Monday, June 24, 2013

Snapshot 062413 1800 PST

 *Palomar Mountain, camping with Dad.

bye bye bikini

Jessica Rey, swimwear designer and television actress. Man, she's whats up.

“Modesty isn’t about hiding ourselves, its about revealing our dignity. We were made beautiful in His image and likeness. So the question I’d like to leave you with is, “How will you use your beauty?”

She said that. Know what else she said?

“Little girls wouldn’t be running around in sexy underwear and skimpy bikinis if it wasn’t for their parents buying them for them."

Boom. She went there.

She also went there with some research regarding the function, or lack thereof, of the male's mind in the presence of scantly clad beach bunnies. Here's the low-down, ladies: its nothing respectable.

So if you happen to have about 10 minutes to spare, let Ms. Rey tell you all about it instead of myself. She do it a much better job than I, and she looks better doing it.

Even though she's clothed.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

rest in Him

“Because God has made us for Himself,
our hearts are restless
until they rest in Him.”

 -Augustine of Hippo

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


I thought it might be good for me.
A release. An escape. A new song.

I hoped the serenity and beauty of the mountain's peak would somehow inspire me.

I was wrong.

Eventually, I did begin to kick around some creative thoughts, but they were more destructive than anything...

The 'ol brain just couldn't muster up any mojo today. My fingers were their typical, clumsy selves. And my voice... well, its the same one I've always had...

I assumed all I had left with was an emptier gas tank and a set of brakes a little more worse for wear, but I'm starting to realize otherwise. I thought a lot about dependence up there. Dependence on God and the power of surrender.

But they were not just thoughts.

It was a moment. An experience.
I felt my heart call out.
And I can still hear the echoes.

Monday, June 17, 2013

snapshot 061713 1700 PST

Grilled chicken and homemade pesto sauce, served over tofu and white yam fettuccine with a side of lightly breaded eggplant and garnished with kalamata olives, freshly diced tomato, and aged Parmesan cheese. 

I don't cook often.
But when I do...
I don't play around.

I think I might kinda love cooking. 
That is, when things turn out just right :-)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Next Sunday

I didn't call him today, mostly because I suck. Granted, I did work an overnight shift last night, so I spent a majority of Father's Day sleeping and then prepping things for church service...

But with that said, I should've made the time. He's a pretty awesome guy, and he deserves all the time in the world.

He's flying in next week for a visit, and I'm pumped. I've spent the past two days wrapping up plans for a two-night camping trip we're going to take while he's here. He doesn't know it yet, but we have a campsite reserved for us on Palomar Mountain next week.

Kimberly and I don't have our own camping equipment, so I've been busy making lists and contacting people to beg and borrow everything we're going to need for the trip. Almost all ducks are in a row, and I can't wait!

So, with his upcoming visit in mind, I'd like to think today is just like any 'ol Sunday... Next Sunday, on the other hand, will be a day to celebrate!

In the meantime, Happy Father's Day!

MOG 061613

Today was... interesting.
My level of tolerance was low.
Very low.

I basically spent every waking moment fighting the urge to break things and shout profanely for no real good reason. I was highly irritated and in a hostile sort of mood.

And my legs. My freaking restless legs. Super. Super. Super restless. The psychomotor agitation is an effect of withdrawal from Wellbutrin.

But much worse is the extreme moodiness caused by the Lamictal withdrawals. I've been reading different personal accounts of withdrawals online and have stumbled across all sorts of websites and blog posts with lovely little titles like, "Lamictal: Withdrawal Hell," "Lamitical: Giving Up Crack is Easier," and my personal favorite, "Going Off Lamictal? Good luck!"


My head is spinning. I hate me, the world, and 74% of the people in it.

Depression: 6
Anxiety: 7

thnx, babe :-)

the value of a moment

over (being) medicated

A couple months ago I began to question if I was being over-medicated. And even more than that, I was just over being medicated...

It had been years since experiencing life unaltered.

And thank God for it.

I'm a bit melancholy by nature, but I do occasionally hit particularly low points, the most recent one beginning around October '12. My usual sense of mild self-doubt can exacerbate to a more crippling sense of worthlessness. Every moment during these times just hurts. When I cry out to God He responds, crossing my path with some wonderful physicians to aid me in my battle with depression. But the Novocain has to wear off at some point, right? I needed to be numbed for a bit, but I'm not sure thats how I'm meant to live my whole life.

When I approached my psychiatrist that November in response to the depressive episode that began the previous month, I had already been seeing him for about a year and was currently medicated. So my medicinal regimen was tweaked a little, increasing the dosage of my medications and adding a new one to the cocktail.

It did the trick. Everything in my mind began to ease a little.

But I eventually began to feel emotionally restricted, unable to experience anything beyond cognitive observations about life and its' happenings around me. I was losing myself to ambivalence, and the things I once valued most became unimportant. My emotions ranged from nothing to feeling overwhelmed, with little between the two. I could feel something build up within me at times, but it felt more like pressure than anything else, which is why I began associating that feeling with being overwhelmed instead of other specific emotions.

So I began preparing myself for another visit with the psychiatrist, and I intended on telling him I was over being medicated... but that appointment didn't go quite as planned. Although I did feel some disappointment, I saw the wisdom in his advise and I determined I would follow his suggestion to slowly taper off only one of my medications while remaining on the other two.

A few weeks had passed and after following his directions to a "t," I had finally weened myself down from three medications daily to just two.

But there was a problem. Apparently, I'm a tricky nut to crack. I had ended up on those three medications (Lamitcal, Wellbtrin, and Zoloft) after years of trial and error, and was taking each particular drug to address specific symptoms. Not only did the medications work well with my unique chemistry, they were also prescribed with mindfulness of the how they would interact with one another.   Without the structure of that perfect triad, the whole treatment regimen began to fall apart. Symptoms resurfaced and the side-effects of the Wellbutrin were felt at full force without the Zoloft there as a buffer.

Once again, I was a hot mess. And I felt defeated, like I was moving in the wrong direction. Tired, I decided to go against my doctor's recommendations and stop taking all psychotropic medications about twelve days ago, unsure of what to expect. I've made video-journal entries almost daily since, wanting to carefully document the process and track my progress or regression accurately. Maybe it'll help me gain more insight, and maybe I'll edit it to share one day to possibly help someone else, at least to have somebody in a similar circumstance to relate to.

Its almost embarrassing to reflect on; the drama. If I were to give a detailed tracking of my mood and thought patterns over the past week and a half, you'd probably think it described a much longer timeframe due to all the variances it would reflect. With that said, it honestly hasn't been too bad. Of course, I understand that this is only the beginning. I know that if and when another depressive episode hits with absolutely no buffer of pharmaceuticals, its going to hurt. Bad.

In the meantime, I don't know... one day I'm hopeful, then next I'm discouraged.

One might tell me not to worry, that I'll be fine without the meds because I don't really need them, which sounds a lot like invalidating the serious struggle I face daily. This is a real, clinically diagnosed disorder, very different from sadness. One might also tell me to just stay on the meds and not worry about it, which sounds a lot like invalidating the serious struggle it'll be to work full-time to maintain insurance in order to pay for the medications while also completing ten months of practicum work beginning August, not to mention dashing the hopes that things might actually get better one day. Oh, and those pesky side-effects of the medications like, say, feeling nothing. Thats what all that sounds like. I know, I know. I'm reading messages between the lines that might not even be there. Its self-sabotaging, maybe even the re-emergence of old symptoms. That's just where I'm at.

So there it is; I'm over being medicated. But that doesn't mean I'm done with it. Only time will tell, as with all things. Always a process. Always.

Today is a good day. Tomorrow? Who knows.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

snapshot 061513 1100 PST

Rewarding myself.

After all, it required a whole lot of effort to control the impulse to throttle my work kids this morning. 

Oh, who am I kidding!? It didn't take effort, it took Jesus!

Man, they were all wound up! 

I haven't felt this grouchy at the end of a shift in a very long time! To the kids' credit, I may just be abnormally irritable today.

Either way... dang.

Everyone was so needy. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Snapshot 061213 PST

Good times chilling with my posse at Safari Park and the Westfield North County Mall.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

still has a song

I have a crazy amount of unfinished posts just waiting in the que to be published. The ideas come, but they just don't keep on flowing like I'd like for them to. Or, most likely, I just don't stew over them long enough before closing my editor's window with the intention to return one day soon to complete whatever it is I'm writing. And of course, we all know where good intentions lead to; piles and piles of incomplete things. That's where good intentions lead me, anyways. 


Hence the blog silence. Sorta...

The clickity clack of my keyboard still riles the roosters in the wee hours of most mornings, but that satisfying swoosh sound made when clicking the "publish" button just ain't there to be heard too often these days.

So, yeah. Nathan still has a song.
Nathan just ain't singing it right now.

The Purge

Set in the year 2022, the movie The Purge depicts "a nation reborn."

Violent-crime rates have hit an all-time low, due in part to a government instated 12 hour time period once a year called the Purge. 

All crimes, including murder, are legal to commit during this time and emergency services are suspended.

Only government officials are off-limits.
Everyone else is up for grabs.

This yearly catharsis is just enough to curb everyone's apetite for blood, but by the time the week of the Purge comes around, everybody starts getting antsy. 

Listing the names. Making their plans. Gathering supplies.

Could you just imagine knowing that in only a few hours your neighbors would have a license to kill anyone they'd like? Could you imagine knowing in only a few hours YOU would have a license to kill anyone you'd like?

One of the main justifications of Purging in the film is based on man's inherit wickedness. The people who lose their lives during the 12 hour free-for-all are commemorated for serving their country; bringing forth peace throughout the nation simply by falling victim to another man's rage.

Amongst some other themes such as social class and economic status, the overarching thesis of the movie is the murderous nature of man. This is what is being purged; not the lives lost during the annual slaughter, but instead it is the evil drive behind the murders.

I do believe there is an evil nature in all man, but I don't believe it can be purged; the source of evil in man is man himself. Acting upon that nature, neglecting and isolating it, analyzing and labeling it... none of those things are purging of it.

There's not much we can do on our own. We can't simply purge ourselves of our problems, because we are our own problems

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

their acoustic version...

is even better than their original. On repeat.

All things, even when

"I can do all things through Him that strengthens me." Phil 4:13

It's the truth. Even when it doesn't feel like it...

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

hate in the form of folded paper

I hate card shopping.
HATE it.

Gift shopping? Thats awesome!
Note writing? Love it!
Picking up the tab when I'm out with others? Good times!

But card shopping, I loathe.

They seldom say what I think they should, or they just don't quite say it how I think it should be said. And don't get me started on their designs...

For a while when I was in high school, I considered creating cards for a living. Art, photography, designing, writing, sappy-gooey-sentiments and whatnot. But I've never had what it takes to grab ahold of something and follow through with it. Everything I've achieved so far has been by chance, just falling into it.

So, yeah. Needless to say, I didn't grow up selling overpriced folded pieces of paper at Walgreens. And maybe thats why I hate shopping for them so much. I just flip through them thinking, "I could do this. I could do this better." And thus, I'm never quite satisfied with whatever remnant of a dead tree I walk out with.

Plus, its tedious work, taking at least twelve years just to find a doable card. It involves standing. And putting things up...

So just know this; if you ever receive a store-bought card from me, you are loved. Of course, if you get any of those other things listed above you're probably pretty loved too... but I do HATE card shopping.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Snapshot 060213 2300 PST

Snuggled down in our brand new Cal King bed for the very first time since purchasing it last Wednesday, about to partake in a little bible reading and discipleship study, hoping to learn how to love others well.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

real-time, rats, and a gangnum style remix


They're not really there.
But he doesn't know that.

So he chases them away.
Fearful they may nip at his dog.

The dog, of course, isn't really there either.
Just one more thing he doesn't know.

Yesterday. Tomorrow. Today. All blended together. One tangled mess.
Each experience of his life intertwined, from childhood trauma to last nights dinner.

All indistinguishable.
Time has no continuum.

All this after sitting catatonic and naked in the bathroom floor for nearly an hour.
Hallucinations. Detachment from reality, time, and place.
Sadly, an improvement from his earlier state.

But somewhere in there, between hearing the man in the mirror curse at him and brushing away the spiders crawling across his arms, he finds himself experiencing something.

Feelings. An urge. Maybe even a compulsion.
But something rooted in the present. A desire.

A song and dance.

The Korean neologism "Gangnam Style," sounds more like the guttural sounds made during a seizure. And the iconic "horse dance" looks more like a drunk man walking barefoot across burning coals.

But its occurring in real-time. Here and now. Even if just for a moment, he identifies a desire and fulfills it. Feeling, wanting, and doing, all in the present. Its no structured concept of time, but it is a big blaring "you are here" marker on a map somewhere.

And this is a moment I chose to honor. Stepping back. Pausing all attempts to shuttle him through the simple tasks he's struggling to complete. Allowing him to experience silly life pleasures before being overcome by the haziness again.

Thats all I know to do.

"Op op op op oppan Gangnam Style!"