Reading Is Hazardous To My Health

I am an avid reader. I will choose a good book over every other form of entertainment every time. Of course adult life offers limited opportunity to read as much as I would like, but over the summer I have made an effort to read more, and I have done well, reading a half a dozen books or so since late June. When I was a kid it probably wouldn’t have taken more than a couple weeks to read the same amount, but those endless hours of lying on the couch with my head in a book just aren’t available anymore. I read mostly nonfiction military history written by the men who were there. There are a handful of historians who I have read on a regular basis, but I am always looking for insight into the human experience that you can only get from the men that were actually present at the moment of history. Historians tend to focus on the larger picture leaving out the day to day experience of the men themselves. I have read hundreds of these books (one of my ideas for a new blog was to write reviews and create a resource for finding good military history reading) beginning when I was in Junior High. By the time I was in eighth grade I had devoured the school library’s options and was learning how to use interlibrary loan to get new titles. I have a clear memory of a being deeply disturbed by one of these books when I was about twelve, but I chalked it up to being too young. In recent years I have been upset by a couple more titles including one this summer, and less so by the one I am reading now. I once wrote a long post about how popular culture has affected my mood, and I am beginning wonder if my reading choices are also contributing to my anxiety. Continue reading


Beer With Jesus

I have often written here and commented on other blogs that I would like to write a post that highlights my take on religion. Suffice to say that I am challenged by the bigger questions in life, the type of questions that have no answers, but can drive a person batty if they spend too much time thinking about them. Does religion hold the answers? Certainly some sort faith or spirituality is where peace lies of not the answers. I have always been somewhat uncomfortable with some of hypocrisy I perceive in the organized faiths, and I have yet to be able to put together a coherent philosophy of my own that would offer any comfort. Continue reading

Stomach Confusion

It has been a very long couple weeks since I last posted here. Regular readers know that I struggle with almost daily stomach pain. The source of this problem has been sought after by more than one doctor to no avail. When they can’t find the source they invariably fall back on the “its stress” diagnosis and tell me to get more exercise. In recent months I have discovered a direct relationship between my digestive misery and the quality and quantity of the food I put in my mouth. This discovery led a therapist I have recently begun talking with to question if I have some sort of actual food sensitivity to something like dairy or gluten. I am suspicious of this position. It just doesn’t reconcile in my head. I will have weeks or months where I continually feel nauseated and experience discomfort then I will have a shorter stretch of a few days or a week where I feel remarkably well. Nothing about what I eat has ever affected this except my recent discovery of what should have been the obvious impact of too much junk food. I have been under some pressure the last few weeks to try an elimination diet and see what happens. This past week I inadvertently did the opposite, and have had a better week for stomach pain than the two preceding. Continue reading



“There is a time in the life of every boy when he for the first time takes the backward view of life. Perhaps that is the moment when he crosses the line into manhood. The boy is walking through the street of his town. He is thinking of the future and of the figure he will cut in the world. Ambitions and regrets awake within him. Suddenly something happens; he stops under a tree and waits as for a voice calling his name. Ghosts of old things creep into his consciousness; the voices outside of himself whisper a message concerning the limitations of life. From being quite sure of himself and his future he becomes not at all sure. If he be an imaginative boy a door is torn open and for the first time he looks out upon the world, seeing, as though they marched in procession before him, the countless figures of men who before his time have come out of nothingness into the world, lived their lives and again disappeared into nothingness. The sadness of sophistication has come to the boy. With a little gasp he sees himself as merely a leaf blown by the wind through the streets of his village. He knows that in spite of all the stout talk of his fellows he must live and die in uncertainty, a thing blown by the winds, a thing destined like corn to wilt in the sun.” – Sherwood Anderson

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Brainstorming CBT Strategies

WARNING: This post contains conversation about, and descriptions of people vomiting. If you are uncomfortable with this please do not read any further.

During last week’s visit to the CBT guy we talked further about strategies that might be effective in treating my specific circumstances. I gave him the breakdown of clearly identified problems, but told him was really at a loss as how to proceed. He threw out some ideas and after spending a bit of time talking them over he suggested I go home and give it some more thought. Continue reading

Thinking About A New Project

Back in the spring some folks may remember I made a brief detour into some lighter writing. I chronicled my budding love affair with the Mocha Latte and bemoaned the difficulties of getting a good one when you live in the middle of nowhere. It was a short lived experiment that got side tracked by my personal need to get back on topic, and the general time demands of my summertime commitments. Now as summer winds down my thoughts have again wandered towards creating a new web space that allows me to show a different, and preferably less serious, side. Part of my motivation with the coffee stories was to show that I am much more than a mental problem. Most of us live much deeper lives than we show in these blogs, and I wanted to prove that there was more to me than Klonopin withdrawal and anxiety attacks. I would still like to drop the occasional post here that shows the larger “me”, and I would endeavor to make them less serious than this morning political rant, but I also want a different space to try something new.

There are many aspects of my life that I could use, but I don’t know if they would be interesting to share. I used to like the idea of a commentary on current events, I even started a short lived blog on this vein, but something like this requires an unbelievable amount of research and time. I think I need something that I can write from the heart. Something that may have the occasional researched piece, but that mostly comes from my own experience. I have tossed around a couple ideas, but I seem to be settling around one. About a year and a half ago I took over the meal preparation duties. I surprised myself by really enjoying it, but a lot of the experimentation and fun have been ruined by a new focus on weight loss. Weight loss and my traditional home cooking didn’t work out very well. I hope to begin experimenting with some healthier alternatives this fall, and have been wondering if a cooking Dad trying to find healthier alternatives might make for interesting reading. A bigger question is whether I could stick with it or see it evolve over time. I guess the point of this post is to ask for input. What do you think?