the basic nature of a man is constructive, faithful, and trustworthy
If you have been following this blog, you will know that, over the past few years, circumstances, and my own stubborn nature, converged with my incipient depression to create a weird and unsustainable view of life for me. Not only that, I was also suffering from vicious, undiagnosed, and untreated Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), and that blessed me with paranoia and a morbid fear of abandonment.
Add those things together and what happened was that I became an agoraphobic, anti-social, celibate, friendless, psychotic recluse.
My door stayed locked, I seldom left my apartment, I avoided meeting people, the telephone remained unanswered, and I deleted unread any emails I received. Quite honestly, I may as well have been dead as to live that kind of non-life.
It took years, and I do mean years, for me to begin to break out of my self-made prison.
My escape started because I like to write, I wasn’t writing anything, and so I went to a writers’ group, met a few people, and even spoke to them without my being stabbed, attacked, denigrated….. And then I started to write this blog ~ and trust me to begin with it was terrible. Yet, an amazingly articulate woman in California found something that she liked in the way I wrote. And, as things happen, we became long-distance, online friends.
Those of you who have been in a long-distance relationship will know that it’s fraught with problems, and my friendship with this cool Californian woman is probably no better or worse than most relationships that started on-line. As you would expect from a guy with Borderline Personality Disorder in their background, I became obsessed with her, had unrealistic expectations, and did stupidly impulsive things. I was not constructive, reliable, nor trustworthy. None of that was helpful.
My good fortune is that I spent some time with a therapist, my doctor, and a psychiatrist. The general consensus of their opinion was that I had been suffering from BPD, but I was mostly recovered ~ at the time that was all news to me, (I even had to look up what the hell Borderline Personality Disorder was).
But, if I was mostly recovered I could start to live my life the way I wanted, and not the way a serious mental illness was telling me to exist.
Ergo, I am on a journey of self-awareness, self-discovery, self-development, and self-improvement. Now I mostly say and do what I think is right, and those that don’t like it can just feck off and have a nice day, and please don’t keep in touch. That new and more assertively honest attitude of mine has ruffled a few feathers ~ but I’m never going back to being that agoraphobic, anti-social, celibate, friendless, obsessive, psychotic recluse.
Maybe I need to find some new friends, and maybe I’ll be alone again for a while.
Some say that a friend in need is a friend indeed. And that you should choose your friends wisely. All I know is that I’d rather be alone than have fair-weather friends.
at least I have a friend in Marmaduke
and he’s always ready for anything
The young at heart will always find a friend in a teddy bear.
Marmaduke is my teddy bear. He has his own life, filled with adventures, daydreams, and really wild things. But, the boat has got to go.
It’s a grand life being a well-travelled teddy bear.
Never look to another to tell you who you really are.
A friend of mine has said that I need some form of mental health / spiritual counselling ~ suggesting to me that she thinks there’s something seriously wrong with the way I feel, think, act, and react to events and people. I guess she believes that I don’t feel, think, act, or react in ways that she likes when it comes to my friendship with her.
I thought about this a lot and very seriously. I am fully aware that I don’t follow normal rules of behaviour, especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships, and I also know there are, (at least), a couple of reasons for this.
Something happened to me deep in my early childhood, so far back that I don’t know exactly what happened to me when I was maybe 3 years old. But whatever happened had a very profound effect on me, sufficient to change my personality for my whole life. It’s complicated, but various mental-health types have said a couple of things; #1 I don’t have bipolar disorder, and #2 I may have had borderline personality disorder, but if I had I’ve recovered. Well, that’s helpful….. or not. The practical upshot of whatever happened when I was a young child is that I will not willingly accept advice, criticism, or chastisement. So what? That just puts me in line with 99% of the rest of the crazy people on this planet.
The second reason I don’t follow normal rules of behaviour is because I’m better than that. I’m enlightened, truthful, open, ethical, grounded, and fucking smart. And to be honest, with the exception of the people who follow me on this blog, that makes me a better man than anyone any of us is likely to meet in an average day.
So, I thought about this very carefully when it came to finding a therapist / counsellor / spiritual adviser….. and decided that wasn’t going to happen.
I’ve spent the greater part of the past 2, 3, or maybe 4 years trying to walk the warrior’s path. Trying to find out who I am, who I was, and who I wish to be. And now, after years of effort, I’m finally beginning to see some light.
It may just be a candle in a hurricane of hellish darkness, but that small light is me.
The little boy may have become a broken man, with a broken spirit and broken dreams, but today I can hold on and today I’m feeling strong. I know who I am, and I’m not a shadow or the man in the mirror anymore.
No over-qualified, well-intentioned, mental health wazzock is going to be given my permission to dip their dirty fingers into my soul. There is no chance of me attending therapy / counselling / psychotherapy. Not now, not next year, not ever.
It turns out that I know who I am, and I like who I am. And, those that don’t can fuck off. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, and please don’t keep in touch.
Some say that humility is the true key to success. And, that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. All I know is that I’ve tried humility and therapy, and all I got was insanity.
I have a new plan of action concerning my supposed need for counselling. I am happy to take no action whatsoever.
Marmaduke is as sick of misplaced and unwanted advice as I am.
Cooking and eating outdoors, in the open air, is far more relaxed and mindful than exactly the same meal prepared and eaten indoors.
It really is high summer, a time for long evenings, barbecues, and alfresco dining. Chill the wine and the beer, and prepare to be relaxed and happy. This week we are going to concentrate on salads and vegetables to go along with whatever meat or fish you have on the grill. Unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, or just like vegetables, in which case a lot of these recipes will make a complete meal for you.
Personally, I just love salads.
From San Diego cook Averie Sunshine we have this dish of grilled vegetables with smoky honey mustard dipping sauce ~ looks fabulous. Averie says this recipe is easy ~ ready in 5 minutes ~ healthy and there’s zero cleanup. Grilling vegetables is so very good.
Grilled Vegetables with Smoky Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
The Bojon Gourmet has a very elegant looking dish, a summer vegan green goddess salad ~ avocado, crispy lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, seeds and a cashew herb dressing. I think this salad looks interesting, different, tasty, and refreshing. I also think that most of us could add our own little interesting twist to this recipe.
Summer Vegan Green Goddess Salad
The cool and together Jessica at How Sweet Eats has published a recipe for a 20 minute Thai avocado salad, and you have to admit this looks fantastic, filled with taste and texture. I guess it’s 20 minutes if you can use a chef’s knife.
20 Minute Thai Avocado Salad
Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found for us this dish by Summer Miller; lentil salad with summer vegetables. This should take you 35 minutes to make, and is a brilliant side dish, or as a light lunch. Make a lot and take some to work the following day.
Lentil Salad with Summer Vegetables
Heather Christo has a different kind of recipe for a warm summer afternoon, this tomato peach and avocado salad with cilantro vinaigrette. Heather says that this is a beautifully simple 30 minute salad that will totally blow your socks off. I tend to agree. Nice to take to work for lunch too.
Tomato Peach and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
I very much like the recipes from Cookie + Kate, and this one is no exception. Anyway, what’s not to like about colourful strawberry arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette?
Colourful Strawberry Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Lastly for this week, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have 15 quick and easy vegetable side dishes. This cool collection includes this 25 minute recipe for baked Parmesan mushrooms ~ I love baked mushrooms. Actually I often like side dishes and appetisers better than the entrée.
Baked Parmesan Mushrooms
Marmaduke also likes salads
Life has many ways of testing a man’s will and inner strength.
Yesterday I joined a different gym here in my little seaside town. I had not been regularly using the ‘old gym’, and they had increased their prices. Often the walk there, around the marina, was so interesting and distracting that I never made the gym at all.
I’m pretty surprised that I just went ahead and joined a new gym, without hesitation, procrastination, or much thinking about it. But then, since my recent vacation in Turkey, I’m a changed man. In Turkey I had a bit of an epiphany.
I know that I’m now venturing on yet another important evolutionary step on the warrior’s path to discover what I am truly capable of, and I have come to know that I have an immense inner strength. Part of my journey along the warrior’s path is knowing what this inner strength and power is, and how I can use it, for the greater good, in my daily existence.
You have power over your mind ~ not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength. ~ Marcus Aurelius
My goal is to unearth and understand this power and strength from the depths of my subconscious mind, my heart, and my soul. I have something to say and I need to learn how to say it. Perhaps I need to break away from traditional approaches and practices and accept that I am now a unique individual that deserves to receive more recognition and respect for who I have worked so hard to become.
As I was taking my leave from the new friends I had made on vacation, a very together lady said to me that; ‘You are a very different kind of man from most…..’ She said that and more in a very caring way.
However, right now I still do not feel as fully in charge of my own destiny as I could be. I know that I need a clearer vision of what lies ahead of me. I need to work towards more balance, acceptance, understanding. I need courage. I need to use my new-found self-awareness, self-confidence, inspiration and motivation. And, I need to eliminate negative energies and negative people from my life.
I know, trust, and believe that I am capable of forging my own path, that I have a manifest destiny to reach, a destiny that is not intended for anyone else, at least for no one who cannot share my vision, needs, wants, dreams, and desires.
It is time to explore my dreams and to experiment with the strength and power I suddenly possess. I need to become connected with who I really am, and I need to better connect with those I care for. I want and need to become the real Renaissance Man that some have thought I have always been. Until now I believe that I have always fallen short of that ideal.
Some say that we take for granted those things that are most deserving of our attention. And, that most people never show up for their Appointment with Life. All I know is that Real Life is what happens to you while you are busy making pointless plans.
Marmaduke likes to sunbathe on one of the historic ships moored in the marina
’tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
There seems to be a problem with a relationship I’m having with a woman who is very important to me.
In the end it has come down to those two perennial issues; money and sex.
But, this relationship was always about just how much money I was prepared to spend ~ and just how little I was prepared to accept in return. Now it’s about a $25,000 car…..
You’d think a mature man such as I would have seen this from the start ~ truth be told I did, but perhaps I just wasn’t prepared to accept the painful reality it.
You Think A Man Would Know
Perhaps things will turn out well after all.
or maybe Marmaduke and I will hit the road again
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the lunatic prisoner was you. ~ Louis B. Smedes.
There has never been much forgiveness in my life, and mostly I have been very unforgiving of myself. I expect to cope, whatever happens, and be a high achiever. At times I can act like a lunatic.
This has led me into a very disruptive pattern in my life. A pattern which others can often recognise better than I can. These words of advice were sent to me a couple of days ago, by a very good friend. This is how she describes my life.
- High on Life …… very optimistic….. on top of the world.
- Sexual buzz is strong.
- I forget all the things that were said when I tried to confront past problems and issues
- Minor irritation sets in when I don’t feel appreciated. I become resentful and mistrustful.
- I start looking for the hidden dark meaning in things said, or not said. Become more distrustful, and often angry ~ often very angry with myself.
- Get totally pissed-off when feelings, emotions, and thoughts that have no basis in truth fill my mind. Start to apply twisted logic to situations and conversations.
- Voices in my mind tell me to escape, say ‘Fuck It All’, and then I will have a drink or 10.
- Go missing from the world for days at a time, during which something very bad will happen.
That’s been the pattern of my life for a very long time. I need to recognise it, and cut it off at the neck when the darker, depressive thoughts begin.
I agree with my friend that I need to try to live with inner peace, mindfulness, and serenity.
Escaping into booze is no solution.
Marmaduke lives very peacefully
Everything in Life I share with her,
except of course my teddy bear.
He’s my best friend ~ apart from a girl.
Life is out there waiting for you, so show up.
better, smarter, stronger
collaborate, persevere, longer
wanting, needing, dreaming, deeper
close friend, partner, motivator, supporter
purpose, planning, decisions, actions, deliver
balance, harmony, confidence, calm, peace, living
so lonely and alone no longer
just a solitary traveller, meditating