Saturday, 13 October 2018

Elephant Two: More about a former mistress.

When I was young, drinking piss was just for fun.
Those days are gone.
For me anyway.

I remember as a young fella, born in 1964 and growing up and coming of age in the seventies, being surrounded by alcohol pretty much all the time.
My dad drank every day and Friday and Saturday nights were the nights he drank even more.
Sundays were often 'elevenses' either at our house or someone else's, where driving to and from was standard.
My mum also drank, this was normal life and as a kid, there was no reason to think that any of this was anything other than that. Normal.

As kids, were allowed a 'sip' from the ole mans beer. We'd take the permitted sip, then take a few more more when nobody was looking.
Normal life.

I remember the first time I ever got a wee bit drunk, I would have been about eleven or twelve and I was staying at a friends place who's dad also lived this 'normal' life and the usual permitted sips took place.
I remember waking up in the middle of the night crashed out on my mates bedroom floor, my mouth as dry as desert and my head pounding like someone was inside it trying to get out by using a sledge hammer.

I never connected that feeling with alcohol until a few years later.

My first experience of being completely annihilated was when I was about 15.
A concoction of all the different spirits a mates dad had, mixed up into one bottle. A clever as fuck plan because his ole man would never notice a bit missing from each bottle - and he never did.
I have only a few sketchy memories of that night.
One is of bumbling along local street with two mates holding me upright, the mate who's ole mans booze we hoisted was already coma'd out -  under a hedge apparently.
Another is of arriving home where both Ma and Pa were there, ironically drinking while giving me the lecture of all lectures which was pointless bu they did anyway. I never heard it. Or at least didn't remember it.
Another is of waking up in the dead of night swimming in a bed full of my own vomit.
I could have died that night, clearly it wasn't my time.
That hangover lasted for days.
Lesson, not even.

Throughout my life there are many more stories like these I could tell but I won't.

Alcohol is still societies acceptable drug, I believe because it's legal and will never not be legal.
It's the only legal way you can get completely off your face.
It's also the drug that causes the most harm both in society and in homes.

If you are at least eighteen years old and have enough money, you can legally purchase enough alcohol to kill many people.

In these modern times, alcohol can be purchased in multiple specialist stores, supermarkets, four square stores and other 'convenience' stores.
I'd hazard a bet that most people living in urban New Zealand could walk somewhere in a matter of minutes and purchase alcohol.

I'm not anti alcohol, I've made the choice to stop using it because it was no good for me personally.

What I struggle with is all the judgemental hypocrites who look down upon users of other drugs while they're knocking back the piss.

If you judge all the users of other drugs while knocking back the piss, you are basically conditioned by what society has told you is acceptable.

You've been brainwashed.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Elephant One: Up the garden path - An uneducated opinion.

I'm no political expert, would never claim to be.
In fact the term 'expert' isn't a term I'd use to describe myself full stop.

But I'm not stupid, I'm not blind and I'm not deaf.

A year ago after the 2017 general election, under the MMP system one man held all the cards.
He toyed with the system until he revealed his big decision to align himself with The Labour Party with some assistance from The Green Party to form the coalition government we now have.
This was always going to be how it went, the fact that a matter of what seems like minutes after his 'decision' he was taking The National Party to court for something I can't even be bothered remembering what was.

The government we now have and each party individually stood before us all during their respective campaigns and delivered promise after promise, pretty standard stuff in the build up to an election.
I recall a certain female Labour MP saying she had no aspirations to become the leader and certainly didn't want to be Prime Minister, this article from June last year - a few months out from the election confirms this.

A mere two months later she is announced as the new leader of The Labour Party, arguably a master stroke from the Labour spin doctors as half the nation forgot the bullshit and fell in love.

A year on and from the possibly misinformed and definitely uneducated viewpoint from where I see things, this is what I see.

Impossible to achieve promises of the building of 100,000 affordable homes which aren't even affordable to many and to qualify people have to enter a ballot.

Educators of children becoming so disillusioned they feel that going on strike is the only option they have in a bid to be heard.

Fuel prices reaching record highs with no relief in the form of reductions on the tax consumers pay on every litre.

Electricity prices so high that our elderly and low income earners simply cannot afford it.

A massive inquiry into mental health and addiction services for which it has now been revealed in a couple of things I've read recently that the government is making no real commitment to implement all or even any of the findings the inquiry comes up with.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying a different government would change any of this, it probably wouldn't.
But for me, I'm just not buying into it.
I really do think though, that the current leadership of this country is on the edge of having to suddenly stop trying to be everyones friend.

Personally, I feel like someone is trying to lead me up the garden path to nowhere and I'm not coming.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The anger within. A revelation.

Something happened to me this morning.
I believe that we all carry inside us an angry alter ego.
I see it as a remnant of some primitive gene we all carry around like an invisible bomb just waiting in there for something to detonate it.
This morning, mine made an appearance and in all honesty I struggled to keep the bastard leashed.
What this means is that I haven't been dealing with the small things, I've been suppressing them and pushing them away.
There was no one reason for his appearance this morning, he came calling at a moment when I was least equipped to deal with him. He's very skilled at hiding there waiting until I'm tired and have a lot on my mind. He recognises when it's the best time for him to spring forward and try to take over the controls.

This morning, he almost got control, which in reality means that I almost lost control.
That's a really scary thing when it happens and if we don't know how to leash this inner asshole things can go pear shaped pretty quickly.
When this asshole within makes an appearance I've learned over the years a few strategies which for me is pretty much anything physical, on my own. Today it was breaking down cardboard boxes and loading the trailer with the rubbish from our recent deck demolition and once I got to the zone today the mist cleared a bit and I started drifting back in time.

A memory from my childhood smacked me in the face.
As a young kid I had a reputation as being short tempered (A trait that followed me into adulthood) and my brothers used to goad me into losing control and flipping my shit, thinking it was a hell of a joke.
The memory that came back to me was of a strategy I developed as a child to regain control and snap myself back to reality whenever I was close to the edge and thinking about it now it's a bit weird.

As a child, when I felt myself losing control I would bite my left forearm as hard as I could until the pain brought me back to reality.
Thank fuck I didn't carry that strategy into adulthood!

In adulthood, for the most part I have been able to keep this inner asshole on a leash.
Yes, he tries to take control sometimes but I am now equipped with different strategies to keep him firmly leashed.
Without going into all the detail, during my adult life I have attended two different courses about learning to keep my anger under control, both times under court order.
Anger management. Living without violence. call it what you will, I've done it twice.
In all honesty, at the time I didn't feel I needed to attend either of the courses I attended and a part of me still thinks that way.
Neither of the courses really taught me anything and while I recall attending, I don't recall anything that was said.
I probably wasn't listening.

Anger is a natural emotion, we all have it. We all feel it.
The things that trigger it are different for us all. Learning what those triggers are is the first step.

The important thing is how we direct it when it arrives, which of course is the most difficult thing to figure out.
It shouldn't be suppressed, that only only feeds it and gives it strength, it has to manifest itself somehow.
Learning to allow it to manifest itself in a positive form is the key.
Nobody can be taught that, we need to figure out for ourselves what works and what doesn't.

Note to self:
Deal with the small stuff as it arrives and deprive the inner asshole of his sustenance.
Starve the motherfucker.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Solutions, not problems.

The human being is a highly complex and extremely complicated animal.
Arguably, the most intelligent life form on planet earth, although it seems we are the only beings with such complex societal and emotional wants and needs it often makes us our own worst enemy.
We live in a world largely created by ourselves, or at least by our ancestors, often at the expense of other species and indeed other human beings with whom we share this planet.

Unlike most other earthly life forms, we seem to have this constant need to better each other in every facet of our existence.
The world often seems to revolve around competing against each other in everything, with most of the basis for this competition being money.

Human beings have largely lost touch with what's important.
We've become a disjointed species hell bent on being the best at everything, competing against each other, often not thinking or caring about the people we brush aside in our quest for the top spot.
This is evident everywhere we look.
Everyone wants to be the best - has to be the best at everything.

Everything seems to be motivated by ego, power and greed.
Professional sports people are being paid obscene amounts of money to effectively play games that actually have zero importance to anything at all other than being a form of entertainment.
Singers/musicians with little or no real talent - or message to convey - are being paid obscene amounts of money for nothing at all.
High flying corporate executives are being paid obscene amounts of money while their customers and often their own employees struggle to provide for their families.
When massive corporates collapse under the weight of excessive greed, it's never the greedy people at the top of the tree who suffer, they walk away with millions of hidden dollars while the people who need it the most are left to wallow in the mud.

Modern society is fraught with all sorts of distractions greedy human beings have created for themselves in order to make life easier. For themselves.
The chance of easy money and an easy life is attractive to most human beings, nobody ever goes out in search of 'the hard way'.
Hard graft seems to be a thing of the past with the back breaking labour intensive jobs that have built the world we live in now considered to be beneath most people and only fit for minimum wage earners who are then exploited by those reaping all the rewards.
Machines and technology now do much of the work people used to do. This of course means things get done faster, cheaper and more profitably for those at the top while those at the bottom flounder.

I'm neither highly educated, nor qualified in anything at all other than my trade so all I have are opinions based on discussions I've had with other people and my own observations. 
When we delve into the mysteries of mental illnesses like depression, it's little wonder that people are often pushed to desperate lows where they just can't see a way forward.
Illnesses of the mind don't appear to discriminate between wealth or poverty, success or failure -perceived or real, ethnicity or gender.
I have no doubt that illnesses of the mind exist, just like illnesses of every other human body part exist. I do however, have serious doubts as to the existence of genuine illness of the mind in many instances given the widespread, seemingly wholesale diagnosing of said illnesses.
I do believe that pharmaceutical companies and many medical professionals profit from what has become a massive industry and will go to extremes such as discrediting other peoples views in an effort to protect their income streams.
I also believe that far too many diagnoses of 'depression' are made when the 'patient' is really only experiencing a difficult period in their life and would probably benefit much more from the learning of some skills or perhaps the removal of themselves from certain environments.

When a human being decides for whatever reason that they cannot remain on planet Earth any more and chooses suicide, it can send people on a quest for answers, as it did me when my younger brother chose to die.
What I've learned along the way has educated me far beyond what any qualification could have.
I've taken a holistic approach to my learning, trying to take in as much as possible from every side of every situation in order to have a broadform understanding of what leads people to suicide.
I don't study text books, but I do look at offerings from as many different directions as I can.
I believe I've formed a reasonably sound knowledge base, albeit an unofficial knowledge base devoid of any certificate in a fancy frame to back it up.

As things are, and yes, I have been guilty of this myself at times, rather than looking for solutions to the high suicide rates, most of the 'work' being done seems to be in the area of trying to discredit what other people are doing in order to implement change.
That needs to change, we need to change.
I need to change.
Everyone working in the arena of mental health and suicide prevention has their place, with most of them doing what they do for no personal reward, but simply out of the want to help other people.
That said, I do believe there are some unscrupulous operators with personal agendas, but thankfully those are few and eventually they will be found out.

There is no question as to the need for a massive shift in thinking throughout society.
It could be argued that insanely restrictive health and safety legislation and the teaching of parents to be perhaps a little too protective of their children could be creating less than resilient teenagers and young adults.
We all want our children to be safe and well, but they must also be allowed to grow and learn. Sometimes skinned knees, stubbed toes and setbacks are valuable lessons.
Often, the best lessons in life are the ones we get when things don't quite go according to plan.

I believe that the way forward is with the seeking of solutions, rather than the constant allocation of blame for perceived failings and therefore the creation of more problems.
What works for one person, won't work for someone else.
A holistic approach in which we all take a little of this, a little of that and build ourselves a collection of tools that can help firstly ourselves and can then be offered on to anyone else who might need them.
It's not about winning or losing, anyone in this arena who is genuine wants the best for everyone.

We're all learning and must continue to do so.
We should all be allowed a voice, even if we are not received well by everyone, but we should be as careful as we can in our presentation or with our choice of words so that we don't cause unnecessary offence or disrespect to anyone else with the same goals but different views on how to achieve them.
I learn every day and hopefully the choices I make are better because of it.

The future of humanity depends on the choices we all make today.
Choose wisely.