Monthly Archives: September 2013
You know the brilliant novel, ‘We have to talk about Kevin’ that’s what I feel about depression and mental illness. In the 21st Century there is undoubtedly still stigma attached to mental illness and it is the Cinderella of the NHS. Somehow an illness of the mind is not as important nor as serious as say cancer. Why? Depression kills. One in four will experience it at some point in his life and the World Health Organisation highlights this as a massive global health issue.
Why is it we get more sympathy from a broken leg in plasters than a broken head or heart? If we wore a cast round our head would it help?
As someone who has had the pleasure of experiencing both depression and cancer, I can hand on heart tell you that I would have chosen the latter. Why? Because with the recurrence I could see an end; I knew when my six cycles of chemotherapy would be over and the exact date of my last radiotherapy session which meant I had completed the hospital treatment.
With depression you cannot see an end. Hopelessness is the worse. You see no way out of the impasse, the dark hole you find yourself in.
Apologies first off to those who have received blog awards and have been freshly pressed this is not personal but just my own opinion
I am relatively new to blogging, been here only a few months but I notice that some bloggers have awards. I am guessing they are nominated and voted by fellow bloggers.
Then there is the honour of being freshly pressed, having caught the eye of the discerning WordPress.com staff. A bit like getting the Oscars.
What is society’s obsession with getting awards and recognition? Can we not simply do something for fun, because we enjoy it? Is what we say or write any less worth hearing if it is not freshly pressed? Isn’t writing about communicating and reaching out, informing and raising awareness, even for entertainment.
The danger is we become obsessed with how many likes and followers and that we have to keep up with the Joneses. We check the stats to see how many visitors and views that day and feel disappointed if it is less than yesterday’s.
Is it not enough that there is a free platform to express yourself and share with the global community, that you can share a bit of yourself and be heard?
I suppose it goes back to the fundamental question of why we blog and for who. A fellow blogger Charles Y. also asked this question. It’s a good one.
Written eloquently by a friend
Two weeks ago- The darkness consumed me. I turned every light on in that hotel room. I yelled into the void…STOP. NO. LEAVE ME ALONE. At first it was declarative, authoritative, demanding. Then it was pure gut wrenching pleading. I have never felt so out of control and out of my mind.
It was only me in that room by all accounts. But, at the same time it could not have been me.
I can’t begin to explain it because it doesn’t make any sense. My mind and thoughts were not my own. It felt like I stepped into a depression body bag. Closing my eyes produced graphic images of savagery with blood on my hands. Eyes open the room was spinning and the words of my suicide note were being read to me by the voice of a demon. Then the details of the plan played out in 3D…
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It occurred to me that you may not want to talk about your maybe very private issues in such a public arena so upon request I will give you my private email. Please no time wasters or pranks. I am not foolish enough to think I can help or make a difference but sometimes it helps to talk and someone to listen. I can be there and lend you my ears and give you my take if you want it, otherwise I will just listen.
Why Mama G, have you got nothing better to do? Are you bored? No. My time is precious like yours and everybody else’s. Why? Simple because when I was at my lowest and most alone other kind souls who never knew me and we will never meet again reached out to a person in pain and gave her hope. The milk of human kindness compassion empathy is underrated whilst the myth of romantic love, the fairy tale happy ending, cinderella swept off her feet by the prince should be tried for crimes against humanity in the courts in the Hague.
My ex once told me I was ‘abnormal’ because I was too kind to strangers. Well if being kind smacks of deviant behaviour then I’d be crazy any day and he can keep his cold brutal normality.
Why was I nicer to strangers than friends? Because ‘friends’ deserted me while strangers threw me a lifeline, kept me from ending it all and hold onto the last shreds of my sanity. Restored my faith in humanity when the one I trusted would be the last man standing went AWOL because he couldn’t cope. What a convenient time for him to have a breakdown.
Can’t you see the man is suffering? Said ‘friends’ uttered these words in my house while I was in the middle of my hell undergoing chemotherapy, afraid to even open the door to the post lady who doubles as the neighbour opposite as I didn’t think the bald look suited me. Needed time to adjust. Bald wasn’t on the catwalk, not the trend that year. Just give me the orange robes and I can be an extra as a Buddhist monk. In fact a neighbour’s son who had been away thought I was just that when I finally plucked up the courage to do a walkabout. I had stuck to my guns and not succumbed to the lure of a wig sporting long black hair, a poor imitation passionately espoused by the wig man at the Marsden, NHS no less and cheap by Selfridges standards. Why Mama G? Because wearing the wig would be an admission of the horrific scary reality and I’d rather be deluded. Instead I sported a Harley Davidson cotton squared scarf in the form of a bandana. Had to google how to do it. Sadly it has got lost in my numerous moves otherwise it would be a poignant reminder of how far I have come; a symbol of courage, inner strength and the indelible human spirit.
I have no magic formula, secret powers, extra doses of courage or strength. I am just a woman who for unfathomable reasons has had a lot of shit hit the fan in the space of a few years, all stuff registering on the richter scale on the stress chart. Bad enough if they come one by one but a killer when they call on your simultaneously. Recurrence. Biggie. Separation/divorce Big Big Biggie. Top of stress chart scoring 100 points is loss of spouse, to me this is no different I had still lost him though he is still very much alive and kicking, which kinda makes it worse, for me. Sorry this is not belittling your grief, for those who have lost loved ones, it is just how I feel in my own situation.
I am just a woman who had to deal with the bad hand that Lady Lucky dealt her. I had no choice; it was either lie down and die or fight. Being a mother I chose the latter. This wonderful Sister at the Chemo Suite at the Marsden, in response to my floods of tears and refusal to undergo the treatment, yet again, I was a pain in the arse, their patience was saintly, said No choice is also a choice.
Sense of humour helps. Seeing the absurd; the ability to laugh at yourself. Being a coward, scared of dying, the unknown, the fear of going to hell because you hadn’t lived a perfect life and no longer believe in the salvation offered by Jesus because where the hell was he when all the shit hit the fan. Freewill and sin. That is what my Christian friends will say. For me a benevolent God first of all wouldn’t have sent me all these trials and tribulations all at once. I feel like a modern female version of Job. Clearly I have failed miserably. And when they say God will not send you any tests that you can’t handle, it is a downright lie, cos he did. It was all too much, I wanted to die, especially when I found myself going through gruesome treatment on my own despite having a husband, family and good friends. I once had a friend who has since passed away from breast cancer who was in exactly this position. Her name is Sharman. I thought that would never happen to me. I am so lucky and blessed. I was wrong. Ten years down the line that was exactly me except there was no G. this time to reach out to me and take me home for a few days of tlc.
Thank you if you have managed to stay with me this far. I have just had a brilliant idea. I will blog on a different issue from personal experience and if you would be kind enough to comment then we can open up a dialogue. I would like that very much.Thank you in advance.
Over and out Mama G.
moment in time
love was there
i know i was
there i saw you
within the day
i sat on your
knee on the
green grass one
day blue skies clear
clouds we had all of
our lives to share grow
old sit on that park
bench when we are
64 holding hands
a moment in time
you dared not look
in the eye when love
had wilted like the roses
on the marble coffee table
our friendship tree flourishing
outside mocked us the wedding
smiley photos sniggered the
music came to an abrupt end
a moment in time
wedding photos long
gone shredded flying
through the air like
confetti like my heart
no amount of superglue
could fill the cracks
a moment in time
unexpected sunlight on
my face broken ankle keeping
heart company mind joins in
the trinity of mind body soul
a reunion in fracture
a moment in time head scolds
heart you bloody fool why mourn
5 years on a love that was squandered
unappreciated underated why
give him the headspace still when
he has eliminated obliterated deleted
you from head heart life
a moment in time heart sighs
replies i know i m an idiot but i
still love him miss him ache for
him the past the way it was our
family unit of 3 the future that
never was the trust stampeded
the innocent me that believed in
love that it was unconditional that
i was special needed loved that if
i should have died on that operating
table i would have been missed
mourned i was
a moment in time ankle stays
silent throbbing with pain head
heart agree to disagree you were
always a slow learner heart yep
i know but can’t teach an old dog
new tricks now head gives up sighs
concentrates on the warm healing
sunlight through the windows in a
flat 3 floors up in Soho and heart
continues to reminisce about that
moment in time
Love seeing the world differently through a lens like time really slows down when you are travelling in a narrow boat down a canal in England
We now have the finalists in the 5th Digital Lightroom Photography competition. The ‘lead in Lines’ elicited a lot of excellent entries. It was down to the judges to whittle the entries down to just 10, not an easy task by any means, but with the help of our sponsors at Topaz Labs, we now have the 10 pictures chosen for the shortlist. All this week we will be posting those pictures.
On Saturday, we’ll publish all 10 pictures again and invite you to vote for your favourite picture. The final two shortlisted pictures are:
Came across this beautiful and sad all at the same time
Yes it true
I still miss you
One hundred days can erase your memory
But two words
Out of your lips
Will bring them all back
How can I ever know
If I am done loving you
If the only way for me to know
Is for you to address me, and me,
Not feel the squeeze in my lungs.
How can I ever know
If you will never talk to me again.
Maybe I see you around me
I seek to be near you
So that I try and test myself
Until the day, that your greetings
Will not be the meaning of my day
The dreams in my nights
The light in the rainy morning
The energy, which you took away from me.
The day you left me to my fate.
The day you unwillingly left me,
So that I could be better off…
I still miss you
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