Posts Categorized: Narcissism

D is for … Dancing

February 11, 2017 Just for Fun, Narcissism 2

I’m doing a kind of “A-to-Z Selfie” project for 2017. This involves writing blog posts of a personal nature. If you’re interested in the topic, please feel free to chime in! If not, you’ll be happy to know that more bookish content will be published soon.

Like many young girls, I took ballet lessons. And lessons in other kinds of dance sometimes — tap, swing, jazz — but it was ballet that I loved. I was never the best at it, but I wasn’t too shabby either. And I enjoyed it immensely.

I was SO proud of myself when I was finally allowed to get pointe shoes. (Of course, years later I still deal with the ghosts of foot-abuse past, but I can’t say I regret it all that much.) And I immensely enjoyed getting to do various shows — mostly because of the costumes and the dance itself, rather than the performance aspect.

I finally had to give it up towards the end of high school. I was a very busy kid, and something had to give. By the time you get to that age, you know whether ballet is even a possible career for you… and you know that most professional ballet dancers will experience a short, brutal career anyway. And at that point I felt that I had to concentrate on things that could realistically affect my future education or work opportunities. But, yes, I still miss it!

Well, how about y’all? Did you have any kind of long-term or highly demanding athletic or artistic hobby as a kid that you kind if miss as an adult? And have you ever thought about trying it again all these years later?


C is for … Cello

February 4, 2017 Just for Fun, Narcissism 4

I’m doing a kind of “A-to-Z Selfie” project for 2017. This involves writing blog posts of a personal nature. If you’re interested in the topic, please feel free to chime in! If not, you’ll be happy to know that more bookish content will be published soon.

Well, as the title of this post is intended to suggest, I used to play cello.

My dad’s side of the family is mostly musical and my mom’s side is mostly… well, not. I seem to have inherited a mix of genes when it comes to musicality. I can’t sing worth a damn and am quite probably tone-deaf, but I’ve got a good sense of rhythm and emotive dynamics.

I think this is why the cello was a good choice for me — tuning and note-marking are accomplished before playing rather than during, and the lower registers usually set the beat/tempo, but the cello also tends to get more interesting parts than the double bass.

Well, here’s middle school me and my buddy Brownie the cello.

I miss playing cello. I was never going to be first chair in the varsity orchestra, but it was fun and I was decently good at it when I bothered to practice.

Did you play an instrument in band or orchestra at school? Or do you still play?


B is for … The Boys

January 28, 2017 Just for Fun, Narcissism 4

I’m doing a kind of “A-to-Z Selfie” project for 2017. This involves writing blog posts of a personal nature. If you’re interested in the topic, please feel free to chime in! If not, you’ll be happy to know that more bookish content will be published soon.

It’s no secret that I’m a cat person. Also, a dog person. Yes, both, both is good.

The spouse and I currently live to serve 2 young cats and 1 middle-aged dog.


Sneakers is a 10ish-year-old, possibly-Chiweenie. We adopted him from the animal shelter in my hometown after one of our previous cats died unexpectedly. We had gone to the shelter to look for another cat, but decided to walk through the dog kennels first just for the heck of it. Sneakers was the in the first cage in the first row, right by the entrance. And, because we’re huge suckers, we fell for his big puppy eyes right away. (There were also some ducks in there for some reason, so … at least we didn’t try to bring those home?)

He’s grown into a loyal, cuddly, kinda silly little dude. He’s been a pretty good “big brother” to the other 4-legged boys. He has sensitive skin and a slightly sensitive tummy and is missing a few teeth, but otherwise has been pretty healthy. And he takes his job as Head of Homeland Security very seriously.


Bentley is our little gray tabby boy. He has long legs that he doesn’t seem to be 100% in control of, but he’s also an accomplished bug hunter and a “singer” when he’s hungry or worried. (I imagine he could be part Siamese or similar because of his short, silky coat and his talkativeness.) He’s also the smartest of our trio, being the one who always figures out how to take apart the toys or knows how to be sneaky when breaking rules.


Oliver might not be quite as clever as his less-floofy brother, but he is a champion cuddler. He’s also very curious and doesn’t seem to have any sense of fear (or worry about being caught breaking rules). He also has a sensitive tummy — which seems to be a bit of a theme in our family, count me in — but is otherwise literally bright-eyed and bushy-tailed pretty much all the time. Oliver likes thieving things (pens, mail, anything a human is trying to use but has put down for a moment), chasing The Dot, and “nursing” on his blankie.

Bentley and Oliver came to us from a local animal shelter that was having a cat clearance sale and had an ongoing BOGO deal for littermates. These poor guys had already been adopted and had to be returned to the shelter because their previous owner couldn’t keep them. So, these little “discount cats” came home with us instead.


You can read a bit more about my nice little family (incl. the spouse) on the Cast of Characters page. Want more pet pictures? Follow me on Instagram.

Do you have any animals? Would you consider yourself more of a cat person, a dog person, or both?


A is for … Allergies + Anxiety

January 13, 2017 Just for Fun, Narcissism 7

I’m doing a kind of “A-to-Z Selfie” project for 2017. This involves writing blog posts of a personal nature. If you’re interested in the topic, please feel free to chime in! If not, you’ll be happy to know that more bookish content will be published soon.

I have allergies. Not to food, that I know of, but what people sometimes call “seasonal” allergies — you know, itchy eyes, being generally unable to breathe due to floods of snot, that kind of thing. Except, for me this problem persists through all 4 seasons. Allergies and related respiratory/skin issues run in the family.

I have also been relatively recently diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (+ underlying persistent depression, possibly, though I remain skeptical of this tentative diagnosis). Affective disorders also run in the family.

 

Why am I talking about these issues? And why am I talking about them together… ?

I’ll answer the 2nd question 1st: Because, surprisingly, there is some evidence that links the two conditions.

People with allergies are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and related issues than the general population, and vice-versa. The specific reason(s) for the correlation are still unclear. It doesn’t look like one condition causes the other, and having one problem doesn’t automatically = having the other. The correlation could have something to do with sleep disruption, general inflammation, or genetics among other things.

The reason I started looking into this has to do with a medication that I was prescribed: hydroxyzine, a first-generation antihistamine. This stuff is used to treat both severe allergy symptoms and panic attacks, and even obsessive behaviors associated with OCD. I regularly take the OTC antihistamine cetirizine, which is the 2nd-gen version of hydroxyzine. I thought it was extremely interesting that a different version of the same medication that I use to keep the snot at bay might also be used to keep anxiety at bay.

As to the first question — why I’m telling the Internet that I have allergies and anxiety — that’s because I don’t think it does either society or individuals any good to pretend that any illness doesn’t exist, especially mental illnesses. Being in the dark does nobody any good, and the only way to combat the darkness is to shine light on the situation, right?

If you also deal with allergies + anxiety or similar issues, or if you just have questions, please feel free to talk to me about it!

Sources:

Goodwin, R. D., Galea, S., Perzanowski, M., & Jacobi, F. (2012). Impact of allergy treatment on the association between allergies and mood and anxiety in a population sample. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 42(12), 1765-1771.

Qin, P., Mortensen, P. B., Waltoft, B. L., & Postolache, T. T. (2011). Allergy is associated with suicide completion with a possible mediating role of mood disorder – a population‐based study. Allergy, 66(5), 658-664.

Rosenblat, J. D., Cha, D. S., Mansur, R. B., & McIntyre, R. S. (2014). Inflamed moods: A review of the interactions between inflammation and mood disorders. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, 53, 23-34.

Sansone, R. A., & Sansone, L. A. (2011). Allergic Rhinitis: Relationships with Anxiety and Mood Syndromes. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 8(7), 12–17.

Wilczynska-Kwiatek, A., Bargiel-Matusiewicz, K., & Lapinski, L. (2009). Asthma, allergy, mood disorders, and nutrition. European Journal of Medical Research, 14(Suppl 4), 248–254.