Category Archives: Personal Style

Remembering Old Friends

if you remember people, then they will remember you

don’t just be one of the crowd

This is the time of year that most of us think back and remember old friends we haven’t seen for years, or even family members we hardly ever meet.  I’m reminded of that with every Christmas card I write, and by each one I receive.  Every year I am glad that I keep a Christmas card list, with up to date names and addresses, and that I take the trouble to send a card to everyone on the list.  And like many people nowadays I add a few lines about what my year has been like.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.  ~  Dale Carnigie

There are some places I can go where I am almost certain to be recognised by someone I haven’t seen in years ~ and then I have to dredge through the corridors of my mind to put a name to the face.  I’s actually surprising and delightful when someone you haven’t met for a long time shows that they remember you ~ and it’s cool to be able to show the same courtesy.

It may seem insignificant but, if you remember people, they will remember you and that’s essential if you want to be successful in Life and Love.  Some may find this easy, if they have the kind of photographic memory that can recall faces, names, places, and events ~ but we can all do this too with just a little work.  Back in the day I used to keep a notebook; names and a few personal details of the interesting people I met.  If you’re a guy it’s doubly essential that you remember the women you meet.

The most important thing is to listen ~ stop talking, let other people talk for a change, and really listen.  That doesn’t mean saying nothing, a real man’s role in a conversation is to ask questions and encourage the other person, (or people), to share things about themselves.  Look for things that truly matter to them.  You will learn so much more about people if you try this, and when I was a deliberately good listener I learned a hell of a lot about myself too.

But, FFS, don’t make notes where others can see you writing stuff down.  That will get you into trouble ~ you may even get your face slapped.  I did.

If your notebook is to have any point, then you have to do something with it, preferably at the end of every day.  These days the best thing to do would be to create some kind of a database or computerised directory, even if it’s just simple stuff like partner’s name, children’s names, birthdays, where they work, what they’re vitally interested in…..  Back in the day I had a card index.  These days I have a Christmas card list.

Some say that it’s pointless remembering people because you may never meet them again.  And that listening to other people talk is incredibly boring.  All I know is that I used to be the best there ever was, because I remembered people.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you want to be successful in Love

the at least get her name right

Food on Friday ~ December 6th

It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.

Early December and it’s cold, dark, and drear in the run-up to Christmas.  Today there is not much cheer around here, and anyway most people are busy making their arrangements for a great Christmas holiday.

Well, I’ll be on my own in the garret again over the Christmas holidays, so one of the things I should do is cook myself some great food.  There are some very cool, very easy recipes in this post, and I hope that we can all enjoy them in the run-up to Christmas Day.  I’m wondering if there’s going to be any great Christmas time TV.

First up this week, from Barcelona we have Ali at Gimmie Some Oven who has a healthier broccoli chicken casserole, made with pasta, tender chicken, and broccoli in a cheddar mushroom sauce.  Despite everything this is a light and very healthy dish that’s really easy to prepare.

Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Now from Joy the Baker, something else with a broccoli theme; spicy broccoli pizza with homemade pizza crust.  This is far, far better than anything you could buy anywhere, and a great pre-Christmas treat for your casual guests.

Spicy Broccoli Pizza with a Homemade Pizza Crust

Dana Shultz, the Minimalist Baker has a cool recipe for one-pot chicken soup with white beans and kale.  This 30 minute recipe does look so easy to make, and it’s warming, healthy, and gluten free.  What more could you want on a cold December evening.

One-Pot Chicken Soup with White Beans and Kale

Another great chicken dish, and this time the recipe is from the ever-delightful Heather Christo;  creamy tomato baked chicken and pasta.  I would use gluten free, or wholemeal pasta, but that’s your choice.  Whatever this is a great midweek dinner.

Creamy Tomato Baked Chicken and Pasta

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest always gives us the longest titles for her recipes, this one is 30 minute Chinese egg drop chicken rice soup with garlicky chile oil. Say no more…..

Chinese Egg Drop Chicken Soup

The collection this week is from Country Living magazine; 85 easy Christmas appetizers that will delight all of your holiday guests.  From this huge list I’ve chosen these deviled eggs with old bay shrimp from Carrie Purcell.  But make your own choices fro your pre-Christmas drinks party and Boxing Day snacks.

Deviled Eggs with Old Bay Shrimp

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

some people are almost ready for Christmas

I still have nothing at Christmas

for it is in giving that we receive the most

Marmaduke relaxing in the garret.

During this festive season I have nothing arranged, and expect to see nobody at all on Christmas Day.  I’d rather not be spending another festive season alone in the garret, but a little while ago my plans for Christmas were thrown into disarray.  I had arranged to take a trip to visit a friend, however my friend is now spending Christmas with their family, rather than with me.

I suppose I can’t complain about that, after all Christmas is the one time of year that you should really spend time with your family.  Sadly, for me there is only my sister, and she has her own husband and children to spend Christmas with.  I’d I be like the ghost at the feast if I went there.  I guess I can count Marmaduke as my family, so I won’t be totally alone here.

Some kind people have invited me to visit over the holidays….. I don’t know if I can do that.  Finding a flight just before Christmas, returning just after is very difficult this late in the day, actually it’s a’most impossible.  Any flight I’ve been able to find carries a hefty premium ~ like 50% above the normal fare, (or much more) for a really crappy set of connecting flights.  So, anyone travelling for Christmas will have had to have booked their flights some time ago.

Also, spending Christmas with someone I don’t know so well seems uncomfortable somehow ~ as though I would be intruding.  (My strong sense of ethics always stop me from having real fun.)

Whatever Hollywood might say, making last minute arrangements for Christmas Day is somewhere between difficult and impossible.  If you want to travel over the Holidays you have to book your journey well in advance ~ unless you are willing to pay double the normal fare for bad seats on flights that are the most difficult and inconvenient as possible.

Some say that their Christmas visit to the family was a last-minute idea.  And that the whole thing was quite spontaneous.  All I know is that flights over the Christmas Holiday have to be booked well in advance.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke still thinks we’re going away over the holidays

Recovery from Addiction

I understood myself only after I destroyed myself.

It used to be thought by many doctors, and those in 12-step recovery programs, that addiction was a disease in its own right.  Conversely many people believed that alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive gambling, and other addictions were due to personal weakness.  That it was all down to the search for instant self-gratification, and that addicts were just unwilling to stop ~ or perhaps unable to stop drinking, using, gambling…..

However, medical science no longer believes that pleasure-seeking alone drives addicts into their own personal hell.  Doctors and scientists now think that most engage in addictive behaviour not so much to attain euphoria as to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual pain and distress.

This is certainly true in my own case.  From time to time I drink far too much, not because I like booze or it makes me feel good.  I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is characterised by extreme emotions, and from time to time negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, paranoia, anxiety, and suicidal depression cause me so much physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that I escape into alcohol.  And you know what?  Drinking doesn’t really work.

In the USA 15.7 million people seriously abuse alcohol, and 2.6 million of those also suffer from a drug abuse disorder.  In all some 7.7 million people in all use illicit drugs in the USA, and / or abuse prescription drugs.  About 8% of the total population of the USA have a substance abuse problem.  Many of these have multiple addictions ~ gambling, excessive use of pornography, and promiscuity also ruin lives.    Doctors also believe that the type of addiction doesn’t matter at all; whether it be alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, whatever…..  all addictions are the same, addicts are people who try to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual distress.

Some 47,000 people a year die directly from an overdose of opiod drugs, and alcohol claims the lives of some 90,000 people a year.  I know what that feels like, people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder have a 10% likelihood of committing suicide, which is over 1,000 times more than in the general population.

Some days I can barely breathe, I can’t eat and I can’t sleep.  Some days I blame others for my pain and problems.  Some days I am barely hanging on.  And, some days life is pretty good.

The good news is that there are a number of effective treatments for addiction; including self-help strategies, psychotherapy, rehabilitation programs, and in some cases medication.  (As it goes medication doesn’t work, and is actually dangerous for anyone with Borderline Personality Disorder.)  But, I can protect myself from addiction by having meaningful and mindful interests in my life, together with supportive friendships.  My problems and pain are very transient.  And life isn’t always supposed to be fun and filled with pleasure, into every life a little rain must fall.  Shit Happens

Some say that addiction only affects weak and pathetic people.  And that there is no chance of recovery from any addiction.  All I know is that I have many more good days than the bad days on which I hit the bottle.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

recovery doesn’t work for those who need it

recovery works for those who want it

Screwed-up

The ideal day never comes. Today is ideal for him who makes it so.

This is what the inside of my mind looks like.

I’ve not been well, although am much better today, with much to get through.  I’m hoping you are all well, and going to have a good day.

I’ve been very critical of myself, because I didn’t meet my own expectations.  Based on my own black and white thinking, my own standards of perfection, I will never have an ideal day.  Perhaps there is no such thing as a perfect day.  Each day happens just the way it’s supposed to, with its imperfections as well as its achievements.  If I have a terrible day, it’s only because I believed it was going to be a lousy day. By the same token, if I have a good day, it was because I believed it was going to be a good day, and not because the sun was shining, or we had a good conversation ~ (although that helps).

Every day is different.  Some days may be enjoyable, while others may be difficult to get through.  Instead of being judgemental, I can see each day as a mindful experience.  What I learn from the day, as well as my attitude about it, is my daily lesson.I have been having some very difficult days to get through. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  My expectations have been all wrong, and my attitude has been bad.  My mind is a complete mess.

I have screwed up in a very big way, let down my family and friends, and let down myself.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Borderline Personality Disorder is a very serious illness.

I have it, although I am recovering.

 

you bet

a man who lacks reliability is utterly useless

~

seems I’m not done yet

you can bet your life

that I’ll be around sooner or later

if only to light your cigarette

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

women who smoke are sexy in the abstract

 

Depression

everyone has their secret sorrows of which the world knows not

In their secret world people may have strange thoughts and imaginings.

Sometimes I might say that I have suffered from depression, and I would be gilding the lily to say that was so.  I do have a serious mental problem called Borderline Personality Disorder, and one of the symptoms is being depressed, but that’s in a different universe from severe clinical depression.  When I get depressed it lasts for a couple of hours or a couple of days, really severe clinical depression is a life-threatening illness and the major symptoms can last for months, or even years.

Being depressed is not the same as feeling sad, or having that old ennui, or just being tired and running out of steam.  Being really depressed is not being able to get out of bed in the morning, struggling to get clean and dressed, having a home that’s full of dirty dishes where fungus is evolving into new species, and your principal other has just about given up on you.

Depressed people do strange things.  Even when I was very mildly depressed I struggled with everyday living.  Simple things such as leaving the garret to go shopping were difficult ~ I solved that one by doing my shopping in the middle of the night.  Routine tasks like showering and shaving became major projects that needed planning and far more time than any normal person would think.

Real clinical depression evokes;

  • Intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness, worthlessness, emptiness.
  • Feeling like you’re wading through mud and your mind is on hold.
  • Weird physical feelings like joint pains, muscle pains, neck pain, period pain, headaches.
  • Anxiety, agitation, anger, paranoia, irritability, frustration, restlessness ~ over fuck all.
  • Loss of interest in everything, lack of energy, inability to do anything physical, up to and including masturbation.
  • Tiredness, lack of sleep, utter insomnia, nightmares, lack of awareness, inability to think straight.
  • Thoughts of suicide, threats of suicide, attempted suicide, and killing yourself.

These are but symptoms of depression, the proximate cause of which is most likely a chemical imbalance in the brain.  The good news is that most depressive illnesses are amenable to control through medication, such as an SSRI like Prozac.  The main thing is to take whatever medication you are prescribed.  The sad thing is many people don’t.

Some say that being depressed is like living life backwards.  And that depression is worse than being dead.  All I know is that saying ‘pull yourself together’ is most unhelpful.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

some say we should stop and smell the roses

 

The Tears I Cry

every day is a new beginning, take a deep breath and start again

Yesterday I fouled up again.  I wrote a post called It’s Too Bad That Love Is Blind, which was both a bit negative and quite misogynistic, and that is not the way I generally feel about the world these days.  I guess I was having a bad time yesterday.  You may already be aware that I have some very bad interludes in my quest to be a very cool guy living a really great life.

For years I suffered from an undiagnosed and untreated mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) ~ which really fucks up your life.  Now I have had a proper diagnosis, but have still had no treatment for this malady.  To a large extent that’s OK, I can walk a long way down the road to recovery using self-directed therapy, which actually means buggering-on and doing the best I can to do things that will help me to get better.  With the help of two very close friends I am much, much healthier in body, mind, and spirit than I used to be.

And wouldn’t you know that both of those very close friends are very remarkable women.

I quite firmly believe that without their help I wouldn’t be here today.  Some 10% of suffers of BPD commit suicide, (which is about 1,000 times more than in the average population), but far more succumb to accidents, alcohol and drug abuse, and general ill health caused by a poor diet and bad personal care.  A couple of years or so ago, before I was on the road to recovery, I managed to contract pleurisy, double pneumonia, and somewhere in there I also broke 5 ribs, (and I have no idea how that happened).  I believe I would have died without the help of those remarkable women.

One of the symptoms of BPD is extreme and rapid mood swings, and in my case my emotions veer between happiness and anger, (poor labels but they’re the best I have).  The extreme and uncontrollable emotions I suffer today are nowhere near as extreme and uncontrollable as they used to be, and the negative episodes are fewer and father between.  Yet, sometimes there are days I am so angry I could cry, for no good reason whatsoever.  I guess yesterday was one of those days.

The tears I cry are just as wet and painful as anyone else’s, and the emotions I feel are real.  However, these feelings occur for no good reason except that somewhere in my childhood Borderline Personality Disorder was hard-wired into my mind.

Some say that crying is cathartic.  And that there is nothing wrong with a grown man shedding a few tears.  All I know is that almost unbearable mental anguish will have my crying tears of frustration.  I also know that tomorrow will be a new day.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

after all, tomorrow is another day

 

It’s Too Bad That Love Is Blind

love is when everyone thinks you’re crazy, but you don’t care

True love, real love, love, admiration, infatuation, insane desire ~ what we call loves comes in a rainbow kaleidoscope of colours and carries along with it every emotion known to mankind and the Gods.  And some of those emotions can be powerful and hurtful; lust, jealousy, paranoia, despair, desire, depression, anger…..  Love isn’t always pink clouds and faerie princesses.  Sometimes love is a dark forest filled with dragons and wicked witches.

But you don’t ever choose who to love ~ love chooses you, and love is as fickle and dangerous as anything that ever came out of Pandora’s Box.  You might just see her smile, or the way she speaks, or the way she walks, and then you’re lost in love, ready and willing for her to turn your heart to burned ashes and your nights to dark introspective vigils of regret.

There are some circumstances that make long-term love almost impossible, for example; she is already married, she is married and is dating other guys as well as you, she lives half a world away from you, she’s a slut who will sleep with anyone and does, she has a very active on-line sex life, she is far too young or far too old for you, she has a serious problem like alcoholism or drug addiction, her dysfunctional family has first call on her time all the time, she sees you as a bank that’s always open, she works in the sex industry, she’s a thief, she is utterly incapable of feeling real love herself…..  It’s not that I have ever had a relationship that’s had those issues ~ not all of them at the same time anyway.

If you’re in a relationship with a woman who has even a couple of those relationship problems, then perhaps you’re in love with the wrong woman.  And, if you’re in love with the wrong woman, then maybe sometime or other you have to find a way to make it without her.  Or it could be that she has all or most of those issues, but she is still the right woman for you, and you know that you will go on loving her ~ no matter what.  In that case a man is setting off on a long dark hard road that maybe will never lead to a happy ending ~ just heartaches and eventual regrets.  But for the sake of all the Gods, never ask that woman to marry you ~ she might just say ‘Yes’.

Some say that true love conquers all.  And that if you really love her, then you should go on loving her, no matter what.  All I know is that it’s over when you say goodbye.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

a fabulous ass, great legs, and an erotic manicure doesn’t necessarily mean that she is the right woman for you

Tunes on Tuesday ~ Last Thing On My Mind

the hardest thing I’ll ever do is walk away still loving you

Breaking up when you’re still in love, but she probably isn’t, makes even very strong men cry.

I won’t say that’s ever happened to me.

Please listen responsibly.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

maybe I’ll live so long that I’ll forget her,

maybe I’ll die trying

 

%d bloggers like this: