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.