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Reflections 2018 w28

This week I found out the story of the man of whom I did not know existed until six months ago.

That man is called Philip Astley – Creator of the Modern Circus, who lived a couple of streets down from me, and has just had his 250th anniversary, of his creation, of the modern circus.

The fact that he has had no fanfare or real recognition prior to this year by Newcastle under Lyme council, shows more about the shift towards art and culture being put forefront, amidst the usual “pfft. It’s all a waist of money” brigade, than to anything else.

The story was told by  The New Vic Theatre done in a most fantastical way.

Theatre, Art, Circus acts, both real and reinvented to suit the stage, Comedy and some Panto-esq performances, off stage as well as on, seemed to flow seamlessly one scene to another. I sat in the upper floor seats, which I prefer to be honest, and was torn as to watching the action on the stage or the tremendous amount of work that is done , unnoticed by nearly all, in the framework above it or in the mission control booth off to one side, I presume all the effects are controlled from there.

The pace was fast, only to slow down as much for the actors to catch breath one would think, as to tell the story, even this was done cleverly. At this point one does not know whether one will be writing a blog on the plays seen, but if this is the case, I will leave the publishing of those blogs until after the performances have stopped – I could say too much and put out al lot of spoilers – unlikely, it would be for someone to read it before going, but it would be sods law if I did.

I left the theatre feeling a sense of wonderment, a wonderment I have not felt at a circus nor play for decades. It has been their most ambitious play so far, to be honest I cannot see how it could be beaten and still be a play. They defiantly cannot have more circus style acts than what they had, there is not the room. No, one thinks it could only be matched. This play has set the bar, and it has set it high!

The last play that left me with a sense of wonderment?

It was at The (Old) Victoria Theatre, back when I was in middle school. The play was…Treasure Island.

One can still see the actors swinging in the rigging ropes suspended from the ships mast even now.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

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Reflections 2018 w23

The worst thing about setting yourself a goal, such as the one that I did, writing a blog post on a weekly basis, is the weeks like this one…I really don’t have anything to write about – except the fact that I have nothing to write about.

This then I posit becomes a non existent statement of truth.

For how could one possibly be sat here, writing all these words, in a somewhat coherent manner, about not having anything to be write about? Whilst all the time being honest about the fact, and it is fact, that I have nothing to write about this week?

135 words that could have been covered in one word , which would have been just as true and yet nowhere near as clear to the reader, right at the beginning…

Nothing.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

Reflections 2018 w12

Dr Who’s original Tardis was a garden shed!

This week I have been dismantling my uncles home-made shed, it was approximately 6’x3’x6′(at the apex) and it had floor space to stand in it. But it had an unbelievable amount of stuff in, almost as though stuff was being placed into the space, just created, as it was being emptied. When bagged for the tip the contents looked too much for the shed.

It was his shed for storing gardening equipment/paraphernalia, some of which was that old it just disintegrated upon movement, including pots – lots and lots of pots.

Now I don’t know what it is with gardeners, of the male variety, and their pot collecting hobby, my dad is the same and the numbers are far beyond practical use. I understand x amount of pots and several sizes of that number for potting on, but what I don’t understand is the logic of odds pots, the ones that won’t stack, are a different shape or the ones that are a size – and a bit, what was the purpose of saving, often for years, with no use of them at all, to get blown around and damaged. I am of course talking about plastic ones here.

No, I do not understand the pot collecting hobby, my preference for seedlings is homemade pots out of newspapers and trays. When I get my own allotment I may also include plug trays, but purchased along with the peg board to push the plugs out. I will have no desire to store more than the pots I require, and that is coming from a container veg grower.

That also goes for the junk collections found in sheds…Saved for the ever elusive just in case.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

 

 

 

Reflections 2018 w11

What do you get if you put three introverts that are comfortable within each others presence in a room together? Occasional banter, a lot of silence and quality time together.

Extroverts may be trying to work out the joke, introverts know what it means.

To the outside it may look like we don’t get on with one another, unless they enter at a banter part, each doing their own thing in the quiet. But not having to fill the quiet with words whilst at the same time being part of a group is a wondrous state of being. No one jostling for attention, not having to make an effort to look interested, to be polite because it is expected, or even being the star attraction.

No, don’t look to us to be a riotous party planner – when we have to attend and take part, or to start a social group that is supposed to attract new members into it, because this quiet group  is a natural state we try to attain but is one that we don’t get to have for very long. All it takes to change the dynamic is one extrovert friend, innuendo, and the puzzlement of quiet time over five minutes for the group to be more appealing and move away from bliss.

We can mingle, we can be in a party mood, we can laugh and have a good time, we can even be shocking, but best of all we can be quiet, with friends, in a room – for a really, really long time.

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

 

 

Reflections 2018 w07

Therapy, my very first Psychiatrist said, will be the thing that gets you better, the medication is only a bandaid, a short term help.

I did get some therapy after that, but only for my free gift of twitch and speech problem…erm…acceptance – once these were accepted I could no longer be treated by the physical health psychological team. However a recommendation for further treatment was sent to the mental health team at the time.

This was rejected due to my involvement in some group work, conflict of interest, and when finished I chased up the recommendation. This got an interview, and another rejection – due to oneself having many coping mechanisms, most of which were highlighted as negative in the group therapy, but in this setting they were seen as positive. The biggest coping mechanism that I have is avoidance, if it is unpleasant I somehow have worked out methods of avoidance for it, or for at least part of it/its stimulations.

Now here is where one has to state that I want to get better become a better person than before, major changes to how my mind works have altered ones perspective of oneself, and I wish not to ‘return’ to the person that ‘broke’. I do however wish to get rid of the dyslexic like aspect towards text (Dr quote “it will go away in time”) and the severe anxiety around people, outside, starting something new, life etc.

One has found a use for, most of, the illusions (Dr quote “it will go away in time”) through my art and writing, so one no longer finds them as disturbing. The twitching (Dr quote “it will go away in time”), that came from something but it’s hard to say what – actual Neurologists take on the twitching and the change in speech, is quite literally an anxiety/ stress indicator, the worse the anxiety/stress the worse the twitch.

If you see my right arm and hand do an invisible ranting hand puppet impression, I’m not having a good time – if I am stamping as well – stand clear of the exit.

My change in speech (Dr quote “it will go away in time”) was helped with speech therapy, who had a different view on whether it would change. Basically if it is anxiety caused, this is rare in adults over 40, common in children though, then receiving therapy to reduce/get rid of the anxiety, could, get rid of the stammer/stutter.

The magic pill it seems is therapy and hard work.

By now any free therapy was seen as a potential for healing, Anger Management (twice, with different companies), person centred therapy, this took me five weeks and a lot of psychological text books and notes for the next meeting to understand how it worked. With only three weeks to go I finally understood it was not an anger management therapy session as I was originally led to believe when one was referred. Which made me p’d off.

Each thought my diagnosis was incorrect and could not understand why therapy had been withheld.

A change of Psychiatric hospitals and another suggestion of therapy, another test and another rejection. Am I any better? NO!

Then comes the constant flow of trainee Psychologists/Psychiatrists – “you would benefit from therapy, I will suggest that that be looked into.” – NEXT – “you would benefit from therapy, I will suggest that that be looked into.” – NEXT…

There has been no problem describing drugs though. One hopes you never come across a doctor who gives you only pain killers for a broken leg, for years.

But one wishes to end with some good news…

In a roundabout way I have been referred to the original place that I received the original psychological help, this time however one is not going to just roll over and accept the diagnosis (of no diagnosis), it makes no sense to me either – but they have a drug for it.

I wanted to end with some good news.

But for some reason though I had a phone call from the G.P saying the Hospital referral has to be discussed with my G.P first??? And they are the ones that referred me to the Hospital department. WTF? It may take me a week just to get an appointment with the G.P. I’m already dragging a mountain and a black dog around – I don’t need this anchor of doubt over the therapy again!

Sod em…Some good news.

I saw the International Space Station pass overhead for the first time last week. And when I get the chance to see it with my son on one of his visits I will.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2018

Reflections 2018 w01

canstockphoto8630797

I have just watched a film about a man that got cryogenically frozen and reanimated, well, about 25%, the rest was grown from DNA samples and mechanical adaptions. At one point they brought in a machine that recorded memories, overall the film has been interesting, and the growing of a new body that works symbiotically with a machine does seem realistic, it is half available now. But I have an issue with the cryogenics. That issue is all about memory.

Whenever the subject is approached upon the screen the struggleis all about the reanimation of flesh. Growing a new body covers that subject, except for the brain. This is most commonly just implanted, and away the person goes, memories and all.

This, in my mind, then places the brain as a organic hard drive, in as such the memories are just stored in a segment to be accessed when needed. In principle that is acceptable, when the brain is alive, and I have yet to hear about how it does the storing. I have heard how this memory gets this part of the brain working and that memory the other, but the actual storage and the management of that ‘data’, I don’t think we know yet.

If we don’t know how it is stored whilst the brain is working, how then do we get it to work after the electrical impulses have stopped? Can a persons memories be stimulated after death now, whilst experiments on the brain are being done?

On a side note, could your memories be used as evidence in court after death if the process to read these memories is ever found?

Also, the brain is organic and as such their is, even in cryogenic status, a decay of the matter. Effectively creating bad sectors on the ‘hard drive’, and with the lights turned off, there is no disc management available. One bit of damage, in the wrong place, and the disc drive won’t work, you don’t know until the booting up sequence.

So then, the recording of the memories will be the answer for immortality – grow a new body, transfer the memories over.

Lets say that the essence of a person is the unique data processing and logical algorithms for a particular outcome. And our emotions are just a chemical response to that processing conclusion. Both of which could be replicated. 

Could you then be completely be replaced by a fresh new you?

But if a person is just what is in their head, a steady stream of data. Why do we need to bother within the body?

And could multiple copies of a single identity be made?

And what would it be truly be like waking up in a new body? Or even one that may not even be your own, even if it is the one you asked for?

I don’t believe in a soul. But I do believe that person is more than just memories and chemicals, and when we die ‘we’ die. Even if physically the person is brought back to life with all memories intact. The spark that made us – us is too unique to be replicated. Would you have then condemned yourself to an eternal prison upon being awakened?

I don’t think cryogenics is for me!

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/the-blogs

Go with the flow. Echo Update.

IMG_1618ECHO had its first group session at the new place of The American, more turned up than most of us expected, this was a welcome sight as many were wondering if now was the time to stop coming.

Thats not to say we have given up on ECHO, far from it, but the serenity that Brunswick House offered contrasts greatly to the atmosphere of The American, this does not help to ‘settle in’. I am lucky in this respect as I am familiar with the American, many are not, and the process of going somewhere new can be overwhelming, but I too was hesitant as to whether the group would work here.

Chaos was expected as no routines have been set up yet, and chaos was the format for the beginning.  This will improve as time goes by with more input from us to make it work.

Emotions were being suppressed by everyone to differing levels – anger, confusion, dejection where common but most present is probably uncertainty. We have had a letter explaining what has gone on with the funding cut and how we have been given this reprieve by Brighter Futures and the generosity of Swan Bank Methodist Church in order to keep the group going , though not the same, until the end of March.

It also tells us how they are pursuing different avenues toward funding but basically it is looking like ECHO requires a night in shining armour to save the day. Understandably this alters how one approaches the group as a whole – it now has a guillotine at the end of march.

The worksheets, have become more clinical, as I call them, or educational as another does. What we got used to was a more caring way of them being worded. For example:-

You have to take four tablets a day… A Clinical response would be something like…Take two twice a day on a full stomach. A caring approach would be more…Take two tablets at dinner time and two at tea. Both say the same thing but the styling is completely different and I believe the latter helps the info to be absorbed better.

We definitely need to get the CBT papers less clinical.

(Disclaimer).  Now the term CBT has never been used in conjunction with these sessions, but I have found no difference in these and the CBT courses I have been on and the key principles in which they both work are the same.

And in this line of thought I am sending an email to the B.F boss with an idea how we may get some written for us by a University student or two. I don’t think the person who runs the group will have enough time to do the re-writes, unless she takes them home, and none of us want her to become burnt out.

As for me, I have been keeping myself busy, avoiding dealing with it, I am currently looking a a dragons tail that needs scales painting. I know it is the wrong way to do it, especially now I have nearly read a book on mindfulness that was clear on what it means to be ‘present’, and locking myself away from the outside world only makes it worse, but the habit is a lifelong one.  I’m working on replacing it with a more healthy approach.

On the plus side however, I have discovered that writing these blogs has been part of my mindfulness journey, without me even knowing about it, and it is also one way of allowing myself to process the information of the current situation and the Poetry/Prose(new chapter) has been called a cathartic release; this stage has yet to happen, I doubt it will be pretty when it gets here.

On we plod…

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