environmental health

What breaks your heart, and boils your blood?

20140303-182751.jpgIt’s likely that you need more compassion for yourself, I know I do. Doing my best to be graceful sometimes leads me to delete most of what I write.

One of my favorite things about humans is that we use our most sensitive parts to survive. Our lips and fingertips and ears leave us vulnerable to despair, and hope.

The epitome of compassion fatigue is our cultures use of the word sensitivity. It’s used as an insult. Something to be avoided. Better to be strong and silent? Fuck that. It’s ill. Makes me ill. That’s called bystander syndrome, or burn out. It develops from compassion fatigue. Wiki that shit if your losing your humanity, so you understand a potential reason why.

I see my friends ask the same question all the time. Why do so many of us stand aside and let the world go to shit? Because we’re pummeled with it. It’s like military training. A drill sarge yelling into our souls.

We don’t have the capacity to hold that much sorrow. Our collective consciousness is ragged. The butterfly effect has the potential to turn into a moth. It’s more like a dark angel wearing a jet pack burning up in an epiphany of blinding media light.

So what do I do with this belief? That’s the question I’m asking myself. It certainly helps me to understand why I’m disgusted and lost sometimes. I’m struggling to have compassion for myself, and I know it’s the cause of my discontentment.

It’s so easy to externalize the pain finding ways to blame it on the economy, culture, politics, government, domestication, technology or pollution. Any one of them would do nicely as a culprit.

What it really comes down to for me is human nature, and my sensitivity to it. I love humans, and sometimes it hurts. I’m sensitive to light. Vibrations. Music. Your emotions. Mine, and how they make you feel. Food. Water. Shelter. The smell of the river. Fresh air, or lack of it. Memories. Life. Welcome to my cave. It’s the only sanctuary I’ve got sometimes.

For my birthday I want a tickle. For you, a caress. A nice long one that stills your mind from all the worries. Takes away your thoughts turning you into an animal in pleasure. Ask them to do it till you drool. Till your breath comes deep. Till you’re not sure if it’s fair for them to give you so much. I just want to learn to do that for myself and heal.

I found the start of this article today buried in a file….from when heartbreak and disgust at a betrayal I found on Facebook, gave me the motivation to eliminate my wall. I’m happy to have found it as there were years of writing there, so I’ll be pulling pieces out of the file and plugging them here in glee, even when they aren’t filled with it.:)

Over the last few months I’ve been developing a theory about heartbreak in medicine. Maybe it’s not a theory as much as a bunch of questions I continue to ask myself:

How much of the diagnostics in the western healthcare system from psychology to physical illness, is really just prolonged heartbreak without remedies? When somebody is ill in the head, depressed, and broken inside….is it really just heartbreak, and we want to call it something else? I know for myself, that it keeps coming up. The symptoms are abundant.

On a softer note, I haven’t been depressed this year regardless of the heart breaks, for the first time in as long as I can remember. Not to say that I didn’t develop the symptoms periodically for three or four minutes, just that it wasn’t a pit I fell all the way into. I’d leap away from the ledge, get angry, get grounded, get excited, get grounded, jump in my car spitting gravel, and avoid the whole hell hole of sadness that wants to suck the life out of me. I’m still heartbroken, but I’m finding ways to remedy it, and this process of documenting it on social media is helping me.

I hope that by sharing my thoughts and feelings, by baring my soul to the script of this canvas, that I can inspire more people to be okay with uncontrollable tears. If I laugh and they seep out it’s hard, but I’m getting used to it. If a sob begins to brew, and I start breathing deep to make it go away, you’ll know why I missed the holiday, and it’s fitting, because I wrote the beginning of this before my birthday years ago.

Some sadness doesn’t go away. It lingers under the surface of my face, and hearing your story might bring it to a head like a volcano of grief. Unfortunately it means the heartbroken are attracted to the color in my eyes, or maybe it’s an aura like a hobo mark on my car that says I’ll buy you a meal if you’re starving. I don’t know, but I’m weary of falling in love with people who are miserable. Is that most people?

Do most people have a kid in their heart that grew up in a loss of innocence? An idealistic dreamer that failed or forgot to grow down, at the same time they were growing up? I haven’t done that. I still dream big wishing I could fly, and sometimes I do…when I sleep.


Salt Water On A Wound

This is meant as a double entendre. Yes, and no. Round. Whole. The soothing painful pleasure of hot water to cold water; repeat: on a bee sting, athletes foot, mosquito bite, systemic allergic reaction, or poison oak.

I heard recently about a wall of sticks built in a public park in Germany. I was excited about the prospect. There is very little in life that compares to living by the ocean for me. Anyways, the Germans got that figured out a long time ago, and built a water wall in their public square. Let me know if you know where. The idea is simple. A water wall is built by piping water up to the top of a vertical structure, and distributing it along the face to create a wall of water. When salt water is used for this, the vaporized liquid is released into the surrounding air, creating oxygenated salt water. If you’ve ever wondered why the cat drinks out of the tub, get yourself a little mini fountain water bowl for them, it just tastes better when it is. Found this site a couple years ago, and it thrills me to no end:


Ever since I was about thirteen, I’ve become more susceptible to reactions from poison oak. The blisters start out as small bumps at the sleeves or cuffs of my clothes, and from there due to rubbing, spread and multiply. Calomine lotion doesn’t work anymore. Bentonite clay worked for years, then didn’t anymore. Dried oats helped a little, and then I got desperate. In my line of work, I have to be able to bushwack.

I asked everybody I knew if they had a cure. The stuff was getting into my ears, close to my nostrils, and creeping on my ballsack. I don’t remember how I caught it, it’s not relevant, because it wasn’t an epic exposure, just your garden variety I crawl through everything, chance encounter(although there are four bushes of the stuff within 400 ft. of me as I write this).

My lawyer came through again. She said to use salt water. “Duh!!, and “Yay” I said to myself then, and to this day, I pray, that salt water keeps working. The last time I used it, I’d been cutting firewood for a cabin in the woods. The poison oak had wrapped it’s tendrils around the trunks of the trees, it was winter so the leaves weren’t growing, and as a vine, it bucked right up with the rest of the wood. Sawdust and wood chips flew in the regular manner; everywhere, and I got a blister on my lip. Yep. Predictable. Right where I wanted it least. Anyways, I started dipping my face in a highly concentrated mixture of salt water, and letting it soak into my face. The result?

The neighbor stopped by in between treatments, and what did he see? Looked like I’d been putting my face in a mound of you know what. I had drank enough coffee, and he was seeing me for the first time, that I had to mention, it wasn’t what he thought it might be. Five miles from the closest house, I wasn’t to happy to see him in the first place, neither was my dog, and I was glad he wasn’t getting a friendly enough reception to get out of his truck. I had only left the gate open for the next load of firewood, not for his snooping creepiness to venture on in and ask a bunch of questions. Rude guy! That’s beside the point though. He laughed when I implied the connection between my face covered in white powder, and poison oak. It went away by the next couple days. He left quickly because my dog was scratching his truck, and it’s hard to like somebody, that doesn’t like you, especially when your rude. I know from experience. I am at times an asshole, and this was a time, I didn’t regret it. When you live all alone on a mountain, your thinking is a little rural:

It’s in the department of nunya sometimes. Nunya business where I’m from. I’m just passing through, or I might make a home here, in one of your abandoned neglected structures. On the other hand, if I was breathing salt water infused air, I would word this differently. But alas, I’m not, and I hope you weren’t offended by how this stagnant valley air makes me think. I’ll move back to the ocean soon.