Why They Call It a Crazy Train

There are reasons people call it a Crazy Train

Huffing, puffing, fuming

44833 / Pixabay

Like a train, crazy is big. It’s heavy. It can’t be steered–only directed by planned pathways. It’s loud and dangerous. It’s thundering and crushing. It carries virtually incalculable weight.

However, it can be jumped from provided one accounts for the risks and pain of jumping. And–with great amounts of effort, energy, and time–it can be stopped.

Crazy momentum

WikiImages / Pixabay

Thankful for ADHD

At first, they look random...

676567 / Pixabay

Beautiful Distractions

ADHD is a conventionally a “disorder” in that it is an imbalance of the mind and comes with it’s own set of challenges and impairments. It should be approached, like any other animal, with respect for the harm it can inflict. But I think it’s naive to call it a weakness. The very challenges it brings spark creativity and motivation to take action in a special way.

It’s likely that if there were no ADHD, there would be little to no:

  • Midnight doughnut/taco/ice cream runs
  • Creative and wildly imaginative stories and screenplays
  • Unorthodox yet excellent solutions to engineering problems
  • Stand-ups against corruption in the established order
  • Awkward yet awesome toys
  • No persistent adventurers
  • No Gandalfs; or Tolkiens; or fantasy writers; or fiction
  • Resourcefulness
  • Jokes to relieve everyone in overwhelmingly sad circumstances
  • Art for art’s sake
  • Willingness to break away when everyone else is stuck and…
  • Willingness to stay on task when everyone else wants to quit

Just saying.

I’m really thankful for those in my life who wrangle the ADHD bulls within themselves.

 

condesign / Pixabay

Not Alone

Amazing quote…

A man alone is a neighbor of God.

–From the film, Baran

 

aatlas / Pixabay

No such thing as a Real Job

Always under construction

Confession: I turned my work into a job and the world that mattered the most to me into work.

Lemme ‘splain.

[Read more…]

Kurt Cobain’s birthday this past Thursday–he would have been 47

I wonder how the rest of the band members feel on this day (February 20th). I wonder how his family feels. I wonder what it was like to have the stomach pains that he endured, created or given.

Do they drag out the old sad stories? Do they work extra hard to keep them put away?

I wonder how Neal Young feels about Cobain quoting his song at the very end of his life:

“My, my, hey, hey,
Rock and roll is here to stay
It’s better to burn out than to fade away
My my, hey hey”

I wish he had stayed with us.

And he didn’t fade away.

 

Check!

Sleep: done!
Give thanks: done!
Affirmations: done!
Reading: Choose Greatness. Done!
Exercise: done!
Day vertical: F—ING DONE!

Building Willpower – from Belle Beth Cooper at Buffer

This is a really rich and practical refresher on building willpower. I love how Belle Beth Cooper makes the keys/bullets/nuggets so easy to find. She takes pages of text and hours of information and turns it into a refreshing slap in the face to get you moving.

 

The science of self-control: 6 ways to improve your willpower

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Practical tips in managing Depression from Therese Borchard

Therese Borchard: 12 Steps Toward Freedom from Depression

Theresa Borchard’s “12 Steps Toward Freedom from Depression” is a great list of tips. These are things that are good for anybody, but crucial for those managing depression.

There are a lot of great tips but this one is particularly well-put to me. I like her style.

This one is the toughest steps: directing my thoughts is somewhat like a traffic policeman standing out in the middle of a highway during a storm. Some of the drivers (thoughts) get a bit agitated when the dude in the neon vest tells them they can’t go a certain way…that if they do, they will regret it. Oh yes, they will. Because getting their brains out of the gutter (where toxic emotions live) proves more difficult than you think. I have a bunch of creative ways–much like the policeman’s hand signals–in which I like to untwist my distorted thoughts…such as differentiating between fiction (fantasy) and nonfiction (reality) in my busy noggin.

I really appreciate how her tips are not only implementable and practical in the now, but they aren’t magical thinking or fluff. She is honest about how things like this don’t make it all go away. But they do help, they do work, and she has the personal experience to back them up.

Hope is more than wishful thinking...

Hope on…

All things grow

If I was crying,
In the van with my friend,
It was for freedom
From myself and from the land

I made a lot of mistakes…

I made a lot of mistakes…

You came to take us
All things go, all things go
To recreate us
All things grow, all things grow
We had our minds set
All things know, all things know
You had to find it
All things go, all things go

–Sufjan Stevens, Chicago

I never knew how much I wanted freedom until I really knew I didn’t have it. Truly having firsthand knowledge of working for The Man, not having the luxury of going where I want and when, now knowing if it will get better, and the cycle of keeping all of that going; the searing sadness and the nameless gnawing of not following what I felt tailored for, somehow; to live abundantly and freely instead of being stared down by…something else.

I must have my freedom. I have a Recreator working in me–even when I don’t feel it.

Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”

–Revelation 21:5

Hacking the brain and switching off depression

I heard an incredible story on NPR today, during the TED hour, that has me reeling. I’m still thinking about it and am stirred deeply by it.

Lighting enlightenment

Switching on the brain

Treating movement and cognitive functioning with deep brain stimulation

The particular interview I’m talking about was with neurosurgeon Andres Lozano, and his teams deep brain stimulation with electrode implants. (You can see the video and the transcript by clicking here.) They were able to literally switch off (with a remote) tremors in Parkinson’s patients. They were also able to switch off depression for some sufferers.

 

Switch…it…off.

 

The logical outcome of this was that they switched on motivation.

 

Mischievous neurons

‘Telling a neuron, “Now that’s enough.'”

This part of the interview hit me so hard that I got misty. What an amazing experience it would be:

So the first thing we did was we compared, what’s different in the brain of someone with depression and someone who’s normal? And what we did was PET scans to look at the blood flow of the brain and what we noticed is that in patients with depression, compared to normals, areas of the brain are shut down. Those are the areas involved in motivation and drive and decision-making, and indeed, if you’re severely depressed, as these patients were, those are impaired. You lack motivation and drive. The other thing we discovered was an area that was overactive – area 25. And area 25 is the sadness center of the brain.

If I make any of you sad, for example, if I make you remember the last time you saw your parent before they died or a friend before they died, this area of the brain lights up. It is the sadness center of the brain. And so patients with depression have hyperactivity, the area of the brain for sadness is on red-hot. The thermostat is set at a hundred degrees. And the other areas of the brain involved in drive and motivation are shutdown.

So on the basis of those observations, we embarked on a study to implant electrodes in area 25 and turn on the electricity to see whether we could turn down the activity in this area to see whether this would have some benefit in people with so-called treatment resistant depression.

…So many of the patients will say that they have this black cloud over them or they have this tremendous weight – this pressure on their chest. And within – turning this on, within two or three seconds, that sensation disappears in about two-thirds of the patients.

…They say, this burden is lifting. I feel a tremendous relief. And then they start looking around, then they start becoming more engaged. These are people who often do not leave the house, who sit in a chair all day, and all of a sudden, they’ll say, I feel like doing some housekeeping. Or a man will say I feel like going into my garage and, you know, fixing the car. A tremendous sort of call to action to do things that they were not able to do for many weeks and months. And all of this occurs within 10 or 15 seconds of turning on the stimulator.

–Andres Lozano

Hacking depression

I can’t imagine this kind of turnaround…Or maybe I can.

The most amazing, persistent thought to me is that of the possibility. To know that it is a thing which can be targeted this way at all is very hopeful. Of course, we think in our minds and we say with our lips that depression can be treated with willpower and changing of habits. It’s hard of course, but it is true and has been effectively proven. But the sinister power of deep depression is its ability to exploit the fear within the sufferer that it is a thing which cannot be moved. It is you. It just is who you are, and you cannot escape it.

We’ll never to be able to make all our problems go away by flipping a switch. But this is an amazing reminder that depression and other mood disorders don’t just have to be the way it is; that they are, in fact, abnormal; and that they are, in fact, real. There is a power that comes with realizing something, and giving it a name.