Sunday, June 14, 2015

Anthony Dillon, Medication, Crackers, and Samuel Johnson

1. Bookmarked the ABC page for Anthony Dillon. Because I got an email from my sister last night about him.  She says his name popped into her head. She Googled, found out he was connected to Australia, and sent me an email.

That's the kind of thing that happens to me. Sometimes names pop into my head. I Google to see if I can find the names online.

I often believe spiritual beings are putting the names into our head. If that's true, and I was meant to read about Anthony Dillon, why not just put the name in my head? Why give it to my sister?

So I'm thinking, maybe she's supposed to learn about Anthony Dillon too. Or maybe she's supposed to find another Anthony Dillon, but she got sidetracked by the Australian one, because of me.

2. Dreamed about Australia. We're heading to Sydney. I try to decide whether or not to let our Melbourne friends know we're going to be in their country. It's last minute notice, but who knows...what if they already had plans to go to Sydney, anyway. Tim thinks we shouldn't tell them—the idea being that things haven't been so great between us, anyway. I argue that Australia is so far away. If we make the mistake of not seeing them, it's not something that can be easily remedied. 

3. Read one of my old posts, and it gave me a brief moment of massive Jaclyn Moriarty love.

4. Considered maybe my next re-reading project should be a Jaclyn Moriarty book.

5. Got goosebumps when looking at the list of editorials that Anthony Dillon has written. One is about mental health and chemical imbalances. This is an issue that I often feel very passionate about. Maybe the universe was trying to direct me to this editorial. Via my sister?

It's all odd.

6. Started watching an episode of Neighbours.

7. Felt sad for Chris (James Mason). He was planning to have the baby with Lucy (Melissa Bell). Then they found out they're both carriers of a detrimental disorder. So Chris pulled out.

When Chris finds out Lucy is still pursuing motherhood, he gets upset. He mourns the future he had mapped out in his head. He's grieving a child that hasn't even been conceived yet. It makes total sense to me.

I think the sadness he feels is not much different from the type some people feel when they have a miscarriage. They're often not mourning an actual person but the potential of a person.

8. Started reading Anthony Dillon's editorial about mental health. It's titled, "Mental Health and the Mystery Pill".

Dillon challenges the assumption that mental illness is caused by a chemical imbalance.

He describes a situation in which a man behaves badly, and someone suggests he has a mental illness. Then Dillon talks about how this often leads to someone being prescribed medication.

9. Liked this quote from Dillon. In a society where aberrant behaviours are increasingly being medicalised, with a "pill for every ill" and an immediate solution for every inconvenience being sought, presenting life's problems as medical conditions enables a quick (and profitable) solution - medication.

Amen to that! This so goes along with my own viewpoint!

10. Glad that my sister led me to a man who gives validation to my own opinions.

It would be annoying if she sent me to a man who challenged my viewpoints. And stressful.  Though probably good for my brain and soul.

Still...this is more fun and enjoyable.

11. Loved this quote from Dillon. it is my wish that we as a society, consider addressing underlying causes for feeling depressed, emotionally disturbed, etc., and that doctors charged with the responsibility of "first do no harm" think carefully before they go to write a script for medication. The underlying causes I refer to relate to living in a world where there is increased pressure to be perfect, a quick fix being offered for everything, family breakdown, and less nurturing and supportive social networks.


Maybe Dillon is my soulmate.

12. Wished Dillon's editorial would magically find its way into the brains of some of the Tallygarunga writers who gave me grief. I had strong disagreements with a couple of them.

In the wizarding world of Victoria, Australia, there was a wizard who became depressed after his girlfriend became violently raped. He went to a doctor and they prescribed him anti-depressants. I wrote on my blog about how I didn't like this. Why automatically assume a depressed person has mental illness? Maybe this person was simply incredibly upset because very shitty things had happened in his life.

The writer, in charge of this wizard, wrote me a very angry letter and ordered me not to write about her characters anymore. God forbid I have a different opinion than her about something.

Can you imagine JK Rowling ordering people to stop writing about her books or characters whenever someone shared a dissenting opinion?

The other thing that annoyed me is there was a very condescending attitude—something along the lines of, I hope you and your family never have to deal with mental illness. Which is probably bullshit. When someone is angry and says something like that, I think what they're really saying is, I hope Karma kicks you in the ass, and when you're in my shoes, you'll have the same opinion as me. Then you'll be sorry!

The thing is I have dealt with mental illness. I've been prescribed antidepressants (Lithium) in the past.  I have a cousin who suffers from severe schizophrenia and another one that had bipolar disorder. One of my grandparents dealt with depression.  I'm not a stranger to the whole thing.

If someone thinks differently than you, don't assume it's because of lack of experience. To do so is incredibly arrogant.

13. Understood that if the certain Tallygarunga writers ended up reading the editorial, it would be doubtful they'd change their opinion. Because I've read stuff from their viewpoint and it didn't change mine.

But's at least nice to read from the other side. Though it can be stressful.

 I think it's easier to read stuff that agrees with us.

14. Blurted out that I thought the lake house crackers, that we eat with the cheeses, were gross. My dad reminded me they were Australian crackers and that's why he's been buying them.  This led to everyone admitting they don't like the crackers. Even my dad doesn't like them.

They're rice crackers. I don't associate rice crackers with Australia. I mean I'm sure there are times that Australians eat crackers made of rice.  But I don't think it's a common food. It's not like Vegemite or Tim Tams.

15. Looked at the Central Market website. This is where my dad buys the crackers.

I think the crackers he buys are called Crisp Australian Waterwheels.

First of all, in Australia, I doubt they're called AUSTRALIAN Waterwheels.

16. Wondered if I had the wrong cracker. Because the crackers my dad buys are made of rice. Or at least I think they are. I found Australian waterwheels on this site, and they're made of wheat.

17. Ended up on the Waterwheel website.  They're an Australian company; and they pride themselves on being popular in the US.  They say: Sold exclusively in speciality and gourmet food stores and delicatessens across the USA, our Waterwheel brand is now very popular with Americans, who just can’t seem to get enough of our Australian-made quality.

I wonder if they sell anything in Australia.

If a lot of Americans are loving Australian crackers, it's probably because they think Australians are eating them too. They probably feel like they're acting Australian, and that makes them feel special and cultured.

I'm sure most of these American Waterwheel fans would be disappointed to learn that Australians aren't eating a lot of them. IF that is the case.

18. Saw that there are different type of Waterwheels. Rice is only one out of several types. The others probably taste better than the rice ones.  In that case, there are probably Americans who actually like the taste of the crackers and don't eat them simply because they're Australian.

19. Reminded myself that it's possible that some people might enjoy the rice crackers.

If they're not on a weight-loss diet, I might be a bit surprised.

20.  Learned from the About Us page that the Waterwheel crackers are (Or were?) sold in supermarkets in Australia. Plus, they're sold in countries besides Australia and the US.

I also learned that the company was started in 1998 in Dandenong, Victoria.

21 Started watching an episode of The Secret Life of Us.

For a moment, seeing Sibylla Budd made me miss Sea Patrol—kind of like a homesickness feeling.

22. Noticed that Arnott Shapes are being shown on The Secret Life of Us. I think Gabrielle (Sibylla Budd) had them in her office on a previous episode I watched.  Now I see that Kelly (Deborah Mailman) has them on her bed.

I'm guessing Arnott's sponsored the show? Or it could be an inside joke of some kind.

23. Read another editorial by Anthony Dillon.  It's interesting, and I'm sure very controversial. He speaks out against Aboriginal Australians clinging to old traditions and culture.

He's pretty much pushing for assimilation. I can see his point, but I can see the other side too. I guess I'm neutral. Or really, I think it's a choice thing. If someone want to keep their traditional culture, that's fine. If they want to move away from it, that's fine as well.

24. Enjoyed discussion on The Secret Life of Us about "the feeling". They're talking about the chemical attraction thing. I tend to label those feelings as  crushes. Kelly has been spending a lot of time with a guy. She likes him, but doesn't have the feeling yet.

I can understand that. I've had times where I find people attractive, but I don't have THE feeling.

I think sometimes someone can seem perfect to us. They're funny. They're interesting. They're nice. We find them attractive. But the feeling is not there. Then there are other times where we think someone is kind of a jerk, and they're really not that great looking; but the feeling IS there.

Is it better to go with the feeling? Or is it better to go with the person who has all the right qualities, with hope that the feeling eventually happens?

25. Related somewhat to Miranda (Abi Tucker) She tells Kelly she could never love a woman. Kelly asks her why, and Miranda says she couldn't do the sex stuff.

Well, I could love a woman, but I wouldn't want to do the sex stuff either.

But maybe I could find a woman who feels the same way, and we'd have a nonsexual romantic relationship. We could just hold hands. Give each other back scratches.

26. Wondered if maybe I wouldn't want any type of physical affection from a woman.  But I'd still enjoy the mutual love and attraction.

I imagine being loved by Kelly, from the show, and I like that. It would be fun to get texts from her and buy each other gifts.

27. Realized that having a nonsexual romance with Kelly would really be like having Kelly as a best friend. And I don't want that.

Just thinking about it is making me feel a bit suffocated.

Maybe I just enjoy watching Kelly on my computer screen. Sometimes it's really nice to just admire and adore people from afar.  Especially when they're fictional.

28. Amused by a scene in The Secret Life of Us. Christian (Michael Dorman) is getting to know a woman and he finds out she's a furniture designer.  In Wonderland, Dorman plays a furniture designer.

29. Wanted to say that I'm liking this episode of The Secret Life of Us. A lot.

It makes me feel relieved. I didn't like not liking the show.

30. Reminded of my mom, because Kelly is wearing the type of shirt that she used to wear. I think? I could be wrong.  But I see the shirt and can imagine my mom wearing it.  At least in the past. I can't remember her wearing anything like that recently.

31. Wondered if perhaps those types of button-down shirts were popular with woman in the early 2000's. That's when this episode of The Secret Life of Us first aired. And my mom is into following fashion trends.

32. Looked at some of my photos from the early 2000's. I didn't see any photos of my mom wearing a shirt like Kelly's. So maybe she wore them in a different decade. Or it could be she had one shirt like that, and for some reason, it stuck in my head.

While looking for a photo of my mom wearing a Kelly-shirt, I ended up seeing photos of myself in my thirties. I'm so impressed with the beauty I possessed back then. When I look at the current me, I usually see someone who looks old and ugly. But I don't think I often appreciated my thirties beauty when I was in my thirties. I have a feeling that when I'm in the midst of my fifties, I'll look back at the me now and think I looked beautiful.

I don't think I have ever appreciated how I looked back when I was looking that way.

I wish the current me could appreciate the current me. Although I was looking in the mirror this weekend, and kind of liked all my facial skin imperfections. I guess I'm growing used to them. If I could grow to love my imperfections, that would be fantastic.

I think I can, actually. I might be beginning a phase of appreciating the beauty of ugliness.

I'm growing to like the hyperpigmentation on my face. I like the stubborn rash on my chest. And I like all the little spider veins on my legs.

33. Inspired by a comment on one of my recent posts to find out more about Samuel Johnson riding a unicycle for cancer. fight cancer.

34. Went to Samuel Johnson's website that he shares with his sister. She's dying from breast cancer, which makes me very sad. I spent the week with one of my sisters and had an amazing fantastic time. I can't imagine what I'd do if I lost her, or if I lost my other sister. They're bitches sometimes and I want to scream at them. But for the most part, they're wonderful.

Also, there's someone very close to me who is in the midst of losing a sibling. It's so incredibly hard for them.

35. Went to the website for the Garvan Institute. This is where Samuel Johnson and his sister are sending the unicycle money. I have to admit I'm glad they're not sending it to the Susan Komen foundation. I've read things about that charity which makes me not like them so much.

I'm hoping I'd like the Garvan Institute better.

36. Looked at the Garvan cancer research page. I'd like to hug and bless all these researchers who are finding treatments for horrible cancers.

For example, Professor Andrew Biankin is working on therapies for Pancreatic Cancer patients.  So maybe in the future, less people will have to experience what Haley from Coronation Street had to endure. And it's not just Haley that endured it, but also her husband and friends. Yes, I know they're fictional people. But it's still so incredibly sad...especially knowing that real people DO experience it.

37. Thankful to David Bowtell for fighting against Ovarian Cancer. That disease scares me a lot.

38. Decided I tend to have more gratitude, respect, and admiration for medical researchers than I do doctors.

Doctors save lives too. I understand that. But they can be really annoying sometimes. It especially annoys me when they're unaware of the science stuff. Or they don't care.

Well, actually not knowing is kind of okay...especially if it's not in their exact speciality. Not caring and not wanting to know; that's complete shit.

39. Thought back to the mental health topic.  Or actually I was thinking about it before but am finally finding the time and motivation to write about it.

I think I'm less bothered by the medicating of emotional issues than I am with the labeling of them.

If someone wants medication to deal with their problems, I think that's fine. To a point. Who am I to throw stones? I take a Benadryl at night for the mere hint of nausea. I don't want to deal with it. I fear I'll end up vomiting. Drugs can make things easier sometimes.

What bothers me is labeling someone as being ill when they're having normal human emotions. And normal has a pretty wide range.

If someone is grieving and they want to take a medication to make them feel better; FINE! But don't say they suffer from a mental illness called depression. They're not diseased or disordered. They're sad...depressed. They're having a normal reaction to loss.

The thing is, though, the labels mostly come from companies wanting to sell the drugs. They're hand in hand. So in that case, I DO hate the medications.

I'm okay with people drugging themselves. I'm not okay with doctors pushing the drugs on them. And in my opinion, a doctor simply suggesting a medication is a form of pushing.  Usually. The thing is, people often put a huge amount of trust in their doctor.  It's hard to say no to a doctor; or to question their suggestion.

40. Decided maybe I'd be okay with a doctor who asks the patient if he'd like medication. They could say. Some patients like to deal with their sadness by taking a medication. How would you feel about that?  I think this is much better than saying. You need an anti-depressant. Or I'm going to write you a prescription. OR, You're suffering from bipolar disorder. I want to start you on a low dose of.....