Posted by: purpleandrew | October 23, 2015

The five year sign off

Wednesday this week was a very understated but significant day for Leslie and I. With little fuss and a whole bucket of professionalism and love, Leslie was discharged by the oncologist after 5 years clear after her chemotherapy.

It was just a normal everyday day here in Glasgow, but one that we knew would come and pass us by in the manner it did, just another day. That feels fantastic.

So, as I sit here and type I ask myself just one question, where on earth did those 5 years go? It feels like a short few weeks, maybe a month or two, but not five years. But it has been and in that time we have moved house twice and been through all that we have with my circumstances and ridden the wave, to land on the sandy shore with only a bruise or two to show for it.

Well done Leslie!

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Posted by: purpleandrew | May 21, 2014

Things are looking up

How time flies!

I was just looking back through my blog spread sheet when I realised that it has been some time since I posted an update on Leslie here. So here it is.

Leslie is doing just fine, really good and she is now on 6 monthly check ups with the oncologist as it is now 3.5 years since the chemo finished and 4 years since the operation.

We are looking forward rather than looking over our shoulders and making brighter plans about where our next 5 years will take us.

There are still the sleepless nights and irregular sleep patterns that see us like ships in the night, the varying and sporadic appetite yet there is definitely a sense of being well in the air rather than still being considered or labelled “a patient.” Mind-set is a very powerful tool, and Leslie has that in abundance.

So, we look forward to what the summer will  bring and what new challenges and changes can be manifest to make it better for both of us.

Thanks for popping by and until next time, be well.

 

 

Posted by: purpleandrew | August 2, 2013

And The Beat Goes On… a guest blog from Leslie

Well, after 3 years or so it is time to introduce Leslie to you all. Leslie about whom this blog is and our journey with her encounter with cancer back in 2010, just after we were married.

This is Leslie’s post about recovery,

One thing about this ‘recovery’ business is just that – the recovery. Over the past three years I have been recovering not just from things but to things. I have recovered my curiosity, my creativity and my drive. Though in fact I have to re – cover all of that and sleep for copious hours in order to recover my energy.
Recovery: – noun – the act of returning to normal, the process of regaining health, improvement, the act of regaining possession.
Wow that is a lot to be getting on with just for starters. Within all that though is the being aware and awake to all that has happened, is happening and could yet happen.
That last part is the most interesting piece of the puzzle because the largest proportion of that is within my remit.
Yes I have the final say in how that goes.
Right in the middle of all this convalescing was the connection – the perspective of all the dots being joined.
As a youngster I loved those join the dot puzzles, did you? They are a good pointer for life though we don’t recognise it at the time and some of us not until we are way down the road we should have turned off of.
All the things I have experienced and learned, all the situations that seemed random at the time, all the people who came into or left my life, the who, the how, the when, even the why is clearer with perspective.
If we are too close to the puzzle we may miss the whole picture.
All of these conspired (?) to bring me to this space and time with these life experiences.
All have allowed me to take this challenge on without the burden of fear, and that has made all the difference.
In the wee small hours when fear lurks in the shadows of your mind and you seek out the memories of times gone by and begin the wishful thinking, ‘I wish I had done that, said that, seen that, etc.’
That is the time to say, ‘ah I am so glad I did that, met them, understood that, was there for that, ‘how strong was that person how would they deal with this?’
Trace the map of your dots back in time and be grateful for ALL OF THAT because in there is the picture of how to get through THIS!
Sometimes is seems like it is taking forever, and time is such a precious commodity, now – when we are late in the day and suddenly there is still so much to do – but wait…there is no waste of time when you are in recovery because you are taking your time to re-connect with yourself and to learn the new rhythm, learn to dance to the drum of this new dance…and the beat goes on.

Posted by: purpleandrew | July 29, 2013

All of my blogs

Hi folks
Just thought I let you all know that I have 5 blogs here on wordpress and although you may be aware of one or two, you may not know of all of them.
Then are 2 for writing, firstly http://www.thrillingwriting.wordpress.com
it contains information for writers and writing, but has snippets and teasers for my forthcoming adult crime thriller The Truth
There is my other bog for writing, http://www.fendrelstale.wordpress.com.
It contains information for writers and writing as well as some snippets and teasers for my forthcoming fantasy faery story trilogy Fendrel’s Tale. Volume 1 – The One Who Will Come
Away from writing, I have a blog for my random musings and thoughts on life and so on, http://www.purpleandblues.wordpress.com.
My oldest blog is http://www.purpleandrew.wordpress.com. This tells the tale off my wife’s encounter with cancer back in 2009 and our journey with that, the chemotherapy and the near 3 year long recovery.
Finally, there is http://www.fodmapandus.wordpress.com. I have IBS and have been on the Low FODMAP diet for several months now. It is being a big help and on this blog I enclose my experiences with the various phases the diet and recipes for foods that are non gluten and non lactose. This includes, biscuits, shortbread, a great loaf of bread and other handy recipes and tips for those on a gluten free or lactose free diet.
Why not cross over and check out my other blogs, who knows, there may just be something there for everyone.

Posted by: purpleandrew | July 12, 2013

Three years past – a perspective

It is now just over 3 years since the start of Leslie’s chemotherapy and if you had said to us back then, or a month before when we waited for the operation that this is where we would be right now, I don’t think either of us would have done anything other than bite you hand off and take it.

I am not saying it has been easy, no Sir, it hasn’t, but, and I hope Leslie will forgive this one, it has not been really really bad. Oh I know when the chemo hit it was awful, she was in a lot of pain and discomfort, the side effects of vomiting and diarrhea were not something that either of us would wish again, but when you consider the alternative, I for one would have taken our lot and said it was not a bad experience.

We wouldn’t volunteer for it again, but if, heaven forbid, either of us needed it again, I don’t think there would be much negative thought before we said, okay. The one proviso to that is the oncologists prediction of like outcome.

Now, we are in a better place, but far from ideal, we are still skint and reliant on the State and in the current climate, that is a full time job and enough of a worry as it is. But, we are hear, together, still able to get cross with each other without it being personal or vindictive and hopes rise for what lies ahead.

Leslie is looking at going to University and I am writing books like I was shelling peas. I have been looking back at the posts on this blog today and one thing struck me. I did a post on 7 July 2010 entitled “Eyes Opened At The Beatson” where we saw a baby in arms being taken in for chemo by a young couple who looked as though their world had ended. In truth, although I do not know, I suspect that their baby, their precious child did not make it. I could be wrong, but part of me hopes, (that is the wrong word, I can’t find the right one, it probably doesn’t exist in English) that the child didn’t make it and it was quick and as painless as it could be.

If the child had made it, as a parent myself, I do not know if I could have stood the worry for twenty years, maybe even a lifetime, that one day, a normal childhood illness or fever wasn’t normal at all and “IT” had come back. It is tough enough worrying about them crossing the road, going to school, playing in the garden without that burden hanging over you day after day.

I do now know if i could have coped with that, so, as I said earlier, we would have taken where we are now and snapped your hand off to have it.

Such is life and it is not easy, even when things are going well, but when there is adversity, the strength of human courage and will really shows us what we are made of.

Perspective, it is all about perspective.

Posted by: purpleandrew | March 29, 2013

Nearly three years on….

Well folks, here we are three years since the diagnosis with the Big C and nearly 2.5 years since the last of 6 chemo sessions.
How are we doing? you ask.
Well i shall tell you.
Health wise, Leslie has had done fantastically through all of this. The only “thing” that we have to manage as a result of the chemo is the peripheral neuropathy (lack of sensation in feet and hands).
All the check-up’s with oncologist have been positive and good and Leslie is now on 6 monthly check ups and we have every reason to think that after the next one, this will go to 9 or 12 months.
The medical problems before remain, the ME being a biggy, but we try to manage that as best we can.
So, why the blog?
The news these days is full of doom and gloom, and to be fair, there can be a lot of it, especially for those struggling on low incomes and benefit.
This is a good news post, but it does come with a hint of sadness. My aunt died of the same thing that Leslie had about 6 weeks ago. In Leslie’s case, we caught the C before it erupted out of the womb, sadly, for my aunt, it had spread too far and was in all her soft tissue. It was not a pleasant experience for her or the family.
So, the message is, be aware of your body and if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, go get it checked out. Don’t accept standard doctor answers, like “it’s your age, it’s the menopause, it’s your weight etc etc.” Understand that you have the right to answers and properly done you can get them.
If you find something you don’t expect, go get it checked out.
This applies to men as well as women, get it checked out and check your body yourself. What is that lump?, why is this sore? and so on. Don’t think it will go away.
We shall let you know more sometime soon.

Posted by: purpleandrew | January 20, 2012

Another Energy Sapper!

What Happens When We Lose Our Connection?

 Recently I got very excited.   Now, normally that is nothing to write home about, however, you ask anyone with M.E. when the last time was they got excited and they’ll probably say they can’t remember or they haven’t got the energy.

Energy is the key word here, and it does have a physical, organic root to go along with the metaphysical and spiritual curtain that few of the medics will go beyond.

So what lies behind the curtain that has them all so freaked out?

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, AKA Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, AKA Post viral Fatigue Syndrome and in the good old US of A it has the impressive handle of Epidemic Neuromyasthenia.

So when your GP tells you it’s all in your head, you can actually correct him by saying not only is it in my head it is also in my spinal cord and in the nerve endings in my muscles – see your medical dictionary for clues!

Dr. A Melvin Ramsey, Hon Consultant Physician, Infectious Diseases Dept. of the Royal Free Hospital describes M.E. in his paper circa 1986 as a ‘Baffling Syndrome with a Tragic Aftermath’. He also explains the different terminology used in it’s diagnosis.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis aka, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, aka Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome; and in America they call it Epidemic Neuromyasthenia.

Another Doctor whose paper was summarised in The Haworth Medical Press, the title, Betrayal By the Brain: The Neurological Basis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia Syndrome and related Neural Network Disorders was written by a Dr. Jay Goldstein, in which he describes a conceptualisation of CFIDS/FMS as “impaired sensory information processing in a neural network, resulting in dysfunctional responses. Triggers include things like genetic susceptibility, neonatal stressors, and elevated cortisol levels activated from an early age due to various situations including sexual, physical, emotional abuse.

A Dr. Charles Shepherd has acknowledged that it has links to certain toxins and pesticides, organophosphates being the main contenders.

With all this weighty evidence going on how dare the GP’s call this Hypochondria?

And, should we wish to go and inspect the aforementioned curtain then we can look to another eminent scientific source Dr. Deepak Chopra, who writes prolifically about the cells eavesdropping on one another and their ability to hold memories, particularly traumatic memories.

Take into consideration the depression angle, a lot of physicians say that M.E. is just another form of depression and is therefore psychological, it has been proven though, that cortisol levels in the clinically depressed are low and yet in M.E. they are high, so the answer to that would be that although depression may follow an episode of M.E it is not in itself a component of the disease.

I have M.E. and I have a good idea why I have it. My biggest problem has been how to manage it for once it is got it will not go away!

It hibernates and lays in wait, it catches you out when things are going relatively okay then you catch a virus and it’s basically goodnight Vienna for anything up to 18months or longer.

I have found that actually recognising when I need to rest is the key and acting upon that information, I REST! Dr. A. Melvin Ramsey agrees with me on that one; only wish I’d known that earlier.

He writes, ”The degree of physical incapacity varies greatly, but the dominant clinical feature of profound fatigue is directly related to the length of time the patient persists in physical effort after it’s onset; put in another way, those patients who are given a period of enforced rest from the onset have the best prognosis.”

So, NO, it is not the best thing to work through the flu, it is not the best thing to go back to work soon as you can put your feet to the floor without falling down. We need time to heal and if we don’t take it the cells in our body will mutiny and then we really will find that creek and how necessary a paddle can be.  It is all very well having a work ethic, but how good is it if it means you can only work for a significantly shortened length of time?

The government is not too helpful in that department either, it could make things better with more legislation on sick days and wellness programmes in the workplace, not to mention tightening up on the pesticides and toxins that are carried on ships in our waters and used on our food and our animals on a daily basis. Ultimately paying attention to the pandemic that is M.E and perhaps looking into a probable link with organophosphates not just in agriculture but in Veterinary Surgeries from the 1950’s right through to the 1990’s when they began to really regulate and ban them.

Getting level with M.E is an expensive and epic journey. The NHS does not supply most of the treatments that are helpful, and even when they do it is down to the mind set of the GP that has to refer you to it which will again depend on his budget.

For myself, it has been an awakening to how much more we can do with natural things and spiritual things. Don’t get me wrong there are extremely interesting people out there who have some very unique ways of looking at things; all in all though sorting through the chaff there is help available and again it is at a price, isn’t everything these days, but what price the ability to at least function reasonably on a daily basis?

The Shamanic way of looking at it is that a soul part has been lost and there is a void there that has been filled by the dis – ease, this is bourn out by the neo natal stressors and other triggers mentioned above. It also bears out the mind controls the body thing and Dr Chopra’s theories on cell memory.

The NLP and Ericksonian Hypnosis way of looking at it, hey, it works for me and helps me to talk to my body when it is tired and aching – my unconscious mind is a vast storehouse of resources – as is yours – just waiting to be used, making the connection is the key.

Then there is the Reiki, Aromatherapy massage, Reflexology et al. Touch and smell and relaxation, it really does make you feel better and when you feel better you feel less tired. Being tired is tiring sometimes you know the hypothalamus and the limbic system they don’t need drugs, they need some TLC; and we all know there’s just not enough of that to go around these days.

So what to do, look for yourselves, find a practitioner of any of the above mentioned therapies and some more, whatever is right for you – there’s Indian Head Massage, herbalism, sound therapy, there are so many and there is no one right answer for me it was a combination of the Shamanic, Reiki, Reflexology, hypnosis/NLP, and a great support network that I had to find for myself, my GP is of the Hypochondriacs persuasion… It seems he ignores the fact that the brain is the one organ in the body they know damn near nothing about!  In fact even those who do believe it is a dis-ease cannot agree on its basic form.

Until they do come to an agreement, those of us in the eye of this particular storm must find our own ways of dealing with the day to day workings of this beastie.

When you can, do. When you cannot, don’t. Is the simplest way to say it. What I will say is look carefully at diet and and things that make you sit up and take notice (you will know when that happens). Utilise all that is available and find a concoction that is right for you. This is not a one size fits all deal, that is the reason we don’t have a pill for it yet.

look after yourself, by taking care of yourself as best you can and if that means learning how to do that which you cannot afford to have done as a treatment, my advice is to go for it. That in itself is helpful and healing.

For more info or indeed an appointment with one of us see the website below.

Excerpts from papers found on www.meactionuk.org and www.afme.org.uk

Contact me at  www.spiralheart.co.uk

Posted by: purpleandrew | February 18, 2011

Schroedinger’s Cat and Me

(written in the latter part of 2005)

For the past few months, longer even, but particularly these past few months; my mind has been meandering, slowly, inextricably back to my past.
I have never really left it, or perhaps it has never really left me, the reason; well if I explore it fully I’m thinking that I might realise that I cannot become someone else without fully recognising who I was before. A Rite of Passage before the past is left behind?
All this sounds very mysterious, it’s not at all. When you think about it how many of our thoughts come out in plain obvious thought, without the leap of faith style jumps of logic, you realise there are very few because thoughts are a bit like quantum string theory, there’s no real beginning and no real end.
There are no straight lines and ultimately there are many variations all occupying space at the same time in different aspects, and all this happens in a nanosecond.
Is that the energy that is left when we die? Are these electrical impulses the basis of the soul that goes on? Who knows?
This is just another tangent that, having swung onto can take a while to get ourselves back on track.
And so it begins.

I was born, whether the usual way or the product of someone’s imagination, whichever makes no real difference; it will go the same way. Firstly, there’s baby stage not much going on there really, cause I can’t remember much of that period, except for having inoculations, that must have been quite traumatic as the memory has stayed with me since. I once asked as to what age I was when I was stuck with needles and all they could say was that I was far too young to have remembered that so I must have imagined it. Even if that is true, trust me, it doesn’t make it any less valid.

My next memory really is my sisters wedding – again I’m assured that there is no way I can have such excellent recollections of the day, but I maintain always that I have. There are a few fleeting memories of little blue Ford Anglia’s and my sister sporting a very fetching Astrakhan coat, (which always made me think of a large, soft, shiny tightly permed black poodle; I do remember once musing that perhaps it was a poodle – but was assured it was some kind of exotic sheep kind of woolly thing, whatever it was I was fairly taken with it).

But, I digress, I do that a lot by the way, but bear with me it will make sense in the end, well ish…

Anyway, I was sporting a pair of what I called “Smarty Sandals”, these were of soft red leather and a very pale crepe rubber sole, and when new, they smelled sublime. They were not, however, the sartorial elegance required by my mother and she insisted that I put on my shiny patent shoes that pinched and I could not move in without causing a blister, not to mention that they should never be smudged or scuffed; the merest chance of which brought on a fit of the vapours; which could very well escalate to a good smack round the ear. Not that much of a problem really unless there was a blunt instrument involved; this was often the case and a situation to be avoided at all cost. Unfortunately, I for some reason, inspired this behaviour to reach it’s greatest heights, and Mothers powers of improvisation never failed to impress, oft times quite literally!

So, quantum wise is there a me who was never at a sisters wedding? Was I too young to remember it and what I have in my head is an ability to connect to another space time dimension and integrate it to my memory. Or was I really just precocious enough to remember that day, because that was the day that one of those life changing moments happened? I’ve had quite a few of them over the years.

My wonderful dog has cancer. He is mostly responsible for my continued sanity. He kind of saved my life, actually there is no ‘kind of about it, he did save my life.

 I can’t even come close to saving his. The irony of it is tangible, here I am a veterinary nurse with supposedly unlimited resources at my disposal, and the favours owed to get access to others not so accessible and the people to make it happen. I won’t though. My dog has cancer – or to put it with slightly more validity – cancer has my dog. This is the situation. He has not the ability to cope with the inevitable intrusions to his life and his body and as his owner it is my responsibility to make sure that he has as little stress as possible -stress makes it worse, as with most things.

He will get as much treatment as I can give him that does not upset his fragile temperament. When the time comes I will be the one to do the deed when it becomes necessary, (very occasionally will they just fall asleep and not wake again, but that is extremely rare). Then I will be the one to berate myself for all I did not do and the grieving will begin.
But no, I’m in the position to begin the grieving process now – at this time – here while he lies in the bedroom, on top of the duvet. While I try to work around him and take him to his favourite walks. While I try to come to terms with mortality and all that comes with it. And I have to come to terms with letting him go; to give him the only thing I have left to give that will free him from this disease. For he has completed what the Universe brought him into my life to do, and he deserves my utmost compassion and duty of love. I have to listen to him and know when he tells me it’s time for him to leave, and allow him the dignity and grace that is all he deserves to go from me as peacefully and as painlessly as I can make it for him.

Is there a reality somewhere where cancer doesn’t exist? Where death is not the ultimate experience. I was going to write “human experience” but that is just too arrogant; everything in the universe must experience things perhaps not in the way that we perceive it but effect is caused by experience is it not? Is not that the reason we have a universe at all?

What if all we are really waiting for is all the strings to come together again? Perhaps once a gazillion eons ago there was a great pair of cosmic shears that snipped the universal string into small pieces making them part of a whole but again totally independent and singular. What if they run concurrently and in a cosmically bound tango the music for which a very few can faintly hear in the distance of a dream?

What happens when all the strings come back together? Will all the worlds then be the same because all of the beings therein will have experienced the full gamut of life. They will all have been all colours, will all have been rich or poor, good or evil? Will all have been everything they need to be, to be whole.
Is that the reason for different dimensions and the reality that lies within them? Was that what Nostradamus meant when he said the world would end?
Is that the meaning of life? Or is it just something that keeps our brains ticking over trying to make sense of it all? It’s all in the box. Erwin Schroedinger’s box; and like Erwin’s box, life is never certain until we unpack it. Only when we recognise what is in front of us and give it a name does it become true. So, until the box is opened there are so many different connotations of what is going on inside the box.

It was actually a highly distasteful experiment as they tend to be. I will not repeat it here but it is mentioned in ‘The Universe Next Door’ by Marcus Chown and I believe in Brysons’ ‘History of Everything’, and the basics are that anything is possible until proven otherwise by direct experience. An experience that we as humans have deemed true by mutual consent.
So, we really do make our Universe on a second by second basis, but, we limit what it will be – by mutual consent.
I revoke my consent. I want my Universe to be better. I want global warming to cool off, I want proper seasons where they have always been. I want to keep my beautiful dog who has the soul of an angel. I want that we discover how to keep our cells from betraying us – or is it we who betray our cells.
I want us to learn from our mistakes and refrain from making them again and again, for that is a sign of madness is it not?

I believe that if I connect with my Universe at a cellular level, (see works of Deepak Chopra) and begin to make the changes from there that that is how the expansion takes place and it grows and fills all of the void and then moves onto the other realities. As above so below, as within so without…
And of everything in between, we have an effect on everything and everyone we come into contact with and that means we are responsible for how that turns out.
The mind effects the body, external events make internal repercussions. What kind of impression do you want to make in anothers future as well as your own?

Posted by: purpleandrew | February 18, 2011

Art of Life, Art Full Life

Happiness Virus Blog this came back into my consciousness.

THE SUM OF ITS PARTS VS THE GRAND DESIGN

The ‘Big Picture’, you know that one, yes? All the time people say to you “look at the Big Picture”; usually just before they try to sell you something, be it a car, a house, or an idea.

So, this ‘Big Picture’ aka ‘The Grand Design’, this thing that we are all a part of and is supposedly therefore a part of us; would be the Universe, right?

Now it seems to me, just sitting here, actually I was lying in bed contemplating getting up after a night of my usual weird and wonderful dreams –(of which this could be the result by the way…)- when this thought of the sum of the parts being greater than the whole, that’s been circling the drain of my brain for a while now, got caught up on the safety filter and got re-cycled; so here I sit at this laptop regurgitating it for public consumption, what a pleasant metaphor – I do hope you have eaten already?

Anyway, I digress, my favourite hobby. To get back to these parts, well those would be us then. Very simple statement on the surface but as we all know nothing is that simple – just ask the guy who built the Titanic!
I’ll bet he wasn’t too clear on the ‘Big Picture’ in that perhaps he didn’t take a clear perspective on what his design was going to be doing and where it would be doing it, after all the design in itself was flawless, according to him, the designer, perhaps if he had consulted someone who had been in the waters he may have been able to describe hazards such as icebergs that go with the flow causing chaos wherever they go, who knows?

Again, it reminds me of that little tale in one of the English books at primary, do you remember them? They would have a host of wonderful information like what a baby eel was called and interspersed between all this information on verbs and clauses there would be a little homily where everything would be put together. There was one in particular that tickled me; I had no idea at the time why, it was the way it scanned it read like a horse at the canter; I now know it was possibly my first light bulb experience on my way to discovering chaos theory.

It was an anonymous author and it was about how the simple act of losing a nail from a horseshoe lost a battle. I think it may have been about Paul Revere but don’t hold me to that. Suffice to say if you don’t know the piece that this bloke was given a message to take to a general he went to jump on the horse and noticed that the horse’s shoe was loose, but he was in a hurry and it was a very important message so he ignored it, ran the horse like a madman, the horse lost the shoe, they were in the middle of nowhere and the horse couldn’t go on without a shoe so the message didn’t get there and the battle was lost and therefore the war was lost – all for the want of securing one little nail.
Taking this into consideration, just think of the power that one man had to change the course of history.

Are you getting it now?

I have this friend who works hard and is depressed most of the time, he’s not happy! I asked him what he wanted to do about it. He asked me what I meant, like he had no control over his own state of mind, and you know he doesn’t know that he has.

Or, he really doesn’t want to know – and I think that is the crux of the matter, for if we know, then we have to take some responsibility for it, we have to be at cause!

He is right, being at cause is hard work, taking responsibility for how you choose to use the power you have been given to change things takes guts. As a rule human beings don’t like change so much, we like to swim in our soup – bathe in our custard of trial and tribulations – that is what we know and we are all wary of what we don’t know. So we wallow in our comfort zones, envying the people who step out and get dry: craving the will to go forward and do it for ourselves but feeling the cold draught of a different atmosphere we sink right back into our ‘stuff’. It’s so much easier to give the power away, and then blame circumstances for your lot.

Don’t get me wrong, we all do it, even those of us who have the towel on and are eying the door to the next room…we have to empty the bath you see, and that means that we have to put part of ourselves into it again to connect to the chain that holds the plug in order to pull it out and let all that stuff go; it’s tempting to linger there in a memory but it’s not a memory it’s an emotion that clouds the memory, that is the sticky part, it’s a bigger state than Texas and I don’t mean Alaska! Keeping the mind on the ball is one thing and it is the easiest thing if you always remember what the ball is actually for, its goal in life is to get into goal, all you have to do is help it on it’s way.

It sounds so simple doesn’t it? Oh yes,it is that simple, note, I did not say easy. If it were totally easy we’d all be quite happy being and doing and the World would be full of contented and forward thinking individuals who would most definitely be more than the sum of it’s whole.

Everything we do each day either keeps us where we are or moves us forward. I have a little anxiety attack kind of thing when I move forward, that is when I know I have, my unconscious mind tells me by making me aware of a weight being shifted from around my heart. It’s doesn’t make me feel wonderful immediately, but I recognise that I’ve just stepped out of a comfort zone and into new territory; by doing as little as writing this and posting it on the net, or talking to a stranger who I know can help me but I’m less than totally confident won’t see me as a right twit.
It’s then I remember a story told to me by an old boyfriend the end of which is ‘ if they know you it won’t matter – if they don’t know you, well, it really doesn’t matter.

As long as you are being who you are. Who you know you can be. Every day can be a good day you have the power to make it so.

Is the sum of your parts greater than your being as a whole? Do you colour your area of the ‘Big Picture’, or do you give the brush to some other? Do you think the whole of your being is greater than the sum of your parts?
It’s just a matter of Balance. Pick up the brush, it’s your canvas, paint your picture bright, see what happens…

Posted by: purpleandrew | February 18, 2011

Just a thought on States of Mind

Depression, a bigger state than Texas…
And I don’t mean Alaska!

Depression, deeply dark, totally autocratic, no sense of boundaries! Sounds like one of my dates from a previous life!
It is also a state of mind, and like other states it does have boundaries, we just don’t recognise them.
When we are travelling there are road signs, place signs, directions and miles to go signs, there are even state lines; borders we call them. These have ambiguous signs as in you are now leaving – or welcome to… There are no visible signs for the long journey that depression is; there are only indications, symptoms ambiguous hints.

How many people do you think know that depression is something that can be treated to a successful conclusion? How many people do you know have it, have had it or has someone in their immediate family dealing with it?

How do you treat a person you know has it, as in how do you interact with them? Do you steer clear not wanting to get involved, do you tell them to ‘get a grip, pull themselves together and just get on with it? Do you sit with them and empathise, ‘there, there, I know, I know’? The thing is – you don’t know, you can’t know, even when you have been there yourself because everyone’s is unique to them. It is their state; they own it and they are completely in it to the exclusion of all else. It takes that much energy.

The word itself is in fact overused, like the word ‘love’, which is bandied about as a step up from just liking something it is used in such a way to allude to enthusiasm and covetousness of a thing or a place and sometimes a person. When used in this way it has nothing at all to do with the Shakespearian, Casanova, Burton/Taylor, situations that we are taught are the thing to strive for.

These days when someone says they are depressed it can be anything from just slightly peeved, a bit unhappy or put out about something that didn’t go how they would have liked, ‘I didn’t win, that is so depressing!’ to totally suicidal with various stages in between. There are even those who will go from totally ecstatic to the depths of despair that confound most of us.
There are things to look out for though, a change in habit, if outgoing to introverted. Less inclined to buy or shop for little treats and in some cases even staples for themselves. Just too tired or apathetic about getting out of bed or getting dressed; losing interest in topics of hobbies or favourite television programmes, being impatient with others and tired or sleeping at strange times then up in the middle of the night.

These are just some indications and most of them can be found in the indicators and symptoms for M.E.

Mental health is not just in the mind – it has a physiological effect. Depressed people don’t tend to stand straight they bow their heads, they shuffle they sit for long periods of time – vegetating in front of a television that if asked they could not begin to tell you what was on it.

What can you do?

Pay attention, action is movement, get them to change their state, get help. If not for them – find out how you can get help if it is a partner or family member or your friend. Every little helps, and may even prevent a fall into despair. Depression is a lonely and isolated dis – ease. The feelings of being in a vortex of despair and pain whether physical or mental is most debilitating. It is also frustrating for those closest to the person involved which brings it’s own form of depression.

Carlos Castaneda once wrote, ‘we can make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.’
It’s not the effort itself; it is the kind of effort, focus of strength, and the intent to change this state, fromI CAN’T to I WILL! Strangely the rest will follow.

Any complementary techniques should be used under advisement and if they are under a Doctors care with that Doctors’ written acknowledgement of proposed methods and their permission to go ahead.

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