Like Icarus, I Burn and Fall

This is a longer version of a post I wrote on Facebook. I think it deserves a more public place for me to point to and allows me to format the post a little better and have a little more of a chronology going. Don't worry, I'm not going to be creating a project around writing updates about this topic.

I think it's time to accept a fact that's been in the back of my head for the past few weeks. I haven't been sleeping properly, I've been sick more often these past three months than in the past few years before it, and I'm always feeling worn out and miserable. I thought I just had some bug that I was unable to shake, but I'm beginning to realise that there's more to it than that.

I'm hitting the wall with stress.

I'm not exaggerating in the least when I say I'm mentally over-occupied about 18 hours a day - sometimes more - and my body is simply saying that enough is enough. When I'm not doing things, I feel like I should be doing things, and when I'm doing things it feels like there's a dozen other things I should also be doing. I can't concentrate like I once did, my appetite has gone to hell and I look genuinely miserable. I've lost about 10kg (~20 lbs), and beginning to worry about my health. I'm going to have to scale back on things and give myself time to rest and relax, and I really don't think it's going to be an easy journey. I've always had trouble sitting still - physically when I was a child and mentally now as an adult.

I'm going to have a chat with my manager on Monday to see if there's any way the job can sort me out a regular meeting with a psychologist, because I'm at the point where I think I'm going to need some outside help. Who knows; I might even need a few weeks of sick leave just to sort things out; we'll see. I hope not; I have massive guilt about not having been able to perform optimally at work recently - which is part of the problem, I know, I know. I've got to accept that I can't solve everything myself, but on the home front I'm going to have to make a couple of changes as well.

I'm going to have to force myself to stop whatever I'm doing at 10pm every night and go to bed - it's impossible for me to sleep for four hours a night and maintain any form of mental or physical health. I'm going to stop going to the gym for the rest of the year to eliminate another source of physical stress. I'm going to abandon a few of the projects I've got going, or at least postpone them for a few weeks or months as I get myself in order. I'm going to reduce the amount of social media I follow. I'm going to take a step back from following the stock market. I'm turning off all of my notifications on the phone except phone calls and direct text messages. My phone automatically goes to Do Not Disturb mode at 10 PM. I'm going to quit all stimulants (caffeine and sporadic nicotine use). I'm going to stop playing most video games that I play. I'm going to stop trying to engage in pointless debate online to change the world to a better place - I need to focus on myself first of all. I'm going to unsubscribe to a couple of the podcasts I listen to. I'm going to reduce the amount of energetic, high-tempo music I listen to. 

Those are the things I'm going to stop doing. Instead, I'm going to add longer walks with the dog. I just took a one-hour walk and we're both in a better place than we were before. I'm going to add more lone time in front of the TV where I allow myself to just relax and not need to multitask. I'm going to pick up my practice of Yoga again. I'm going to start meditating again. I'm going to try to be better at meeting friends for simple activities - visits to a café, a walk, a carefree movie at home or at the cinema. 

Because if this continues, I'm not going to be in a good place.

Redefining Rape

So there's a bunch of morons here in Sweden who want to rename the word for rape, which in Swedish directly translates to "Take with violence". The reason, they say, is that the word is problematic as it indicates that there needs to be physical violence involved.

No, it really doesn't.

The reason the word "rape" in English works, and the reason the Swedish word "våldtäkt" works is simple: It's short, powerful, concise and to-the-point.

There's a great George Carlin routine where he's talking about how language is becoming softer, how we're renaming powerful concepts like "Shell Shock" to "Battle fatigue" and then "Post-traumatic stress disorder". Every step of the way, the word loses a part of its power, and eventually means absolutely nothing. Down the line, we won't be able to say anything forceful or negative, because we won't have the words to do so.

Are you going to go to the police and cry that you've been assaulted? No, you've not been assaulted. You've been physically disturbed by the use of excessive violence.

You're at gunpoint! The guy wants your money! Have you been robbed? No, you've been temporarily disadvantaged financially by a less fortunate individual whom society has failed.

Let's just call a spade a spade here; rape is a terrible crime on par with torture and abuse. It has a physical and a mental component, both of which are horribly violated and scarred for life. Men and women who are raped all testify that it is among the absolutely worst things that could happen to them. This is not a word that deserves being weakened or made soft because the Swedish word for "violence" happens to appear in it.

Oh, and do you know what they want to rename it? Consent crime.

I didn't want him to take my lollipop, but he did anyway. Consent crime.

I wanted to watch The Mentalist, but she switched the channel over to Bob's Burgers. Consent crime.

See how the word weakens down to the point of meaning absolutely nothing?

Fucking bullshit. (Sorry, coitus-performing dung dropped by the species Bos Taurus)