Mental Health Friday #8

Mental Health Friday #8

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I am diagnosed (at the moment) with rapid cycling bi polar type 2, extreme anxiety, agrophabia, fear of crowds, but that stems from the anxiety.

I feel I was lucky that I had been in my relationship for a while, before I got diagnosed, because for my partner he was suddenly dealing with a different person. Rather than the out-going, always smiling, high flyer, he had known for the previous two and half years, instead, he was dealing with a 6 month pregnant lady, who would cry at the drop of a hat, refused to leave the flat and couldn’t give a flying fig about her job

Due to the fact that I was pregnant, it was easy enough to get me to the doctors and luckily, I wasn’t that far gone and was still able to see something wasn’t right. At that point I was blaming the hormones triggering something, but the fact is I have always been a little bit quirky, shall we say, and thankfully my partner who had known me for nearly 20 years, knew it too.

The doctor sent me for CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) and by the time my son was born, I was not only very stable but with the support of my partner, had started up my own little business and we moved into a house with a garden. Read more

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Nothing prepares you…

Nothing prepares you…

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Nothing prepares you for that knock on the door, that one thing which throws your world into a whirl storm.

There is no set manual which details- preparation for loss.
But, it doesn’t come as a shock either.

You’ve felt flutterings in your heart all morning, not the pleasant kind.
Your hand trembles as you lift the coffee cup to your lips.

You feel some type of way but you don’t know why…
soon enough- you do.

There’s a banging on the door. A body is framed in the doorway.
Your heart skips a beat, lips quiver,
no word is said but a silent motherly message passes across- from her to you.

She barges into the house, turns on the TV set. Her legs give way.
She collapses onto the couch.

You crash beside her, hands intertwined in each other’s. Holding onto the only thing you’ve got- hope.

A voice on the TV utters, “school under siege”.
All you hear: “our baby boys are under siege”.

Nothing prepares you for that knock on the door. When your world as you know it- is thrown into a storm.

Writer’s Poem: what can I say…

Writer’s Poem: what can I say…

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Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness,
It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.”

The above quote is one I have seen roaming on the internet for years now, always the words, never the author. I only just found our today, It was written by the Pulitzer winner and incredible poet- Mary Oliver.

I have read a lot of Mary Oliver’s poems but connected with a only few- The poem I am sharing below is one of them. But then again, my choice of Poetry is something else. Either way, reading Mary Oliver’s poems gives one the sense that she is a woman in tune with nature. She writes a lot about nature and in soothing words.

Below is the poem I chose for this week’s writer’s Poem Wednesday. I hope you like it:

What can I say by Mary Oliver

What can I say that I have not said before?
So I’ll say it again.
The leaf has a song in it.
Stone is the face of patience.
Inside the river there is an unfinishable story
and you are somewhere in it
and it will never end until all ends.

Take your busy heart to the art museum and the
chamber of commerce
but take it also to the forest.
The song you heard singing in the leaf when you
were a child
is singing still.
I am of years lived, so far, seventy-four,
and the leaf is singing still.

My Father-

My Father-

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My father…
What isn’t there to say,
About the man, whose voice
Carried a coldness, akin to the
December weather.

His footsteps-
you could swear left
imprints, on the cold hard
Impenetrable ground.

And his eyes,
had a constantly hovering
Guard of beetle black hair
Furrowed above them. Like a
Permanent tattoo.

He stood ramrod straight,
And spoke in an untremulous way.
He was the dictionary definition of
“Head of the household”.

Then- mama found a place
Amongst the soil,
Six feet under- enshrouded
In white.

His shoulders slopped,
His eyes sacked,
His voice lost the arid detachment
It was famous for… His footsteps,
Barely audible.

And I learnt,
Even a mountain requires
A solid ground to build up on.
Without it- it’d crumble.
My father lost his solid ground.

 

Mental Health Friday #31

Mental Health Friday #31

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Today’s Mental Health story follows Lisa, who used to work as a therapist in prison, and her personal struggles with suicidal thoughts.

Firstly, I’ll say I haven’t had any intense suicidal thoughts the last few days. I’m trying to focus on- this is the Universe letting me know I’m supposed to go down a different path now. I’m telling you (my friends and family…and you too reader) who read this, so you don’t have to worry about me. But man, the day I was fired and the day after, I was thinking of suicide. I was thinking “I’m tired of this shit…” and I sobbed and sobbed. And I thought of how I would do it, and I thought of my furry babies and who could take care of them. And I would sob some more.

I REALLY would like a place of employment where I don’t have to worry about losing my job. The more I think about this past firing, they had NO reason to fire me. It all had to do with a personality conflict with my boss which sucks. I miss that job SO much.

After the first couple of days of suicidal thoughts, they disappeared. I spent the rest of last week depressed and not eating much (which is SO unlike me…I love to eat…I eat 3 meals every day). This week, I’m basically back to normal…I’m focusing on a test I need to pass.

Honestly, this is not the first time I have had suicidal thoughts. This is the first time I’m writing about it though. I don’t think it’s written about enough. More people need to know they are not alone in their darkness. That it’s scary when it’s dark. And I understand why people have thoughts of wanting to give up.

Read more

The weight of silence-

The weight of silence-

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To the women who watched him punch me and said nothing…
To the men who watched him tear me and did nothing…

I could run, but I couldn’t.
My arms were burdened with
Two children weighing heavy on
Me,
Run to where,
to whom,
With them?

I could run, but I couldn’t.
My body was pained from bruises
And contusions and lacerations;
Words now familiar to me, all
Thanks to so many,
Too many,
hospital visits.
He’d be on me before my shadow
Was out the door.
I could run, but I couldn’t.

I could say something, but I couldn’t.
What would words impact
The eyes that have seen fists,
Gracing my skin
Like a punching bag;
Seeing is believing I heard,
You saw- but you did nothing.
What has words gotten over vision.
I could say something, but I couldn’t.

So I caress my limbs with Ice,
And swallow my words
As darkness envelopes the sky..
A coward- maybe.
But how do you sleep at night
With your silence?

The Love we withhold-

The Love we withhold-

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I kept waiting for the world to hand over to me, that which I withheld from myself. I sought for it, chased it, demanded it. That fuzzy feeling which one gets from being appreciated or loved or cherished.

I stood on tiptoes awaiting that one person who would make my world all sunny again, that one person who would make me feel like my presence is needed and my absence dreaded, that one person who would make me feel good about myself.

And what I got, was a ball of spitfire. From afar, it looked like a beautiful powerful light, just the kind to elicit the feeling of stardom, but up close… It burned. And I learnt, the world is a reflection of the image I view myself in. (I saw charred skin in the mirror, and the world gave me one).

-We cannot expect love from the world until we are willing to give that love to ourselves. And when we get to know who we are, we accept who we are, we love who we are, the world as we see it would be different.

We good-

We good-

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I washed myself since I was four,
Since mama was hidden,
Under crumbling stones
But don’t worry about us…
I lifted my brother,
Fed him,
Washed him,
Loved him…
But don’t worry about us.

The skies rained down on us:
Day after day
After day..
Blood dripped down his knees,
But don’t worry about us…
I cleaned his wounds,
Bathed it,
Wrapped it,
Kissed it..
But don’t worry about us.

The grounds are white, our
Bones they shiver
I grab my brother,
Rub him,
Wrap him,
Warm him
But don’t worry about us…
The moon is out,
Will we see morning?’
Maybe-
But don’t worry about us.
You never did…

The above image is gotten from: http://thechronicleherald.ca/world/336329-cold-comfort-in-kabul

I’ll like to believe-

I’ll like to believe-

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The sun spreads it golden rays,
Illuminating everything,
In its path-
Except for me.
You see,
Mornings offer no solace,
Just as nighttime offers no rest.

But I rise,
And I dress,
And I greet the neighbour,
And I down a cup of coffee:
With just enough vigour
To say to the world-
I am okay.
But I’m not.

The sun spreads it golden rays,
Illuminating all,
And I’ll like believe-
One day,
I’d feel it’s light in my bones
Too..

 

Writer’s Poem: Our Silence…

Writer’s Poem: Our Silence…

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Have you heard of the term “Bystander efffect”. This came about after a 28 year old woman, Kitty, was raped, stabbed and murdered outside her apartment while 38 people looked on and did nothing.

This led to a research carried out in 1969, five years after Kitty’s murder, which was termed Bystander Apathy (effect). Basically, it proved that the more people there are available in an emergency situation, the less likelihood there is for someone to intervene.

Today’s poem reminds me of this story and forgive me for starting this post with a downer. But, I thought to share it because I believe we all need a reminder that as heavy as our words, our silence is also heavy too.

Town watches them take Alfonso by Ilya Kaminsky

Now each of us is
a witness stand:

Vasenka watches us watch four soldiers throw Alfonso Barabinski on the sidewalk.
We let them take him, all of us cowards.
What we don’t say
we carry in our suitcases, coat pockets, our nostrils.

Across the street they wash him with fire hoses. First he screams,
then he stops.
So much sunlight—

a t-shirt falls off a clothes line and an old man stops, picks it up, presses it to his face.
Neighbors line up to watch him thrown on a sidewalk like a vaudeville act: Ta Da.
In so much sunlight—
how each of us
is a witness stand:

They take Alfonso
And no one stands up. Our silence stands up for us.

https://biologydictionary.net/bystander-effect/