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Reflections…Week Forty Eight

canstockphoto8630797Have I watched that many ‘girly’ flicks and programs that I am, by doing this, copying the very format that the writers have used?

From Carrie (Sex in the City) to Erica (Being Erica) and Marin (Men in Trees) I too seem to be ending an episode (my week) with a monologue. True my very existence may not be the most interesting at this moment of time, but I do feel that the very people that I am meeting on my recovery are.

Sometimes I do not even know if the very people I meet are actually here (supermarket-meeting-poetry/poem), or my mind has created a person to teach me something. But for that moment in time IT IS important and interesting.

As an artist one spends time observing, even here my mind now sees things a little differently now, and then in whatever style chosen, places either a ‘true representation of the scene, OR the heart of it, the emotion, the feeling, the movement, the sound or the serenity. All with the flow of the paint and the movement of the brush, to no longer see what is being created but to just let it flow out onto the canvas.

As a wordsmith in training, one spends time observing, reflecting and creating an artwork of language. To simply place a series of words down for a poem is not simple at all, each word is lovingly placed, replaced or simply repositioned. All I write is done this way. A beat or rhythm of a journey taken with the words lays beyond the shape and form of the very words themselves. A wrongly placed pause can disrupt or even alter the flow, sometimes to the detriment of the wording used, dulling its edge.

A reflective diary is used in some therapies, a way to explore our existence, look for the ‘faults’ and find a better way in dealing with the situation, how then did this therapy get entwined into our TV? Was it intentional to pass on the lesson of reflection to improve our life, or was it just placed there by accident? A concept that outgrew the original pitch once the ratings came in? Or was it just a writer being honest about not having the perfect life and trying to work things out?

And thus the question leads back to me. Am I just doing what I am told, or am I part of a solution by doing the reflective monologue of my life?

And will you someday, in some form, be the ‘interest’, the focus, of my artwork?

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

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Reflections…Week Forty Four

canstockphoto8630797Some weeks you just want a focal point, something routine so you know where your at, this was one of those weeks.

A lot of running around was done by members of the family, emergency trips to and from hospital followed by an emergency op, my little cousin goes through a hell of a lot, we know this because my sister does, and that’s just looking after her.

This threw out the week due to having to have ‘Monster’, her brother, getting up early was extra, plus the journey(s) to drop him off/get him, shopping was later , so on and so forth. What has thrown it all whack though is the uncertainty of one of my groups, it’s lost its funding, or at least a big chunk of it. This is on top of a drastic restructuring of that service due to a person leaving.

Drastic would be overstating it for some as the time table has remained unaltered,  but the staffing change has shifted dramatically. The person who has taken over the ‘group’ tries hard, she really gives it her all, however she has not the same level of counselling skills as the previous person, skills that we became dependant upon as part of out non-clinical clinical help. If that didn’t make sense, neither does it to us, and we have had to find the clinical therapy help in a format that came from our non-clinical support. Even if she was to be trained in counselling, the time it would take for her to complete the course would render the skills mute for us now.

And those skills are what are needed in times of great change like these.

Part of me hopes that the Psychiatrist does not find out about the funding before the next meeting in December, otherwise I fear he will try to place me back onto antidepressants, and I do not want that.

Without a focal point in the week though, I’m muddled.

 

Puddle… #poetry #poem

Puddle

If your mind’s containerises,
each memory then is just a drop.
And when the droplets do combine,
the puddle it grows, it need not stop.

There is no shape to work towards,
no master drop design.
No matter are the bumps bellow,
twill surface not define.

A child can in puddle splash,
and send in all directions.
But most will flow to puddle back,
be still, and show reflections.

Tears will the puddle grow,
whether sadness or of joy.
The saltiness diluted out,
matter not from girl or boy.

From puddle to pool and then to lake,
great depth the surface hide.
And with the wind a movement make,
to ebb and flow the tide.

With water you can take a drink,
or even let it flow.
You cannot cage it with your bars,
around it puddle will grow.

The mind 2 of 2
A § M
22/8/2017

Reflections…Week Thirty Four

canstockphoto8630797Easy one this week…Voice is loosing its funding.

Never heard of it? Until a month ago never had I. Now I have a chance to let people know what it is and what they do.

First the official aims of the group:-

  • To improve mental health services
  • To bring together people who use mental health services, in order to increase their influence on services and to strengthen their voice
  • To inform people of their rights, about local services and any planned changes
  • To empower and protect the rights, needs and interests of people who use mental health services in North Staffordshire
  • To influence the way those services are planned and delivered
  • To reduce stigma towards people who have mental health problems

Now my personal, albeit short, experience.

I have an issue with my mental health, and I have an issue with my treatment. I am not saying the service is bad, however I have an issue with the treatment.

At the diagnosis some six+ years ago, I was told that drugs were only a band aid, the therapies were the solution to healing. That person passed me over to another and my relationship with the medication, unknown to me, began. I say unknown because at the start I was given the idea that a couple of years should do it with treatment.

The treatment has been withheld due to my ability at finding coping mechanisms, mostly with the price tag of avoidance, not a healthy habit to have. But this deemed me as coping and left to a drug only treatment. The drugs come with known side effects that have been ignored in the past, and for a long time the effectiveness of the medication has been questioned by me and a couple of therapists, Psychology consultants don’t seem to like having their diagnosis’s questioned by these people though. And so the cycle has continued.

What would I know?

Firstly the magic mood change, allegedly by the drug regime, came at my six week stay at the mental hospital. Here though was huge change to my life…I was effectively kicked out of my home by my ex, a blessing, though at the time it did not seem that way. So this meant my home-life completely changed, it was never taken into account that it could be positive – no longer being in that relationship.

Secondly, this is where my adaptations to my routine came into play, well even the routines became my coping mechanism. I had to come up with something, out of know-where came a twitch and a bloody speech problem (officially known as “from Unknown Source”), that could not be fixed. It got better with the help from Speech Therapy, also started whilst in the hospital, but never gone. So routines were developed and rituals were born.

Thirdly, this is the bit that bugs me the most…I am classed, by some, as being a higher functioning personality. Basically I can read geeky stuff and post graduate study notes and follow along for quite a bit on some subjects. Ask me to do the sports pages on a paper and I’m lost, basic instructions can have me flummoxed if the terminology is not in a format I understand. This has lead to problems of communication. I felt what I was saying at the beginning was being ignored, due to my limited knowledge of the terminology being used. So I did what I do, I learnt the correct terms, I did the research.

Hallucinations became Illusions, “they will go away in time”, High anxiety in crowds, to the point of passing out, “will go away in time”, side effects of the medication, “will go away in time”. On and on it went, my using the correct terminology actually made it worse, go figure!

This is where Voice comes in, they are a mediator, a ref of sorts. They can use the correct terminology and get heard, even if the client does not know the words. They can deal with the doctors if the patient questioned the treatment, and work for an alternative approach.

One phone call and my next appointment was a thorough review. Not only is my therapy treatment being looked at and I am being referred to an Eating Therapist for a possible eating disorder (sorry sis for finding out this way) and one of my medications was not increased due to it being an appetite stimulant and known for weight gain, also I was not put back onto a medication, but, and this is a credit to the Doc I saw, he is chasing my GP about getting physiotherapy for my back. Not put forward by the spinal team or the Neurologist, even when they found out I have three disc bulges and that these are/are not the cause of my nerve pain in my legs and feet, or the depression is to blame, dependant upon which consultant you speak to, but my Mental Health doctor. Something is not right there.

One phone call.

I had a Voice. And so do all who use the service and those like it around the country. But they are loosing funds, because they don’t meet targets or deal directly in the treatment of patients.

No they don’t. They should be seen as possibly saving the system money in the long run, even just reducing medications would be a big saving. Normal Hospital treatment has PALS, this is a mental health version. 

I want to be better, not “coping”, I want to be independent of drugs, not dependant on, I want the work that the therapies will require, to fix what can be fixed, replace what cannot. Most of all I don’t want to have to rely on the likes of wikipedia and youtube to do it or the thousands of self help books that all have the best way to do it.

Anyone, from depression to Alzheimer’s, anxiety to dementia should have a voice. Including the families of those affected who see the effects of treatment on loved ones.

If you wish to find out more, or make a donation , please follow this link: http://nsvoice.org.uk

I am not sponsored by or work for Voice, nor do I represent the company in any way. I am a service user and this is my opinion.

 

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017

Boxed… #poetry #poem

Boxed

A brain is like a box you know,
filled with knowledge as we grow.
we are taught, our lessons learnt,
bridges crossed, and bridges burnt.

The box it acts like our hard shell,
for our social times – that don’t go well.
The box it fills right to the top,
cause our learning will not stop.

The box sides creak as more’s crammed in,
showing cracks and crumblin.
We can’t remove the useless stuff,
if space required – well that’s just tuff.

Until a breakdown when walls fall,
shows twisted rebar – our cell wall.
The strength it added now traps us in,
kept half the rubble – caught within.

Memories crushed, or leak on out,
not just the ones we can do – without.
Out of our reach beyond the bar,
some to recover, but it’s just too far.

So boxes should you no longer build,
with society lines, from roles we filled.
Controlling, this life, I know it seems,
but it is our life, our hopes, our dreams.

The mind 1 of 2
A § M
22/8/2017

The Song … #poetry #poem

The Song

Throbbing of base
vibrating the air,
as guitars they are a strumming.
Sung in a gruff voice,
with a pace that is fair,
tells a tale of epic adventure.

In harmony they play,
till one breaks away,
guitar it does a sweet solo.
They return to the tale,
the crowd it goes pale,
grim warning the moral this venture.

A § M
5/8/2017

Reflections…Week Twenty Seven.

canstockphoto8630797My name has been passed along for consideration for an exhibition of writing, not a big exhibition as in National, but exponentially bigger in regards that one has even been considered.

My writing, has in the past, been subject to ridicule in one form or another. The only times I got detention was for my spelling or punctuation. English Literature was rejected as a subject, by the teacher, due to my inability to make legible a dip fountain pen. And ones attempt to further my writing skills at a creative writing class had me pulled to one side and told my English was not up to standard, I never went back, It was supposed to be a fun class.

So here one is, my writing’s being praised, especially my poems, and with it comes a kind of empowerment. One may not believe that my writing is good enough to win competitions, but it is good enough to be a contender, a far cry from where I was at the start of the blogging process.

The start of the journey was to ‘get out’ thoughts and feelings, to rid myself of demons in a way. It has adapted to thinking deeply about emotional connections to circumstances locked away in ones past, and to see how those patterns are now effecting the present. Some dots are connected quickly and some need more ‘digging’,  but it is supposed to be the journey that matters.

One thing is for certain, I believe that Miss Ross, and I am sure it had a H in it (Rhoss), was the best english teacher I had.

To prove a point, though a point is not needed, I have been looking at my old term book. Here are the differences in my educational history – teacher reports for english…

  • Feb 83, Andrew has made a satisfactory start to this years work.
  • July 83, Andrew has worked hard and has made some progress.
  • Then came along the teacher one does not have fond memories of.
  • Jan 84, Good- Andrew has worked hard and made pleasing progress. He must however improve his spelling and handwriting.
  • July 84, Spelling and handwriting show little improvement and are now sadly having a serious effect on his results. Oral work is very good indeed. (Why does this end statement seem like it was total surprise?)
  • Along comes the split to  Lit.(the above teacher) and Lang. (Miss Ross . Miss Ross also does the reports from now on.
  • Feb 85, Andrew genuinely tries hard – but his spelling is weak. He should read as widely as possible – This would help!
  • July 85, Andrew has achieved a very pleasing grade within his group in Language. He will not however be continuing the G.S.E. Literature course.
  • Jan 86, Andrew has always worked extremely hard and has produced some good work within this group, throughout this course.

I highlighted the two reports, nope, there is nothing outstanding about any of them, to show the two completely different approaches to teaching. The fist is to hammer away – “you will do it this way!!!” and the second is to find the way that best suited the student. My way was to read, a lot.

I have always found solace in a library; could this be due to the fact Miss Ross’s class – was held in the school library?

www.awanderthroughthemind.co.uk/reflections-2017