7 Years After the 22 February 2011 Quake

Memorials at the CTV site, where 115 people died in the building’s collapse on 22 February 2011. Credit: Joseph Johnson/Stuff

Today is an anniversary date in my life that I could live without.

Actually, it’s so bad that the other day Noel asked me, “Isn’t the anniversary of Grandpa’s passing about this time of year,” the day after that anniversary, and I felt guilty about forgetting that. (My Grandpa passed away on 19 February 2004.)

Last year, I spoke about feeling stuck, like 22 February 2011 is a fixed-point in my timeline, and, like a black hole, the rest of my life slowly spins around it, stuck in its gravity.
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Familiarity in Dreams

Bottle of Dreams by David Urbanke
Bottle of Dreams by David Urbanke

Dreams play an important part in my life. I don’t mean I follow what my dreams show me or I let them rule my life, but I find they are an important part of inspiring me and exposing the hidden places in my psyche.

I have many different types of dreams, as I think we all do, and I could go on and on about them, but in this post, I think I’d like to focus on familiarity in dreams.
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Aftershocks

I’ve said in previous blogs about the earthquakes we went through in Christchurch and Canterbury and New Zealand that, on the last anniversary (or maybe the one before) that I was “over it”. And it did feel that way until a few days ago.

The earthquake near Mexico City on 19 September 2017, and the images coming out of Mexico, have seemingly triggered anxiety about earthquakes. The last few days haven’t been horrible but they haven’t been pleasant either anxiety-wise.
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“Hello Darkness, My Old Friend”

It’s pretty amazing, the song “The Sound of Silence”. I’ve always really liked it for various reasons, especially the visuals the lyrics provide. Even the “alternate lyrics” versions we came up with in Mixed Company at Prospect High School (I’m looking at you, Anne.).

I’m not going to lie and tell you that the last few days for me have been easy, because they haven’t. They haven’t exactly been the worst days of my life, though, either. At work, my colleague Paula is away on vacation — and we had agreed to this when we hired her, so there are no surprises there — and it has thrown me back into doing both her job and my job. It’s only a week, yes, but sometimes taking it all on feels so very overwhelming for me, especially since there seems to be no end in sight to training up someone while trying to do my own job.
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Depersonalization and Creativity: An Afterthought

Okay, so I wrote and published my whole blog yesterday about Depersonalization and Creativity, and how my creativity has been hampered by the illness, but, mulling it over in my mind last night, I realized there were exceptions to that.

What I have taken solace in, from time to time, is photography, using my iPhone mostly.

Taking a few steps backwards from that statement: what some of you may not know is that I used to draw. A lot.

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Depersonalization and Creativity

I know my blog has covered a lot about the dissociative disorder known as depersonalization, but since there are so few people who are diagnosed with it, and some people who have been diagnosed with it have reached out to talk about it, I thought it was best that I cover my experiences so others might learn from them.

Anxiety is not really fun, as probably many people can attest to, and it affects various aspects of our lives. When anxiety and depression combine to create depersonalization, this can have a profound effect on a person’s livelihood and outlook.

One of the most frustrating parts of my journey with depersonalization has been the impact it has had on my creativity.

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