Tag Archives: interpersonal relationships

Road Trip

some beautiful roads can’t be discovered without getting lost

As my Christmas vacation plans are totally screwed, I may take a long road trip instead.

And, when in the USA, I do like to rent a Mustang.

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Or a Jaguar

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Of course, in Europe I prefer something smaller

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

what I really need as well as a cool car

is a fabulous travelling companion

I Don’t Know Everything

if you aim to be perfect you will disappoint everyone

For me to say ‘I don’t know’ is a big thing, it takes guts on my part, but I know it’s an immensely positive thing and a clear sign that I am taking the world very seriously and myself not so much.  Sometimes knowing when I don’t know all the answers, and being honest about it, is the best thing I can do to honour those I care for.  I aim t be perfect, and because of that people end up being disappointed.  Yet, when I admit my blind spots, people flock to support me.

I know that some act as if they know what to do when, in reality, they are hopelessly out of their depth.  They try to project confidence in what they are doing or saying, when what they really need is a lot of help.

As it goes that’s not me.  Most of the time I have most of the answers.  If I was in Orange County and there was a big earthquake I would know exactly what to do, despite my never having been in an earthquake before.  If I were on a cruise and the ship caught on fire I would know what to do, or if I was in a plane crash I would know what to do to survive and thrive.  The thing is there are not so many options and not so many courses of action.

It gets more complicated when it comes to interpersonal relationships.  Yes, I know what to do, but usually I am reluctant to do it because I’m a nice guy.  When events challenge me it is tempting to fight back and hold firm to my ethics and morals, what I say I believe in.  But, I am reluctant to walk away and tell a wayward person to fuck off and never speak to me again.

Life is unpredictable and uncertain.  And I know that I can never be right all the time.  Sometimes the best thing I can do is chill, step back, and admit this is one time I don’t have all the answers.  Sometimes there is no benefit in my being stubborn, judgemental, and closed-minded.  Successful men are flexible, adaptable, and open to the ideas of others.  Really successful men know when to ask for help.

Some say that only the weak will admit they were wrong.  And that the only mistake Canute made was to try to hold back the sea on a rising tide.  All I know is that when I try to be perfect I disappoint everyone.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures have bugger-all to do with the text

except they’re women trying to be perfect

 

I Should Laugh More

a day without a laugh is a day wasted ~ Charlie Chaplin

I was talking with a friend, having a pretty nice time, when I suddenly realised that we hadn’t laughed at all during our conversation.  Then I looked back at myself and came to the even bigger realisation that I don’t laugh much any more.  OK, I have my fair share of problems, and a serious mental health issue called Borderline Personality Disorder, but that’s not a good reason to be miserable all the time.

Lots of studies on the effects of laughter have revealed all kinds of health benefits, from lower blood pressure, reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, the release of happiness-creating endorphins, and increased levels of the antibodies that fight nasty bacteria, respiratory infections, and the onset of cancers.  Laughing also burns calories.  There are no health benefits whatsoever in not laughing.

Laughter is infectious, as is being happy.  People are naturally drawn to those who are happier and more positive than others.

Laughter connects you with people.  It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter.  Laughter is a force for better interpersonal relationships.  ~  John Cleese

For me to laugh more, I need to;

  • First of all smile more, and a natural smile not a strange grimace.
  • Smile when listening to other people speak.
  • Learn to be relaxed and positive with other people.
  • Act positively, even if that’s not how I feel inside.
  • Look for funny and entertaining breaks from my normal daily routine.
  • Watch comedy on TV, read classic comedic books such as Three Men in a Boat.
  • Work out what it is that drains my happiness and makes me feel miserable.
  • Avoid miserable, negative, unhappy, and toxic people.

However, as a mature Englishman I can tell you that we don’t go around laughing at every small thing, and certainly we never laugh at other people ~ that’s nasty.  I can laugh with someone, but I can’t laugh at them.  Also, the things that other cultures find funny, we don’t.  And visa versa, few understand English humour, especially our love of irony.

On the other hand, being positive, happy,  and seeing the funny side of my own misfortunes is something that I can do.  Especially as I know that good humour and laughter is good for you, and it makes you more popular too.

Some say that it’s great to laugh at the misfortunes of a fool.  And that denigrating someone else is the height of fun.  All I know is that being cruel is never funny.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Frost Moon

also called Beaver Moon, the November full moon shone yesterday

The November 12th / 13th full moon is a dream moon, and has the power to bring your intimate relationships into sharper focus.  Opposing forces such as work versus home, or what you want versus what you really need, or the state of your romantic affairs, will be shown in any dream you can remember.  If your dreams give any insight, then understanding and communicating your feelings with clarity and sensitivity will become possible through strong intuition ~ if you have courage and fortitude.

This is a time of incredible emotional opportunities, but also a time when struggles in relationships might lead into wrong and misunderstood conversations, and thus the ending of things with a once-loved one.  A lot of tenderness, hard work, and patience will be needed to overcome conflicts, differences of opinion, and pointless arguments.  If handled correctly and logically, with self-discipline and diplomacy, the turmoil will just blow over and you will receive the rewards you deserve for your hard work and efforts.

If you believe at all in the effects of the full moon on your affairs, and if you can interpret your own dreams, then you may also believe in other mystical and spiritual practices such as astrology, numerology, and the tarot.  Well, in astrology the key signs for this full moon are that it’s in Scorpio and the opposing sign is Taurus.  In numerology this full moon falls just after 11:11.  And as for the tarot, you would need to have a personal reading.

For me, this is a time to make some important choices as far as intimate relationships are concerned, but before I can resolve anything, I first of all need to deal with some conflicts, negative emotions, and ghosts from the past.  These echoes of the past are not just mine, but are also carried by some others I am close to.  But the past can only hurt you if you let it.  To make things work I know that I will have to do whatever it takes, without reservation, and without allowing my chaotic, dark, uncontrollable, negative emotions to get in the way.

Some say that spirituality, mysticism, and religion are all just bunkum.  And that unless you can see and touch something it doesn’t exist.  All I know is that there are powers greater than me in this cosmos.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

don’t let this full moon trap you in the prison of your own negative emotions.

 

Controlling Emotions

the emotion that breaks your heart is often the one that heals it

Most of us would like to control our emotions in order to avoid very negative feelings and make life more pleasant, but in my experience this is not actually possible.  In fact, when we try to control our emotions they become more powerful, but if we don’t try to control them and just experience them instead they become powerless.  The paradox is that when we attempt to control a negative emotion by attempting to change it or escape it, the negative emotion controls us instead.

Last evening I had an example of this when something happened that had me feeling angry, inadequate, worthless, and upset ~ basically I felt bad.  I didn’t want to have those negative feelings, and I tried to avoid them by transferring them to someone else instead.  And that doesn’t work because all that did was have two people feeling feeling angry, inadequate, worthless, and upset.  Then I thought about avoiding those feelings by buying some booze and drinking ~ and for me that is an extremely bad idea.  The most extreme way of avoiding negative emotions is to attempt suicide.

I didn’t want to do any of those things, but the desire to escape negative emotions is strong in me.  For a short while my negative emotions were controlling me.

The alternative is to observe and experience negative emotions without getting lost in them.

I may not be able to control my emotions, but if I try hard I can control how I react to them.  I can’t change how I feel, but I can change what I do.  Last evening I was half successful because I didn’t actually buy any booze and get drunk, and after a short while I stopped blaming someone else for what was basically my own mistake.  I have learned that if I feel bad, angry, inadequate, worthless, and upset, it’s usually because of something I’ve done.  And anyway, my feelings are my feelings, and I shouldn’t be afraid of them.

For me, the secrets of coping with really negative feelings are;

  • Do not immediately react when I suddenly have strong, uncontrollable, chaotic, dark, negative feelings.
  • Recognise the emotions and try to work out why I’m feeling what I’m feeling.  And usually it’s much more complicated than it first appears.
  • Try to stay calm, even if inside I’m feeling uncontrollably angry.  Just realise that in a while the anger will most likely pass, and if I do something stupid now I might regret it for a long time.
  • Try to find a polite, logical, unemotional action in response to feelings which are utterly the opposite to anything polite or logical.

Some say that we shouldn’t get angry we should get even.  And that we should never apologise because it’s a sign of weakness.  All I know is that if I just react to the way I feel I usually get myself into deep shit.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

this is a good rule

when it comes to negative emotions

 

Gratitude

let us be grateful to the people who make our souls blossom

One of the most powerful emotional exercises I have ever been shown was to be grateful to those who have nurtured me, been kind to me, and had a positive impact on my life.  Practicing it was one of the few times in recent years that I felt floods of tears running down my face.

Being thankful and grateful is good for your spiritual, emotional, and mental health.  Those who exhibit higher levels of gratitude have better quality sleep, more positive moods, and less symptoms of possible cancers.  People who have a more thankful disposition are more optimistic, kinder, and make friends easier.

Unfortunately, in recent months I found it easier to see faults than find cause for thanks.  I lost sight of the bigger picture and focused on inconvenient and irrelevant details.  Focusing how miserable parts of my life were, I lost the ability to be thankful for what I have.  I had unrealistic expectations of what I thought I was entitled to, and so I was judgemental and complaining rather than kind, thankful, and friendly.

I had to change.  I couldn’t spend all my life feeling down at heel, trapped behind walls of my own making.  And then I remembered that if I wished to stand out and be successful I needed to be simply grateful and demonstrate sincere thanks.

What I needed was a complete shift in outlook, I needed to live with a positive mindset, be a glass half-full kind of man, always looking to be thankful for what I had, rather than complaining about what I didn’t have.  I needed to find things to give thanks for.  I needed to put gratitude and thanks ahead of criticism.  Graceful and empathic men  find it effortless to be a gentleman, to show gratitude to others, and never needlessly criticise other people and their actions.

If I thought about it, there is a hell of a lot I should be grateful for in my life.  So, in the past days I have begun to consciously show my thanks and gratitude, not just in words, but in deeds too.  Not only that, but I have started to feel grateful, even when there is nobody around to see.  You can judge the true character of  a man by what they do when nobody is around.

Some say that being grateful is a sign of weakness.  And there is no need to say ‘thank you’ if we simply get what we have a right to.  All I know is that there are people in my life I should be grateful for.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I can be grateful for every new dawn I see.

Tunes on Tuesday ~ Maneater

a ruined man fell from her hands like a ripe fruit

I used to know a woman like that.  I’m glad I don’t any more.

Please listen responsibly.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I don’t love you, I’m just bored

Did You See Lisa?

the most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or touched

Back in the day, when I was an insanely overpaid guy in international finance, I guess I had one friend.  This was his favourite song.

Neither of us had ever known a Lisa, nor ever hoped to meet a woman by that name.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

this was our imaginary Lisa

Emotional Pain

we should think twice before we burn everything behind us

I suffer from a debilitating and high risk mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), which often produces a lot of emotional suffering accompanied with an inability to live anything like a normal life.  Sometimes my mind feels like an abandoned building.

However, there is an odd characteristic about BPD in that suffers will often say that they either feel everything or nothing at all.  What I do know is that before today I was feeling emotionally hurt and vulnerable.

People with BPD have an exquisite vulnerability to emotions, and this susceptibility is hardwired.  ~  Shari Y. Manning, Ph.D

In the past week I have had some difficult days filled with jealousy, paranoia, and anger.  Those negative feelings do me no good at all, and when I am in that state I say and do things I later regret.  I make stupid, impulsive, and irrational decisions.  I say hurtful truths to others and feel immediate remorse.  I upset people I care for, get drunk, and think about just ending it all.  The dark side of me seeks to punish myself and everyone else.  My thoughts and perceptions become extreme, it’s black and white thinking, or what the psychiatrists call splitting.  And all of it hurts.

The pain and suffering that comes from something like Borderline Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder happens suddenly.  The pain and suffering affects every aspect of the identity; physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  And the chaos and pain can go on, and on, and on ~ until something happens that allows some beginnings of recovery.  For some recovery begins with a proper diagnosis, treatment, and medication.  For me recovery began with admitting that I was truly ill, and then learning all I could about Borderline Personality Disorder.  For me, real recovery began with the courage to accept the mental, emotional, and spiritual pain and then decide that I don’t have to live like that anymore.

For most, the greatest pain is emotional ~ and I mean intense emotions such as anger, jealousy, regret, remorse, and hopelessness.  The mental pain experienced by those with Borderline Personality Disorder is very specific and different from the anguish suffered by those with a depressive disorder.  But there is one other mystery about BPD, it also produces high levels of physical pain, and yet the pain of self-harm is never felt at all.  This is probably due to dissociation, the shutting down of parts of the brain due to intense stress.

This is why those who suffer from intense emotional pain also self-harm ~ the physical pain they inflict upon themselves helps to negate their intense emotional suffering

Some say that Borderline Personality Disorder is an illness that revolves around pain.  And that emotional outbursts seem to come out of nowhere.  All I know is that in accepting the pain I can begin the hard work of real recovery.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

at the end of the day

even the best booze doesn’t help

 

Recovery and Addiction

I understood myself only after I destroyed myself

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Psychiatrists tell us that there are 10 different types of personality disorder, and that suffers do not necessarily cleanly fit into just one category.  They also tell us that there is a remarkable overlap between those diagnosed with a personality disorder and those who also display one or more addictive behaviours.

I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), and around 80% of those diagnosed with BPD also have substance abuse disorders; the most common being alcoholism, followed by addiction to cocaine, opiates, prescription drugs, and marijuana.  Suffers from BPD are also likely to have other addictions such as being dangerously promiscuous and / or have gambling issues.  In my case I spent several years as a near-alcoholic.

Any addictive behaviour, particularly booze or drugs, by those suffering from a personality disorder just makes everything much, much worse.  Lives become more difficult, they become totally unresponsive to treatment, they become violent, and will threaten, attempt, or actually commit suicide.  Around 10% of those diagnosed with BPD commit suicide, which is 1,000 times more than in the general population.

Therefore, in order to recover from Borderline Personality Disorder, (or any other personality disorder), the first prerequisite is to cease and desist from any addictive behaviours.  In my case this means just don’t drink, stay sober, never touch booze.  This never, ever means that someone in recovery can have one or two drinks, or smoke the occasional joint, or go to Vegas once in a while.  Stopping means just that, stopping completely, forever, just one day at a time.

Sadly, the success rate for those attempting to recover from alcoholism, substance abuse, or any other addiction, is very low.  More than half of all those who want to stop drinking will relapse within 3 months, more than half will die from booze, the side-effects of booze, accidents, or suicide.  (Some say that 100% of those who don’t stop drinking or using will die from their addiction, its side-effects, or suicide.  From personal experience I agree with that.)

There are a few rules to follow to stop drinking, using, or other addiction;

  • stop being friends with people who you used to drink with, use with, have sex with, gamble with
  • stay away from bars and other places where you used to drink or use, or whatever
  • never, ever take the first drink, joint, pill, or whatever your addiction of choice
  • do not get lonely, angry, hungry, or tired
  • change your routines completely
  • live one day at a time

Some say that the survival instinct is overwhelmed by the addiction.  And that once an addict always an addict.  All I know is that if I drink I will suffer very bad things

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

recovery means staying out of bars

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