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Another kitty getting close to the end...

Owen, Sir Cheese Cat, the food beggar, the head-butter, the love cat is very close to being on his way out.

He's been dropping weight and having difficulty eating for some time now. Recently not eating very much at all. While i was out day before yesterday Ben had to take him in to the vet as he was meowling and acting especially weird/uncomfortable. Chester (our other cat) seemed very concerned.

B said the Xrays were grim. Large mass surrounding the whole liver, spreading into the abdomen and filling it up. End-stage liver cancer, probably. Test results are on their way but it doesn't matter as the tumor or mass or whatever is so large and Owen is so old and in poor health that it is inoperable. They sent B home with an appetite stimulant and pain meds (cat morphine basically/Buprenorphine) but told him it is really time to put Owen down.

When Max had to be put down unexpectedly (cancer) and when Gandalf slowly wasted away (undiagnosed/most likely cancer) i thought "maybe it is easier if the animal is older and has lived a long life."

I was wrong. It isn't easier. I still feel just as sad.
...or depression, or mental illness of any kind really, or if it is just a random mutation/fluke.

Did suicidal thoughts ever serve any sort of beneficial purpose, genetically? If not for the individual, then for our species on the whole?

That is not to say we don't have plenty of genetic mutations and traits that aren't beneficial that just stick around anyway. The way mutation works in an evolutionary sense is that if a certain trait is deleterious enough eventually the carriers of this trait will either be unable to propagate or die out due to the negative health effects. But certain negative traits are either not serious enough to cause death before breeding age, or are tolerable enough to not cause death at all, and then those mutations are passed on to the next unsuspecting generation.

I wonder WHY depression and suicidal thoughts came to be...if they are tied specifically to various genetic markers or not. Honestly, i don't really know, just wondering aloud (errr, aword).

Anyway, i was/am having a really good day, and out of the blue some crazy visually vivid suicidal thoughts popped into my head. Don't worry, this is actually quite commonplace for me and i have gotten used to it. I have an extremely visual, overactive, and at times morbid and self-defeating mind. There is no risk that i would do anything currently, in fact most of the times i have these thoughts i can easily brush them under my mental rug as "silly" or "ridiculous". Even when i am at my lowest and seriously contemplating such things a sense that it is extremely wrong (just on a personal and interpersonal level) keeps me from following through anyway. But i am aware that not all people have these thoughts, and at times when i am really low...that is when it is most infuriating...it's a challenge. But like i said, i am having a good day, doing alright actually, just frustrated that my brain does stuff like this when i am not being vigilant and paying attention, while i am feeling otherwise totally good...it's a real annoyance.

Does anyone have any good references or articles that speculate in an at least somewhat scientific way about why depression and suicidal thoughts exist? I don't really know much about it after all, just would like to see if there is research or opinions out there better researched or informed than my own.
or Reflections on the Problems of Living as a Serial Monogamist

I know it has been a very long time since i have written anything in this journal, much less anything of import. But i am thinking this could be a good space for me to both vent some of my frustrations and give my swirling thoughts more substance and flesh.

Going through the ending of what has been a very important relationship to me and dealing with very serious heartbreak, obviously i have been dealing with some very deep emotions and a lot of thoughts, some of a more self-harmful, recursive, depressive nature, but some others of the more exploratory variety...the second set being obviously more of a good thing than the first set.

I have always been the type to love very deeply. With almost every relationship i have been in, very passionately, very fast, maybe too soon. While i believe ultimately love is a good thing, i believe falling in love too fast without restraint has proven to be in the long run a bad thing for me. That being said, i don't regret the relationships or loves i have had, but rather just recognizing that my personality type causes me to eschew logic and self-preservation at certain times when maybe it should have been more of a priority.

Let me start off with a little bit of history about my past relationships. Even in highschool, though i had plenty of gaps when i was not in a relationship at all, i believe i started off having relationships that were more serious and longer term than some of my peers...that being said, they were still similar to other highschool relationships you might imagine kids that age having...nothing super serious, nothing over a year, however several of my relationships were several months to a year whereas the kids around me had ones that lasted a couple of weeks to a month at most. They were confused but exploring, i was attaching myself in a more tangible but perhaps clingy and unhealthy way, even at times with people who i knew were wrong for me. In college i had the longest gap of being single that i've had in my adult life so far, lasting a little over a year before i met my college love that i ended up staying with for about 7 years. I wasn't really in love with him anymore for probably around 3 years at the end of that 7 year time span, and i didn't mean to string him along, but i had never been in a relationship THAT long before, i never really knew what falling out of love felt like, and i think the combination of introversion and codependence drove me to stay with him longer than if i had had a different or healthier outlook on life. After that i had a small gap, in which i got to experience a bit of what it is to be adult out on one's own...even if i had roommates and it didn't end up lasting very long. I think it was about 3 months between ending the 7 year relationship until i started to become enamored with and then subsequently fell deeply in love with the one who i was latest with, with whom things are now drawing to a close. We were together 4 1/2 years. The time was overall pretty amazing, but there were some very deep, engrained difficulties which persisted throughout most of the relationship, and though some of that is likely a combination of personalities thing, i fear that likely many of the persistent issues may have been unavoidable just because of the way i am and the nature of the relationship itself. Now i am in a situation i have never dealt with before in my life, where i still deeply love that person, but i know pretty definitively that things just won't work. That love is good, but it isn't enough to fix the problems that exist. And that is deeply, painfully, gut-wrenchingly, heart-killingly sad.

Many psychologists have explained introversion in simple easy to understand layman's terms which i will attempt to paraphrase here: Introverts require more personal space and time, whereas extroverts require more social interaction in general. That is not to say that introverts do not require social interaction, on the contrary most do require social connection and friendship, it is just that some find it to be complicated, confusing and sometimes "draining". Especially large social gatherings can feel draining. Conversely extroverts feel drained and saddened by too much alone time, even though alone time can still be necessary to some degree for them. Many people state that one can tell whether you are an introvert or extrovert based on what helps you "recharge your batteries", for example i adore social interaction and parties, but often times i feel the need for a lot of personal space either before or after the event, which suggests to me that i am a socially high-functioning introvert who loves people. I do tend to feel less drained/more recharged by one-on-one time with people, which certainly informs the way i deal with relationships, both romantic and platonic. I tend to get frustrated at extroverted people who are social butterflies and tend towards flakiness, because from my introverted perspective it looks to me like they have too much on their plates, are neglecting more intense one-on-one relationships, and are in over their heads...forgetting that some people thrive that way and feed on those sorts of interactions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraversion_and_introversion

Codependence is another issue that i believe i have but have been in denial about up until fairly recently (when it became much more apparent over the past few years). Many times psychologists link codependency to a past of family dysfunction, neglect or abuse...some form of unhealthy negative stimuli or lack of stimuli that comes from outside one's self and therefore alters the way one deals with relationships and intimacy in the future. Codependents can suffer from a wide range of symptomatic problems, and i find the ones that i deal with the most are low self-esteem, dependency, obsession and poor boundaries. Well, what if, like myself, you had a relatively textbook healthy childhood and family? Where do those things come from? How could someone who had a fairly perfect childhood become codependent? Well, i'm not a psychologist but i would like to posit that some of these symptoms could have arisen from my Introversion and also possibly from my clinical Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
http://psychcentral.com/lib/2012/symptoms-of-codependency/

As an introvert i find my meaningful one-on-one connections to be incredibly important and emotionally valuable. I hold those few and far between close friends very dear in my heart. Similarly if i begin to have feelings of closeness and love towards a person in a non-platonic sense i also hold them very dear, but sometimes in a way that is unhealthy for me. Interestingly, i am much better at keeping strict and healthy boundaries with platonic friends than i am able to with romantic partners or potential romantic partners. Because i am an introvert, if i have feelings of romantic love towards someone i tend to think or believe that due to my socially awkward nature this sort of deep, intense connection is harder for me to find. Whether or not that is actually true i am unsure of...me being an introvert might make me a less suitable partner for those of the population whom are more extroverted. However there hasn't been a shortage of love in my life thus far, which would seem to counter the idea that that sort of connection might be harder to find. Even if it is slightly harder to find, and despite a low self-esteem, i know that i am lovable at the very least. Depression, which can fuel low self-esteem, can fuel the codependent symptom of clinginess and lack of boundaries, in that if i feel that i am less or somehow lacking in comparison to other people i find myself dealing with on a daily basis, i may cling to those positive feelings of love and desire using them in a very unhealthy way as self-validation (basically temporarily stuffing gauze in the gaping wound of my low self-esteem). Not that love in of itself isn't good for me, just that not dealing with those underlying problems seems to have contributed to the way that i misuse love as a bandaid for them...but the bandaid won't heal those things if the infection is deep and going systemic...

How do i deal with these issues in the future? Rationally, i am at an impasse over whether or not LOVE is something i can handle right now. Of course, love is good, but do i have the capacity to be rational in the face of love? Do i have the internal tools to deal with love in a healthy way? Can i even LOVE RIGHT if i don't possess the needed rationality and boundaries at those times that i fall in love? And what can i do about it?

I've been a "Serial Monogamist" most of my adult life and i don't think that is working for me. I have never "dated around" as much as other more extroverted people seem to...even at times that i have had multiple interests on my plate i tend to fall for one and dismiss/get over the others/eschew them in favor of the one i'm falling deeply for. However, i have thought a little about poly (which i feel the need to mention is something a bit more complex than just "dating around") and while i don't know if it would work for me i definitely do think it is possible to be in love with multiple people at once. After all, i think even many people that have had very loving monogamous relationships might be able to remember times when they had loved someone deeply, broken up with that person, started a relationship with someone new but still being at least partially to completely in love with their ex, sometimes even devastatingly so. I think the only difference for a monogamous person and a poly person is that the monogamist often holds those feelings inside/in secret/eschews them, whereas the Polyamorist has them more out in the open. However i could be downplaying the complexity of poly relationships there. Do i think poly would work for me? I don't know. On one hand, i think it might help me to not be so codependent on one person, it might help me figure out what i am *really* looking for once i eventually settle down, but i don't know that emotionally i would be able to handle it. It is not a positive trait, but i can be a jealous person in the face of perceived competition.

I really tend to want to take care of people, which is something that comes up for me in relationships a lot, and that ties into the lack of boundaries and dependency aspects of codependency, as well as wanting acceptance. In any future relationships, whether serious or non-serious, i need to remain more aware of this need i feel to "Mom" people. Not that deeply caring for someone and trying to take care of them is a bad thing, but i need to draw lines. I need to take care of myself as much as i attempt to take care of other people. I have to stop putting myself on the back burner. This includes working on my hobbies, doing arts and crafts, even basic chores and housecleaning, and maybe the hardest of all for me, taking enough personal alone time AND BEING OK WITH THAT instead of always wanting to spend time with a partner.

How will i deal with love in the future? Will i be ok with it? I don't know. It is so hard for me to come out of a relationship that I thought was near-perfect, with someone whose ideas and ideals were so in line with my own, someone who also is a skeptical Atheist/Agnostic and DIDN'T WANT KIDS but was also SWEET and KIND as the day is long, a wonderful musician and lyricist, humorous and punny, nerdy and cute, who over time has shaped what i find beautiful in another person both physically and internally...if something so close to perfect can't work out it makes me doubt the permanence of love. I don't know that i trust in love, or that i believe it can heal you, or that it can cure all ills. Some of my idealism about love has been stripped away, maybe that will recover, maybe it won't. Still not sure how i feel about that.

Almost a year between writing!

Sheesh, that's not very good.

It still surprises me when...

...people say they hate comics. I mean, i can understand just not being in to them...or i can kind of understand hating them if you are just completely non-visually inclined. But a couple friends who are fairly artistic have spoken this statement, and it is their right to say so but it just IRKS me.

There are SO many types of comics. Maybe they just hate superhero comics (sometimes understandably) but the whole world of indie comics and web comics has so much MORE than that. When i first read Blankets it made me CRY because i related to the scenario of a religious falling out and the emotions that are tried when one loses faith, even if that loss of faith is for the better.

That being said i haven't really been reading or following up on much comics-wise, but i still read Questionable Content and it has been running for...how many years now? Still consistent lols all the time.

Dear period,

I don't think it is fair you should keep me awake on account of bloating and cramping. Don't you know that without sleep you are just going to make yourself worse? Plus I'm getting sick again so c'mon, give us a break. :P

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I'm still here

I've been having a kind of shitty month or so, so i haven't felt too compelled to write. The month before that was pretty good...but then shit got fucked again.

I'm sick with a cold, it's starting to feel pretty serious, just like the last one. Ben is going to take me to Urgent Care tomorrow. Even with OTC cold meds and a mouth full of cough drops i was losing my voice and having an impossible time trying to suppress deep, wracking, mucous-filled coughs at work...NOT SO GOOD for working in a kitchen with an open window out to the restaurant. Even though i caught all my coughs and sneezes in the shoulder and elbow of my sleeve (as opposed to hands, which is a big no no in food service...never cough into your hands) i still felt miserable and sounded disgusting...so i called in a co-worker, tipped her for her trouble and went home.

Still feeling sick as shit but now that i am out of the work kitchen i feel a lot better. You'd be surprised (or maybe you wouldn't) at how much the grease, fumes and smoke in an industrial kitchen can make you feel worse when you are already ill. I swear, some of the flattop grill grease just atomizes...not just turning to smoke...when you get home you can feel it coating all of your exposed skin, and often dark, scary things get picked out of your nose directly after, so i guess it really isn't/shouldn't be a surprise how bad that environment can be for someone who already is having respiratory issues.

I am hoping things improve, and soon. Not just health-wise. Money-wise too, and in a lot of other, emotionally charged areas. I really want things and situations in my life to improve. They NEED to.

Feelin really, REALLY blah.

Wish I could go a day where communication was easier. Sometimes it feels like no matter how well I try to speak it comes off the wrong way, which really makes me feel depressed and want to throw in the towel of trying to communicate.

Need MAJOR hugs to feel better about this.

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And it shall be an Epic Rock Week

I am getting so excited about the upcoming week that i'm getting really, um, WORKED UP. And hyperactive. To the point that i am maybe scaring Ben a little. LOL, poooooooor guy. ;3

SO excited for our plans! Ben and I are going to three shows together this week: Mike Doughty at the Wonder Ballroom on Monday, They Might Be Giants at the Crystal Ballroom on Thursday, then Jason Webley up in Seattle (can't recall the venue name). I am seriously bobbing up and down in my seat right now from sheer excitement!!! It has been a long time since i have seen this many good shows in a row. Like, since Bumbershoot 2003-4 maybe. There is almost nothing that can put me into such an intensely good mood as a good show!

The past couple of weeks building up to today have been pretty positive too. At work lately i have been getting good hours, making good money and a little bit more regular hours than i'd been having in the past too. Most of my co-workers have been really great lately too, i love working with Amy and Jeff when they are in happy, silly, hyperactive moods especially.

I've had a huge spurt of crafting lately too, just knitting simple scarves mostly, but they are turning out really pretty and they are finished in a flash so it's like positive feedback loop...finishing a project can feel so rewarding sometimes that the feelings of self-positivity keep me crafting even harder. Even though what i am doing is by no means new or groundbreaking i am finding the feelings of happiness reward enough and in addition to that i have some of my Christmas presents for people finished already!!! Way to go, me! ;)

Writer's Block: Paranormal activity

Tell us a ghost or supernatural encounter you’ve experienced.


When i was around 4-6 years old i thought i experienced a haunting. I was standing in the hall of my parent's old house, right outside my bedroom. Down the hall a cloud seemed to appear in the air...i felt paralyzed. It seemed to "rush" at me and for a moment all i could see was white and then it was gone. I was terrified and ran and hid under my blankets. This happened near the storage room, which i had always been kind of scared of, so i blamed it on that and believed, for a little while, that a ghost lived in there.

Years and years later, sometime during college, i was on a family vacation at my grandparent's house. The same visuals and sensation happened, except now i was scared i was having a stroke. I described what was happening to me, and as it turns out my dad and grandmother have that happen too. Apparently i am genetically predisposed to visual or aural migraines. So, not a haunting after all, but bothersome nonetheless.

Thankfully i've been getting those migraines a lot less frequently than i did during college...turns out they are exacerbated by hormonal birth control and i should never have been on the stuff in the first place. The more you know...

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