I you’re not offending someone, you’re not doing your job.
Yesterday evening I started to write a post for today ~ or rather I began 3 different posts, and scrapped all of them. All three of those posts would have offended some of the people who follow my blog, and some of my close friends, so I junked all of those questionable posts.
I believe in absolute freedom of expression. Everyone has a right to be offended. ~ Taslima Nasrin
If you have followed my blog for any length of time you will know that I don’t shy away from offending some people, but the people I’m happy to offend deserve whatever they get, and more. I have no problem being offensive to Bankers, Politicians, Government Officials ~ and on Monday of this week I was offensive toward the disgusting sex-pests, perverts, paedophiles, and rapists who work for some ‘Big Charities’ such as Oxfam.
I’m not happy to offend the innocent who just happen to do, (or have done), some things I profoundly disagree with. That would be cruel, hurtful, hypocritical, mendacious, and vicious of me.
I try to practice ‘mindfulness’ every time I encounter a stressful feeling or negative emotion, of I am challenged by my own anger. Mindfulness grounds me in the present and stops me obsessing about the past. I can look at my feelings as though I am an uninvolved observer, rather than being at the centre of the maelstrom. That way I can act and react in a balanced and thoughtful way.
So, instead of what I intended to write about, which in each of the three cases would have been stressful, challenging, negative, and emotive ~ I’m going to tell you how I came to the decision that writing about this stuff would have been a bad idea.
These days I try to live a kind, mindful, self-aware, and spiritual existence ~ bringing inner peace and happiness to myself and those around me. Offending innocent people for no good reason than my own instant gratification is not living an ethical and spiritual existence.
I try to be accepting, understanding, and supportive to those around me. I do my best to live a mindful life. I work very hard at walking the warrior’s path to ultimate truth and inner peace. I profoundly believe that as I give to the world, so I shall receive in return.
Ergo, publishing a blog which I knew would upset and hurt some people, which would make them think that I was actually attacking them, was not who I am trying to be today. In any event, I am not perfect within myself.
When you are offended at any person’s fault, turn to yourself and study our own failings. Then you will forget your anger. ~ Epictetus
I want to make good changes in my relationships, my behaviours, habits, and routines ~ attacking someone, or a group of people, is neither good nor positive. So, I decided that I just wasn’t going to do it.
And you know what? I feel better for not publishing any of those three negative, emotive, and judgmental posts.
The posts I had half written, and then trashed were about Borderline Personality Disorder, casual sex with strangers, and the medicinal use of marijuana.
Life is an unending struggle at the edge of uncertainty.
Some say that nothing is certain in this life except death and taxes. And, that we should live in the moment, taking what joy there is to be had. All I know is that a little certainty sometimes would go a long way. Worrying about things that may happen is to create pointless pain.
Over the past few days I have been struggling to make sense of a relationship that’s important to me, and my introspection and deliberation hasn’t gone so well. Either I just do not understand my friend and why she does things, or I do not understand women at all, or both. It’s probably both.
My friend is taking a trip to England ~ going on a retreat in the Cotswolds with a weird self-improvement group. Her first trip to England isn’t to visit me, it’s to be with her group. That doesn’t make me feel good, it makes me feel very second-best. What my friend is going to do by taking this trip to England to see a bunch of other people hurts me more than just a lot. Anyhow, I hate groups. Most small groups revel in their self-righteous and introspective stupidity.
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. ~ Martin Luther King.
In general I don’t much like the self-righteous people who join groups, and I don’t like group mentality. I would not join any group / association / society/ club that would willingly have me as a member. I firmly believe that groups create a vicious ‘them and us’ mentality, especially closed groups, and I despise that. It disgusts me. I firmly believe that groups close off outsiders and that people develop unhealthy relationships within the group. The whole group ethos sickens me.
In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Groups can and do operate to unhealthy norms. Group members will continue to conform to norms that are quite harmful rather than healthy, even norms that run counter to society’s accepted standards of behaviour. Members of small groups can find their behaviour unconsciously regulated in a way which is not good for their physical, mental, and spiritual health due to pluralistic ignorance.
Sex, drugs, and pluralistic ignorance: smart groups do dumb things. ~ Geoff Cohen
Pluralistic ignorance is a shared delusion common in small groups. A small group can engage in systematic barbaric, harmful, hurtful, and uncaring behaviour ~ even though the individual members of the group may be good people in their own right. The members of small groups are amoral within the group, they tend to drink too much, smoke too much, use drugs, and engage in casual sex, all within the group, and those self-destructive behaviours can become the group norm. I know, I’ve seen it happen.
Sometimes most people in a group will disagree with the group norm, but nobody will ever speak out. Groupthink is a powerful thing, it’s what creates a mob mentality, a cult mentality, a harmful and poisonous bunch of people. The list of destructive groups is long and painful.
No one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes. ~ Tricia Wang.
I do not like this situation, I do not like that my friend’s first trip to England is to be with a ‘group’, and it’s making me very unhappy, which is stupid. Unhappiness should not be endured, it should be cured.
I can do nothing about some things. I can’t try to stop my friend from being in a group she says is valuable to her self-development. But I fear that this situation will end badly and painfully. Yet, I cannot change other people and what they do. I cannot even change what happens to me. All I can change is myself. All I can do is be the best guy I can possibly be; accepting, considerate, kind, reliable, and understanding. All I can do is be there for my friend.
written close to midnight on
January 30th 2018
Pouring wine onto yourself means you might be crazy.
There are a lot of crazy and insane people in this world, and I should know because I used to be one of them. Strictly speaking crazy means you’re wild and possibly aggressive, while insane means you have an abnormal view of the world. Both mean that you can’t interact normally with other people, and that any relationship you’re in is likely to lurch from one crisis to another.
Symptoms of being crazy and insane include extremes of; being intense and passionate, being unstable, doing stupid and dangerous things on an impulse, self-harm, excessive consumption of booze, taking drugs, smoking marijuana, engaging in cheap and meaningless sex, nudity at inappropriate times, mood swings, explosive bad temper, insomnia, extremes of jealousy, panic, paranoia, schizophrenia, feelings of worthlessness, depression, euphoria, and quite a few more personality disorders and character defects.
Most crazy and insane people have most of the above problems some of the time, and most of us have self-diagnosed and tried to cure ourselves with much more of the same things that drove us crazy in the first place.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein
Or we try to cure ourselves by switching from one crazy and insane set of behaviours to another~ say from depression and melancholia to copious quantities of booze and indulging in unsafe meaningless cheap sex.
I wouldn’t recommend alcohol, sex, drugs, or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me. Hunter S. Thompson
How do we know if we’re crazy and insane, or as ‘normal’ as the rest of the crazy people out there?
One person’s craziness is another person’s reality. ~ Tim Burton
Some say that if you have to ask yourself the question, ‘Am I going crazy‘ then you probably are insane and crazy. And, that if anyone else says that you’re crazy, then most likely you are. Of course, you can find Am I Insane?, Personality Disorder Tests, and Just How Insane Am I? tests online. Or, find your own online insanity / craziness tests. Your results might surprise you ~ a lot.
The last time I took one of these on-line tests, to see if I was suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, I came out at the extreme bad end of the scale.
Alternatively you could just look for these attitudes, feelings, and behaviours in yourself;
- Delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, jealousy, anger
- Mania, depression, thoughts of suicide
- Memory loss, personality changes and mood swings, time and place distortions and disorientation
- Talking to yourself, talking to your pets and plants, giving unwanted and unsolicited advice, believing in angels, demons, extraterrestrial abduction, ghosts, gods and goddesses, past lives, and witches.
If you suffer from / truly believe in any of the above, it may mean that while you are doing the best you can, and are thinking deeply and seriously about yourself and your issues, you’re not thinking clearly, and you may be a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic.
The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane. ~ Nikola Tesla
Another sign of utterly crazy insanity is being addicted to anything; Alcohol, Anger, Coffee, Cough Medicine, Drugs, Food, Gambling, Jealousy, Laziness, Masturbation, Pornography, Prescription Drugs, Sex, Shopping, Smoking, Social Media, Technology, Trivia, or Work. (Trust me, people can and do get addicted to just about anything.)
Perhaps the easiest things to check to see if you really are an addict is to see if you’re suffering from; alcoholism, drug addiction, or sexual addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous have a very, very good self test that will let you know if you’ve slipped from being a social drinker to an insane boozer. There are similar self tests for drug addiction and sexual addiction.
However, the chances are that if you find yourself ever taking one of these tests, then you are already crazy, insane, and slightly weird. That doesn’t mean you are bad and stupid, it means that you’re unwell.
I’ll take weird and crazy over stupid any day. ~ Joss Whedon
Of course, another sign of being crazy, deranged, insane, peculiar, strange, unstable, unusual, or weird, is doing things in secret and lying about what you’ve done afterwards. And, lying includes lying by omission, refusing to say anything at all, and only telling part of the truth.
The problem with slightly crazy people is they do crazy things ~ and you will know this to your cost if you’ve ever dated a bunny-boiler, stalker, self-confessed witch… or any of the other strange people out there.
So if you’ve been a little bit crazy recently, acting like a sack of cats in a thunderstorm, how do you recover?
- Fully and honestly accept that you haven’t been doing so well lately.
- Figure out / try and remember just what the hell you’ve been doing that’s so bad you’re reluctant to even admit it to yourself.
- Go and see your doctor and honestly tell them what’s been going on.
- Take whatever medication your doctor advises.
- Stop self-medicating with booze, drugs, sex, or whatever.
- See a professional counsellor / therapist for whatever flavour of crazy insane you’ve been.
- Get plenty of fresh air, exercise, and sleep.
- Have a good diet, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Try soothing and calming stuff; meditation, restful music, reading uplifting books, talking long walks in the forest or by the sea, yoga
- Apologise to everyone you have harmed, unless doing so will only make things worse.
- Make a solemn promise to yourself to be a ‘better’ person.
- Just get through each day without being a totally evil crazy insane wazzock, just one day at a time.
In my case I was completely crazy and insane due to a chronic lack of critical vitamins and minerals in my blood, (potassium and thiamine) ~ because I wasn’t eating properly. The symptoms of a lack of potassium, and a lack of thiamine are quite severe~ literally you go crazy insane, and possibly die.
The upside is that within a couple of days of taking prescribed, very strong, vitamin and mineral supplements I made a miraculous recovery. Today I feel very well indeed, in body, mind and spirit.
So however bad you may feel;
nil desperandum ~ carpe diem ~ noli illegitimi carborundum
and that’s crazy.
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Life is not merely being alive, but being well.
If you adopt a healthy lifestyle, not only will you feel better, you will also add ten or more years to your life. But, what is a healthy lifestyle? Turns out that not smoking, (nor abusing prescription or street drugs), drinking booze only in pretty strict moderation, and keeping to a healthy weight are the three pillars of a healthy lifestyle.
Smoking and drinking may look cool, for a short while, but after a short while those pastimes will turn an attractive women into a cackling, wrinkled, old hag.
The reason fat men are good-natured is that they can neither fight nor run. ~ Theodore Roosevelt.
Personally, I would add another three things we should all do if we want to be fit and healthy well into our senior years; get plenty of good quality sleep, get plenty of appropriate exercise, and eat a good, healthy diet. Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer a horrible and early death, from this moment on you should;
- Stop smoking. Stop smoking weed too. Smoking is dirty, disgusting, anti-social, and it will kill you in a selection of particularly nasty ways.
- Drink only in moderation. If you regularly take more than a couple of drinks in an evening, if you empty a bottle of wine in a couple of days, if you have a cupboard full of half-empty bottles of spirits ~ then you have a drink problem, and eventually it will make you very ill.
- Don’t be fat, don’t be obese. It is very easy to stuff yourself with burgers, take-outs, canned food, and other unhealthy crap calories. Type 2 diabetes will make you very ill, and then it will kill you. There are three foods / ingredients you should never, ever, knowingly have in your diet; sugar-free / diet soda, high fructose corn syrup, wheat, wheat flour, wheat products.
- Get plenty of good quality sleep. Lack of sleep doesn’t just make you feel tired and grumpy. Lack of enough proper sleep causes accidents, makes you stupid, kills your sex drive, and puts you at greater risk of; heart disease, heart failure and heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and type 2 diabetes.
- Take enough appropriate exercise. Just a daily walk can add 7 years to your life. You don’t need to join an gym and lift heavy weights. Both yoga and tai chi have a myriad of health benefits, improving your balance, control, fitness, flexibility, reducing the risks of falls, sprains, and other injuries, easing pain, and reducing the symptoms of depression.
- Have a good quality and healthy diet. And, there are lots of cool diets to choose from; Atkins, Paleo, Mediterranean, Pritikin… The key is don’t eat junk, have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat slowly and chew your food properly, and don’t stuff yourself at every opportunity.
Americans and the British are much less likely to live long and healthy lives than do the inhabitants of most industrialised western countries, and it has nothing at all to do with the standards of medical care in the USA and the UK. In fact, the Japanese have the highest average healthy life expectancy in the world ~ and it doesn’t have anything to do with either sushi or rice.
Japanese people give attention to health in all aspects of their daily life. Professor Kenji Shibuya.
Some things you can do today to work towards that fitter, healthier, happier life in your senior years are;
- Change your attitude ~ tell yourself, convince yourself, that you will be fitter, healthier, stronger, more capable, filled with self-confidence, and more self-aware.
- Get your blood pressure checked.
- Eat a better diet ~ stop eating junk.
- Stop knocking back the booze in the evenings. Especially DO NOT drink just before you go to bed.
- Stop smoking.
- Start exercising. There are both mental and physical benefits to regular exercise ~ at least 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week. Walk, (at least) 10,000 steps every day.
- Walk don’t drive. Learn to drive in a slower, calmer, more relaxed manner.
- Don’t get stressed. Practice meditation and mindfulness ~ just relax.
- Don’t hang out with people who eat junk, smoke, drink, and slob about just watching sports TV all day. Stay out of pubs, bars, and down-market restaurants. If you can’t do those things you need to get to an AA meeting.
- And for goodness sake, stay out of hospital. Hospitals are incredibly unhealthy places to be for very long.
These are all simple lifestyle changes, and each one is pretty easy on it’s own. Taken together these lifestyle changes will make a massive difference to your health, fitness, and happiness. As a side effect you will stop throwing huge hunks of change down the drain.
A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~ Paul Dudley White.
Being angry, hateful, jealous, negative, stressed…, will all damage your physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, just believing you are healthy cuts your risk of an early death by three-quarters.
Mens sana in corpore sano ~ a healthy mind in a healthy body.
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All of us have to accept some anxieties.
Back in the day, when I was working all the hours God sends, I suffered terribly from the effects of stress. Everyone around me suffered too because I was bad-tempered, impatient, irritable and moody.
We all experience stress, to a greater or lesser degree. In fact without some stress we couldn’t function ~ our minds and bodies need a little stress to feel alive. However, too much stress is bad, and far too much stress can kill you.
Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. ~ Hans Selve
The proximate causes of stress and distress vary from person to person, but the usual suspects are: Bad News, City Life, Too Many People, Mindless Bureaucracy, Being Discriminated Against, Bullying, Work, The Rushing Woman’s Syndrome, Dysfunctional Relationships, Failed Relationships, Sex, Sexual Dysfunction, and the Death of Someone Close to You. And then you might have your own particular reason to feel that you’re under intolerable stress. Of course, there is also a chance that you are seriously mentally ill with something like Borderline Personality Disorder.
People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement. ~ Marsha M. Linehan.
The warning signs that stress is adversely affecting your mental and physical health are;
- Apathy and Depression
- Chest pains
- Drinking too much
- Inability to relax
- Intolerance of and over-reacting to noise and disturbance
- Irritability and a bad temper
- Lack of concentration / brain fog / poor memory
- Palpitations (oh Gods, did I suffer from heart palpitations!)
- Tiredness and an inability to get things done
The symptoms associated with stress are in themselves so distressing that they are likely to make you even more stressed.
Many of us will approach our doctor if we feel under intolerable stress and are suffering from one or more of the very serious symptoms listed above. What your doctor is most likely to do is prescribe you some powerful psychoactive drugs; Celexa, Cymbalta, Klonopin, Lexapro, Librium, Paxil, Prozac, Tofranil Valium, Viibyrd, Wellbutrin, Xanax, Zoloft… to name but a few of the very powerful chemicals your doctor could give you.
All of these drugs come with a load of side-effects, from tiredness, to sexual dysfunction, to feelings of dread, to wanting to commit suicide… Reading the leaflets that come with these drugs can be a very sobering experience. In my experience these drugs will either detach you from reality so you don’t worry about anything at all, or they will have an adverse effect.
If you’re lucky, then your doctor will also / instead refer you to some ‘talking therapy’ such as; Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Counselling, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Gestalt, Group Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Mindfulness, and Psychoanalysis. Alternatively you could take yourself off to a 12-step group like Alcoholics Anonymous.
I love going to my AA meetings and I don’t think I will ever stop. ~ Davina McCall
Drugs act fast, but all they do is mask the symptoms and make you ill from the nasty side-effects. Talking therapies and 12-step meetings will eventually make you well again ~ but the key word there is ‘eventually.
So what can you do to help yourself overcome stress?
Breathing is good. I mean slow deliberate breathing with serene and peaceful visualisations is good.
When I was under extreme stress I would take myself off to somewhere quiet, maybe into a church or public garden or down to the beach, stand or sit, or lie down comfortably, and really slow down my breathing, and at the same time I would breathe very deeply. Concentrating on my breathing I would listen to the sound of each breath, imagining it was the gentle sound of soft surf washing in and out on a white sandy beach under a blue sky. My breathing in and out exactly matched the sea gently washing in and out. After just a few minutes of this breathing exercise I always felt immeasurably more peaceful, and ready to face the next thing the day was going to throw at me.
Learning how to relax is the cornerstone of helping yourself to overcome stress.
‘Ha!’ You say; ‘If I knew how to relax I wouldn’t be so stressed…’
Breathing exercises are recommended by doctors and psychiatrists everywhere as a method of relaxation to overcome stress and anxiety.
Being better organised also helps alleviate stress. The best way to begin being better organised is to start writing things down, keep a journal, keep your diary and day-planner up to date, make lists, always have a to-do list, never go shopping without a shopping list… If you think of something you need to do, write it all down and then stop worrying about it.
Break big tasks into a number of smaller parts, and write a list of those smaller tasks with the date and time they need to be completes ~ then stop worrying about it all.
Learn how to say NO. Being at everyone else’s beck and call all the time is a sure-fire way to put yourself under extreme stress.
Stop using social media first thing in the morning, or late at night, and especially don’t look at crap like Twitter and Facebook when you are pressed for time.
Get plenty of good quality sleep. It’s hard to sleep when you’re under stress. If you really have insomnia, then it may be worth asking your doctor for something to help you sleep. But only rely on sleeping medication for a couple of weeks ~ these drugs are addictive.
Make reducing the stress in your life your #1 project, something you practice all the time, every single damn day.
Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not. ~ Valerie Bertinelli.
And please, please don’t resort to booze or recreational drugs, they make things worse very fast, and you can trust me on that one.
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A gluten-free diet is more than just a fad.
Some say that gluten is safe for everyone except those who have celiac disease. And, that non-celiac gluten sensitivity isn’t a real medical condition. All I know is that I’ve felt healthier, fitter, and more alert since I realised that wheat is bad for you. Especially genetically enhanced, chemical laden, pesticide sprayed, modern American wheat is really, really bad for you. If you have the sense your mother gave you, then you should stop eating anything made from wheat.
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are direct results of American agriculture policy and, specifically, the government’s wading into the food arena. ~ Joel Salatin.
Gluten is what makes flour and water as sticky as glue. Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like; wheat, spelt, rye, barley, bulgur, oats, and seitan. There is no gluten in either quinoa or rice. Nor is there any gluten in potato or beans. However gluten is found in almost all processed and packaged foods, sauces, and canned food.
Non celiac gluten sensitivity is poorly understood, and there are no specific medical tests of your blood, stool, or urine that can reliably diagnose gluten intolerance. You and your doctors can only reliably diagnose gluten intolerance by the symptoms and health problems you have. On the other hand, there are reliable diagnostic tests for full-blown celiac disease.
- Irritable bowl problems such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhoea.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Irritation of the mouth and throat.
- Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, problematic memory.
- Frequent headaches.
- Mood changes, anxiety, depression, irritability.
- Low energy and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Muscle and joint pains. Osteoporosis.
- Peripheral neuropathy, numbness and tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs.
- Skin problems, dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, skin rashes.
- Nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, iron deficiency, anemia.
- Asthmatic attacks.
- Higher risk of learning problems including autism and ADHD.
- Sexual problems and in women missed periods.
- Gut autoimmunity, damage to the gut biome
Gluten intolerance will affect every single part of the body as the bacteria in your gut help to control everything from nutrient absorption, to hormone production, to metabolic function, to the way your brain works.
The problem is that gluten from wheat is found in just as many products as that other evil and unnatural food; high fructose corn syrup. One should read the labels before buying any food, and certainly avoid these foods
- bread, crackers, pizza, burritos, tortilla, cakes, cookies and the like
- beer, lager, stouts, ales
- barley malt
- packaged, store bought chicken broth
- malt vinegar ~ buy natural organic apple cider vinegar instead
- most salad dressings including mayonnaise
- veggie burgers unless they are certified gluten-free
- soy sauce
- packets of seasonings and spice mixes
- noodles unless they are rice noodles
- all pasta, (unless it’s marked gluten-free)
- most condiments
- non dairy creamer
- bullion cubes and stock cubes
- canned soups
- cheese spreads and other processed cheeses
- sausages and hot dogs
- ice cream, frozen yogurt, and milk unless it’s from grass-fed cows.
- Sour cream, which may contain modified food starch.
If you are even mildly gluten intolerant you will need to be very careful when eating out. Eating out is fun, however,when eating out becomes the norm, and you find yourself eating out two, three, or more times a week, then eating out is no longer a healthy treat and is instead a bad habit. If you are gluten intolerant dining out is very bad for your health. The same goes for buying Chinese take-out which is likely to be stuffed with MSG, (Monosodium Glutamate). When eating out avoid fried foods, thickened sauces, and obviously bread. Only drink gluten-free booze such as cider, wine, spirits and liqueurs, (there are gluten-free beers). And, if you’re drinking spirits don’t have diet soda as your mixer ~ diet soda is also bad for you.
Some say that gluten intolerance might really be glyphosate poisoning. And that pre-harvest spraying of wheat and sugar cane with Roundup makes for an easier harvest. All I know is that I don’t want to eat food contaminated with weed-killer.
Glyphosate is for sure, in every bite of food that contains wheat. ~ Nancy S. Mure
As it goes, wheat flour and refined sugars are just so very bad for you that your best choice is to avoid them all together. The list of health problems caused by these two staple foods is both long and nasty.
You may want to look for non-gluten alternative foods and products, and there are lots of these if you make the effort. Personally I have merely given up anything made with wheat flour, including; bread, cakes, pizza, pasta, cookies, canned soups… ~ and I now also make an effort to read the labels on the stuff I buy at the supermarket.
For most of us, giving up bread and beer is a pretty easy and very beneficial thing to do.
If you want to be really fit and healthy, start by never again eating anything made with wheat flour, you know it makes sense.
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Our very souls may be consumed by shadows.
We each have a complex relationship with ourselves. If we have ever really suffered through something like; alcoholism, drug addiction, addiction to gambling, sex addiction, too many of the wrong prescription drugs, parental abuse, an abusive relationship, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, serious problems with our diet, mental health problems, failed relationships, job loss, loss of our home… (or more likely a mixture of all of these problems and more), then we also have a complex relationship with the whole world and everyone in it.
At times we can find ourselves in a very bad place where every voice is critical, malevolent, and negative ~ even our own inner voice. Our inner voice creates inner demons; anger, depression, fear of rejection, rejection of others, jealousy, judgementalism, self-doubt, self-hatred, worthlessness…
All the dark, malevolent Passions of the Soul are roused and exerted; its mild and amiable affections are suppressed; and with them virtuous Principles are laid prostrate. ~ Charles Inglis
Unless you have been there you can have no idea how bad the pain and anguish these inner demons can create. One will do almost anything to escape the crippling pain; including going back to our addictions, making big geographical moves, shutting down and numbing ourselves, isolating ourselves, psychotherapy, strong prescription drugs, attending 12 step groups, spirituality, retreating further into mental illness, suicide…
It is not just our inner demons. If we are in that bad place then we are also surrounded by demons. Everyone we know, everyone we meet, adds to these outer demons with their misplaced concerned advice, criticisms, and rejection. Many people do not want us to get well, they measure themselves against our struggle and feel superior, they add their negative demons to our own. When I was at my last rock-bottom I became aware that almost everyone I knew, everyone I met, was feeding off my pain. Few understand, few want to understand, and fewer still truly want to help.
Some especially gifted, intelligent, and sensitive people believe that there is a third layer of demons, in addition to our inner demons, and the tormenting demons gifted to us by almost everyone we know. Most spiritual and religious people also believe that there are more demons than the physiological and psychological. These special people believe in genuine demons, in the spiritual realm, and that some of us may be victims of these demons. In my mind’s eye I am very aware that in the shadows surrounding my soul lurk the powers of darkness seeking to torment and torture me.
Demons manifest themselves in people in different ways. For instance, out of nowhere, somebody can become very angry for no reason. That’s not just an emotion. That’s a demon. ~ Stephen Baldwin.
None of the details really matter. What I do know is that if you have truly suffered, and if you are suffering now, then you are the victim of demons who will feed off your pain, and want nothing more than to destroy you and everything and everyone you care for.
It is our demons that make us believe that our partner is sleeping with other men, that giving into our addiction will solve our problems, and that suicide is painless.
Many of us have tried over the years to face down our inner demons. Some succeed, many fail. Many fail because they don’t realise that the main causes of their misery are inner demons which seem to have an intelligence and will of their own. Many more fail because they never realise that they are also surrounded by malevolent evil demons emanating from the subconscious psyche of everyone they know. And, some fail because they are the victims of true demonic possession.
Demons are not your superiors, demons are not even your equals. All demons have is the ability to make you cause yourself pain and suffering. Demons can only torment and torture you if you let them, but most of us allow demons to torture us because we are not even aware that they are there.
Negative thinking patterns can be immensely deceptive and persuasive, and change is rarely easy. ~ David D. Burns.
Recovery begins with admitting that you have a problem.
I cannot yet face down my demons, but I know they are there, trying to make me torture myself so that they can feed off my pain. (Even your inner demons feed off the pain you cause yourself.)
Now, when I feel myself going down a negative path to my own personal hell, I can tell myself that it’s just my personal demons trying to destroy me, and that I should ignore their oppressive persecution. That helps me. A psychological bully can only bully you if you let them. Your demons have no physical power over you. Ignore them and your demons will go away. Eventually I shall be able to face down my demons and tell them to fuck off ~ and that will be a good day.
Demons are to be pitied. They have nothing but your pain and suffering. If you do not allow your demons to make you cause yourself pain and suffering, then those demons will eventually die and vanish into nothing.
You can and will get well if you do not allow your demons to torment and torture you.
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There is a warrior’s path to the end of suffering.
In my life I have been lost, often alone, and sometimes in pain. I have been down and disappointed, I have been beaten by misfortune, I’ve been so tired and despairing I could not eat or sleep, I’ve been crushed by unrequited love, I wanted things that were always out of reach, and I was so lonely I cried bitter tears. Then I found a guiding star to wish to, and that bright star led me to a good place of freedom from pain and suffering. Now I can cross broad oceans, climb tall mountains, see the far horizons.
Now I can experience true friendship and real love.
Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards, and leads us from this world to another. ~ Plato
You too can find your star to wish upon and to follow, if only you are prepared to search both the heavens and deep within yourself.
In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy a supercomputer reveals that the ultimate answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything is 42.
The answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe, and Everything… Is… Forty-Two. ~ Deep Thought
This was meant as a joke, 42 was just a random number picked out of thin air by Douglas Adams, the author of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Allegedly. However it turns out that the number forty-two has symbolism and special meanings in a whole raft of philosophies, religions, and magical convictions. Forty-two is a highly symbolic number slipped into a work of fiction, seemingly by accident, or coincidence.
However, despite what some may say, there is an answer, a simple answer to Life.
If we are to believe numerology then 42 is an Angel Number, and the energies of this number bring us an inner-wisdom to help us pursue our Life Purpose. To pursue your Life Purpose, then first you must realise that the true purpose of your life is to live and to grow ~ to grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, in health and happiness. That may be a long, long way from where you find yourself right now.
In order to get to where you want to go, you first have to know two things;
- Exactly where you are right now.
- Exactly where it is you want to get to.
You don’t need to know the road in-between, that will become only too apparent on your journey to your ultimate truth.
If you are anything like I used to be, then where you are right now could be unhealthy, unsatisfying, and depressing. There may be no real joy and happiness in your life. You may see no way out, even though you have sought relief and escape through religion, inspirational books, motivational speakers, support groups, counsellors, psychologists, doctors, medication, booze, street drugs, gambling, casual sex…
None of those escape routes will work for long, and the consequences of some methods of escape from hard reality just make things much worse. I know, before I found my own ultimate truth, my own warrior’s path, I tried just about every quick fix there is.
There are more false prophets than there are those inspired by an ultimate truth.
Taking the wrong road through self-destructive behaviour leads to one rock-bottom after another, and each new rock-bottom is worse than the one before.
There are no quick fixes in Life, and nobody can fix you but you.
The Ultimate Truth is this; Life is Difficult and Painful.
Once you are prepared to recognise that truth, once you are prepared to accept, appreciate, and understand that Life is Difficult and Painful, then you can transcend all pain and suffering. You can take your first step on the warrior’s path to freedom from desolation and misery.
The first step in any journey is always the hardest. It will mean uncertainty, leaving your comfort zone, doing things that seem unnatural, and at first it may seem just as painful as the misery you’re trying to leave behind. But, you have to know this ~ follow the warrior’s path and things will get better. Your life will become even better than you could ever have imagined it could be.
The first step is to recognise and accept that you are the cause of your own unhappiness. Whatever the proximate cause of your misery and unhappiness, be it alcoholism, gambling, an abusive relationship, or whatever is your personal purgatory, the ultimate cause of your pain is your own need for instant gratification. We must to accept that the causes of all our problems and unhappiness are our own cravings, desires, wants, lusts, needs, and our blaming of others when things don’t go the way we want them to.
Self-discipline is hard, it means not taking that next drink, not having that next cigarette, not overeating, not placing our happiness in the hands of another. Self-discipline means turning up for work on time, getting enough good quality sleep, getting enough fresh air and exercise. Self-discipline means not blaming others for our misfortunes, not spending money we don’t have, not allowing ourselves to become infatuated with someone who will never truly return our affections. Self-discipline is what will free you from pain, misery, and the teachings of false prophets.
You don’t need the hurt anymore, and you don’t need the pain in your life. I promise you that if you accept and understand that you can’t ever change what happens to you, but you can change what you do, then your shadows will turn into warm sunlight. Don’t ever allow yourself to give in to your craving for instant gratification, have the patience to appreciate, accept,and understand yourself, trust in yourself and not in others, and your life will get better. Your whole life will improve very fast, and it will be better than you have ever dreamed possible.
Night Sweats, Night Terrors, Nightmares, Sleep Terrors.
Night Terrors are not Nightmares ~ typically a nightmare happens when you’re in deep dream sleep, whereas night terrors wake you up, so the experience of a night terror is one of wakefulness. Night terrors are also different from Sleep Terrors, because a night terror will wake you up, whereas with a sleep terror you will have all the symptoms of extreme fear, but you will stay asleep. If you are awake, or partially awake, and terrified in the night, then the chances are you are suffering from night terrors, (which are a recognised psychological disorder).
Nightmares usually occur in the early morning during REM sleep when our dreams are at their most vivid. More often than not we can remember all the cinematographic details of a long, scary nightmarish dream when we first wake. On the other hand, night terrors usually happen during the first part of the night, aren’t part of REM sleep, and we won’t remember anything much other than waking up / being awake in a terrified state.
Typically, night terrors are caused by a previous psychological trauma, (such as an abusive childhood), or by stress, or by substance abuse, (such as drinking too much just before bedtime). However, as one of the causes of drinking too much before bedtime is a mental illness like Borderline Personality Disorder, which is itself probably caused by a previous psychological trauma, it’s fair to say that if you suffer from night terrors you’re probably drinking too much and suffered some severe disturbance / abuse / trauma in your past. Chances are if you’re in that situation you’re also feeling very pressured right now, and suffering from the symptoms of undue stress. It’s an illogical Catch-22 situation.
If you suffer from night terrors it’s likely that you wake very suddenly with an intense fear of something unknown / a nameless dread. Your heart will be beating fast, you will be breathing hard and fast, your blood pressure will be elevated, your eyes will be wide and staring, and you will be sweating. This is different from night sweats, which is severe and excessive sweating, without the associated terror. The common causes of night sweats are medical, and some of them are very nasty, such as cancer. However, one other cause of night sweats is drinking too much.
What night terrors will do to you is prevent you from getting the 7 to 9 hours of good quality sleep that most adults need every night. As well as making you feel tired, lethargic, and irritable, not getting enough sleep can cause lots of nasty illnesses such as; high blood pressure, strokes, and heart disease.
The most likely advice if you have night terrors when you get beyond your teens is that you should see a doctor. Good luck with that one, because the only real cure for night terrors is to treat the underlying problem(s). That will mean doing something about the effects of any psychological trauma in your past, and cutting out whatever drug you’re taking too much of late at night ~ including coffee, booze, prescription drugs, street drugs…
There are some very common-sense things you can do if you suffer from night terrors, sleep terror, nightmares, and / or night sweats ~ without resorting to medication and a long period of talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy. None of these are easy, or likely to give you a quick fix, but you should consider;
- Giving up booze completely, or cutting down a lot, and never drinking late at night.
- Quitting smoking ~ and if you smoke do not have a cigarette last thing at night.
- Stop using street drugs, and talk to your doctor about any prescription medication you are on.
- Late at night don’t drink coffee, and don’t eat a meal within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime.
- Stay hydrated. The average person needs 3 litres / 6 pints of water a day ~ but tea, coffee, wine, and beer don’t really help you to stay properly hydrated.
- Do not take a nap during the day, especially don’t take an afternoon nap.
- Go to bed at the same reasonable time every night, (if you need to be up at 7 am you need to be in bed at 10 pm), and get up at the same reasonable time each morning. Stick to this sleep schedule, even at weekends. Changing the time you go to bed, and the time you get out of bed, wrecks your internal body clock.
- Wind down in the evenings. Don’t use social media late at night or first thing in the morning. Instead practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as meditation and listening to relaxing, classical music.
- During the day get at least an hour of fresh air and moderate / vigorous / strenuous exercise.
- Make sure your bedroom is right for sleep. Your bedroom should be clean, tidy, quiet, very dark, still, and fairly cool, (between 60 and 67 degrees F). You really do need to sleep in total darkness and quiet.
- Make certain your mattress and pillows are comfortable for you. If your mattress is good quality it should last 10 years, after that, get a new one.
- Keep a sleep diary.
An episode of night terror can be brought on by worry, stress, emotional tension, fatigue, conflict, and especially too much alcohol late at night, (or more likely a combination of factors, including booze). How much is too much alcohol? Actually, too much booze is however many drinks puts your health and well-being at risk. For me, one drink is one too many.
After suffering night terrors you are likely to be utterly inconsolable, grown women, (and men), may cry, and the event may be so disturbing that your mind will wipe most of it from your memory. The next morning you won’t be able to remember what terrified you.
In adults, it is most likely that night terrors, sleep terrors, and nightmares have an underlying cause of previous severe stress, trauma, mental and / or physical abuse, and subsequent mental disorders and generalised anxiety. In fact, the underlying causes of sleep problems can be very similar to the underlying causes of addiction.
Not getting enough good quality sleep is a serious matter. The consequences are severe, up to and including death. If you’re suffering from night terrors, sleep terrors, nightmares, night sweats, then you really do need to take action right away. Start with the tips I’ve given above, but if you have to, go and see your doctor.