suffering from the coronavirus is akin to drowning in despair
Like thousands of others who have been or are still very ill I have not had a proper test for the coronavirus, just a differential diagnosis that says I’ve had / have this manky thing. Personally, I know that I am now recovering from COVID-19, and let me tell you it’s no fun. The virus beat me down physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and it’s doing it’s worst to make my recovery as difficult as possible.
Waking up in the morning, very early, I feel pretty good and busy myself doing ‘normal life’ things ~ some fresh air and a walk is healthy for me. But by mid-morning I start to feel weary, and by evening I’m back to feeling
fucking dreadful again. I go from having supernatural powers to running into a brick wall ~ very fast. Recovery from the coronavirus seems to be a two steps forward and one or two steps backwards kind of thing.
Not only do I need to save the world by staying in and watching TV, I need to save myself by resting and mostly trying to watch TV, listen to music, or read something light.
Trust me, if you have been ill, then you are going to need a lot of rest, for quite a while.
Stay safe, and look after yourself.
recovery also means rest
to the enlightened mind death is but the next great adventure
There is much worry and anxiety surrounding the medical emergency that has the coronavirus at the root cause of it all. My opinion is that there is more worry and anxiety than this nasty little bug deserves. Thus far in the UK about 27,500 people have been tested, at the last count 460 people tested positive, of whom an unfortunate 8 have died.
To put this in perspective the population of the United Kingdom is about 66,870,000 souls, and as a percentage of that 460 is so nearly nothing as to make no difference. Italy, which seems to be the worst affected European country has a population of 60,480,000 , of which 12,000 have tested positive for the virus and 827 have died, (at the last count). Again this is a minuscule portion of the total population.
Statistically, and by all the laws of probability, the chances of my dying from the coronavirus would appear to be somewhere between slim and none at all. Particulary if the various governments and health authorities pull their collective fingers out and do something effective about containing / controlling / curing this illness. In any event, by all the laws of chance I should be dead already.
Men die for these main reasons;
- Heart Diseases
- Accidents and Unintentional Injuries
- Lung Diseases
- Influenza and Pneumonia, (and add the coronavirus in here)
- Kidney and Liver Diseases
- Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of Dementia
The story isn’t as simple as that. Many of these deaths are more or less self inflicted. Men do lots of bad and stupid things which will lead to an early death. For example; boozing, drug abuse, eating an unhealthy diet, being filthy dirty and unclean, gambling, obesity, smoking, unsafe sex, and leading a life of crime and violence. It may well say on the death certificate that some guy died of liver failure, but it probably will not say that said liver failure was brought on by drinking a pint or so of vodka a day, every single day.
I have good reasons to want to live longer and be fitter later in life, accordingly I don’t do any of the bad and stupid things in the list above; (although I have been known to drink far, far too much booze on occasion, I am now utterly sober).
Similarly, your chances of not catching, or catching and surviving the coronavirus will be much better if you don’t do any of the bad and stupid things from the list above. To survive an illness, first be fit and healthy. I have always been reasonably fit and I survived double pneumonia, pleurisy, and breaking 5 of my ribs along the way.
Some say that we could all stay at home and not see another soul until the coronavirus scare blows over. And that only one in 5 people who catch this thing will need medical care. All I know is that even if I catch this thing the chances are I will only get a mild illness.
the Tarot Death Card doesn’t really mean what a lot of people think it means
it’s a dog eat dog world, and she’s just a kitten
The world can be a dog eat dog, the devil take the hindmost kind of a place. The world I lived in for most of my career was like that ~ the top dogs in International Finance take few prisoners and think little of the people they step on to get to where they want to be. So much of life is like that these days. There is little honour and less trust among cheats, liars, and thieves.
We cannot even say that the dogs and rats, those who lie, cheat, and steal have some kind of character defect or mental illness ~ not unless you say that all politicians, bankers, businessmen, lawyers, millionaires, and billionaires have some kind of mental illness or character defect. The top dogs in this world knowingly set out to do anything and everything it takes to get what they want. And what the leaders of the pack want is money, power, influence, adulation, women, sex, and disciples ~ they want instant gratification.
Along they way this kind of man will do some despicable things in the name of competition and success ~ Judas and Brutus were not the first nor the last men to turn betrayal to a fine art. Usurping and betraying your king is an almost sure-fire way to success ~ although that kind of sweet success often turns to bitter ashes.
When you strike at a king, you must kill him. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
There’s the rub, when you betray someone, when you cheat, lie, and steal you must succeed at the first attempt, or else beware of the consequences. There is nothing more dangerous than a wounded beast. And in our day to day lives there is nothing more dangerous than a wronged wife / husband / partner / friend….. Revenge may well be a dish that’s best served cold but if he’s a dog or she’s a bitch then their revenge may well be violent and instant, taken in the heat of the moment.
Weak people seek revenge. Strong people forgive. Intelligent people ignore. ~ Einstein
The real top dogs in this world only ever seek revenge if it will give them some advantage other than destroying whomsoever betrayed them. But a romantic / sexual partner who believes that they have been wronged will almost always try to destroy their ex. If you don’t think that’s true then just ask anyone who has ever been stalked for weeks / months / years.
If you want to be a top dog, if you want the women, money, power, adulation, and instant gratification then all you need is to be adaptable, intelligent, educated, skilled, well-read, immoral, and unethical ~ depraved, evil, and wicked helps too. But WTF, I managed it without resorting to most of the negative stuff, but that almost killed me. A top dog is always a killer ~ metaphorically at least.
Some say dog eat dog, rat eat rat, and that the crocodiles always come out on top. All I know is that success does not always come to him who waits.
the Gods strike while the iron is hot
at dawn, at the morning of the day, all things become clear
Conscious thinking is what we do when we don’t know what to do. When you don’t really know how to drive a car, you have to think about it. When you can drive your subconscious mind takes over and leaves your consciousness free to do other things ~ like try to work out WTF you’re lost. For 95% of the time your subconscious mind is running your life.
Yesterday, while I was out taking my meditative walk, my subconscious mind came up with an idea ~ a plan for living the rest of my life. Except it wasn’t just an idea, it was the whole plan, almost fully formed.
Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life ~ think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is the way great spiritual giants are produced. ~ Swami Vivekananda
This plan is simple, complete, integrated, mindful, and self-contained. There are only 5 parts and each one is important to the whole;
- Live a Healthy Life. It is health that is the real wealth, and not pieces of gold and silver. Gandi. For most of my years my lifestyle was unhealthy: too much work, too much stress, too much booze, not enough sleep, not enough exercise, and no spirituality whatsoever. Now I have an eating plan in a Paleo Diet, I walk 10,000 steps a day and do a little yoga, have a good sleep routine, and I am sober.
- Travel Far and Wide. The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page. Saint Augustine. I have travelled the world, but mostly I have done it with my eyes and heart closed, and mostly I have travelled alone.
- Enjoy Time with my Friends. ‘Tis the privilege of friendship to talk nonsense, and to have her nonsense respected. Charles Lamb. For most of my years I pushed people away, now I hope I can welcome new friends into my life. And what better way to travel the world than with a special friend.
- Words and Pictures. Write what should not be forgotten. Isabel Allende. I do not need to work but I need to be creative. Reading, writing, photography ~ hell I may even learn to paint ~ people, places, things, ideas, beliefs…..
- Spirituality. A healthy mind in a healthy body ~ Juvenal. And this is the crux of the whole plan. I lived in a straight-line, goal-oriented, competitive existence, and I was wealthy in money, miserable, sick, and suicidally depressed. I cannot learn spirituality, I need to live it.
I believe in this plan, that it will work for me. Thinking about it, my plan doesn’t work without integrating all of these 5 elements, but I don’t need to add a number 6. Even Love is encompassed and runs through the whole of it
Some say that no plan survives contact with reality. And that they could live happily if only….. All I know is that tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.
evening, a time of rest and reflection
if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again
be strong of heart
Contrary to what is often taught in American schools, this mantra has nothing to do with the USA. The real legend is that it’s all about Robert the Bruce and a spider, before the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314. The moral is that dogged persitence, bloody minded perseverance, or as Churchill said; ‘Keep Buggering On,’ may just snatch a notable victory from the jaws of defeat.
If you can’t snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, fight even into it’s belly. ~ Bangambiki Habyarimana.
Giving up when things get difficult is why some people complain that life has handed them a raw deal, why many relationships fail, and some people become alcoholics and addicts. I walked out on a brilliant career when things became too stressful, got divorced when marriage was too complicated, and drank like booze was going out of fashion because real life was just too painful. And you know what? If you give up then your life will get worse, all you are doing is jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.
Giving up trying, giving in, accepting defeat comes in many forms. If you have serious problems and you just give up, for example by staying in a truly terrible relationship because that’s easier than doing something positive, then if you think your life sucks now it will soon become more awful than you thought possible. Trust someone who has been there; no matter what rock bottom you have it there is another even worse to come ~ if you give up.
There is a huge difference between not trying again, and trying something different. There are two mantras to remember here; never reinforce failure, or if you like don’t throw good money after bad….. And, as Einstein is supposed to have said; ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result…..’ There is no point in trying something again and again if every time you try you are severely punished.
For example an abused wife may keep on going back to her husband for one more try at a happy marriage, but each time she does she is abused again. Or even worse, at the Battle of the Somme in July 1916, English generals kept sending their men ‘over the top,’ trying again and again to break the German lines. Each time they tried, they suffered horrific casualties. You can try, try, and try again to break down a brick wall with your head and all your are going to get is a headache ~ or dead, mostly dead.
Two things to remember;
- Bloody minded perseverance will often rescue what looks like a lost cause.
- Sometimes it’s better to walk away and do something else instead.
Some say that successful people know when to chuck in a losing hand. And that if you are knocked down get right back up again. All I know is that Faint Heart never won Fair Lady.
even if you think you’re beat
rise like a Phoenix and live again
you can write about everything in life, if you have the courage
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt. ~ Sylvia Plath.
The Beatles, probably the best band in the history of the world.
Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works. ~ Virginia Woolf.
Please listen with enthusiasm.
don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass;
success is born out of discomfort, uncertainty, and risk
When I look back at the times when I have succeeded in life, and believe it or not there have been a few, one thing strikes me as germane ~ I wasn’t sitting in a comfy chair pondering the sharp changes in the price of booze since 1970. Whenever I achieved something important and worthwhile I was uncomfortable, I wasn’t living in the humdrum of my everyday existence, I was operating well outside of my comfort zone.
When we take risks we feel nervous and uncertain, afraid and uncomfortable. If it’s taking risks with our career, leaving a shitty and dysfunctional relationship, going all-in on a game of cards, or trying to run our first half-marathon, our biggest wins are always born out of discomfort, uncertainty, and risks.
Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Usually the more uncomfortable I felt, the greater the risks I took, the harder something was to do, when it was almost impossible, then the bigger the success I achieved, the more self-confident I became, and the greater sense of achievement I felt at the end.
And that’s why true success is so rare, why so few people accomplish anything important, and why so few people ever do anything different ~ most people don’t like effort, pain, and difficulty. Most people don’t even like hard work.
Anytime you try to do something important you will be swimming against the tide. The people around you; family, friends, co-workers, your partner, will all tell you that what you want to do is stupid, impossible, and wrong. The more challenging, unique, and off the wall your project is, the stronger the criticism and negative judgementalism will be. All the people who think they know you will not like you doing something different. You are not only challenging yourself, you are also challenging their cosy little worlds too.
Ignore the critics, the Job’s comforters, the gainsayers, and the judgemental; you get on and do what you want to do to achieve your dreams, have your hearts desires, or just escape the shit life you are living right now.
There will be setbacks, things will go wrong, you will think you have bitten off more than you can chew, you will wonder WTF made to think you could dream the impossible dream, and then make it happen. Ignore all that and just keep on keeping on. It might be hell, but keep on going.
Learn how to be determined, learn how to adapt your plans and schemes to meet changing circumstances, learn how to ignore the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, learn how to be fucking relentless.
Some say that it’s better to stay safe than to take any risks at all. And that it’s all just too difficult, and I want to watch my soaps instead. All I know is that faint heart never won fair lady ~ and you can trust me on that one.
there was a time when Churchill stood alone against the might of Nazi Germany
my wish is to wake up a better person than when I went to bed
We always want what we think we can’t have ~ that’s just human nature. It’s striving to get what we think we can’t have, to dream the impossible dream, to find new experiences and new loves that makes men and women do things like climb Mt. Everest, invent the wheel, put a man on the moon, and besiege Troy for the love of Helen. And every time ordinary people said they were crazy.
If we become a better person we are not only able to take better care of ourselves, we can also take better care of others, especially the people we have feelings for, especially the one we love the most of all.
When you take care of yourself, you’re a better person for others. When you feel good about yourself, you treat others better. ~ Solange Knowles.
Ergo, the first thing you should want to become is a superior version of yourself. Look after yourself, get healthier, fitter, stronger in body, mind, and spirit ~ get control of your emotions, get out in the fresh air and sunshine, get some exercise, read some good books, listen to some uplifting talks on YouTube….. Not only that, take a good hard look at yourself and be brutally honest; are you looking as good as you could? Hair, manicure, clothes, shoes, is your skin as healthy and glowing as it could be, do you smell nice?
What about your finances? Have you got spare cash at the end of the month, or are you continually broke? Are you in a dead-end job that pays peanuts? Do you actually manage your money, balance your cheque book?
And how are your relationships? Are you still madly in love with your partner, or are you in a dysfunctional relationship? Do you like to see your family regularly, or, like me are you totally estranged? Have your friends all turned to strangers?
You know you need to make some changes and rearrange your whole life, and deep down you really know what it is you need to do ~ so do it. You have had enough lessons from life ~ so use them and unfuck your life. You’d think you’d have made some changes by now, so dump the apathy, and be who who really want to be.
And if you don’t know who you want to be, then find yourself your ideal role model, and become them. It does not even have to be a real person; you may want to be India Jones, James Bond, Achilles, Holly Golightly, Ellen Ripley, or Aphrodite ~ don’t just sit there, do something about it ~ act as if you were that person. You will never become your role model, but along the way you will become a superior version of yourself.
Some say that there are going to be some changes around here ~ tomorrow. And that they are just running around in crazy circles like a rat on a wheel. All I know is I hope we find our way someday soon.
don’t all men just love that kind of discourse with a woman they care about?
life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all
look towards the far horizons
Might I suggest that you take some time out to be with yourself, find a time and space where you can be alone with your thoughts, an hour and a place where you will be certain of just a little privacy, and ask yourself some simple questions.
- What do I need?
- What makes me happy?
- What is it in my life that’s making me unhappy?
- What and who am I afraid of, and why is that?
- Where and when do I feel safe and comfortable?
- What is happening to my health, why am I tired all the time?
- When and how can I make some time for myself?
- Who are my friends, and who can I really trust?
- How can I spend more time with my real friends?
- How can I express myself, how do I show the real me to the world?
- How can I connect with the people I love and care about?
- How can I pay all the bills this month, what about the mortgage?
- How do I find the time to do the shopping, and how do I pay for it?
- If I leave, who is going to do everything that needs doing around here?
- How can I ever show my face in that bar, ever again?
Some of these are big important questions, and some may seem more trivial, but if you ask yourself any of these questions, then the answers are very important to you. If you try to look at the big and very important questions first, then you may become discouraged because they are just too difficult to answer. So maybe don’t look for any answers at all just now. Just for now concentrate on the questions, write them down in your journal, or notebook, but for Gods sakes don’t leave your jottings anywhere where anyone else has the slightest chance in Hades of finding them.
If all that seems to difficult, then make the questions simpler, like;
- How do I feel today?
- What excites me?
- Who has captured my heart?
- What I want is…..
- My heart longs for…..
Or perhaps write all this stuff down, and then burn it, and flush the ashes down the toilet to join your failed marriage / relationship / friendship / love / partnership / shitty job.
Only by knowing what it is that we really want, need, and desire ~ and what we don’t want in our life under any circumstances can we move on in any constructive and positive way.
Some say that we have to understand what our needs are, first and foremost. And that if you don’t know what your needs are how can you ever satisfy them. All I know is that the more you are forced to give to others, the more you need to give to yourself.
give yourself a wonderful sunrise,
enjoy the peace of the natural world
if you’re going through hell, keep going
Severe anxiety and depression will blight your life, make you incapable of doing even the simplest things, alter your personality for the worse, give you panic attacks, headaches, breathing problems, digestive problems, heart problems, extreme fatigue, and fill you with a foreboding of doom. Oh, and most likely your blood pressure will go through the roof.
Go to see your doctor and most likely they will tell you that you are suffering from a mild to moderate state of anxiety and depression, and medicate you with something like Xanax or Prozac, amd maybe Zyprexa. All of these drugs directly affect the chemistry in your brain ~ when you take them you are not you. All of these drugs have serious side effects, up to and including making you want to commit suicide. Unless body, mind, and spirit are all nurtured, full recovery can never take place. Taking an antidepressant / anti-anxiety drug is just painting over the problem, you need to find the proximate cause of your severe mental illness and find a way of dealing with it.
The potential causes of your anxiety and depression are many and mostly a part of what should be a normal life ~ but even normality can be taken to extremes. You will probably have recently experienced, or still be suffering, one or more of these shattering events; death of a loved one, or someone you felt you should have loved, a failed relationship, a toxic and dysfunctional relationship, separation, leaving home, divorce, physical illness, a very shitty job, loss of your job, poverty, bullying, fear, taking care of the sick and elderly, worry about getting old and your looks, lack of good sex, spiritual issues….. and you are most likely addicted to booze, medication, or something like pot and cocaine. Also, anything and everything bad in your past means you are suffering from stored pain.
Nobody is even remotely interested in your pain. Your family and friends will proffer fatuous and useless advice. You must be willing to take full responsibility for your own physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Especially you must stop hurting yourself with booze, too much medication, drugs, cigarettes, bad food, not eating, and not getting enough sunshine, fresh air, and exercise. If you don’t take care of yourself you will get sicker, you might die.
Most importantly stop trying to please other people all the time. You cannot ever change other people, you can only distance yourself from them so they stop hurting you. You must be the real and true you, and not someone that those around you think you should be.
Some say that you cause all your own problems. And that you just spend all your time feeling sorry for yourself. All I know is that you will get much better if you stop listening to all those unhelpful toxic people.
you can get used to almost anything
except death, but by then nothing matters