Awesome

I just finished talking to Marc Miller. Marc runs a business called Career Pivot. He works to fight age discrimination. Here is his website in case anyone is curious: https://careerpivot.com/

I spoke with Marc over the phone and he steered me in what I think is the right direction. He agrees that I should be working for myself instead of taking orders from other people, which is what I really wanted all along. (My naturopath also supports this idea!)

So Marc knows about an organization that isn’t a handout organization (like that “senior work program” I mentioned) that helps first-time business owners start their businesses. This organization does not cost a fortune, in fact, they’re designed for folks like me that don’t have much money to spend.

I have a good feeling already. I called…and get this. I reached a human being right away. No voicemail. No complicated phone menu. No operator. No recording of my phone call. This was a cheerful and knowledgeable employee who explained what classes were coming up and which ones were near me.

I signed up! This class teaches all sorts of stuff that was not included in the life coaching class and is essential to owning and running a business. We touched upon a few of these things, but so few that this very inexpensive local class really puts the life coaching class to shame.

After this workshop I have options with this same organization. I can take more classes in various topics or they have other options if I wish. Oddly, something like Quickbooks doesn’t seem necessary if I am not making a penny, as I figure. They WILL cover how to finance the business, which was sorely missing in the life coaching class. I don’t understand why the teacher told us not to take out a loan. I think she expected us all to grow money trees.

Meanwhile, the job I “trained” for this morning was such a joke I need to forget it ever happened. Not likely, though. Why? It was far too hilarious for that.

Worst job interview ever

I doubt they are reading this. I just had the worst job interview imaginable. It was not the real tryout, which has not yet happened but I think I am ending it with this company. The recruiter has been so over-the-top rude with me that I do not wish to continue.

This is what happened. I was scheduled for 6:30 this morning. And I was planning to be on time. At around 2am or so I had not yet received a verification email, so I Skyped the recruiter to make sure she had received my paperwork. She Skyped back and wanted me to do the training TWO hours early, at 4:20am or so. I had to take Puzzle out, and straighten my hair, etc, so I told her I would be ready as soon as I warmed up the house.

Then, I Skyped her and told her “in 15 minutes” and made sure I was ready. She had sent a link.

Then, I clicked on this link and there was no “enter classroom” button. Great.

She had to re-do the whole thing. And was extremely impatient with me. But really, there was no “enter classroom” button.

The button showed up the next time and I was able to enter the classroom okay. I guess I pass the Internet speed test okay.

Now what? She rushed, incredibly fast, and it’s a good thing I happened to see all this on YouTube ahead of time. I managed to find most of the interface, including the “star” reward button, and the teensy “page turn” arrow, which I swear I would not ordinarily be able to see. It is extremely faint on the screen.

Now we were near the end of the lesson and she told me, “Click on the red translation button.” There were several red buttons. Apparently what was showing up as red was not really red! I kept saying, “Is it this? This? I pointed to all the red buttons I saw on the screen. None. No translation button.

Now, she used her mouse and tried to show me. However, her mouse disappeared behind the main window. She didn’t realize this was happening and when I told her it was, she told me it was “impossible” that her mouse was doing this.

She repeatedly told me to “hurry up” and insisted we had no more time, and she had no more time to waste with me, that she had to train other people.

She told me we’d have to end the session and do it again another time. She was incredibly rude and impatient.

Now wait. Wasn’t I up early, and accommodating for her? I was the one who started early, just for her. Now, she is being rude, pushy, impatient, and continuously cut me off.

As a schoolteacher, these are not traits I would want to have. As a schoolteacher, I would think I would want to be patient. I would never tell a child to “hurry up” like that, nor tell a child I had no time for her.

I fully understand that what I see is not necessarily the same thing that you see. This is the beauty of being human. I am saddened that this recruiter did not understand this human rights concept. We all come from very different cultures and differing viewpoints. I am saddened that a company that promotes international understanding could be so abrasive with its potential employees. One should not treat a child nor any human being with such outright disrespect. I don’t think I want to proceed further.

What I eat, after I got better from my eating disorder

Now and then, not often, people ask me what I eat, or if I follow a particular type of eating plan or style of eating. They ask if I eat meat or if I restrict my diet in any way. They have asked what changes I have made and what has worked for me. I think these are not only valid questions, they are extremely important.

I think these are important questions because Eating Disorders, which are right here capitalized on purpose, are dieting disorders, and I’m going to call them disorders in spite of the nasty stigma surrounding the word “disorder.” In fact, a messy office space is plenty disorderly.  Disorders might just be part of life and disorderly only in the eye of the beholder, such as Puzzle’s view of naturally-occurring thunder.

That said, to stop having an ED, I had to stop calling myself mentally ill. I had to separate  the concept “mentally ill,” which was a label, someone else’s perception only, from the dieting problem I had. These were separate entities. Then, I tossed “mentally ill” out the window. And off it went.

I stopped calling myself those ugly, unnecessary names such as bipolar, schizoaffective, personality-disordered, and other clinical disease-words that never applied to me. I embraced my real feelings which were merely reactions to real happenings in my real life. This part was actually not that hard.

The hard part was the practical. If I was surrounded by people, say, neighbors, people down the street, people in the church where I used to attend, friends, ex-friends, town cops, and pretty much anyone I knew, who saw me as “mentally ill” and “dangerous,” and I was expected to show up for doc appointments and treated like a “thing” at these appointments, my life was not going to go well. If my living situation as “thing” continued and I was harassed by the local cops and threatened as “future dangerous” when I simply was not, and had to live in constant fear of being hauled away forcefully from my home and being locked up, then what kind of life could I possibly expect to live?

From start to finish, my dream of relocation started, I’d say, in spring of 2012, and finally I was able to really move in May of 2014. This meant many failed attempts, broken promises by people who truly disap0pointed me, realization I didn’t have enough money, and more and more attempts until finally I did it.

Still, my ED was not solved, and I was truly scared. Now I know at that point I had adversaries, people who would peek on here and say, “I bet she’ll fail and go running right back to Massachusetts and put herself in a hospital.” Others may have thought I’d become a sponge on the Uruguayan Welfare system.

Thankfully, by then, I had a healthy fear of Western Medicine instilled in me, enough to keep me from running back to psychiatry. I also began in earnest to study antipsychiatry principles. I read many important books, as many as I could get my hands on while abroad.

I honestly think EDUCATION is seriously important while recovering from an ED. I think education in basic human rights principles is essential.

Why is this? This is because if you ever had contact with the MH System you now have to recover from that contact. You recover, in part, by studying human rights, and learning that You and a Worthy Human Being. You learn that you never should have been treated like a “thing” in the first place. You should never have had your rights taken away. Force is wrong. You shouldn’t have been locked up. Being locked up is just plain inhumane, it’s not care! It’s not a hospital, it’s PRISON! Now these are very basic ideas that we were totally overlooking for years when we called those places “hospital” and we ran back and ran back and ran back. Those years when “hospital” was a place that somehow was our refuge.

Now, though, our eyes are opened and we know it wasn’t. It was only a prison and it didn’t provide those answers we had desperately sought. We so often left empty-handed, wondering what had gone wrong.

So there I was, in a foreign country and I had to get my eating squared away. I was running out of money badly and I could not afford to binge. At all. Food cost tons of money. At first. Especially since I couldn’t figure out how to buy it cheaply so I was spending a fortune at the more expensive food stores. I finally learned enough Spanish to go to the smaller mercaditos so I could purchase produce and other food at a decent price. I learned which of them had Feria prices. The Feria (farmer’s market) was okay, but too full of tourists. I found the tiny local places were a better deal.

They say eating on a budget is an eating disorder but I disagree. The best food is cheaper. What type of foods are cheap and what is costly? The most expensive, I’d say worldwide, you’ll buy in a restaurant. You might spend $50 on a meal if you eat out. I never, ever, eat out because I just can’t eat the food at those places. I do not eat “take out” and I do not buy “subs” and I do not purchase “prepared food.” All contains more salt than is okay for me.

During a typical grocery shopping trip, I may spend $20, or, if it’s closer to the beginning of the month and I’m a little richer, more like $40. A chunk of that might be on meat for Puzzle. I do not eat meat myself. The reason is that Puzzle likes it much more than I do. So she gets the meat. I do buy organic eggs. Not “cage free” since I have checked with the people who work at these shops and they have verified that some of the cage free eggs aren’t organic, but if you buy “organic” you’re really getting organic. I found several brands that seem reliably good. I only buy eggs on days I am sure I can carry them home without breaking them.

I do buy veggies. Carrots. Puzzle and I share them, but I admit, I eat most of them. The cost of organic carrots is not much more than regular depending on the season and where. I think I have been a carrot addict all my life but I go through phases, I admit, when they just sit around. Celery likewise. I have heard that celery is deceptively good for you. Who would have thought? I have also heard that celery seed is amazingly curative. I have seen celery seed on sale for a dollar at various places….keep an eye out! Celery seed has many uses as a spice.

I do eat potatoes. Even though they are mass-grown, I have discovered that Walmart regularly sells organic potatoes. I don’t mean packaged frozen ones, I mean real whole produce ones. These come in a three-pound bag, in red or white if I recall correctly. I almost always find them. You do have to look.

I don’t eat anything out of a can. One exception, though, and I don’t eat it often. Tomato paste. Only the paste, and sparingly, just to add pizzazz to stuff. I think tomato paste adds a lot to a dish. I have to buy those six-ounce cans, though. I can’t seem to finish one. I put it in the fridge and promise myself I’ll finish it off and won’t let it go bad. I break my promise.

My naturopath gave me excellent advice regarding beans. I think he’s right. He explained that beans are hard to digest even if you cook them. But if you take those exact same beans and sprout them, now, they are living plants and they are much easier on your system. He is right! What’s amazing is that I have learned to grow sprouts and I have also learned to love this new and fun hobby. I cannot grow them in the heat of the summer or when it is very cold in winter. Right now is ideal sprouting time and I am enjoying my mini-gardening. I have some Adzuki beans growing now. Next? Garbanzos. I tried giving Puzzle some sprouts but she cannot digest them so I stopped.

I love popping popcorn. My naturopath told me to give it up. Sorry to say, I disobeyed. I am noncompliant to say the least. Why? I pop popcorn because it is a “carrier.” I use it because it is great not for itself, but I can put spices on it, such as turmeric or even cayenne (don’t put too much!). If ever I fall and have swelling in a joint, or if I have a headache, turmeric is excellent as substitute for Ibuprofen and much healthier. I don’t think anyone should take Ibuprofen and I have heard it can cause many problems if taken in excess, problems that doctors seem either ignorant of, or they overlook.

I do not avoid caffeine. Yes, I tried giving it up and I found that I am one of those that didn’t get any benefit at all. I actually sleep better on days I either take a caffeine pill (I really do!) or drink coffee.

I am way too lazy most days to make coffee, but when I do, I still grind my own each day and I use a single-serve manual drip filter. I don’t add anything. I do not understand the “frappacrappa” mentality. To me, a milkshake or frappe is not coffee! Coffee, that is, plain, unadulterated, black coffee, is coffee. Nothing but. Pure and simple. It should not cost six dollars at a coffee shop. Nope. If it does, it’s a dessert.

I do not buy overpriced food. I think overpricing is an overlooked human rights abuse. If food is only for the rich, the rich can have their cake and I do not want it. I do not eat snob food out of principle. If it costs too much, I get pissed. I also get pissed at those that insist it’s “better” and insist that “if people care about the health of their kids they will pay the money.” Nope. If they are rich snobs who hate the poor they will go to their snob stores and turn up their noses at others they do not respect. Thankfully, most people aren’t that way, but I have seen a whiff of it on occasion.

What I eat is not set in stone. I don’t have a way of eating that I decided on, and then, followed from then on. This is an ever-changing process for me. Eating means deciding on a day-to-day basis. Seasons change. I change, get older, my needs change, availability changes, and many other things change. So I have to make new decisions as time rolls itself on and on. I have to be open to making these decisions, and be open to making a change if necessary.

This might apply to anyone. Say, for instance, you relocate and you now shop someplace else that perhaps does not stock something  you often buy. Or perhaps now you have the choice to purchase an item you have never tried before. Or maybe you are going to see some friends, and you need to make decisions about how to adjust your eating to that occasion.

One challenge I have quite often is how to adjust to a long bus ride and being away from home for a number of hours. As you can guess, I have the challenge of getting enough water and asking myself if I should carry some water, or if maybe the water bottle will be too heavy in addition to the other items in my knapsack. Should I carry food? What is best considering food is not allowed on the bus? Which items would be inconspicuous and not end up in crumbs all over the floor? There is nothing more annoying, in my opinion, than when a passenger comes onto the bus with stinky “take-out” food, but…that is my opinion. I do sometimes have to bring food on the bus and I have learned what to chomp on and which foods are no-nos due to their inevitable tell-tale crumbs. I have also learned which bus drivers are more fussy, and which ones are super friendly and don’t care.

I also learned that in town, that is, Downtown, it’s a food desert. You won’t find a real supermarket there. I am stuck with CVS, Rite Aid, 7-Eleven, McDonald’s (one of these is much better than the other), and a few others if I look around. And also, Subway.

At Subway I am really stuck. I don’t want to offend these folks but nothing there is unsalty. Except one thing, and I end up there at certain times of day super hungry. In the cooler, if you look, you’ll find apple slices for either a dollar, or $1.50 since I think they raised the price. Not that I want to buy it, but if it is freezing out and I have a while to wait for the bus, I keep the Subway people happy, buy the apple slices, sit in Subway and act like I’m actually a customer. Sometimes I  buy a cookie, too, but not often. Cookies there are cheap if you buy only one.

I own a blender but I don’t know why. I never use it. I don’t blend Puzzle’s food, nor mine.  I cut hers up with a kitchen scissors. I cut up her meat and also cut up her fresh green beans into little logs for her. She loves frozen peas so much she goes nutso. She’s been totally happy with the chicken drumsticks I bought. She does much better on people food than on kibble. I notice that after I replenished her meat supply she has not used the floor as a potty. Not at all. This tells me I really need to keep on top of her grocery shopping and not let her supply go down to nil.  I didn’t realize how much of a positive difference her homemade diet had made!

Oh my goodness here I am over 2000 words discussing a taboo topic. Food. Uh oh. Will Ed get me? Will I be booted off the ED unit for talking about food for over 2000 words? Will my Freedom of Speech be met with Censorship from the Therapy Gods for interfering with other people’s treatment plans? Will they silence me once more?

Food food food food food………Food, Glorious Food! Remember that song from Oliver Twist?

See ya later.

Yes, people do benefit from drugs…. a few people

I had a friend who saw dramatic changes after starting Prozac. I was very jealous of her success. I wanted that for myself, some kind of miracle. She talked about her Prozac that way, her miracle pill she hoped would never be taken away from her.

What happened? You had to watch from afar. After a couple of years, for whatever reason, her doc added a second drug. Then, a few years later, the Prozac pooped out and he upped the dose.

I saw her and mentioned that I’d heard of Prozac Poop Out. She said, “Oh dear, I really hope that doesn’t happen to me again, I would not like to have to raise the dose up real high, or have to switch to something else that might  not work.”

Oddly, the doc added another pill along the way. Now she was on a cocktail of three pills. Then, four. That was the last time I heard from her. Four. Some in the morning, some at night. She also took another for some physical malady. Five.

Still, I was envious. I was on seven or eight. Mine did nothing and she kept saying she was on miracle pills.

I have no clue if she is still living.

The job search roller-coaster continues

If I didn’t know better, I’d push the panic button and assume this was “bipolar.” It isn’t. The job search is a roller-coaster by default.

You see a job posted. You say to yourself, “Well, maybe…” Then, you apply. You tell yourself you don’t stand a chance until you are surprised by a response.

Now, your mood starts to rise. You tell yourself you’d better not get your hopes up. After all, there are hundreds of other candidates and you are only one. But you respond, telling yourself if you don’t, you will never find out.

Now, your mood sinks a little, because you tell yourself you should not have even bothered. You tell yourself you don’t qualify, or you didn’t send a “good enough” resume, any excuse to ensure your hopes do not get too hopeful.

They contact you and want to do an interview. Your mood now goes up a notch. They want me. They see me as a person of potential value. You show up, on time, dressed appropriately, do everything “just right,” then, it looks like you’ll be hired. Your mood is now fairly decent. The waiting period is gonna stink, but you feel confident that you did fine. You tell  yourself they just have to do formalities. Check with higher-ups.

Now, your mood is high. You’re going to be employed soon. You start thinking ahead. You’re going to have some money soon, pay off the debts, and be able to call yourself “employed” even.

You know they’ll email you by the end of the day. Then, you realize if you are not chosen, you have no clue if they’ll contact you or not. Will you be left hanging, wondering?

5pm, 6pm…..nothing.

Your mood starts to sink. Badly. Where are they? Did they forget? Did the formalities take longer? Are they flaky?

Your mood sinks lower. To the pits. You go to bed at 10:30.

In the morning you pick up the “Dear Jane” email. “We are going ahead with the application process….” Yes it is bullshit. You want so badly to cry. You wish you just could ball like the mental patient you used to be. But you do not.

You are tired. You go lie down with your dog a while, listen to her snore so peacefully.

Then, you get up, break the promise you made to yourself and send off another resume. And the whole darned roller-coaster starts all over again.

 

“Career Advisor” scam alert

I just got this call from “career advisor.” I knew right away it was a scam. This Reddit pretty much describes the call as I, too, experienced it. Note: I have pasted the URL here:

Career Advisor Scam from Scams

I am not expecting any further calls from these folks. That I know of, they try to sell you “online school.” I have also gotten calls from USA numbers that are clearly from abroad (you hear the ping distance) and they claim to be from “book distributor” or “publisher” or “we promote your website.”

I do not waste my time with these fools. I hang up. I don’t waste my time telling them not to call. I hang up.  That only.

Evidence

I have lost touch with all of my friends I had at Bennington College. I was a student there until 1981. I excelled in my studies there. I had no academic difficulties and had many friends in the Music Division, who, if I recall correctly, looked to me admirably. I was seen as a person who would certainly succeed.

I found this: https://crossettlibrary.dspacedirect.org/bitstream/handle/11209/4738/Duchess.pdf?sequence=3

I recognize most of the names on the program. I see myself there, too. I recall the production, one of many such productions at Bennington in which I participated. I recall many rehearsals, some of which ran late into the night.

I don’t know why I feel the necessity to “prove” anything, but I do.

I am trying to total up lost wages, wages I would have earned had I not been fraudulently put on disability all these decades. All the  money spent on “treatment” I never needed, money spent to keep me in subsidized housing (plus utilities all paid!) because the meager disability check did not cover decent housing for me. Hundreds of dollars per month for pills I never needed, and thousands per day down the drain for “hospitalization” that was nothing but prison.

How much is the total that taxpayers paid, the total that went straight into psychiatry’s hands?

How much of that total should have been mine, that is, counted as my own revenue? How much did my family lose?

I’m going to tally up the numbers. It’s Easter. No family obligations for me. Any guesses on how many million?

Puzzle update

This is as much an update on me as it is on Puzzle, but I titled it “Puzzle update” to shoo away the jerks that hang around here looking to be cruel just for the sake of cruelty.

I went to bed last night in a not-too-good place. I was seething as usual over the job search, pissed at myself for putting in two more job applications. I am pissed because I have promised I will quit. Promised myself I will quit because it is totally fruitless.

Which is worse, I ask. Fruitless job-hunting, which is turning up with nothing, or starting a home business that flops?

Job-hunting is like the lottery. I am tired of buying lottery tickets hoping one will be a winner. Each time I put in an application, it’s an exhausting waste of the precious time I have left. Total waste. It’s like I am throwing money away. But in my case, throwing time and energy out the window.

While it’s true that occasionally with the lottery, you do break even, the odds are that if you continue to purchase lottery tix, you will LOSE. You might be deluded into thinking you are gaining, but no, you are losing money. It’s going to the state lottery fund. However the state is using that money, you’re likely paying into what is essentially charity, but sadly, you’re doing it based not on your charitable donation, but on your own desperate sense of greed.

I put in these applications based on a very slim chance. A very slim chance that this is the one company that doesn’t discriminate. That they will overlook the squinting. Or will hire based on a phone interview. What am I supposed to do? Pray? Send in a pic of someone else?

I gotta laugh. For that company that wanted a pic, I should have sent in a pic of myself at 23.

So that’s how I felt when I went to bed. I think I somewhat slept okay. Better than usual. Puzzle did, too. She didn’t go sneaking out of bed to pee on the floor. She was still sleeping this morning and I had to wake her to take her out.

Puzzle is also losing her hearing. She hears selectively. She hears food. Always. She comes running whenever she hears me open the freezer or thinks she hears me preparing food. But yesterday she missed the mailman completely. I heard him come, a very distinct sound, but she did not even move her head nor wiggle her ears. Sometimes she doesn’t hear me calling her. I need to realize this and figure out how to call her in an audible way without shouting. Which would be better, a higher or lower-pitched “Puzzle!”

She can indeed hear me talking on the phone. She hears who is on the phone, that is, she can hear the other person. Sometimes she gets very excited over certain sounds she hears and I have trouble keeping her from jumping on the phone cord and disconnecting the call.

When I practice speeches she gets excited during the exciting parts. She has even barked, rather appropriately, when I reach the climax of a speech. Another thing I have noticed is that when I read an article on animal abuse I react in an emotional way. I don’t react out loud, but I feel strong emotions as I read. Puzzle barks or wiggles around in reaction to my strong feelings!

I worry about her a lot. The sores on her that she had are healing just fine and she does not have to wear a cone anymore. But she is showing signs of getting to be older.

I cannot possibly explain to a younger person what it is like to feel like you cannot waste time nor energy because you do not have that time and energy left. I feel likewise about my time with Puzzle, that it is so precious, that I cannot take it for granted, that she has been this amazing blessing in my life.

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