Happy Anniversary, Sanity!

pexels-photo.jpgThirteen years ago, I was locked up.

I was 24 years old in Austin, Texas. A bright, blossoming wounded made up girl-person flung far from the bleak overcast of depression or the jagged broken-record of anxiety. I was HIGH and flying ever higher. No one could stop me. I was a rainbow technicolor butterfly emerging from her chrysalis stupor. I was on fire, passionately delusional. I was all over town, dancing on tabletops. In and out of consciousnesses, enjoying nonstop religious experiences. I felt invincible and acted boldly. I was out of my mind. I was a puppet starlet drama queen going places: India, California, everywhere.

At the aptly named Flipnotics Coffeehouse on Barton Springs Road on April 16, 2005, the shit hit the fan. Long story short, I was taken away in handcuffs by the police to the psych ward, where they brought me back down to Earth with a thud and a plethora of prescriptions psychotropics, tranquilizers, chairs with straps and staff in white uniforms to do the strapping. Yet, in ten (long) days, I was released.

That was thirteen years ago.

These days, I am celebrating sanity, but more than that, I am celebrating life, freedom and yoga. I am grateful for all the people, places and lessons of those times in my tumultuous mid-twenties and since. I am welcoming everything, whatever may come, whether pleasure, success, tragedy or death.

I am celebrating my choice not to take the doctors’ orders and “just take two of these pills a day”. I am celebrating my choice to exit the box and settle well outside of it, surrounded by wildflowers, kittens, scattered toys, piles of books and notebooks, coffee trees, three volcanoes and a sparkling lake.

7 Signs of Narcissism

Simply stated, narcissism is an inflated view of the self, combined with relative indifference to others.

There are two distinct categories of pathological narcissism: exhibitionist and closet. Both stem from an inability to adequately develop an age-appropriate self due to problems with the quality of nurturing provided during their childhood by the primary caregiver, typically the mother.

The closet narcissist is more likely to have a deflated, inadequate self-perception and also a palpable awareness of the emptiness within. The exhibitionist type, on the other hand, maintains an inflated, grandiose self-perception that is out of touch with reality. Without investigation or reflection, the exhibitionist type assumes that others are just like him. The closet narcissist desires constant approval from others, while the exhibitionist constantly seeks admiration and ego-stroking.

The seven deadly sins of narcissism:

  1. Shamelessness: inability to process shame.
  2. Magical thinking: seeing oneself as perfect.
  3. Arrogance: diminishing and degrading others with self-importance.
  4. Envy: coveting others’ images, possessions, or achievements.
  5. Entitlement (a.k.a. privilege): feeling and acting extra special and better than everyone else.
  6. Exploitation: using others without regard for their feelings or interests.
  7. Lack of boundaries: no boundary between self and other.

At the community level, we need to work to reverse the alarming trend of narcissism in society by promoting altruism in children and teens. This can be accomplished by incorporating the explicit teaching of emotional intelligence and mindfulness through both traditional learning institutions and home schooling.

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