#ExplorersoftheMind – Reblog

I loved this article and felt the need to share it.  Having never looked at it in this way before, it rings so true, whilst we slog through our work, reaching the end, the spoils for both Writer and Explorer are rewarded.

Both writers and explorers discover new worlds. A new story idea for a writer is like the strange new land that an explorer sets out to discover. An explorer uses a compass and map to navigate through an undiscovered new land. Some writers have a detailed plan of their story idea and plot to help […]

via Similarities Between Writers & Explorers #SundayBlogShare #writers — BlondeWriteMore

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Having the Vision

Oh if I could have the vision to see, what in the future I could be.

The dreams of past failures gone, giving me strength to carry on.

Oh there would be the sense of delight, that courage inside would not take flight.

leaving me hiding in the dark, not out in the world to make my mark.

A chance of regained confidence, for this work some recompense.

 

 

The Daily Post – Vision

Emotional Blackmail, via email or a Lesson to be Learned.

It’s strange how one quick scan through looking at your email can give you the familiar guilty feelings and bring all your worries to the fore.  These are mailing lists which you sign up for, when you are feeling that you need a bit of help, some guidance in your life, or are curious as to whether you are doing any of it right.  Never underestimate the effect that this can have on someone who is depressed.  I have found that reading emails and seeking out self-help guides is a way to reassure yourself, that others are going through it to, there must be help out there, someone may have the answer as to how to fix that and sometimes they will even share it.  (Darn that practical thinking once again!) A quick scroll through however, will sadly reaffirm all your worst fears, that you aren’t doing enough, or doing it right, your body is not slim enough, your mind is not tuned in to what it should be, your business is not working the way it should be, you can re-set your thinking and your whole world will just drop into place again. There are “coaches” who will be behind you every step of the way.

IF ONLY!    Of course if you would just send them some more of your hard earned, or non existent cash.  They would be able to help you achieve more, worry less, be slim, be strong, help others or the very next best thing would be on it’s way to you by some secret or celestial force.

It is very difficult when you are going through a dark place, not to pick up things along the way, which sit in the back of your mind and eat away at your sub-conscious.   Some months ago, I was desperate for help to ease my worried mind.  I wanted so badly for things in my life to change for the better, that for a moment I believed the hype….  That some complete stranger could show me the way out of this mess I was in.  That’s the trouble when your mental health takes a swan dive. Don’t get me wrong, there are some Life Coaches who hit the nail on the head and whom you actually feel can help and there are people who do.  It isn’t all doom and gloom.

At the time though, I received an email, telling me that I had a Guardian Angel, who was watching over me and who could guide me, they might even be able to tell me where I had been going wrong all this time, or how to avoid any future pitfalls.  For a small fee, they would offer help,  a reading or perform some mystical thing which would set me back on track on the original path from which I had clearly deviated.

At the time, I had funds.  So,  what had I got to lose?  I thought, I paid a small fee, for him to work his magic, (Yes I do believe in Magic but that is a subject for another day) he sent me something to download and follow which would bring me celestial assistance. (Or Not)  Someone I could call upon in times of difficulty who would be there.  (Isn’t that what my partner is for?)  Little did I know that I would be bombarded for months with emails which would send me on a huge guilt trip.   It promised that I would come into some money, which when you are broke is always a bit of a carrot to entice you. Furthermore that on a certain date, games of luck would go my way.  It is very easy to hope that someone is right when you are feeling low, it would have been so easy to spend a fortune on Lottery Tickets and this person’s “Help” and where would it have got me? On a couple of occasions I gambled.  Those “special dates in my charts, the stars etc ” came and went and needless to say, there was no change in my finances.  My natural cynicism must have overtaken the good stuff and Lo another date was mentioned.

As a pretty sensitive person, on the other occasions where I did not even have enough money to buy food or pay the bills, I received the emails which told me off for not having parted with yet more funds told me that time was running out, it would all go wrong for me if I did not take this offer up. I felt the guilt, thought about if I could scrape together just a bit more money, it might make the difference…  Of course I didn’t and it didn’t, then having been berated, a few days later despite me not taking the offer up, I would receive another one, with a different name of something that I would surely need in my life and a new date.

Instead having been on the hook for a very short time, so I thought, When things just got steadily worse and worse, I faced facts.  I had given it a go, but accepted that it wasn’t to be. Perhaps this person’s insight had been off-kilter and wasn’t meant for me at all.   At this point it would also have been very easy to think, hang it all that they were right, “there is some dark, evil force hanging over me, which I need to rid myself of”.  Yes, this was actually the content of one of the emails I received.  But instead, a part of the old me re-appeared the stubborn me and I thought, I’ll show them, I will do it.  I will not be beaten.

Last week, I woke up one morning to be met with another such email.  I suddenly decided to cull the email inbox, it was time. I removed myself from this regular onslaught upon my sense of wellbeing and the threat of a cloud lifted almost immediately.  I really should keep going and get rid of some of the other emails too but hey, one step at a time….

Things started to feel better, day to day and the future.  If the days were meant to go well, then they would. I handed my future back to fate pleased that it would be in her hands for a while, that I cannot push in a direction that I may not be able to go.  I can only do what I do, if I do it well, then life will reward me. If I do not, then Karma will give me that kick up the backside, which I will probably deserve.

And that brings me to my #LessonsLearned:

Fate has always served me rather well that along with my intuition, whom I should follow much more carefully in the future. I believe in Magic, it presents itself in so many ways.  I have my very own Guardian Angel looking out for me all along, he is living, breathing and beside me every day.

The Daily Post – Underestimate

 

 

 

 

 

Family Time with My Siblings

This week has been an interesting one, I have seen both of my siblings, part of my family and I am feeling loved, I hope that they do too.

I went out with my sister on Thursday for several hours, just the two of us in her car, she is a new driver and wanted to get some practice in now that she has a car. We drove to the shops and both she and I had places in mind that we wanted to see although she did not have the address for hers, we went in that direction. Stopping at the shop for some car supplies, we munched on donuts in the car park of a store before setting off. They were the best donuts I have had in years, light and fluffy with just the right amount of jam. They melted as they hit your mouth and were really enjoyable, leaving the obligatory slightly sticky fingers. A clean up and we set off on our little road trip. I loved the afternoon and evening we spent together, it was just lovely to be ourselves, with no one else around, driving through the countryside along country roads, in the sunshine, the car full of fresh air talking about all sorts of things. My partner called to make sure all was going well and asked us how Thelma and Louise were doing today, it made us both laugh. I loved that we could be totally natural, no-one to judge us, no-one to interrupt us either. We arrived back in the evening tired and happy and enjoyed a meal together.

Over dinner she gave me a wonderful compliment, she said to my partner that she has always seen me as always demure and ladylike and seemed to be able to remain calm, she admired me for that. I told her that I had made a conscious effort to be that way, it didn’t come naturally to me. But there is fire within, we discussed that too, that I am not one to be pushed. I will only allow it so far, she said that she had only ever seen me lose my temper twice. (I didn’t ask for details) I am not proud of letting rip, it takes a lot for me to do that. My sister although like me in many ways, is much more fiery, she will say whatever comes into her head and blow the consequences, it has such an effect that she often has no recollection of it afterwards, the steam and the words have gone. Often they leave their mark elsewhere, but once they are out in her mind they are gone. As she set off later that night, we agreed, as we often do, that we should spend more time together and hope to see each other next week as well.

I saw my brother yesterday, it was the first time we had actually met up in about a year. We had so much to catch up on, despite regularly speaking on the phone, it is wonderful to hug him and talk with him. He is working abroad these days and returns for short trips in between his contracts. I was physically ill and couldn’t see him last year when he arrived back, so yesterday we started early and he arrived in the afternoon, staying for lunch and dinner with us. It was great to share some stories, hear about his travels and that he is enjoying getting out and about with his camera he showed me some great photos he’d taken, he wants to do more of this, I suggested Instagram as he goes.

One conversation with my brother yesterday I mentioned to him that I am writing a blog and a book. He asked what it is about. I told him many things, It contains photographs, memories, stories and so far has covered many subjects, such as Invisible Illnesses, He looked as though he did not know what I meant, I explained, Depression, PTSD, Endometriosis. He seemed a little shocked, I told him of my plans to publish a book of poems this year. I have the poems, people are reading my blog and poetry and I have a twitter account now, as of last week with followers there too. Thank you to all of the above on and also being joined by my 50th follower, athling2001 on the blog, another personal milestone for me this week.

He asked me what my own plans were, I told him that although I do not currently have a paid job, I have been writing for some months. That it started out as a recovery thing for me, but I used to write years ago, poems and things and felt the need to be creative once again. I tried to draw, and paint, and make things, but writing seems to have taken off in a big way for me and comes naturally, he had been speaking to a lady we both know, who is currently writing children‘s stories, she apparently told him of her night writing and the times when there is nothing, but then it can return in floods. He laughed, I told him yes, it is real. It has given me the opportunity to express myself. The REAL me. I found myself explaining to him that for so long, I had been stifled by people around me, who expected me to be a certain way. I was facing an inner battle, yes, there were times when I wanted to shout at people and tell them that they were behaving badly, but I didn’t. I held it all in for years and suddenly, I couldn’t anymore. I admire the people I know who can just shout about it straight away and it’s over. I am not one of those people.
I carefully consider the possible repercussions of my words and actions, over think things and then think better of saying things, wise after the event. I should have said…. If I were to do it over again I would do/say etc, you get the gist.

Last year I stopped holding it all in. A counsellor helped me realise that it doesn’t solve things, to keep them put away. I was urged to find an outlet, give myself some me-time on a regular basis and find out what I needed and make sure that I got some of it. It was an eye-opener, just taking permission to do something for me, for no-one else time alone now and then and I have guarded it ever since. Now I have an outlet, I WRITE. I am not carrying all this emotional baggage around with me, I have room in my head, to think, to plan, to have a future. I may not be rich, I may not have a successful job at the moment, but I did, so I could again. But for the time being I am Happy! I am Grateful for the things I have learned, for the people who have put their faith in me, for allowing myself to be ME again. I might be a new me, but it is exhilarating to find the nice bits, bring them out and cherish them within the new person that I am still becoming. I explained to my brother that writing is quite cathartic, the release it gives is wonderful. He looked quite concerned, as though I may have rambled a bit, I think it took him by surprise. I don’t know if he understood, perhaps he never will.

Colouring for Relaxation.

Colouring is wonderfully relaxing. It was suggested as a calming thing to me last year, when I was extremely stressed and when I was bemoaning the fact that my creativity had been zapped and I so desperately wanted it back. The lady with whom I was speaking, told me that by colouring, she was able to be creative without having to draw.  So, I bought an adult colouring book.  I bought one for her too, as she must be running out of space in hers. Since my own drawings take a similar form and are usually in black and white, I craved the different shapes. I coloured in the first page, it was a release from the stress, I put the book away. It is there when I need it.

It’s strange that I have gone for the muted tones of pencil, when I craved something so bright. But here’s some I’ve done.

Thanks to @firespiritblog for the reminder.

Firespirit’s image.

Attempt to color my time…. PS: I am not good in editing pics :p I recently read articles and face book posts suggesting that doing coloring can do stress relief and relax our mind. May be the fondness for colors made me pick colors.I got color pencils, oil paints, sketch pens, gel pens etc during […]

via stress buster attempts… — firespiritblog

Sheet Music and Musical Events.

I remember that I am sitting in my Grandmother’s house, at the time when I was learning to play the recorder. I had to learn how to read music. It was the only way I would progress and be able to play in the school orchestra. As a small child, I did not have the lungpower for a proper wind instrument. I had only a small voice and couldn’t quite muster enough puff to play for any length of time. However, my Grandmother persisted with me. She would always help you if you were willing to be taught, laughing as I write this as the reality dawns that I am exactly the same in that respect. You shouldn’t waste your time on people with no wish to learn. If only I had remembered that in the training sessions of my later employ, when others who did not wish to partake, sat looking blankly on, saying that they just, didn’t “get it.”

I remember her running through the notes with me, singing which were which and explaining each one of them to me and where they would be within the piece of music.
Gone with the mists of time I now do not recall any of the knowledge behind it, I remember that I like the treble clef with it’s artistic swirl at the beginning of a piece. Whether it will return or be dragged from my mind kicking and screaming remains to be seen. I had decided that I wanted to learn a musical instrument. The recorder was a cheap instrument for my parents to buy, they couldn’t afford a trumpet, my hands were so small that I probably in truth couldn’t hold one. I could barely reach the bottom hole on the recorder. I had a Hohner recorder, it was black with a cream line around each section where it screwed together and you could dismantle it for cleaning, along with a plastic cleaner like a large needle and a piece of fabric threaded through the top. You pulled it through the instrument to remove saliva deposits so that it didn’t sound like you were just blowing bubbles. I also had a bamboo recorder, which had been acquired from goodness knows where, but my mother deemed unhygienic and spirited away. I think that one had come from one of the jumble sales. My Grandmother For the classes at school, I was required to learn to read music, so that we could play whatever was required for assembly or the forthcoming concerts.

Although I have a love of music, playing an instrument did not come easily to me, around the same time, my parents decided to play and sing together in a band. My father on guitar and them both vocalising, my mother also had a tambourine to accompany them. They enjoyed themselves and would take us along to visit other churches, parties at houses of the people in the church and various places, the songs were religious and they were part of the local Baptist church congregation. They would take my brother and I along. I played a tambourine to join in but I think my brother just sat it out, he wasn‘t one for singing or musical instruments. It was at this time, that I recall they played at an asylum, it happened more than once, but I remember feeling distinctly uncomfortable being there. There were patients milling around and a few “orderlies” standing around listening to them in a room. It seemed to go on forever and as small children do from time to time, I needed to go to the bathroom. They hadn’t finished their song, but I couldn’t wait, so telling my Mother where I was going, they continued to sing and play. I remember walking along the corridor to the toilet, I saw a man was coming the other way. I looked at my feet, attempting not to make eye contact and attempted to walk on past, he suddenly veered towards me and I looked up, at that point the man shrieked at me and clasped his hands to his head, then went off to bang his head against the wall. I ran away as he laughed manically. There was a room with people in further down , a lady screamed out, someone told her to calm down and not to fuss, what on earth were they doing to her in there?

It was quite some distance from the room where my parents were, to the visitors toilets. I don’t think that the organisers had put much thought into it putting us in a lounge away from the usual visitor area. I didn’t like the place, it made me so terribly sad to be there. In this huge and beautiful old building, on a bright sunny day with a wonderful wide expanse of garden outside, where no-one was allowed to play and where supervised people shuffled along the pathways, unable to walk on the grass. A place where despite the singing and praising the Lord, all I could hear was screams and cries. I went to the bathroom and despite my fear of being locked into places, I locked that door. I did not want anyone to come and get me, besides I had to pull together enough courage to make it back along the corridors.

I ran back to the room, clattering along the corridors, I saw a lady curled up in a corner, two nurses were trying to get her back into her room, she clearly did not want to go, she wrestled with them. They asked me what I was doing in that part of the hospital on my own, I shouldn’t be there. I explained that I was going to the toilet. Keep going they urged me and don’t stop to talk. I flew along the corridors and crashed back into the room, the parents were still playing, surrounded by inmates who were now singing along in their own way, rocking back and forth, emitting strange noises. I’m not sure, but think that it did them some good,. I was quiet on the way home. I asked later told my parents that I didn‘t want to have to go back there. I was scared of the people there, they were in the process of telling me that I shouldn‘t worry they were only people who were sick, that we were trying to help. But I was adamant that I did not want to return and told them what had happened when I needed to go to the toilet. My mother berated me for not taking my (older) brother with me when I went. I said, he wouldn’t be allowed in the girls toilet. So after that they agreed that it probably wasn’t a good idea for me to go again. On going to school, the next day I was asked in class what we did at the weekend. I told the teacher, she did not believe that I could possibly have been there, why would a child go to such a place. Surely I had made it up, some of the children decided to be cruel, chanting that I had been to the “nut house” and that my parents must have taken me there because I needed to see a Doctor, and I should have been left there. My sleep was disturbed for some time afterwards, I regularly had nightmares about the place.

I think that after that, my love of learning music waned. I do not remember continuing and being a part of the Orchestra for the school concert. Later I looked at learning the piano, but my parents would not entertain it. It’s a shame since in my earlier years, we actually had a piano. I did teach myself “Do Re Mi” from the Sound of Music on the piano which was held in a room at a church we later attended, it was a beautiful grand piano which had rolls of music which could play fantastic pieces, if you wound it up, I would spend hours in there just listening to it. Someone had donated it to them and it was kept in a room there. I always snuck in there to play it whenever I had the chance. Most people learned chopsticks, I was different. Looking at a page of music, I now only see notes and not a way to play them, maybe I have blocked it all out

Years later, my friend was stationed at the same hospital for part of her nurse training, I stayed well away from the building but did visit her in the nurses quarters on a few occasions.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I saw on Twitter yesterday, I think that is why this particular memory came back to me. At eight years old I decided that I never wanted to be put in one of “those places“, who knows what happened there, but the people were so very broken, they would never be the same again. I did not know, nor was it pointed out to me that sometimes people actually recovered from mental illness. No-one thought to explain what mental illness was or that it affects people in varying degrees and takes on many different forms. For many years, I had one view of it, I thought that it was where people “ended up” since there was often talk of suicides there and I certainly did not want to go there or join that club. To this day, I struggle with seeing people rocking, it takes me right back to that time. I do want to try and help, to hold them close, take away their pain and stop them from doing it. Seeing that person rocking years ago, throwing their body into the wall, faster and faster has stayed with me. I did not understand the relief that could possibly be gained from literally banging your head against the wall, later I figured it was as they tried to escape from themselves and the pain that they were in. I have always tried to avoid doing the headbanging, it tends to be a more subliminal thing with me. Years ago, I watched the film One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, with Jack Nicholson. Although I could appreciate the acting in it was brilliant, I found it one of the most disturbing films that I have ever seen, it brought back so many of the images from those visits to the hospital which had lain buried for years. There is a stigma, no one wants to be thought of as unstable, deranged or messed up. We all have our moments, some last longer than others. Some feel as though they are insurmountable. Some get help and iron out the crumpled bits, living to fight another day. Some fight their own battles for years, denying they even exist then life slams your head into that wall and you get a wake up call.

Desert Boots

IMG_1237

These boots have been to places
Of where I dare to dream
Of people and their faces
That I’ve never seen
Of hills and deserts yonder,
As far as you could wander.
These boots were made to win the war,
For the feet of soldiers, the stories they could tell.
But these came home, you know the score,
On someone fit and well.
They did no longer need them, as their war was at an end
A dearly loved father, a brother or a friend.