every man must face his own secret sorrows
the lonely sea and the sky
Normal life is a thing of the past for many of us. Here in England we are in the middle of yet another lockdown. We can’t go anywhere, meet with our friends, enjoy a meal out, or even go to the pub because they’re all shut. In fact, the official guidelines are that we should stay at home unless going out is absolutely essential ~ such as a trip to the doctor, pharmacy, or to buy groceries. It’s the middle of autumn here, it’s turning colder, and yet we are not even supposed to be able to buy a warm jacket or sweater.
The rules and regulations are enforced with varying degrees of enthusiasm by the police, (depending on where you live), neighbour is spying upon neighbour, and supermarkets have grown a crop of security guards to enforce the social distancing and face-mask rules. It’s turned into a Kafkaesque version of 1984. It’s got so that a lot of us English are spending a lot of time alone, locked up in our own homes, solitary.
Being alone for an extended period isn’t necessarily a good thing. Few enjoy solitary confinement, because that’s what lockdown means for many, many people. Days, weeks, and months alone with very little to do can prey upon the mind, make grown men brood and ponder their own inadequacies, make a man face his own secret sorrows and regrets. The ghosts of the past come crowding in, snuffing out the future.
Some feel like throwing it all away, sales of alcohol have soared, and mental illnesses torture some sorry souls. And there is very little help or relief to be found. There is no immediate end in sight either. In England this current lockdown is due to end on December 2nd, but nobody in the real world knows what will happen after that. Prime Minister Boris Johnson probably doesn’t know either because Carrie Symonds hasn’t told him yet.
All a man can do is to keep on keeping on. Find something difficult and intellectual to do. Discover a new creative interest. Look for an idea to get excited about. Think about a new business venture you can do from home. Read something challenging. Don’t just sit there, take some action, put lots of energy and enthusiasm in it. Most of all get outside in the fresh air, walk a few miles and let thoughts drift toward better times.
get outside and enjoy the fresh air
that and sunshine will kill a virus
it’s official ~ lockdown causes insanity
I’ve got to get out of the garret. I’m physically comfortable and safe here, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually I’m hurting. There is serious concern for the mental health of people feeling trapped and lonely during this present medical emergency. It seems that lockdown / self-isolation isn’t good for the soul.
It’s not even as though I can stay in touch with my friends on-line because my internet is very flaky. Presumably there are no engineers working to fix whatever is going wrong.
This song is pretty heartfelt for me.
Please listen sympathetically.
this is what self-isolation is doing to me
never give up hope, if you do you will be dead already
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive loss of cognitive abilities, speech and language, problem solving skills, and memory. It also makes it very difficult for sufferers to care for themselves, relate to others, and know what’s real and what isn’t. Those with Alzheimer’s can become aggressive, paranoid, suspicious, demanding, depressed, anxious, and confused. As yet nobody understands the exact biochemistry of Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is the cleverest thief, because she not only steals from you, but she steals the very thing you need to remember what’s been stolen. ~ Jarod Kintz
About 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, about 1 in 3 seniors will die from this disease, (or some other form of dementia), which is more than die from breast and prostate cancers combined. And, doctors will tell you that there is no effective treatment for this devastating disease.
However, clinical studies have shown that long term dosages of Melatonin, 5 to 15 mg per night over two years, significantly improve the quality of sleep for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease, and ameliorate the effects of this horrible affliction.
Tamara Horner MHNE, ROHP / RNCP of Purple Almond Wellness discusses the effects and benefits of melatonin on Alzheimer’s disease in a couple of very detailed blog posts.
Melatonin is a naturally produced neurotransmitter that mostly comes from our Pineal Gland, it’s principal function is to regulate the circadian cycles, (day / night rhythm), within our brain and bodies, and as you would expect it’s closely linked to serotonin.
It seems that melatonin is a bit of a wonder hormone ~ some of it’s benefits are;
- It’s an anti-inflammatory agent, and it inhibits the secretion of amayloid plaque.
- Melatonin decreases excessive insulin secretion. Too much insulin will mess with your body and brain, and then kill you.
- Melatonin improves your overall hormone balance, it’s the regulator of every other hormone you produce and ingest.
- Toxins and oxidation are reduced in your body because melatonin scavenges the deadly free-radicals and protects your liver.
Melatonin deficiency causes; sleep disturbance, heart disease, cancers, type 2 diabetes, strokes, schizophrenia, Parkinskon’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
You can buy synthetic melatonin over the counter at pharmacies, but it is also to be found naturally in;
- Fruits and vegetables. (avocado, cherries, asparagus, tomatoes, pomegranate, olives, grapes, broccoli, cucumber, and especially banana.)
- Grains. (rice, barley, rolled oats ~ but stay firmly away from anything containing wheat.)
- Nuts and Seeds. (walnuts, sunflower seeds, mustard seeds, almonds, pistachio, peanuts ~ but peanuts are not good for most people for other reasons.)
- Poultry, (turkey, chicken, duck.) Seafood, (cod, haddock, shrimp, salmon, tuna, sardines.)
Some say that exercise is the best sleep aid. And that a racing mind makes a bad pillow. All I know is that I’m going to go on taking my daily melatonin and following a Paleo diet.
the brains of Alzheimer’s sufferers are pretty well
I feel as bad today as I have on any day of my life.
About 3 years ago I had double pneumonia, pleuresy, and 5 broken ribs.
A few years before that my business went bust because my partner was stealing all the capital I put into it.
Before that I quit / lost my highly paid job in banking, and at about the same time I got divorced.
A sorry tale, but today I feel as bad or worse as a I have ever felt in my life.
I suffer from life-threatening mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, and the myriad symptoms are making me feel stressed, distressed, and depressed. Add that to the flu I had this week and my life is hardly worth living.
As I said, today, in fact all of this week, I feel the worst I have ever felt in my life.
This is how I feel today.
rock bottom will be the solid foundation on which I can remake my life
Over the past couple of weeks I have struggled to cope with the Borderline Personality Disorder I suffer from. I have been planning on focusing on my health after the Christmas holidays. Well, don’t hold your breath. Unless I can get much better pretty quickly I might be a basket case by the time 2020 rolls around.
If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it’s not all you want. ~ Elbert Hubbard
I need to get some kind of recovery by avoiding booze, excessive stress, uncontrollable emotions, depression and anxiety, jealousy, and vicious mood swings. Probably I need to avoid thoughts and situations that emotionally drain me. I need to put my emotional health right at the top of my list.
I need to try to maintain my spiritual health by finding meaning and mindfulness in every thing I do. Avoiding activities that I find meaningless or stressful. Spiritual ill health weakens me physically and emotionally, and it’s easy to get sick if I am weak in mind and body.
Driving myself into the ground, finding yet another rock bottom serves no one. It decreases my chances of living a long and healthy life. Do I really want to sacrifice my health because of people, places, things, thought, and emotions?
My health needs to be positively maintained at all times. I really need to commit to looking after my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health for the remainder of my life.
Perhaps I could try being happy for a change.
having multiple personalities might be cool
one of them could be happy
for me, saving the world and everyone in it is only a hobby
Now that I’m recovering from a bloody awful mental affliction, a good friend has suggested that I take up a hobby. You know what? After a moments reflection I decided that was a brilliant idea. So I will take up a hobby.
But what is a hobby anyway? Where do other ordinary normal day-to-day pursuits become hobbies? And does a proper hobby have to be mostly harmless, inefficient, laborious, and useless? I confess I googled hobbies and found a few incredibly long lists of hobbies, some of which activities I would have just taken to be everyday pursuits; like watching television. No!
But I have a first stab at a short list of potential hobbies which may occupy my time, give me pleasure, be relaxing, and stop me having suicidal thoughts;
- Art, and I mean doing it, most probably painting. Thus far in my life the only things I’ve painted were walls, doors, cars, and boats.
- Angling / Fishing. I used to fish and gave it up because I felt sorry for anything I caught.
- Calligraphy. As it goes I have very good classical penmanship ~ but calligraphy takes that to a whole new level where writing in pen and ink becomes art.
- Model making, although this seems a bit of a kids pastime.
- Photography, which I already do a lot of but I could do more and do it better.
- Reading. I do a hell of a lot of that, but I’m certain there’s a way to turn casual reading into a constructive hobby.
- Survivalist. Not that I live in an earthquake zone, but add some of the other hobbies I’ve already thought about and I’m already a fair way to being a survivalist
- Travel. I love to travel, but is it a hobby for me, and could I turn it into one? Maybe by mixing it with photography and writing.
- Walking. On average I walk 5 miles a day, but that’s not serious hobbyist walking. More serious walking includes hiking, backpacking, and trekking. So I have joined our local Ramblers Club, (how very English), who meet a couple of times a month and do some serious miles in all weathers.
- Writing, and I already do some of that too, including being in a local writers group.
I’ve already realised that if you want your normal everyday activity to become a hobby you have to add a lot of time, money, and obsessiveness into the mix. I can’t even turn my 5 miles a day walk into a hobby without buying a lot more expensive kit.
But, if you have any other ideas for a healthy, relaxing, challenging, difficult, self-improving activity, then please just tell me.
also, I do like making practical things; such as this planter
If what you’re doing isn’t working, then change what you’re doing.
Time is short, make the most of every day you have.
Sometimes it takes a shock to your system before you realise that things aren’t working. Sometimes you could be aware for years and years that your life just isn’t quite right. As it goes, I’ve had both of those things forcibly tell me that what I’ve been doing, the life I’ve been living, isn’t really working for me, nor anyone else either.
What I want, need, and desire to to lose my feelings of existential dread. To remain calm and grounded in the face of adversity. To be more considerate, more self-aware, and self-reliant. To be less judgemental, and not so angry. To have the strength to defeat my fears and rise up to any challenge. To stop running away from myself, my thoughts and feelings, to stop going crazy and hiding at the bottom of a bottle of booze.
Snag is, to make those deep changes within myself would usually take months or years of counselling, or a good while in a retreat / rehab. I don’t have months or years, and finding a suitable retreat / rehab that would be willing to take me on isn’t a quick fix either.
So, starting from this morning I have built my own programme, and believe you me it is not going to be easy.
- No alcohol and no coffee.
- No bread or anything else made with wheat flour.
- No dairy; milk, cream, cheese, eggs.
- Cut down on sugar and salt. Add more spices such as cinnamon, sage, turmeric…
- Eat a mostly plant-based diet, with no processed foods whatsoever.
- No T.V. except for some motivational speakers on YouTube.
- An hour reading some deep spiritual text every afternoon,
- A 2 hour meditative walk every morning, and 30 minutes or so meditation each afternoon.
- A half-hour of yoga each afternoon.
- Lights out at 22:00 every evening, and wake-up time is 06:00. If I go 3 nights without 8 hours of good sleep then I will take a non-narcotic sleep-aid.
None of that actually gets to the hard point of what this retreat is all about. In meditation I will allow my thoughts and feelings to flow through me, no matter how deep, dark, difficult, perverted, or uncomfortable I will just accept my thoughts and feelings without reacting, taking action, or being judgmental.
This is a weekly programme. Next Sunday I will write a progress report on myself, and probably post it on this blog.
saying ‘Fuck It’ is just running away
Mens Sana in Corpore Sano
For most of my life I have had the vague impression that something was wrong with me. That I didn’t quite fit in. That I was different from everyone else. It’s not until recently that I discovered I have been suffering from something called Borderline Personality Disorder for most of my life. It was then that I made what I think is the wisest decision of my entire life; I would get myself well.
I’m so good at beginnings, but in the end I always seem to destroy everything, including myself. ~ Kiera Van Gelder
Fairly obviously, I had no really clever ideas when it came to mental self-help, so I decided to begin by trying to be physically healthier and fitter. I sort of invented a fitness programme, which had some dramatic results, like I lost 18 pounds of excess weight in 6 weeks.
For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories. ~ Plato
Very recently, something very interesting has been happening to me. As well as being physically fitter and healthier, I am also getting well from these Borderline Personality Disorder personality defects, or negative character traits, or bad habits, or whatever you want to call them.
This recovery from suffering from mental ill-health to enjoying mental health, has almost exactly matched my recovery from physical ill-health to physical health. It’s not that I was physically sick before. The fact is I was just not physically healthy, in the same way that most of modern society is not physically healthy. Like most people I was a little overweight, my blood pressure was far too high, I wasn’t eating right, I was drinking too much coffee, for a while I had been drinking far too much booze, I wasn’t getting enough exercise… But now, I have turned my unhealthy lifestyle around into something much better and much healthier, including eating a mostly Paleo Diet. (The dish pictured opposite is Thai salmon in foil )
Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. If you have a healthy lifestyle, your diet and nutrition are set, and you’re working out, you’re going to feel good. ~ Jason Statham
Now, as my physical body is becoming fitter and healthier, so my mind and spirit are becoming fitter and healthier. Dramatic improvements in my mental and spiritual health have exactly matched the improvements in my physical health. I’m not only physically, mentally,and spiritually well, I now also believe in myself. I know I am not strange or different. Now I am confident and happy in just who I am.
Just like your body and lifestyle can be healthy or unhealthy, the same is true with your beliefs. Your beliefs can be your medicine or your poison. ~ Steve Maraboli
The Ancient Greeks and the Romans knew all about this more than a couple of thousand years ago. Hence the Latin quotation above. Mens Sana in Corpore Sano ~ a healthy mind in a healthy body.
To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~ The Buddha
I firmly believe that I cannot have good health in just one aspect of my being, without also being healthy in the other two. To be well, I need to be fit and healthy in body, mind, and spirit ~ just one or two out of three can’t and won’t work.