If I Should Die Before I Wake

September 25, 2013

Last night I had to write a reflection on how my personal beliefs surrounding death affect my worldview.  I discussed my thoughts on what I believe happens after we die, and on what I hope to leave behind and take forward when I go.  I’d like to share an excerpt with you:

“Shakespeare’s Othello said, “I have loved not wisely, but too well.”  I would rewrite this for myself, saying instead “I have not always loved wisely, but well.”  “Love” in this instance wouldn’t be limited to romantic love, but all forms of love.  I don’t know how successful I’ll be.  I’m human.  I make mistakes.  I get hurt, and I hurt others.  Forgiveness isn’t always easy, but I don’t want to die without giving or receiving it wherever possible.”

I would rather go through life with an open heart – though this also leaves me open to pain – than a closed and miserly one.  To be honest, I think I tend toward the latter.  I’ve loved unwisely, be it romantically or otherwise, and have borne the pain of the mistakes. It has left me wary.  I have also loved when others thought me foolish to do so, and have been rewarded.  I wouldn’t be married to the man I am now if I had listened to other people instead of my own heart.

A classmate recently asked me how I knew that it was safe to trust the man who would become my husband.  I gave the best answer I could, which is that I couldn’t know that with absolute certainty.  I felt that I knew him, knew that I loved him, and had to take the rest on faith.  Then again, he had to do the same.  We’ve been together for over 20 years now, therefore it seems to have worked.  Of course, it might not have, but we’d never know if we didn’t try.

It’s that way with friendships, too.  We open ourselves to our friends.  Sometimes it turns into a beautiful thing (cue the end of Casa Blanca), and occasionally they let us down horribly (the prom scene in Carrie comes to mind).  Though I joke that I’d like to become a hermit, the truth is that I would rather risk myself and have a few friends than to be locked away in isolation.  Unless there’s an endless supply of good books, because good books can make for really excellent friends.

So I really would rather come to the end of my life having loved well, if sometimes foolishly: family, friends, animals, nature, books, life.

Especially books, because now and again foolish books are the best sort.

Avoiding Death (in More Ways than One)

September 24, 2013

We are spending so much time on death in our Crisis & Trauma class that the Grim Reaper is in danger of getting a swelled head.

I am totally slacking.  I should be reading a couple of chapters for C & T tomorrow.  But I spent all day Sunday and today on schoolwork, and I’m over it.  I’ve just now finished writing a reflection on my personal views of death and how they affect my worldview.  Isn’t that enough?  I’ll skim the chapters tomorrow.  Instead I am writing to you, buying music, and watching the Giants vs. Panthers game from the other night.

That game?  Sad.  Just sad, I tell ya.  Then again, so are my stats for the football pool this past week.  Let this be a lesson to you all: apply the Multiple Choice Test rule to picking teams.  Once you’ve circled one, don’t change it, especially late at night when your judgment may or may not be impaired by sleep deprivation.  Live, learn and, no matter how badly an opposing team is imploding, don’t bet on the Buccaneers.

(That would be my late night change that never should have happened, like getting beer goggles and having to stifle a scream the following morning when you see who you’re sleeping next to.)


See Why I Disappear?

September 21, 2013

It’s not much, but here’s my homework for this week:


Mental Health Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment (Monday)

Write up a diagnosis of Mrs. Z



  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Impulse, Oppositional, and Conduct disorders
  • Eating disorders

DSM-IV-TR in Action:

  • Ch. 5   Overview of Selected Childhood Disorders: The Disruptive Behavior Disorders

Selecting Effective Treatments:

  • Ch. 2   Mental Disorders in Infants, Children, and Adolescents

Journal Articles:

  • Ritalin Gone Wrong
  • The Medicated Child

Assigned web pages on: Conduct Disorder, Tourettes, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


Crisis & Trauma Theory and Counseling (Tuesday)

Write a reflection on my personal ideas regarding death, and how they affect my worldview


Death and Dying, Life and Living:

  • Ch. 14  Young and Middle Aged Adults
  • Ch. 15  Older Adults


Appraisal and Its Application in Counseling (Thursday)

1 Take-home quiz that counts for 2


Integrative Assessment:

  • Ch. 7  Reliability and Validity

Statistics for People Who (Think They) Hate Statistics:

  • Ch. 6  Just the Truth



*The DSM-5 is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition, used by mental health professionals  in the U.S.   It lists various disorders with their diagnostic criteria, description and specifiers, differential diagnoses and potential co-morbidity, etc.







Work (Sort Of) In Progress

September 21, 2013

As you can see, this native became restless and I decided to change things up.  It still needs some work, but it’ll do for now.

Instead of choosing and customizing the theme, I really should have been doing some homework.  I couldn’t begin to focus on that, though.  Randy, who works harder than anyone I know and who therefore deserves a vacation more than anyone I know, had this week off from his full-time job.  This is truly great, except that I never get anything done when he’s around.  It’s not his fault; this is entirely on me.  I have difficulty focusing on assignments sometimes, and when you throw Randy’s presence into the mix, the challenge multiplies tenfold.  He’s home during the day tomorrow, too, so I really should stop writing now and get some work done tonight.

Yes, I think I’ll do that.

This Is Stupid Part I

September 20, 2013

In order to get pics in the featured strip, I have to post pics, one per post.  It won’t let me do it retroactively, so I can’t set old images posted.  Please feel free to ignore these posts, meant only to put images in that strip.


September 20, 2013

I’ve been drinking decaf tea.

I’ve taken a benedryl.

It’s 4:46 AM.

I don’t think I could be much more awake.


Death. Dying. All Is Grey. All Is Lost. Just Ask Kaepernick.

September 18, 2013

Four weeks of death, with some loss thrown in on the side.

No, I haven’t lost (or misplaced) anyone this month.  It’s my Crisis and Trauma class.  The prof’s specialty is dying and bereavement, so we’re getting heavy doses.  I had to write a list of all of my personal losses (any loss, not just death) that I could remember, rating each as minor, moderate, or major.  Seven pages later, I was unaccountably depressed.

*eye roll*

No fear.  I learned a long time ago to take time out and remind myself of my good qualities and accomplishments.  I didn’t plunge into the depths of despair.

If she doesn’t stop bringing up Christian Grey, though, I just might.  Tonight she let us know that she approved of his therapist.

Good to know.

I haven’t gotten that far yet.  I’m only on p. 135 or thereabouts.  They’ve just had sex, and his mother has let herself into his apartment, ready to burst into the bedroom.  I figured that was a good stopping place.

I had to read about death, you see.  And oppression, poverty, and mental illness.  But mostly death.  And some loss.

Speaking of loss, did you see how badly the 49ers got spanked by the Seahawks?  Couldn’t happen to a better team.  I’d like to think it will teach Harbaugh, QB Colin Kaepernick, etc.  some humility, but I won’t hold my breath.  I still need oxygen to exist.


September 17, 2013

I didn’t get all of my homework done.

I didn’t get all of my game watching done.

I didn’t get much reading done.

I guess you could say I found balance.

Mission accomplished.