Journal/blog dealing with mental health aspects and random thoughts
Thoughts Of A Troubled Mind |
This is very much a learning exercise for me. I have never written a blog in my life but, as they say, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’. So here goes.
Please be patient, and any tips will be really appreciated.
|Which of these do you most crave? One or other, or perhaps a combination of both?
There was a time, not so long ago, when I would have said excitement. So I might not have gone bungee jumping or abseiling, but the willingness was there if there’d have been the opportunity. A jet-pack wouldn’t have been turned down either. Strangely enough, most of the things I’ve had any real desire to experience have been above ground – I wonder whether this might be in some way connected to my childhood ambition to be either an astronaut or air-traffic controller.
Maybe I was more confident then. Having said that, perhaps it was the idea rather than the actual doing for I never made the effort to achieve the thrill of anything like this.
Now what I crave most of all is peace. I’m quite comfortable in silence, and for the most part am quite happy without human company.
Confidence? Well, that’s long become an unknown thing for me. Let me sit behind a keyboard and I can communicate, but in real life situations I quickly become confused, and will rarely say anything more than ‘Hello’. Even at home, I am reluctant to speak out, and will go to great lengths to try to avoid confrontations.
So, back to the original question, and I’ve got to say that ‘peace’ is the one for me.
‘Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better
by change’ - Jim Rohn
Ideally, I think to at least some extent this statement is true; but how many lives are ‘ideal’. Some things are relatively easy to change, such as diet; but even then you won’t succeed unless you are really determined.
A lot of things can’t so easily be changed. Take poverty, for instance; with all the will in the world you might not have the opportunity to change the circumstances. I suppose it could be argued that you can make changes to your attitude; but it is a big ask for someone struggling to put food on the table, or who is freezing cold because they can’t afford heating to develop a ‘positive’ attitude. Not everyone has the opportunity to retrain.
Another factor to take into consideration is the fact that most of us do not live in isolation. Family members might make changes that are detrimental to others; they also might make it impossible for an individual to make the changes they know that they want to make.
This, to me, is one of those statements that on the surface can seem motivational, but in reality is, more often than not, going to lead to more feelings of failure rather than less.
|This is a day to pay respects to all those who have fought in wars. They will never be forgotten.
This is a day to remember the cost in lives that all wars bring. Not just to those that die fighting, but to those lives that are irretrievably changed. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a friend; the memories of horror that are relived in the memory over and over again. Those that have been wounded, both physically and mentally, through wars need and deserve support.
There is a lesson to be learned. Whatever the conflict there must be a better way to address it than by engaging in warfare.
|The question posed is; How do you think technology affects international peace?
Well, to me it would appear to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, never before has there been so many ways to carry out mass destruction. This can even be carried out from a remote distance; think of drones and military AI.
There is the ability to carry out genetically based attacks. Research has allowed for the development of bio-weapons that will attack only those that carry certain genes. Is that a sinister development, or what?
Without all the latest developments, the world already contains enough nuclear weapons to entirely destroy itself many times over. Whereas before they were in the hands of perhaps two or three governments, they are now owned, at least to some extent, by eight countries, nine if you include Israel. That brings us at least three times more likely for someone to press the button and start what will be a short and final war. There will be no winners, and just a globe full of losers, that is if the planet itself manages to survive.
Having said that, there is the argument that this very scale of threat stills those fingers that might get the impulse to press those buttons. With the advances in technology, such an attack would be detected before any chance of a bomb making impact, and a retaliatory strike would be made. There would be no chance of negotiation; no option to surrender, and no retreating to think things through in a cooler moment.
Does the possibility exist that in this way technology is promoting world peace? Well, yes and no. For in my opinion, it is only a matter of time. Sooner or later, someone will become so affronted, so enraged, so maddened beyond the ability to see reason. That is the moment when we will all get to feel the destructive power that has been unleashed, even if it is no more than a very fleeting glimpse.
|What can I say? I could be really blunt and discouraging and say that no matter how bad you think things already are, they are only going to get worse. But, here’s the thing; they are not written in stone and you can still change things.
The most important piece of advice that I can give to you is the same that I would give to anyone. Don’t try to be what others expect you to be. That doesn’t mean you have to dismiss all opinions out of hand, but to think things through, make up your own mind. We all get a life, but there are many people out there that will try to take over yours as well as living their own.
The temptation is there to put on a mask, to make yourself blend in when every part of your mind is screaming at you, yelling ‘This isn’t you!’ Listen to it. Just because people might look and stare, make snide comments, try and pressure you to become ‘one of us’, be yourself. Trying to be what you’re not isn’t something that can be sustained indefinitely. Life puts on enough pressure without trying to maintain an act for every moment of your waking life.
People will try all kinds of tactics to manipulate you in to doing what they want, being who they want. It’s going to be really tempting, but once started on, it’s a difficult road to get off of, and it is all too easy to lose yourself in the process.
They say that hindsight is a wonderful thing, and this is what I wish someone had drummed in to my head. The fact that it is okay to be yourself, to not fit in. You have just as much right to be as you want to be, as others have to be what they choose. Hold on to that right.
If you don’t, you will end up lost, confused, isolated and depressed. But don’t take my word for it; think about it yourself and decide what you believe to be best for you and not what’s best for someone else.
|Well, this is sadly all too easy.
I’m sorry for forgetting. There were so many things to remember; things to do, all the things to buy. I’d never have forgotten deliberately, for I know full well the trouble that’s going to follow on from this moment of neglect.
I am not sorry for pointing out what you are doing to me. The emotional assault, the bullying, the way this constant behavior is breaking me apart. You don’t want to hear it; you retaliate by making even more threats, making me feel even worse.
Yeah, like you say, I might be a failure but that does not make your bullying okay.
|Do I ever have moments when I’ve wanted (or needed) to say something, but have decided to keep quiet?
You bet! Generally multiple times a day.
I have learned that if I jump in and speak up, it tends to have the opposite effect to the one I intended, and makes things worse. I’m not sure if the problem is with what I say or how people interpret it. In the end, I guess it doesn’t much matter which it is as the result is the same.
So I think things, I write things, but if it was a viable thing for me to do I would take a vow of verbal silence and stick with it. As that option is not there, I say as little as I can get away with.
‘Everything on Earth has a purpose, every disease an herb
to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the
Indian theory of existence.’ Mourning Dove Salish.
This prompt was given in recognition of Native American Heritage Month. There are a number of things that stand out about the quote to me, not least being the similarity to Pagen and Wicca theories. Ironically, perhaps, all three honor women more than other established religions.
The statement that everything has a purpose mixes well with the belief that all is connected, and thus has a role to play in the ‘whole’. A simple way of looking at this is by focusing on the natural world and the way all things co-exist and complement each other. Just by taking one thing away, an entire ecosystem can become disrupted.
I remember hearing the worry last year about the lack of bees and the serious consequences this could bring about through lack of pollination. Think also of drainage, where water is taken from one area and directed to another. This simple act can cause entirely new floodplains.
The part about diseases might have been true at one time but I suspect there are many diseases around now that cannot be cured by natural remedies, being as they are themselves unnatural. Careful use of plants can cause fevers, and through the fever the body can cleanse itself of some viruses and bacteria. Also there are plenty of natural remedies for harm caused through nature – for instance nettle stings can be eased by dock leaves. Plants can be made into poultices, brewed in to tinctures, that can draw out impurities or soothe the pain of injuries.
The idea that every person has a mission is a bit more challenging. But maybe the mission is not a conscious one. Perhaps a smile or a word exchanged with a stranger will have a significantly beneficial effect on them. Perhaps a delay in setting off on a journey misses a child stepping out in the road without pausing to look.
It makes me think of the ‘butterfly effect’ or ‘chaos theory’, which ironically is almost certainly the opposite way that the quote is intended to be taken.
|Some people say that things come in threes; good things or bad things. I guess the saying has a root somewhere back in folklore; but to be quite honest, I have never found there to be any truth to the saying.
Three would be one of my lucky numbers, as far as I have any. Ask me to pick a number between one and ten and that is more than likely what I would pick. Given a larger number to choose from, I would go for thirteen. This is not a new thing; in fact those two numbers have been my favored ones for as long as I can remember.
Do I use the superstition of threes in my writing? No, not at all. But saying that, I have written a story called simply ‘3’ that is a story told in three different perspectives.
|From when I was way too young to remember I was scared of feathers – and birds, too, I guess. I was told how I had to be removed from the room when the budgie was let out for its cage to be cleaned. I was too young to even remember the budgie apart from its name.
Anyway, as so often happens with siblings, what one fears the other celebrates, or in this case, collected. My older brother was fascinated by birds, still is actually, and he collected every single feather he came across. His prize possessions were two pheasant tail feathers. About two feet long, boy, were they a torment for me. He never had to worry about his little sister going in to his room with those prize specimens attached to his wall. I remember he kept them all in boxes which he would tip out and sort through, leaving me white-faced and almost paralyzed.
It did effect my life. If there were birds, for instance crows or pigeons on the pavement, I would either have to cross a road or go another way. A trip to London that took in Trafalgar Square had to be aborted when I turned in to a screaming wreck. And the movie of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ gave me nightmares for months.
The phobia did not disappear. Even my own kids, or at least one of them would pick up crow feathers to terrorize me with.
Then the cats arrived. Initially there were two adults and four kittens that turned up out of the blue, and we gave them a home. One day a magpie went after one of the kittens and the mother cat did what she was supposed to do and killed it.
So there it was, a dead magpie, right out in the yard. A magpie is a big bird, with long feathers. The way it was laying it’s wings were spread out. I waited for someone to take pity on me and remove it. I waited all day, then until late afternoon the following day. It was still there – no one was going to remove it. I got a long handled shovel and approached it, feeling so sick, shaking and dizzy. Okay, laugh all you like, but I poked it, just to make sure it was not going to move. It didn’t.
I walked off, not able to face it but then I walked back, picked it up in a shovel and removed it. I had to sit down afterwards, shaking even more than before, but, and this is a big but, it cured me of my life-time feather phobia. I mean, I’m still unlikely to go around picking them up, but I can sit out quite comfortably among the crows.