Category Archives: Mind

Chronic love pangs

I sometimes wish there was a means of silencing that ‘magical’ human condition which most of us living are subjected to, sometimes with pleasant effects, but so often with bewilderingly painful and complicated ‘symptoms’. Love- what a brutal yet necessary force in our lives.

Don’t get me wrong, love can be beautiful. Love is beautiful. I’m certainly not unique in finding myself having to write about it, and forgive me for submitting to what feels a bit like a cliche. At moments, it can’t be helped though.

For me at the moment (hopefully not forever), love burns badly, in a way which I cannot adequately describe in words. It is burning at my core, in a way which is infringing on my ability to even function normally. Thus, leading to the emergence of an immense desire to ‘switch it off’, not necessarily permanently, but at least for long enough for me to be able to move on.

Loving someone so intensely never goes away, and perhaps i’m simply a slow learner in this subject area. I feel so new to the world of ‘getting over heartbreak’ and love ‘lost’. I don’t have practice… can anyone ever have the required level of ‘practice’ or ‘preparation’ to equip them well in dealing with chronically ‘unmet’ love pangs?

It really is downright difficult to imagine ever being able to find yourself, and your sense of wholeness once again, after you spent so long believing so strongly that you were only ‘complete’, when loved in return by a partner you adored. Adore, still, despite all the pain.

That thing people say, about ‘time being a great healer’… well, so far, it doesn’t feel like it’s nursing the wounds particularly breathtakingly, for me so far. It just seems to be making the hurt fester, and begin to blister. Perhaps this is an initial ‘necessary evil’, before scar tissue can begin to form, before gradually becoming smoother, eventually fading. This is desperate hope talking- I so sincerely long for the day that the scar tissue paves over the gaping hole.

I long to rebel against my ‘addiction’ to the person who can no longer return my love. This has surely got to mean some form of ‘progress’, at least that’s what i’m going to have to keep telling myself, for a very long time.


 

Rant Arrears

Disclaimer/Warning:

This is a RANT (meaning, I was angry when I began writing this, and I may say things which aren’t always 100% reflective of my more ‘professional’ character so to speak, and I must add now that I have no harmful intentions, by writing about matters which I feel need to be said, at least once. To someone, somewhere.

 

The above now being clarified, I will share with you what I wrote in September of 2017, earlier this year, in a very frustrated, hopeless and questioning time in my life.

Shall I begin…?

Never work for the NHS. It is a National Health NIGHTMARE, I am telling you now! It is so sad to have to say it, but never in my life, could I have even imagined how let down, broken, and fucked around I could possibly be. I knew it was bad, because many of my friends happen to be nurses. It really is the management, the lack of funding, direction, consistency and/or communication, which really fucks the whole thing right up.

Since I started working there, my life has fallen apart. I wish I could say otherwise, I truly do, but I can’t keep silent about this beast within the hive of that machine anymore. To stay silent, makes me want to rot to my core, and I’m pretty sure that mentally I have already done that. The Cancer patients we treated, they are already suffering the physical pain of rotting at the core, for themselves. It’s shit, and I hate that it is shit, but I cannot deny what I have seen.

Raped by a Staff Nurse. For F#%*’s Sake. Everyone is all so happy to be very hush hush and ‘I’m not allowed to comment on that’, about what ended up happening, and you know what? That isn’t alright, it really isn’t. I know you all want to save your own careers, and no one dares say a single thing out of line now, because look at the god damn example they have made out of me!

I genuinely accept, that this ‘may come across as a feeling’, and that ‘it really isn’t anything personal, it’s just the policy we have to follow’– I am telling you now, fuck, that shit. I ‘blew the whistle’ on your ward manager’s bad practice, the bullying, the belittling, the absolute SAND CASTLE.

That’s literally is all that is there- a perfect metaphor for the dead; a castle’s worth of absolute sand! A Hallam Shire, Actual Shire, of sand. Dusty and dead, with ground bones to be fed.

 

 

 

 


26/11/2017

Sunday night update to the above ‘rant’, having now had a little bit more time to reflect, sleep, and try rebuilding life (admittedly, not straight forward)

I hate being offline, and apparently unable to save this writing, and/or even publish it on my blog, to get it off my chest and talk about! I cannot connect to the internet in this temporary flat, even via trying to set myself up via mobile ‘personal hotspots’, just to try and enable this bloody laptop to connect to the network provider. Argh! It is heavily frustrating to say the least.

Who knows if anyone will ever bother to read this, anyway, or be interested in it, for that matter? For all I know, I could just be sat here, typing away (angrily) to myself, with no one who has the time, energy, concentration (perhaps?), or spare time, quite frankly, to find a moment to slow down other thoughts, and ‘listen’ to mine, through what I write.

I guess my point is, that I don’t know for sure if anyone ever will read this, or find anything I have to say or think, or do, dance, sing, pray or whatever, even remotely interesting…

Yet, even if no-body ever does take anything meaningful from words I feel like I need to share, then at least in my own mind, I can rest slightly assured that the words were said in some way, and not just lost.

Flickered onto some horizon, ‘fragile thoughts’, which can of course be forgotten, or unspoken, unheard, pushed away and silenced. I find the idea of this ‘muffling out’ of human intellect, experience, intelligence and travelling through life together, quite excruciating, if I’m honest.

 

The countless thoughts, ideas, spirited and genius discoveries which could have, and maybe one day still do have the potential to ‘save the World’, or at least to protect life, and sustain it, to grow as a species which works WITH nature, rather than against it, and recognises the fact that yes, HELLO- humans are indeed intelligent, so why not start putting our heads together in a way which helps to FIX some of the problems and obstacles we face today in our interconnected, diverse, but essentially so very organic, lives, rather than constantly working against one another?

I am so very sick and tired of social isolation, and the feeling (unless it’s just me?) that nobody has anything they want to just say to each other anymore.

Like, the person sitting next to you on a bus, for example. Or walking down the street. Living in the flat below or above you in the tower block, or living beside you in your house or bungalow, shed, ship, tent or sleeping bag, castle or cave. The point I am making is that yes, we all like to nest in habitats as humans, and set up a little shelter, to call ‘our own’. It makes sense to do this for our very survival against the elements of nature, as we battle and continue to champion through the seasons as ‘victors’, due to the fact we are ‘the living’ and not the so called ‘dead’.

Fine, I totally understand that we like to protect what we as individuals, feel like we ‘own’, if that makes any sense whatsoever.


Dear World,

I want to write, and I want to write to you all, and speak to you all, hear all of your voices, and listen to what you have to say.

I just do not even know where to go to find out how I can best utilize this apparent ‘skill’ of mine. You try going to the so called ‘Job Centre’, and I’m telling you now, it is an absolute HOAX! There are no ‘jobs’ in the ‘centre’, of this City of Sheffield, so it seems sadly, to me.

You have to own, and I mean, actually have in your hand, a telephone, to phone someone in a call centre to try and bargain for an appointment to get some kind of ‘job seekers allowance’ money, towards helping you finance the cost of finding your own job in the first place!

How ridiculous a system is this!? I beg of the younger generations, and people, all people who live together, on whichever continent we happen to inhabit together, please can we just take a step back, have a ‘breather’ or a ‘fag break’, whatever it is we need to do, to just wake the fuck up and recognise, that we are here, and we exist, great.

We also share a planet with many other diverse and beautiful creatures and organisms, so have we all taken one moment to pause and reflect on that amazing, magnificent little fact, too?

 

Have you looked yet? Can you picture the Butterfly wings which I am imagining in my mind, or the lush green, softly waving stems which branch off from so many of our Trees and plants? The sky too, by the way, in case we have all forgotten, is rather impressive, and massive.

There’s my attempt at giving something an understatement for you- the Universe, is, by definition, absolutely frigging HUGE, COLOSSAL, GINORMOUS and quite frankly, but very much to the delight of our own hungry brains, it is incomprehensible. Unfathomable even.

Why have humans written so many stories, plays, books, religious scripts, and articles, do you imagine? It is because we were all so originally ‘flabbergasted’ (if that’s the right word to use here) by the very spectacle of life itself, and the bewildering wonder of the sky and all its stars, that we had to talk to each other to communicate, to experiment and observe, to learn and to come to understand, in the very first place, how we had even come to have found ourselves here, alive, breathing, dependent upon this body, and all the Earth’s resources needed to feed it so that it can function, to eat, reproduce, stay alive, and then ask yet more questions!
Of course, I have to add, we must also dance and sing, and drink fermented fruits of the trees and shrubs surrounding us (wine and beer, as I have come to understand it?), because we are so curious and interactive, in the first place. We have senses, actual senses like taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing (Hearing is probably my own personal favourite here, I might add) with which to put to good use, and in any case, at least brew good tea, beer or wine, together.

moving on statement


Polite note:

I feel a bit better now I have got some of those things ‘off of my chest’. Writing, and reflecting in doing so, can be so helpful for one’s own mental health, and sense of self, direction, purpose, etc. Just thought this might be worth adding 😉

Spinning in Spiral

spinningspirals

Spinning in Spiral…

I creep into a tangle

Mildly plucked,

I’ve spun forsooth, a silvered web

Draped in need,

Dressed in lust, and endeavour

Sparkling eyes.

 

Look how she tries, endlessly tries

Let’s douse oneself,

Submerge ourselves

In dancing, we’re disguised from

Expectation’s hollow cries

 

I once hopped here, swirled in spiral

Trickled like a breeze

Upon an Autumn leaf

Where I joined in a dance

Red, yellow, Amber

Swivelling in splendour

Where here we lived within the spirit

Spurred on by the moment

A gust of sweet wind

Broke the grip of our comforts,

To free us, as we danced our way

Into the ground. Slumberbound.

 

We’ll still rise once again,

Like geometric, spiral soup

Nature sets our rhythm, and conducts our pulse

Nothing lasts forever,

Yet somehow the new sing, still

In a musical order, carried on

By the past and the older, time spent

Still timeless.


Written by Ellie Neves

image


 

Put your hands back in the Earth

If you want to re-connect with your roots, re-acquaint yourself with nature, and generally remind yourself about what it means to live, to be human (and therefore crafty, inquisitive, ambitious), then I strongly recommend you take some time to just have a little dig.

Uproot some Dandelions, or a bit of your lawn. Expose the soil, and take in the roots. Stick your hand into the soil, gather some of it in your hands. Give it a squeeze, and crumble it between your fingers, allowing it to gently sprinkle back down into the ground.

Take in the smell of the Earth, the texture, the colour, the weight. It’s almost like feeling Earth’s pulse. Nurse the Earth, and in turn you will find, it nurses you right back.

image

Upturned soil reveals:

Rooted beneath the Earth’s ‘skin’, are the fibrous, nerve like ‘wirings’, which give rise to the flowers we see, sprouting deliciously, above the surface.
They are remarkably similar to the Synapses, which are our human brain’s own ‘system of shoots & roots’, if you like.
These fire and receive the neurotransmitters, which power our emotions, thoughts, memories, actions and reactions. You can certainly liken the roots under our own skull, to the ‘flowers’, of thought and of volition.

We are the Earth.


 

Faded

 

The haunt, which hangs in the air like unspent static, is the fear of time, and purpose wasted. Everyday which goes by, without a routine, can scratch against my ‘ground’ like a hard sweeping brush. It’s etching away at the trial which i’d marked myself, in the vain hope I could ever, if needed, turn to the tattooed ground to remind myself of the way I am headed and the way I have come.

The path upon which I thought I had gained some footing is fading, and i’m not far behind.

It is during these moments, when, locked inside a tightly binding labyrinth of excessive reflection, that I long for the traveller’s Compass, to remind me of which direction to take, in order to step forwards and march on.

Sometimes, the colours on life’s map become faded.

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This story, of course, I leave to be continued…


 

Garden for your thoughts…

My allotment as a symptom of a mind grown too wild:

 

Currently, if the state of my allotment and garden were recognised by the medical profession, as being acceptable diagnostic tools for determining state of mind, and a certified means of determining a ‘healthy psychological bill of health’, then i’d make easy work for any kind of Psychiatrist, I imagine.

Over the past six months, there have been many different events, stresses, overgrown and domineering thoughts, which have accumulated without due intervention and control, in my mind, wrecked havoc on my mental health, and my ability to ‘see’ or ‘think’ clearly. I’m thankfully beginning to make progress, towards the goal of recovery in mental, and physical health, now.

Part of this journey towards recovering, has included suddenly being able to notice, and reflect on things again. This is both good and bad- it’s reassuring and hopeful to realise I must be moving away from a negative place, because I can suddenly see quite clearly, the areas of my life and the passions enjoyed through living, which have suffered neglect.

It’s daunting, to be able to look at the overgrowth, the ‘jungle’ left to grow wild, and the flower beds without flowers, which currently shape the canvas of my allotment.  Yet at the same time, it is exciting and positive, when taking into account the ‘bigger picture’ this paints. The garden endeavors.

Hinting at the prospect of the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, nearing achievement of wellness, I have to concede, while humbling, and fairly worrying, the realisation there is a mess to address, left in the wake of my mind’s little rampage and attempt at self-destruction, surely surpasses the short term moment of panic, in this story.


Imagine if all of us busy, full time working, thinking, feeling, hearing, social networking, living, breathing, sleeping people in this world, were able to find the time and the resources to be able to ‘dig for victory’ for our mental and physical health. Then have the means to look back at the ever shifting landscape of a garden/outdoor space, which we create, sustain and maintain over a number of years.

It’s funny to wonder if this would put Psychiatrists, Doctors, Therapists, self-help books and more, out of a job!


Obviously, there are practical obstacles which get in the way of having time to tend to nature- work, and living in a flat/having no outdoor space, coming to mind first as being just a few of them. It’s all well and good knowing that ‘to spend time outdoors’, in ‘fresh air’ and with Radishes growing out of your fingernails, you’re so ‘in touch with nature’, as a means to recovering mentally and physically from illness, if you couldn’t even fit a plantpot on your windowsill, or hospital bed, for that matter, if you tried.

But there are ways– and you know what they say about ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’… Personally, I think that saying works out both ways around- where there is a way, there will be a will.

Sometimes, however:

Having the will
to work towards the way in the first place, feels more like an oppressive reminder, of just how hard it can be to regain that will/motivation/drive, when you’ve lost sight of what it even means, feels like, or represents.

‘Will’ or ‘willpower’. The idea that you might need this first, before you can make your way to progress, might serve only to make someone feel  more powerless, more trapped.

‘Means’ or ‘way’. As it happens, even when there isn’t a will, there is still a way. Sometimes, we know of many such ‘ways’ already.

When I have found myself ‘lost’ in the petrifying stomach of Depression, or other such ‘adventures’ in mental illness, I am only too aware of WHAT I have to do, to reignite the wick which fires up my will.

Sometimes, we need a bit of help, when emerging, confused, scared, and downright vulnerable. As it happens, we do still know, deep within us, what ‘the way’ is. It’s never this straight forward (typically) though we understand.


Inspiration to those who need any:

 

(there are so many crafty ways to get around small spaces, lack of plant pots, urban dilemmas etc):

 

 

 

 

 


 

Chatter.

I heard some interesting quotes today. It emerged from within the context of a conversation between several people, about suicide.

“Be good, do well and right and let the world sink.”

On the contrary:

“Death is not a one person ticket, it’s a group fare.”

Living is also a group fare. So you see the paradox we all exist in.

 

Original Manuscript

Sing. Sing, Sing.
Revealling, in a moment so sudden
That other, distant sound
Breaking softly, the glass cage
Of noise, to which you were bound.

It is melodic, and harmonious.
Serene, so as to distinguish itself
As being unique, and deviant,
Distracting, to behold.
Sing. Sing, Sing.

Amplified by recognition, it feeds
On realigned senses,
Inviting and enticing
Comprehension, of the proof
That there does exist, a brighter path

A different path, stripping out
The discord, the friction, the clash
With undeniable rhythm, it leads up,
Up. Up. Up. Up Up!

The refrain, the song, and the new
New, and the old, old harmony

Remembering,

Acheing muscles relax
Instructed by the compelling,
Those tones, those beats: Enabled,
You soothe and you slip,
Dropping into dance, allowing lost chords
To become your own teacher.
The song is reviving, the song
Is exciting, and you begin to remember
A Cappella, a cappella!
Where there was dischord, now hear
The choral rhapsody.

Settle back in,
To the symphony you created
In the beginning, out and beyond,
The tangles and the set-backs.

Original manuscript, so completely,
Totally,

Your own.


 

The Paradox of Recovering

massive trail of destruction
I’m talking about Depression, and mental illness, in this case.
What is the meaning of all this? How did it happen!?


“Some people have a legitimate reason to feel depressed…It’s weird for people who still have feelings to be around depressed people. They try to help you have feelings again so things can go back to normal, and it’s frustrating for them when that doesn’t happen. From their perspective, it seems like there has got to be some untapped source of happiness within you that you’ve simply lost track of, and if you could just see how beautiful things are… ”
( Source, and must read to this text.)


Once you begin to move away from a situation, and are no longer therefore blinded by the immediacy of it, you reflect. It’s perfectly obvious that humans should do this, once they’re out of the danger zone, we need to formulate a plan and learn how to avoid facing that danger again. It is so important to us that we can trace back to certain events which led up to the danger, so we can avoid them. It’s an essential ingredient to intelligence, and our ability to survive as a species, against all odds.

If we ventured into some unknown territory, for example, and found that we were not prepared for the climate, or the presence of new predators, we would reflect that maybe it would be wiser to bring different tools, perhaps a bigger group for safety in numbers, etc.

But sometimes, trying to understand how you came to be in such a threatening place, is not as crystal clear and quantifiable, as we would prefer. Sometimes you can’t explain it, to yourself and/or others. This is yet another challenge, dealing with not knowing. Because when you can’t pin point a particular cause, it’s frigging scary, and damn frustrating.


“We’ve all heard the typical sentence of “how can he be depressed, he’s got everything one could ever wish for”. Unfortunately, clinical depression can affect anyone, sometimes without any triggers if the person is particularly vulnerable to it.”



This above quote is extremely fitting to my own conundrum, now. How, despite being so lucky in all you have around you, can you actually find yourself so depressed that you no longer want to live!? I am a lucky one- I have a wonderful partner who I adore, and I have the most fantastic friends surrounding me. I have a roof over my head, don’t (usually) have to go hungry, am in good physical health, have a job which I genuinely enjoy. All the right things in life, so I should want for nothing. I feel so guilty, for having obviously lost sight of all this somewhere along the way, and become a shadow of my real self.

“It’s disappointing to feel sad for no reason. Sadness can be almost pleasantly indulgent when you have a way to justify it – you can listen to sad music and imagine yourself as the protagonist in a dramatic movie. You can gaze out the window while you’re crying and think “This is so sad. I can’t even believe how sad this whole situation is. I bet even a reenactment of my sadness could bring an entire theater audience to tears.”

But my sadness didn’t/doesn’t have an obvious purpose.

My friends have all reminded me about everything I have going for me, which is well-intended and completely benevolent. But in reality, I suddenly find myself feeling even worse, because I somehow ‘didn’t deserve to breakdown’ in such a way, ‘I don’t have half of the stresses which other people have to contend with’, so why, why, why, have I overreacted to circumstances in such an intense way?

I knew before my mental health even started to slip down the slope, that I had everything around me to cause ‘happiness’. I never stopped knowing that I had all of these things, even (and especially) when my mind was at it’s utter lowest. This is why it is so hard to understand mental health, and to accept it as what it is. The whole meaning of being ‘mentally unwell’, is a testament to the fact that it doesn’t make any sense.

When you know, but cannot physically feel, the reality which exists, and therefore you cannot believe it. You can’t see it, because the emotions which we normally take for granted, are all fused and out of order. The neurotransmitters in your brain are behaving completely paradoxically- They are far from balanced or proportionate to real events.

Where normally, for example, Dopamine triggers a physiological change of state- feeling fulfilled, physically experiencing the urge to smile, to laugh, to move. Usually, Dopamine can be relied upon, particularly after exercising. It is the ‘reward’ chemical. Similarly, Noradrenaline commands your body to respond in certain ways- rapid heartbeat, sweating, suddenly experiencing a surge in energy so intense, it is near impossible to contain, which is why it’s so reliable for ‘flight or fight’ circumstances.




When communication between external and internal events, becomes contradictory and totally out of sync within the brain, that, my friend, is ‘mental illness’.
That is why your situation becomes such a confusing and nonsensical place- because it is a paradox.



This is the difference between mental health, and mental ill-health. We can all relate to being depressed, or anxious, in the usual and healthy way. Where there is a trigger, and the emotional state is just the appropriate response, kind of way. So no wonder it is so imcomprehensible to both sufferers and observers of mental illness, no wonder you cannot ‘justify’ it.

Please don’t ask me to explain ‘the reason(s)’. I’m sick of feeling sorry for confusing and worrying everybody, including myself. Now that I am finally beginning to ‘see’ again, I can’t let the guilt stage get me. The guilt for upsetting my friends and loved ones, and for alienating people. I feel perfectly bad about that already, so I don’t need any ‘help’ with this particular area.


DEPRESSIONTWO45

Allie Brosh‘s blog, Hyperbole and a Half, NEEDS reading. She explains her own experiences with depression, in a perfect way. A way which constantly reassures me that i’m not just pathetic, and in a way that sheds some light onto the illness, for other people who haven’t experienced mental illness in quite the same way. It enables much more understanding, which is really useful as someone on the outside looking in, say if your friends/loved ones ever come down with inexplicable ‘Fluenza of the Mind’, shall we call it?

Plus, she tells it with pictures. Way more effective I think!
Hyperboleandahalfblog

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