Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Personal Emotions Experiment

This past week, I spent every night at the local bar that I usually hang out at over the weekend.  As the social meeting point, I tend to rely on the bar for my social interactions.  But lately, I've been feeling more and more like it's becoming a regular thing, with drinking being the prominence, as opposed to the social aspects.  So I decided to complete a personal experiment on myself, social and emotional in nature.
Starting Tuesday last week, I went to the bar, like I usually do, and ordered the drink I usually do along with some food, like I usually do.  I was in a great place emotionally, feeling good enough to actually dress up and make myself look somewhat decent.  I ended up spending a decent penny drinking, throwing back shots, and playing music.  In fact, I woke up a complete shit show the next morning, which just showed how "awesome" my night was before then.  This continued throughout the week... Wednesday, drinks.  Thursday, friend's birthday. Friday, to see some friends I hadn't seen in a while.  Saturday, to help a friend decompress after she studied. Sunday, to meet up with my best friend. Monday, to see some friends and help a friend forget about her exam. Seven nights, seven  card swipes, countless amounts of margaritas, beers, shots, music plays.  And the weirdest emotions I have ever experienced.
At first, I thought it was because my sleep was off, but I usually don't fall asleep until after the bar closes, so that couldn't be it.  However, being a psych major, I knew that alcohol messes with emotions, and can result in all types of emotional disturbances.  So by Thursday, I began to get curious.  Could I force myself into a depression only to force myself out of it?  Could I cause my social beliefs to change?
Around Saturday evening, I was feeling the depression.  I actually had a flash vision while driving to the bar about my death, which is strange for me, because I am petrified of dying.  Like send myself into a panic attack by just considering it petrified.  However, I was passing over the highway on the off/on ramp, and this huge semi was going under the ramp.  My brain made me think about the semi smashing into me, and that was it.  I shook it off, and drove on to the bar.  By the end of the night, I was confessing this issue to my friend, telling her that I was afraid to stay at home because I didn't want to hurt myself.  Part one complete.
This continued through Sunday, when two friends and myself went through every emotion imaginable in a few hours.  We started out laughing and having a good time, to sadness, to anger, and everywhere in between.  However, by the end of the night, I was starting to feel better about things.  They wanted a group hug, because of the connections we made that night, and I responded with my quirky comments, "I need nachos". (I really wanted nachos).
But Monday was the tell-tale of the week.  I went into the bar with the intention of meeting a friend for a drink and dinner, and ended up spending about a half an hour by myself.  And at first, I was angry and closed off from others, but after a while, I was able to relax and hang out.  Then a few friends showed up, and we started chatting away and having a couple of drinks.  Then the pity train came out, but this time, I didn't want to take a ride.  I didn't have anything to feel bad about.  It was if I had accepted everything about me and my life in that moment, and said it's OK for me to be this way.  Part two complete.  I had managed to send myself into a depression, only to come out on the other side totally OK.
Social beliefs were a little harder, however.  The bar has become synonymous with friendship and social activities.  However, I have the confidence that I don't have to drink ridiculous amounts to hang out with my friends.  I mean, let's face it.  I turned myself into a heavy drinker for a week, and came out someone who won't need to associate social time with drinking. 
Will this continue to last?  Who knows.   I have an addictive personality, so it's likely that I will revert back to my old ways, simply because my genetics and social situations tell me to.  But I feel like I have definitely gained some insight into myself this past week.  Maybe more than I ever have. 
Who wants to join me for my next social experiment?
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. -- George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, August 14, 2014


This morning, I couldn't sleep, so I turned on the TV.  After channel surfing for about two minutes, I stopped on local news to see what the weather was going to be.  What I actually saw was completely disturbing.

Tear gas, riots, military-esque fighters, fires, gun shots.  It appeared to be a scene out of the Middle East.  Until I realized that it was here, on American soil.

It seems that we are at war.  Not against some foreign invader, but with those who are sworn to protect and serve.  Our own police force has turned into terrorist militias, forcing the American public to live in fear.  As the details came rolling in, it turns out that some poor kid was executed on the streets of an American town.  By a police officer.  Allegedly for being a black male.  

Even as I write this, the governor of Missouri is deflecting the media, talking about pictures of himself.  There are rumors that the police force is trying to create a media blackout so that the truth cannot come.  The family of the victim have not been talked to by the police as of this morning.  And it appears chaos is ensuing.

But what's even more baffling and appalling to me is what Anonymous is doing. I understand releasing the name of the officer and the recordings of police chatter, but I'm very concerned that they are threatening to release the officer's address.... What about this man's family? They did nothing wrong.  Why put them at risk?  Even online, the threats, trolling, and uncivilized replies is enough to make one afraid for their own personal safety.

I am not an aggressive person.  I consider myself to be very peaceful, but even I am considering purchasing a hand gun.  If the government continues to arm our police like militants, and hidden people continue to put innocents at risk, I fear that I will not be able to protect myself in any other way.  I hate guns.  I think that so many issues are caused by guns, but I'm at the point where I see no other way....

The protestors are very contradictory to their end results.  While they want justice and awareness for the victim of police brutality, their violence and the assumed media reports are overshadowing what they want to achieve.  I feel that everyone is looking to extort this situation, to bring about personal gain. On Instagram, there's a trending hashtag #ifiwasgunneddown in which people are putting two contradictory pictures up of themselves trying to determine which the media would use.... And I just can't help but shake my head.... This is such bullshit.... Yes. We know the media can be biased. But honestly, if you didn't take such idiotic pictures, you'd have nothing to worry about.  My social media is very limited to those outside of my friends circle.  If my photo was needed, the media would get me in big sunglasses, making silly faces, or participating in a color run.  Because that's what I choose to let people see. 

Take some damn responsibility.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Money ≠ Happiness

I took a huge risk this past week.... I am quitting my full-time, lots of benefits job to move into a part-time, no benefits, higher responsibility job. 
At first, I was a little panicked.  How would I pay for everything?  How would I make sure that I had a roof over my head, food in my fridge (and in Apollo's bowl), gas in my car, electricity, internet, blah blah blah.  But then something dawned on me. 
So what.... who really cares about money (bahahahaha I do)?  I sat down.  I made a budget.  I figured out that I could survive on my new job's salary, as long as I cut some things out of my life, and started doing different things.  My car is getting paid off this month, which alleviates the $360 a month payment.  Found some natural (and cheaper) alternatives to my medications (minus the thyroid and BC, because, well, BC is free, and the thyroid is finally working) = $15 a month.  Quit paying for that gym membership, because there's equipment at my apartment complex = $23 a month.  Stopped getting my Graze boxes, because I don't need someone to send me yummy snacks = $12 a month.  My next door neighbor offered her internet, free of charge, which saves me about $70 a month.  Electricity in this place is so much better, so I'm saving about $75 a month just living here!  And that's just the basic stuff I looked at.  Going to add in coupons for everyday things, and shopping locally at markets to make sure produce is cheapest.  So far, I've saved $555 a month, just by figuring out the things that I definitely do not need.
Simplification is one thing that causes many people anxiety.  We are so wrapped up in the materialism that society forces down our throats on a daily basis.  You need this car.  You need these jeans.  You need this credit card so you can buy all this crap. 
Yeah, that definitely sums it up.  There are things that we need, like food, shelter, running water, etc.  And there are things that we don't.  I actually have started to hand wash all my laundry, and hang it up outside on my patio, so that I don't have to spend money at the laundry mat, and I'm not wasting water.  It takes some time, but my clothes smell fresher, look brighter, and feel better without all those nasty chemicals in them.  I have found lots of fun things to do, that are completely free, within my area.  It's all a matter of perspective.
So if I can't survive on this pay in this new job, I will find another part-time.  But I have found that I am beginning to be much more happy because I am not so focused on my money anymore.  I know what I have, I know what I can spend, and I don't get sad when I can't afford something, because deep down, I probably didn't need it anyways.
My challenge to you is to sit down, examine your budget, and decide one thing that you can cut out of your life.  Are you paying for the gym without going to it (I was)?  Do you pay for Netflix, but barely watch it?  Do you pay for a delivery service for a product that you could easily do yourself?  Figure out ways to simplify your life.  It will bring you peace in the end.
“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” ― Epictetus 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Ok Blogger. Since you deleted my first draft.... Let's try this again....

My Internet has been down since before I got home for work.  I was pretty mad too, because I had this plan to come home and veg out, watching tv until I went to bed, while playing on my phone and the computer.

That's my nightly routine. Technology until bedtime,  and then more technology. Come home, turn on tv, check phone, computer, back to phone, bed, tablet, phone.

When did my life start to revolve around technology?  I spend most of my day, doing nothing online. Seriously.  I check Facebook on my phone,  then get on my computer, just to check Facebook. 

 I meditated for the first time in months today.  I probably wouldn't have if my phone had held more of a charge.  But I meditated. And then decided to write this post.  But not before checking Facebook.  When did I become obsessed with social media?

I've been planning a Skype coffee date with my friend D for months. Still hasn't happened. But I can tell you what she did over the weekend, because of Facebook. I talk to more people on Facebook than I do in real life. And let's be honest, it's not official until it's Facebook official.

 So here's my challenge to myself, and to you.  For one day, don't check Facebook.  Not even if you get a notification.  Better yet, deactivate your account for a day. Is it someone's birthday? Pick up the phone and call them. Reconnect with those you don't talk to outside of the internet. Change the way we interact.

"The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free." -- Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Why is society more obsessed with these heightened, manufactured situations than they are with actual reality?

I love this show.  It puts a nice spin on everything happening in the world.  But this episode really spoke to me this morning.  While surfing the internet, and goofing on Facebook, I kept seeing news about Halle Berry being ordered to pay child support to her ex-husband to take care of her child.  Why is this news?

Looking through the news feed, I can see a ton of stories that are way more important than Halle Berry's lawsuit, like the five soldiers who were killed by friendly fire, or that the FAA has approved a commercial drone to fly over Alaska looking for natural resources. 

Why are we as a society so obsessed with the lives of the rich and famous?  Why do we watch shows about Honey Boo Boo and a bunch of idiots in Jersey Shore, but don't watch the news?  Friends of mine think that I am weird because I make sure to read the news every day, from different news sources, to make sure I understand what's going on.  Half my friends don't even watch the news. 

With all the technology that allows us to watch, read, and listen to the news, and have news delivered to our phones, I am completely baffled over some of the breaking news articles that come over my phone.  Who cares if JB is getting deported, or if Lindsay told Miley to calm her roll.... I certainly don't.

Do me a favor: Google "World Cup" and look at the news articles.  People are trying to get FIFA to go elsewhere, for fear that it will collapse its economy, much like what happened in South Africa.  Google "veteran affairs" and you can see that delays on medical treatment for vets are causing huge issues.

Education is supposed to show the advancement of a society.  I feel like most of our society are becoming drones, eating whatever is fed to us, through reality television and faux news programs.  People really need to start thinking for themselves, and questioning everything.

"Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life." -- Irvine Welsch (Trainspotting)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Human decency


When did it become okay as a society to treat everyone as if you are better than they?  As if you were worth more, demand more time and attention, or simply are more than your neighbor? 

I struggle to understand why we, as Americans, find it so hard to help others in need.  Why we lie, cheat, scheme, and destroy to get what we think we deserve.  You see stories about guys pretending to be homeless, panhandling on the side of the road, earning close to $100,000 a year (without taxes), while a mother with four children, working two jobs, struggles to keep the lights on.  People are getting stabbed, shot, injured, all because of the negligence and hatred of others.  Countries are falling apart, and the Kardashians just made another million because of the Kim/Kanye wedding.

This week alone, I have seen this to be true on several occasions.  While out with friends, I watched a girl throw her drink on a guy just because he said she was emotional.  She then ran to her fiancé (seriously) and told him.  That dude came outside, and started a fight with the first guy.  I applaud the first guy for being calm, and standing his ground, and not engaging in a fight.  It was incredible to see someone who knew that they were right just blow the other person off, just to avoid issues.  Last night, my friend E posted on Facebook that some girl was trying to start stuff with her at the bar.  That post had so many comments on it.... it was ridiculous how much people fed into the drama.

Maybe I'm getting too old for the bullshit, maybe I have this Utopian hippie dream that peace will come, and that humans will learn to be decent and respect one another, maybe I'm naïve and idealist.  Whatever the case may be, I still believe in the goodness of people.  I still believe that we are all connected, and that we need to work together to save our Mother Earth.  I still believe in the Disney fairy tale ending.

I just find it ridiculous how decency can be such a foreign language now.  A few months back, I was at Subway, getting lunch, and the guy in front of me was having trouble with his card.  I told the cashier to put it on mine, and the dude was in complete shock.  He kept saying he would pay me back, and asking if I was sure about it.  Like it was some big deal.  Listen, we've all been there before.  Card's not working, line's growing longer... it's quite embarrassing.  So what is an extra $7 from my bank account?  No big deal.

Even when I am decent to people, striking up conversations, giving up my seat to someone else, people always assume there's a hidden motive.  Especially when out with friends, I am constantly questioned.... "Do you like that guy?" Why does being decent have to have an attachment to it?  Just because I am nice to you, doesn't mean that I want to sleep with you. 

When will decency make a comeback?  I think it's about time.

"I'm under the impression that this notion of decency is disappearing from our society where conflicts are made worse on cinema and on television, where people are nasty and cruel on the Internet and where, in general, everybody seems to be very angry." -- Helen Mirren

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Friends in low places?

This weekend has been an interesting one.  I moved from my place to a new place, and I found out that I value my friendships more than those on the other side.

Anyone who knows me knows that I will give you the shirt off my back to help you out.  I have gone to pick up friends because they put their car in a tree (no joke) 30 minutes away.  I have given friends money and bought them things, simply because they needed/wanted it.  I even help out complete strangers if I feel they need it.... and yet, I rarely see this act returned.

Some friends had valid reasons as to why they couldn't help me to move -- injuries, work, children.... but out of those that offered to help, three showed up (2 if you don't count my brother).  One of them was a girl that I rarely see, but she was willing to drive almost an hour to come to my old apartment, and then 20 minutes farther to my new apartment (twice). 

My friend, S., sent me a message yesterday, saying that if I was in NY, I would have had a ton of people show up, and we could've moved that place in one trip.  While I know that she would've shown, and maybe a couple others, I do not feel like that would have been entirely true.

Friendships, to me, are very important.  Being a middle child, I definitely want to be the center of attention, simply because I was starved for it as a child (just kidding... or am I?).  I am a social being, and need to have people around me on the regular.  Don't get me wrong, I love being alone, at my house, vegging out, but some nights, I just need a semi-busy place with people I adore.

Now, I'm wondering if I am just too friendly.... if people see me, and know that they can take advantage of me, because I say yes a lot.  Even as a teenager, I would take friends to the mall (even if I didn't want to go), or drive them to the swimming hole (shoving more than legally allowed in the car), just because they wanted to go.  I rarely asked for gas money, and when I did, suddenly, people didn't want to go. 

I know that I have some honestly true friends -- those that will let me call them at all hours of the night to cry (or scream); those that would come get me on the side of the road if my car broke down; those that I know no matter what I choose to do, they have my back, even if it is 3000 miles away. 

I just struggle with the idea that we, as a species, are becoming too individualized, and selfish.  Those same people who bailed on me this weekend, will be the same people pissed when I don't want to hang out with them.  But, friendships are two-way streets.  You gotta give to get.

"Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." -- Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dave Matthews - Some Devil

The big D word....

Why do people fear death?  It's frightening for a person to think of complete nonexistence, of just stopping to live, of.... nothing.  Even as I write this, I can feel that weird pressure associated with anxiety welling up in my chest.  But why be afraid?  We know that death is inevitable -- so why worry about it?

I remember the first real experience I ever had with death.  One of my dear friends committed suicide when I was 17.  I walked up to the casket as my friend laid there, completely motionless and colorless.   It was so surreal.  I kept expecting him to wake up, like it was a big joke.  Two years later, I watched my grandmother lose her battle with a brain aneurysm after an accident and three days in a coma.  She was laying in that hospital, completely motionless, as the machine started to slow before finally hitting the single tone.  A tear rolled down her cheek, and I knew that she was off to wherever we end up next.

From there, it's been a long list of friends who have committed suicide, overdosed, and lost battles with cancer, but those two experiences will forever be burned into my mind's eye.  Maybe because of the severity of the trauma related to the experience, maybe because I was so close to them.  Who knows....

But why do we fear death?  We know it will be coming... we know that at any moment, we're done.... so why the fear?  Is it because we have so many things that we want to do with our lives, but are forced to live mundane existences?  Is it the suddenness of it?  The fact that we have no way to determine where or when we will go?  Is it because we don't know what happens afterward?

Maybe it's the fact that death is so abrupt... it's like a little ninja, randomly sneaks up on you (unless you have the unlucky fortune of getting a terminal disease), and bam.... nothing.  Or at least that's what we know for a fact.  The heart stops, the lungs stop, the brain stops, and the bowels let go.  Other than that, no one knows.  There's theories, ideas, suggestions... but nothing substantial. 

My biggest issue is that I am conflicted... I am a spiritual person, with my own beliefs about what happens after death, but that little scientific scholarly voice in my head keeps asking, are you sure?  But we can never really be sure 100%, can we?  Hell, even birth control medication only has a 99.9% success rate. 

Some day, I will experience this next step in life (hopefully not that soon), and I will, for sure, know what happens, and finally be free from the fear.  Until then, I can only hope to live each day to the best of my abilities, and hope that the sun rises for me the next day.  Maybe the fear will subside...

"The fear of death follows  from the fear of life.  A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time." -- Mark Twain

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We're all just walking each other home.....

It's super late, I can't sleep.  I've been watching lame indie movies on Netflix for at least five hours, and perusing the internets like it's going out of style.....

I came across something that really spoke to me tonight.  I had no intention of writing today, because I spent the majority of the day packing my things for the move, but when I came across this, I decided that I needed to share this.

I think this fits in well with yesterday's post, about wanting a community and more connectedness, to feel like I belong to something bigger.  This spoke to me... we are all just walking each other home....

We spend a finite time on this planet, and no one really knows what happens after we move on to the next life (I'm sure we all have different theories).  While we're here, we are meant to connect, gain knowledge, and then "go home" (whether that means a heaven, decomposing in the ground, whatever).  It's a sad and lonely road, if you're walking that road alone. 

It's like when I was a child.  I once lived about two miles out of town, and we didn't have a car, but I would hang out in town until it started to get dark, then start the two mile trek back home.  The times where I have friends were less scary and more enjoyable.  We would tell each other ghost stories while walking by the railroad tracks in the moonlight, and just connect with each other.  We would share secrets and life stories, talk about our hopes for the future, and really get to know each other. 

The nights where I was alone, I was definitely alone.  I was more cautious, I walked faster, and any noise, automatically a serial killer or monster coming to get me.  I was alone, letting my mind go crazy with ideas and scenarios (and this was before I had a cell phone) about how if I were to die, it would be a while before someone found me. 

As adults, it's easy for us to get wrapped up in our daily lives -- schooling, careers, kids, families, bills, company trips, deadlines, you name it.  Just going to get coffee on the weekends at the coffee shop, barely anyone is talking.  Everyone is on their phones and laptops, trying to meet the constraints of life.  People look at you weird if you try to strike up a conversation, and even if you get one to talk, the conversation never really lasts.  I think some of the best times I have had in public is sitting next to a random person, striking up a conversation, and continuing until we both decide it's time to go home (or we're being kicked out because the place is closing).  Regardless of sexual attraction (because let's face it.... it's a common misconception that if a woman strikes up a conversation with a man at the bar, she's just looking to get some), great conversation is my favorite thing in the world.  The way people connect through said conversations.... it's so amazing and inspirational.

I wish people could see the world through my eyes -- how beautiful the woman reading a book at the bus stop is, or the electricity that comes from a couple who have been together for ages, or the beauty in a man showing gratitude for his son.  Simplicity at its best -- the world is beautiful, if only you know where to look.

My challenge for you is to put down your phone, and just look around.  Notice the warmth of the sun on your face, the smell of flowers in the air, the laughter of people --- notice life.  And once in a while, just look up at the sky, smile, and be glad to be alive.

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure.  There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." -- Jawaharial Nehru
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/j/jawaharlal121014.html#BF8yilfctRm8d4qW.99

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Life is a crazy ride.

This morning while talking with an old college buddy, I wrote a text to him that inspired me to start writing again. It was an epiphany for me, regardless of where the conversation went with him (and it did not go well).  I was frustrated with him, because no matter what I said, he just wouldn't listen. And as I was writing the text to him, and thinking to myself tough love, Rachel, I composed this text....
And it made more sense to me than I thought it would.  It applied to everything that is going on in my life, and made me realize that I have the best advice.... even if that advice is just for me.

The last couple of days have been quite eye-opening for me.  I'm in the process of packing to move out of the first apartment I have had by myself, which I obtained after one of the most devastating moments in my life, and it's been bittersweet.  The apartment is full of unbelievably negative energy, and has caused me much pain and torment in the last two years.  However, it has become my sanctuary, as after my rock bottom, it was the first sense of stability that I had.  So already, I am hypersensitive to my environment because it this, and the last couple of days I have noticed some things that irk me.  My closest friends are only interested in hanging out at the bar, and we definitely do not have the same values in life.  I'm all for people having their own opinions, but there is a point when ignorance is just ridiculous.  Educate yourself.... I don't want you to think like me; I just want you to think, and regardless of your views or my views, please do not tell me I'm wrong, especially if I lived it.  I don't tell you that you're wrong, ever, because you might have a different perception than I do.

Which brings me to today... my friend is experiencing a rock bottom moment, and I was trying to talk to him about it. I started with my lovely self, being supportive and suggesting, but nothing was working.  So I took a tough love approach.  And it was this post that ended our conversation.  What's so wrong with kicking life in the balls sometimes?

We spend so much time with people, without actually being with people.  Last night at the bar, my friends talked about how they take their phones EVERYWHERE with them -- from their room to the kitchen, from the kitchen to the bathroom.... everywhere.  Even as we were talking and having said conversation, one person was checking Facebook, another would look at her texts every time her phone vibrated, and another was so involved in their phone, they didn't even converse.  My phone went of several times, but I didn't look at it until there was a lull in the conversation.  I played darts with some friends, talked with the bartender, had a conversation with a complete stranger, all while my friends sat on their phones in the corner of the patio, unaware of the life that was going on around them.  Let's be real -- if I wanted to sit in the corner on the internet, I would've stayed home with a bottle of wine.  It would've been cheaper, that's for sure. 

I'm so amazed at how unattached everyone is.  And that's when I realized, I probably have a higher calling.  I was meant for another lifetime, in which communities work together for the betterment of their environment; in which you know your neighbors, and spend time at each other's houses; in which I can walk down the street without some dickhead telling me that it doesn't matter that I don't know his name because I will be calling it later (true story... happened Friday.... I walked back to him and basically made him piss himself because he was scared... I'm not your toy).  I dream of backyard gardens and community bartering, of not needing to worry about how I'm going to survive, because I'm doing a job I love that doesn't pay well enough for me to live the so-called "American dream" (paying my college loans, paying my car loan, paying my bills, GROCERY SHOPPING).

I know that there are others out there like me.  And I know that we are few and far between.  But my soul is calling out for you...

“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” 
― Kurt Vonnegut