Take Time Out to Help Haiti

Sometimes, you have to put BPD aside, and think about the rest of the world. Anyone without BPD who has read this blog probably thinks it’s a very selfish, self-centered, SOB story about a guy with emotional problems. If you fall into this category, I’ll freely admit that you’re partially correct. BPD can appear, at times, to be highly self-centered and ignorant of the needs of others.

So, for the time being, let’s focus on helping others who are in desperate need of relief.

The Haiti Earthquake has devastated the capital city of Port Au Prince, and some fear 100,000 are dead. Further, there are thousands more that have survived the quake and are now in need of medical attention, food, water, and shelter; things most of us probably take for granted. There is also need for basic infrastructure to clean up and organize the city, as well as need for security to preserve the rule of law.

I strongly urge anyone reading this post to please donate to the Haiti Relief Effort if you haven’t already. The amount you give is unimportant: but the fact that you took time to help others in a horrific situation has significant meaning.

The following is a list of charitable organizations listed on www.CNN.com as trustworthy and already taking action to help the people of Haiti. If you have any questions about where your donation will go or who it will benefit, I suggest calling the individual charity itself to make sure your money goes to the right hands.

I made a donation to World Vision.

Thanks and Let’s Hope Things Get Better for the people of Haiti.

Providing Basic Needs:
AMERICAN RED CROSS

UNICEF

CLINTON BUSH HAITI FUND

CARE

OXFAM AMERICA

SAVE THE CHILDREN

UNITED NATIONS FOUNDATION/CERF


ADRA International

Adventist Development and Relief Agency

American Jewish World Services

Catholic Relief Services

Church World Service

Concern Worldwide

Episcopal Relief & Development

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

International Relief Teams

International Rescue Committee

God’s Littlest Angels

Kids Alive International

Lions Clubs International

Love a Child

Mercy & Sharing

Mercy Corps

Operation Blessing International

Population Services International

Project Hope

Samaritan’s Purse

Salesian Missions

United Way Worldwide

World Concern

World Neighbors

World Vision

World Relief

Yéle Haiti

Providing Shelter:

Habitat for Humanity International

International Organization for Migration

Pan American Relief

Shelterbox

Providing Medical Aid:

PARTNERS IN HEALTH

INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Americares

Catholic Medical Mission Board

Cure International

Direct Relief International

Doctors Without Borders

Friends of the Orphans

Haitian Health Foundation

Healing Hands for Haiti

Heart to Heart International

Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti

International Child Care
IMA World Health
MAP International

Medical Teams International
MedShare

MerlinUSA

Operation Smile
Operation USA

Project Medishare

World Health Organization

Providing Food:

WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

Action Against Hunger
Compassion International

Food For the Hungry

Food for the Poor

The Salvation Army

World Water Relief

Organizations accepting international currencies:

The International Committee of the Red Cross

British Red Cross

UK: The Disasters Emergency Committee

The French Red Cross

UK: Merlin

Germany Red Cross

Italian Red Cross

Ireland: Concern Worldwide

Oxfam Great Britain

Plan Canada

Christmas Emotions Plus Post Holiday Depression/Blues

It seems like every year after the holidays, I fall into a bit of a depressive mode, regardless of whether or not I spent the holidays with a special someone or just the usual family crowd. I don’t remember feeling this way when I was younger, in part because as a youth, grammar school kept me busy and I had new toys to play with. As one grows older, however, the holidays take on different meanings. Here’s a very brief summary of how it went for me, mixed in with what others might experience:

  • Up to 12 Years: You likely believe in Santa Claus, and the magic of Christmas/Hanukkah is still very much apart of your holiday celebration. New toys, clothes, and cash gifts from relatives make you feel like you’ve hit the jackpot.
  • 13-18 Years: The Santa Claus myth is busted, and, now that you’re in middle school or high school, the name of the game is to sulk around Christmas/Hanukkah and text your friends instead of interacting with the rest of the family. For the first time, you get more clothes than toys/gadgets for Christmas. Ugh. 🙁
  • 19-25 Years: Christmas/Hanukkah takes on a new meaning if you’re working for a living or in college. Now, you have to start buying gifts for others (if you haven’t already) and the break that occurs over the holidays is a much needed respite from the hustle and bustle of young adult life. If you’re over 21, drinking at Christmas becomes all the rage. You might even go out after Christmas dinner to meet friends at a local bar.
  • 26-30 Years: You’ve landed your first job and are just scraping by, managing to convince your boss to let you have 3 days off to celebrate the holiday. It can be a lonely time if your college buddies have moved away, or, are starting their own careers. Spending time with family and friends takes on a new meaning, especially if siblings bring their spouses or boy/girl friends to the dinner table. You might even buy gifts for a new child of your own or a new niece/nephew.

I’m not sure what happens after 30, because I’m only 30 still 🙂 , but I imagine one starts to take over for organizing the holidays from Mom and Dad, allowing them to rest and sleep in their chairs instead of quarter-backing all the food preparation and decorating.

The sad part of all of this starts January 2nd of the new year, when the real world hits you smack in the face. Suddenly, bills are due, you have to report to work, the Christmas tree or Menorah is put away, decorations come down, and you’re eating leftovers. Friends and family are back to their lives as well, so the emotions you experienced together are now history, tucked away until next year.

When I returned to Costa Rica after the Holidays, I went through a period of depression after I unpacked all my gifts and things returned to normal. All of the anticipation was gone. The excitement and cheer evaporated. I basically spent a few days in and out of bed feeling a bit disillusioned and lost.

I think the same happens for everyone, regardless of whether or not they have BPD or depressive tendencies. Frankly, reality bites (sorry for that old cliche), and now it’s time to take stock for the New Year.

In my case, I’ve resolved to lose weight (like millions of others), but haven’t gotten into the gym routine just yet. My other resolution is to be happy. I’m not even wasting my time with a resolution to find a girlfriend or wife. I’m going to stick with two important resolutions and see what happens from there.

My Mom used to play a Peter, Paul, and Mary Christmas Concert when I was younger full of Christmas and Hanukkah carols. At one point in the show, they sing a lovely version of “We Wish you a Merry Christmas”. During one refrain in the song, they ask, “Why can’t it be Christmas the whole year round?”. As a youth this feeling was a no brainer: who wouldn’t want gifts and food every day of the year?

As an adult, however, the thought of another Christmas in July brings would bring mixed emotions. There’s a lot at stake during the holidays, so maybe it’s better that we celebrate just once a year. The trick is to feel fulfilled the next 364 days of the year…

Happy New Year to All!… I just got up at 4:00 PM after going to bed at 3:00 AM the night before, and I’ve just welched on a promise to myself that I’d clean my dirty apartment and get out of the house.