not all in your life will be a beautiful sunrise
A few years ago I was having a really bad time; alcoholism, anger, anxiety and depression….. I felt as though I hadn’t a friend in the world, and the truth was that I hadn’t. I was suffering from insomnia, taking midnight walks, drinking all hours….. Things were bad. There didn’t seem to be any way out…..
Something prompted me to go to my bookshelf, and at random I read the first sentences of the first book that came to hand.
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult ~ once we truly understand and accept it ~ Then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. ~ The Road Less Travelled
From time to time some things have been bad since then, and Life hasn’t always gone the way I would have liked. But the whispers in the night have never been as dark as they were back then. I’ve stopped drinking, I have a very few very good friends. My footsteps are leading me to good places now.
It took a lot to drag me away from the slough of ultimate despond and pain, but that small passage in a book has helped me ~ it’s been with me ever since that black night.
May you find your own small light in the darkness.
choose your own guiding light
’emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which individual liberty has been eroded
the only casual sex allowed is phone sex
Here in England it’s Day 380 of the national coronavirus lockdown, and now that there may be some signs that some of the restrictions may be lifted in the foreseeable future, it is worth remembering just what has been taken away from us.
Just to focus on three of our inalienable rights;
- Freedom of Association. All through this lockdown we have been prohibited from meeting our friends and families. Two women sharing walk and a cup of coffee were arrested for ‘breaking the spirit of lockdown’. A lady was arrested just for being outside the care home of her elderly father. And while the Black Lives Matter ‘protests’ were allowed to go ahead, every other public gathering of more than six people was treated as a riot by our increasingly heavy handed police. Schools, Universities, and Churches have been closed, as have all other possible meeting places. Extramarital sex is out of the question unless you are part of the ‘governing elite.’
- Freedom of Movement. We have been told not to to go anywhere unless it was absolutely essential, not to leave home, not to travel more than a dozen miles from home, not to go to work unless you couldn’t possibly work from home….., and our increasingly Gestapo-like police force have happily arrested anyone seemingly breaking the rules. Airlines have been grounded, Wales and Scotland closed their borders, and do not even think about attempting to travel to the USA.
- Freedom of Trade. Apart from some ‘essential’ food stores and pharmacies, everything has been shut. Factories have been lying idle because nobody could buy anything they made. Agriculture has been badly hit because farm workers were told to stay at home, or in the case of ‘foreign casual labourers’ weren’t even allowed into the UK. And, of course, any business where people could gather together has been closed for the duration. Forget getting a pint with your mates down the pub.
Some say that losing our freedom was a necessary part of staying safe and protecting the Health Service. And that those who complained should be gagged. (Well, there goes Freedom of Speech.) All I know is that we have all lost more than just our basic liberties to combat a mild ‘flu epidemic.
all doors have been firmly closed
by order of some power-mad unelected officials
first, find the peace within yourself
Not that anyone would believe it, but The Lighthouse Family are an English band, from Newcastle upon Tyne. That’s not why I chose this song, it’s because I feel the need to be lifted from the slough of despond I’ve been suffering.
I believe that I’ve driven that road, just out of Death Valley, California.
Probably in a Mustang Convertible.
sometimes, only a Mustang convertible will do
you get nothing without hard work
hanging out in bars is self-destructive
It was my birthday a couple of days ago ~ another year older and deeper into lockdown. Given the premise that this is a new age for me I’ve decided to give myself a complete makeover. And I mean doing it all for myself because there’s nobody to do it for me ~ and anything someone else does for you never lasts. Any real and beneficial change I want to make has to come from within.
This makeover will be directed at significant improvements of my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It’s also going to include looking better and having a much nicer, kinder, more effective, and more likable persona.
The truth is that I started this big self-improvement programme just after Christmas when I gave up alcohol. If you drink, smoke, take drugs, gamble, or suffer from any of the other life-destroying addictions, then the first step on any self-improvement / self-development / makeover is to quit your addiction(s). And trust me, if you do drink, smoke, take drugs, (including stuff like Xanax), or gamble ~ then you are addicted. (The list of life-destroying things people can become addicted to is long and inclusive.)
My plan for becoming the very best version of Jack Collier that I can possibly be is very simple;
- stay away from alcohol
- have a good daily exercise routine
- eat and drink healthily, (mine is a Paleo / Mediterranean diet)
- get enough good sleep, retire and rise at the same time every day
- cut out a lot of mindless, time-wasting stuff; TV, internet, social media
- look as good as I can all the time; bathed, shaved, hair, decent clean clothes
- study and learn interesting challenging stuff, from proper books by real writers
It should be easy, given some self-discipline and determination.
none of this crap
who could like that guy?
drinking alcohol is very bad for your brain
beer still gets you drunk, but it also makes you fat
For a lot of people alcohol becomes a crutch to allow them to handle the feelings, situations, and people they encounter in daily life. Lots of people I know use booze to become more outgoing, manage stress, combat depression, relax, and as an aid to sleep. However, alcohol isn’t a cure for shyness, stress, depression, anxiety, nor insomnia ~ except in the very short term, and if you only drink in moderation.
Taken in larger quantities, and over longer periods, alcohol does exactly the opposite of the things that you drank for in the first place. Add to that some worse effects of too much drink; recklessness, loss of morality and ethics, severe anxiety and depression, complete emotional immaturity, using other drugs, promiscuity, criminality ~ and one can see that drinking a lot for very long is a bad idea.
If you drink too much, for even one evening, the alcohol will affect your memory. Memory loss is a sure and certain effect of too much booze. You might not remember the night before at all, or only vaguely remember bits of it, and you might not believe it when your friends tell you what you did. Your brain will even invent false memories just to let you fill in the blanks.
Drinking to excess over long periods means the memory loss becomes permanent, along with nastier things like wet brain and dementia. Luckily most people die from alcohol related causes long before they lose their mind. Even better, if you stop drinking the memory loss and cognitive dysfunction will slowly reverse itself as the fog of booze clears and new brain cells grow to replace the ones killed off by alcohol.
I stopped drinking just after Christmas 2020. Now, instead of being a high-functioning binge-drinker I am becoming a Modern Renaissance Man with a near eidetic memory.
Which would I rather be; a drooling incontinent drunk, or a very cool guy, living a really great life to the fullest?
Alcohol has left the building.
people do things under the influence
that they would never do sober
23 March 2021 ~ my birthday ~ one year of lockdown
trust me; howling at the moon doesn’t help
The British Government’s draconian response to the coronavirus crisis starts its second year today. We begin another year of lockdown. None of the numbers surrounding COVID-19 are either real and nor do they make any sense. In particular the alleged 126 thousand people who are said to have died of this virus in the United Kingdom in the last year is a completely false statistic.
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. ~ Mark Twain
Here, as in most countries, anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus in the 28 days before their death is deemed to have died from COVID-19, no matter the true and real cause of death. Even using the false statistics fewer than 2 in 1,000 who have caught the disease have died from it, (0.2%), and of those who have allegedly died from coronavirus, the vast majority have been over 82 years old, (which is older than the median age of death here).
A real statistic is that because of the coronavirus lockdown the UK is broke, and getting deeper into penury with every day that passes. The cost to the UK economy of this lockdown is said to be £521 million a day, ($730 million), although our government is actually borrowing a billion pounds a day, every single damn day.
And the lockdown just gets more and more severe. From next Monday, March 29th, taking a foreign holiday is illegal ~ in fact I would be fined £5,000 for just turning up at an airport. It’s like living in East Germany under the yoke of communism.
All I can do is wish myself a happy birthday ~ hoping and praying that things get better for us all very soon.
after we’ve been vaccinated
why do we still have to wear a mask?
here in England it’s day 353 of complete lockdown
some ways I’ve been able to stay fairly sane
stay away from booze, especially hard liquor, alcohol never helps anything
get plenty of rest during the day and 6 to 8 hours of good sleep every night
if you need to, try herbal sleep aids
otherwise avoid street drugs and powerful medication
eat in a healthy and nutritious way
take high-quality and appropriate food supplements
stay active, go outside, fresh air and exercise are important
anger and resentment against the unfairness is futile
even if you can’t meet anyone for a conversation
stay connected by phone and the internet
take enforced self-isolation one day at a time
personally, I found that prayer helps
remember, there is nothing whatsoever you can do except obey the stupid lockdown laws, regulations, and guidelines
first of all stop dicking around
Not so long ago I was miserable, irritable, and utterly ineffective. I didn’t ever leave the garret, except to buy booze, I never spoke to anyone, and I didn’t do anything interesting. Every day was the same as the day before. I was sick in body, mind, and spirit. From time to time I had dark suicidal thoughts. Even though my life was a mess, it was a mess with an efficient daily routine behind it. I was very good at doing nothing except wasting the time I had on this earth.
There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all. ~ Peter Drucker
There are lots of ways and a myriad of techniques that I could have used to turn my life around, but before everything else I had to have the strong and unshakable desire to change myself and make my life better. No Fairy Godmother was going to appear and make everything all right. I wasn’t suddenly going to find an attractive woman who would give me the magical motivation to improve myself and my life. Nothing good happens in life unless we make it so.
You can start to read lots of books, sign up for lots of expensive courses, and find tons of stuff on the internet that will say; ‘change your life around by following this advice’ ~ and they are all utterly useless unless first you have the willingness and determination to change. Changing your life for the better takes every hour of every day of the rest of your life. Being a better person needs willpower, and if you don’t have any willpower then create an unbreakable routine towards becoming the very best version of yourself you can possibly be. If you can’t do that, then fake it to make it.
First of all I had to decide what I didn’t want. What were the very worst things in my life. What was I doing that was negative and self-destructive? Think about it ~ what are the very worst things in your life? What do you want the least? What is killing you? For me that began with agoraphobia and booze. I had to stop drinking, and I had to get out of the garret, physically, mentally, and emotionally I had to get out of this place.
None of this was easy, but this blog is some small evidence of how far I’ve come since those dark days.
If I can become a better person, then you can too.
you don’t need a gym to exercise effectively
you don’t need a silver fork to enjoy good food
Here in England we have been in lockdown for just about a year, and trust me there’s not much fun in that. There is also a regrettable tendency to eat the wrong things at the wrong times; which isn’t healthy. One of the few things we can enjoy is good, healthy food, hopefully some of these recipes will cheer us up.
First this week, from Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest we have this Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special. Looks deliciously easy.
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp Special
From Karina at Cafe Delites we have this wonderful Jambalaya; chicken, sausage, shrimp, rice in a Creole saute from New Orleans. Fabulous.
Jessica at How Sweet Eats says this dish; Lemon Butter Shrimp and Broccoli Skillet is the perfect weeknight dinner. I aver that this would be a perfect, healthy meal at any time of the week.
Lemon Butter Shrimp and Broccoli Skillet
Holly at Spend with Pennies says this Shrimp Lo Mein can be ready in just 30 minutes. I’d take a little longer, just to enjoy cooking this good-looking dish.
Shrimp Lo Mein
If you get weary of shrimp, yet want to stay with the theme, From Chungah at Damn Delicious we have a recipe for Garlic Butter Clams with White Wine Cream Sauce. I’d want some crispy garlic bread to go along with this dish.
Garlic Butter Clams with White Wine Cream Sauce
Our big collection this week is from Delish Magazine; 82 Shrimp Recipes That’ll Make Meatless Mondays Your Favorite Day Of The Week. From this list how about a Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Pasta?
Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Pasta
maybe Marmaduke is waiting for the shrimp-boats to come in