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Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

#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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There comes a time

When

With no warning

Up becomes down

You wonder why

You look at the sky

See the sun shining

Wispy clouds floating

Lazily across blue sky

Reflected in the ocean

Blue on blue

Without end

No beginning

No end

Wondering why

With so much blue

There is only black inside

The beating heart

image from picturesz.wordpress.com

Is weighed down

Tears fall

But cannot lighten the load

The sky finally darkens

Night is not falling

It’s time

Pull up the world

Hide

The dawn is coming

It always will.

“A misstep many make: they mistake darkness for meaning. They think light is easy. They think light will find a way through the crack in the door by itself. But it doesn’t – you have to open the door & let it in.”
Melanie Gideon

.

Emotions and mood are influenced by many things, some so ephemeral you may even miss the triggers. The most one can do when “The Dark Night of the Soul”  (Ekhart Tolle) appears is the focus on those things which bring light and laughter, happiness and joy to the heart and soul. All things have their time and place. We cannot appreciate the light without first experiencing the dark.

For everyone I wish the brightest of days and the joy of a light spirit.

Susan x

(c) Susan Jamieson

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image from 100musicalfootsteps.wordpress.com

Yesterday seems like an eon away and tomorrow as far yet to come. It’s strange how time has a way of folding in on itself when you least expect it.  Yesterday morning was full of “sunshine and roses” and I was planning for this blog.  I cannot remember a single thing I was going to do, but  I can say it did feel impressive at the time.

The afternoon had become a struggle of tears and anguish and I wondered why I was doing anything at all as I had to retreat to my bed again. My “inner Light” was dimming as I struggled again with understanding of what was going on. My brain refused to function and my body  – well it loves to follow suit. It seems it’s an “all in together” kind of party.

Last night was tears and despair as I let everything overpower me. I lost my “Inner Flame” and the darkness was complete. I’m sure everyone knows the picture, it’s so familiar. I simply wanted a landmark and something to hold onto.

image from janetleigh.wordpress.com

At moments like these, especially when the fog hasn’t lifted I search for those people who give me inspiration. I look to those wonderful souls who have so much more to overcome and do so with dignity and a wisdom far in excess of my own. I feel awed and humbled, and usually it is more than enough to read some of their beautiful words to bring me back into the light. Today, has been a struggle.

All of those useless human emotions which serve us to ill effect have clogged my antennae. Envy – what could I possibly say to you that has not already been said by someone far better than I ever could? Or my Self Pity, such a useless emotion which only serves to make everything much worse. Scrub that!  Anger, always at myself for falling into this trap and allows the acid inside to eat me up a little faster, plus of course gives me a lovely dose of pain to chase it down with.  I always was one for getting a full measure of whatever was doing the rounds.

I believe I tried, I was up early, the softly falling rain at that time, the frog chorus and a few hardy bird calls. I tried my meditation with the hope, dream, the belief that if I succeeded, because I truly wanted to send out healing to everyone, that I could overcome this miasma.

image from shamamabear.wordpress.com

I love this image, it speaks of where I am whilst I meditate, so beautiful and serene, calm and at peace, at one with the world and arriving at that magical place of “stillness” where the heart, mind, body and soul are at one. I struggled – I had a massive dose of humanity hit me and I struggled to find that inner calm, my “zen place”. Each time I found myself getting close to it, it slipped away like smoke.

Like so many people in adversity, I really detest “giving in” or perhaps I should say I hate being beaten.  I did what I could with my meditations, since I have been repeating variations throughout this long day. It was interspersed with one catastrophic period as I struggled to complete a business activity which I was running out of time with.  It’s been a month of struggling with these things. I had hoped, that by now, so close to the full moon, that I would be getting ahead of them, but 2012 hasn’t finished with me yet so perseverance is still the key.

image from bestinspirationalquotes4u.com

On some deep level I know that even if I appear to move at a snail’s pace I must be making forward motion.  You see I can’t go back. The past is gone forever once it has left this moment.  The present will be gone as soon as I blink and will become the past. There is only the moment. I must BE in the moment. Be Present and Mindful. That is all I can do because the future is yet to come and what I do in this Mindful moment is all which can affect that future for me. It is all which may change the way things are right now.

It would be nice if we could “Turn Back Time” as Cher sang and undo all those things which have led to this moment, but it is impossible and impractical. In “The Butterfly Effect” they tried just that. Every time he, (Ashton Kutcher in the film) went back and changed the past he also changed the future – for the worse. It’s not a good way to be.

image from peacefulnessofnature.blogspot.com

I have difficulty passing up a chance to include one of my favourite little friends, in my favourite colour into my story.  They are, in essence, “My Way”. They are my image for being present, for being mindful, acceptance of the moment and hope for the future. Such ephemeral beauty is uplifting and also humbling. It helps me to put everything into perspective.

When I see them, in my mind’s eye, I cannot believe that I am simply “along for the ride” in this life. I cannot accept that I can do nothing to change the future, if I accept I am a Spirit having a Human Experience.  That is the essence.  All those apparently useless emotions are learning experiences. Perhaps painful, perhaps overwhelming at times, perhaps even for a short time appearing to win the battle. Yet only for a time.  Why does this make a difference?

Because even if it is for the briefest of moments, sometimes so brief I may miss it at first there is that moment of tranquility. Spirit has overcome the physical, overcome the struggle to remain heart centered and I realise I have been there, I AM there!

image from fernlifecenter.com

So, I will go forward, through the tears and pain. I will go forward and take my desire for healing others with me. If I have to go through the muck and mush, then so be it. There is beauty there for me, the rose, the butterfly, love and compassion for others and so much more which will transcend this miasma which drops over me with regularity.

As the saying goes, “This too shall pass”. It does, it always does. At times it is a little too dark to see the way ahead and we have to trust that something along the way will provide that light for us. It always does.  As so many of the people who provide me with inspiration and humble me with what they are going through, then I know my pain, despair and hopelessness will lift eventually and I will regain that beautiful “stillness” my “zen butterfly” space and the light will return.

image from feelmylove.org

Until then I will continue to be human, remind myself that I am a spirit having a human existence and allow myself to slip without beating myself up too badly. It’s what we do. It’s what we are meant to do.

The past is gone, the present soon will be, the future is all we have to make it better, so that’s what we must do.

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”   Buddha

You are always in my thoughts, my heart, and I send you all peace, love and well-being.  Blessings.  Susan

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image from sendflowerstomumbai.com

There is a great deal to be said about the amount of work needed to produce beautiful blooms such as these. As a rose lover, I can appreciate the hard work needed, especially in our hot and humid climate. Roses not specially bred here have a hard time. Similarly, those which have been bred for colour have often lost the beautiful scent we associate with roses.

image from hdw.eweb4.com

There are a lot of tears shed over roses which develop a vast range of diseases from bud to bloom  and ruin many months of hard work.

image from marinrose.org

There are many examples, but since it is almost like a physical pain to see a beautiful rose so ‘damaged’ I didn’t want to add any more.

From medieval times roses have carried great importance.

We have lost much of the ‘language of flowers’ where each flower had its own meaning, even down to the individual colours of blooms.  Anyone familiar with the film, “Kate and Leopold” will recall his horror at Kate’s brother wanting to send a mixed bunch of flowers to impress a girl. It would be nice, I think if we could remember what a floral arrangement really said to the recipient. Too “Old Fashioned” perhaps for most, I don’t know.

image from suenicolphotography.com

Yet the truth is that like most flowers roses need the right care and feeding to grow into the magnificent blooms we, especially woman, adore.

image from floridadomehome.com Bio dynamic horse manure

Families are like that too.  Each member of the family is its own unique flower. Each has its own qualities. Each its own form and scent.

Thunderously close to scandalous, each needs its own fertilizer to grow        well. Colloquially speaking it requires its own brand of shit to  grow         the way it was meant to. If it doesn’t get that it may be stunted, malformed or not bear flowers at all.

image from incrediblesnaps.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How could anyone want something so unique, so beautiful not to look the way it should? How could we want a person, one we love not to be the best they can be? Obviously we wouldn’t want that. Yet sometimes it happens.

image from allaboutrosegardening.com John F Kennedy Rose

Who would want to see the great John F Kennedy not be all he could be and achieve what he did for lack of a little shit in his life?

Yes, that’s right, in the past few weeks more than a few bucket loads of fertilizer, of pungent, gagging, shit has been poured over my life and all I have tried to achieve in my, reasonable lifespan to date. Unfortunately, it has come from those generous souls, my remaining siblings. Their aim is remarkable and their sting is incredible!

I have been astounded at the sharpness of the thorns attached to the roses cast my way. I should add the roses are suffering from petal blight. A crying shame barely covers the feelings.

                              image from rosesuk.com The  rose names Patricia

This beautiful rose carries the  same name as my mother, before she passed away we often talked about our love of roses.

The yellow roses at the start of this soliloquy is for her. They were her favourite of all flowers and colours, although my brothers didn’t know that until a few weeks ago.  Visiting the cemetery two weeks ago I suddenly found her place in the Garden of Remembrance surrounded by Yellow Roses.  Quite a feat I would say, if I was to pass comment.

image from http://www.roselocator.comRose called “Susan”

This little beauty is called”Susan”. I was surprised when I learned there was one with my name. I have plans for a garden to commemorate my family when we finally have our farm and time and space to do it justice.

Yet there are many beautiful plants, not just roses, but today I am confining myself to roses for obvious reasons. For some, unknown reason my three brothers have decided that I am “Persona non Grata” for which offense they have decided not to let me know.  I’m sure I have inadvertently done something it’s all to easy to do that. Pleas for a family get together have been refused.

image from Ladybird Roses

My husband and I are trying to find somewhere to move to. Packing is not a pleasant pastime and the arrival of six boxes today was an unhappy event. I was told they were arriving. I had no idea what they contained.  It has been a heartbreaking day seeing what they contained,  since I didn’t have the luxury of knowing beforehand, nor choosing anything, I had to open them up to find out.

image from Ladybird Roses

Once again, I have been sent the items my brothers have decided they don’t want and therefore I can have them. Hurtful – definitely, and I have no recourse. Those items which meant a great deal to me were unilaterally denied by my eldest brother. He has kept the majority of things, although he has told everyone I have taken everything. So strange that, but not unexpected.  Yet it still pricks like a handful of thorns.

image from jardinclassicgardens.com    The Peace Rose

I could wish it were a simple matter of sitting down, as adults and talking this through. It’s not as though we didn’t all love her and want to remember her. Yet I know that one person cannot take control over what is arbitrarily given to other members of the family. We each have attachments to things, perhaps those we chose for her, those she held especially dear from Dad. Yet whatever they are, all four people need to sit down and not hide behind tears. We need to say, “Here are Mum’s things, ALL OF THEM, and we need to talk about what we would like. No one person should have the right, or take the right to decide who can have what. As an executor I know this and am stymied from doing just that without causing more problems.  Now I feel like the pooch below, flushed down the toilet for daring to voice a contrary opinion.

image from IZISMILE

Irrationally I feel I have lost all my family, not just my mother.  The thorns were huge long poisonous barbs and I cannot get them out. It’s not enough I’ve spent weeks going to and fro to doctors and specialists  with other problems of my own. Not that they either know or care since no one will listen to a call and emails are strictly forbidden.

I lie in bed between doctors visits, hoping against hope that sanity will prevail.  If I cannot get myself “under control” then the hospital beckons – Ugh, not what I want.

No one said families were easy. We are all different blooms. But we all need shit to bloom, only I’ve had enough, thank you! Eventually the manure can simply feed a garden of weeds. I pray that won’t happen.  In the meantime, I’m going to try to mend a broken heart.

image from kootation.com

Nope, It will mend because it’s not really broke, just badly used. In the immortal words of Helen Reddy,  “I am Woman”.

“I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back an’ pretend
’cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again

CHORUS
Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman

You can bend but never break me
’cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
’cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul

CHORUS

I am woman watch me grow
See me standing toe to toe
As I spread my lovin’ arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long long way to go
Until I make my brother understand

Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong”

See you all in a couple of days, bruised, battered but still here.

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Sunrise over the ocean, peace and tranquility and fresh new energy for the day ahead. From our garden at Kiama.

Sunrise over the ocean, peace and tranquility and fresh new energy for the day ahead. From our garden at Kiama. Memories of our brief holiday.

No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude”.   Alfred North Whitehead

It never ceases to amaze me how, in one single day you can feel like you’ve been on a giant roller coaster. You have no idea whether you are standing on your head or your rear at any given moment, yet later you know that there is nowhere else and nothing else you would rather be doing.

This, dear hearts is LIFE, in all it’s complexity and simplicity.

image from mediawebapps.com

From a beautiful calm, peaceful start of the day. Meditation completed and a wonderful glow inside. Cuddles and a snuggle in bed, after all it’s Sunday and we can afford to have a sleep in today. The day is promising to be beautiful, apart from being a wee too hot for my liking – I’m so grateful for air conditioning.

image from yenra.com

Oops, first call of the day and things are a little wonky on the rails, trying hard to hold on and not scream too much. (Can you guess I’m nervous on a roller coaster!) I don’t know if I’m on my head or the world has suddenly turned on its axis.  How strange and suddenly things can change.

image from arolemodel.com

OK, my brother appears to have caught a stomach bug, severe enough to take him into hospital. They have everything well in hand and he’s being well looked after. Unless I hear otherwise, all is well with the world again.

Time for a little R & R for us too. Been a really busy week, and we need the time to catch our breath before  Monday comes around.

image from zazzle.com

This beautiful story about a man who took his arthritic dog out into the ocean each day to ease its pain and  made headlines as well as donations for his care.  The dog is now on medication and able to live a decent life again. Its strange and humbling how people will rally around if they know what is  happening. So wonderful.

“The truth shall set you free”. If only everyone realised that.

image from redwolf.newsvine.com

Hope there’s nothing is going round, not feeling brilliant myself. Very low energy and another virulent migraine. It’s tiring having them and becoming even more tiring as they come with so much frequency.  Also picking up on a few people not being well and its preying on my mind, so meditation for health and well-being for everyone. Feeling the need to talk to someone but that list is thin on the ground…. sometimes I wish people could read my mind.

image from justthespot.com.au

Well, my brother is now on a cardiac monitor for the night. Whilst I am VERY grateful that he is being cared for in hospital it would have been nice to find out from my brother(s) and not via social media. It appears I’m in the dog house again – correction, I love dogs. I’m on the outer, outer field! You know  – way out of left field. The life of a dog ain’t easy sometimes.

image from idlehearts.com

Holding on to my “attitude of gratitude”. No matter what the problem is  I know that  am doing all I can to help. Praying for everyone’s health and well-being and speedy recoveries, healing of family relationships and healthy communication between people.

Now to “talk” myself into that peace and harmony from my early morning meditation once more. Letting go of the grief from misunderstandings  and praying for a better tomorrow.

image from pinterest.com

Thoughts become actions when taken without thinking of the consequences. Words are also actions and can cause the same hurt and are sometimes harder to forget.

For the lessons I am learning I am grateful. For the strength to learn those lessons I am mindful that I have chosen this path. I am learning how to BE present through difficult situations and maintaining my understanding and compassion. I hope I am learning my lesson well. I most certainly don’t want to repeat it.

image from verybestquotes.com

Melody Beattie

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image from photbucket

Life is ever-changing. People are always changing. The things in life which impact us on a daily basis cause change. Sometimes this is good and makes us happy and sometimes the same thing can cause the reverse.  There are no set answers in the riddle of life.  Memories work in much the same way.

It seems ironic that something which can bring great pleasure can also be a source of incredible pain. A few days ago a young man aged 26, Aaron Swartz,  felt compelled to commit suicide whilst depressed. He was the co-founder of Reddit amongst other companies, with a bright future to look forward to.

Depression is an insidious affliction, one which is not merely difficult to control but almost impossible for some people to find a cure. One of the things Aaron said in his blog struck a deep chord for me. He said “Everything you think about seems bleak – the things you’ve done, the things you hope to do, the people around you. You want to lie in bed and keep the light off. Depressed mood is like that, only it doesn’t come for any reason and it doesn’t go for any either”. He described the feelings and desire to avoid everything so well.

image from loveandlightportal.wordpress.com

I now choose to surround myself with love and light. I work hard at keeping the dark thoughts at bay. I have a couple of things I’ve learned which I’d like to share. Perhaps they may help you.

As a child my parents for a very special treat would take us to the movies . We would only go very rarely so it was always extremely special. One of those trips was to see “The Sound of Music” with Julie Andrews.  I’m sure everyone remembers parts of her song, “These are a few of my favourite things” which she sang for the children when they were afraid during a thunder-storm.  The verse I remember most vividly is this one……

“When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad”.

So what are YOUR favourite things?

The other thing I have only recently begun is to develop “an attitude of gratitude”, where I focus on small things in my daily life for which I can be grateful; a cup of coffee made by my husband in the morning (or by the barista at the coffee shop), seeing the sun rise over the trees in the morning, hearing the early morning birdsong, seeing the final full stop on a blog I feel proud of. What is it that you can develop an “attitude of gratitude” for, which might break up your day?  Think about it. These are the things which make us feel good, feel happy and not sad.

Until recently, I hadn’t written anything for a long time. I loved writing and I have found I still do. Now I can write a blog which others can share and it puts ideas out there. Perhaps it will help them feel that wonderful gratitude I feel for completing my blog and which gratitude creates.  That was how “Owls and Orchids” was born.

I have also, until recently (three days ago), been forced to abandon my craft work which I loved, due to an accident.  In 2012 I worked hard, taking new approaches to pain management and treatments. I saw a kinesiologoist.  I did a 30 Day Gratitude Challenge and kept it going, building on the first foundations.  My husband and I now do this at the beginning of every day. We also meditate, alone or together. Small changes you might say, but they have proved profound for me. I now have a few tools in my tool kit to help ward off the blue days and keep the “Black Dog” at bay, and a list of good things to counter the bad and give me back my bright eyes.

Now I’m going one more step. I am starting my tapestry again. In fact I’m going to complete the tapestry my mother had just begun before she passed away. It has been rolled up and carefully locked away until now.

Mum's Tapestry

If I said I was nervous as well as excited it would be fairly accurate. I’m cautious about how much I will be able to do each day and I may have to miss some days if my neck is too sore. Yet the thought of working on it, of finishing it, makes my heart glow. I feel like a small sun has taken up residence inside my heart and it is so wonderful.

There will be bad days. I’m not foolish enough to believe I can escape so easily. As Aaron said, “You feel as if streaks of pain are running through your head, you thrash your body, you search for some escape but find none.”   Such is the nature of the beast and of the pain I have.  There will be days when I challenge the belief that I can finish the tapestry at all. It will be the gratitude that I have it there for me to do and that each stitch I insert is one step further along the road to its completion and the completion of my challenge. These things will keep me going.

image from bankruptcyandinsolvency.blogspot.com .. Scene from Lord of rhe Rings

I have seen the bottomless abyss of despair which can envelop you for no reason and find no escape. I have withered in its depths and suddenly found myself in sunshine once more.

Those of you who recognise this will know who you are and you are always welcome here. If I can bring a glimmer of light for you then I am grateful to be able to do just that.  Find that one small thing you love, you have always enjoyed and breathe life into it once more.  Let it be your anchor.

My hope, my prayer is that if you can try to find the “attitude of gratitude”, even for the very small things, if you can find your inner light in a heart challenge similar to mine, then perhaps you can escape the bottomless chasm.

image from visualphotos.com

“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”       Buddha quotes

I am here for you – always.  Bless ❤   Susan.

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