Posted in travel

5 Things To Do While Visiting Las Vegas (that doesn’t include gambling).

If you’re someone with sensory issues like me, the thought of Las Vegas is maybe a little overwhelming, scary, or even intimidating; there are a lot of lights, sounds, people, and general sense of insomnia. Let me show you some ways you can enjoy Vegas too, with a little pre-planning, some ear plugs, and a budget.

1. Omega Mart and Area 15

Omega Mart is the second installation of Meow Wolf (don’t ask) and is a neon, glow in the dark, zip-lining, sliding, hidden treasure interact art installment. Tickets are about $45 USD each, but are worth it. There is a story to follow, with clues and information prompted by a “boop” card which is handed to you before you enter.

Warning: Once you enter, you will be confused. And the confusion will be glorious. I can’t write too much about it without giving away the secrets that make the installation beautiful.

Area 15 holds the Omega Mart as well as a few bars, some eateries–or snackeries depending on what you call ice cream and bakery items–as well as a track zip-line station and some more neon art sculptures. There are a few gift shops specific to Meow Wolf and Area 15, but enter at your own risk: prices vary.

Check that out and more here: https://meowwolf.com/visit/las-vegas

2. Rollin’ Smokes BBQ

If you’re looking for a quick, southern inspired meal, this is the place for you. Smothered in their own personal rub, built upon with several spices of deliciousness, you have the opportunity to choose from brisket, burger, rib, sandwich or salad, partnered with mouth watering sides like bacon potato salad, sweet cornbread, collard greens and brisket, and chipotle coleslaw. Their smoked meatloaf was featured on the travel channel, and has mama’s sweet D-licious sauce to tickle your tastebuds. I tried the Waygu Brisket Burger, which melted beautifully in my mouth and tasted fresh and seasoned like a good burger should. My only complaint was: where’s the bbq sauce, man?

You can expect to pay anywhere from $13 USD to $20 USD for a meal, and more if you decide to ty a sampler platter or a rack of ribs.

Want to see their menu? Check it out here:

3. Boulder City

This quaint little town is a great place to stay if you’re looking to avoid the traffic and crowds of Vegas but still want to enjoy what the city has to offer. It’s about 30 minutes outside of the city, depending on how fast you drive, and is about 15 minutes from the Hoover Dam, a very popular picture site, especially if you’re looking to build memories.

For a hotel, we paid about $250 USD for three nights and four days, a whooping 200 less than what we would have paid on the strip, and we got a beautiful view of the mountains. The only con for this is that you have to find parking in Vegas; this can be done relatively easily, as most casino resorts and parking garages are open 24/7jus, however, it’s pushing through the people that’s the hard part. They walk like they’re impervious to vehicles.

Boulder City has all the gas, markets, and ice cream shops you could hope for, perfect for that 107 degree (Fahrenheit) weather.

4. Pinball Hall of Fame

Get your nerd-on here. Pinball machines from the 50’s and onward give you hours of fun. There is no time limit, and when you walk in you simply put some cash in the change machine and use the quarters you receive as money for the machines. Some are vintage, some are new, all are fun.

How much money? As much as you want. Check them out here: http://www.pinballmuseum.org

5. Las Vegas Sign

Come on. If you go to Vegas and skip this picture site, you’ve wasted your time. It’s free, there’s parking, it’s beautiful at night, and it’s proof you visited Sin City. Be prepared to be interrupted by people standing with cameras offering to take your picture and be prepared for crowds also looking to capture that perfect selfie.

It really is the city that never sleeps. And I’m here for it.

What are some of your favorite places in Vegas? Let us know is the comments below.

Until next time.

Don’t forget to hit that follow button and join me on Instagram @ alilivesagain, on Twitter @happyschizobs, and on TikTok @alisaysno

Posted in Late Night Thoughts, psychology, Therapy, travel

What Does Stability Look Like For You?

For some of us this simply means having three meals a day, our medication, an income (social security included) and a permanent roof over our head. For others that means a more than comfortable income, a full-time job, a family, and spare time to travel. Some of us haven’t asked ourselves about stability because it feels elusive.

Feeling Lost

This happens. Stability isn’t born out of stability, it’s born out of troubles and pain and the murky mist of a labyrinth; we are lost before we are found. Understanding that this pain exists because it must, because even pain needs space to breathe, is the first step to accepting the present.

It’s true some people are perpetually lost. There are those of us without shelter, without family, wandering the streets at the mercy of our madness. With poor resources and a poor outlook on mental health recovery, not enough people receive the services they deserve. Chances are, because you’re reading this now, you aren’t that person.

This does not mean compare your life. This does not mean you should feel guilty for having food, shelter, and family while still being in tremendous agony–it’s illogical to compare pains. We all struggle, we all suffer, and that’s that. What it means is that you are not perpetually lost. It means you have a greater chance at recovery. That’s a fact.

Because you have a greater chance at recovery, you also have a chance to help those without your advantage. You can give back. You can have purpose and be fulfilled while fulfilling.

In this we see that being lost is not a time to mourn. It is not a sign of predestined suffering or eternal pain. Being lost is an experience to be grateful for. It’s an experience that teaches us to teach others.

A Change of Perspective

Such a change of perspective isn’t a simple jump from “negative” to “positive”, but a deeper understanding of the beauty of pain and the expectations of happiness.

We often have a vain idea of what happiness means. This can turn into us holding ourselves to unrealistic standards, and when that standard isn’t met, we crumble, our self-worth tied up in our expectations.

We can also have a clear but misguided understanding of pain: we disregard it, try to ignore it, hate it, cry over it, damn it to hell. Therefore we glaze over areas of pain that help us grow, that show us what we really want for ourselves. When we break out of the darkness and into the light, we get wary of the brightness in anticipation of pain, completely discounting the contribution pain had made–if it were not for that darkness, we may not have had the opportunity to experience the light.

Rather than try and predict our pain, rather than set unrealistic expectations of happiness, a balanced absorbance of both experiences, no matter how rough or how euphoric, can present a new way of living, one in which we experience the rawness of ourselves.

Where will you go?

And so my question for you all is where will life take you? Where will pain take you? Where will happiness take you? What journeys can you start and end?

Dramatic change can yield dramatic results.

Stability for me is a comfortable income, a travel plan, proper meals, exercise, and a compassion toward my inner demons, without which I would be heavily medicated, deeply depressed, and unrealistically expecting a miracle.

For updates on posts, research, and conversations, follow me:

Instagram: @written_in_the_photo

Twitter: @philopsychotic

If you enjoyed this post, please share, like, and follow ThePhilosophicalPsychotic. I appreciate every reader and commentator. You give me more reason to continue this joyous hobby.

Posted in travel

Beautiful Ways to Be Well

Thank you all for being so patient as I had a brief break in our regularly scheduled (blog) programing.

One of the number one things I’ve started doing for my mental health within the last year is hiking. I took a hiking course last semester after learning my college wouldn’t let me take another gym course. I lost over 35 pounds in those courses, and knew if I wanted to keep the weight loss up, I’d need more rigorous exercise activities alongside my new gym membership.

I think a lot of us, out of habit, become reclusive because our mind wars against us and we start feeling uncomfortable in the world. If you hear voices, they might comment on everything or on your being near people as mine have. If you have social anxiety, you might fear everyone is judging your posture, your clothes, or your mannerisms. If you have depression, getting out of bed may seem unnecessarily arduous. With any mental health struggle, everything takes extra energy and most of the time we don’t have that.

What helped me break this cycle and understand life only has the limits I place on it was hiking. Seeing formations of the earth that extend up into the sky, that touch the layer of clouds and remind me how small we are in the universe helps me break free from the negativity in my head and spend time in awareness outside of myself.

That being said, it took a couple years to build up the courage, confidence, and wellness needed to step into the fresh air and adventure. I think people often tell us “exercise will do you good” or “if you just got out of the house every once in a while, you’d feel better.”, but they don’t understand you do need a level of wellness for that. Getting outside regularly doesn’t cure anything; it’s a sign that stability is nearer than before.

I worked on myself for 2.5 years before my anxiety and paranoia let me hike through Big Basin State park. And in Yosemite national park these last few days, I still took my PRN anxiety medication with me, as I had a string of attacks last week unlike anything I’ve experienced in 4 years.

Nature has helped me get back on track. Breathing in untarnished air and feeling life at its most raw.

And so, dear readers, thank you for for being patient, as I stated earlier. I’d like to share some of photos I took with me and my boyfriend. We’ve been together for 5 years almost, with a year of us kinda being together but not really. That’s a whole other story.

We plan to visit all the national parks around the U.S and some outside of the U.S. Here are some of my photos of Yosemite National Park, shot on just my iPhone. Others I took with a Nikon DD300.

Mirror Lake
A Whatever Pose
A Waterfall Thirsty For Spring
It’s High
Snowy Freedom
Sunrise and Some Fall
Not Ice

Next week we will resume scheduled blogging. If you ever get a chance to experience Yosemite in the winter, it’s worth the temperature drop.

Want to continue the conversation, see silly (and beautiful) photos, or nonsensical two second videos? Great! Follow me on:

Instagram: @written_in_the_photo

Twitter: @philopsychotic

Snapchat: @FabulousIRLTho

If you enjoyed this content, please share it, hit the like button, and follow ThePhilosophicalPsychotic. I appreciate every reader and commentator. You give me more reason to continue this joyous hobby.