Tag Archives: mental health

The Things That Matter

6 Jun

I feel sad today. More than sad, actually, but that’s not what this post is gonna be about.

It’s about the opposite of sadness. It’s about someone who makes me feel truly, wonderfully blessed.

How Could I stay Angry With You?

I’m not often able to do this; when I’m tangled in the knots and waves of very dark despair, i get really pissed off when someone tries to remind me how lucky i am. In that moment, i don’t feel lucky, i feel desolate and frustrated, useless, worthless,, i resent everyone and everything. Attractive, i know. I’m working on it.

Case in point: this morning, i got pissed of at the Dali Lama. Erm…WTF? How can anyone be angry with the Dalai Lama? This is what i read (on His Holiness’ facebook page, no less!) that (in that moment) provoked the savage beast:

Given the scale of life in the cosmos, one human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is a just visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time alone, unhappy or in conflict with our companions? Far better, surely, to use our short time here in living a meaningful life, enriched by our sense of connection with others and being of service to them.

Yes, i know. Insane. For one, it’s completely true. For two, it’s given in the spirit of love and self development. For three, it’s given by The Dalai Lama, one of the most beautiful and lovely and wise human beings on the planet. Honestly, what was my problem?

In that moment, it was the perceived implication that i choose to be unhappy or alone. Is it a choice? That’s a whole other philosophical sphere that i do not wish to enter here.

This is a post about something i am constantly grateful for; my Beautiful Dad.

As i sit here trying to articulate for you how i feel about him, i am genuinely overcome with emotion, with Pure Unadulterated Love.

If you met him in Tesco, you might think he was a bit of a strange man. I guess in lots of ways, he is a strange man. You’d think he was a nice man, but sometimes he struggles to communicate, which might make him seem a bit strange.

He’s in his mid fifties, mind mannered, biker, bald, guitarist. He doesn’t do any drugs whatsoever, not even tea or coffee or alcohol. He almost became a mormon once (they preyed on him after he divorced his adulterous ex-wife), and the Sober-Sydney thing stuck.

But he’s a bit of an adrenaline junkie, he’s a motorcyclist, and he dabbles with most outdoor sports; he likes cycling and hiking, he’s been paragliding, wind surfing  and at the moment he’s got his sights on a jet ski. He loves rollercoasters and camping, gigs and festivals.

Ahhhh. Just talking about him makes me happier.

He’s an AWESOME engineer; he can fix/build pretty much anything, and was an aerospace engineer for most of his life. He thinks its nothing, not a skill, he has a very low self-esteem. But every week, i am amazed by some new thing he’s made or fixed.

Autism is a continuum, and we are all on there somewhere, the majority of us on the high cognitive function/full development end. I think it’s quite likely that my dad might be classed as borderline Aspergers. Certainly in his day, it’s very unlikely that he would have been diagnosed. I reckon he’s dyslexic too; i sort out all his paperwork because he says ‘too many words!’

His family was very poor, and dad had chronic asthma as a child. He was very ill and in a lot of pain, hardly ever at school ( in those days there was no such thing as inhalers; he had to sit at home with an oxygen mask on his face). He was always ill. He got beaten up and bullied regularly because of this. He has a stammer when he’s nervous too – it used to be really bad, i wonder if the bullying had something to do with it. Stammers are entirely psychological; there is no genetic cause and you are no more or less likely to develop a stammer if your parent suffered with it.

He also endured a 30 year emotionally abusive relationship with my mother, which i’m certain didn’t help. During the end he suffered a nervous break down, depression and pneumonia.

He has suffered so much, and none of it he ever deserved.

He is the most thoughtful, kind, loyal person i know. He’s not one for words or grand gestures, but for the things that matter, you can depend on him two thousand percent.  He regularly goes out of his way to help other people, for no personal gain (a trait he get’s from my nan <3). If you’re car breaks down on a cold stormy night, down a country lane miles from anywhere, you better hope it’s my dad who comes along first. Cos he’ll help you, for certain, and he won’t ask you for a thing in return. The world could do with a few more like him.

My happiest memories have been spent with him. He taught me to play guitar.  He made us climb Ben Nevis when i was 10. He took me to The Glastonbury Festival when i was 11, where my whole world view expanded about a million miles. When i was 16, he made me go on what was then the fastest accelerating rollercoaster in the world. Last week he built me a custom-made adjustable tripod, so that i can make better animations. LEG END.

The best thing about him is: he is the only person i am and have always been completely sure loves me completely and unconditionally. I am completely honest with him about everything, and despite his disapproval sometimes, he always supports me. I will always, always, always be eternally grateful to the universe for giving me a dad that loves so perfectly.

Just as i was writing that last sentence, he stumbled in, in his motorcycle gear, big smile on his face, to wave to me and tell me he is back home.

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Back To Blank

3 Jun

I’m happier with t his one than the last.

Camera Angles Of The Mind

31 May

It’s as if my mind is an abstract film with only one camera angle at any one time. If the camera stays in the same place for a length of time, i start to feel a bit more self-assured, stable, aware of a me?

But at any given moment, the camera can zoom out and spin round, fly up or drop down, and adopt a completely different position. From that position the world, me, and my place in it will all seem (be?) completely different.

For a little while, this makes me feel afraid and anxious, because nothing makes sense, reality is fluid…which view is real, which me is me? Are they all real, all truths? Some, but not others? All illusions?How to tell the difference? I can’t trust my own perception.

Does my subconscious try to shield me from some things that i do not want to acknowledge, but sometimes get glimpses of? Is this why it feels frightening? The destructive behaviours that i use to function, are they protected by my subconscious: I do not allow myself to recognise the counter-productive nature of them (most of the time), and is this why i am unable to stop it, even though it exhausts me, and i am consciously convinced i want to stop? Short term vs long-term: feeling better now vs being better overall. Progress vs developmental delay.

If the camera does not settle, and instead fits and panics, trying out different views but finding no foot hold in any of them, then i will suffer a dark and confusing period, for X amount of time.

If the camera settles again, eventually I’ll start to feel something that resembles security, stability. I thinks that view is what i am, who i am, where i am.

Until, without warning or reason, it will move again.

We Are Hurting Our Womenfolk, And Ourselves

28 May

Another week, another status on facebook. A joke at the expense of some severely overweight person who ‘should just stop eating all the pies’, or something similar. There is such hatred, judgement and contempt aimed at people with weight issues.

A clarification, for the purposes of this post. When i refer to overweight people here, i am talking about severely overweight people, people who are suffering serious health problems because of their weight. I am not talking about slightly overweight people or people who could use loosing a few pounds.

These days, when people starve themselves to death, we understand it is an emotional condition, a mental illness, a sickness. We call it Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. We don’t fully understand it yet, because the research is still in its infancy, but we do recognise it is a mental health problem and we try to help these people.

When people eat themselves to death, we point and laugh at them. We stare at them in the street and judge them. We make facebook status’ to share the laugh with our friends. As a society, we have very little compassion for these people.

It is a completely outdated and unhelpful attitude. Eating yourself to death is disordered eating behaviour, just as starving yourself to death is. I’ve never heard someone say about an anorexic ‘she should just eat something!’. If anyone did, they would be viewed as ignorant, at best. Anyone who has suffered any kind of mental health problem will tell you, it is precisely this attitude and stigma that can sometimes prevent real advances in the treatment and prevention of it.

There is hope. 30 years ago, we didn’t fully recognise Anorexia or Bulima as mental health issues. Hopefully, 30 years from now, we’ll better understand people suffering from the other extreme, so that we can help them too.

I feel i am able to talk with some degree of understanding on these issues because i myself have always suffered with disorder eating behaviours. I have been dangerously thin (around eight stone, which is bad considering I’m quite tall for a woman at 5’7) and dangerously fat (at my heaviest I’m not sure exactly what i weighed, cos i wouldn’t weigh myself, but i was definitely in excess of 17 stone).

Now, i’m a bit heavier than what i’d like to be and should be, but i’m not overly concerned about it. I watch what i eat cos i don’t wanna put more weight on, and i have some vague ideas about going on a proper diet, but i  am trying to find a healthy balance; I must accept my curves and the things that make me a woman, i must not become a complacent unshapely blob, i must not become an obsessive skeleton woman.  Last time i weighed myself, i was about 11 stone. Not huge, but could do with a few cycle rides 😉

It’s difficult, considering the constant bombardment from the media, from everywhere, telling me that what i am is wrong, telling me i should be leaner, more toned, less curvy, my legs should be longer, more tanned, my bum firmer, my tits more pert, my skin more radiant, my feet smaller, my eyelashes longer, my eyebrows thinner, my cheekbones more defined, my hands more effeminate, my posture more confident, my movements more graceful…on and on forever.

It seems every advert, film, book, newspaper, shop, train, website, TV channel is overflowing with images of airbrushed fantasy beauty. It is all the time, everywhere and has been for so long that we now believe this is how women should look. Even us women believe it.

Look around you in the REAL world, at the shops, in the office, at school, on the bus, and count how many people look like the woman the media thrusts upon us, in reality? If you find one, please send me a picture.

It is indoctrinated from such a young age. For example, if Barbie was a real woman, she’d be so out of proportion with herself , that she’d be unable to support her own body weight. In short, she’d be crippled because her waist is too small, her tits too big, her legs too long and thin and she wouldn’t have enough space for her  skeleton and organs to develop and function correctly. She is the ultimate example of how a woman should not look, yet we give her to our daughters to idolize at a very vulnerable developmental stage.

The message is: if you do not fulfil or match up (to a completely unrealistic and unobtainable ideal, if i haven’t been clear!) then you are less than inadequate, you are worthless, invalid, you are not a female. You are a ridiculous parody of what you are trying to be. You are unsexy and unworthy of attention from anyone.

Work hard, kill yourself working in a soulless job you despise, so that you can afford to buy the right makeup, the right clothes, the right hairstyle, fake tan, shoes, lacy underwear, botox, false eyelashes, boob implants, liposuction, teeth veneers, moisturizer, anti-aging cream, colonic fucking irrigation. Then you’ll be beautiful, valid, worthwhile.

No, wait. You won’t because it’s NOT REAL. You’ll feel like a tranny, a man masquerading as a woman.  Better get back to work, earn some more monies, buy some more shit…

We are damaging our daughters with this crap from before they are old enough to walk. There is no escaping it; it is insiduous to society.

Everywhere you look you can see these broken women, scrambbling for love, attention, for something to cling onto, because they believed the lies, they believed that they were worthless, they believed that if they brought the right bullshit, then they would be worthwhile. They believed that the solution to their feelings of worthlessness were avaliable somewhere outside of themselves, for a price. But with every new anti-aging cream, every new life threatening operation to make their tits bigger or their skin smoother, they lost some of themselves, some of their strength, a little bit more of their shattered self-esteem. Cos it didn’t work…they still aren’t good enough. Women like Jordan or that cat woman lady from America. Train-wreck women.

Don’t listen to it. Don’t pass it on to your babies.

They don’t want you to wake up, to realise the truth, to stop buying their bollocks. Don’t let them win. Don’t let them get you believing you’re anything less than a beautiful enchantress, who contains within her all the questions and all the answers to life and love and the universe. Because you do, and you are.

Men and Women CAN Communicate Effectively!

23 May

Today, someone told me they find me ‘very sexy’! :O

I’ve known him from a distance for about 8 years, but have only seen him a few times and never had his contact details. I bumped into him today at another friends house.

He’s quite a bit older than me (maybe 15 years?), but i always felt like there was some kind of chemistry between us, though nothing has ever happened. But usually I’m in a relationship.

It was really nice to see him today so i invited him over on saturday.

But when i got home i started over-thinking it and getting paranoid that he’s gonna come over on saturday thinking he’s gonna get some of the fringewalk-pie.

It’s not that I’m not attracted to him. It’s that (SO proud of myself for actually realising this) I know a relationship (or any kind of complication like that) would be a very bad move for me right now, and would fuck up all this good work I’m doing. I really miss sex, but I’m not up for the complications of that either. Shame.

I’ve never, ever been in this position before. Thinking before acting. Putting myself, my health, first. I’ve got to protect myself and I’ve got to protect him, so i sent him an email, which is SO unlike me, i can’t quite believe i did it. I never normally admit when i think someone’s interested, cos I’m so terrified of the rejection and embarrassment when it turns out I’m just a psychotic, delusional ego-maniac with no grip on reality. My email explained what i just explained to you, except i added that i was only telling him cos i value the potential friendship we could have.

It took him about an hour to reply, and during that time i had convinced myself i was completely wrong and deluded about the chemistry, and that I’d just made a gigantic twat of myself.

But he emailed back eventually to say that he did feel it, and that he really respected me for being straight with him, that it would be hard cos he finds me really sexy (finds me really sexy!!), but he values our friendship too so i don’t have to worry, he won’t go there.

I feel really flattered! He’s clearly insane, but it’s still so lovely to hear, i didn’t think men really noticed me, not any that wanted someone to treat with respect, anyway.

I also feel really glad i laid it all out there. I took a risk even though it frightened me and did a really emotionally mature and smart thing, to the benefit of myself and a friend.

I prevented a potential emotional massacre. It’s not a cure for cancer. But i hopefully spared us a lot of pain.

Now i just have to remember all this wisdom and stay committed and consistent to it.

Video

Free Your Mind (And The Rest Will Follow?)

22 May

Mindfulness – Coming To Our Senses – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Maybe you’ll find this as useful as i did 🙂

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Meant To Be

20 May

Meant To Be

Who Am I?

19 May

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Life Is Sacred

13 May

This won’t be a very good introduction.  This is a bad day for me, and so i doubt this post will be very engaging; a shame since it’s the first one. First impressions and all that.

I’ve been meaning to keep a blog (or at least, a consistent-ish online one, as opposed to random scribblings in a notebook) for a good while now.  Now i have an internet connection and a computer decent enough to do it, today’s the day. I have some rough pieces of writing on this PC, which I’ll find and post in a moment, and hopefully complete in the not-so-distant-future.

A book should tell a story, or be factual or funny or portray a journey. If this turns out to be a book, it will have a story, a beginning, a middle, and an end, I’ll get somewhere, be successful in some of my aims, or I’ll learn something about myself, or the world, that those ambitions I began with become meaningless. It won’t be a fantastic story, but a personal and honest account of how this life is, for me, for others? If it’s not those things, then it’ll be a diary: interesting and embarrassing and sentimental to me in years to come, and therapeutic now, at least.

It’ll be sporadic, cos I only write when I feel like it, and only about what I feel like writing, so maybe it’ll be difficult understand, but life’s like that, people are like that, I’m like that. Writing something like this in any other way would be a misrepresentation of something that’s supposed to be true, or true to me.

Try and channel it. Write it down. Try to understand it, manage it, make sense of it, identify it. Remember it? If you have to live with it, at least try to get something positive from it.

The thought troubling me today is: where does ‘it’ and ‘i’ begin? What’s really me and what isn’t, and how do I know the difference? I haven’t taken my tablets for a while. The difference is significant, and it has taken me a bit by surprise. The well of sadness is palpable again. I am very emotional, my eyes want to cry, it’s all lurking just below the surface. It’s shocking how quickly you forget how harrowing it is when you snuggled safely in a chemical bubble. I don’t feel too bad in this moment, or at least, it’s not in the centre, but I am smoking a spliff. Earlier, I felt very anxious/worried (no reason to be) This is not unusual…but not usual either. Not nice. I know the alone-ness would be acute if smoking wasn’t taking the edge off.

I am surprised because, having resisted medication for years (not because I didn’t think it could work, but because I couldn’t (wouldn’t?) acknowledge I was ill), the evidence that medication was at least helping to a point ( and therefore, the realisation that this IS a sickness, and not just me) is undeniable. But if that is true, and most of my life I have thought it was just me, normal to feel and behave that way, how do I know what is reality? What is me, and not me? Me and illness? I was strange and unfamiliar before, now I am a bigger question mark and that makes me afraid.

People are just a series of chemical reactions and electrical impulses? That’s it?

I stopped taking them because it is a false door, an illusion, just like the smoking. It doesn’t really help me get better, it just stops me feeling so bad in the interim. It just postpones the reality, but it’s still there, in the post. So what’s the point in relying on yet another chemical to be able to cope, to function? I need to be getting off this shit, not on more.

I’m doing ok. I mean, I would like to not be reliant on anything, to be able to cope on my own, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, and i don’t feel very strong or very capable at all at the moment. I get by on a day-to-day, sometimes moment-to-moment basis. But i AM getting by, and that’s what counts.

It is a beautiful sunny day and i don’t have anything to do except enjoy it, my jobs are done and my boy is with his dad today. The lawn here has just been cut and smells delicious. It’s bright green and the sky is azure blue. The apple tree is in blossom. The world is beautiful in it’s springtime promise.

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