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.
|Prompts: Words or Pictures
Is it easier for you to respond to written prompt or a picture prompt? Why?
This is a very hard question for me to answer. Anyone that has become familiar with me knows that I love prompts, although a lot of people don’t. As far as words or pictures though, in all honesty I am just as likely to use either.
It’s more down to what appeals rather than the form that the prompt is in. Sometimes when I’m looking through images on sites like Pixabay I will come across a photo or picture that gives instant inspiration, and if I have the time I’ll use it straight away. More often than not, I set it aside and sometimes I lose that initial idea for good.
I like title prompts – always have done since I was young – and I like other types of written prompts. The most challenging for me are the ones where you have to fit certain words into the text of your story or poem.
Question prompts, like this one, seem to be to be particularly effective for blog posts.
|Lock Down Halloween
To be quite honest neither social distancing or the potential restoration of lock down will change my plans for Halloween, or for any other time come to that.
I do like Halloween though, and being a Celtic festival, it is quite a big thing in Ireland. I used to celebrate it by watching scary movies, but now you are more likely to find me curled up in front of the fire with some kind of horror book.
Just as I did last year I look forward to taking part in the Oktoberfest Dark Dreamscape competition, and of course the Halloween Screams along with the daily competitions. Then I am supposed to working on planning my NaNoWriMo book, which is going to be kind of scary, but whether I’ll commit to that, I don’t know.
I’ve also put my name down for Resurrection Jukebox, so all in all, October is going to be a pretty hectic month for writing.
Living rurally, we don’t get kids calling, Trick or Treating. But there are plenty of Halloween goodies in the shops – not as many as last year though.
The sun sinks so much earlier
now that we’re into fall;
if traveling towards it
one can barely see at all.
The sky can go quite orange
but more often it is grey,
when the sun does set upon
a cool September day.
The birds they quieten early
as they snuggle in the nest
while hedgehogs go out foraging
and foxes make a quest.
The bats, they flitter daily
and they truly make me fear;
it’s hard to stand outside the house
whenever they come near.
And evenings now, they have a chill
now summer has withdrawn,
the sun has gone away this day
but will be back at dawn.
“It isn't possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.” ― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View
Is love eternal?
No doubt everyone is familiar with the fairy-tale notion of love. Two souls meet and fall in love and they both live happily ever after. More often than not, this is just not the case. Many people do not even remain with their first love, let alone go on to make vows to love and cherish each other ‘in sickness and in health’.
Is it possible to love and part? Absolutely; for both partners have to want to stay together and both might have very different ideas of what ‘love’ is. There is nothing worse than one person being held captive by the other's... love. That way only conflict lies. Sometimes there has to be an admission that, much as two people might love each other, they simply cannot live together.
But that is not to say that love is not eternal. An individual might fall in love many times. The fact that there is no happily-ever-after should never be allowed to negate these feelings. Any person that has been loved is going to have made a lasting impression.
Should they go on to end up hating each other that won’t change it. Maybe for a good few years they’ll be able to deny this, but once one truly falls in love there will always be a part of them that’s kept inside both heart and mind. That’s not to say that it cannot be locked away, for of course it can; otherwise how would they ever be able to live... and love, again.
"We understand how dangerous a mask can be. We all become what we pretend to be". – Patrick Rothfuss
I guess that sometimes a person can really turn into being the mask they wear. If you continually pretend to feel a way, maybe after a while you’ll get so familiar with that attitude or behaviour that it will replace your original personality.
I think it would be far more correct to say that: ‘We all become seen as being what we pretend to be.” Does that make sense? I’m going to try and come up with a couple of examples to explain my point in a bit more depth.
Take for instance a man who has lost his wife, or a parent. Not wanting to be seen as weak, as unmanly, he hides the grief that he is feeling, and his friends and family believe that he is coping far better than he really is. Hiding grief does not get rid of it; in fact it can make it grow unchecked until you reach or even pass breaking point.
In a similar way, the woman who always seems well turned out, confident and attractive might be leading a very different private life. Many abuse victims become so good at acting that no one suspects what they are going through, and some even become so adept at hiding things that, should they try to open up to someone, they will be met with disbelief.
In both the above cases, masks were used to hide behind. The individuals were not changing what was happening, or who they were, but were making sure that the truth wouldn’t be perceived by others. By doing so they deprived themselves of a lot of essential support.
A possible exception (maybe what the quote was originally intended to mean, I don’t know) would be wearing the mask of a victim. If you try to appear weaker than you are you often become victimized. However, in my experience no one intentionally acts the victim for long without there being some truth in it, no matter how well-hidden the cause might be. There are plenty of people that will prey on those that are already upset.
Going back to the original quote, I can’t help but see a bit of wishful thinking there. Wear a mask that says ‘Success’ you will achieve it. Likewise, appear to be rich and you will become rich. This is the kind of ‘inspirational’ or ‘motivational’ nonsense that tends to get spouted out which unwittingly does further damage to the confidence of so many who already are struggling.
|I think moving house is one of the MOST stress-inducing things that most people are confronted with at one time or other during their lives; some far more often than others.
Since moving to Ireland I have lived in three houses for a long-term, that being more than a couple of years.
The first move was terribly traumatic. The farmer that owned the house decided that he wanted it for one of his sons instead and gave us a month to vacate. This was when the Celtic Tiger was roaring and prices were through the roof. We tried everywhere to find somewhere to live and finally, with about four days left we finally found another house; just as well, as my two sons were both under five years of age.
The second of these houses was spacious but old, and really needed a lot of work done to it. In the summer months it was lovely, but the winters could be so cold we would only use a few rooms. We stayed there for seven years; our daughter was born while we were living there. When we had to move I was heartbroken. I find it very difficult to socialize, but had managed to make friends with the woman that lived next door – that is not something I did before or after living there.
The house we are living in now is small and far from perfect. But outside we have so much space. It is an old farmhouse with a couple of barns, a garden, meadow and tiny woods. We have been here for ages and I hope we never have to move from here again.
With every move, no matter how carefully things have been packed, things always seem to go missing. Sometimes it’s things you notice straight away but mostly it’s the things you rarely use that you don’t even notice for weeks or months.
For some strange reason, autumn or fall has always been my favorite season. I guess that wasn’t the case when I was at school for I hated the place, but I can’t remember now.
Very few people seem to understand why I feel that way, and it’s hard to explain. I have always felt quite connected to earth and nature, far more than to people, and it is viewed as being an earthy month.
Look at the colors that are associated with it. Reds, oranges, yellows, and lots and lots of different shades of brown. Whereas the other seasons are light and airy – yes, even winter with its whites and pale blues – autumn is far more of a heavy season. Things are changing, slowing down; it’s a season of preparation as well, for the coming winter that could always prove to be a harsh one.
I like the way the nights draw in. So many people seem to moan about the earlier and earlier sunsets but not me. I’m quite comfortable in twilight as well as dark, apart from the bats. We get a lot of bats round here and they can make being outside a nightmare if they choose to.
What else is there? I like the trees just as much without their leaves. In fact, bare branches can be very inspirational. And then there’s Halloween. Perhaps that explains the attraction of autumn, that I have always been a big fan of horror and supernatural fiction and both lend themselves particularly well to the dimness of the season.
I am a Capricorn which is an earth sign, and although a lot of people see spring as the season for nature, I don’t. In fact, it is the polar opposite to autumn, with things sprouting up, growing, instead of rotting away and dying back. Perhaps this is a way to measure optimism and pessimism, like a glass half full or half empty. Spring seems to burst out with possibilities, while autumn... I wouldn’t say it is negative but it definitely fits in better with my depressive personality.
|Tool – Schism
Even though we know that cold silence has a tendency to atrophy, we let it linger. The distance between us grows further and further, like we are separated by some icy waste that shows zero chance of melting within the next few years.
It’s always there, I guess. The the tendency to point the finger. Better to blame the other than to jump in to self-dissection, pick out our own faults and failures. How much easier it is to say: ‘It wasn’t me, it was you!’
Our relationship is both mildewed and smouldering. Only the dampness prevents a full-scale eruption from which there could be no return. Maybe there is some kind of beauty in the dissonance; if I were an artist perhaps I could find it in paint. But I’m not and to me there is nothing beautiful about discomfort.
Perhaps with a bit of effort we could rediscover communication, rather than be just going through the motions of talking and listening when we are talking entirely different languages and have not the slightest chance of understanding. I’ve done the math, you see, and this whole relationship is so fundamentally flawed that it is doomed to crumble.
It’s a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. Life, I mean, especially when it involves interaction. I know the pieces fit ‘cause I watched them fall away, and I can only conclude that more than a few have been lost and that picture will never again be complete.
|Sk8er Boi by Avril Lavigne
The baby was crying... again. Cath picked him up and bounced him in her arms, stooping to pick up the remote control. Some music to bounce him to, that might help.
The voice was familiar, and when she let her eyes drift to the screen she was left in no doubt. She is looking at the man she turned down five years ago.
Fast-tracking through her memories to five years ago. She was coming out of the studio after ballet when he almost ploughed into her. With inches to spare he stopped the skateboard and their eyes met. He was gorgeous, and from the way he was looking at her, he felt the same way about her. And then he was there everyday, waiting to pluck up the courage to ask her out. Secretly she wanted him as well.
“Damn it, Cath. Tell that creep to clear off.” Sophie, like all of her friends stuck up her nose.
And she’d listened to them, heard that he wasn’t good enough for her, and instead of meeting his gaze she blocked him off, cut him out. Another few weeks and there was no sign of him outside the studio and she missed him being there.
It was too late then and it certainly was too late now to have regrets. She needed to come back down to earth. She changed channels, got rid of his presence; if only it was so easy to banish the memories.
|Going Under – Evanescence
Maybe I’ll wake up for once and things won’t go rapidly pear-shaped.
Other people do. They wake up with a smile on their face which stays there to some degree or other until they go to bed. In fact isn’t that what most people do? Not me.
I could tell you that fifty thousand tears I’ve cried but it won’t mean a thing, not once you get going. Those words will come flying like venom-tipped daggers, blurring and slurring the truth and the lies. And it will go on and on. Should I believe this stuff? You certainly do and after a while I can’t trust myself any more.
“You can’t carry on like this!” That’s what my brother said, but what does he know.
Sometimes I kid myself, tell me that I’ll save myself, that I won’t be broken again but even when my mind is saying those things another part pipes up and says: ‘Who are you kidding? You don’t have the strength, or the right, to walk away.
So go on and scream, scream at me. Do your worst! You’ve got my permission, but it’s not as if you need it anyway; lashing out comes naturally. I’ve heard it all before; surely those words can’t hurt as much again. But just when I thought I’d reached the bottom you go and prove to me how wrong I am and I dive again, ever deeper.