Archive for category My life

An experiment mostly doomed to abject failure….

what follows are the thoughts and rambles of a overly bored and sexually repressed 22 year old, pay them no serious heed….

Reasonings and Ramblings…

Cohesive ramblings. Two opposites that often times pair incredibly well together. They are often seen as two different approaches to knowledge, but more often than not the two sides of the same coin. Cohesive thought, and inane ramblings. One is inexplicably linked to the other, while one is cares not for linkage or any sort of order at all. A single cohesive thought can be the child of many countless hours of aimless mind wandering, while a ramble may stay a ramble just for it’s own sake.

 

There is a constant struggle, a conflict, forever waging within my very soul.

Opposing forces gather in my inner most parts, fighting for who will rule the whole.

One side is the platoon of my desires, on the other is the battalion of the desires of others.

A mage keeps shouting at me, you must die unto yourself, you must for others. But some unknown voice tells me “Caution, my child, do not be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.”

The mage retorts, “Must you always be selfish? Must only and always your wants & needs come first?”

 

“Feelings”, a taboo phrase for all those of the masculine persuasion are told to eschew. A poisonous message that has so permeated our culture, even the most modern and progressive thinkers of our time can’t help but cower before it’s traditional might. But enough is enough, and it’s far past time for a change. Not a change to shatter foundations of society, or even a small peer group, a change in a single solitary person. Me.

 

I firmly believe one’s privacy should be respected above all else, and that one’s personal beliefs on spirituality and/or sexuality should never be vilified or judged unless those views compromise the sovereign autonomy of another person.

However, the question I face is, what about investigative journalism? At what point does pursuit of truth trump right to privacy?

Where do I draw that line between these equally important tenants of mine and not be self limiting or hypocritical?

Also, the question of journalistic ability still remains. What would be the best way I can draw attention to myself, in a journalism sense, to attract lucrative writing jobs?

 

I am a charleton, a vastly duplicitous man. I have been curse the need to change who I am depending on who I’m with, so much so that I don’t know my true self.With parents, I placate.

With friends, sensibilities vacate. All the while, slowing killing the “Me” inside.

I want something (someone) real, someone with whom I can find myself.

I trust so very few on this earth with my true self, my parents nor I am on that extreme short list.

If even I am not worthy of my trust, then in whom should I believe?

The crux of this question lies in the question of divinity. Not if it exists, but of if it even cares.

 

I have friends around me that confide in me a lot, or at least I perceive it as a lot, and they have a fabulous support group that will keep them honest and on the path they have set before them.

I am a part of many such support networks, but I don’t feel like there is one for me.

There’s always my family, but I cannot be 100% honest with them about what I feel or think. My beliefs and my ideals of how life works have changed so drastically in the last two years that I feel like a traitorous bastard living in the skin of the dutiful son I slowly murdered.

I cannot go to my parents with this news. Either they will not understand, or my own feelings of ineptitude strangle my words before they are formed.

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TRUTH: Names have been changed to protect the innocent….. (AKA: Dichotomy of a self aware Man-Child)

PREFACE:

Let me start off by stating that everything I’m about to write down is both true and more than likely to sound self entitled and whiny. This is not a happy story, it doesn’t end with me getting the girl, or with either of us accomplishing our dreams.

It ends with a friendship on a knife edge, a girl with serious emotional trauma and trust issues, and a manchild unable to cry.

 

I can give you the TL;DR right here, Awkward homeschooled boy meets equally homeschooled girl on the internet, five years later, boy calls girl when boy got stood up on his second ever date, and boy and girl started talking every day. fastforward to today, Boy’s emotional issue’s ‘n shit were apparently too much for Girl to handle at the moment, and now both basically aren’t speaking to eachother.

 

I swear to god, that’s about as condensed as it gets, and even that doesn’t do it justice hugely inaccurate, because of those damned pesky details.

***

THE TALE:

 

I was raised in a homeschooling family of ten persons. two parents, my Mom and my Dad, an older brother, and six younger brothers and sisters. The reasons for my parents decisions for homeschooling all of us is for another post explanation, as it is a tale in of itself.

When I was about 15 or so, I was told of a website for other homeschoolers like me, a place where we could get to know one another and exchange ideas as freely as Bill Gotherd intended (Mental Gag). The site’s rules said you couldn’t post unless you were sixteen, so for about 6-7 months I waited for my sixteenth birthday.

June 2nd, 2008, the day had arrived, I was now 10 years old with 6 years experience, I could now get a drivers license, in most third world cultures, I was considered a man. But none of that mattered to me on that day, all I could think about was the fact I could now join this illustrious and exclusive web community. Within mere moments, I was bored out of my skull and went in search of much needed birthday cake. But Little did I know that someone else would be having their 16th just two years later, and that she would turn my head on it’s literal ear.

 

Two years later.

 

I was now a veteran of this site, I had seen a few thing, and wore that meager experience like a peacock wears his tail feathers. I had seen it all, and I had done it all, and I was bored. I had made a few friends on there, very few of whom I still talk to today, but I kept feeling this sense of longing. That was mostly in part of the fact I was in die hard crush mode on my best friend’s little sister, but I can now see I was longing for a simple friend. Yes, I had my Bestie,  but at the time things weren’t as between he and I as they are now.  Suffice it to say that, at the time, I trusted him more than he trusted me. One day, I was perusing the forums and profiles of the Homeschooler site, when I stumbled across brand new member that had joined just a few days before. I looked at the profiles pictures, read it’s “About me”, checked the post history. Remembering the minutiae of my this encounter is fairly difficult, so I can’t vouch for it’s accuracy, but I do remember thinking something along the lines of,”She’s pretty, too bad she’s only sixteen.”

 

Strike one for the Man-Child.

 

Over the next few months we would exchange friendly banter across forums, leave messages on each others walls, and would eventually become internet buddies. We even attended the same Homeschooler Video chat room a few times.

When I turned eighteen, which was somewhere in this mess of a timeline, I made my first and only Facebook account, and this girl (We’ll call her Stacy) was one of the first people I officially friended, and about a year or so later we exchanged phone numbers. Then things cooled off on the Nate/Stacy battlefront, as work was becoming a full time concern for me and she was attending her local community college. I would work about two or three different jobs in the time period between about 2011 when I got my GED and the beginning of 2013, In that time, we talked over the phone almost every day, telling each other about their day, and listening to what happened at school, or who did what at work and so on. Then one day, she told me something I wasn’t ready for, I don’t think I’d  be ready for even now: She was dying.

 

I shit you not, she was not expecting to live past her mid twenties. That hurt more than anything else I’d felt before, My friend, the one I’d grown close to in the last two years, my confidant, could be gone before I had the chance to meet her in person?  I was tearing in two, part of me want to say,”Fuck everything else,  I’m going to fix this if it kills me.” the other part was urging restraint, spouting doubts, even saying that I didn’t really know her.

That’s when I came up with the crazy idea, that I would go visit this friend of mine, before my chance was lost forever.

 

Strike two for the manchild.

 

I was selfish. I wanted to see her, not for her sake, but for MY  sake. I told the two parental units of the household of my grandiose scheme, and they were quick to shoot it down.

Reason 1.

I had never met this woman in person.

Reason 2.

I didn’t have the money to make a cross country trip.

Reason 3.

The vehicle I had was, how to put this delicately, a fucked up piece of shit that was waiting to

murder me. By either exploding or just stranding me in the middle of nowhere.

Reason 4.

I simply didn’t make enough money to even consider it.

 

Once they had finally hammered it into my thick skull that  not only was I incapable or going, but also they wouldn’t let me. Stacy started to get better, going from “Could be any day” to “Make the most of your twenties, because you’ll not see your thirties.”

I had a reprieve,  a chance both she and I still had time for us to meet in person, a thing of which she made clear she was looking forward to.

With the knowledge she was safe from imminent danger in the meantime, I concentrated my focus back on work.

The employment I was enjoying during Stacy’s death crisis had dried up, and I was unemployed for about six months. I broke my paycheck dry spell by getting a job as a grill technician at a local fast food chain. (Braum’s Ice Cream,  for any Midwestern readers.)

And this was the start of my philosophical and emotional evolution, another story for another time. I really owe that job to my younger Sister who had put in a good word to her boss and landed me an interview, I think I made a good impression, seeing as I was employed under the same manager for almost a year and a half, even after switching locations.

About five months after being hired, I started attending my local community college at age 21. Laugh now, but I was doing this 100% debt free and without a cent of scholarships. Woopie…

After a month of pure monetary torture, I realized the meager $8.55 at 26-28 hours a week wasn’t gonna cut the mustard for much longer. I needed either a better paying job, or a second job. I chose the latter. My School offered a work study program that both paid and, AND gave a 3 credit hour discount. Fuck, the hell, yeah. I snatched that opportunity up like a falcon dive-bombing a pigeon,  and began the most grueling nine months I’ve ever gone through. One job that paid $8.55/hour @ 26-28 hours a week, a second job that paid $7.45/hour @ 19 hours a week, and between 12-9 credit hours for the two semesters I did this. How I managed it with the prior stress training I had, I don’t know.

 

This is when things get shitty.

 

During all this, starting back when I made that first account, I was evolving as a person. I was growing away from my parents ideologies about life and morality, it didn’t help that we had gone through a few religion changes during all this time as well, so I was essentially forced to come up with my own set of moral standards, because the foundation I was raised on was ripped away with nothing firm to replace it. I began to question everything,  starting with my Fastfood boss, who happened to be a lesbian. She opened my eyes to a lot of things, mostly how wrong the stereotypes I’d been brought up in (not by my parents) were so incredibly wrong. Also, going to college, My first actual classroom setting I’d ever experienced was  a massive eye opener as well, with the classes I attended and people I met, it changed me at a fundamental level.

 

But, unbeknownst to me, Stacy was going through some changes to. Since her diagnosis, she began to live her life as if each day was her last. She decided to continue with her education and study to become an EMT, much to the chagrin of her parents and LDBF at the time. Also there were ongoing emotional trauma continueing on the in background of all this, which I won’t go into as these were told to me in confidence. Suffice it to say, I still choke up when I think about it.

For me, life couldn’t be better. Sure it was stressful, with the things that had happened in the beginning of 2013 , it was more stressful than anything I’d ever gone through but I could handle it.

 

Then things started to go to shit.

 

To back up a few months, my dearly beloved Meemaw passed in the early months of 2013, which was soon followed up by the suicide of a cousin and the accidental death of a childhood friend. All within a few months of each other. My family was in a shambles, my Mother’s Mom had passed, my Father’s dad was getting worse in his previously diagnosed Alzheimer’s, (Fucking eternal damnation on the hell spawn that came up with that.) and we were all trying to cope in our own ways. Mine way, it to burry it. Burry it so deep no one, not even your self can see it, let alone feel it. Alway wear a smile, always give a laugh, and everything will go back to normal. I was and am heading for a breakdown that has yet to happen, but it promises to be one of epic proportions…

My manner of copage, while most likely intensely harmful, to a lesser or greater extent worked. It had most everyone fooled, even me. Until that second date.

I was all set, or so I thought. I had convinced myself I liked her, that what I felt was more or less real. Until she stood me up. All the pain, all the hurt, every unrequited feeling of romance I had ever felt, welled up to the surface. I left the place we were to meet, and drove straight home.

 

I couldn’t think straight, I was close to absolutely losing all hope and all grasp of sanity when I called the one person that came to mind. “Stacy”.  I dialed and drove the 3.5 miles back home, and when she answered the phone, I put on my bravest voice and tried to hide it.

It didn’t last. I caved and told her everything that was going on, and she listened to what I had to say, through all the sobs, through all the moans of pure sorrow, she listened to it all. we talked for about an hour or more, I can remember exactly, but she told me to call her if I needed to talk some more.

And call her I did. If we were talking everyday back when we thought she was dying, we were talking   to each other at least twice a day now, maybe even more. And over the course of about six months, the confidant I had in her began to become something more in my sight.

Sadly, this was not the case from her perspective. Where she was a platform to vent all my pent up emotional vomit and angst, I was her springboard for issues in her own love life.

 

I will spare  the details here as this is getting far more lengthy than I intended, and the opportunity for me to turn this into a “She owes me for being such a good friend” argument is all too real a temptation.

 

Strike three against the Man-Child was fast approaching.

 

Semester two started off with about the same fare as the last one, except weather was colder, the classes were different, and the familial troubles were getting worse.  In truth, it was nothing like the previous term, I was switching majors, my grandad was getting worse, my emotional burying technique was close to it’s zenith, and now my uncle on the same side as my grandad was in ill health. If I could sum up the first few months of 2014, it would be that for me, everything to do with Y chromosomes was going to shit.  Then suddenly, Finals.

Keep in mind, there were multiple issues which “Stacy” was contending, During this entire time, she’d gone through at least one break up, and last I had heard was in the process of a second one. She was getting flak from her parents, she was going through a similar religious crisis I had gone through, and had to deal with starting the infinite abyss in her near future, and still was able to somehow put up with my self important bullshit this entire time.

I can honestly say, the finals for spring 2014 were the single hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The week of finals, my Grandad passes way. This shit is starting to get to me, I started smoking cigarettes around that time, and I was constantly withdrawing into myself for some sort of relief from this fucking world. I began to seriously worry about my mental state, and I still don’t know if I’m 100% okay upstairs. Stacy found out about y smoking and was practically livid, she threatened to cut off all communication until I was clean, and that was went it started. True, unadulterated, fear of abandonment.

I began to panic, which made me smoke more, which made me lie about it to Stacy, which made me guilty which made me smoke even more.It spiraled down until she had enough, and she quit taking my calls. No contact, no nothing. I had lost her.

 

Since then, some 6 months later, her name brings an ache to my chest, a gut wrenching feeling that I’ve lost a thing not much else in this mortal plain can compare. I true friend.


Strike three for the Manchild, I’m out.

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Unusual journal entries about Dr. Sansberg, PHD

Dream Log Entry #234
7/17/2028 C.E
J.J Buchanan

In a singular instant, all consciousness was ripped from my mind. Driven out. Replaced with utter darkness
Fear and terror gripped at my absent mind as the totality of the void consumed me

Then, a brilliant point of light projected out of the pitch blackness and filled my mind’s eye. With the voice of a trillion supernovae it called out my name
Not the assemblage of agreed upon scribbles and sounds given by mortal progenitors, but my true name. A name no one has heard before or since.
Even as I write this, the very familiarity of the name that was called out is slipping away.

The light then shifted into a brightly shining crystalline being. A being that radiated pure power and wisdom. With lips that never moved, and a soundless voice, it spoke to me.

Me. Someone unworthy to even imagine such an occurrence.

The message has been lost to the annals of my memory. God only knows what is was that I really saw.
Maybe I’ll never know…
***
Dream Log Entry #235
Same Night as Previous Entry

LightstreamingpastmysoulrippingeverythingIholddearandtearingthemintosubatomicparticlessmallerthanthesmallestpartseverdiscovered.

I remember the message.
t was a warning to all mankind.

Lightissimplystringtheoryexpressingitselfinaonedimensionalwaveformvibratingatspeedsincomprehensibletophysicistsandmathematiciansalike.

The crystalline entity reached out and felt my lips without ever moving either of it’s transparent limbs or moving from the place it had appeared.

It spoke into my mind.
It screamed.
WHY ARE YOU ALIVE
WHAT MAKES YOU KEEP STEADFAST TO YOUR MISERY
WHY DO YOU SURVIVE

8/20/2028

Dear Sir,

I need answers. The dreams haven’t stopped since I first wrote you three days ago. I’ve decided to attach scans of my dream log entries for the past month in this message from the first occurrence to last night. Every night I wake up from these dreams in a cold sweat with the distinct impression that someone has been watching me. And last night I set a set up a webcam to observe my sleep patterns and maybe see if I might reveal something in way of sleep-talking.

The webcam was missing this morning.

Not misplaced. Not moved. Missing. I don’t know who or what did this but who or whatever it was deleted the file that was recorded last night. Maybe I deleted the file in some sort of weird sleepwalking routine, maybe someone is pulling a sick prank, I don’t know.

I need answers. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I can’t sleep, I can barely eat, and I’ve used up the last of my sick days at work so I fear I’ll be fired soon if I show up late one more time.
Can you help me?

-John James Buchanan

***

PROFESSIONAL JOURNAL FOR DOCTOR KYLER W. SANDSBERG//21st OF AUGUST 2028 C.E

I received a most curious message yesterday from one John James Buchanan, a man who claims to be plagued with visions of a frighteningly spiritual nature. In his letter, he describes a scene out a Lovecraft novel.
My initial reaction would be to hand out a simple diagnosis of stress induced hysteria, but upon looking into the matter further, I made the discovery that Mr. Buchanaan has been unemployed for the last eight months. And his previous place of employment was one of a low pressure environment, his job being a senior animal keeper at his local petting zoo.
I also have reason to doubt that these dreams are drug induced either with the fairly recent regulations on drug use in careers centered around children. Although, a full drug and toxin screening will be in order.
This case intrigues me, but I cannot go into detail at the moment as I have a prior engagement. I will elaborate further in future entries.

-K.W.Sansberg, PHD

AUDIO JOURNAL ENTRY FOR DR. KYLER W. SANDSBERG
15th OF NOVEMBER, 2029 C.E

After nearly three months with no contact, out of no where, Mr. Buchanan shows up at my door step. Not my office, mind you, my personal residence.

This shouldn’t be possible as my personal address has been removed from any and all public record since I’ve been on the “No solicitors” list since it went into effect in 2025.
I believe a word with the police is in order.

*knock knock*

/sigh/

What now?
*sounds of moving furniture and soft foot steps away from microphone*
*muffled voices*
*Gunshots*

//END OF RECORDING//

Dr Alverstien, County Coroner, autopsy report on one Dr K W Sandsberg, 15/11/2028.

Subject is a male, mid forties, Caucasian, brought in from the scene at approximately 6 Am this morning.
Upon first glance, subject has multiple contusions and lacerations all over the body, with clusters of which in areas around the heart, liver, and large intestine. A large gunshot wound to the cranium, seems to be the primary suspect for cause of death, but I don’t think that is the case in this instance.

I will elaborate further in to the autopsy…

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Death in The Modern age

(This was my final paper for English Comp 2)

Nathaniel Branham
Jennifer Ford
English Comp II
05/03/2014

Death in the Modern Age

Throughout the history of literature, there have been many types of introspective works. But very few have so eloquently touched upon death as Emily Dickinson did in her poem, “I Heard a Fly Buzz– When I died”, a short work about a person’s final thoughts at the moment of death. Death, a specific defining moment, has been a sensitive subject for most. However, death has been going through a bit of a transition in the last few years in both its ethical, legal and even scientific understandings. It might be overwhelming for someone come to grips with after the many centuries of its definition being when the heart stops beating. But recently (within the last fifty years) that age old definition has changed (Determination).

In 1978, lawmakers and scientist both came to a realization that the age-old definition of death needed to be brought into the modern age. With the implication of the Uniform Brain Death Act (UBDA) , medical professionals no longer had to declare death as soon as their patients stopped breathing (Determination). Stating their definition of legal death as the “irreversible cessation of all functioning of the brain, including the brain stem”, lawmakers were able to further mankind’s understanding of each individual’s end. However, due to unfortunate wording choices, the original document was hard for most states to adopt into their own legal systems. In 1980, a solution was brought forth in the form of the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA); while still not perfect, it allowed state lawmakers to implement into their books, and is still in effect today (Determination).

In National Geographic’s 2008 documentary “The Moment of Death,” filmmaker Mark Mannucci interviews the world’s top critical care physicians and neuroscientists to discover what happens at our inevitable moment of death. One such expert, Lance Becker from the university of Pennsylvania’s emergency medicine department, had this to say, “Death is a process…There’s this point where someone’s mostly dead. And then there’s the point where they’re dead dead”(Mannucci). In the film, the scenario of someone in a coma or suffering respiratory failure was used a model in their examples. In both cases, cell death due to lack of oxygen was the main culprit (Mannucci).

However, death is not a simple scientific matter according to Hornby K, “Death is generally understood to be based on the irreversible cessation of either brain function or circulatory and respiratory functions and the determination of death is a clinical matter that should be made according to widely accepted guidelines established by expert medical groups….there is a lack of consensus on how long circulation and respiration must cease for a person to be determined dead” (Hornby). In Hornby’s paper on Auto Resuscitation after cardiac arrest, he says this in his conclusion, “The limitations of the existing data in this field strongly support the need for additional potential methods of evaluating the “time to death” question after withdrawal of life support” (Hornby).

Outside the medical professions, there is another side of death that is being debated, what actually constitutes death, what happens if someone were to come back and is death really that evil? Theodore Sider has this to say, “What can metaphysics contribute to the question of the evil of death? It cannot, on its own, settle the question, since there is no simple rule telling us how to adjust value in light of new information about underlying nature”(Sider). Metaphysics can be described as a way “…to investigate Ultimate Reality”(Sider), but more importantly, “Will a clear view of what death is help us decide whether it is bad? Not necessarily. The discovery that death = X might instead affect our appraisal of X, leaving our appraisal of death untouched” (Sider). In Theodore Sider’s conclusion leaves one with more questions than answers, the real questions are about the structure of our values, and they remain to be answered: do such facts explain why it is so bad to die?” Is it bad to die? This author cannot say either yes or no; however, new studies into to Near Death Experiences (NDEs) might provide insight as to what happens when we die… or almost die.

Near-death experiences (NDE­s) are common enough that they have enter­ed our everyday language. Phrases like “my whole life flashed before my eyes” and “go to the light” come from decades of research into these strange, seemingly supernatural experiences that some people have when they’re at the brink of death” (Grabianowski). According to Grabianowski, science has yet to fully explain why NDEs happen, but they have determined that NDEs are both physiological and psychological in nature. However, researchers Cheryl Fracasso and Harris Friedman from Neuroquantology have this to say in their research paper of the subject: “Stefansson, Traustason, and Eysteinsson (2006) suggested that visual sensations in NDEs are associated with different tissue pressures in the eyes and brain as a result of reduced arterial blood pressure during times
of trauma or stress…However, this model fails to account for OBEs [Out of Body Experiences] that were reported during the NDE, especially those that included accounts of veridical perception (i.e., when it was reported that NDErs accurately described resuscitation efforts) that have been allegedly corroborated by medical staff (Holden, 2009)” (Fracasso). “At this point, it is our belief that the majority of the evidence does suggest that something profound might be occurring that could challenge some of the most basic assumptions we hold about reality; we also acknowledge that more conventional materialistic explanations cannot yet be definitively ruled out, although they have thus far not explained away these intriguing reports from NDEs. It also remains to be seen whether quantum physics or other newer scientific approaches can eventually offer any better grounds for explaining how a disembodied consciousness could possibly exist separately from a functioning brain during NDEs” (Fracasso). Fracasso and Friedman go on to poke further holes into accepted scientific theory, Noyes and Kletti (1977) proposed a depersonalization theory of NDEs as a form of detachment that occurs as a psychological defense against the fear of death. However, this theory has been highly criticized since common features of depersonalization outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual ofMental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000) include feelings of strangeness, a sense of decreased reality or loss of reality, and detachment from one’s body” (Fracasso).

Perhaps Dickinson said it best, “And then the Windows failed – and then I could not see to see – (Dickinson)” Maybe the only time we will ever truly know what happen at the moment of death, regardless of all the technological advancements we may have at our disposal, is when it is our time to leave this mortal struggle. Whether or not death is ultimately evil or good, that remains to be seen. But until then, we can always look deeper into science, metaphysics, even psychology for answers. And who knows, we might just find some one day.

Works Cited

“Determination of Death Act Summary.” Determination of Death Act Summary.
N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.
Dickinson, Emily, “I Heard a Fly Buzz—When I died.”

Making Literature Matter. Schilb John, Clifford John, eds
Boston: Bedford St. Martins 2012. 1611, 1612. Print.
Fracasso, Cheryl, and Harris Freidman.

“Near‐Death Experiences and the Possibility of
Disembodied Consciousness Challenges to Prevailing Neurobiological and Psychosocial Theories.” Neurquantology.com. Neuroquantology, Mar. 2011. Web. 5 May 2014.
Grabianowski, Ed.

“How Near-death Experiences Work.” HowStuffWorks.
HowStuffWorks.com, 30 Mar. 2006. Web. 05 May 2014.
Hornby, K., MSc, L. Hornby, MSc, and S. D. Shemie, MD.

“A Systematic
Review of Autoresuscitation after Cardiac Arres… : Critical Care Medicine.” A Systematic Review of Autoresuscitation after Cardiac Arres… : Critical Care Medicine. Critical Care Medicine, n.d. Web. 05 May 2014.
Mannucci, Mark.

“National Geographic: Moment of Death.”
National Geographic: Moment of Death. 2 Sept. 2008. Television.
Sider, Theodore.

“The Evil of Death: What Can Metaphysics Contribute?”
Tedsider.org. Tedsider.org, n.d. Web. 5 May 2014.

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English Comp 1 essay, Final Paper: “Psychedelics, The Healthy Option?”

Disclaimer:

In now way do I advocate the use of Illegal substances for recreational use. This paper was attempting to question why such things have been made un lawful when there are scientific evidence to say that they aren’t as harmful as we’ve been lead to believe.

Direct link to GoogleDrive Document Here.

 

 

Nathaniel Branham

James Davis

English Composition 1

12/11/13

Psychedelics, The Healthy Option?

Psychedelics have gotten a bad reputation. LSD, Magic Mushrooms, Peyote Cactus, basically anything that could –in high enough doses– make you see strange and often wondrous things have been shunned by the law abiding, conservative population segment of America. Why? Because they are illegal. Because, someone up on Capitol hill decided that psychedelic experiences were bad for you. However, new research is coming to light that states “…psychedelic use was associated with lower rate of mental health problems” (Krebs).

The thought among supporters of the drug community is that seeing visions of a hallucinogenic nature actually strengthens the neural pathways and promote creativity.  There actually is a psychedelic compound, called ibogaine, that has been a valid treatment for opioid addiction. (Opium, and heroin.) However, past research –especially studies made in the ‘60s and ‘70s–  was tainted by the researchers being high themselves and further tainted by individuals such as Timothy Leary who was caught stealing  LSD from harvard University and giving it to some of his students. In 1966, because psychedelics like LSD had leaked out of the scientific community and into the hands of less than scholarly people, LSD misuse had become an unavoidable problem and it’s possession was made illegal (Sessa).

It wasn’t until 1988 when Switzerland briefly and limitedly lifted the research ban on psychedelics that research was finally resumed. From ‘88 to ‘93, Swiss scientists conducted psycholytic-psychotherapy on mental patients using LSD and MDMA (Ecstasy) . Likewise, from 1990 to 1995 US scientists performed extensive studies with DMT, a short lasting but strong psychedelic agent. Also, in Russia, a double blind placebo test on heroin addicts using ketamine saw abstinence from the drug for up to two years after the initial treatment (Sessa).   The most exciting studies, however, are the ones using ibogaine to treat opioid addictions.  Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid found in bark of the African shrub Tabernanthe iboga, and is alleged to cure opioid addictions. Alper, Lotsof, Frenken, Luciano, and Bastiaans observe and summarize thirty-three different cases of opioid detoxification with ibogaine, under non-medical conditions (R.Alper).

It’s not all roses and sunshine, specifically in the case of LSD.  Lysergic acid diethylamide has a number of effects across different species. The LD50 , lethal dose for 50% of users, of LSD in rabbits , for example, is 0.03 mg/kg i.v. The LD50 for humans is unknown, as there has not been a recorded case of LSD overdose in humans. “Eight individuals who accidentally consumed a very high dose of LSD intranasally (mistaking it for cocaine) had plasma levels of 1000–7000μg per 100 mL blood plasma and suffered from comatose states, hyperthermia, vomiting, light gastric bleeding, and respiratory problems. However, all survived with hospital treatment and without residual effects” (Passie). That was one of the highest doses recorded and all they had was, more or less, superficial. That’s not to say that LSD isn’t toxic, it’s just that we haven’t found a dose high enough to actually kill someone.

It does go without saying that there is an inherent danger with psychedelics, and that’s driving while using them. Driving under the influence of LSD is a terrible idea. Aside from the obvious legality issues, LSD and other psychedelics can: impair speed of reaction, cause panic attacks, cause users to overestimate time intervals, and also temporarily impair visual memory (Passie).

In the non-scientific realms, psychedelic substances play a major role in  shamanistic and counter-culture practices. They also are a huge enabler for parapsychological studies, the study of events and phenomena outside the regular realm of accepted science; as psychotropic and psychedelic material, in large enough doses, cause the user(s) to experience Out of Body Experience (OBEs), Extrasensory Perception(ESP), and general hallucinations with varying degrees of perceived reality (Luke).

Interestingly enough, these aforementioned effects of “The bad trip” have no long term mental health effects. Looking at population data from ‘01 to ‘04 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, researchers Teri S. Krebs and Pål-Ørjan Johansen from Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) looked at lifetime usage of LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline and cross referenced those numbers with those of mental health breakdown instances. What they found was of the 103,152 respondents to the study,  21,967 (13.4%) said they had used the aforementioned psychedelics at least once in their lifetime.  And in that 13.4%, they looked for “…symptoms of eight psychiatric disorders (panic disorder, major depressive episode, mania, social phobia, general anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, post traumatic stress disorder, and non-affective psychosis), and seven specific symptoms of non-affective psychosis.”  Krebs and Johansen took all extraneous sociodemographic variables into account. To name a few; “Illicit drug use, risk taking behavior, and exposure to traumatic events.”   According to  Krebs and Johansen, “…psychedelic use was associated with lower rate of mental health problems” (Krebs).

The topic of psychedelics has always been a tricky one. Between uninformed naysayers and the overall legality, or lack thereof, it’s very hard to take a stand and go against the conservative party line of “All substances that make you see things are of Satan! Repent!”  In the research this writer has done, there is next to no scientific findings that support the prior allegations. In fact quite the opposite.  From a logical perspective, psychedelics (as defined as being LSD, Psilocybin, Mescaline, Ketamine, MDMA, DMT, and Ibogaine.) aren’t addictive and they expose your brain to a new way of looking at the world; if only for a little while. A body builder does a list of things to make sure he builds muscle, exercises and stretches his body. If learning new things is exercise for our brain, should we not likewise stretch it as well?

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Krebs, Teri S., and Pål-Ørjan Johansen. “Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study.” Ed.

Lin Lu. PLoS ONE 8.8 (2013): e63972.

Lüscher, Christian, and Mark A. Ungless. “The Mechanistic Classification of Addictive Drugs.” PLoS

Medicine 3.11 (2006): e437.

Baggott, Matthew J. et al. “Investigating the Mechanisms of Hallucinogen-Induced Visions Using

3,4-Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA): A Randomized Controlled Trial in Humans.” Ed. Antonio Verdejo García. PLoS ONE 5.12 (2010): e14074.

Sotnikova, Tatyana D. et al. “The Dopamine Metabolite 3-Methoxytyramine Is a Neuromodulator.” Ed.

Alessandro Bartolomucci. PLoS ONE 5.10 (2010): e13452.

Alper, R. ; Howard S. Lotsof; Geerte, Kenneth. “Treatment of Acute Opioid Withdrawal with

Ibogaine.” American Journal on Addictions 8.3 (1999): 234-242.

SESSA, B. “Can psychedelics have a role in psychiatry once again?” The British Journal of Psychiatry

186.6 (2005): 457-458.

Passie, Torsten et al. “The Pharmacology of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide: A Review.”

CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics 14.4 (2008): 295-314.

Luke, David. “Psychoactive Substances and Paranormal Phenomena: A Comprehensive Review.”

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies 31.1 (2012): 97-156. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

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UPDATE: The future of this little corner of the interwebs

Writing is my dream.
But I currently don’t have a good road map to make writing my full time job. That’s not to say I’m giving up, quite the opposite.

For you people that just recently started following me, which was a shock to me by the way, I will begin regularly update in this site with Something every Saturday….. Unless the demon of procrastination rears it’s ugly yet inevitable head….

Until I’m able to continue Order of Ouroboros, or create other new short stories, I’m going to be releasing papers from my College English Comprehension class and other assorted works in no particular order.

Tomorrow, I will be releasing a paper fro my first Semester English Comp 1 class entitled: “Psychedelics, The Healthy Option?”.
It’s one I’m pretty proud of, and it received an “A” grade within that class.

Also, there may (Emphasis on “May“) be some permanent changes coming to AnOddSort here in the next six months to next year, but as so very many numerous things hang on them ever coming into fruition, this statement is actually more for my benefit than that of the readers.

Until next time,

-Nate

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Update: That thing which is long overdue

Wow. It’s been well over a year since I even touched this little experiment…
lets see, since January 2013, I’ve gone to college for the first time ever and completed two semesters. I’ve been employed with three different companies in three different fields, those being: Fast food, College Facility, and I am currently with a third party technical support vendor for the world’s largest retailer based out of Bentonville Arkansas (HintHint Winkwink Nudgenudge).

I’ve almost completely stopped writing, save a few random ramblings hastily jotted down into my ineffectual semi-smart phone, but I hope to get back into the flow soon enough.

I will be posting a few selections from my un-intentional hiatus, starting with a more currant piece.

I don’t believe I will finish any previously promised works because, lets face it, no one really reads this blog so I will say and do what I want. If You do read this page of drivel, CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve officially run of things to read.

All joking aside, I’ve grown a lot in the last year, and I hope to keep on keeping on, but for now that’s pretty much everything that’s going on with me.

 

I hope the phantasmal read out there enjoyed this,

 

-Anoddsort.

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