All posts by Ian

Got Chronic Pain? It’s Time to Think Differently

I’m not here to say that your pain is all in your head… but it is literally, 100%, with no embellishment, all in your head. There’s no way around it. Everything is “just in your head.” That incredible three dimensional landscape in front of you? Constructed entirely in your head based upon the input of two tiny sheets of light-sensitive retina. All of those distinct objects that are so clear to you, like your computer monitor, or that oncoming car, or your dear mother’s face? All fabricated in post-processing by your team of faithful visual nuclei, all working together to make sense of the mishmash of light that smashes into our eyes (our ability to distinguish objects is an incredibly complex trick of the brain).

I’ve Got Some Upsetting News For You…

The rich green of the grass outside of your window, my friend, isn’t even fucking there. There is no “green.” We create color after we’ve processed the scene in front of us, giving different visual flavors to the wavelengths of light striking our eyes. Unable to distinguish between different wavelengths? Your brain fills in colors anyway, because your brain is incredible. I’m color deficient (“color blind”), but I never really notice it unless I pick the wrong crayon when coloring and people proceed to make fun of me. Hell, for all I know, my blue might be your chartreuse. ... continue reading.

Impromptu Hiatus

That would be a decent band name. Not a great one, because it’s kind of obnoxious, but it would look good on a t-shirt.

Anyway, I seem to be on break. I’ll be back in business as of May 1st, 2014. Anything that I write in the meantime will go into the publishing queue, so hopefully I’ll have regular content by the time that I start back up. I hope to have updates every Monday and Friday.

I got a second job, you see. Teach all week, massage all weekend, and rest never. Takes some getting used to, but I really do miss this. My thanks to those of you who plan to stick with me as I get my shit sorted out!


Got Chronic Pain? It’s Time to Move Differently

If you’re in chronic pain, it’s easy to get frustrated with your own body. There are a lot of unanswered “whys,” like “why is this flaring up now? Why is this painful if there’s no new damage? Why is this ruining my life?” As weird as it may sound, the answer to most of these questions is that your body means well.

Imagine being a low back. Your purpose in life is to basically exist so that other, more important body parts can do their thing. You accept heavy loads for hours a day, you flex and extend for 30 minutes straight when your boss decides it wants to do “the thousand crunch challenge” (please tell me this doesn’t actually exist), and you generally just do your best.

The low back doesn’t have eyes or ears, and it doesn’t know much about the purpose behind your activities. It does, however, have a huge amount of nervous tissue (nerve endings and spinal cord sections devoted just to it). What does it do with all of that processing power? It listens. ... continue reading.

For When You Can’t Forgive: The Power of Pity

Let’s say someone has wronged you grievously, possibly repeatedly over the course of your life. People keep telling you that you’re “only hurting yourself” by holding a grudge, that forgiveness will set you free, but… it just doesn’t sit right. It’s a square peg in a round hole. You try to forgive, but it chafes at you because it feels wrong.

Life is full of petty little tyrants, bullies with a hard-on for their own power. That boss who treated you like an insect because he had risen to the lofty position of “manager at a Starbucks.” The friend who manipulated you for years for seemingly no reason other than caprice. The abuser who controlled you because… why? They had a taste of power over someone else and their first impulse was to instill shame. ... continue reading.

“Should I Go to a Psychiatrist?” Frequently Asked Questions

As I subtly implied in my post “Feel Depressed A Lot? Please Go Get Medicated, You Jerk,” I tend to think that medication is a good idea if you’ve got mood or anxiety problems. I’d like to use this post to answer some questions about the whole process, maybe allay some fears, and possibly confirm some others. It’s a mixed bag, but I think that the eventual positives outweigh the negatives.

“Why should I bother getting medicated?”

If you’re chronically down in the dumps, or if you can’t act like yourself because you’re so damned stressed out, medicine can make you feel better. In fact (and this is the main reason for me), it can make you feel more like yourself.

I recently got on a new regimen (sometimes this shit stops working quite right, or you get new goals), and suddenly I can leave my house again. I can stand talking on the phone and answering emails. I’m no longer binging on sugar or booze, and my mood is just plain better. ... continue reading.