Find the Root Cause to your problem

I like to listen to a lot of podcasts.  It has been years since I’ve wasted time listening to music in the car because music is just mindless repetition where podcasts open your mind and keep it working.

This time I was listening to The Minimalists podcast and the subject was, “Addiction”.  I almost didn’t listen to this episode since I’m really not addicted to anything in the standard sense but I went ahead and started it. 

A listener called in asking what he could do to help his alcoholic brother who was so addicted to alcohol he could not function.  Much the same as most drug addiction scenarios.

Neither the brother or the hosts of the show seemed to notice that the chronic use of alcohol was not the cause but only a symptom of the problem.  I’m willing to bet that virtually all alcohol/drug use and other such symptoms are only symptoms of a serious problem.

For example, I spent decades fighting deep depression because of my chronic loneliness.  I won’t go into the fact that nobody cared because it’s popular human nature to not care about others.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  All that time I was only fighting the symptom.  

One really needs to step back and look at the big picture.  There is often a cause for any effect.  Keep digging until you find the root cause.  Let’s take me for example:

I was depressed to the point of suicide for more than half of my life because I was desperately lonely without any possibility of parole.  I knew I why I was depressed but was helpless to do anything about it because I was not addressing the root cause.  The root cause was not loneliness.  Look down one step.  Why was I depressed about being lonely?  It was because I was feeling bad about it.  Why was I feeling bad about it?  Because I had the perception that being lonely was bad.

If you break it down to the atomic level, it may be likely that our perception of any situation is the root cause.  It may be that life is as you perceive it

That brother who is abusing alcohol is obviously using it to medicate the symptoms of the real problem.  Trying to help him by making him stop drinking is not helpful.  You need to find and treat his real issue.  He may be lonely.  He may be undereducated and therefore a non-viable citizen.  He may have any of a number of issues that humans suffer from.  Since the sufferer may not have what it takes to dig down to the root cause, if you want to help him, you may need to do it for him.  It took me 40 years to figure it out and I’m relatively sentient.

Of course the sufferer will often fight back because they will not yet have perceived their root cause.  It might take you some serious work to get them to understand.  You can’t force it, of course, but you can try to influence their own self-discovery.

Perception may really be everything.  Reality is as you perceive it.  It sounds pretty outlandish to the Western philosophy but there may be something, or everything, to it.  Change your perception and change your reality.


Thanksgiving Thankfulness

Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Well,  Next Thursday.  Today I was watching Young Sheldon and they were at the dinner table giving thanks.  It made me think.

I’ve never done this thankfulness thing at the table so I wondered what I would say should it happen to me this year.

I would have to say that I am thankful for 40 years of loneliness and depression because it offered me the opportunity to save enough money to retire at 50, move out into the country and reinvent my life while I’m still young enough to do it.

Yeah, I gave up a lot and missed out on a lot of youthful life experiences but in retrospect, it’s over and done so why not look at it in a positive light.  I now have the opportunity that few people ever have in an entire lifetime.

So I never had a close friend.  So I never had a girlfriend or a wife.  I’ll never have children.  I do get a fresh start.  Anything can happen.  I’m born again.  Hmm!  Maybe I’ll have a new birthday now!


A Taste of the Freedom to Come


My vacation is finally here.  There is some kind of rule that Bank employees must take a whole week of contiguous days vacation.  That day has finally come.

I strategically scheduled my time off to coincide with cool weather and a finished house foundation.   I’m going to spend most of this week out in the country framing the walls of my new house.

Along with two weekends and a holiday, I have 10 days off.  I can’t remember the last time I had that much time away from work.  Maybe it was my Hawaiian vacation a number of years ago.  It might have been two weeks.

Got it feels good to be free.  Once my vacation is over I will have only 5-7 weeks of work left before I quit to work full time on my new house.   Unlimited freedom is within my grasp.

I love it when a plan comes together.


What have I done?

zdbrgThere are always those moments after you do something big and bold when you ask yourself, “Oh God.  What have I done?”

I was out at my new property Saturday after mowing all day.  I built a small campfire before spending the night in my RV.   I sat in a folding lawn chair as I listened to the din of a million crickets and looked up at the stars.  I stared at the fire and thought to myself, “What have I done?”

I’ve bitten off the biggest chunk a person can bite off.  Or one of the biggest, I think, next to marriage.  I bought land in the country and started building a house all by myself.  I’m throwing away 50 years of lifebuilding to start a whole new life.  All by myself.  There’s something about sitting in total darkness in an empty field with nothing but a small fire to keep you company to make you feel alone.

Loneliness is not something new to me.  I’ve spent at least 30 of my 50 years in dire loneliness.  Most of it at crippling levels. Before that I was a child so being lonely is pretty much all I’ve ever known.  Never had a close friend.  Never had a girlfriend.  Just me.  Only me.  Ok.  I’ve had two cats and some fish over the years.  I don’t think that counts.

Of course, moving out to the country won’t make me more or less lonely.  I was lonely in the city, I’ll be lonely in the country.  No point worrying about that being different.

My concern may be that doing something as major as this all by yourself is an exercise in craziness.  It’s not like I have any options though.  My life goal has been to live in the country.  I almost died of heart disease a few years ago without reaching that goal.  I had best get my ass in gear if I expect it to ever happen.

I don’t really feel like what I am doing is wrong.  Perhaps it is just the fact that it is so radical.  Change is always a scary thing.  People move all the time.  20 years in the same house is certainly long enough, right?  I’m not doing anything that people haven’t been doing since the dawn of time.

Maybe the scariest part is quitting my job.  I have to quit if I’m going to have time to build a house.  There’s no way a person can work full time and still have any to spare in order to build a house.  I have to concentrate on it with all my attention in order to get at least the framing and exterior complete by the summer meltdown.

Financially, I don’t need to work full time anymore.  My savings afford me a life of basic leisure which I may just take advantage of.  I do have that strange feeling that, even though I hate working with a purple passion, work defines you.  It’s a stupid notion that may either be a standard due to the way life works or maybe some kind of government mind control caused by fluoride in the water.  I know it is stupid but there it is.  Some people retire and shortly thereafter, die of boredom.  Boredom has never been an issue for me.  I can always find something awesome to do.

I still have at least 10 years of work-life in me since most people don’t actually retire until they are like 63.  Still, that doesn’t sound right to me either.  The thought of working for 13 more years is more like a death sentence.

I think that maybe after 1-2 years of building and resting, I may want to re-enter the job market.  Part time.  20 hours a week would be more than adequate for some extra spending money without monopolizing my remaining life.  I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for an amazing guy who can do anything.  Something fun and non-stressful.

I might try working for myself as a Country Computer Doctor.  I’ll make house calls.  Get me an old doctor bag and a stethoscope. (You really can use that on a computer to listen for strange sounds from the hard drive or fans.)

I would enjoy being an electricians helper.  An electrician usually works alone but an electrician’s helper will always have an electrician to keep him company.  I like that.

My first job was in an office supply store.  I still have dreams about it.  I could go back to that.  Work in the computer repair area or the print shop.  They have part time positions.

I might like to work in a small computer repair shop.  Always thought that would be neat.

Maybe the local golf course needs a groundskeeper.

The possibilities are endless.  I shouldn’t worry about that.  Later.  It will take me plenty of time to get my house and land in order.  I might do something different every year.

I might finally have the time to meet someone.  It would be wonderful to have someone to visit me at my new place.  Someone to hot tub with on a cold night.  Someone to cook with, watch movies and go traveling.  Who knows.  Perhaps the primary reason I’ve chosen a solitary life is to be able to afford an early retirement in a self-built house out in the country.  Now that that is actually happening, maybe I can look into what I’ve missed out on.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  I’m hoping that people who live in small towns are more friendly than those in the big city.  Maybe I won’t be invisible anymore.  Maybe someone will be able to see me and say, “Wow. Check out that single guy over there!”

Let’s not over do it.  Invisibility is a powerful thing.  I sure hope the spell will be broken.  The witch who cursed me when I was a child didn’t say if there was a way to break it.  We’ll see.

So.  I feel better now.   It was good to get it all out again.  Much of this may be a repeat but the mind is repetitive.  It’s good to dump it out once in a while to keep it from overflowing.


Thinking is bad

thnkngI’ve said it all my life.  “Thinking is bad.”

I used to enjoy thinking back when I was young.  I guess I still do but one must be selective about what one thinks about.

As my time of transformation rapidly approaches, I have noticed that I have not been thinking too much about consequences of my decisions and more about just the process itself.   It is actually strangely comforting.  Not thinking too much about future events really does help control anxiety about them.

It’s late and I don’t want to go too deep on this subject though there is so much that could be said.  I just want to keep it simple.  Thinking is bad.  I feel so much better when I just stick to The Plan and not worry about it.  I hope I can maintain it now that I’ve brought it up.  Sometimes it is best to keep yourself out of it.  I’m sure The Plan is sound.  Let’s not make a bigger deal out of it than is necessary.

This is going to be so great!  I’m so tired of being tired.


Ugly San Antonio

Every time I go to the store or a restaurant I tend to look at the people around me.  I’ve noticed that the men in San Antonio are excruciatingly ugly.  What amazes me about that is that as one of the Beautiful People, I would expect to see women following me around like the Pied Piper.  Strangely enough, I remain invisible.

I was under the impression that women were attracted to good looking men and repelled by ugly men.  I suspect that the reverse filter may be in place in the computer that projects this holographic simulation that I reside in.

As a diamond in a bed of coal, I should be fighting them off with a stick.

Well.  It’s really OK after all because the women in this city are equally ugly.  Seriously!   They are NOT attractive.

I suppose that they were meant for each other.  It is logical after all.  Remember that Twilight Zone episode where the beautiful woman woke up on a hospital table  and all the ugly doctors around here were commenting on how ugly she was?  (Or something like that.  My memory is fuzzy.)  Ugly is relative.

My problem is just that I am misplaced.  I’ve always said that I don’t belong here.  This is just another set of proof.  I’m glad I’m leaving.  I just hope it is far enough away.


Indifference to death?

I’m dictating this Because my broken wrist prevents me from typing. please forgive Errors. I don’t want to have to go back and fix everything.

The other day my mom told me that my aunt Katherine passed away. A normal person might react but I felt absolutely nothing. When I was a very young kid she was one of my favorite people. She wasn’t a direct relation but married to my Uncle Darwin. I like him but I liked her even more. I always looked forward to spending time with her.

At one time there was some kind of Argument among the adults And we didn’t see  her anymore. When I was in high school I wrote her a letter telling her how much I missed her. I don’t recall her ever writing back

I saw her again briefly once 30 years later.  She was now very old and feeble. Another 10 years passed and now she’s gone. I feel nothing. I really don’t even care. What concerns me more is wondering whether I should feel this way or not. How would a normal person feel in this situation? Is my lack of empathy Normal or am I As screwed up mentally as I think?

I don’t know. whatever. I guess it is as it is.