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BoricuaGato

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  1. Don't go to college unless you know what you want to study, because even when you do it is hard and a big time sacrifice. Study a trade. You can make seriously great money in the trades because every successful person needs someone to weld the bridge they take to work or to install the air conditioner for their warehouse, etc. Only go to college if you WANT to go to college, and then for a specific reason.
  2. They politicized this from the start and made it all about us vs. them so that those of us who are naturally more educated and more liberal politically would shut our brains down and refuse to think critically because we were afraid of being associated with a certain Cheeto-haired politician and his followers. It was a stroke of genius. For two years, we liberals have lined up to support everything we oppose, from invasion of privacy and body autonomy (mask and vaccine mandates) to school closures that hurt poor kids the most (they are the ones who depend on school lunches and don't have reliable Internet) to unquestioningly championing Big Pharma and even supporting punitive policies that disproportionately affect minority communities (Black Americans, for example, have the Tuskeegee experiments ringing in their ears and are suspicious about attempts to make them go first, we Puerto Ricans remember well the U.S. government's secretely experimenting on us with radiation, smallpox, and sterilization). Even as an MD who believes in vaccines and has all three shots, I am astonished by how a sickness has been used to divide us, set us one against another, and tear at the fabric of our society while overturning all the laws and rights we fought for decades to enact. It is like we have forgotten the bitter lessons of the Gay Panic AIDS campaigns of the 1980's. Don't let them continue to manipulate you. Take precautions like hand sanitizer and social distancing, get vaccinated if you think you should, and live your life.
  3. The only time I feel safe is around bedtime, with my head under a pillow and my wife sitting next to me reading.
  4. The fact it turns on, boots up, and runs for a bit before crashing suggests a heat issue. The processor is getting too hot and shutting off most of the cores to protect itself, or the RAM is. Check carefully to see if gunk has worked its way into any of the little vent slots. If you can, open the phone all the way to the motherboard. Often lint will form a glob between the camera electronics and the processor, since that is a weak spot in the case design. It could also be the battery. As batteries age, they create more heat, which creates more resistance, which creates more heat. A replacement battery may help. A trip to your local cell phone repair place for a new battery and a spritzing out with an air can and it might be as good as new.
  5. Stay away from shallow, name-it-and-claim it modern theology. Older churches like the Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Presbyterian and Reformed understand and value the doctrine of suffering. If you have not been exposed to it, the doctrine of suffering does not try to explain away suffering or say "This is all about molding you to be a better person!" Instead it says that we all suffer, God included, and we share the suffering and trials of Christ as part of being a "living sacrifice." Our sufferings are sanctified and used to help others, but it is acknowledged that they ARE suffering and not some kind of warm and fuzzy "blessing." It says suffering is an inevitable part of living in a sinful, fallen, rotting world and is not something to be prayed or happied away. I find this approach to be a lot more understandable and realistic.
  6. I swore off the news long ago. It is nothing but a drumbeat of negativity, aimed at keeping viewers in a perpetual state of anxiety. Turn it off, go outside, help a neighbor. As we say in Puerto Rico, "Los buenos somos más." (We good people outnumber the bad.)
  7. Heavenly. Beautiful sunny skies and a nice breeze.
  8. Most extended release tablets do not dissolve in the presence of stomach acid, but rather in the basic enzymes found in the small intestine. These enzymes come from your liver and pancreas. Both organs also produce chemicals, including sodium bicarbonate, to neutralize the acid in the food as it passes from your stomach to your small intestine. This raises the pH so the enzymes can do their work. If either of these systems breaks down, your food will remain acidic and digestion of proteins and other important nutrients will be hampered. Both the liver and the pancreas are heavily affected by alcohol abuse. If I were your medical professional, I would order liver and pancreas function tests stat. You need help for that drinking problem immediately. It could be developing into a life-threatening condition. Please note that this is only general advice, not medical advice, and you must speak with your medical professional about it.
  9. Plenty of people accomplish great things from their bedrooms. Proust wrote his greatest fiction in his bedroom. Mozart composed in his bedroom. Emily Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights in her bedroom. Martin Luther ended the Middle Ages from his bedroom. Florence Nightingale did most of her work in her bedroom. Larry Page founded Google in his bedroom and the first two years he ran it from there. Justin Bieber launched his career from his bedroom. Find something amazing to do in your bedroom. If it is where you feel safest, it is where you can be greatest. Success breeds success and maybe one day you can leave your bedroom, but there is nothing preventing you doing great things there.
  10. Some days life has no meaning, just as some days there is no sunshine. I am sure I am preaching to the choir here, but doubtless part of the issue is that you work 5 days and your husband is on duty the other 2 days. Maybe find a couple days during the week that are "off off" together. See if the local seminary has a student in need of pastoral experience who can cover the hospital visitations and other lay responsibilities on those off days.
  11. As I read through the heartfelt posts on this blog, I see a recurring theme: I feel like a loser because I have never succeeded. I feel resentful because no one respects my opinion. I feel lonely because I am ignored. I feel unloved because no one loves me. I am here to tell you that these thoughts, like all the other ones depression puts in our minds, are lies, damned lies. I want to share a little bit of why I know that depression is lying to everyone who thinks this way. The following may come across as a humblebrag, but I assure you it is not. It is me sharing personal experience. 1. I feel like a loser because I have never succeeded. No. That is a lie. I have had more success in life than any one man deserves. I was the first in my school to get a perfect SAT score. I sailed through an Ivy medical school on a scholarship. By the age of 28, I was Chief Surgeon in a department of a very large and respected regional medical center. By 30, I was on the board of the hospital, making me my bosses' bosses' boss. I got called to the state Capitol and even the U.S. Congress to give expert testimony. I went on television shows. I did medical consulting for Hollywood scriptwriters. Did I feel successful? Never for one minute. I never felt like I fit in, that I deserved any of it. I would wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, certain that everyone could tell I was pretending. Success is not the answer. 2. I feel resentful because no one respects my opinion. People sought out my opinion. I published a book that was reviewed by The New York Times. I went on NPR and CNN to be interviewed for my book. I got offered research fellowships at respected universities, keynote speeches at symposiums. Still I felt a weight in my chest day and night. I was never happy for colleagues when they succeeded, even though I brought the cake and the piñata. 3. I feel lonely because I am ignored. You do not want the spotlight, trust me. Not when you deal with our pain. Stage lights are hot. Media is pushy and nosy. The higher up the tree the monkey goes, the more his bottom shows. The pressure to perform and smile is a crushing burden. Through it all, I felt alone and adrift. I felt no one understood what made me tick. I felt all the attention came from people who just wanted something from me. I started turning down requests to give commencement speeches because I felt like an almighty fraud. What did I have to say to those kids? I am nobody. I got handed life on easy mode. I happen to be gifted with words, gifted with academics, and tolerably good looking. I'm not a god. Being treated like one is a sugar rush that leaves you hungry. 4. I feel unloved because no one loves me. That could be true. Or it could just be a feeling. I have a wife who loves me, friends who went to bat for me and were there for me when the guys came with the white jackets. People I barely knew showed up to help my wife and the kids. I never felt loved, but I was and am. This last point is one I want to hammer home the most: Just because you feel unloved does not mean you are. Lots of people are unloved. If you are one of them, there is no judgment here. But maybe you're overlooking something. Look again. I walked away from the big city, the bright lights, all of it. I am putting the pieces back together in a small private practice. I am lucky that even after all of what happened, I have options. I recognize that. Don't cite privilege to me. That has nothing to do with the main point. The main point is that your depression is lying to you. Your depression is not because of anything. It is a lying liar that lies and lies and lies some more. Call your depression out on its lies.
  12. As a fellow eBay seller, I've long given up on the postal service. It's been hobbled. I joined a parcel forwarding site that pools packages and sends them DHL, UPS, etc. It finds the cheapest capacity to use on off-times, such as when flights are dead-heading back to the hubs. It has been my salvation as an eBay seller. Packages take longer to go than they would if I shipped directly with UPS, but it is completely reliable and what's more important, predictable. And the membership is free, they only charge when they ship. See if something like that exists in your jurisdiction.
  13. It's a conundrums, all right. Caffeine doesn't play nice with the meds. No caffeine = headache. Headache can turn into migraine = lost day. I like my espresso straight, with no sugar or milk. But it drives my blood sugar out of whack. So I get famished and then I want to pig out on sweets. Not good when the meds already make you want to overeat. Solution: Drink coffee, deal with low-blood-sugar headache, try to ignore it, eat a couple Hanuta, tell myself tomorrow I will behave.
  14. The last 20 months have humbled me in ways I never thought possible Like so many here, I lived clinical depression for decades before the emergency that forced me to face it. There's no need to rehash the familiar story. A lifetime of dull misery, not publicly acknowledged, a successful career, education, happy marriage. The rise in tension till the sudden, definitive break. Doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist, fistfuls of medications. How can this be me? The other day, someone very close to me asked, "How do you feel now as compared to when this started?" I looked at them and did not know what to say. How do you explain to someone that you never felt much of anything before your first dose of bupropion, not even the love you share? What do I feel? Embarrassed, mostly. How did I get here? If you had asked me to name someone who would be downing Prozac every day, I'd have been the last person on my list. I was strong. I was cheerful. I was not necessarily the alpha type, but certainly the sigma male. Not needing to be the center of attention, but near it. Always ready to step into leadership on a project or bring a new person in and make them at home in any social group. My education? Head of every class, center of a dozen different groups on campus. My career? Climbing every ladder. My marriage? High school sweetheart. It wasn't that I thought people with mental struggles were weak. Certainly I did not dismiss the important work of psychiatrists. Frasier is one of my all-time favorite TV shows after all. But depressed? Not me. My life has always been an open book. Now I have things I can't tell anyone. Not even my beloved wife, because I don't want her to worry. I don't want her to know that yes, on occasion, I've stared at that bottle of klonopin and God help me, the thought has passed my mind. Look not upon the wine when it is red, says the Bible. When it sparkles in the cup and it goes down smoothly (Proverbs 23: 31). I never had a problem with alcohol, so that verse did not mean too much before. After the panic attacks went on for months, it does. That satiny smoothness of the medicine as it hits the bloodstream, a blur tool on the picture of life. Would it be so very wrong to take it all, and keep sliding further, further, into peace? I swallow hard, close the bottle, look away and occupy my mind. Look not upon it. But I'm not that guy. I'm not the guy who needs medicine, let alone thinks stuff like that. So I feel embarrassed. What is the outcome? 20 months into this, I have run the entire gamut of the resistance > acceptance train. I'm already in depression, so that's not the final station, it's the railway. I've spilled my guts in front of too many professionals in white jackets, poked and prodded the stuff that went wrong in childhood and the biochemistry of today. I want off this train. I keep looking for the stop with an exit door, but the train runs in a circle. The difference now is that I know it's running on that circle, whereas before I could hide that knowledge from everyone, even myself. Anyone in the medical field knows about the therapeutic relationship. Basically, every medical intervention has three stages. The last one is outcome. From the beginning, the health professional is supposed to say, "What do you want the outcome to be?" (in less clinical wording, perhaps). If I were a cancer patient, it would be six months of negative lab results. If I were a cardiac patient, perhaps regaining the ability to run a mile in under 10 minutes would be the outcome of that intervention. A stroke victim, a gunshot victim, a gardener with a thorn in their thumb . . . you get the picture. Each of them has an easily quantifiable outcome to attain. What's the outcome of a circular train ride? How do I know when I've arrived? Is it when I can stop taking Prozac four times a day? Then someone runs a red light and almost hits my car and three panic-attack days later, I'm back on four Prozacs. It wasn't that scary. Why can't I shake this? I broke my arm once. It didn't break again the next time I went to the park. Here is my answer I don't have one. I used to think I did. I liked studying Newtonian physics. For each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The trajectory of any object in motion is predictable till it comes to rest. Then we entered quantum physics and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, the one with Schrödinger and his famous cat. At the quantum level, nothing is neat and certain. You work with uncertain clouds of probabilities. I hate uncertainty. I like facts. I like science, I would tell people. But science is far from settled. And my own brain? It doesn't work like I want it to anymore. Either I live in a medication-induced fog that is quietly unbearable, or I curl up in bed and tremble in fear of something I do not understand. I've tried fighting it, but the swimmer can't fight the freezing current forever and will go down. How long can one float instead? Where is the rescue chopper? The last 20 months have been excruciating. I am barely getting my head around how much things have changed for me. One thing I do know is that there isn't always a good answer. Such a thought would have smelled like despair to me before. Courage is fear with its walking shoes on. I would have rejected the fear and scoffed at anyone who admitted to it. Now I am learning the meaning of courage. Is that something, at least? .
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