February 19th, 2011 by The Grey Ghost
I had my routine physical earlier this week; a visit I should pay at least once a year, but it has in fact been four since my last exam. Most of that has been because of lack of insurance, but the rest is that my diagnosis is always the same: My cholesterol is a little high (but not dangerously so), and I’m overweight. No combo breaker this round.
Other than a minor Vitamin D deficiency, my physician and I had plenty else to discuss. Most of it was about my weight. I knew I was overweight and that I’d actually gained some since my last visit. But I had no idea exactly how much. In four years, I’ve apparently gained 35 pounds. No wonder my pants have felt unusually snug the past few months.
I assume that much of my weight is muscle mass, since I really don’t look like most people who share my weight. It also helps that I tend to use visual tricks that TV actresses use to conceal when they’re pregnant. But no illusion can sustain forever and no glamour can erase the ugly truth. I’m no longer getting fat…I’m fat.
Most of my weight gain comes from the aftermath of over a year of heavy depression. Like most people, 2009 was a brutal year. My job at the time had pulled the rug out from under me just after I’d been riding high for months. I went from full-time, pulling 45+ hours per week, to being “on call” 7-20 hours per week. This killed my income, as well as my health benefits. That killed my morale, which in turn killed my performance. When my performance fell apart, the company abandoned putting me into places where I was effective and instead swept me into places where I could do the least damage.
Thus the binging of comfort food and drinking began, taking its toll on my body.
I’m doing better now; at least mentally. I’ve found good friends and creative outlets (like this website!) that bring me a sense of accomplishment. I feel like I’ve gotten a second chance on life and that I must now pay my respect. I need to make grand-scale life changes so that I never fall into that dark hole again.
One of those changes is to be more receptive of help from others. Maybe it’s pride or conversely, low self-esteem, but I hate burdening my load on those I care about. Especially when I know they have their own loads to bear. But I must learn to at least ask.
So, Internet… By coming out about my weight and depression publicly, I ask to be held accountable for it. I don’t necessarily need anyone actively busting my balls to keep in shape, but I at least need people to know so that I can’t ignore it. It’s like the saying goes, “You’re as sick as your secrets.” If I’m going to be honest with myself and face my demons, I need to be honest with my peers.
February 8th, 2011 by The Grey Ghost
I hate telephones. It’s a device that we’ve all been bewitched into believing we depend on, despite their intrusive, disruptive design.
The sound of a phone ringing is the shortest route to my insanity. It never matters what the message or request waits on the other end of the line. A telephone ring has only one meaning: Drop whatever it is you’re doing and tend to me immediately. Rarely are we able to say no—we are its slave.
Almost as maddening to me is a door knock. The telephone and even the door bell are relatively new inventions. Strangely, the knock is an implement that predates them by millennia, yet people have not yet mastered it.
There are some folks who knock impatiently, not allowing me much time from when I’m originally summoned to reach the door to when they knock again. The ring of a phone is at least rhythmic and the phone itself is usually within arm’s reach. It’s like the jerks that barrage the button of an elevator or crosswalk. The ritual is cathartic, annoying, and isn’t going to bring you want you want any faster.
People who knock in patterns almost get a pass, since at least they’re trying to inject humor into their trespassing. I forgive the “shave and a haircut” people, though only if they include the complete “two bits”. That phrase minus its last two notes is a question that then begs a response from a second party. I could knock back their “two bits”, but I’d look like an idiot. And if I reply by simply opening the door, the phrase is ruined.
Then there are the soft knockers. People who delicately brush their knuckles or stroke their fingers upon the door. It’s a technique that stems from guilt—they don’t want to disturb me. It’s almost sweet of them…
Except that’s the whole reason why one knocks on my door: To disturb me! How am I supposed to greet you if I don’t know you’re there? I can at least respect someone who raps upon my door with purpose and alarm!
Blessed is this 21st Century when electronic communications have minimized these intrusions. Email, voicemail, texting… They’re all amazing ways to immediately get in touch with me. But they’re also things with the feature of opting out. I can tend to them at my own convenience.
February 5th, 2011 by The Grey Ghost
Hey, gang! Sean, aka The Grey Ghost here…
I’ve decided to start up a new blog for myself here on TheGreyGhost.net, separate from the main site. The main page will continue to feature the Method to Madness podcast show notes and related articles. This new blog is just an appendage…one just for me. That way the main site can focus on its theme of anime and video games; saving this blog as additional content for those with greater interest.
Here, I’ll post content that will probably be more personal. I may reflect on the events of my day or explore thoughts that just won’t fit within a 140 character tweet. This will also be an experiment for me in figuring out how to maybe expand into a larger network.
Pardon the mess… It may take a while before I settle in.