AsthmaDefenders

THIS is Asthma

NerdHistorically asthma was a “nerd” disorder. Portrayed by kids that could not go outside because they would start wheezing and coughing, maybe even passout. The kids that had inhalers and would take a puff when they were nervous or scared. The kids who stuttered when talking, played Dungeons and Dragons, chess, ate weird foods and dreamed of playing outside.

Having visible difficulty breathing is a way to show one has asthma.  But it is not the only way.  There are many other symptoms that one cannot see.

Think about it for a moment.  Humans who forget to drink enough water suffer from headaches, urinary tract infections, kidney stones and a variety of other ailments.  What would happen if your body was not processing oxygen (and trace gases) efficiently?

head in the cloudsOne thing that happens is the loss of mental faculties.  The brain requires quite of a bit of oxygen to run correctly.  A person who is not getting the proper treatment for their asthma may have trouble thinking clearly acting distracted.

Another is loss of motivation. Why do anything that takes what little energy you might have away from you?  All that matters is … well, nothing.  Nothing takes no energy to maintain. So you get sucked into this vicious circle of nothingness (I experienced a whole year of this.  It is terrible.  I will not go back.)

Why bother making the bed?  Why bother going to work?  Why bother making friends?

whybotherMost of January I was very unmotivated.  I had trouble concentrating, planning, thinking and doing.  It took all my energy to get up, go to work, come home and prepare to repeat.  I did not have energy to create art, do chores or even sleep.  I came home and laid in bed thinking about nothing…  Why bother, I do not have the energy to do anything.

… Wait…. That sounds like Depression!

That is what I thought!

Once  I made the connection (it took forever.  So many bad days…) I started to look for articles relating to a connection between Asthma and Depression.  My handicapped brain had trouble finding many.  Most specialists seem to think that a person is Depressed and has or develops Asthma, which makes the depression worse.  Depression first, Asthma second.

Going along that logic, I am depressed and I developed asthma. I do not think so.

I developed asthma due to a poorly treated bronchial infection and moving to an area with known poor air quality.  Add my existing allergies and POOF, I have asthma.  I am sure I am not the only person that developed asthma later in life.  This was not something I was born with.

On the same note, I have never been diagnosed as depressed.  Yeah, I have bad days like everyone else.  Overall I really like living, and see the sad days as a way to make the good ones better.  I have a mind to dream things and energy to make them happen.  On a consistent basis.  None of the traditional flow and ebb common in people with depression.

Maybe a professional should look into poorly managed Asthma causing Depression.  There are articles on how asthma makes depression worse, how asthma medication can worsen or cause depression, but not much outside of that.  Maybe it is one of those “no kidding” kind of things.  So simple we know it to be true, so no one researches it.

I have gotten additional medication for my asthma.  I hope to see some results in a week or so (it takes a while, sometimes…)  The main fruits of my research are that I CAN do things to keep the depressive side affects at bay.

  1. Take my meds.  On time, every day.
  2. Exercise!  Even 20 minutes of yoga can greatly improve mood.  Most providers recommend 10 minutes of cardio to help strengthen the lungs.
  3. Friends.  Yes, get out and talk to people.  Even if you have to fake feeling great and being upbeat until you are (it works, so say the professionals.)  Ideally should have friends that understand what is going on and can deal with it.
asthmaheros

Asthma Prevention Heros

That is about all I have on this topic today.

I really hope that it helps someone a little bit.

 

 

 

The Difference of One

It is hard, sometimes, to not realize that you are only a single voice in a large crowd and not many, if any, will ever hear you.

There are many other analogies for this:

One light in the sky.

One grain of sand on the beach.

One flower in the garden.

What you say or how you say it will not make it very far, in most cases.  Your message gets lost before you can finish thinking about it.

Everyone wants to be heard / seen/ felt… sensed in some way.  Some people shout, some talk softer, some band together under one cause and their voices become much louder.

However you do it you just want to reach people.  If you goal is to reach 10 people and shouting works, great.  If you want to reach 100 people and speaking quietly works, go for it.  If you want to reach a country or make an impact on the world, joining a group is usually the way to go.  It does not matter how you do it, you want to reach and connect with others.

I think the thing that depresses me the most, is that all the shouting, shining, and growing, will probably not make a difference in the world.  Not even in your own garden, beach or sky. Everything will be the same as it ever was, had you not existed.

Everything we do is for naught but our own self-importance. Meaningless…

Then…

You talk to a friend (or a fan, or family, perhaps) and your view point changes.  You realize that you made a difference to someone.  That their life is less without you in it.

Even being able to effect one life is worth all the shouting, shining, and growing you can do.

Be the best light you can, shine your brightest.  Be the best grain of sand, best flower, best voice you can be.  Do what you can to make one life better.

One life that benefits from anything you do, is all one needs to keep going.

Proof that one voice, one light, one grain or one flower can improve the world.

Thank you friend.

BirthdayPeacock

My birthday greeting for my friend. You may not feel like it, but you are amazing just the way you are.

And Happy Birthday J

serenityrosebookcover

Book review: Serenity Rose -10 Awkward Years ~ Aaron Alexovich

I am having a hard time picking my favorite acquisition from Emerald City Comicon 2015. I did not pick up very much, six books (2 are not comics) a set of comics, two prints and a tee shirt. I cannot choose which one is my favorite. Maybe I am just hung up on how awesome my green hair was.

serenityrosebookcover

Serenity Rose book cover.
Check it out on http://www.heartshapedskull.com/

Serenity Rose is the first graphic novel /comic book that I have done a review on.  Not the first I have read, but the first I really want to share. It is 500 pages of interesting story and awesome art.

Serenity Rose prefers to go by Sera. Sera is a witch. The only witch living in Crestfallen, a city in a parallel universe. I feel like it is located in New Hampshire or there about. There are a few pages in the book about Crestfallen and its history.  I just did not memorize them.  I am such a bad reader some times.

Sera is a bit of a recluse, she has had a rough life. Being one of only 5 witches in the USA, she was put on display a lot as a child. Now as a young adult she prefers to hang out in her room. She has a pretty boring life until she gets talked into going to a concert with a friend and ends up fighting a vampire. Things take off pretty quickly.  Especially once she gets fed up with herself and how her life is not going anywhere. She discovers lot about herself once things get moving and even makes friends with another witch.

A story of coming into one’s own and discovering what makes you unique and happy.

Read the forward, but after you finish the book. I read it first and I had some preconceived notions about the story. Reading the forward after links up things without messing with the story and will give you a few “ah-ha” moments. Those are always fun.

I was kind of hesitant to buy this at first. Most big graphic novels that started as comics can get kind of repetitive and boring. I have trouble staying interested and I will put it aside. Another thing that caused hesitation was the size of the book. It is 500 pages and could probably take out a few zombies if you swing it about. I did not want to lug it around all day. Then there is the “filler” content. That can be boring and pointless also.

This book is NOT boring or repetitive. I had to stop and digest every 80-100 pages, a good sign. This book was action packed. Lots of random and cool monsters, thought provoking statements and the art sets the mood well.

This book could probably be a good novel, sans pictures, but the art really adds so much. You are really able to identify with Sera better. You can see her shrink away when she is afraid; get taller when she is angry or brave. You can catch the nuances of the characters with the art.  Words probably would just get in the way.

Yes it is huge. I would not want to drop it on my foot. Once I started reading it, the size did not matter. Every time I stopped reading, I would put the ribbon (it comes with a book mark ribbon) in my place and look to see where I was. Sometimes I was disappointed and sometimes I was amazed. When the end came I was sad. I want to know more about Sera and her adventures in Crestfallen and the magic based world she inhabits.

As for the filler it is all written by Mr. Alexovich. There are some awesome afterwards from the original comics, some cute “Dear Abby” Q and A. There is even some fan art hiding in the back. All-in-all, AWESOME!

This is staying on my private book case. I am afraid I might not get it back if I lent it out.

Negativity Monster

The Negativity Monster strikes again. Out of the blue, during my bed time routine.
“You can’t  do it.”the Monster says.
“You messed it up already. It is never going to be as good the second time around .”
“You don’t know how to do that. Learning will take to long.”
“Why do you even bother trying?”

No matter how much anyone likes my work, it is never enough to shut up the Monster.  It nibbles at my good mood. Eroding any joy I had about finished works. Blocking any good intentions I had for starting something new.

I hate you Monster.
Just leave me alone. I want to do things. I want to have fun and joy, without you lording over me.
Bug off.

You always make me spiral into despair. Nothing gets done and my visions and dreams go un-created. Some even die before they have a chance to be examined.
I want to see things, Monster. Not  have my sight blocked by you because you say that I ‘can not’ do it.
That lamppost is interesting, even  if I have looked at it 100 times. This time is is interesting.

Stop talking  to me about my failures.
I have many succeses. You may see them as small and unworthy. They are still sucesses.

Stop pointing out all the things I have not done.  Stop telling me that I will never do them. Stop saying that I am stuck where I am and I will NEVER move on or up.
I will do things at my pace. I will choose what I will and will not do. I am not stuck. I can move on and up.

Monster, leave me in peace

New Art Project: Help Needed!

I have a large art project brewing in my noggin.  I have been “building” it for a few years now.  I have the “how” all worked out.  Now I just need some information, someone to take it when I am done and a clean garage to build it in.  It is going to be rather large.

My art piece is going to be a “installation” piece.  Big and interactive.  Sitting in a chair on the bottom left you will see yourself in “the pit of despair” or the bottom of the proverbial pit. The lowest your life could go.  In the top right corner (accessible by a ladder or similar) will be the person who is offering to help by the means of a rope down a hole.

Looking up you will see a tiny spot of life and a rope leading to it.  From the top you will see a deep pit but nothing that is in it.  My goal is to show what it looks like from a person who is at the bottom of their life from two points of view.  The victim and the supporter.  To do this I need some more information.

Background:

I have not had anything really bad happen to me.  I have never been at the bottom of a pit, with the feeling that I could not get out.  I am usually the supporter, trying to help people out of the pit, with a bit of rope.  It is hard to show something when you have not experienced it. 

I have many friends my spouse and I have helped over the years.  I know what it is like to help. It is hard.  All of these experiences have accumulated into this desire to create an art piece that will show others who have not been in either situation what it is like.

What I Need:

This is going to come out inconsiderate. I apologize in advance.  I am trying to understand and build something, not offend anyone who is willing to help.

I need to know about your experiences at either end of the spectrum. 

What was it like to be at the bottom of the pit?  What did you feel / see / hear / understand? How did it effect your view of the world and the people that were trying to help?

What was it like to watch someone falling or struggling at the bottom of the pit? What did you feel / see / hear / understand? How did it effect your view of the world and the people that you wanted to help?  What did it change in you?

Here is the really insensitive bit.  I do not NEED the whole story.  I will take the whole story and work it into the piece, if you want to share it.  You do not HAVE to share the whole thing if you do not want.  My real interest is the feelings and how it changed your perception of the world, during and even after.

I will not share your story or information without your consent.  Take whatever steps you wish to ensure your security. I am not interested in injuring anyone over this.

Second Thing I Need:

I do not want to keep this when I am done.  I am making it to share with others.  I will need some help finding it a home.

 

Thank you for reading my post today.  Thank you, if you choose to send anything my way.

 

You can email me at MereMagicDesigns@gmail.com.

Much to Post about Nothing

Ah the joys of working in an office environment during the Holiday’s.  Nothing much happens.  I have caught up on all of my paperwork, checked on my Cafe in CafeLand, poked around Craigslist, read most of the newer blog posts (even liked a few,) and now I am getting close to being bored.  No better time to come up with a post to fill the time.

First bit of Nothing

If Melancholy really was a town I was wondering how you would find it.  Most of the time I just “fall” into it, but I have noticed that one can choose to go there or take a road or path to get there.  These observations lead me to believe that Melancholy Town is in a valley with steep walls that is close to the “Road of Life.”  This way when you are walking on the road you can misstep and fall into Melancholy Town.  You can also see an exit from the main road and choose to walk down the hill into Melancholy Town.

Then I started thinking about the geographical location of the rest of the emotions.  Depression would be a dark gray, grassy plain a short walk from Melancholy Town, you can take a visit to Blah ditch as you head over (just in case you do not want to be Depressed.)  When it comes to Anger I start to have problems with my map.  Anger could be some mountains on the far side of the Depression Plains, or it could be a boggy swamp.  Most people think that Anger is in opposition of sad, but both emotions feed into each other and Depression can be a symptom of Anger and vice versa.  I think mountains because they can naturally be shades of red, though a swamp is dark and will “suck” people in just like anger can.  Maybe a mountainous region surround by a bog?  I am going to have to sketch this out one day.

I did not really thing of the positive emotions.  Joy and Bliss would have to be on the other side of “Road of Life.”  I envision lovely brooks and meadows as far as the eye can see.  Some rivers and lakes for the “deeper” emotions.

 

Second bit of Nothing

Working with spread sheets on a daily basis can be really draining.  I feel like my brain is going to ooze out my ear at any moment.  When I finally got everything updated and calculated I was bushed (part of the reason I am close to bored.)  As much as I love Excel, I hate it at the same time.  I would love to just have each cell input as I think about the contents of it.  If math needs to be done, just mystically happen.  Automatically know that I want the cell formatted as text and not general (who wants a 8 digit number to turn into a date?)  I have had to do a lot of reconciling of various records and files with other programs and databases.  Some were much easier than others.  My brain still feels like mush, just thinking about it makes it mushier.

My Third bit of Nothing is/was kind of negative.  I was thinking about the people that protest in front of the Planned Parenthood.  I wonder if they were going to keep to their Thursday ritual and spread hate during the holidays.  I hope not.  That is already a bad thing to be doing.  Protesting during the holidays instead of spending time with your family is just stupid, borderline moronic.

Well, I think that is pretty much all I have right now.

I tried to add some photo’s but my office computer is blocking the popup.

Maybe some artist out their can come up with a sketch for what geographical emotions would look like.  It sounds like an interesting project.  I might work on it too.

Happy Holidays

 

Melancholy Me

I have been having a pretty high mood lately (I have been happy and energetic.)  I suppose that there is no surprise that it should end.  Now, pretty suddenly, I find my self a bit melancholy. I suppose it is better than being blah.

I do not really like being “generally sad.”  At least I am still feeling things.  Nothing is worse than the “blah’s.”  I cannot create anything with those.  I spent quite a bit of energy avoiding blah.  I would rather be really happy or really depressed.  Bother are great motivators to paint and write.  The blah’s are just a field of monochrome flat mid-tone gray.  Nothing to see, hear or feel.  Vast expanses of blah.

Melencolia I

Durer’s images are really true to their title. You can feel the depression weighting down on the figures. He was also crazy smart. All of the solid shapes are supposedly mathematically perfect or mathematically interesting.

When I am melancholy and even depressed I am thinking.  I think about dark gray and even black things.  Things I do not like about myself, things I dislike about others,  the scary things that keep others up at night.  I paint the ocean at night.  The ocean is a very versatile object to paint.  At night it can show depression or melancholy.  In the day it can show joy and happiness.  At dawn there is hope and at twilight there is dread.

Why am I melancholy?  Lots of small things under one other thing that did not work out well.  Think of it like the straw that broke the camels back.  I was happy and able to deal with all the little things that did not work out right.  After a while one thing that I think is important does not work well and POOF!  melancholy.  The same reasons that anyone would get there, really.

While I am here, in Melancholy town, I think I will work on some paintings.  I was working on one that was under a grey sky (it is about to rain in the painting, I think.)  I might just finish that.  I might also start on an ocean scene.  those are pretty relaxing and lots of people

like them, so it should be easy to “unload.”

While I am painting my dim and dark paintings I will probably think some dim and dark thoughts.  It is a familiar place, this emotion of melancholy.  I spent a good portion of my young adult life here.  More than some 18-22 year olds and less than others, maybe it was “average.”  I do not know.  I do know that I know the roads that lead out quite well.  I may just tarry until I can create something and leave.  I may hang out for a while and just feel sorry for myself.  Maybe I can get a really dark painting or drawing out of it.

Reflection

Genius! I love this picture for an artists reflection.

I know many people that get depressed when their happy side fails to get them attention.  Not so for me. There is rarely “attention” seeking when melancholy strikes.  It is just a state of mind where I am not really happy.  It is really pretty low key and sometimes relaxing.  It may be just what I need before the holiday’s strike in full force, a nice break from extremely tiring emotions. 

It is also a time when I can be overly real (is that possible?) with myself.  I can look at myself, my flaws, my gems (good points) and I can look at things around me without worrying that they are going to bring my mood down.  I am already down, not much further to go! The view is different in Melancholy town.  It is not bad, just different.  The difference allows me to see some of the things that I take for granted and some of the things that I would normally ignore or justify (like getting the wrong drink from the barista.)  For the next week or so I will be overly honest and a little mean, with everyone (even myself.)  In the end it will pass and I will be back to happy.