At work, I'm mostly gambling, betting on my own ability to launch my super-powers as soon as they're needed. This sounds psychotic, but isn't -- my "super-powers" are being able to work consistently in an intellectually demanding job that's in principle compatible with my skills and abilities. It's just that I'm afraid of creeping inertia, executive dysfunction (I hate doing this, therefore I'm literally incapable of doing it) and the deer-in-the-headlights effect of getting a huge information transfer in a short time. I can handle pretty hard analytical stuff but I'm ADD enough I can't speak in paragraph-long sentences because I start to forget the beginning of what I was saying.

At home, I'm avoiding stress. "Stress" being "getting excited and hyper about some personal project". The thing is that I have a kind of rapid cycling that begins with a quick onset of mania that gradually decays into a manageable form of hypomania (as I act swiftly to stop the madness) and suddenly crashes into mixed state if I push too hard -- if, or rather when, the manic impulse gets the better of me. I'm not even trying to see if the film scanner is working one more time before declaring it stevejobbed. (It's not an apple product, it's just my new term for "once great, now dead"). I'm also trying to diminish the effect of daylight saving time over my light input, partially closing the blinds when I get home and it's still very bright outside. I don't know if getting light very early when I resume surfing lessons this thursday will fuck things up again.

I'm getting kind of compulsive about the forum, replying even when I have nothing to add besides "Hang in there, dude. It's hard, I've been there". I'm measuring my words and trying hard to avoid speculation/acting like a MD. My old pdoc joked that I could take his place once in a while because I had gotten so good at DXing people from their case stories. (We did this as a strange exercise in self-awareness and finding out about symptoms I might have but not know that are symptoms; stories were not attached to names. Probably unethical as fuck but I learned a lot).

Can't sleep again. What's that Marilyn Manson song that goes "ROCK STAR yeah (I'm such a dirty dirty)"?

I remember when I met this guy they shot and killed on tv.

It was the last few weeks of our tour around the world. We arrived in Tripoli for a day or more. The captain of our ship didn't say how long. I left the harbour with a bunch of Japanese tourists and we walked the streets of Tripoli. It was 2002.

Colonel Gaddafi walked into me as I left his hotel, his guards stopped me. Immediately, he questioned us. A Japanese tourist translated and it went like this:

"He wants to know why Japan doesn't like his people, he wants to know why Tony Blair doesn't come sooner, he wants to know why the British people don't come on pass...why don't they fly here for holiday, good time?"

All I could see, inbetween the tourists and hassle, was Gaddafi shaking and looking into my eyes. I could feel the power, the control - even to this day, I can feel that. Sometimes, when I sleep - I can see that moment, I can picture his eyes.

And all I remember when I returned to my cabin is the mistake I didn't make when I finally fell to sleep.

Halfway through the bus ride — that is, at a point of the ride which was neither the beginning nor the end, all else being an indivisible median — a disembodied voice emerges behind us (more on her later), a halting yet strangely forward inquiry to a fellow passenger. No, no, nothing salacious, but certainly a question out of turn, there are preliminaries and introductions and banter to be undertaken first. And during a morning bus ride! That precious mass, you and your brethren silently genuflecting before the gods of Peace and Quiet.

Now the conversation begins, slowly at first, seeking out points of common interest, but within a few moments it's clear that our initiator is the agreeably lonely sort, convivial, a bit slow — alright, alright, oblivious — and no stranger to those devastating rebuffs wrapped up in the cold instinct of elitism we later recast as industrious dignity of the ambitious soul.

I play a little game, closing my eyes and imagining him, unkempt hair, jowls and puffy cheeks, his hang-dog eyelids creased and lips slightly open in that expression of a mind trying to listen closely and failing, already delving into some new inner fancy, rudely shaping it for public release. I look; if I were a betting man, I would not have been displeased.

It has been my experience that the corner of one's eye captures a universe that, forever in periphery, is liberated from judgment and thus slightly more alive. While performing my appraisal of the idolater I spy another (cf. "us") in the same act. Here the similarities end: I am the curious researcher, she is a priestess administering an inquisition (on a bus ride one's revenge is always initiated with a sigh.)

Her first volley is a steady staccatoing of the fingers, a tried and true gambit - but the defense's walls remain stubbornly unaffected. Next comes the piercing stare; unfortunately it is, as far as I can tell, too effective, boring right through the target and careening off into space. On to round three, the coughing fit, fighting sonic fire with fire, the hypocrisy of a scold laid bare. (War is hell.) There is an awkward moment where the conversationalist struggles against the assault by speaking even louder, misinterpreting this calculated maneuver as merely the work of an uncooperative larynx. But then comes the epiphany, the abrupt retreat, the surrender, the burying of the dead.

Still halfway through the bus ride (though the skyline is growing ever closer on the horizon), I feel a sudden pang of relief. How do you separate adherence from indifference in a world of silence? Before this jihad, our religion was lacking, complacent, untested, harmony too easily attainable. From now on, I will play the happy martyr, and Peace and Quiet will find their champions, and together we will atone for all sins of omission.

My dream of going to California and returning gainfully employed died as soon as I picked up my phone to text what was going to be my future employer. I suppose everyone gets frustrated with their life and wishes that they could do things differently or certain things they had to deal with would magically go away. After being sick for several days I found myself no longer dehydrated but wanting more from my life than I have now. So I started doing research and found myself reading a book that I can get only because I have a Barnes and Noble gift card.

For a long time I have wanted to divorce myself and my family from the world I see. There are many good things and people out there it's just that their ideas about food and nutrition no longer intersect with mine. I can't protect my children from everything, all I can do is give them the best foundation I am able to. Tonight we went to my daughter's first Forensics meet. I had asked her several times if she wanted to practice but every time she told me no so I let it go figuring that was a battle I didn't want to fight.

My mother-in-law is in town, before the meet we sat around discussing her new diet plan and for a woman in her sixties my mother-in-law is pretty badass. She typically spends a couple hours at the gym, she's a master gardener and she can out-shop me any day. My mother also came out to see my oldest perform. She brought my niece along and there was some initial confusion about the time of the event but we managed to get that sorted out. The meet lasted much longer than any of us had predicted and fortunately there was a concession stand or my kids wouldn't have had much in the line of supper.

One of the supremely annoying things that people in my family do is assume expert knowledge when they should keep their mouths shut. This is something I struggle with, merely because you know something about X does not make you an expert, opinions are yours and if another person finds them not in alignment with yours that does not make you less of a being.

So we're at the concession stand and my mom is offering my children Twizzlers candy. Right away I'm annoyed first of all because my mom was psycho hard core about sugar, candy, and artificial colorings when we were kids. Now that I'm old enough to recognize that candy is crap she's suddenly done a one-eighty on me. Her new husband likes sweets so all of a sudden my mom does too.

When I told my daughter she couldn't have any licorice my mom gave me a look of disbelief. She rolled her eyes at me when I explained that there was gluten in them. My mother categorically stated that candy doesn't have gluten in it and instead of arguing with her I walked away. Even if I didn't know that the second ingredient in Twizzlers is wheat flour I know that no matter what you always have to read every label and you can never assume anything is gluten free since manufacturers can change practices and ingredients at any time.

What really bothers me about the Twizzlers incident is that my mom walked over to the Twizzlers container to verify my information. When I try to limit things like candy and soda my mom acts like she wasn't half of a parenting duo that ordered one soda for our entire family of seven to share when we went through the McDonald's drive thru. To be fair to her my mom doesn't eat a lot of candy but her facts about diet and nutrition are seriously out of date.

I resent being challenged on a matter regarding the health and welfare of my children as I feel it should be enough that my wishes as a parent are respected. Food dyes have landed me in the emergency room, I currently have a fifty-four pound ten year old and what a lot of people don't understand is that there is no margin for junk in a child's diet. People are so accustomed to feeding children garbage that denying it makes me look like I'm the unbalanced one.

The cleaner my house gets the harder my children have to work to get junk. Some people think that not having any junk food around will make my children go nuts when they have the opportunity to have it. That will be their decision eventually and I won't be able to do anything about it then but while the girls are under my roof I am going to make a serious effort to insure that every bite of food they take is as good as it can possibly be. I am not here to win popularity contests, I don't care if my children don't like things I make, I am a parent not their friend and hopefully some day they will appreciate some of the sacrifices I've made on their behalf.

My oldest daughter has been gluten free for just over a month. She's lost about three pounds, she went from a size eight to a size seven and her new jeans fit her much better than the older pairs that had a larger waist. Her hair is not as dry as it used to be, her teacher said that things have been going much better at school in terms of her behavior and all of her grades are better compared to her mid-term report card.

While she tells me repeatedly that the gluten free diet is not helping and complains about the weight loss I have seen improvements in her ability to concentrate and her willingness to help around the house. Today she voluntarily started practicing her clarinet and even though she complained about having to dry dishes she kept up with it for the most part.

I have noticed some improvements in my youngest daughter although they are less dramatic than the changes in my oldest. All I want is for my children to have the best I can afford to give them. Sometimes that means I say no to things that they want. Tonight my husband told my daughter that something wouldn't hurt her and while a corn chip dipped in fake nacho cheese probably seems innocuous to most I see things through different eyes.

My husband wants me to work for him, he brought it up again tonight and I wanted to tell him that I can't work for someone who challenges my core beliefs. My plan was to go out to California and see if they'd give me enough of a base salary so I could afford to move out. I can find a place that's close enough to school so the girls could walk and since the store where I shop is not far from school I think I could move downtown and get rid of my car.

I'd have more expenses than I do now since I'd have to pay rent but I would save a lot if I could live my life the way I want to instead of having to share a home with someone whose priorities are not in alignment with mine. My mom really likes my husband. Normally when we're disagreeing she takes his side instead of mine however his mom can usually see my side of things so I guess it all works out in the end.

The other day I watched a video that showed a woman who made every inch of space she had count when it came to growing food. I've come a very long ways however I still have much to learn and even more to eventually put into practice. Since discovering I have a citrus allergy my list of safe foods has changed again, the good news there is now I know the true culprit and can stop blaming other foods that are not actually harmful.

Lately I've been envisioning my new place and how much better my life is going to be once I move out. I realize that I would be sacrificing the two parent home my children have lived in for their entire lives but my parents stuck together for their children and that was a mistake I don't want to repeat. It isn't even that I don't like my husband, I want an opportunity to see what I can do for myself, by myself, to improve myself.

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