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What talent do you have that you wish more people would recognize?
I'm very musical. I can play the oboe, keyboard percussion instruments like the marimba, and I taught myself to play the recorder and the tinwhistle. I learned to read music when I was five. And when I say I played the recorder, I mean I really played it. We're talking sonatas, not Mary Had a Little Lamb. I have an excellent ear, and although I don't have perfect pitch I still have a very good sense of it. I can't stand a bad musician. I hate it when an instrument is out of tune; it literally makes my skin crawl.

I don't play anymore, although I think I probably could if I wanted to. I love music, but I don't want to be a musician. Usually, anyway. I realized that if I decided to be a professional musician, then I would have to make musicianship my priority; it would require most of my time and energy. And I grew up with a father who made musicianship his priority, above his own family. I am not ready to do that. I'm too much like my father as it is. Writing is to me what music is to my family, so I decided to concentrate on writing. And while I do get jealous of oboists playing in symphonies, I am happy with my decision.

huh.

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on paperwork and music

So my neurologist has sent me a giant wad of forms to fill out. I don't get along with forms and deadlines. Paperwork confuses me, and then I lose the papers, and then all hell breaks loose. It's a vicious cycle. I'm ok with deadlines if it's just one paper. Multiply them, and my brain curls up and hides in a dark corner.

I have discovered Nicole Atkins, thanks to AOL. She is amazing. You should listen to her. Everybody should listen to her. It will make your day much better.

You know what I'd really like to experience? I'd like to live through one day without having to fight my dysfunctional brain. At least music smoothes things for me; a really good song can keep me going for quite a while. That's why you should listen to me about Nicole Atkins. Even if I hadn't been raised by classical musicians, I'd know music.

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a saturday morning exorcism

I got exorcised this morning. It wasn't my choice, mind you, but I wasn't exactly given a choice in the matter. I don't think that most people being exorcised do. It was one of the most bizarre experiences of my entire life, so of course I'm sharing it with the world.

I volunteer at a juvenile detention home in Dayton. The home recently changed facilities, so this morning our ministry team was given an orientation. This was basically Sharing Our Feelings with the Chaplain. The chaplain is an old, small and charismatic little African-American lady. She's a spitfire, and she likes to do some Bible-thumping (praise the lawd!). Anyway, she asked me why I wanted to do this kind of ministry. I told her it was because my own experience with bipolar disorder made me want to help other emotionally troubled teen girls. She took this pretty well and I figured that it was the end of the discussion.

Needless to say, it wasn't. This lady loves to pray, and she loves to pray out loud with everyone standing in a circle holding hands (terrific for a person with OCD). At the end of her prayer she puts a hand on my head (major WTF moment) and prays that the Lawd will deliver me from the 'spirit of bipolarism,' that I would no longer be troubled by evil spirits, that the Lawd will heal me from the influence of my devil.

I thought about twitching, then telling her the devil was leaving me so she'd feel victorious. I didn't. I kept my mouth shut until I was out of her sight, then turned to my team members in time to see that every one of us had the same bewildered and bemused expression. The spirit of bipolarism? I've got to tell you, that's a new one. I should run that by my psychiatrist...maybe not. Anyway, this lady wants me to be partnered with her when we go minister to the girls. No. Just no. It's not happening, no way no how. I'll jump on a chair and shriek like a monkey until she decides I'm past help and leaves me alone.

It was embarassing. I wanted to cry or curse or at least beat a hasty retreat. I must be getting control of my temper because I did none of these things. But I'm still bewildered and a little hurt. I should be able to mention my disorder without worrying that someone will perform an exorcism on me. It's not right and it's not fair and I won't take that. I read a news story about the NIU shooter. Apparently he was mentally ill and took medication, but one of his former professors said that he 'never wanted to be identified with the mentally ill.' So he stopped taking his meds, and now people are dead. I'm not exonerating him; he committed a terrible crime. But there is no doubt in my mind that if there was no stigma surrounding mental illness he would have been a much happier (and safer) person. Maybe someone tried to exorcise him, too.

ah, hair

My hair has been in woeful shape these days so I used a different shampoo on it. I like my regular shampoo, but I've heard that it helps to switch shampoos every now and then. Hopefully I will no longer look like I have a beaver pelt plastered to my skull.

I am sick again. Or my body is trying to be. No, body, no. Aliens stole my immune system.

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my worst nightmare

You want to know my worst nightmare? It's not that Ron Paul will be elected President (although that's pretty close). It doesn't have anything to do with politics. My greatest fear is that my brother will develop a mental illness. I've tried to keep an eye on him, but that's hard to do since I'm seven hours away from home. Lately, he's actually been messaging me on Myspace. He never does this. He'll sometimes reply to me if I message him, but that's it. He told me about his girlfriend (she's not exactly stellar). He wasn't that into her, or at least that's what he said. I told him his love life was his business, but not to let her run him ragged. His last gf did, and it was a disaster. Anyway, they broke up. It wasn't a surprise, but he seems...different. Not normal different from typical teenage angst.

I visited his Myspace page and the whole thing was completely changed. He had what is probably Radiohead's most depressing song ever on his page. He got rid of his wall, and his friends list is gone. And his background? If depression had a color, it would be the shade of blue that is on his page. It used to be yellow, or various shades of yellow. He's even deleted his blog entries.

It could just be angst. But I've read his poetry. He has an incredible gift, but his work is also very dark. I shrugged it off; some people just write like that, and there were no mentions of suicide. He has no signs of self injury (that I know of, anyway, I've been away for a few weeks now). He goes to a terrible school that doesn't challenge him. He has no respect for his teachers, and I don't blame him. He's stuck in classes with a bunch of rednecks, and the teachers only goes as fast as the slowest learner can handle. Plus, they've got to 'teach to the test.' VA forces students to take these ridiculous things called SOLs (Standards of Learning). I suck at science, and the biology test was so easy that I scored above average. I had a perfect score on the US History test, which thrilled the school. But the test was full of cartoons! It wasn't much of an achievement. My brother's always hated that kind of shit. He hates hypocrites, he hates idiots, and he hates being treated like an idiot.

So my worry is that he is developing depression. I don't really want to talk to my parents about this. They will freak, and if I'm wrong then my brother will want to kill me. It won't benefit anyone if I jump to conclusions. I just hope I'm wrong.

holy freaking hell

Cedarville is currently under the following weather warnings: Flood Advisory, Severe Thunderstorm Warning, Severe Weather Statement (whatever that is), Tornado Watch, and Flood Watch.

Way to make me terrified to leave my dorm. It's like the Apocalypse.

overwhelmed.

so damned tired. I've been incredibly anxious lately, and the depression hasn't helped anything. So I'm constantly worn out. I'm cold, and exhausted, and I have homework looming on the horizon. It's very overwhelming. I really don't want to see a counselor again. First of all, I doubt he'd be able to do anything. Secondly, I'm tired of going to counselors period. I guess if things don't improve I'll have to go, but I will be pissed. And my tics are bad today. I want to hide.

ack

Weather.com informs me that the wind chill is currently -6 with wind gusts of 25-30 mph. Did I mention I only weigh 100 pounds? It's like my own personal hell.

hmm

I think I should clarify.

I don't hate children. They're ok, really.

But I don't like brats. Especially spoiled professors' children who think they can have as many helpings of the community supper as they want even though there are poor hungry children and homeless people who need food too.

End rant.

I am going to study for Abnormal Psychology again. I am glad I don't have schizophrenia. Really, manic depression's enough.