Epilogue

 

On Christmas day, when you hopefully spend time with your loved ones, when you feel stuffed with all the yummy food you have had and maybe slightly tipsy thanks to the nice wine and liqueur you have enjoyed, please appreciate what you have and who is in your life…and maybe give a little thought to the rest of the world, and in particular those who aren’t so lucky as you. 

I know I will be missing a few people on the day, and the thought is tough, but I will be spending Christmas where I feel I belong this year, in Africa. I don’t know what will happen on the day, but I am hoping to get involved at the local orphanage. I would love nothing more than spend Christmas day surrounded by children.

There comes a time when we heed a certain call 
When the world must come together as one 
There are people dying 
And its time to lend a hand to life 
The greatest gift of all 

We can’t go on pretending day by day 
That someone, will soon make a change 
We are all a part of Gods great big family 
And the truth, you know, 
Love is all we need 

[Chorus] 
We are the world, we are the children 
We are the ones who make a brighter day 
So lets start giving 
There’s a choice we’re making 
We’re saving our own lives 
Its true we’ll make a better day 
Just you and me 

Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares 
And their lives will be stronger and free 
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread 
So we all must lend a helping hand 

[Chorus] 

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all 
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall well well well well 
Let us realize that a change can only come 
When we stand together as one 

—————————————————————————————–

And maybe review where you are in your life and decide whether 2014 will be the year you change and take action.

Whether long-range weapon or suicide bomber
Wicked mind is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether soaraway Sun or BBC 1
Misinformation is a weapon of mass destruct
You coulda Caucasian or a poor Asian
Racism is a weapon of mass destruction
Whether inflation or globalization
Fear is a weapon of mass destruction

My dad came into my room holding his hat
I knew he was leaving,
He sat on my bed told me some facts.
Son, I have a duty, calling on me
You and your sister be brave my little soldier
And don’t forget all I told ya
You’re the mister of the house now remember this
And when you wake up in the morning give ya momma a kiss
Then I had to say goodbye
In the morning woke momma with a kiss on each eyelid,
Even though I’m only a kid
Certain things can’t be hid
Momma grabbed me
Held me like I was made of gold
But left her inner stories untold
I said, momma it will be alright
When daddy comes home, tonight

[CHORUS]
Whether Halliburton, Enron or anyone
Greed is a weapon of mass destruction

We need to find courage, overcome
Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction (x3)

[CHORUS]
Whether Halliburton, Enron or anyone
Greed is a weapon of mass destruction

We need to find courage, overcome
Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction (x3)

My story stops here, let’s be clear,
This scenario is happening everywhere.
And you ain’t going to nirvana or far-vana,
you’re coming right back here to live out your karma.
With even more drama than previously, seriously.
Just how many centuries have we been
waiting for someone else to make us free?
And we refuse to see
that people overseas suffer just like we:
Bad leadership and ego’s unfettered and free
Who feed on the people they’re supposed to lead
I don’t need good people to pray and wait
For the lord to make it all straight.
There’s only now, do it right.
‘Cos I don’t want your daddy, leaving home tonight

[CHORUS]
Whether Halliburton Enron or anyone
Greed is a weapon of mass destruction

We need to find courage, overcome
Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

——————————————————————————————————-

TOGETHER, we can make a difference.

“We Come 1”

All the subtle flavors of my life
Are become bitter seeds
And poisoned leaves
Without you

You represent what’s true
I drain the color from the sky
And turn blue
Without you

These arms lack a purpose
Flapping like a humming-bird
I’m nervous ’cause
I’m the left eye
You’re the right

Would it not be madness to fight
We come 1

In you the song which rights my wrongs
In you the fullness of living
The power to begin again
From right now, in you

We come 1

I’m unafraid
Never never scared
Worries washed
Pressed air
I am the left eye
You’re the right
Would it not be madness to fight

We come 1

—————————————————————————————-

Changing yourself can be a tough process…all you need though is faith in yourself, face who you have been, realise you cannot be perfect, open your heart and you will see how amazing you are. You won’t need to be “screaming under your skin” anymore.

Dido :
How can I change the world if I can’t even change myself ?
I cannot change the way I am ?
I don’t know, I don’t know.

Maxi Jazz :
I wanna take a look at the world behind these eyes,
Every nook, every cranny reorganise,
Realise my face don’t fit the way I feel.
What’s real ?
I need a mirror to check my face is in place,
Incase of upheaval, fundamental movement below,
What’s really going on I wanna know,
But yo, we don’t show on the outside, so slide.
Just below my skin I’m screaming…

I need a mirror for my spirit,
Yeah, can you feel it ?
When I get deep, wanna hear myself sleep,
Not drowning, just tumbling around and around in the voices
Like a crowd in my head so loud,
I wonder what it’s like to be dead,
I hope it’s quiet, noise in my head like a riot,
Any remedy you have for me I’ll try it.
Just below my skin I’m screaming…

I’m going deep, so deep that I can’t sleep,
The pills ain’t cheap but the bills are steep,
So I lick up with a booze and a spliff,
Try to snooze,
But who’s dreaming, I ain’t, this is win or lose,
Put down the drink, try not to think,
Let it go, fundamental movement below,
And yo, reality is dreaming,
Just below my skin I’m screaming…

———————————————————

Faithless is one of my all time favourite groups, unfortunately I heard on Friday that the chap has lost his way big time, thanks to the drugs. I hope he wakes up and pulls through.

Anyway, to finish, I wanted to remind the world something….

The Last Chapter

All good things come to an end. I have decided tonight during my floatation session what my new blog will be and sadly this one will need to end. 

Blogs, like anything, don’t last for ever. They have a purpose. This one for me was to “find my true self” and no longer to be a “problem” to the world. I feel I have now achieved this, or at least I am on the right track and so it is time to finish it. And to be honest, I am getting tired of thinking and processing now, I feel I am on the right track and it is time to go back into life again. Now seems a good time to wrap things up as I am about to have my complete break from the world in a few days.

However, before I go, I said I would talk about my second psychosis and so I shall.

I have debated whether I should, because the problem is what happened to me was so surreal no-one can understand or relate. Absolutely no-one. But I said I would so I will try and recount the main things before I go.

Over the weekend before my psychosis, I started to feel extremely happy. I felt utterly free. And it kinda went to my head.

And God came to find me – I hadn’t really believed he existed before. During a weird experience, he said he would grant me my wish – now, if you have been following this blog, you will know that my wish has always been to be truly happy. Pure and simple.

I had become a very happy person already, as you can see from the early entries in my blog but to be truly happy would require a hell of a lot – I would need to know this world will be ok and abuse of any kind is gone.

Now you can see why I got over the top happy when God told me he would grant my wish. I had this feeling inside that I had saved the world that night I got my wish.

Part of me being truly happy would be to be with my true love too. And, as I have mentioned before, I felt my husband was it.

The night before the big event, my thoughts got truly derailed and I started to hear voices in my head, not external voices though, and I “was told” my true love would be waiting for me in my garage.

That night, I had spent a good long moment grieving heavily about my dog, sat on one of my armchairs, clutching his ashes and feeling total despair that he was gone and how alone I was in this world now.

It wasn’t long after that that voices invaded my head and were telling me all sorts of stuff that drove me a bit insane. Who were those voices and what were they doing talking to me, why were they invading my being, I kept wondering.

And when they told me about my true love waiting for me in the garage, I felt extremely happy until I realised it couldn’t possibly be true. And anyway, my husband, who I believed was my true love, didn’t want me and so wouldn’t be there.

Then I started to believe that everyone in the world would soon be re-united with their true love and that made me really happy, even if I wasn’t to be with mine.

But I wasn’t happy with hearing those voices, as they seemed to be fighting with each other who would take over my mind and that really unsettled me, some were good, some were bad, but they all started to dispute with each other who I should be listening to. And they started to drive me insane.

I said to God I couldn’t live like that, with all the voices in my head, and he told me to trust him, he wouldn’t let me down. And I believed him. I had true faith in him. Something I have never experienced before.

 

So I went to take a bath as I didn’t know what else to do and one by one, as I started to relax, the voices started to stop until I could hear only my thoughts. I eventually came out of the bath and went to sleep.

The morning of the big event, which was a Tuesday and I was due back at work, I woke up feeling I was Eve.

I decided not to bother with work “Today is going to be MY day, where I’ll do what the hell I want”.

I was planning to call work later to let them know I wasn’t well and wouldn’t come in. I was going to have all the fun I wanted, call them when I felt like it, spend most of the day messing around on Facebook and listening to music.

The day started well enough, I enjoyed a cigarette and a tea in my back garden, it was a beautiful day, and I was feeling very happy, content.

Then I started to hear planes, a lot of them, which puzzled me, and started to notice the whole neighbourhood was becoming very noisy. I guess I was never home on a work day so it may have been normal but it felt wrong to me. And I wanted time to stop so I could start my ideal day all over again.

Suddenly all the noise stopped and all I could hear were the birds tweeting in the trees. And I thought that was really weird.

I started to freak out that I actually had the power to do anything in the world – that my wishes would be his command (God’s) and I got extremely anxious – I didn’t think I could handle that power. I didn’t think I wanted that power.

I started to walk around my garden table in circles, very much like prisoners do I remember thinking, and trying to settle my thoughts after what I had realised (that I had the power to change the world). I was getting very anxious realising what it meant, how decisions I would take might have a negative effect that I wouldn’t realise until after, how I might render a lot of people unhappy despite thinking I was doing good. How I would really need to think hard about my every word and actions because I knew nothing of the human race and I wanted everyone to be saved and so I needed to get a full understanding of everything and everyone.

And I gradually became more and more angry. Angry with humankind for being so shit that I ended up in that position, and with God for giving up on us, man and woman, and being so hard on us. I wanted to prove to him he had got it wrong and us mere mortals were worth saving.

I became very defiant of God. On the middle of the table I had been walking aroudn was an apple, from my apple tree. I don’t like apples much. But I kept looking at that apple as if it was teasing me. Eventually I grabbed it and took a big chunk out of it and screamed at God “See, it wasn’t that hard was it, nothing bad is going to happen to me, why shouldn’t I eat that blasted Apple” and I laughed out loud – of course I was referring to Eve’s big mistake in the garden of Eden. And then I told him in an humorous voice: “Fine, if you really want me to do that (save the world), I shall, I don’t like the idea it rests on my shoulders but fine, I’ll do it, I’ll deal with the mistakes I make but I shall try and do as good a job as I can”.

Then I decided to visit my neighbour. I really really wanted to have a beer and a fag with her, and tell her what just happened. Get reassurance that we, women, could do it, as men had made such a mess of it since the beginning of time.

By then, I didn’t care about anything and left my front door open when I left – my own safety/little world meant nothing anymore compared to the task I had just taken on. I have since found out that freaked some of my friends who came to check up on me as they were worried I would have done something silly after seeing some of my posts on facebook the previous night.

I had put my trust in God the previous day don’t forget and so I didn’t care about leaving my door open, I had no fear – in fact, earlier that morning, when I went to the shops, I had left it wide open too and that turned out to be a good thing as it enabled the postlady to leave a big envelope of sunflower seeds that my mum had sent me.

And anyway, what would be the worst that could happen? Possessions mean nothing to me and I had nothing to “keep safe” anymore, my cats were independent and my dog was no longer with me. I wasn’t scared of the world either. But yes granted, I can see how that came across – definitely out of character.

Anyway, I went to my neighbour’s to have that beer, fag and chat – I hadn’t drunk for a while by then. I didn’t want to get drunk, I just wanted to enjoy the simple pleasure of having a beer and a fag with a friend, and put the world to right. It was about 10 ish in the morning.

The events that followed are a bit of blur. But I remember some of the main points.

It started nice enough, I had a beer and a fag and we started chatting about stuff. Then I relaxed more and told her what had happened to me and what my task was and she became more and more agitated – she told me I was starting to worry her. I was trying to reassure her all would be fine but she just wouldn’t settle and became very anxious. Eventually she insisted she needed to go to the shops to get more cigarettes. I tried to convince her not to go, and said to her “people shouldn’t know I am at yours, if someone finds out, hoards of people will come here”. But that made her want to go all the more. Looking back, I think she became scared of me.

Anyway, she didn’t listen to me and we went out – within minutes we were found by two of the friends I had a fallen out with the previous Friday who were outside my garage for some reason – I have since found out that it was because they thought I had gone in there to kill myself bless them, but in my mind, there were there for another reason – I thought they somehow knew what had happened the night before and were there to find their true love. So when I saw them there, I whispered to my neighbour they were evil (for somehow, they had got into my thoughts) and we had to hide back at hers. And so we went back to hers.

A little while later, people started to arrive at her house, first, if I remember correctly, was a social worker type of lady but she went out after a while to make some phone calls. I noticed when I looked outside to see what she was doing that there seems to be a few people out there, cops, medics types.

Then two cops, a girl and a guy came in – I took an instant dislike to the girl, and believed she was a Jehovah’s Witness for some reason. I felt very comfortable with the guy though. 

And a weird “game” started to happen, where I trusted only him and my friend, and I had a little signal to check who I could trust, who got it – the guy instantly got the signal without me saying anything – that was a bit weird.

I started to believe that if I spoke to either him or my friend looking them straight in the eyes using the signal, the other person/people present wouldn’t hear me. My friend knew the signal as I had told her straight away when we started chatting.

This went on for a while and I guess I was trying to convince the guy cop that all was good and they could make their way out and get on with doing their job where it was actually needed.

Then more people started to arrive, more cops and then two male psychiatrists.

I started to feel like a trapped animal. I wanted all of them out of there but tried as I may, they weren’t going to leave.

I would sit there and smoke a cigarette wondering how I was going to get out of this mess, and the room would go quiet, I was getting really frustrated and fed up of the situation I got myself into – this sure wasn’t the idea of my ideal day!

 

Then people started to get agitated and all tried to “reason” with me and it got quite noisy and it annoyed me. I wanted them to shut up and more to the point, I didn’t see what I was doing wrong.

Anyway, after a while, I got fed up with the whole circus and decided if they wanted to see the real me, see how “dangerous” I was, I would show them. And so I got up and took all my clothes off, including my rings, and for good measure, I peed on the floor. There, this was how dangerous I was.

My neighbour absolutely freaked out and went upstairs to fetch me a dressing gown. I couldn’t care less – I felt I had no shame who I was. And it was there for all of them weirdos (mainly men as it happens) to see.

This is what freaked them out and they decided I should be contained. They put me on the floor and tried to wrap me up into something to carry me away.

I was furious, screaming for the whole world to hear – how badly I was being treated by those “professional men” when I had done nothing wrong. How corrupted and untrusthworthy they all were.

I remember turning my head to look at my neighbour and screaming at her how could she let this happen to me, her face showed the pain, fear and shock she was feeling, she was holding on to her dog very tight and crying.

It took a few men and a lot of time to contain little old me for some reason. All I was doing was lying face down on the floor and screaming for them to leave me alone and especially take the handcuffs off that they had put as they were hurting me terribly, the pain was excruciating, the most pain I have ever felt in my life, I believe I have spoken about the handcuffs before, and how surprised I was the following day that my wrists were not bruised at all.

By then, I believe a few people had gathered outside my neigbours’ house, alerted by the screaming (she had opened the window earlier in the morning as it was getting awfully hot in her house) and the cop cars outside her house, to see what the hell was going on.

I was then transported somewhere – I was hoping they would take me home where I desperately wanted to be, where I felt safe – but I realised very quickly they weren’t.

That ride to wherever they were taking me was interesting too…a lot of weird stuff happened and I wanted to speak to the cops who took me there about it a few weeks after the event and asked my care co-ordinator if she could arrange it – she was quite surprised by my request, said no-one had ever asked that before and she would see what she could do – but I have decided against it since, I don’t know why, but I have realised it doesn’t matter what they experienced, all that matters is what I did at the end of the day – and anyway if anyone had been that worried about it, they know where I live and I would now welcome them to speak to them. I am no longer scared of people in authority.

When I got to wherever they took me – I was left in isolation for 24 hours in a safe room, where there was a glass room where two women would look on to me to make sure nothing bad happened to me. 

I don’t think I will ever share what happened in this room, let’s just say some deep processing took place. My mind went all over the place and eventually back. Eventually, it stopped and they took me out and I was totally back to myself.

And you can see from my blog how I have been doing ever since. I am very happy with the life I have, I know it’s not my calling but I love it nonetheless. Things have settled quite nicely since my awakening and I have a lot to be grateful about – I feel very lucky to have awakened and able to appreciate my life now.

My next blog is going to be the world through Eve’s eyes. And I am hoping people from all walks of life can help her prove she is right, that this world and its people are amazing, and worth helping.

It will be anonymous for I am every woman, hoping to find Adam and live back at the Garden of Eden again and be happy ever after, surrounded by animals, nature and people with good hearts.

Isn’t that everyone’s wish?

By newpaz

Mental Health – Depression

“Sometimes, a friendly chat is all that one needs to feel connected to the world.”

As I typed this last sentence on my previous blog entry, I realised that really, it is all anyone can ever give to people. For we are all ultimately in control of our lives, and how we react to our experiences.

I have been thinking about mental health and how I can help that cause, since my experiences with it gives me a good understanding of the issue.

I have been observing, thanks to the internet, what is happening in the world with regards to Mental Health and can see that people are starting to get it – only by facing yourself fully can you get out of mental health issues.

I fell on a great video the other day on Ted of a woman talking about her experience with “hearing voices”, and she put into words exactly everything I have realised about mental health issues, it was great to see – the best bit was to see over 1 million people had seen her video.

And so I don’t need to try and shake the world out of their belief mental health is to be treated with medication and shame. Other people are doing that, and they are doing a much better job than I could ever do.

However, there is one bit of mental health I really want to do my bit about – and that is depression. And ultimately, I see that out of all the mental illnesses, there is no “cure” as yet. Although there are many many books written on the subject – I know because I read quite a few when I was going through depression myself – and all are talking about a black dog taking over your life and learning to live with it so it doesn’t overtake your life anymore.

There are also many forums where people share their experiences in the hope it will help them – and whilst I agree it is great to realise you are not alone, I found it didn’t help me, the same ideas that I had read in the books were going around those forums, there was nothing new there.

This is the only mental illness I still fear for myself.

I had never experienced depression before I moved back to the UK, I was always quite a cheerful person in fact, especially when the circumstances were right – and to suddenly find myself plunged in the depth of despair was very traumatic for me, I tried as hard as I could not to be dragged down, anyway I could, did everything I knew was supposed to help, exercised, walked in nature, look at positive stuff, try to understand my depression etc, yet I was constantly being pulled from underneath and started to sink. To the point that I just wanted to die.

I have mentioned before, the only reason why I didn’t actually kill myself was thanks to my dog. I couldn’t find a way to do it while ensuring his safety. I even thought of taking him with me, but was worried what would happen if I failed my suicide and found I had killed him, or if I succeeded my attempt but he’d still be alive – who would rescue him then?

And so I got myself to the doctors and demanded medication, which my doctor had resisted giving me until then. It took a lot for me to do this as I am scared of medication – and the few people I knew in my life who had taken medication for depression told me being on it and coming off it was worse than the depression itself – so I was pretty desperate when I got myself to the doctors and said I needed help through medication and I wouldn’t take no for an answer.

And it worked, the new doctor I saw gave me a low dosage of anti-depressants and within weeks, the black cloud lifted. I came off the medication soon after that too, as I was conscious staying on it too long could be addictive. And I knew I would be fine, I just needed that stupid black cloud to go away.

Recently, two people in my life came off anti-depressants soon after meeting me.

One who isn’t in my life much, a girl I met via the Social Group I had created on Facebook and whom, to be honest, I have kept my distance from as she seemed very unstable. That group though seemed to help her take positive decisions in her life, and she has thanked me on occasions for creating it. She recently announced, clumsily, on facebook that she had decided to quit the meds and start living again. I shall try and keep informed how she is doing as she hasn’t really been in touch much since I left Facebook, but I am pleased she has decided to take control over her life again and I hope she is successful.

The other person is my new guy friend – I only found out when we met the second time that he was medicating for depression and he has since gradually stopped his medication.

I am trying to understand how people shift their perceptions that it enables them to decide to free themselves from depression – I know I couldn’t, despite all I was trying – and had to resort to medication.

The only thing that I can see is that maybe, all it takes is a friendly ear. An independent, no agenda friendly ear.

And looking back, this is what I missed when I was going through my depression. The rare people who were trying to help me had an agenda, they wanted me better. Whether it was my family, or the medical profession – I attended CBT sessions too – all wanted me better. And so the pressure they put on me made it all the harder for me, I felt I was failing them, and myself, by not being able to get better – and so I started to shut them off too. I was tired of hearing their own despair, in the case of my family – in their voice. In fact, I now realise the only person who made a difference to me in that time was my brother – I remember chatting with him one day explaining how bad I was feeling and he said “You’ll get there, I have faith in you – you can do it”.

And then there was my mate who lodged with me recently. He would come every night to walk Frodo and Sam with me during the week. No pressure, no heavy talking, no trying to help me, just there, and go for a walk with me. I have mentioned before, this was my only lifeline during that time.

So I am getting the picture that people with depression just really need someone or someones just to be there.

I know there is the Samaritans, and I did call them during that period once, but even they have an agenda, to prevent you from wanting to kill yourself. And so I really didn’t find it useful, they were interested in getting me out of my rut. Well, no-one could get me out of my rut at the time. Not even me. And that’s what scares me about depression, it really is like something takes over you and will push you down no matter what. And it touches a wide variety of people in this world, with no discrimination. Kids even get depressed! And animals too as I believe my dog did too when his lovely, happy world got turned upside down and he lost my husband, who he loved too and got stuck with me who wasn’t a fun person anymore.

I am realising that maybe the only people who can actually help you during your depression are those who just don’t care about it. 

I know when my new friend told me he had depression and he had been medicated for a long while through it, I instantly felt detached from him. I knew I couldn’t help him, and nor I wanted to. By then I had started my disconnection from people and depression was definitely something I wanted to leave well alone. I liked him, a lot, but I wasn’t going to get involved in that side of him.

And since, he has taken his own decisions about coming off medication and done his own thing, occasionally updating me on his progress, although I never ask these days. Yesterday, he told me he hadn’t taken his medication in over two weeks and made some joke about something else to which I responded “lol” – the fact that he hadn’t taken his medication for two weeks really registered nothing with me. Not even a well done. I don’t know how he feels about it, whether he was expecting me to say anything or congratulate him, but I just didn’t care truth be told.

Maybe that’s the answer to helping people through depression – it’s to just not care. I am not saying I don’t care about him, of course I do, and I want him to be happy – but I just don’t care how he does it. 

Maybe if people stopped putting so much pressure on people to get out of depression, maybe they will.

Thoughts on homelessness

I went to my Christmas do last night, I was a bit excited as this year the company said they were not going to pay for the alcohol consumption so I thought it would be interesting.

Well, of course, I had forgotten that wouldn’t stop people buying their own drinks. Still it was fun for a while, the food was yummy, a buffet of bitesize interesting things – my favourite was little parcels filled with goat cheese and caramilised onions – yummy! And since no-one else seemed to like those, I stuffed my face with them. Well it is Christmas after all 😉

I spent most of the evening with my young workmate friend who I have a bond with, and before I decided to leave, we spoke at length with our new manager, trying to give him the support he needed to try and relax in his new job, for he landed in a right mess of a situation – that new manager was my mentor when I worked in that place before I left for Canada, I have a lot of affection for him, and kinda feel sorry for him too as he is really struggling at the moment realising how bad things are in our department. I told him he needs to concentrate on observing people and getting to know everyone and learning how “things worked” and not worry about the mess we are in at the moment, things will get better when we are fully staffed again and then he can start making the changes he wants. He seemed reassured by this, he felt he was letting us down by not implementing positive changes straight away.

I had another interesting encounter smoking a cigarette on the roof top too. A group of young estate agents out on their Christmas do with their more mature lady boss. The boys were so young bless them and utterly charming. I got very taken by one of the lads, and we got chatting about his travelling to Thailand and how he had discovered meditation, and he would spend hours in the sea, floating and meditating. He was such a nice, charming, yet with a strong character young man, we could have spoken for hours, but we both had to go back to our respective Christmas do. We might meet again in the future, as the lady boss gave me their number and said they would find me a new lodger no problem. I had explained to her what I was looking for – a broken man to give shelter to whilst he sorts his head and life out  – and she said January/February was the best time to find such people as a lot of people split up after the holidays. I thought that was pretty sad.

After I had had my fair share of talking shop and as I was observing people getting more and more drunk, I decided it was time to go home so I made a quiet exit, only my workmate knew I was leaving, and walked to the car park.

As I left the pub and started to walk around the City, I was feeling pretty good not to be part of what was happening around me, the town was in full swing of revellers, people dressed to the nines, looking very smart but not behaving such, thanks to alcohol.

In my reveries, I heard the sound of metal on metal and looked where it was coming from and saw a homeless person sat in a doorway. That brought me back down to reality. I didn’t have any change and felt a bit bad to walk on. Just a few steps away though was another homeless person, this one had two dogs with him and so I decided to stop and give him a note instead. I figured I had spent no money drinking that evening, I could spare a note.

Of course, I stopped a while to have a chat with him and pet the dogs, two lovely staffies who lapped up the petting for a while before resting back at their owner’s side. The chap talked to me about his dogs at length and how one had been with him from a puppy – he was now 5 – and the other he had rescued from some woman who had left her get infected with flees so much that she had a terrible coat and it had got pretty raw near her butt. She had also been used for breeding. He explained how that woman now wanted the dog back and had threatened to send her boyfriend over to sort him out, but he was not worried, he said he’d do what he could to keep the dog by his side where she belonged.

As we were chatting, I was conscious of people around us, the doorway he had chosen for the night was right by a cash machine and the queue didn’t stop of people drawing their money to get their booze while out, and opposite people were queuing to get into a pub. It sure wasn’t a quiet doorway, however, it was probably good to feel part of the world still and watch it unfold.

During our chats, it was easy to forget the world out there, yet, I was always aware of people around us, it was very noisy, and as I went on my way, I wondered how those people felt to see this man and his dogs there whilst they had no care in the world apart from getting drunk – how much money were they going to be spending doing that that night, right in front of someone whose every penny mattered. I hope a few of them would think of that when drawing their money out and maybe share a bit of their beer money with that chap.

It is a crazy world for sure.

As I pushed on, and got slightly lost trying to find the car park where my car was, I got thinking about homelessness a bit.

As I mentioned before in my entry about balance, the word came during my last psychosis so obviously it was something I needed to think about and I realised a couple of weeks ago that I guess it was my ultimate fear in the world, to find myself homeless.

However, and this came after I did a bucket collection to help the relief for the Philippines, I thought that should I ever become homeless, somehow, I’d find a way to survive and stay safe, and that with the right disposition, people, strangers would pull through for me.

Hmm, yes, with the right disposition, a happy face and a big smile. Except I bet this is impossible to do when you find yourself homeless and having lost everything. 

We got an email at work yesterday on the subject as it happens. One part of our company looks after homeless people in London, particularly the youth.

I have been keeping an eye on the communication we get from them, usually fund raising. And I always give them special service when they contact us with IT problems, because I admire what they do, and don’t want IT to get in the way of their good work.

The one we got this week, which was fundraising within the company asking people to wear their best (or worst) Christmas jumper for the day, talked about the state people are when they get to them. How they are sleep deprived and starving and how that affect their mental health. And how difficult it is to give them hope again when they are in that state.

Having suffered trauma and sleep deprivation myself, I knew very well what they were talking about and it made me realise how tough that was for those homeless kids, who “wouldn’t be helping themselves”.

In fact this is something I have heard often recently, how people don’t help themselves, as a justification for not helping them.

And I experienced it first hand myself last night as I saw this homeless guy – his face was stern and unfriendly, I stopped anyway because of his dogs. And because they looked in great shape too. That told me a lot about him. I was right, he was a decent human being – he didn’t smile once during our friendly chat though. Well, would you be smiling in his shoes? I think not.

Homelessness is probably what matters the most to me about what is wrong with this world. Especially as it is the easiest issue to sort out. How many empty bedrooms are there in the civilized world?

When I was thinking of moving back to the UK, I had thought of giving my address to homeless people to use for their correspondence. I was wondering how they could even get a job if they didn’t have an address for post to go to. I was heavily dissuaded by someone, I can’t remember who, who put fear into me, saying it wouldn’t be safe and I would have a hoard of homeless people knocking on my door. Well, maybe he was right I thought, and so I gave up on the idea.

Since being back in the UK, I have been fortunate enough to have been able to help the cause somewhat.

With my lodger for starters who was sort of homeless when I got back in touch with him when I was in hospital and was able to give him a place to stay while he sorted his life and head out, and one of my special friends too, the one I went to dinner at last Wednesday.

That was actually quite a story, as she and her 11 year old daugher were about to find themselves homeless and I had offered to give her a temporary place to stay – she couldn’t really stay there long term for various reasons – and I found out by talking to the Council that if I gave her somewhere to stay, it would be the worst thing I could ever do, for they wouldn’t bother finding a place for her anymore – and this I heard directly from the council lady I spoke to. And so I had to take the decision not to help her, to help her – it was tough on me, but my friend was wonderful about it all, and just really grateful I cared enough to bother. This story had a happy ending, she stayed a couple of nights at mine whilst she sorted her stuff out and then found temporary accommodation before being re-homed.

That woman is absolutely amazing, I am so glad she is in my life. Despite everything she has gone through, she is an absolutely ray of sunshine, always greets me with a big smile and open arms when we meet up. I love seeing her. We got very close before she left the town I live in, I would often pop over hers after work and be invited over for dinner and I will admit I miss that now she lives miles away, I am just glad I still get to see her on occasions, and appreciate our meet up all the more now. She makes me feel so alive when I see her, the living proof that one can still be a good, positive person despite adversity, and finding herself homeless was the very tip of the adversity she had come across in life, bless her. Still, she has a strong and beautiful soul, and that is her saving grace.

The problem with homelessness is people really do prefer to turn a blind eye to the problem, although some will look at them with pity. But you know, it can happen to any of us, one wrong throw of the dice, one bad decision too many, one hardship too many, and you can be there.

I could have easily found myself there two years ago if I didn’t have my house to come home to when I had to leave Canada, in fact even then. If I didn’t get a job within two months of arriving, I would have had to sell my house and then what? The idea of moving back to either of my parents in France filled me with dread. I had never wanted to move back to France for the past 23 years I have lived in the UK and I didn’t like it to be my last option – in fact before meeting my husband ten years ago, I often said I would rather live under a bridge than move back there. France is not my home anymore.

And you know, I have realised recently, no-one lasts for ever, and even the friends you may think you have may not pull through for you if you are in dire straights. It is best to learn to stand alone in this world, then you discover a strength you never knew you had. I know I am these days. And decisions I make are no longer based on fear, they are based on my own personal survival needs. And I am no longer scared of being homeless, I feel these days that I can deal with anything life throws at me. It might be tough, I might lose the plot for a while, but it seems I have a fighting spirit inside of me and enough hope that it will see me through the other side.

Next year I want to get involved in the homelessness cause somehow. The only thing I can really give them is my time…and a bit of my heart. I thought maybe I could take myself out to the big towns/cities around me when all the animals come out at night to party and just walk around and chat to homeless people.

Sometimes, a friendly chat is all that one needs to feel connected to the world.

My First Psychosis

I have been debating in my head whether I should write about my Psychosis since I mentioned I would try and put into words what happened to me during the two I experienced.

Although I was hospitalised three times, I only had two Psychosis, for the first hospitalisation I had, I myself contacted the Police because I knew something wasn’t right with me and I reached out any way I could to get help. 

I don’t know why I have decided to write about it now, perhaps it’s my upcoming trip to Zanzibar, perhaps it is just time to get it out of my head. 

After my first Psychosis, my husband was concerned that I wanted to go to Zanzibar, he said “imagine what would have happened if you had had it there, with the health service they have”. And I must say the thought has been on my mind…what if I have another one there? Well, I have decided that the worst that can happen is I get an extended holiday, I can deal with that. Their health system might not be to the same standard of the civilized world but it doesn’t mean to say it’s no good – plenty of people go through it and come out the other end so why fear it, just because it is different to ours. And more to the point, they have a very different approach to spirituality. I feel I would be in good hands.

Still, I would rather never have a Psychosis again, because, as I mentioned before, I get overtaken by something that is definitely not “good”.

My first one made me abandon my dog, although there was still a part of me that was lucid enough to leave him attached to a picnic table opposite a chap who seemed to be camping there with a camper van, very similar to the one my husband and I had bought the day we split. I had hoped the chap would realise something was wrong when I walked off and didn’t come back and would contact the number on my dog’s tag – which was my husband’s mobile – and so my dog would be reunited with my husband where he would be safe. Unfortunately, I found out later that this didn’t happen and my dog stayed attached to the bench for many hours until he was rescued by staff of the local resorts who heard his barking. My husband told me after that my dog was never the same since. It pains me still. But at the time, I was in no state to look after him and I was needing him to be safe away from me.

My first Psychosis happened after a long period of awakening, when I started to truly connect with life and nature around me. During that time I started to develop an incredible bond with animals, but particularly dogs and birds. Otherwise aggressive dogs would let me pet them, even to the point I helped Bylaw rescue two whose owners ran a drug’s den.

I also started to see people very clearly. I could clearly see evil in people, as well as good. In fact this is what made me call the cops the first time as I had got embroiled with a man I had met dog walking.

One morning, as I was sitting on a bench watching life start, he walked past with his dog, and I noticed she was wearing one of those horrible collars with spikes that dig into your neck if you pull on the lead. It pained me and I felt this urge to free her from his owner – there were a few other behaviors this man had towards his dog I had witnessed in the past week that had told me there was a problem . She came to me as I was sitting on the bench and I calmly unhooked the lead. He went crazy, of course, and grabbed hold of me and dragged me on the ground for some distance whilst I was on my knees. He eventually let me go, got his dog back and went off.

Later that day, the Police came knocking on my door and told me there had been a complaint made against me. I looked at the Police officer confused whether he was for real and started to touch his uniform to check whether he was, he didn’t like that and told me to keep away. I explained what had happened and how I saw how badly this man was treating his dog, showed him my knees which showed the scratches I got from him dragging me over the gravel and he explained if I have a problem with people, I needed to call the Police rather than deal with it myself. I said, ok, well I have a problem with this man then and I am making an official complaint. He said he would look into it.

His words resonated in my head though, if I had a problem I should follow the proper channels and contact them.

Well I had a ton of problems, I was absolutely loosing touch with reality and a lot of weird things started to happen to me, some good but some definitely out of character and possibly dangerous for me and I started to get freaked out.

So I called them saying I feared my husband had been kidnapped and kept in one of my friends’ basement to be used as a sex slave – by then, he had left the house, apparently scared of what I might do – I have since found out that the Police had advised him to leave and that soon enough I would do something that would warrant their intervention.

Sure enough, not long after the call, two Police Officers appeared back at my house, with my husband in tow and I was taken to the local hospital for observation, where more weird stuff happened to me and my behaviour was weird and they decided I should be taken into hospital. So off I went.

There, again was a wonderful place for me to be and processed what had happened to me and how my world got turned upside down by my husband and my best friend. When my sections got lifted some two weeks later, I had wanted to stay there on a voluntary basis, I was learning a lot about myself and the world there and I wanted to continue my journey there a while longer.

Unfortunately the stupid psychiatrist who had been seeing me, more about that idiot some other time, decided I shouldn’t be treating the place like a hotel and he decided I should leave. By then, I had nowhere to go, there was no way I would go back to Drumheller, where I lived, as too much weird stuff had happened and I had bad vibes about the place now, I felt there was a lot of evil there and never wanted to go back – I still don’t.

So my husband came to the hospital, dumped all the stuff I would take back to the UK with me, including my dog, and washed his hand off me. I had decided to do a roadtrip to see the bits I had meant to before feeling good enough to fly back to the UK. 

My road trip was wonderful to start with, I reconnected with people and nature and felt in a good place. Things started to go bad though after a few days. I hadn’t been taking the medication I had been prescribed for several reasons, the main two were that I didn’t believe it was the answer to my problems and also I hadn’t been given any when I was discharged, only enough for 24 hours.

First I went to a lovely B and B run by a couple of german descendant and had a lovely time there. Then I decided to go to Canmore, one of my favourite places in Alberta, and say good bye to some friends who lived there. It was as I left Canmore that things started to go wrong for me again.

I had decided to go to the South to a place called Waterton – my husband and I had said we had wanted to go there and I wanted to see it before I left Canada. So I started the long drive there.

It took me a whole day to get there, and all the while in the car, I was talking, processing where I was in life. It was a very slow drive down…very eery….

I had booked a hotel there but when I got there I found the hotel was shut and that confused me. I sat in my car not knowing what to do. My dog was asleep on the passenger’s seat and I decided I would spend the night in the car.

That night, the dark side of the Psychosis started to come out. I didn’t sleep much for my mind was invaded by horrible stuff….I was sending my family to hell and watching them suffer for their sins. And rejoicing. With my eyes closed, I could see lights too, flashing constantly. I couldn’t be bothered to check what it was and just layed there unable to “wake up” from the horrible stuff that was taking over my mind. I remember my sat nav beeped at me too, and I looked at it and the screen just showed “Go Home” – I laughed, saying I don’t have a home stupid, put it back and ignored its deeping until it stops. In fact everything stopped at one point, the beeping and the flashing. I realised in the morning that the battery had died.

After that I must have dozed off and when I woke up I was faced by a magical scene. The hotel was placed on the most beautiful spot of Waterton – on a hill and from there you can see the mountains and the lake – absolutely beautiful.

As I opened my eyes, it was the start of a beautiful day, with a sheet of fog lingering, and I watched the scenery in absolute awe as three deers walked past.

I decided to take my dog for a walk and we went down to the river at the bottom of the hill where the hotel was. We had a wonderful time there, playing fetch with sticks in the river and just generally being kids together.

Eventually I got back to the car and decided I needed to try and deal with my car’s battery being flat. Except I wasn’t able to. I tried asking a couple who pulled out by me if they had some jumpleads, they were really nice and unfortunately didn’t have any. I then got it in my head that I couldn’t ask for help, that help would need to come to me instead, and so when they suggested I asked another chap who had just parked up and was walking away towards the hotel, I didn’t. They didn’t really understand why and went about their exploring.

I sat in my car a while wondering what to do next and a group of ladies stood talking in front of the bonnet. I heard them talk about food, saying one should always have something with them when trekking, just in case, like cheese or something. It made me realise I hadn’t eaten for a long while, neither had my dog. I had some mini babybel in my car too, and dog food, so I fed us both in the car. Then I decided to go explore and see if there was a way I could get my car sorted. Except I didn’t find a way – what I did find though was that there was a whole town the other side of the hotel and realised that I had gone to the wrong hotel the previous night.

Frodo and I spent some more time playing by the river and things started to go wrong again for me. I had realised by then I hadn’t slept for a couple of days as well and tried to get a nap lying on the rocks by the side of the river. But I couldn’t. So I went for another walk along the beautiful river with Frodo. Eventually, darkness came over me again and I started to loose the plot and did lots of weird things again. I felt I was taken over by my mum’s evil spirit. My mum and I had major issues in the weeks that preceded my Psychosis, and a few times we spoke over the phone, I had seen evil in her. She had been very aggressive with me, even shouting at me at times. I was bringing out the worst in her.

My darkness brought me to eat some stones from the bottom of the river. It had started when I realised I hadn’t drunk any water for a long while, so I started to drink water from the river. It felt so so good. Eventually though, something took over me and decided I should eat stones from the river to “clear myself from my mum’s bad spirit”, I became very agitated at that stage, arguing with myself/my mum, calling her all sorts and telling her I wanted her out of my body/mind. And apparently the only way to do that was to eat stones. So I went to the river’s edge and frantically started to eat stones. However, and this is what I have noticed throughout my psychosis experiences, something deep down inside of me also helps me ensure I don’t hurt myself, I started to dig really deep inside the river so instead of eating normal sized stones, I ate only little ones. 

It was only when I was back in hospital again that I realised how clever that had been. I probably could have seriously damaged myself or even inadvertantly killed myself if I had eaten normal sized stones….

After the incident of the stones, I decided I needed someone else to look after my dog and so I attached him to that bench hoping he would get rescued soon.

After that, I booked myself into a hotel – the one I had actually reserved, and went for dinner.

During the night, I had weird (but good) experiences and had a little sleep. When I woke up at 2 am, I decided to go for a walk, and this is when I got picked up by the Police. To this day I don’t know why I was picked up – I was only walking and looking at shop windows, dressed appropriately and my behaviour was normal.

He did “whisper” to me when I got in his car that “I hadn’t looked when I crossed the street”. That had me pretty puzzled, so? At 2 am in the morning there was hardly going to be any traffic!

Still that was the best thing that happened and I was taken into the local hospital where my husband would join me, as he had been notified. Weird stuff happened there again, the weirdest was that the doctor left my husband and I alone in my room to “talk things over”. I am not sure what he was hoping we would achieve but obviously nothing was achieved. My husband by then had had enough of my behaviour and really wanted me out of his life for good so he could pick his up and be happy ever after with our friends and my best friend.

During that chat I found out what had happened to Frodo, my husband made sure I realised how bad what I did was too, by reminding me where Waterton was and the wild life around and that Frodo could have been attacked by a bear or a cougar as he was tied up – thanks Husband, really what I needed to hear in the state I was in. I was just glad to hear he was safely back with him.

I then got carted off to another mental health hospital, that ambulance ride was another strange experience, but for another time, and there I decided to listen to what they said and took the meds they wanted me to. I didn’t want to be who I had become anymore. I remember my husband didn’t visit me once either – I think the staff were quite shocked by that. He did come the following day and I heard him behind the curtain that separated my room into two, deciding what items of clothing I should keep during my stay. I remember hearing all I had asked for was my toothbrush. Anyway, after he dealt with that, he set off.

Two weeks later, they discharged me, and by then I was ready to face the UK and arranged to have my stuff dropped off at a hotel in Calgary, saw my dog for the last time there and took a flight to Paris the following day to meet my dad for a few days before facing what was waiting for me in the UK: a broken life, a house I would have to wait for before moving back as my tenant had been refusing to leave unless she was evicted so she could get herself a council house. And nothing else.

I had hoped to talk about my second Psychosis this morning, however it seems the first one came out.

I am conscious I haven’t written it in details either, there are 100s of strange experiences I had that I haven’t covered but I’d be here all day if I were to cover them all.

Funnily enough recently, I came across a chap who wrote a book about his experience with psychosis, Peter somebody or other, a scientific kind of guy if I remember well, when I was looking for links between psychosis and spirituality and discovered his book, which is available via a pdf for a cost, was some 400 pages. Yep, that figures. (I never bothered getting his book, I don’t like reading books via electronic format plus it was quite pricey if I remember well)

Thing is, at the moment, I prefer keeping those weird experiences to myself on the whole (I have spoken about some of them to some people whom I have felt safe to, one of them being my psychiatrist). It really is nobody’s business what I went through but my own. And I have learned recently some people like to use it against you too – like the American Guy threw in my face I was bipolar after I split up from him.

The majority of people wouldn’t get it and think I am crazy. I know I am not. And that really is all that matters.

A lesson in customer service

I had an interesting thing happening to me today.

As I had finished a conversation with a customer, she didn’t quite put the phone down straight away and I heard her say to her colleague “IT are fucking useless”.

Well I wasn’t going to let that comment go.

So I emailed the lady and told her I was sorry to hear her last comment after our conversation and that she felt I had failed her and maybe she would like to feed this back to my manager, giving his name, so we can improve the service we provide.

Now, I know why she said that, we have a big issue at work at the moment – the application the whole company relies on for their every day work is failing us – they upgraded it some 4 months ago and ever since then we have been plagued with issues – I kid you not, there isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t get phone calls about it. Our customers have actually been absolutely amazing and patient about it, frankly if it had been me, I wouldn’t have been – imagine the software you have to use every day, constantly crashing, freezing or coming up with error messages, or suddenly stopping you from doing a simple task you absolutely need to do for no reason whatsoever.

And the company being a housing association – providing social housing for poor people, this software is in constant use, and the staff operating it have to deal with really aggressive, tough or desperate people, the last thing they need is to have to tell them “The computer says no”.

I myself am loosing my patience with this issue big time as unfortunately, we, on the first line, have no power whatsoever about it, and it is with another team to sort out. In fact it gets worse, it’s with two other teams, the Applications team, who works closely…ish with the application providers and with the network team, as it runs from Citrix so occasionally the problems are relating to Citrix/the network rather than the application itself – and so sometimes calls bounce from one of the department to the other and no-one wants to take responsibility for it.

Anyway, this lady answered a great email, apologising for her comment and explaining it wasn’t directed at me, but they were all getting **** off with this issue. And I replied I absolutely understood and could I please forward our exchange to my manager so people were aware of how this is affecting staff. She agreed, saying she hoped it would help.

I am so glad I didn’t let that comment go. I really hope it helps shake things up so something is done about this issue once and for all. It’s not fair on our customers to have to deal with it, and it’s not fair on us. Enough already.

I did go and speak to my manager about the whole thing after, trying to find ways to deal with issues relating to the application better – at the moment, we log calls and they disappear in the abyss for a while, to re-appear a day or so later, with the question “Can you check if this is still a problem?” – I am very hopeful my manager and I can find a solution, or at least put the right amount of pressure on the other teams that they actually find a proper solution, rather than firefight constantly.

All because I care about my customers, a hell of a lot. “People at the Heart” is the new company motto, so that gives me carte blanche to care as much as I want 😉

By newpaz

Learning to be independent

I am feeling really pleased with myself tonight…I have finally decided to listen to the men in my life, namely my husband and my dad, who have always been banging on at me to look after my car properly.

Now I am alone and I can’t afford garage prices, I am learning to do the basic stuff required to make sure my car has a long and happy life, and that I am safe.

So, this past week, I have been showed how to top up the oil and change a head light bulb. Wish there was a course in mechanics actually as I am feeling very empowered at the thought of being able to do these things myself. See, I have always felt it was a guy’s job and so never bothered.

I even borrowed a friend’s battery charger tonight as I needed to charge the flat battery of my old car that I am hoping to sell on Saturday. And again I sussed out how it worked all on my own – ok, it’s pretty simple but hey, trust me, I have never wanted to bother with these things in the past, and felt a bit powerless before, and useless!

Well, powerless no more, this chick isn’t scared of “men’s jobs” anymore 😉

By newpaz

Book crazy

Someone stop me please! So, there was a charity book sale in a DIY shop I visited this evening and I just couldn’t help myself. Books, books and more books – those won’t make it to Zanzibar though, one has to stop somewhere 😉

So latest additions:

A Minor Adjustment – story of a 6 year old down’s syndrome radio star – I have always had a lot of affection for Down’s Syndrome kids/people, can’t wait to get started!

Young Adolf – Hitler came up during my psychosis, during the 24 hours I was in isolation at the mental health place…I haven’t made sense of why he came up yet as the memory isn’t so clear now but I do remember it was an extremely painful moment for me. Anyway, I wanted to find out more about the person behind the monster.

Then We Came to the End – “Story about sitting all morning next to someone in the office you cross the road to avoid at lunch. It’s a story of your life, and mine” – I have a fascination for work relationships these days.

The Rapture – Countdown to the Earth’s last days – Haha, had to be bought.

Blown to Bits – “How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy” – not sure why, it was only 50p anyway 😉

Behold the Man – Time traveller who meets Jesus and find him to be a drooling idiot and has to decide what to do.

A brief History of the Future – The origins of the internet. Love the internet so much, wouldn’t mind finding out how this magnificent invention came about 🙂

The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole – Read it before some time back, Adrian Mole is always entertaining 🙂

The Passing of the Night – Story of a guy captive in the Vietnam war, with all the horrors that happened, more to the point, his survival, thanks to his courage and his faith.

Dead Famous – Ben Elton – not a clue what it’s about as the cover was missing (it’s a hard back), bought it because I quite liked the (free) book mark that came with it. And also the writing style.

I’ll need another holiday soon to be able to read all my books at this rate!

By newpaz Tagged

Stress

I went out to a friend for dinner last night – she is truly one of my special friends too who I had forgotten to mention because our friendship is so easy, it’s like she is not there. Yet her and I have a very special connection and I feel utterly comfortable talking about anything and everything with her and even share my thoughts about stuff that happens in her life without fear of a negative reaction, it is pretty special.

When we were chatting yesterday I realised that the reason why I have disconnected so much and only let very little in my life these days is because I have been trying to cut down all the stress that was in my life. 

Stress is a nasty evil of our society these days, mainly because most of it is avoidable, yet we are surrounded by it, and it takes over all of our time, emotions and makes us behave in strange ways. Would it be created by friends, family, work or even faith. There is seldom an area of life where it isn’t present. And unfortunately the more you have it, the less able you are to be balanced. You will react to it in negative ways, always, even with the positive stress, if there is enough of it. Positive stress is actually what led me to my psychosis. 

At the time, I was feeling very happy and very positive, good things were happening to me all the time and it all became too much for me. They do say you can have too much of a good thing hey.  And so all this grounded to a halt when I was taken to a mental health ward to “calm down”. It did me the world of good and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. There was very little to do there, everything was taken care of for you, apart from your laundry – although they do offer some great activities too, such as cooking, the gym, art etc some of which I joined when I felt ready. The whole environment puts no pressure on you though and it gives you time to think and process. And this is also the reason why I stayed two weeks, when I could have been discharged sooner. I remember when I was discharged, one of the nurses I was saying goodbye to said “I don’t understand what you were doing here anyway”. Well I did. I needed that complete break from my world. I had become too stressed.

Thinking back, even my care co-ordinator said to me after an hour of chatting that her job would be to put the breaks on me. Luckily, she hasn’t needed to do that, because it seems I learned that lesson.

So since being back, I am now realising that I have reduced the stress in my life to a bare minimum, to the point it is now non-existent, apart from what “life throws at you”. And work.

Work is actually quite interesting. It is at the most stressful that we have ever known it – we are still shortstaffed and even more so these days as people are getting sick, while others have holidays to use up before Christmas all the while when more duties are being passed down to us from other teams, the abandoned calls rate has gone from under 5% to about 30%, which means there are always about 6 calls waiting – the board that display this information goes red when there are more than 3 calls waiting, not a calming colour. Luckily that board is behind me so I don’t get to see it – some of our customers even have to wait 30 minutes regularly – unheard of.

Yet I am managing to function well, still develop a good rapport with our customers, an even better ones as they are still friendly when we chat, despite the fact that they have waited so long to get an answer. The team is getting closer too, as “we are all in this together” and we do the best we can to still provide the best service possible.

With no stress in my life, I can handle the work stress, which is necessary as I need money to live. Again, luckily I love the job I do as I couldn’t do it under such stressful conditions, without a doubt.

I have a book I bought in Canada before I left two years ago, it’s called “Dance first, think later”. The irony is that it is 425 pages of quotes telling you how to be. So erm, kinda makes you think.

My eyes keep falling on this book recently and think about its message. And I have decided I don’t believe it’s right. By dancing first and thinking later, you are only pushing away the necessary to be able to dance. And this is the problem in this world, people would rather escape it than deal with their feelings and thoughts, and this avoidance creates more stress as the cycle continues.

I know some stress in life is unavoidable, however, most is. By disconnecting myself from everything, I can understand better how the unavoidable stress affects me and learn to deal with it. 

And it seems it is working – what happened with my lodger earlier in the week would have in the past caused me a lot of stress, even reached for a beer or 4 or a bottle of wine, to “calm myself down”.

It only unsettled me the evening it happened, where I was trying to understand how it all went so wrong so quickly. I wasn’t surprised as I knew how messed up my lodger was and I had tried hard to accompany him on his self discovery journey, until he met my friend and everything went out of the window. He reverted back to what he does best, and that is to forget himself completely and throw himself into this new love interest with full gusto. Knowing that, it made it easier for me to deal with.

The following day, I was fine with what happened, understanding fully why it had and my job was to make both of them fine with it too, ultimately I wish nothing but happiness for either of them and they now know that. There are no hard feelings, everything is back to normal now. And I only managed that because I had no-one to tell me what to do or what to feel when it all happened, I had to draw into myself to find a way to deal with the situation. I was pretty pleased how it went.

Only by truly understanding who you truly are can you deal with upsetting situations. And to understand truly who you are, you need to have a break from the usual life stresses, and people, who give you most of the stress! Then, you can function well in reality and even better make a true difference to this world.

I have observed many awakened people go on retreats, some with monks, some drop everything they ever know and start a new life.

Well not this awakened one here. I actually love my little world, and the big wide world and I want to stay in it.

I made that decision during my psychosis weekend.

Something strange happened to me with my laptop and I was presented with options of what to do with it – I now realise it was something to do with my screen display, although I have no clue how the option came up (I am using Windows 8 which is a challenge!) but I have seen it come up since so I know it’s there somewhere. 

Anyway, when the window came up, there were options concerning the display and little icons showing you the different options. I sat there for a while contemplating the options – to me, in my psychosis mode, the choices I was given were: “normal” (carry on my life as it was), alternate (change my current reality to a different one), dual (get another same reality and with a different chance) and a few other options along those lines – I sat there a while looking at the options, I eventually decided on one. The one I chose was “normal”.

Awakened people have this notion that something big is going to happen and most are waiting for “someone” to come and “save” this world and so it renders them powerless. They are filled with a sense of excitement but nothing much is happening and so they struggle to understand what is going on. They are in constant state of waiting, which really isn’t a nice feeling.

This awakened blogger here won’t be waiting for anything. She loves this world with a passion and won’t be waiting for anyone to “save us all”. The answers are within each of us to take responsibility for our impact on this world, our own personal impact, that no-one can tell you whether it is right or wrong, only you are the master of yourself. Once more and more people realise this, this world will be safe and a much better place to live.

My advice would be: get rid of all the stress you can, positive or negative, whilst still living in the normal world, and you will start to find your inner self. And that inner self will change you into the person you truly are. And you will find you are actually amazing. And amazing people can change the world 🙂

Back to being alone

Last night was my first time alone in my house again. I was wondering how it would feel not to have Sam sleep on my bed, as he had gone by the time I got home last night, but it was actually fine. I even got a little treat this morning when one of my cats came to give me a bit of love. They sure adapted to Sam being gone really quickly and were back roaming the house in no time! 🙂

As I went into my lodger’s bedroom this morning to turn the radiator off which was on full blast, my eyes fell on a photo album he had in a drawer lying on the floor which looked like it contained his paperwork, and I couldn’t help but take a peek. I love photos, they give you an instant feel for someone’s life and what matters to them.

As I sat on his bed and looked through it, I saw a very different side of him, in fact, I saw the side I knew he had, and this is why I helped him out when he found himself homeless and was determined not to leave things as they were heading. He was there for me in my deepest need, when I was going through depression and he came night after night to walk Frodo with me, my only human contact outside of work, and he did this despite his girlfriend, who had fallen out with me, disapproving. I will never ever forget that.

Photos were of his family in the olden days, many of his children with big smiles, himself looked so happy and proud when photographed with them. Some were loose at the back and fell to the floor. As I picked them and looked through them, I saw they were of Sam when he was younger, his youngest child, who is autistic, and a couple of my friend, who he dated for a few years, the one who didn’t approve of him walking Frodo with me.

This man has a big heart, however clumsy he is in his life and expressing his emotions.

I now realise, yet again, the women who came into his life made him the person he is now. I remember him telling me about his first wife and how she had betrayed him and, as I was listening to him tell me the story, I realised how much he was hurting still. And his choice of partners since just repeated the pattern. He is desperate for love and, as is usually the case in those cases, he looks for it in all the wrong places.

And thinking back of the comment he made that prisoners should be raped, when I questioned him on what he was saying at the time, he eventually came up with “well those who have killed children, innocent little children” – which shows his heart in the right place.

I do hope he has found happiness with my friend. She seems a nice person with a good heart too, and, as she has been single for 17 years, hopefully she has spent enough time looking inwards and learning how to treat people, in particular men.

If not though, I have told him I would always be there for me if he needs me again. And I truly mean it.

And I have said the same to his girlfriend. I realise now I felt let down by her for not trying to calm him down so his departure wouldn’t be so dramatic. But I understand she probably chose not to get involved and that’s fair enough.

I don’t need either of them in my life – I don’t need anyone these days – but I shall be there for them should they need me again.

It’s a funny thing really after my post on friendships yesterday. I just cannot stop be there for people no matter what they have done to me it seems. I guess that comes from being whole. I am happy to have no friends, yet, I am happy if others need me to be theirs, whenever they do. Or maybe it comes from the fact that I see people for what they are these days, damaged, yet lovable. 

Everyone is born pure. Life shapes you into someone else. Just because I have chosen to face my demons and become as pure as I can again doesn’t mean I have to give up on those who won’t or simply can’t. In fact, recently, I have found I have developed a lot of compassion for my fellow human beings. Particularly the hardened ones. For they struggle the most.

By newpaz