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Just back from the docs and that’s me back on the Citalopram… apparently this new doc thinks I was on too low a dose last time, so I’m starting on 10mg but going up to 20mg in two weeks. Been feeling a bit better the last few days, but I’m basically in the middle of the deepest depression I’ve been in for about three or four years…

So, if there’s anyone out there I’ve ignored, if there’s anything I’ve forgotten,  emails not replied to, deadlines missed, that sort of thing, over the last three weeks, I’m sorry, but I’ll hopefully get on top of things by the end of this week. And of course, there will no doubt be some strips to follow as I start back to therapy and try this whole thing again!



5 - Admission

6 - Admission7 - Admission8 - Admission9 - Admission10 - AdmissionPlease don’t call the p’lice. I’m not a knife wielding murderer, honest. It’s a visual metaphor!

This is literally to most honest thing I’ve ever drawn or posted in my life, the deepest I’ve ever gone, and potentially the most self pitying I’ve ever been in public but fuck it, it needed to come out. All you cool and groovy straight guys I know, don’t think this in any way diminishes your importance to me – I’m talking about groups, that’s when I feel it most. The social structures of heterosexuality, that kind of thing. The same doesn’t apply in more structured groups either, by the way.

And if you’re at all unsure of what all this means, or want to know, I’m totally down with you leaving a comment, tweeting, FB’ing or ‘ask’ing me depending on what method of social transportation you’re using to read this 🙂

 

No SSRI for a while… again! But I’m really proud to post the latest guest strip, this time by my boyfriend, Mitchymuss Alexander. Here he’s very openly portraying something I struggle with daily; RUMINATION (click the image to embiggen).

Rumination (from The Free Dictionary):

Noun 1. rumination – a calm, lengthy, intent consideration

cogitationstudy – attentive consideration and meditation; “after much cogitation he rejected the offer”
consideration – the process of giving careful thought to something
meditationspeculation – continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature; “the habit of meditation is the basis for all real knowledge”
meditation – (religion) contemplation of spiritual matters (usually on religious or philosophical subjects)
introspectionself-contemplationself-examination – the contemplation of your own thoughts and desires and conduct
retrospect – contemplation of things past; “in retrospect”
2. rumination – (of ruminants) chewing (the cud); “ruminants have remarkable powers of rumination”

chewingmasticationchewmanduction – biting and grinding food in your mouth so it becomes soft enough to swallow
3. rumination – regurgitation of small amounts of food; seen in some infants after feeding

disgorgementemesispukingvomitingregurgitationvomit – the reflex act of ejecting the contents of the stomach through the mouth

It’s actually sounds fine, eh (apart from maybe the last two!)? A bit of meditation, self-reflection, surely that kind of thing’s good for the soul, and for self-awareness?

Well the psychological definition is a bit different (from Wikipedia):

Rumination is usually defined as repetitively focusing on the symptoms of distress, and on its possible causes and consequences.[1] Extensive research on the effects of rumination, or the tendency to self-reflect, shows that the negative form of rumination interferes with people’s ability to focus on problem-solving and results in dwelling on negative thoughts about past failures.[2] Evidence from studies suggests that the negative implications of rumination are due to cognitive biases, such as memory and attentional biases, which predispose ruminators to selectively devote attention to negative stimuli.[3]

As Mitch’s strip today demonstrates, rumination can make even the most simple internal decision a minefield. It affects problem solving because we’re predisposed to think of all the times we got problem-solving wrong, and to completely reject the (often magnitudinously larger) amount of times we got it right… And we often become the only people in our lives who don’t trust us to do the right thing.

I do wonder if the last definition from the dictionary is somehow the most appropriate one – that instead of self reflecting, we endlessly chew over and regurgitate useless thoughts…

 

Anyone who knows me knows I can be an opinionated prick – and those folk also know that I’m not a protester, or an activist, or someone who really gets up off my arse to campaign on things that I’m passionate about. I like to think that balances out more recently with the community art work I do – small changes and all that – but nevertheless, I’m an angry guy who doesn’t do a lot with it.

I’m angry at many things – I’m angry at the polarisation of politics. I’m angry at capitalism. Angry at religion, and the way it’s often wielded, the lack of true compassion and spirituality at the heart of things, and the fact that more often than not in this world, we spend more time worrying about what other people are doing than ourselves. All these things make me rage.

Probably more so now because of the online nature of things. Knowledge is a good thing, if you can use it. But if it just gets you angry, then what is the use? Is it better that I know more about US right wing politics than I ever have done? Should I even care?

Does it matter that our government in the UK has never been under so much scrutiny when it (regardless of political party) appears to be able to get away with pretty much anything? I don’t know. All I know is that I feel like I’ve spent too much time lately getting angry, and doing nothing with it.

So for one, I started putting the brakes on – using ‘Comment Blocker’ on Chrome to block reader comments on most blogs I read, stopping myself from posting big comments that tend to only add fuel to the fire. I’ve got draft emails sitting with me moaning about various things that I’ve stopped myself from finishing and sending. It’s a little, but it will hopefully help.

On top of that, I’m pouring all my anger and rage into a comic book I’m writing and drawing, called ‘Gonzo Cosmic’. It’s a wild sci fi epic, channelling (hopefully) the spirit of Jack Kirby mixed with weird psychotropic 70s cinema. But it’s also intensely political, and I’m managing, I think, to find ways to get all of my anger in there, to play with it, mould it, reshape it, question it and generally turn it into something that I really hope will be more positive in the end.

Meanwhile, I try to stop reading so much online commentary…

Here’s a sneak preview of Gonzo Cosmic #1, which won’t be out until 2013.