Sunday, May 18, 2008

Disillusionment - Love - Infatuation

Is What I'm Feeling Infatuation or Love?
There are some feelings we have when infatuated that we don’t have when we’re feeling love. Some of the “symptoms” of infatuation are; feelings of panic, uncertainty, overpowering lust, feverish excitement, impatience, and/or jealously.

When infatuated, we are thrilled, but not happy, wanting to trust, yet suspicious. There are lingering, nagging doubts about our “partner in infatuation” and their love for us. We’re miserable when they’re away, almost like we’re not complete unless we’re with them. It’s a rush and it’s intense. It’s difficult to concentrate. And most infatuation relationships have a high degree of sexual charge around them. Somehow being with them is not complete unless in ends in some type of sexual encounter.

Do any of these “symptoms” resemble feelings of love? Hardly. So why do we become infatuated? Where does it come from? Perhaps it’s biological.

When infatuated we experience a surge of dopamine that rushes through the brain causing us to feel good. Norepinephrine flows through the brain stimulating production of adrenaline (pounding heart). Phenylethalimine (found in chocolate) creates a feeling of bliss. Irrational romantic sentiments may be caused by oxytocin, a primary sexual arousal hormone that signals orgasm and feelings of emotional attachment. Together these chemicals sometimes override the brain activity that governs logic.

The body can build up tolerances to these chemicals so it takes more of the substance to get that special feeling of infatuation. People who jump from relationship to relationship may be craving the intoxicating effects of these substances and may be “infatuation junkies."

When the chemical flood dries up, the relationship either moves into a loving romantic one or there is disillusionment, and the relationship ends.


When I talk to people about my little brother, they always get a different perception of him than the perception in my mind. I say "little," and they think 12-years-old and four-foot-three. Rob is actually in his mid-twenties and taller than I am. Maybe I should refer to him as my younger brother rather than my little brother.

We had lunch together today. The last few times that I have seen him, I have become increasingly proud. He makes me proud. I am proud that he is mine. We spent so much of our lives as a unit. We had to fend for ourselves. We found ourselves; we worked together at odd jobs. We made our own very successful lives without that much help. We looked out for each other.

To see him really come into his own is amazing. To see him doing things with his life that bring him joy, it gives me a feeling of my own accomplishment. I have always felt like my little brother was a gift to me. Someone to cherish. This must be how people feel when they have children and their kids are happy. I didn't know you could get so much joy from other people's happiness. Especially when his happiness has nothing to do with my own.

We will always be a team even when we don't need to lean on each other. We compliment each other. I have always found that when I am lacking in an area, he is strong. He can and will carry me. Even if it is just a phone call to give me a boost. Hopefully, my encouragement does the same for him. When something important happens in my life. His opinion is one that matters most. When I need an opinion, I value his. When I am overly emotional, he brings me back down to earth. While I can't work a crossword puzzle or fix a computer, he can. Those are valuable skills.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Around the world in 80 days...

I have 80 days. 80 days to what? 80 days until I have any definite plans in my life again. 80 days are too many to plan at one time. So, I am focusing on the first 30 days. What can you do to improve your life in 30 days? (Or at least, make your life resemble the normalicy that it had 8 months ago.) Everything feels like it is out of whack (maybe because it is out of whack?). Everything came to a screeching halt yesterday. The stop forced me to mull over everything that I have put on hold. Forced me to face some embarrasing truths. Forced me to realize that I have abandoned the people who loved me and most likely didn't give them any explanation. Hopefully, they realize how much the events in my life have had to shape the way I live, and I will be forgiven. I know I will be forgiven. My friends and family love me even if I temporarily abandoned them for my ever increasing work load and problems. I feel like Jackson is a world away from my friends. Jackson is my own place. The place where I keep my own problems and fears and worries. The place I conduct my life that seperates me from the rest of the world.

I have 80 days to make the most of all the opportunities I have.

The world is so open to me. I have everything I want. I live a simple life. I enjoy what I have.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Is happiness something you create for yourself or is it something that happens to you?

This is the question that I am struggling to answer for myself.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cheer, Relief? Joy?

All of my classmates finished exams on Monday, May 5th. Unfortunately, I had to take a make up exam on Friday, May 9th. This meant that while all of my friends were done studying, I was up until all hours of the night pulling my hair out for an extra four days. Overall, the exam wasn't bad. All of the exams in medical school are multiple choice, scantron. There are some practical exams where you actually have to write down an answer in the blank provided. But..for the make up exam, I wrote and wrote and....wrote. After 3.5 hours of non-stop writing. I was finally done. My hand hurt all night. I haven't written so much in a single setting in years. With computers and typing, I don't think I have written so much since I was in high school and would doodle notes to my friends to pass back and forth in class. Now I am done - No more exams, but you know what sadistic idea our school has? They decided that we should all have to come to class for two more weeks to give small group presentations (graded on a pass/fail basis). No exam. Do you know how hard it is to sit in class and listen to ever-so-exciting presentations when you are not going to be tested on it? (In fact, I am writing this while listening to two of my classmate present a case about a women presenting with pre-eclampsia.) But, I digress. After that 3.5 hour, heart-wrenching, hand-hurting examination, I was done. I was basically done with my M1 year. More than that, I am officially half-way done with all my education for being a physician. I got home and had a rush of emotion. On the way home, I wanted to cry from the relief, but I didn't. I wasn't really relieved. Joy? I was happy, but I wouldn't call my mood joyous. I couldn't peg the feeling. I finally realized that I was just numb. I really didn't know what to feel. I had no feeling. I finished one of the hardest years of my life. I worked harder (mentally) than I ever have in my life. I am proud to have finished, but disappointed in the experience. If you have any expectations of what medical school is like, you will realize that it isn't going to be anything like you thought it would be.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sibling Rivalry

How can there be sibling rivalry when one of us is clearly the victor? Curious what little scheme that my life-long nemesis has concocted? Read here. The part about being the favored child is true, but the rest - the rest is just a delusion of a young mind. Bring it...