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Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

#TimegoesBy #LifeLesson

Golden Sorceress, Golden Dragon

 

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” –Mary Anne Radmacher

It was never my intention to stop writing. Yet time rolls by like a river, never stopping and sometimes sweeping all in its path. Whether by intention or design I have been absent and I cannot say that I have been overwhelmed by vastly important things.

Each day I lament that another day has passed and no word had been placed on paper, no post scheduled, nothing mapped out for future comment. Simply the majestic revolution of the earth and the passing of time as it always has since the earth began. Each day I would ask myself “Why?” I would ask my Guides, “Why?” Silence was my reply.

Life continued. This beaten up hulk simply shrunk further into herself, asking the same questions…. “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose?” “What am I supposed to do?” I also asked myself if I was failing or was this meant to be. Apparent silence was my answer. Yet the need to communicate was still there, I simply lost faith in myself that I have anything to say which anyone would find interesting.

I learned that even if no-one else found my words interesting, it was important that I put them “out there”, for my benefit if for no-one else. After all, I had begun my blog, not with the intention of garnering a large audience, not even if anyone else was going to listen to what I said, and so I tried to gather my courage from the far reaches and start once more.

#TimeGoesBy, #LifeLessons

soulevolutioncenter.com.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Since it is important, I need to answer a simple question – Why did I stop writing at all? It wasn’t simply that I lost faith in myself as a writer, or that people didn’t want to hear what I had to say. It was, in fact, the belief that I was somehow a fraud. Why should that make a difference for after all, writers make up their stories for a multitude of reasons? They receive critical comments which may be soul destroying yet they continue because they believe in themselves.

Told I was lost in my “victimhood” and people were bored with the story, the negativity and complaints had to stop. I was devastated. Victimhood? How had that come up? It hadn’t I believe, and yet the comment was true. I was and am a victim and the comment, true though it was, hurt more than I had been prepared to hear. I was blindsided by it. I knew, deep inside that I was drowning in my life and internally complained about my lack of growth towards a better future. Only two people were aware of these facts, and only one made this statement.

Like most when faced with such a needlessly cruel attack at the time and place this occurred, I needed the question answered. Who said these things and how could they know what had occurred?

The bald truth! I had been an abused wife and stupidly had failed to recognise it like so many others. Yes, I’d spoken with professionals and remained as lost as I had before I’d spoken with them. Friends? I had none and even now I have only a small few. Trust is a hard commodity to offer. It’s true, it leaves you negative and perhaps, deep down, a complainer, yet I hoped, believed, I kept it locked away. I know I didn’t talk about it since I find it shameful and embarrassing.

Perhaps worst of all, this lightning bolt of understanding occurred at a time when I was struggling with the death of my mother. Even she had been told only bare brushstrokes of the circumstances, which still leave me feeling ill and ashamed.

 #TimeGoesBy, #LifeLessons

“You are not a victim. No matter what you have been through, you’re still here. You may have been challenged, hurt, betrayed, beaten, and discouraged, but nothing has defeated you. You are still here! You have been delayed but not denied. You are not a victim, you are a victor. You have a history of victory.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

I would appreciate the opportunity to know and understand where the criticism came from. I would be grateful for the understanding of how to move through this to a happier place, untroubled by these thoughts. Yet, there is one further aspect to this “victimhood” which I have kept hidden.

The one person I expected to protect me, let me down. I went from being a self-sustained person with sufficient means to ensure a comfortable life to someone who has to fear losing my home, at any moment. The small amount of money I had in a Superannuation account, which was not to be “violated” is bleeding.

I feel trapped and alone. I feel as if I’ve been duped and conned and I have no-one to talk to. There is no easy exit. Can I create a new life of some kind? I am so tired, so despairing of making yet another mistake that I am frozen in place. This is where I’d prayed my Guide would help me to learn and grow. The pain of that one sentence reverberates daily.

Look to the future…..that is so difficult.

If “you” do read my words, I pray that you have the time and grace to let me know exactly where I “went wrong” at that time. How do I put all this behind me and move forward – alone – since I no longer feel that I can ask for your help? I trusted you. You gave me an unbelievable gift. You failed to see it but I was so overwhelmingly grateful that my paltry words and gestures of thanks went unnoticed.

#TimeGoesBy, #LifeLessons

“You have been there” which is why you understand. I wonder if you had someone to help you get through it? Family? Sisters, father, mother? I have none. No-one!

I’ve listened. As a “wake up call” it was like a fishwife gutting the catch. Clinically efficient. Yet still I read your posts first each day. Rubbing more salt into a raw wound. Yes, I pray, I meditate and ask for guidance. I also ask for a Mentor to offer to guide me through this so that I can take my place in the world. The place I know I own and belong in. You taught me that.

In the immortal words of David Bowie (Labyrinth), “Life can be so cruel, just as I can be so cruel.”

As always I shall admire you for all you have been through, and wish that you could be the Mentor I was supposed to find. Until then I will do the best I can do. Is that not what we are asked for? Being the best version of ourselves that we can?

#TimeGoesBy, #LifeLessons
colourful bejewelled dragons  

 “There are times in my life when I have been medicine for some while poison for others. I used to think I was a victim of my story until I realized the truth; that I am the creator of my story. I choose what type of person I will be and what type of impact I will leave on others. I will never choose the destructive path of self and outward victimization again.”

Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

This is the first day of the rest of my life. Let’s see how it all plays out.

Blessings, Susan. ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2015

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#TakenBySurprise

Reflections of life

 “It was one thing to make a mistake; it was another thing to keep making it. I knew what happened when you let yourself get close to someone, when you started to believe they loved you: you’d be disappointed. Depend on someone, and you might as well admit you’re going to be crushed, because when you really needed them, they wouldn’t be there. Either that, or you’d confide in them and you added to their problems. All you ever really had was yourself, and that sort of sucked if you were less than reliable.”
Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care

Its been one of those strange periods, when you know there is something coming, something unpleasant and you would do anything to avoid it if you could….. but in the end you can’t. It rears up and engulfs you and try though you may you can only try to keep some kind of footing. Some balance as everything turns you on your head.

All month I’ve said “It’s the lunar eclipse”, “It’s the partial solar eclipse”, “It’s just the sun flares”,  and finally “It was just all the above and the planetary alignment and once October was over everything should settle back to normal. Whatever normal happens to be.” I was hoping that would be the case.

Yes, I was right and yet October isn’t quite over yet. More unexpected and unpleasant news on the health front which totally blew me away. Like so many other people I’d been caught out having a “minor episode” and my heart was showing all the signs of the problem which I’d put down to stress. It’s wonderful what stress can get up to.  Yet I’m here and when I get my head around everything I’ll hopefully be back on that even keel and have my scattered wits flowing again. Just not at the moment. I need to find a stable point and be able to hold on until the world stops turning so quickly.

The only thing which has taken me by surprise, is the feeling of being let down, abandoned, by the one person I expected to understand that I was rocked to the core by this news and I thought they would cut me just a little slack. Perhaps I expected too much. It’s been a rough ride this past year and a half, but not all of it was due to my health. I’ve been riding that wave too.

I know I’ve been unpredictable for a week or so. I also know I could have handled this better. It’s not an excuse, but losing both Mum and Dad and then my dance with illness and Chronic Pain…. I simply wasn’t prepared for anything else. My bad!

So, at present I’m feeling as though I’ve been betrayed by someone I least expected it from. I didn’t need that on top of everything else. Silly of me to think it would make any difference.  Life goes on or it doesn’t. In the grand scheme of things I’m unsure if I’d be really missed if I did ‘go’. I know that’s self-pity talking and I’ll ignore it shortly.

I’m really tired and can’t seem to relax or rest. I suppose my mind is just reeling. My meditation is helping but I don’t expect miracles in a short time…. it simply has never worked out that way. I’m getting better, but I suppose I’m a slow learner. I need to let it all out… you know, have a good cry but that’s one thing I have the most trouble with. Letting go and letting my vulnerability be seen.

For good or ill, I’m done today and this is going out as it is. This makes the first time I’ve done this….. I always sit on my post for a few hours and let the ideas settle, but I think I might be able to catch a few z’s. Maybe.

I’m sorry I wasn’t stronger. I’m sorry I let you down by being  human, weak and needing support. I guess I’m not as hard and unfeeling as I thought I was. Perhaps tomorrow you’ll understand that there’s only so much a person can take before something has to give… or break.

So I’ll take my “broken heart” and hide away for a while. Heaven knows you may feel better if I’m out of the way.

#TakenBySurprise

Sunrise, chasing away the darkness

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson, 2014

To image from Facebook.com

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This world of mine

Has somehow lost its shine

Why I ask

Does it have to be this way

Why does everyone I love have to turn away

Why do they leave til I’m all alone

With a heart so heavy it finds it hard to beat

It shouldn’t be such a mighty feat

My eyes are hurting from unshed tears

Holding tight to all my fears

The pain of it all held deep inside

Is there somewhere safe for me to hide

Why, oh why does it have to be this way

Can I wake up tomorrow to a bright new day

No more hurt or pain nor loneliness

No longer waiting for the blame

A new hurting game

No need to hold my breath

Wondering if this is the final death

Will it always be that way

The sun shines at the start of each new day

It just forgets to light up my way

#thisworld

image from sugaree33-art.deviantart.com

If I screamed to the heavens would they hear me

Would they answer if I cried loudly enough

Has my breaking heart not borne enough

Can they not hear me

Have I paid my way to a peaceful love

Safe from all the hurt and pain

Freed from endless games of shame

The hand that is held out

Is not the hand to hurt

The smile on a face

Doesn’t hide lies like a mill race

Rushing down to sweep me away

A hand to hold the heart with love

A smile that glows with truth from heaven above

How long now until it’s my turn to smile

How long til I hear my loved ones sigh

Is this to be my life

#thisworld

image from housechurchesuk.weebly.com

 

The answer!

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson 2014

 

 

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“I did the only thing I knew how to do: I built my own walls of silence to disguise my desperation and what later came to be recognized and diagnosed as depression.”
Sharon E. Rainey, Making a Pearl from the Grit of Life

A strange thing happens when I sit or recline to write. Either I’m eager as a beaver because I feel I have a stunner of an idea, I sit and look at a blank screen and finally something surfaces like a safety line thrown to a drowning person, or I languish forlornly staring at the accusing emptiness and suddenly words will flow and something is on the page. Ideas like bubbles blowing in the breeze wash over me in a magical haze and words appear in front of me.

Amazingly, the latter are the best of all, so I need to tap into my well spring of creativity or, do more prep work because I love writing and love seeing the finished item as I hit that publish button. I was told many months ago that writing for the acclaim of others was a waste of time. If I didn’t like writing for myself it was a lost cause and I should simply stop right then. Incredible as it sounds, that advice was true then and is still true now.

Having said that, it certainly is wonderful having people enjoy what I write and comments are always appreciated because they give me a chance to learn more, about myself and this craft of writing. Yet this is not what I wanted to talk about.

I am a terrible ‘patient’. Terrible doesn’t cover it. Abysmal is closer to it really. I hate the whole illness, can’t do things, must take pills by schedule, do this, do that, everything ordered by someone other than myself. This is not independence. I am, or rather was a fiercely independent person. No – I still am. I haven’t changed, I simply have had to accommodate some changes that irritate but I have to accept as a necessary evil! Temporarily!

For three days I’ve been incredibly emotional after a unpleasant , horrific dream. Even though it turns out the dream is not as bad as it felt, it left me emotional. I hate emotional. It is a loss of control, it is an undermining of the little independence I have left and it leaves me tired, in pain, unimaginably so, and with a burning desire to do something, anything to make me feel, even for a short time that I am ‘normal’ once more.

#Desperate Measures

Ocean Shores 4.30am

Normal, what a stupid word to use. What is normal? Well, for me it is being able to do what I want, when I want without needing any assistance, even that given freely and with love. Independence. It is a heady draught and having it taken away is dis-empowering. Yes, everything revolves around empowering ourselves. Illness removes that empowerment in the cruelest way.

So, after another sleepless night and emotional day before it, I lashed out. I secreted my clothes and sand shoes in the laundry before ‘officially’ going to bed. At 4am I decided my husband was deeply enough asleep I could afford to get up. He is used to me getting up and down during the night now anyway. Quick trip to the bathroom and a little makeup, just in case someone should see me and I crept out to the laundry where a light wouldn’t disturb anyone.

Yes, I sneaked out of the house like a teenager breaking curfew! I even had the forethought to grab a water bottle and my phone. I haven’t walked to the beach where I live and I’ve been here a year. I haven’t sat on the beach and seen the sunrise (at the beach) for a year either. I used to do both regularly when I was alone, independent, before I was engaged or married. I was like a drunken sailor, or a drugged up lunatic, weaving and staggering down this hill. I thought the beach was at the bottom of the road. A kilometre later I reached the sandy access to the beach.

All I could hear was the pounding of the waves. I wished I’d brought my camera but I don’t think I would have made it to the beach if I had. My whole body trembled from the exertion and I staggered down onto the hard sand to sit down. Thankfully seeing someone staggering in the soft sand doesn’t raise eyebrows. I was there and I wasn’t going to be able to move. But I was THERE!

#Desperate Measures

Sunrise at Ocean Shores Beach 5am

I watched the sun rise above the horizon and the clouds.

It was beautiful. It wasn’t hot – I can’t take the heat and the meds had made me burn easily. I could feel the calm wash over me with every wave breaking along the shore line and the rays of the sun peeking over the horizon.  I hadn’t known it was a dog beach. A dog. OMG – how much I want a puppy, a miniature fox terrier and all my own. It’s like an ache, never ending. The dogs began appearing with their owners and I was truly happy when they came over to say hello. To pat them, scratch behind their ears and look into those kindly brown eyes, was blissful. Strange how little it can take.

My photos are grainy – even the lauded iPhone can only do so much. But I will be returning with my camera,and soon. By 7am I was beginning to feel more than a little uncomfortable. Couldn’t move my legs properly and turning around brought a sharp twinge.  A few more canine cuddles and I knew I couldn’t wait, it was time to start the trek UP the hill to get home.  The sun was now a blazing ball in the sky but it was still cool.

#Desperate Measures

Sunrise Ocean Shores 6am

I hit my first hurdle. I couldn’t stand up, couldn’t twist around and couldn’t bend my legs enough to kneel up.  Just a little problem. Soft sand….. I finally managed to flop around like a beached whale until I I got one knee pulled under me enough to lever myself onto hands and knees. Humpf!  This is what emotional independence gets you. Somehow I made it upright only to fall flat on my face – almost, hands and knees again. After my third staggering attempt and fall someone noticed it wasn’t quite normal and offered to help.

Help! I had to acknowledge I needed help to get up that soft sandy dune and she was a nice and concerned lady. So we managed to get to the seat at the edge of the dune so she could stretch after her walk and I could regroup after hiking up the sand dune! I was determined to walk up that darned hill. I stood up and walked to the footpath with my new found friend. My body, not one part of it, wanted any part of moving in a co-ordinated fashion. I staggered like a drunken sailor with palsy until I finally reneged on my independence and accepted a lift to the top of the hill.   So much for being independent.  After showering and changing I’ve been sequestered in bed, complaining body reminding me of my foolhardy outing at every turn. Yet desperate circumstances require desperate measures to be taken.

#Desperate Measures

A mini foxie friend at Ocean Shores

I may have paid for my intemperate haste to be independent, but I have my doggie pics and a few hours of remembering what it felt like to be able to go where I wanted, when I wanted to with impunity. For a while I forgot I was this person with an illness. I was Susan all over again and it felt wonderful. One day, one day soon, I will be that person again… come hell or high water I will be.

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#What's the Safety Word?

Image from footage.shutterstock.com –

“It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”
John Joseph Powell, The Secret of Staying in Love

Everyone has heard about the ‘safety word’. The safety word is the serious-I-mean-it-now time-to-stop word. The word the ‘client’ arranges when he visits his S&M bondage person so he doesn’t accidentally get himself killed during the ‘play’.

What I wonder, is the safety word when you’ve had enough of the ‘merry go round’? I’m referring to that time when you feel you literally cannot face another minute of the hurt, the pain, the torment, the abuse, the depression, the………. (just fill in the blank).

It almost sounds like the beginning to a play or a movie script. The notes followed by the story board before shooting begins. Except it isn’t part of a fictitious film, instead it’s a serious and real part of life. Not the calculated gambles people want to take with their fetishes or fantasies. If something goes wrong there then you almost have to say – ‘they knew what they were getting themselves into.’ But what happens when life pushes you too far?

Talking to people is easy. For some reason I’ve been fortunate that people find it easy to talk to me. I’ve been told many things. I’ve been blessed by sharing the good news of a daughter’s engagement, a son’s engagement, marriages, the unhappier news of divorces, accidents, windfalls and tragedies. It may sound strange to include windfalls as part of the unhappier news, but for many people it hasn’t brought them the happiness they hoped for. Sometimes yes, but many times they have found themselves in a much worse place than they were before their good fortune.

Sometimes there simply are no words to express how you feel. Sometimes you need to rely on a hug or holding someone’s hand and send them strength because there is nothing you can say or do to change things. Having to tell someone their child, husband or wife is dead is one of those times. Words just aren’t made to let people understand you feel their pain.

I had many talks with ‘Sharon’, a lovely lady who was always putting herself down. She simply couldn’t believe she was good at anything she did or that she was wanted or needed by anyone. Despite having a good job she was convinced she was stupid, since her husband continually told her she was. Even though she had two children she couldn’t persuade herself that there was any purpose to her being there. She convinced herself that they would be better off if she was no longer around.

Sharon took a bottle of pills and curled up waiting for the end to steal quietly over her. Her husband came home early and she was rushed to hospital. Unfortunately she didn’t get the help she needed and her unhappiness and feelings of low self-worth grew. Her husband helped her with that part. When she finally left him he embarked on a calculated plan to undermine her self-confidence and she found herself spiraling further down that dark hole.

She moved and I lost track of the family for a while. In trying to out run the influence of her ex-husband she isolated herself from everyone who knew her. She avoided anyone he knew and anywhere he was likely to go. There was nowhere for her to turn to. Her children moved out, as they do when they finally grow their wings and she fell into a deep depression. Depressed or not she still managed to work.

I met her again a short time ago. She often spoke to me of her struggle with ‘The Black Dog’, but being alone it was too difficult for her. She began trying to out run her problems. She would drive day and night when she was not working until she finally fell into a stupor to get some rest. But you can’t roll those dice for long before the stakes get too high. It’s almost like putting your hand in a basket of snakes and expecting not to get bitten.

Sharon told me she didn’t want to leave her children without some kind of support. She didn’t want them to be dependent on their father to “look after them”. Years later he still influenced how she thought and she didn’t trust him to do the right thing by his children. So her game of Russian roulette on the roads didn’t seem to make much sense on one hand, but knowing how her ex-husband had eroded her self-worth, it did.

It felt as though she was holding on by some tenuous thread and at times I wasn’t sure she really heard me. She did see a doctor and get medication, but it was going to be a long haul back.

Sharon died in a pile up on the motorway. She was on her way home from her mother’s funeral. A drunk driver had lost control and ploughed into the oncoming traffic. Her car was hit head on.

What was Sharon’s safety word?  I can’t help but wonder if she had a safety word.  Who could she have called out to, so that she could stop the merry go round? If she had a safety word when should she have used it?

Tell me, do you have a safety word?

#What's the Safety Word

image from s279.photobucket.com

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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“What you do, the way you think, makes you beautiful.” Scott Westerfeld, Uglies
#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from commons.wikimedia.org

That which God said to the rose,
and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty,
He said to my heart,
and made it a hundred times more beautiful.
Rumi
Illness: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship medical ship Disease. Its five-minute mission: to explore strange new names, to seek out new diseases and new acronyms, to boldly go where no few doctors have willingly gone before.

Some of you may have noticed that I have been “Missing in Action” for a few days.  I literally jumped onto WP and dropped in a few songs and jumped off. I haven’t been in a good place and I wasn’t sure I could get my brain cells to co-operate enough to write something which was going to come out coherently.  Well, here it is and something a little different, a rant with an edge.

I had to attend an appointment with my doctor. I’m reaching  have reached the point where I detest going and feel infuriated when I am returning home. It makes going there counterproductive. I have always had an inherent dislike for the labeling system, and not just within the medical fraternity. It is endemic in society.  Now, it isn’t enough to append labels to everyone, thereby dehumanising people by placing them in an arbitrary group for the benefit of…..who? The Government? It’s almost irrelevant if it wasn’t so invasive, but its aim is so that we are able to be “controlled” with greater ease.

Not content with being labelled and grouped we are now being reduced even further by being diagnosed as little more than a group of letters. Such as:-

ADD  and ADHD Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that appears in early childhood. You may know it by the name attention deficit disorder, or ADD. ADD/ADHD makes it difficult for people to inhibit their spontaneous responses—responses that can involve everything from movement to speech to attentiveness.

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_signs_symptoms.htm

The information I found basically made ADD and ADHD into one category. All the signs, symptoms and treatments appeared almost the same. They appear to simply transition adults with greater ease if they are placed in the ADHD basket.  By that I mean if a child is diagnosed as ADHD they move into adult ADHD, there appears to be a very small number of adults referred to as having ADD.

Bipolar Disorder Bipolar disorder is the name used to describe a set of ‘mood swing’ conditions, the most severe form of which used to be called ‘manic depression’.

http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/bipolardisorder/bipolardisorderexplained/ 

Bipolar is treated the same as any other ‘mental’ disorder. It appears that any depressive illness is graduated eventually towards Bipolar, a nice easy fit for the sake of treatment.

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from theredpillnews.blogspot.com

ME/CFS – (Myalgic Encephalomyeltis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) suffer from post-exertional malaise (flu-like symptoms following activity). CFS is a neurological condition that can affect children and adults of any age. Other symptoms include pain, disrupted sleep, difficulty thinking, and changes in blood pressure, hormones and body temperature.

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Chronic_fatigue_syndrome

FMS – FibromyalgiaFibromyalgia (Fibro) is a name given to a group of symptoms marked by generalised pain and muscle stiffness. These symptoms can be felt in all different areas of the body. Extreme fatigue (tiredness) and sleep problems are also common in fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation or damage to the painful areas, but seems to be due to an over active pain system.

https://www.arthritisvic.org.au/Conditions-and-Symptoms/Fibromyalgia

These last two are cut from the same cloth. All that is being done is simple semantics being argued. Post exertional malaise is different from muscle soreness and stiffness? It wasn’t when I went to the gym. Tiredness and sleep problems are the same as disrupted sleep – within parameters. It is all another way of segregating people into nice little baskets and putting labels on them. But why?

This may seem like a gigantic waste of time, however, my point is that the medical “powers that be” are manipulating the terminology to describe various conditions for their own purposes. Purposes we are not made aware of.

Whilst one source will say that ME/CFS will occur often with Fibromyalgia, another source will declare that FMS and ME/CFS are totally separate ailments. Yet the descriptions themselves show overlaps. I’m not wishing to be contrary, however, I am trying to show that this is a veritable minefield when someone is trying to find out what is happening to them, and getting a diagnosis.

Many of those who have been visited by one of these delightful acronyms over the years, have battled for years to get a differential diagnosis from ONE doctor, let alone a consensus so we can get the best treatment possible. Most of the time we have to struggle on alone, trying to get someone to ‘admit’ there is ‘something’ wrong. Not only is it wrong, it is criminally wrong.

In my opinion, splitting each part of the symptomology into small groups and relabeling it slightly, is another way for “the powers that be’ to be able to say, a smaller percentage of the population is ‘suffering’ from this or that ailment.  Then the real fun begins as they hyperventilate over which medications can be given to which group of people to treat their specific symptoms. Is this a cost cutting exercise?

Why has this latest visit caused so much ire? As many will already know I was diagnosed with Lyme disease last year. It doesn’t exist in Australia, according to the ‘powers that be’ and that creates a bucket load of problems, not least being there are no doctors who have the authority, from the Medical Association, to treat you. Some of the symptoms for this delightful ailment are, ‘flu like’ symptoms. In its lesser aggressive state it can cause inflammation of the joints, especially the knees, (arthritis.) The heart can be affected, (heart failure), Bell’s palsy, meningitis and so on. The arthritis of Lyme disease can look like many other types of inflammatory arthritis and can become chronic. Anxiety and depression occur with an increased rate with people with Lyme disease.

But it doesn’t exist here so I don’t need to worry.  My GP does not recognise that Lyme exists in Australia and therefore I do not have it. I’m not doing terribly well and I need to understand what’s happening. After all, it is my body we are talking about.  I’m a good researcher. It’s what I do when something bugs me. I research and my results led me to Fibro. This has been going on for years. I’m listed as a ‘chronic pain’ sufferer. The ‘argument’ is that Chronic Pain is an accepted diagnosis so why do I need to find out if it is Fibro? Simple – I need to know so I can understand what I can do and where I can go to get help.

Under pressure – I was finally told, Yes, I have Fibro. Chronic Pain is Fibro. I cannot have an operation because my spine is Swiss cheese. I have had this for so long it has degenerated too much to do anything with it. Let’s have a Party!

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from opencaremedicalcenter.com

So I now have a generalist who says I have Lyme disease: who isn’t allowed to treat me because the Australian Medical Board has restricted his license. Why – well it doesn’t exist here and he was stupid clever enough to make a ‘you tube’ video advertising his treatment of it. Smart move! I also have a Medical practitioner who says it doesn’t exist so he won’t treat me for it. I have Chronic Pain, or Fibro, or both, or ME/CFS.  And they wonder why people get depressed or anxious!

Sarcasm is the final stand for people who are being ignored or not listened to. I shouldn’t need to be as wealthy as Rockefeller to get good health care. I shouldn’t need to go to the UK or US to get medication. I shouldn’t have to wait an additional ten to fifteen years to get medication already approved and in use in those countries.

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from http://www.label-makers.com.au –          Is this our future?

Reducing every ailment or disease to an acronym, for convenience, not only depersonalises the situation it also dehumanises those affected. We are not numbers, nor acronyms. We are not our disease or ailment, we are people and should be accorded the dignity that warrants.

I have one final theory – is this a concerted effort of ‘the powers that be’ to introduce eugenics in the population under the guise of ill-health? Now that is a scary thought.

“You can truly value life, when you have looked Death in the eyes and held its hand.”
Lionel Suggs

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

#Medical Alphabet Soup

image from fineartamerica.com

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and hold no medical qualification. All the descriptions used are taken from an Internet search and relevant bodies who advise on these conditions. All opinions stated are mine.

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#Betrayal

image from http://www.deviantart.com                          Howling for the soul sister to pass

Betrayal

The time drifted by slowly

There was nothing left

No way to measure the passage of time

Nothing but the slow drip, drip, drip

She let her head roll back

Resting lightly against the window frame

Outside she could see the moon

A blood moon, portent of bad tidings

The trees outside wailed their mournful sounds

And somewhere a wolf howled loudly

Joined quickly by the rest of the pack

Strange, but she had seen no wolves here

Not since she came so long ago

But it wasn’t that long surely

No, it only felt that way

But fitting somehow that they came now

Almost as if they could hear her coming

Drip, drip, drip -The only sound inside

The howling of the wolves outside

And an eerie feeling creeping over all

She was starting to feel cold

The mist curled from her open mouth

She should have brought a blanket

Made things much easier in the end

The cold climbed upwards

Through her arms and legs

Up from the cold floor, cold as the grave

Drip, drip, drip, the continuing sound

Fainter now the wolves were drawing nearer

Their howling more frenetic than ever

The moon climbed higher so she raised her head

Strange how heavy her head now felt

Drip, drip, drip, a cold wetness intruded on her reverie

The howling wolves must have been outside the window

Their howls so loud in her head now

As the icy cold reached her heart

She gave one slow sigh

The light dimming in her eyes

She could no longer see the moon

No longer hear the slowing drip, drip, drip

The only sound

The howling of the wolves

The dripping stopped,

The moon still rose

The wolves howled once more

A cry of pain and anguish

For a soul lost.

Alone in death

As she had been in life

Alone.

#Betrayal

image from http://www.smscs.com The pack gathers to welcome one home

Blessings  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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“The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.”
Thomas Jefferson

What a lot of Hokum for We The People.

~~~~~

I had originally decided to do a short blog and call it ‘The Spirit is willing but the flesh is Weak”. Yet the more I thought about it the more I realised it simply was a hoax. Most importantly I was simply fooling myself. It sounds so pathetic to continually say, “It’s been a bad week” or “I’ve had a rough couple of days” or any number of other platitudes.

That’s not to say that they aren’t true, it’s just that I’m tired of using the same statements as if I trot out one after the other when things are… challenging. I’m not sure quite where I am on this sliding spectrum which I use to gauge how well I’m travelling. Truthfully, I’m feeling more than a little sick and tired with being sick and tired and not really knowing if I’m on the right track.

For so long I dragged myself to the doctors and presented the same old symptoms, tiredness, aches in joints and muscles, my motivation slowly drained away as it became more and more difficult to do things. I’m a perfectionist. I’m also a control freak. I like things to be neat and tidy. I can find nothing wrong with being able to tell anyone exactly where to go to find anything they need in my home. At least I could do that a couple of years ago.

There are my detractors who accused me of OCD, but heck, at least I didn’t need to upend my home to locate a letter I need. I revel in my individuality and I don’t expect anyone else to follow suit – each to his own.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from frommylivingroom.blogspot.com                                      Everything in it’s pace and a place for everything.

Then I was told about Lyme disease. It seemed to fit so many of the anomalies in the symptoms I had. The medication protocols are – unpleasant. If Fibromyalgia causes Brain fog then Lyme – its co-infections and the medication to ‘treat’ it definitely increases it exponentially. But I’m no quitter. I’ve gone through the protocols, dragged myself in ever decreasing circles of confusion and despair trying to determine if I’m simply grasping at straws. And I’m still not finished.

I’ve blogged about it because I’ve struggled to find support groups or people who are willing to share information. How odd. Here is a disease the AMA refuse to accept is in Australia, penalise doctors who treat it and we cannot find anyone to give us recommendations to people who are helping the ‘sufferers’. Those who find these people, usually friends, or friends or friends, keep that information to themselves. Why? Is getting well to be a hoarded treasure? Bygone days of the privileged living and the disadvantaged fading away unnoticed.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from alternews.com –      Where did the floor come from?

I’m not simply tired, I’m exhausted. My arms scream at me in pain for typing, but this is my only outside contact. It’s lonely not being able to see or speak with people. One more day of crawling up the hallway is making me shake uncontrollably. Is this Lyme disease, Bartonella or Babesiosis or some other confounded co-infection I’ve yet to be advised of; or is it Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS or one of its familiars?

I was feeling blah this morning. I had several appointments and I’d had a rough night. In fact I crawled up to the bathroom and cried for about an hour. I’m not giving in, but where the hell do I go?  How do I persuade my GP to look at my symptoms differently – not simply hand out stronger pain meds that leave me FOGGY!!!

To be able to think is such a gift. To know you are making sense and perhaps helping someone who needs to read this… that is my impetus for continuing. I have no answers, just a zillion questions. I want answers because I feel the medical establishment owe us that much – and then decent treatment. I have a right to a quality of life that is good enough to let me do what I’d like without crippling me. There is no need for it. If the damned doctors and insurance companies had done their due diligence when I had my accident, my simple accident, I wouldn’t be in this predicament now. I truly believe so. I wish I could sue the bejaysus out of them.

For the first time today, I ‘listened’ to someone who had always presented a positive push for the treatments they were given, the illness that accompanied them and was able to do so many physical activities I dream of doing’. Today I listened to them bemoaning their shuffling gait to reach the beach, crying because of the brain fog, the inability to raise your head from wherever it lays, and not be able to DO anything.  I admire this person, but here they are, for the first time in my space.

I want to offer advice but I am unable since no-one shared advice with me, I have none to offer except to say, I understand, I am there still, drowning in this misery but determined not to let it win.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from http://www.bannerhealth.com                                   I’m right here, You are not Alone!

I am going to search for these mysterious support forums and try to find out if these diseases have the same symptoms or not and what works for them. I have a few answers from dear people today. Yoga terrifies me because the pain is well established but I’ll try. I may not have  an answer, but by heavens, I will control my environment as much as I can so I can enjoy, to the fullest extent, the life I have been handed. I will also pass on any information I uncover – as a reference only, to be talked over with your doctors so that perhaps, in the fullness of time, we can beat these blasted torturous diseases. Such is my hope. Such is my prayer for all of us.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from childrensbookshop.circlesoft.net         Here come the answers!

As human beings, as Spirits having a human existence we search for answers. This is a prime directive so that we can learn. There is “a strange new world” out there, “new life and new civilisations” and, even more important, “The Truth is Out There”.

#What a lot of Hokum

image from aliens.wikia.com

What more could we ask for?  Who was right, Spock or Kirk?  Does “The good of the many outweigh the good of the few” or Does “The good of the one outweigh the good of the many?

We all deserve a better future.

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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#My Husband, # My Lover, # My Friend

Ray and I on our wedding day May 11, 2011

“This is what our love is––a sacred pattern of unbroken unity sewn flawlessly invisible inside all other images, thoughts, smells, and sounds.”   Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams
My Husband, My Lover, My Friend

It’s been a rough week here and although I’ve tried to play it down, inside my head and in my posts, there have been times when the thought of simply ‘giving up’ wasn’t far away.  It’s very difficult to remain positive when you wake up and the moment of consciousness brings the awful knowledge that your entire body is screaming in agony.

It’s becoming a real nightmare, a waking nightmare and this morning was the worst to date. Let me explain, although it’s really hard for me to write this. I cannot move my legs, body, head or shoulders. I am fortunate that my hands and lower arms appear to be okay. I wake up feeling as though I’m in a roasting oven, on well done!  I cannot push the covers off and I cannot get out of bed, (I can’t move).

#My Husband, # My Lover, # My Friend

image from autobio-blogs.plazilla.com

I’ve tried everything I can think of to get out of bed without waking my husband, especially as sometimes I wake really early and I’m ruining his rest. He needs it, he has to look after someone who is cranky because she can’t do the things she has previously done alone and I’m not in the right head space to “give in gracefully” and acknowledge that for the moment, this has to be my reality.

#My Huasband, # My Lover,#  My Friend

image from http://www.123rf.com Is this what is coming?

So let’s go back to this morning. I had a magnificent sleep, six hours of deep sleep. It’s a shame it was drug enhanced but I can’t fight that any longer either. But, I heard Ray get up and that was enough to wake me.  It was a world of hurt and I had no idea what to do. My entire body was locked in this agonising position and I had to move. I simply had to.

From a mental angle it is full on despair, a waking nightmare I cannot banish. Giving in is against my entire world view. I have always stood my ground, but that has become a joke since I cannot stand. Not first thing in the morning.

The first challenge is getting upright and Ray has to hold my hands and when I say “Pull” he has to pull me upright quickly. This morning I screamed as he did this.  (Going slowly is more painful.) Ray has to slowly pull each leg around until I can reach the floor and then once again, pull me to my feet. He has to make sure I don’t fall backward or forwards or I’ll be on the floor. I’ve mentioned the ‘damned stairs’ before but this morning they almost defeated me. But he wouldn’t let go, nor would he give in and we painfully made our way along the corridor.

#My Husband, #My Lover, #My Friend

image from owlsandorchids.com       Is this all that’s left?

It has brought home the simple dignity chronically ill people suffer which is taken by others as something they just have to get used to. I wonder if, in the same position, they would find it so easy or welcome! Well, we made the journey, back to bed and sitting back brought another stifled scream. (I have some pride left). It was not going to be an easy day. I swore I wouldn’t take the tablets but I was afraid, seriously afraid I might have to call the ambulance.  Maybe it’s the meds but that’s tantamount to throwing in the towel and I’d rather the unthinkable than that.

So, doped up and basically incoherent I remained in a land somewhere between reality and who knows? I do know that after Ray had left I felt someone sitting down and then a cuddling into my legs, but that’s another story.

We decided on a bath, detoxing again, but with added special things Ray thought up. He helped me to the main bathroom, (when we build I’m having a bath in the en suite!) and the most beautiful sight met my eyes. My special bath salts, lavender-scented had been liberally placed in the bath, extra Epsom salts, my coconut body wash, coconut scented body cream, candles, my bath pillow and my iPod. I could have cried. It was exquisite – and I forget to get a photo so this will have to do…

How can something so wonderful be so painful? Getting in and lying back caused another loud groan, but I wasn’t going to let it stop me. (Note to self – larger bath needed in our en suite). It was hot, as it needed to be and as I felt the warmth slowly seeping into my body, I felt a wonderful feeling enveloping me. I got my iPod and some meditation music and I was left in peaceful silence.

I came back to myself as the water lost its heat but over an hour had passed and I was a wrinkled prune – almost. Helped out and dried off and then the final surprise, the beautiful coconut butter lotion… He carefully and slowly rubbed it in from my toes to my neck and down my back. I had the most incredible massage of my back. His magical fingers caressed the painful knots and tender spots and relaxed the rest of my back. I was covered from head to toe with lotion and I felt amazing. Every muscle had turned to jelly.

Helping me dress and back upstairs we had a beautiful cup of tea.

I realised how lucky I was. I found in one inexplicable gift from the Universe, my soul mate who is my husband, my lover and my best friend. The pain notwithstanding, I realise I’m so darned lucky. To be loved and accepted by such a wonderful man, someone who not only stands by me, but helps me through my nightmare is a rare blessing. I don’t make it easy on him at times and my guilt becomes another torment. I feel stuck in this limbo, yet supported by a magical earth angel.

What more can I say? Love is beautiful and found in unexpected place and at unusual times. Enjoy it anytime you can.

#My Husband, #My Lover, #My Friend

image from 2guysphoto.wordpress.com

I feel my love flowing to all my friends out here, and to all the people everywhere. Love will eventually change our world. It is too great to ignore forever.

Blessings and love to all.

Susan x

© Susan Jamieson  2014

~

For the Love of My Life and for the Love of Your Lives, whoever they may be.

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#Today

image from lionhearteagle.blogspot.com –

“Finish each day and be done with it.  You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can.  Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today

Today I gave in. For one brief moment which lasted an eternity I gave in. My body keeps going but my mind, that part which recognises the pain and despair; it had decided it had more than enough.  It said, “No More, Enough is Enough”.

Am I a quitter, I asked myself? I always thought I was strong and capable. I believed I could handle anything. I’ve heard of worse things than people should ever be expected to go through and felt their pain as I listened. I’ve seen some horrors I never thought I’d see and dealt with them as I needed to. I blindly walked through the path of domestic violence because I refused to believe it was happening to me.  I handled what was put before me and came through scarred but still me.

How do you explain to someone that, you thought that, being married meant “supporting your husband” and that everything he said you “had to do”, you had no choice in? I’ve carried bricks like a brickies labourer, carted cement like a concreter’s labourer. I’ve carried and rolled thousands of square metres of turf, barrowed topsoil and leveled it, built walls, sawn and carried timber and a hundred other things because, that’s what being married was all about. Doing things together and supporting your husband. It meant I was a slave to someone’s “ownership of me”.  Until the day my eyes were opened and I finally had enough and left.

#Today

image from facebook.com

What caused my back problems?

Yes, I’ve had two ‘minor’ car accidents and according to the ‘experts’ I had two “minor” whiplash episodes. They were so minor they refused to accept how much pain I had nor would they perform an x-ray. For years they refused until one day they relented, just to shut me up. Too damned late then and being proven right didn’t help at all.

Is it irony to acknowledge that in the beginning I was young and fit? Is it irony to say that because I went to the gym regularly, not only for fitness but as a stress release, that I damaged my body by doing too much exercise?  Is it irony to now say that my condition is age related? Are there any more excuses they can think up?

I believed, for one brief interlude, that being diagnosed with Lyme disease might answer all the questions, and eventually see me well. Now, since Lyme disease does not exist in Australia, (so say the powers that be), and my doctor, who specialised in infectious diseases, is actually registered only as a General Practitioner. He made a video announcing his treatment of his Lyme disease patients which caught the eyes of the Medical Association. Well, now he is restricted (banned) from treating anyone diagnosed with Lyme disease. They must be referred to someone else for treatment. Excuse me, treatment? How can they do that if they deny it exists in Australia? How much irony can one body take?

#Today

image from http://www.josephine wallart.co.uk

In one sense it doesn’t matter whether it is irony or not. No longer can the facts be argued. But what can never be ignored is the fact that they now say there is nothing they can do except load me with pain killers which rob me of the ability to think or act as the person I really am.

This morning I had reached the end of the road. At the moment of waking, a screaming throughout my body, of the pain of lying still, of having the chain mail weight of a light sheet and blanket over me was too much. Having to plead with my husband to PULL me quickly upright instead of gently brought an anguished scream from me.  Enough I thought, I’ve had enough.

But the end was too far away. If I didn’t want to soil myself I had to reach the bathroom. No dignity here.  Each painful slide of a foot forward speared pain up through every part of my body and into my brain. Two damned, bloody steps up that I loathe more deeply each day and then fifty agonising steps to the bathroom later, there is more pain. By the time I reach the vanity basin to wash my hands, I would breathe a sigh of relief, but I tried that once and it hurts too much. So I just think it instead.

The retracing of my journey is the same except going down those two damned stairs becomes a farce. ‘Enough’ my mind screams at me. ‘Enough’ I say! I would cry, but self-pity is useless and apart from that, crying is too damned painful. More irony!

I want an end to this. I want to be able to walk again, just like I used to. I want to be able to laugh and smile and not know that it is just a cover for how I really feel. I want to not feel that I’m an ingrate for complaining when so many are worse off than I.  I have too much to be grateful for.

I have a husband I love more than I would have believed possible. I have two wonderful children who have become incredible adults. I have a roof over my head. I have a beautiful ocean to see from my deck (if I can get there) and I have my beautiful orchids which are flowering again. I also have ‘my’ owl who visits me even here. I have too many things to be grateful for and no right to talk about giving up. I am reminded daily of how many wonderful things I have in my life to be grateful for. I have a journal I complete daily to remind me, if I should forget. I am grateful.

Today, I have had enough. Today this is too much to handle. Today I want an end to this. Today I want an end – not in some unknown future but now. Now. Today.

In the event that anyone needs an explanation; the beautiful pictures from Josephine Wall Art are to symbolise that I recognise that even in the midst of a shitty and awful day, I know that beauty and Spirit exists. It is there to help me to grasp that reality and find an even footing to go forward with. I hope it may help some of you also.

Today is almost over and tomorrow, my new today will be better, if only because I have coping mechanisms in place to haul me out of those depths before I drown. This is my fervent hope.

There are those who will understand my words, inexpertly written as they are, yet this is not for them alone. It is for everyone who decides to read it.

To those I say:

Blessings always,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2014

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