The Unseen Scars & Mental Health

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.” ― Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy


I have noticed lately all of the physical scars I have. One from the hip surgery, two from having pressure point sores, and there are those that I cannot tell you how they happened.

Then, there are those scars that cannot be seen with the human eye. Scars of mental wars, those that were caused by the lost of loved ones, some caused by betrayal, and then there are those scars that have been self-inflicted. I must admit some of those scars no longer bring about mental anguish anymore. They are just there as a reminder of things I have endured over my sixty years.

I like to think that my scars have not molded me, that they do not define me, but that would not be truthful. The death of my maternal grandfather opened a new door, one that would have me sit in front of a piano and work feverishly to make it sound like good music. The death of a second cousin, two years older than myself, caused by falling off scaffolding while working on a barn. The preacher’s open line of the eulogy, “Life Is Not Fair“!

It is because of those invisible scars that I can be thankful for every day, every moment, and every thing that comes my way.

I have that invisible scar that was created by an suicide attempt. This scar makes me want to get out of bed every morning. It is a reminder how that life can be fleeting like a whisper of smoke.

So dear reader, do scars have an impact on your life? Have they help shaped you into the person you now are? I would like to hear your replies about those invisible scars!

Decluttering My House & My Mind

As of August I have now lived in my home for twenty-four years. It is amazing how much things you can acquire.

I have lived by a policy of cleaning out things that I have not used in a year. Since my problems of mobility started I have not been able to do so.

I have been busy starting to declutter my kitchen cupboards. I was amazed of how many things I just was not using. Two large boxes of dishes, pitchers, and odd things and I was half done. I still have some to go, but feel good in what I have managed to accomplish so far.

I have also been doing the same chore, but it is with my mind. It has been over two weeks and I have not watched any cable news. Just the local evening news. I can say how I don’t even miss watching cable news. My mind feels settled, and more peaceful.

So dear reader, I may not be posting as much for the next period of time. I have lots to do and eventually it is my clothes closet that gets the hammer. Clothes that I have not worn in the past year will go into a box or bag and given to the local thrift store. I only give clothes that are in very good condition, never something that I know should be thrown into the garbage pail.

I would like to ask you, do you have a time when you declutter? If so, when and do you have a method or system while doing the task?

Challenging Myself – Mental & Physical Health

“Keep challenging yourself to think better, do better, and be better.” ~ Robin Sharma

My mother was wise in her ways with me. For her to have me do something, she would in a sly way imply that I could not possibly do something. For some reason that was a challenge I was willing to prove her wrong. The oldest of five she dealt with each of us in a different way. She had rules for us, but in many ways she was open towards us. We could express our thoughts and opinions, mind you, it had to be done in respect. As I grew into an adult the relationship changed. I could discuss any subject and she would listen. The same was true in the other direction. She would at times confide in me something that would be bothering her. It may be about one of my siblings, and other times when she would be going through divorce. I truly miss those things, talking on the phone, or maybe in a letter.

I have not posted much in the past several weeks, for I have been busy with household things. Then I have been reading and also researching. I am trying to take another challenge for myself.

I had been seeing ads about the website.”Coursera“. So, I went and searched on it and found some free courses out of the University of Alberta. I am truly giving a lot of thought about taking one or two of them. I look at it this way, it will challenge my mind, bring something new into my learnings.

Also, I have been challenging myself in regards to my walking without a cane. I am somewhat apprehensive about setting it aside. I challenge myself to walk without it only in my confines of my house. That challenges me physically.

I have always challenged myself throughout my life. In my music, studies, and even in cooking and baking. I started learning about personal computers when Windows 3.1 was the only operating system.

So dear reader I cannot speak about how others motivate themselves, but for me I need challenges. I wonder if it takes a challenge to move you forward, mentally and physically. I would love to hear your thoughts about this. I am sure other readers would also be interested in your thoughts!

Me, Myself, and I; Party of One

 In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” Rollo May

Growing up I never had lots of friends, mostly I would have just one close friend. I didn’t hang out with others from school. I was always content to do things alone. I could spend hours tinkering with my race track set, trying to record different things on my reel-to-reel recorder.

I knew how to be cordial around others, but I was one who couldn’t wait to get away from crowds. I did not want to mingle, or even have “small talk”. Now if someone was speaking to me I would always gracefully listen and interact with them. I hope I never made them feel that I wasn’t interested in what they were saying.

Someone once mentioned to me that I had the leanings of a “recluse”, I took that as a compliment. I do enjoy my own company, love the quiet in a room with solitude. No background noise, just me, myself, and I; A Party of One.

For some, this would be maddening for they thrive on lots of people, lots of chatter, to be honest, lots of unnecessary drama. I wonder at times if they maybe afraid of their own voice, their thoughts clear and loud in their quiet times.

My mental health is dependent on having solitude, a place of quiet, free from all outside influencers. I do not always follow the crowd and sometimes that has caused some people to think I am cold, that I don’t like people. I like people a lot, but I like myself even more. Over the years I have learned quite much about who I am, where I stand with myself. There was a time I hated looking in the mirror, discontent with what I saw. No, not the outward appearance, but rather the being locked up inside. Like a caged bird, more like a canary, who lost how to sing a beautiful melody.

I still do not have lots of people around me constantly. Basically, it is just my best friend. If I am outside and a neighbor is out I will stop and say hi, ask about their wellness. But, when I come back into my house and close the door it is my place of security. It is when I close that door I then shut out all of the outside voices.

So dear reader, are you comfortable being alone with yourself? Are you at peace with your thoughts, or do you crave the many voices constantly chattering but saying nothing? I would love to hear your thoughts about, “Me, Myself, and I; A Party of One”.

Re-assessing Priorities & Mental Health

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”
 Dallin H. Oaks

Yesterday I began to think about how my priorities have changed throughout my life. As a teen my focus was on school. Then I began to move away from home and my priority was putting a roof over my head. I can recall the first time I went grocery shopping. Well, I got to the till and the cashier told me the total, I cried because it did not leave me much for anything else.

The next big event was marriage and once again my priority changed. I now had to provide for myself and my wife. Two years later and we welcome our daughter into the world. She totally shifted my priorities. She developed colic and I found myself walking during the night with her trying to settle her down.

Fast forward to the two years ago and I start having trouble with my back and hip Pain has a way of causing you to lose focus on the true priorities. Then the phone call for the surgery date. My priority shifted to keeping myself well, staying as far away from anything that would cause sickness, including covid 19.

Now my focus is on getting stronger each day, striving for progress with my hip replacement. Once again, priority has changed!.

So dear reader, have you found that your priorities shift during your life? If so, how has this affected your mental health? I would love to hear from you!

Decompressing & Mental Health

I am constantly trying to figure things out, and writing and decompressing is a way for me to analyze and try and grow and understand. – Author: Erin Willett

I have been lately re-introducing something that I use to have in my life, decompressing. A time without television, radio, music, and yes, the phone. It is a time to quiet the mind, to connect with your own breathing. Some may call it meditation, but this is really a time of complete void of input or output.

I have the luxury to spend this type of time, I live alone, and really do not have any constraints or demands, like getting children ready for bed. I do not have a cell phone, so the incoming texts messages are not a distraction. Decompressing means that I have taken control of a set time period. It may be thirty, sixty minutes, whatever it takes to feel a gentle calm come over me.

Then, there are the times where I focus on just a single task. For me, it usually means reading a book without any other input around me.

I often wonder what affect happens to people who seem to want to be always connected. I have heard of teenagers sleeping with their cell phones under their pillow. Constantly waking up to check to see if there are new text messages. This most assuredly must wreak havoc with their bodies not being able to enter deep sleep. I believe it is called, “R.E.M.(Rapid Eye Movement).

I spoke with my daughter just recently and listened to what was on her schedule each and every day. She decided to go to university for a business management degree. Besides that, she works part time and also has children to take care of. I was exhausted just trying to comprehend on how she will be able to keep up with all the stress.

So dear reader, how do you decompress? Do you make time to quiet your mind and body? I would love to hear from you on this and so would other readers!

COVID Reopening – Anxieties -Mental Health

Just a note about my recovery. I am doing great and the therapist believes I only need one more visit. I have put in storage my wheelchair and my walker. I am now able to walk with just a cane. I can do my own shopping and have started to do more of my own housework.

I am fully vaccinated, but I find myself becoming anxious when going out. It is my understanding that this is happening to many. After being forced to stay at home, going out into the public is causing stress for many. Help lines are seeing a steep incline in calls with people concerned about their mental health.

Here in Saskatchewan we still have to mask up in all federal and medical settings. However, I still grab a mask when going into store, like Walmart. I even have a difficult time going to medical appointments. I have grown to like being able to speak to my doctor by phone. I had my first in person appointment with him a couple of weeks ago. Yet, I was nervous about going in. I knew that there would be an empty waiting room, patients are told to arrive just before their appointment. It alleviates patients coming in contact with other patients.

I ask myself, is this my new normal. Will I always be anxious in public spaces. I look south across our border and see the numbers rising with the Delta Variant. Will this variant make it’s way north, has it already arrived? I tell my best friend many times that I think that re-opening is going too fast. Are we heading for another shutdown in the fall? I hope not!

So I ask you, dear reader, are you having moments of nervousness going back out into the public? Do you have reservations about how fast things are returning to a “normal” state? I want to hear how you are feeling, about your thoughts about this post Covid normal.

Staring At Mental Health

Lesson one: you can never please everyone. The world is as divided now as I can remember in my short 23 years. Issues that are so obvious to me at face value, like wearing a mask in a pandemic or kneeling to show support for anti-racism, are ferociously contested. I mean, wow. So, when I said I needed to miss French Open press conferences to take care of myself mentally, I should have been prepared for what unfolded. – Naomi Osaka

I was made aware of a story about an Olympic athlete, Naomi Osaka, on a newscast referring to an article found on Time, “It’s O.K. Not To Be O.K.” Osaka, a pro tennis player decided not to do a press conference after a game, instead she took time to deal with her personal mental health. This has caused a windstorm among many.

I have been spending much time alone, alone to where I am staring at my mental health. Of course, sleep issues still prevalent, makes for some very long hours. I found myself snapping back at my best friend, for the life of me I do not know what the issue was about. I apologized immediately, but I found myself staring, coming to the realization about how my body needs lots of rest. Now, on the other hand, best friend can function on about six hours.

I have come to the realization that mental health is, in my opinion, similar to a body of water. They both need a never ending supply of freshness, otherwise they become stagnant producing only stinking algae. I have found myself that I was living in a self-imposed bubble. I was becoming stagnant in my goal of great mental health.

Spending many hours in solitaire can do two things, one drive you over the edge, or two sharpen your ability to hear your inner self. Listening to the inner self causing one to stare at their mental health, that is what has been happening in the absence on this blog.

I have begun to listen, not argue, nor get angry, to other voices in a conversation. Conversations that I would normally block myself against listening. My best friend has been the driver of this, he is constantly telling me that I need to listen to both sides of an argument. I am the kind of person if I am listening to someone who is spouting, lack of a better expression, “bull puckey”” I hit the mute button.

Being absent for this short time has also allowed me to go back and re-read some of the blog posts that I was going to use for material. I am finding that I have to completely deconstruct the writing causing me to approach the subject in a more meaningful way.

Let me be totally frank and honest, many live in political, religious, and issue based bubbles. I tell my best friend I would not be a good reporter because I would probably be quite slanted in doing so. When I listen to great reporting it is something that presents all of the facts, both pro and cons, of any given issue that is being covered.

Going forward at the beginning of the fall I am going to set myself to write about mental health in a more balanced approach. I will still speak about all of my mental health challenges, but I will try to present them in a more comprehensive matter.

I wonder dear reader, are you stuck in a bubble? I call it a bubble, not a rut, because it encompasses more than just our daily routines, it is about staring at mental health and staring at it in a honest manner! Please share with me and the other readers your thoughts!

p.s. the writing is progressing and I am in a deep research phase.

Time Out

I find myself both mentally and physically drained. I feel the main culprit is the hip surgery because of the stress I was under and in some ways still there. It has been a long road from finding what the cause of severe pain, to the actual diagnosis that my hip needed replacing.

Another factor that is adding to the above factors is that I am weaning off opioid painkillers. For the past week I have my circadian rhythm thrown off. I am not having deep sleep and the sleep I do get is minimum, so I am exhausted during the day and barely functioning.

This leads to the reason of this post. I am going to take a time out from blogging over the summer, but will check in from time to time to catch up on some reading. During this time I will be gathering my notes and relevant posts to start work on a book that I have wanted to write since leaving active ministry.

Also, I am going to recharge by taking in some necessary reading of three new books I have. One is ” Making Sense of Psychiatric Diagnosis: Understanding the DSM-5 by Ashley L Peterson. Another is a book that was reviewed by Ashley L. Peterson on her blog www.Mentalhealth@home.org, “Blackness Interrupted: Black Psychology Matters” by Nicól Osborne and Tamera Gittens. Then last on the list is a new book written by CNN Prime Time Host, Don Lemon, “This Is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism “.

So dear reader, this exhausted and drained blogger will be back near the end of August. I hope you will be there when I return!

Stability & Mental Health

“You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared and anxious. Having feelings doesn’t make you a negative person. It makes you human.” Lori Deschene

I was thinking back to what my life was like before I had help. It was always in turmoil, uncertainty, and lots of fear. As I look back I can see where this affected my marriages. What I didn’t have was stability!

My life now is stable, no more roller coaster moods, hair trigger anger, and no more fear of tomorrow. Part of being stable is knowing what my finances are from month to month. It is also that I have put down roots in a neighborhood that is more like myself, senior and loves quiet nights to sleep.

I also give credit to my psychiatrist and the regiment of prescriptions that keep my moods stable. Now, I still get down in the dumps every once in awhile, but no major depression that would require hospitalization..

So dear reader, my feelings are this, for great mental a person truly needs stability!

Perspective & Mental Health

*** This post was inspired by an article written by former Mental Health Nurse, Ashley L. Peterson. The title of that post was, The Role of Values in Acceptance Commitment therapy(ACT) ***

Having surgery for hip replacement has given me some time to think about many things in life that I value. Things such as, walking, feeling the sunshine on my face, visiting with neighbors outside, and even being able to cook my meals once again.

I have been giving a fresh new look at all those things and more. There once was a time where I could walk all over the city to do shopping. I would love to be able to do that again, but putting it in perspective I first have to conquer being able to walk through Walmart to do my shopping.

I love to cook and also bake. I once entered a apple pie and a loaf of fresh bread in our local fair. When the winners of those categories were announced I could hardly believe that I one first prize in both. I would love to bake an apple pie, but putting it in perspective, I will have to wait until I am given the green light to be able to bend down to the level of my oven.

When I was told that I would need a hip replacement I accepted it. For me it couldn’t come fast enough, I kept hoping each day that the phone would ring and that it would be the operating schedule office with a date. Putting that in perspective I just had to take a deep breath and tell myself it will happen when it happens.

I always dreamed of buying a big log style home where I could enjoy sitting at a piano playing to my hearts content. Putting it in perspective I had to accept the fact that I could not have it because of finances. The best I could do was buy my current place on a rent-to-own contract. By the way, I paid it off in just over seven years.

It is easy to get through each day, step by step, moment by moment, by keeping things in perspective. As I finish this, the movie, “What About Bob“, and the quote “baby steps, baby steps” to Bob, the main character played by actor, Tom Hanks.

So dear reader, are you able to keep things in perspective when dealing with your issues in your current life? I and the other readers would love to hear your thoughts about “perspective”!

Therapist – Good Report

This morning I was at my appointment with my therapist, and she was very happy with my progress. She did some measurements to check the length of my legs, a test to see if both hips are aligning properly, and last was to see how my range of motion in my hip. Happy to see that I have full range when kicking out to my side, it was twenty-five degrees.

I now have new exercises that helps my stability, one exercise is practicing standing up from a chair without using my hands. Other ones are for me to have the ability to roll on my sides, which I find great because before the operation I slept on my side. She also encouraged me to practice getting into the tub and standup to see if I can shower that way without the tub bench.

Finally, after I came home and had some rest I took my first walk around part of my neighborhood, although using my wheeled walker. It was a feeling of satisfaction for reaching part of my goals for this summer. Also, was able to stop and visit with two of my neighbors for a good twenty minutes.

My stability using my cane today has greatly improved Getting my own coffee and other things feels so liberating.

So dear reader, once again I am reminded that if you do the hard work, you will see results!

p.s. – I cannot tell you how I feel mentally. I think I reached the clouds combining both of the days!

A Brief Update

I have not written a post for several days. I have just not much to write about.

My recovery is going great and this week I will find out how well I am doing. I have appointments with the surgeon and the therapist. Also, on the vaccine front I will be having my second dose on Friday morning.

I have had a couple of battles with companies, one was about a return and the other is getting a refund. The former is solved, while the latter is ongoing.

I have been concerned lately over how many sites are starting to require a cell phone number, for which I do not have one. I wonder how many people worldwide would this affect. I have not had a need to own a cell phone and the biggest reason is the cost. For those on a fixed budget that can mean whether you pay rent or the phone company. I have three services from my phone company that cover, landline, internet, and television. For those three I pay much less than the cost of the cell phone.

So dear reader, that are some of my brief thoughts for now!

Escapism? – Mental Health

“Don’t judge me for escaping the stresses and cruelty of the world differently than you do.” ― Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

Back in 2019 I wrote a post, “Distractions Welcome“, for this post I thought I would expand on it.

To keep my mental health stable I like to escape. What I mean by that is this, I find ways to completely unplug myself from everything that resembles life, news, and drama. I disappear into things that will take me out of all stress.

Many years ago there was a story about a man who laughed his way back to health, his name, Norman Cousins.

On the website Laugh Off Life they review Cousins’ novel, “Anatomy of an Illness”, and they write the following;

   In his novel, Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins describes his rigorous recovery from ankylosing spondylitis, a painful collagen illness that rendered him immobile, and at its nadir, nearly incapable of moving his jaw.

In the review they include a quote from Norman;

“Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors.”
   -Norman Cousins – Anatomy of an Illness

You can download a free PDF copy of Cousins book here.

My forms of escapism includes, watching old t.v. series, such as, “Hogan’s Heroes”, “Carol Burnett”, cartoons, and even documentaries of space exploration. I also at times watch shows dealing with conspiracies, not that I believe them. My favorite are the ones surrounding the assignation the late, President JFK. Anything that takes me into a world that is indistinguishable from what I am dealing with in my life. All this allows me escape, provoke daydreams, or just a good belly laugh..

So dear reader, how do you use escapism from what you are dealing with? I would love for you to share your ways and also for others to read!

Normal? & Mental Health

A lot of people go through life trying to perform normalcy, and I think you can relate to that. – Rebecca Hall

I have been mulling this over about “normal”. We know the quote, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. My question is this, “is normal in the eye of the beholder”?

Over the past several years my “normal” has seen many variations. Now, after hip replacement it is going through another transformation.

I probably could ask all my neighbors what they think normal is and I would get multiple different answers. Some would say normal to them is a traditional family. Others might say that there family is more of an extended family.

So dear reader, I would like to hear from you about “what is normal for you”? I have a feeling I could see some variants in answers!

Guilty…Feeling Good?

For a moment he felt good about this. A moment or two later he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and satisfied, drove on into the night. Douglas Adams

This may sound far fetched, but lately I have had guilty feelings about feeling so good. Could it be that I forgot what “good” feels like? Did I grow accustomed to always having pain?

I have been doing well in my recovery and the pain is at a bare minimum. Weaning off the pain killers is something I am feeling great about, less addictive drugs in my body.

The therapy exercises are going great and I have been increasing each week the number of reps by ten, now at fifty reps per exercise.

I am not sure what a psychiatrist would say about this feeling of guilt about feeling good. Would they think I need to up my meds, or just push it aside?

So dear reader, do you have guilty feelings about feeling good? If so, how do you handle them? Please share with me and the other readers your thoughts!

Progress and Mental Health

Don’t look too far into the future, just look at tomorrow. One day at a time. Can you win tomorrow? Can you make progress? The answer is yes, you have a choice and tomorrow you’re going to win. Joe Wicks

verb/prəˈɡres/

move forward or onward in space or time .”as the century progressed, the quality of telescopes improved” Oxford Languages

I remember back to when I was teaching myself the piano. I would work hard, sometimes for hours, and what kept me going back to sit at my piano was, progress. When I would learn something new, I would keep going over it again and again, each time building my confidence.

It has been the same with my recovery. Each week I have increased the number of reps for the exercises. I have been working on walking up and down my ramp. Today was a progress day, I had walked down my ramp to where it meets the my sidewalk. I felt elated because it was great to be able to be outside and further more doing so without any crippling pain.

It is my opinion that it is progress that keeps us in a healthy frame of mind. Without progress we probably wouldn’t have all the technologies that makes our lives better. I have read that a cell phone has more computing power than that which was in the Apollo Spacecraft that took three men to the moon. There are many things that have been developed by men who kept working on scientific projects. One that comes to mind is the founder of insulin, Sir Frederick G Banting . My own daughter lives a normal life thanks to the progression in medicine.

So dear reader, does progress spur you forward? I would love to have you share with the readers and myself!

Maintaining Mental Health

“Mental health…is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.” – Noam Shpancer, PhD

To be honest I am not a super human. Lately during this recovery period I have found that I talk to myself. What do I mean? Well, sometimes the new hip is tender, maybe slow, and I tell myself, “you did this yesterday and you can do it today”. I realize that mental health needs maintaining. I cannot take my mental health for granted.

I know what should be done, things like affirmations, meditation, and getting plenty of rest. Knowing them does not help me if I do not do them. I have to remind myself every day lately that I need to push forward if I am to gain back full ability of walking.

I have heard somewhere that the mind is like a sponge, it soaks up everything, good or bad. In computer language, “garbage in, garbage out”.

Recently I wrote the post, Attitude with Gratitude and that is most of the battle. No matter I how I feel, think, or even perceive my situation, I need to find those littlest things to be thankful for. My one things is this; I have the ability to move my hip without the pain that I experienced pre-op.

So dear reader, are there things you do to maintain your mental health? I would love for you to share them with me and the other bloggers!

Benefits of Blogging

“I guess my point is, if you’re one of these people considering giving up on blogging in exchange for paying more attention to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace, or whatever they throw at us mere mortals, bear in mind you are giving up on something rather unique and wonderful.” (Hugh Macleod)

When I was in the hospital I kept wishing I could access the internet and go to my blog. I wanted to get caught up on all the great blogs that I follow. Think me strange, I felt like something was missing.

Blogging does so much for me, it is cathartic, for it has allowed me a medium to speak about those things that I care about. Things such as; mental health, healing of the mind, and also healing of the soul. I have read many times from other bloggers that it gives oneself a place where they belong, a community. This for me cannot be found in other social media platforms.

In high school I loved English, well maybe not Shakespeare, but in general. I love to read and for quite some time I did not consider myself a reader. Blogging has provided me a venue to stretch my capabilities in writing and has brought back parts of my education that I had become sloppy.

It is also a window to peak through to learn what is happening with others near and far. It also gives others a chance to read about how I am doing and also feeling. I have found that I do not stand alone in my struggles, there are many others who are, or have, faced the same type of struggles. It gives me courage to grit my teeth and power through to the other side of those struggles.

Communication, I love to engage in healthy conversations. The push and pull of talking to others and have educated debates about all the issues of life that we go through or face. It doesn’t mean that we will agree on everything because doing so would be cookie cutter humans.

Blogging brings diversity and I learned to love diversity growing up in a city of multicultural. It was the ability to learn how others live, their customs and also their beliefs. When I live in Toronto I loved going and eating foods from other cultures. My one favorite was a “Meat Patty” which I believe was from a Jamaica culture.

So dear readers, these are some, not all, of the benefits I find in blogging!

What’s Been On My Mind Lately…

“The things you think about determine the quality of your mind.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Besides working on my rehabilitation with my hip replacement, I have been thinking about some other things.

Here are some of those thoughts:

Vocabulary:

It could be my age, or maybe I am just not clueing in on tall the changes that are happening in today’s social culture. I am just having a difficult time with all the new words that have emerged. Words like, “cancel culture”, I still am clueless of what it exactly means. Does it mean that we cancel something like we would with a streaming site? When we cancel our subscription of the daily newspaper being brought to our door?

Then lately there is the term “woke”. I have no light going off in my head to let me know what they are talking about when they use this term. Woke to me is what defines us being conscious with our eyes wide open. Wikipedia defines the word as such:

Woke (/ˈwoʊk/WOHK) is a term that refers to awareness of issues that concern social justice and racial justice.[4] It is sometimes used in the African-American Vernacular English expression stay woke.

In the light of that definition it is somewhat understandable. I guess I would be considered “woke”, for I feel I am aware about social and racial justice. Those would require several new posts to deal with those issues.

Blogger Shock

When I left high school I had obtained five English credits, far more than what was required to graduate.

I heard about a certain person having a blog, so I decided to give it a look. I was shocked, it was one long rambling paragraph. There were no breaks when the thought changed. There were many grammatical errors and also wording. I thought to myself if this was to be turned in to be marked as a homework assignment it would received a failing grade. I can normally look past all those things, but this blog post was beyond the pale. I didn’t even bother to read the whole post and I cannot tell you what the writer was trying to convey.

Rebranding

After this shock I began to think about my own blog. Thoughts about how I could change things up, give it some cosmetic surgery, leading to maybe changing the structure of the blog. Thoughts about dedicating each day to a specific topic, but I am not sure I am willing to be that disciplined. Which topics would I use and on what day?

So dear reader those were some of my thoughts which was rambling around in my almost sixty year old brain!

Can’t Wait…Look Out Summer

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck


First, I went for my vaccination on the 14th. I was given the AstraZeneca vaccine. I did not experience any side affects, not even a tender spot. I really didn’t even feel the needle go in.

I was talking to a family member and I mentioned getting the vaccine. The family member told me that they were not going for vaccination because of the fears of blood clots. I tried to encourage them by telling them that the odds of that happening are very great.


I have already start dreaming about what I expect I will be able to do after recovery. My thoughts turned to walking through the community and maybe seeing a deer or a moose. It is common to see them around for it is quite the site to look and see them walking through.

Walking through the area and being able to chat with those who are out sitting on their decks. To look and see some of the new trailers that are being brought in. Taking my dog out for a long walk along the roadside.

I am not one who sits out in the sun because I think that too much sun causes wrinkles. Yes, that sounds like I am somewhat vain. Maybe, but I don’t think that I am. Just cautious and keeping the odds great from having skin cancer.

This past year has seemed so long, days seem to meld together. Trying to remember what day it is. It has been a battle to keeping my spirits up, not to fall into the depths of depression. Fighting to not giving up, doing what I can to see the better or best of the situation. Finding things to be thankful, even if they are the smallest.

So dear reader, here is to a better summer than the last one!

Mental Health and Community

Whatever you define family as, family is just a part of belonging to something that takes care of you and nurtures you… and when you have lost that, and you want to get that back, it’s pretty easy to get emotional about it. Ellen DeGeneres

I was thinking about where I live, daydreaming thinking about if I could move anywhere where would I move. Over the years I have lived in many different cities and towns. I look at those places and I have noticed one thing, I didn’t feel like I belonged, there was no sense of community. I never really learned the names of my neighbors and wouldn’t recognize them even when I may cross paths. The city that I found was the worst was Toronto, Ontario. You just kept to yourself, never looking directly into someone’s eyes.

I mentioned once that I live in a mobile trailer. This trailer park is not anything like what was portrayed in the show “Trailer Park Boys”. The owners screen new people that are moving in. They like having seniors and people who are not going to play very loud music. You will not find old cars, mattresses and old fridges in the yards. What you will find is people who like to visit when outside and you will know many of them by their names. I know all of my neighbors, within a block or so, their names. They in return know mine and of course, Natalie.

There are great benefits living here. I have a sense of security, a warm sense of belonging somewhere, and even a sense of family. There are not many places that I could name where I could find those benefits. This didn’t start at the beginning for it needed time, time to nurture, and stepping out of my little bubble. It will soon be twenty four years since I moved into this home where I live. The old adage, “Home is where the heart is”, has become real, deep seated within me.

I believe that if I was in need of some help that I could ask any of my neighbors and they would help if it was in their ability to do so. My best friend’s car is fine for around town, but out on the highway he is not sure it would hold together. When I needed to go to Regina, Saskatchewan, for those cortisone shots in my back, I asked my next door neighbor if he could take me. I don’t even think he hesitated and he gladly took me. On the way there and back we had a great time chatting about all manner of things. It was the same neighbor, after I purchased the laminate flooring, he offered to put it down for me.

It is those things and much more that has been so beneficial for my mental health I can go to bed without worrying if my home will be broken into. It has been that sense of belonging, a sense of community, that anchors me to stay here. Yes, I have those moments where I feel I would like to move. I weigh the pros and cons, but truth be told I could not find any place better than here. The rent prices are going through the roof in this town, I probably would end up living beside someone who wants to party all night, and even worse a couple who would fight constantly.

So dear reader, what gives you a sense of belonging, that sense of community? I would like to hear some of your thoughts!

Have Air Bags Before The Crash

“The pain of severe depression is quite unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne. The prevention of many suicides will continue to be hindered until there is a general awareness of the nature of this pain.” ― William Styron, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness


I hope you will read the entirety of this post and don’t move on because of the heading.

I was watching a tv show, “Touched By An Angel” and in the episode a teen becomes drunk drinking wine. He takes the keys to a car, he gets in, starts the motor, and takes off screeching the tires. Just out of the lane way he crashes into a post. It sent his head forward crashing against the steering wheel. The outcome from the crash was he did damage to his eyes. He will need a transplant of his cornea transplant. It was before airbags became mandatory, so if there were airbags the damage might have been a slight lump on the forehead.

Prevention, I wonder if I would have sought help if I would have know that I was bi-polar. Would my actions, like, attempting suicide, would have been altered. Messages, like, one here in Canada that says, “Let’s Talk” would have been aired back then, would it have saved thousands of lives?

There are so many things today that we know if we follow them they would prevent many diseases in our body. We know many substances cause cancer. It took many cancer deaths caused from the material asbestos before the product was banned. It is no longer used in construction and if a home is being renovated and they find asbestos everything comes to a halt. Work is stopped, everyone is told to leave and specialists are called in to handle the material safely. They start the procedure of removing it with many steps. One step involves the specialists put on a Hazmat suit

I remember the late First Lady Nancy Reagan against using drugs. It was quite simple, “Just Say No“. It is probably what started a search to help first responders deal with drug overdoses. Every ambulance, pharmacy, and even for homes a drug that reverses a drug overdose. It is the drug, “NARCAN“, also known as, NALOXONE.

I know now what triggers a migraine in me, tree nuts. I also know the signs of a panic attack. For both those things I know how to prevent both of them.

I wonder if you know something that would have helped if you knew how to prevent it. In other words, do you now have airbags, prevention, before you crash.

So, have airbags before the crash!

Moods On A Wire

The point about manic depression or bipolar disorder, as it’s now more commonly called, is that it’s about mood swings. So, you have an elevated mood. When people think of manic depression, they only hear the word depression. They think one’s a depressive. The point is, one’s a manic-depressive. Stephen Fry



On Wednesday I sat down to write a post. My mood was upset because I watched some of the witnesses of the George Floyd trial. I saw these witnesses, who were bystanders in May 2020 , break into tears. Almost a year has past and still the trauma deeply affected each of them. One man, sixty-one years old, broke and buried his head on the witness stand sobbing uncontrollably. It was quite traumatic that the judge saying to take a ten minute break.

As I tried to write about the what I saw was the defendant sat in his chair unmoved, and wrote on a yellow legal pad. It bothered me that a man could look so cold and unfeeling, the total opposite of what was happening on the witness stand. As I kept watching the two pictures I found myself becoming angry, angry not at the witnesses, but at the former police officer. Angry at seeing the video of the former officer with his knee on the head of Mr. Floyd.

I could feel myself going down the rabbit hole and my writing was turning dark. I began to rant about what I saw and heard on the trial. I realized that the mood I was writing in was not good or healthy . I deleted that post and it has been two days since that first attempt to write a post.

Mood swings in the past was a big issue for me. I could go from calm to an over wrought angry person. I truly thought that I had overcome those swings. I also found that men my age also go through something like the change of life, similar to women going through menopause.

Back in the early nineties it was anger that caused me to grab a bottle of sleeping pills and down them. It was just that day going from a calm peaceful start in the day, to erupting in a fit of anger. The result of that was being committed to the mental health ward for the better part of the month.

Before I started treatment back in 2004 my moods were always on a wire. I just couldn’t find a balance, one step the wrong way and down I went. Mood swings would take me on a roller coaster of highs and deep lows of depression. The highs would find me staying up all hours of the day and night. The deep lows of depression found me living on coffee and cigarettes.

So dear reader, my question is this, does anyone else experience these intense mood swings? Do you have your moods on a wire? How do you deal with them?

Blogging Helps Keeping My Sanity

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they’re okay, then it’s you. Rita Mae Brown
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/sanity-quotes


***Inspired by Ashley of mentalhealthathome.org. Her post, How Do We Communicate? Thank you Ashley!

At this time of my life I really do not have many sources that gives me some space to relate with others. My phone doesn’t ring all that much. If it does it is usually my friend, daughter, aunt, or a spammer.

The weather has turned nice which I was able to open the window and air out my house. It also allowed me to take some deep breaths to refresh my lungs and my being. Before this turn in the weather I was suffering with cabin fever and how I really wanted to go walking through a store to do some shopping.

For my upcoming appointment with the surgeon I had to search out a different form to take me. My friend remembered one such service that offers rides for those who are physically struggling. I will have to use my wheelchair, that rules out for my friend to take me. I doubt very much I could ride in his car for it rides low.

I have been trying my utmost to find ways to keep my brain alert and functional. Reading is my favorite in accomplishing that task. I also do Sudoku once in awhile, and my favorite game on the computer is Mahjong.

Of course there are the times where I can watch some curling or hockey with my best friend. It passes the time and we joke around with each other. He fills me in with news from around the city and things that are happening within my neighborhood.

Then there is my dog, she can do the craziest things which will make me laugh. Once in a while she will hop onto the couch and cuddle next to me. She does this usually as I am reading, which calms me from any anxiety I have at that moment.

By far, the only other outlet I have is right here on WordPress. I enjoy reading all the different posts and about what is happening in other people’s world. I like the communicating back and forth with others. I am not always on WordPress lately, so when I do log in, I truly like how I can escape, even for a few minutes, from my own little space and world. If I find someone new that has visited my blog I always take time to check out their blog. I have found some great gems out there to read and sometimes follow!

So dear reader, in a world where I could lose my sanity thinking about all that I will have to face one thing remains certain, blogging helps keep my sanity!