end up driving a minivan and living in a nice $250,000 home, and wanting nothing else. Now to stifle those creative urges... Well, at least I could write...


Well, I'm still alive, and things are still frustrating, but not that bad. It's hard to deal with - perhaps it will make me stronger. I've been recording my "posts" on my microcassette recorder, so I'll have to "dub" them over when I get a new cell phone. One way or another, it will all work out. Thanks for your geninue concern for me. I truly appreciate it. Talk to you soon.