Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bad Dog. Over and Out of It.

Today, unusually for him, our dog Scout scooted out the front door while I wasn't looking and went for a long romp before I whistled him home.  He didn't come quite home--he was cowering in the driveway, knowing he'd been bad.  He'd been out playing with other dogs, so I assume, and wouldn't come right to me--I had to pick him up and then enforce solitary confinement in the bathroom for a spell.  He knew he was guilty!

But he is not troubled by it; animals don't feel guilt, they only know certain behaviors issue in certain outcomes.  Lacking self-consciousness, they are in no danger of becoming Presbyterians.

Guilt.  Why I can't attend church.  In a depressed state one only hears of one's shortcomings, not the grace of God.  Just as in reading the bible, all the condemnatory verses echo in your head and none of the saving verses obtain.  For me religion was all or nothing--either we attained the ideal of Christ or we failed.  Lukewarm rehearsals and socialization in a religious pattern I could never accept at face value, the role of religion in general society.  I wanted New Testament purity, something I sought early on in my faith, attending any number of sects striving for the same thing.  Alas, these sects were built on personality cults and forms of brainwashing to attain a false purity, but they helped fill in an identity for me.  Anything's better than a vacuum (including a broom for sweeping linoleum).

See?  I refuse to lose my sense of humor.  I'm a refusenik.  Also a beat-up-on-myselfnik. 

My therapist keeps me in the woodshed with CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), telling me not to wallow in depression but climb out through positive thinking.  She's never been depressed as I have, but she makes a good point.  If one can't control one's feelings, the best approach is to control one's thoughts, however difficult.  Nevertheless (and I have polled those bipolars close to me about this), for the sufferer it seems the feelings always precede the thoughts, one reason for medication working when talk won't.  But my medications are barely doing the job, despite my shrink's best efforts and the huge expense. 

Did you know that the new atypical antipsychotic, Abilify, costs $800 for thirty tablets in the USA?  I order 100 tablets from Canada for $400 for a net savings of about $2000.  But the drug companies want to outlaw even this loophole.  Greedy SOBs.  And Obamacare, dispensing with the cherry-picking of insuring only those without preconditions, won't be on board until 2012, and I'm sure the insurance companies will raise everyone's premiums to compensate. 

Trying to get private insurance for my mate has been a nightmare, especially in my condition; I finally settled on something called "CIA!"  I had to cancel two other policies that I'd patched together to resemble something like major medical insurance for her.  And over the phone, all the companies badmouthed each other.  Beware of Patriot health care for one; they're useless.  And NBLA won't refund your joining fee and premium for one month.  When you try to cancel, both entities send you to salesmen who try to talk you out of it, and in my condition it was hard to stand firm against their wiles, but I did.  Predators.  Capitalism is predatory, but at least it offers choices.

I have a choice to go camping with my daughter and a friend tomorrow down in Santa Cruz and I think I shall try to do it, although the first image in my mind were the high cliffs of Highway 1 where I could conveniently drive off.  I won't fall for it, but recall in Annie Hall where Woody Allen is being driven to the airport by Christopher Walken, who says "Sometimes I get the uncontrollable urge to cross the middle line and head-on another car."  However neurotically, Woody clings to life, so the look on his face was priceless.  They made it to the airport.  But I'm acquainted with such fantasies when I drive, though God knows I wouldn't act on it, since it would harm others--why a cliff is more inviting.  But I won't do it--my daughter wants me around to walk her down the aisle some day, and there are others who want me to stick around.  My therapist encourages me to stop all like thinking so I will at this moment.

Yesterday wasn't a bad day.  I did four loads of wash, did a large amount of grocery shopping, washed the car and cooked dinner.  Today I look back in amazement.  Two steps forward and three steps back.  Whoops?  Three steps forward and....clunk, down the basement stairs.  One step forward and vapor lock.  One step backwards and off the dock.  Tickety-tock, tickety-tock.  There's a crack in the engine block.

Quaker state will sludge your engine, avoid it.

Pennzoil rules!  Or Castrol.


Gomer Pyle saying "Shazzam!"  I dream of Jeanie.

Heironymo's mad againe.  When then Ile fit you.

These fragments I have shored against my ruins.

Shantih Shantih Shantih

Over and out of it,



  1. "Capitalism is predatory, but at least it offers choices."

    Would be great on a t-shirt! You say some magical things sometimes.

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