Hovering on the Winds of Thought

By Andrew G. Alt

A lonely time ago, a space was swimming in the mist formed by the winds of thought. The space had no other purpose. One day, it realized it could do more than only swim, so decided to fall through the mist.

After an immeasurable amount of time,  the space landed between some vowels. Although they didn’t mind associating with the space, the new partners remained lost in a misty void and felt incoherent and incomplete. For many years they aimlessly soared through the darkness. Then one day, they lightly touched several confused consonants that were floating upon a lazy breeze passing nearby.

Continue reading →

Personal Request to Alleviate Stuff In my Mind, Body, and Spirit

By Andrew G. Alt

I think the inspiration for this post came from a recent discussion with lensgirl53. She made some words that touched me. I had mentioned to her about some weird irony that September 10th, 1981 was the day my father shot himself. September 10th happens to be World Suicide Prevention Day.

I was already having a hard time with a period of severe depression back when I heard about Robin Williams. It’s still affecting me, but not nearly as much as some other stuff.

Some people who have never struggled with prolonged depression don’t understand that depression is different from sadness. But I have to say that if someone is fighting off depression, then extra feelings of sadness don’t help much. In fact, they don’t help at all.

I’ve had a spot of trouble the last several years. I started meditating six years ago and have noticed some very positive improvements. My mood is more stable, I’m 90% less prone to angry outbursts, I can stay pretty calm much of the time and can even prevent a depressive episode from happening. Not all the time though. Continue reading →

Coffee and Alcohol have Vanished from the Earth for One Month! What will happen?

Posted by Andrew G. Alt

If coffee and alcohol vanished from the Earth for one month, what would happen?

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Beatles Artifact Exhibit at the Mall of America Until September 7, 2014

Posted by Andrew G. Alt

I haven’t gone to this Beatles exhibit yet, but planning to. This is some of what will be there:

Artifacts:
• Paul McCartney’s jacket worn at Shea Stadium
• Original drum head from the Ed Sullivan Show
• Original Cavern Club membership cards
• Original contracts and documents
• Original concert ephemera
• Ringo Starr’s jacket worn on the Abbey Road cover
• Rare recordings from the UK and US• Never before seen photos of the band taken by American tour manager Bob Bonis.

Continue reading →

My Amateur Piano Solos

Posted by Andrew G. Alt

I think I should become an expert at something. If I had to choose one thing to excel at, it would either be writing or piano playing.

Playing the piano gives me more pleasure than writing; unfortunately, sometimes I can’t focus well enough to play or simply can’t “get into it”, or can’t play as much as I’d like because of physical pain. But that’s true of writing as well. I believe I get more pleasure from the piano though. I think I’ll just continue to practice both—I don’t believe that the universe or an intelligent designer requires that I make a decision in this moment. Continue reading →

Editorial: Better Options for Mental Health Treatment are Needed

I wrote the following letter to the editor of my local paper; when I suggested a “resource” guide I was thinking about local, community-wide, county-wide resources.

By Andrew G. Alt / Mental Dimensions

People struggling with mental health issues—especially those who feel they’re unable to manage and cope on their own—are encouraged to seek professional help. Talking with family and friends about their struggles can be beneficial, but if that proves insufficient then other steps need to be taken. But what if a person (I’ll use the term consumer for the remainder of this letter) is unable or unwilling to seek professional help? What options remain after consumers have obtained professional help in the past and it’s yielded few, zero, or negative results? Professional help is no guarantee. Doctors are not gods, and doctors do not claim to be gods. When we tell consumers that help and treatment is available, that they simply have to ask, it implies that they are likely to receive effective treatment from professionals. This is sometimes not the case, and their feelings of disillusionment may prevent them from seeking help in the future.

I am a consumer. In the last twenty years, I have seen seven psychiatrists and seven trained therapists (seven, to the best of my recollection). The opinions in this letter and the following suggestions are based on that experience. I will also draw on what I’ve learned from talking to other consumers, and reading Internet blogs and message forums where they’ve written about their treatment experiences. Continue reading →

Having options helps prevent suicide

Posted by Andrew G. Alt

When someone makes the decision to suicide, he (or she) will not ask for help; however, if he delays long enough for not having the means to do so at the time—or some other reason—there’s hope that he will change his mind and ask for help later.

The people that do ask for help or make the call are those closer to the tipping point, still undecided, clinging to a last bit of hope, but have not made the decision to go through with it.

Having as many options as possible can help prevent a suicide. Some options are obvious: Continue reading →

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