you reach the end of day
just wishing you could fly away
from people, places and possessions
but as happens with all commitments
you can find yourself caught in such a trap
you get so used to it you can’t find your way back
just assert yourself and hope they won’t all desert you
you know when you are not yourself every day just hurts
I’ve been awol for a while. Sorry about that. I’ll be back soon.
Meantime he’re a song I’ve been playing.
solitary hopefulness in the midst of blackness
do not condemn me to Stygian darkness
lonely abandonment in unhappiness
shine over me with watchfulness
care for me in mindfulness
lift my hopelessness
my shining star
words and pictures by jack collier
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.
captive in a locked mind
camera behind locked doors
the empty vodka bottle is unkind
imagination’s running distant shores
inhabited in gloom and blackness defined
Marijuana is addictive. Marijuana eases pain.
Among all the alternative truths, fake news, denial, and propaganda aimed at the legalisation of cannabis / pot / marijuana are a couple of recent reports by ‘real scientists and doctors’ which clearly show that marijuana is quite likely to ruin your health, destroy your quality of life, and quite possibly kill you.
The first report compiled by the National Inpatient Study in the USA shows that marijuana use significantly increases your risk of suffering a stroke and / or heart failure, as well as exacerbating some other factors known to increase significantly cardiovascular disease including; obesity, alcoholism, high blood pressure, and smoking tobacco.
Meanwhile, a report by the Institute of Living in Connecticut, clearly shows that marijuana use makes young people stupid ~ especially when combined with booze. Of the people I know who use marijuana, ALL of them are also heavy drinkers, bordering on alcoholism. Honestly, I do not ever want to be around anyone who uses this stupid drug for recreational reasons.
Also in the USA, Narconon states that marijuana use significantly increases the risk of road traffic accidents, accidents in the home and workplace, psychosis, and schizophrenia. In fact, the chances are than anyone you know who suffers from schizophrenia has been a heavy user of marijuana at some time in their lives.
It’s well know that marijuana makes people have mental time and space distortions, poor coordination, impaired communication skills, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and terrible cognitive skills. The effects of the drug can last up to four weeks, so anyone who has used marijuana in the last four weeks shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the need to make important decisions. Anyone who has made an important decision within four weeks of using cannabis should seriously think again.
Despite what the proponents of marijuana use might say, marijuana is addictive. One in 11 people who smoke cannabis will become addicted, rising to one in six if marijuana use starts in adolescence. However, addiction is a complex problem, with multiple addictions being the most common way that lives are destroyed. Any regular user of marijuana probably also drinks, smokes tobacco, gambles, binge eats, and is most likely addicted to all of those life-destroying habits and more. There is a strong chance that anyone with multiple addictions / an addictive personality, is also suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, and should seek immediate medical treatment. (This is unlikely because most who are addicted, or suffer from borderline personality disorder, will be in the last stages of denial.)
Other downsides of cannabis use; it stinks worse than tobacco, causes lung cancer and other cancers just like tobacco, can cost you a fortune, and used anywhere that it’s illegal or against workplace regulations can land you in serious trouble. Using marijuana isn’t cool in any way, shape, or form, because it makes you talk and act like a deranged fool.
However, in the USA this addictive drug is now legal for recreational use in; Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Washington DC ~ mostly left-leaning Democrat states. Cannabis is still illegal in Great Britain, but the police take so little notice that you’d have to be growing and selling the stuff in industrial quantities to get into any trouble from the law. Urban left-leaning liberals are very keen to have pot legalised in the United Kingdom ~ the fools.
There is some strong evidence that the medicinal use of marijuana can alleviate the symptoms of some very nasty diseases, mostly reducing nausea and pain, but the medical effects have not been properly tested in the way that a new, mainstream drug would be tested before being allowed anywhere near patients.
Using marijuana is incredibly stupid. Personally, I think you would have to be seriously loose of a few screws in the brain to go anywhere near this noxious weed. Personally, I have enough problems without ever going anywhere near cannabis or a cannabis user. Unless I was in severe pain, and the weed was the only way I could get through the day.
Have fun, smoke cannabis, and cure or kill yourself. Have a nice day.
moderation, moral courage, self-denial, self-discipline
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and comes 46 days before Easter. Since Easter itself is a movable feast, Ash Wednesday can happen on any Wednesday from February 4th to March 10th. Ash Wednesday is really a Pagan festival, having only been adopted by the Christian Church in 325 AD by Constantine the Great. (Although almost all Christians will deny it, most, if not all Christian Festivals are built on the back of festivals from other and older religions, civilisations, and cultures.)
Lent and Easter is a long festival of Spring ~ in fact the modern English words Lent and Lenten derive from the Old English word Lencten, which means Spring. As it happens, even the English word Easter derives from the Goddess Oestar / Ostara / Éostre, the Pagan Goddess of Spring, (one of them).
Which begs a couple of questions. Firstly, when does spring begin? Conventionally, in the Northern Hemisphere, in England in particular, Spring starts at the vernal equinox, or on the night of March 20th / 21st. Stonehenge and similar ancient monuments were set up to predict and confirm these astronomical events. And secondly, what does Lent have to do with Spring? And I believe the answer to that is in ancient times the end of winter, coming up to Springtime at the vernal equinox, was a time of hunger, starvation, and hard work preparing the land for spring planting. Ergo, in ancient times people would fast during what is modern Lent, not out of choice, but of absolute necessity.
The deeper one goes into the rituals, superstitions, and deities of these old cultures the more connected to the seasons everything seems to be. Persephone, the beautiful Greek Goddess of Spring, (Roman Proserpina), was also the Goddess of Death and the Underworld. That makes perfect sense because the end of winter, when the food was running out and the weather was bad, would be when the old, young, and infirm were very likely to die.
So, Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, the time leading up to Spring, makes perfect sense when looked at from the point of view of our ancestors. It’s not really time for a festival, carnival, or feasting ~ it’s more a time of self-denial and self-discipline.
It all makes sense in terms of the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha too. The end of winter is a time of pain and suffering. Indulging our wants, desires, and lusts just makes everything worse. The road to freedom from suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit. The way to get through those hard days at the end of winter would have been through self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit.
So starting today, what am I giving up for the 46 days of Lent? It’s going to be something difficult. Starting today I will not take impulsive and negative actions when I have negative thoughts and feelings like; anger, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety, or fears of abandonment ~ all those old symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder. I know that I will have those negative feelings, I just won’t let them get to me.
Maybe I should have decided to give up chocolate instead ~ I’ve already given up booze.
Maybe I’ll just lock myself in the garret for Lent.
unease, self-doubt, nervousness, panic, desertion, neglect…
From time to time I suffer from deep emotional insecurity and feelings of abandonment, or rather a fear of abandonment. Perhaps most people have these painful fears ~ perhaps some suffer more, and more often than me. I know that my agitation and gloomy emotions stem from the painful loss of my maternal grandmother when I was but a very young boy. An event that left me with a psychological illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, which has at its core a chronic fear of abandonment.
Since I became aware that I actually had this problem, I’ve been able to cope with the symptoms pretty well, and I’ve been improving all the time. Mostly I don’t fear abandonment, betrayal, and rejection any more. Mostly I don’t have what were my other terrible symptoms, which included alcohol abuse, impulsive behaviours, and stupid jealousy.
However, yesterday I was in a terrible slough of despond ~ the putrid end of the swamp where the very air stinks and there seems to be no hope of escape or resurrection. It’s a terrible place to be. People who suffer badly from these feelings and evil emotions have been known to do very stupid things ~ up to and including thinking of suicide, or even attempting suicide
I guess I am a lucky man today, because I have learned how to deal with my feelings in a better and more appropriate way than I ever could before. Not only that, I know exactly why I found myself in this bad emotional state yesterday. Knowing why one feels bad is half the battle. I now know that it’s always darkest just before the dawn, but the dawn will come, all I need to do is have faith and hold on. Now I have a strong faith in my guiding light, my muse, and my Goddess.
A little while ago I sprained my wrist, which actually hurt like hell. And, for some unknown reason, when I woke up yesterday morning it hurt even worse that it did when I first sprained it. My whole arm hurt so bad I felt physically sick. You can trust me on this one ~ when you’re in physical pain, and you feel ill to the point of needing to throw up, it’s very difficult to maintain a positive mental attitude. No wonder I felt a terrible insecurity, loneliness, and fear of abandonment.
Luckily I knew that what I needed to do was have the physical problem treated, and the emotional problems would also go away. Actually, just knowing that the underlying cause of my distress was physically real and affecting my body, meant that the deep feelings of insecurity and fear of abandonment subsided pretty quickly.
Many people aren’t so fortunate as me, but they should know that there are ways of dealing with insecurity, anger, and jealousy ~ there are techniques for dealing with fear of abandonment, and there are treatments for borderline personality disorder. We don’t have to suffer, unless we want to, and that’s a perverse thing to want.
Have confidence, this is a good life, all we need to do is want it enough.
There Is A Sunlit Garden Just Ahead.
For almost as long as I can remember, and I can remember a long, long way back, I have felt odd, weird, strange, different, unhappy. I used to suffer from extreme mood swings, I had a morbid fear of abandonment, every relationship I’d ever had was dysfunctional, I would isolate myself for long periods, and I could do strange and ‘dangerous’ things on just a whim. Not to mention that I took to relieving the anxiety and stress I suffered from by self-medicating with too much booze.
In short, I had just about every symptom there is of a quite serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder. Of course, I didn’t know I had BPD, well mostly you don’t, why would you? How can you self-diagnose BPD, when you haven’t even heard of it? Anyway, I thought perhaps I was bipolar ~ I wasn’t.
My awareness came because I want to see a counsellor about my alcohol problem. Over several months Sue got to know me quite well. She didn’t say that I had Borderline Personality Disorder, she mentioned a book to me, a book called I Hate You, Don’t Leave Me, which just about summed up the way I used to feel about every woman I’d ever had a relationship with.
I was prompted to take on-line tests for Borderline Personality Disorder to see if there was a real likelihood that I was suffering from this horrible psychological illness. Each and every time I came out at the red end of the scale. I fully accepted and embraced these results. This was the beginning of my recovery. When I knew and fully accepted what was wrong with me I could start to heal myself ~ with the help of others.
My problem probably started at birth, (many psychological problems seem to start at birth). I was small, premature, separated from my mother, and placed in an incubator for many days, (so I’m told). I never, ever bonded with mt mother. I did bond with my maternal grandmother, and never understood or got over her death when I was about four-and-three-quarters years old.
A major part of my recovery was recognising these early trauma. Eventually, I wrote a letter to myself, aged four-and-three-quarters, and that was a very traumatic and very healing process.
Being very honest and open with my counsellor, my doctor, and a trusted friend helped me enormously. My doctor even arranged for me to see a psychiatrist, a specialist in BPD. After three long and gruelling assessments this guy said that I had been suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, but that I had mostly cured myself. Well, thanks very much for that vote of confidence. (A little English irony there.)
How did I manage this remarkable recovery?
- I fully accepted that I had a problem, and that it was most likely Borderline Personality Disorder.
- I fully accepted that booze wasn’t helping, and I stopped drinking, got sober, and became completely abstinent from alcohol.
- I fully embraced honesty in all my dealings, being determined to always tell the whole truth to myself and to others, (when I needed to tell others anything at all that is, which isn’t all the time).
- I did not take any mood altering drugs, neither prescription drugs nor street drugs. Obviously my doctors offered me everything, starting with Prozac.
- I got physically fit. (Mens sano in corpore sano. ~ Juvenal)
- I continued with formal counselling, from professional therapists, and with informal counselling from a trusted and knowledgeable friend.
- I embraced self-help techniques from getting lots of fresh air, to meditation, to reading appropriate inspirational books. (I did not use inspirational videos, or group therapy, and I never will.)
- I became completely willing to recover from the debilitating, life ruining, destructive symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder.
- I looked at my past in an honest, open, and dispassionate way. I learned from my past, but I did not go back there, and I didn’t let it hurt me again.
- I learned to to completely accept, understand, care for, cherish, and love other people ~ no matter what.
And things got better. My life got much better, my relationships with others improved. I was sleeping well. I felt fit, strong, and healthy in body, mind, and spirit. And I felt empty inside. I felt imprisoned in the dark and forbidding fortress of my own mind. All was not well, and even though a psychiatrist and professional counsellors were telling me that I had made a remarkable recovery, changing my whole life and attitudes around, I felt unfulfilled and empty inside.
It seems that what I needed was an awakening of spirit, an epiphany, an understanding of life’s ultimate questions as they applied to me. Then, and strangely, out of nowhere, I had a spiritual awakening. Suddenly I was filled with genuine self-belief and a vision of the future for me.
I will not tell you how it happened, or exactly what happened, or why I am now a completely different and much better man than I could ever have hoped to become. You need to find your own spiritual awakening, and I strongly believe that each man and woman’s connection with ultimate reality will be different, personal, powerful, special, and moving.
I can tell you that I now understand The Divine Mother, my place in the Cosmos, and how to completely love and accept other people.
Alcoholics Anonymous, and other proponents of 12 step recovery programmes probably have it right. The first step to recovery is fully accepting that you have a problem
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol ~ that our lives had become unmanageable. ~ Alcoholics Anonymous
I substituted ‘feelings’ for the word ‘alcohol’ because that was the problem making my life a complete Hell, and I had the first step on the long road to recovery.
I admitted I was powerless over my feelings ~ that my life had become unmanageable.
There is a road to recovery, and it begins with admitting we are ill.
these opinions are mine and mine alone
Borderline Personality Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
For a while I’ve known that I suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. I had more than enough of the critical symptoms to convince me of that. My emotions have always been powerful and quick to change. I have always had an unnatural fear of abandonment. I am prone to very risky actions based on the thinnest possible evidence. I have, from time to time, totally abused alcohol.
The first thing that really convinced me I had BPD was that I took several of the on-line self- tests for male BPD. Every single time my score was right at the red end of the scale.
The real clincher was that I was assessed by a proper psychiatrist, who agreed that I had BPD, but that I’d mostly cured myself of it. Thanks for that.
What never entered my mind until today is the very, very, strong link existing between Borderline Personality Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Well, now I’m totally convinced that I have at least a little bit of an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
As some do, I was thouroughly cleaning my apartment, (which I call the garret), and that meant moving all the furniture and stuff. When the time came to put everything back I just couldn’t seem to get things back into their proper places, and before I knew where I was I had the tape measures, ruler, and tri-square out and was measuring and lining up to the eighth of an inch.
Who measures the positions of their furniture and rugs? It seems I do. Worse than that, I also had to have my coffee table book at exactly 45 degrees ~ to make it look sufficiently randomly placed.
As I said, weird. No worries. I’ve taken plenty of photographs, so it should be a lot easier next time.