Grieving & Mental Health

No one can tell you what to expect or can offer a guide to grief. Because every relationship is so unique, no two people grieve the same way. And you have no idea how you are going to grieve till you are grieving. Alysia Reiner

I am writing this post because of two people who have passed away. One was the only survivor sibling of my best friend. He was also my friend and he always made me feel like part of his family. His passing was suddenly and unexpected this past December 2021.

Then this past week a neighbor and good friend also died unexpected. We were looking forward to him coming home from the hospital. He was admitted to have a toe taken care of. He lost the toe and part of his foot. He passed away two days before the day of his discharge.

Grief in one form of another is part of life, something that everyone will be touched with. There is not one type of grieving, we all go through grief in our own very personal and private ways.

I was given the following about grief. It is written from a personal experience.

GRIEF

You need to get over it

Been grieving for too long

Time to put it behind you

Time that you moved on

How I hate those words

They don’t know how I feel

I am not seeking attention

The pain inside is real

I did not choose to feel this way

But my heart was broken in two

I was left in a world of pain

I did not know what to do

To scared to say your name

For fear of what they say

I am trying my best

But the pain will always stay

Everyone will grieve

Its just part of life

We all will do it our way

that’s the way it has to be

No one else can stop this

Its all down to me

I will deal with it

Alone in my own time

Yes there will be good and bad days

Surely that’s not a crime

It won’t happen over night

Yes it may take years

Yes I may lock myself away

And cry a lot of tears

But one day I will get there

And learn to move on

Its my rite to grieve

Its natural its not wrong

Author Unknown

So dear reader, grieving is personal. Have you dealt with grief? How did you manage the process? I would like to hear your thoughts on this. Share with us in the comment section!

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!

Trying My Best to Stay Positive

“No matter what you’re going through, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it may seem hard to get to it but you can do it and just keep working towards it and you’ll find the positive side of things.” Demi Lovato


My best friend made a comment to me , “I am amazed at how well you are handling things”, that made me feel good.

I picture my brain as several filing cabinet drawers. Being someone who in high school took mainly business oriented subjects, filing seems natural to me. I organize my files on the computer into large and mini files. Even how I keep important papers, such as Tax Returns, etc., they are arranged in files in a filing cabinet.

I do my utmost best to keep my life in a filing system, that way I can concentrate on the task I am doing at that moment. I wasn’t always this way, I was the world’s best worrier on the planet. There were times that I would be such a scatter brain, always running full tilt trying to get things done. The one thing I could manage was arriving at appointments early, never late.

Maybe there is a name for a person who treats his mind as a filing cabinet, it wouldn’t surprise me…lol. When I am working on writing a post I can tune out the background noise, although I work best in the quiet of the evening. It assures me there will be few interruptions, like the phone.

My situation of my hip I am trying not to constantly dwelling on it. For some strange reason I am not overly concerned about the actual surgery, even though I have never had any surgery in my life. Yes, the pain stops me from doing many things, but lately meds are keeping the pain at a lower level. I get my sleep thanks to a sleeping pill, a pain killer, and two Tylenol 4’s.

Then I like to watch different shows with my best friend. We both like baseball and curling. At the moment he is teaching me about hockey. I don’t understand much about the game, but it is a distraction from everything happening around me.

Of course there is my dog, Natalie, and she can make me laugh with some of her crazy antics. I love it when she hops up onto the couch while I sit at the other end watching tv or reading a book.

So dear reader, do you have ways handling situations of stress, pain, and mental health issues? I would love to hear them!

One of These Days Alice…(Ralph Cramden -The Honeymooners)

Intolerance is a thing that causes war, pogroms, crucifixions, lynchings, and makes people cruel to little children and each other. It is responsible for most of the viciousness, violence, terror, and heart and soul breaking of the world. – Betty Smith


Tolerance:

1 : capacity to endure pain or hardship : endurance, fortitude, stamina.

2a : sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.

b : the act of allowing something : toleration.


Acceptance:

1: the quality or state of being accepted or acceptableHis theories have gained widespread acceptance.

2: the act of accepting something or someone the fact of being accepted APPROVALacceptance of responsibility

3 law an agreeing either expressly or by conduct to the act or offer of another so that a contract is concluded and the parties become legally bound


Over the last couple of weeks my tolerance has been tested. I ask myself when do I draw a line in the sand and say, “that’s enough”.

Thinking about the difference between “tolerance” and “acceptance”. For this fifty-nine year old guy there are times I only tolerate something. I may tolerate it because just to keep peace. With acceptance it is the complete wholeness that I accept something flaws and all.

Before counseling years ago my tolerance level was not very high. I guess I was like an unwatched “pressure cooker”. I have learned the ability to express myself with tolerance without it turning into a shouting match.

This blog has become my steam valve in many aspects. I find after I have finished writing that my mind seems clearer.

This week I have been feeling like some take advantage of someone’s tolerance. They push buttons looking for a response. They pick at you, constantly asking questions repeatedly waiting for you to explode. If you explode or sound cranky their reply sounds something like this, “boy someone is certainly touchy”.

I am not sure how far a person can go with their tolerance. What has to take place to where tolerance goes out the window? That is what I am asking myself this last couple of days. Dealing with someone who seems to not understand what your concern or need is. It is those on the other end of the phone conversation that has been testing my tolerance.

So dear reader, how far does your tolerance go and what would push you over the edge? This curious guy would like to hear…lol

p.s. – Ralph Cramden was a character on a fifties tv show. When he and his wife, Alice, would have an argument, Ralph would tell her, “one of these days Alice, pow, bang, boom, straight to the moon.” (picture a man with fists clenched making a punching motion)

How I Managed The Pain of Abuse – Continued

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“The act of forgiveness takes place in our own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person.”
Louise Hay


What I am about to write, and what you are about to read, may not be your cup of tea. It is not my intention to tell you how to handle the hurts that have happened throughout your life. This old guy recognizes that pain that has been inflicted through the actions of someone else is difficult even on the best of days.

I am writing to share how I arrived where I am today, yes, scarred, bruised, and sometimes dejected. I have found everyone heals differently, also how they approach handling rejection, accusations, and emotional hell.

I am not going to write a sermon, yet, I will say my faith has carried me throughout my roughest times.

There were times growing up that I would cry and ask, “why did I have to be born”, “what did I do wrong”? My self esteem was low and to put it nicely, I had to look up to touch bottom. I am sure that those who shot the arrows didn’t care about the deep pain they inflicted. I have learned that abusers take glee silently and it makes them feel superior over the abused.

There is a story I heard that sort of describes how I have managed the pain of the abuse both physically and emotionally. The farmer had a pig that fell into a deep hole. The hole was too deep for the farmer to rescue the pig. So, the farmer decided he would bury the pig live. He went for a shovel and started to throw dirt down over the pig. Well, the pig shocked the old farmer for what it did. You see, the pig shook off the dirt patted it under his feet. When the farmer saw that he realized how to rescue that pig. He started throwing dirt over the pig. Once again, the pig shook it off and patted it under his feet. It wasn’t very long that the pig had patted enough dirt under him that he was soon out of the pit.

I am not one that carries a grudge, I do not seek revenge, what I do though, I just cut the cord of that person out of my life.

Let me be honest, I do have my moments where I think about having a pity party. What my father did to me was create in me to work to be better than him. To do something with my life. I put blood sweat and tears learning to play that piano. Five years later I was traveling across my home country and America doing what I loved, playing the piano, singing, and then learning a new talent, playing an organ. No one can claim that they did that, nobody but me, I did all that and lifted myself out of a low self-esteem.

So dear reader, all I can say is, that was my road out of the pain. I am still a work in progress, but, I am not the old guy I was even five years ago!

Commentary – Can You Feel It?

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
― Henri Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life


This post is not meant to look down on other’s feelings, beliefs, or values.

This week has been one of sincere pain, physically and emotionally. It started with a comment in an email I received that said, “I don’t really believe in all the crap Or garbage that everyone is talking about as far as Covid 19 goes.” It took all that was in me not to reply in anger, not to respond and attack the feelings. So, I have left well enough alone, but, have chosen to speak to it here in this post.

Next was feeling the hurt of my best friend who received a call that his brother, eighty-nine yrs. old, had passed away. I understood the hurt for I have had that type of call. I did what I felt was necessary, I sat and let him unload his heart and his feelings. I just sat quietly while tears flowed down his face with grief. I felt his pain!

My thoughts about the “Covid” remark is this. I wonder how those two hundred eighty thousand plus friends, family, partners, brothers, sister, mother, and father feel about it. I have a feeling that this Covid virus is not “crap” or “garbage”.

I sometimes scratch my head when I hear comments that seem to lack any empathy or sympathy for others. It seems like the only problems that concerns those set of persons is there own, that how others are feeling because of what they are facing does not matter.

I have been there when parents are facing the death of their teenage child. I have seen and watch their hearts break into thousands of pieces while standing looking at the child in their coffin. I have never had that experience, but, I sure am human enough to recognize pain of a loved one. My mother told me once that losing a child is the worst thing a parent can go through.

I just cannot comprehend how anyone cannot find it within themselves to show some empathy or sympathy. Is their heart made of stone? Have they no regard for the feelings of others? Can it be that they are so hardened, that they cannot feel other’s pains?

It is extremely hard to listen to news stories showing the very long lines of cars waiting to have someone put some boxes of food in their trunk. I can feel the pain of not having enough food in the house. Not enough money to go and buy groceries.

So dear reader, I ask you can you feel the pain of others? Has someone been there to place a hand on your shoulder in your moment of great pain? Are we becoming a society that no longer feels or cares about others, the pain they feel or the trouble they are facing and going through.

Oh What Relief!

 “Since chronic pain frequently cannot be seen or measured, unlike acute pain, doctors, colleagues, friends, or family may question or doubt your pain. In effect, it doesn’t matter if anyone believes you, but it is extremely important for you to acknowledge that all pain is real.”—Pain Recovery: How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain 

Over time I have mentioned the pain in my hip. On October 19,20 I went to have an MRI exam. Today the doctor told me the results. My hip is totally wrecked, thinking that the hip at some time stopped receiving blood to it.

Oh What A Relief It is!

Yes, I did say, “what a relief it is”. I have been living with all types of fear of what might be wrong. Lately I thought it could be cancer due to the fact that this year I had two relatives die because of that wicked disease.

There was the other thought, people may think I am faking it to draw attention to myself. I heard that when it came to dealing with mental illness, so it would not have surprised me if they were saying that.

Next came the guilt. The guilt of not being able to walk my dog, make my own meals, do some housework chores, and not able to go shopping. These thoughts of guilt plagued me day and night. I was becoming my own worse enemy with beating myself up.

Now comes the referral to an orthopedic surgeon. I have seen him before because of a fracture in my knee, so, there is no problem of dealing with him. It will be the waiting that will frustrate me. This province has a severe problem with waiting lists and times. I now look forward to the plan he will present to solve this hip problem. More than likely it will be replaced. Whatever it has to be I am at peace with it.

So dear reader, for most people hearing a report about a damaged hip would think that is bad news. For this guy hearing what the problem is, finally knowing what is causing the extreme pain. Yes, for me, oh what a relief it is!

Your Silence Is Too Loud!

It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator. All the perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the universal desire to see, hear, and speak no evil. The victim, on the contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain. The victim demands action, engagement, and remembering.
Judith Lewis Herman


Growing up in my generation there was a silent rule about children, they were to be seen not heard.

I am not sure how old I was when I first understood death, but I was probably ten years old. I can recall my grandmother and others talking in hush tones about a great uncle. I heard enough to know that they found him in his garage, doors closed, laying under the exhaust. I learned several years later that it was called suicide.

The very first funeral that I ever attended was that for my maternal grandfather in 1975, I was thirteen. I still can see him laying in the coffin. That image made me to never want to see a funeral ever again with an open casket. Why, because that is the last image that you see is the one that you usually remember.

There were too many things that those adults thought a child shouldn’t hear. Well sometimes I needed to hear your voice. Yes, hear it when I was being beat on by my father. When in 2000 sent a message during my mother’s death that he was going to kill me, I couldn’t hear you then either.

Maybe I would have loved to hear your voice after school that you were proud of me getting good grades, only to be asked “can’t you do better”?

How about someone sitting me down to explain why things were happening in my body, why my voice was changing. You know all those things that a young male should be told going into puberty. Oh I hear, your silence led me to have to learn about all that on the streets. Information eventually to be wrong.

I needed your voice to talk with me before I was going to be married. How about what I should expect on the wedding night. Yes, maybe if you would have spoken up I wouldn’t have been so crazy nervous.

Now, about that young man who is being beat upon by a group of thugs, several people watching, but the voice of the bystanders silent where they should have helped or at least called for help.

So many different times where if you would have broken your silence things would have had a different outcome. The woman who is being abused, the child who is being kicked around, the student in the school yard being bullied. Yes, you could have made a difference, but, you just kept silent.

So dear reader those are times when their silence was too loud!

What You Don’t See

“I’d never known that I could feel this broken and whole at once.”
― Rachel L. Schade, Silent Kingdom


For this post and the following two I will be working around the above image, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

If I did not reveal that I had these you would never know, yes physical challenges are noticeable, sometimes a person’s age, gender. The parts of me that you don’t see are those emotional scars.

All of the diagnostic tests cannot reveal these traces of past hurts, some a long time ago, others distant memories, and even some which seem they are fresh. These scars reminds me of all the times I have been lied about, used, abused, some can even be reopened like ripping the scab of a fresh wound.

They can at times cloud my judgement screaming at me, “watch out they will turn on you”, “careful they only want something then disappear” “have you forgotten all the names they have called you”. Yes, if I am not diligent there will be decisions made with a hand on the scale of judgment.

Then there are those now when I look at them that only brings a smile. Remembering the good times I spent with my grandfather singing, or the times I would just call my mother just to hear her voice. Yes, they are gone, the scar remains, but for me they are still here somewhere within my being.

One positive note about those unseen scars, they have taught me not to make snap judgments about my fellow human being. To treat them they way I want to be treated. Be understanding when they seem to stand afar off, it just might be that they have scars of their own, more than likely they do. When it comes to my speech is to try my best to keep it civil.

So dear reader I recognize that life brings scars, scars do not heal quickly, they can be like the ghosts that spoke to Scrooge in Charles Dickens writings.

Use To Your Own Detriment!

revenge-492560_1280

“Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”
― Coretta Scott King

I have a relative that must take baths in hate.  A grievance collector that never forgets who did what, who said what.  Revenge is something that this person give constant thought of how to go about it.


“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”

Mark Twain


It is my understanding that the person suffers from other ailments, digestion being the major one.

I have another relative that was having stomach troubles, had to get a prescription to stop the pain after eating. The relative went to see a specialist, the first thing he asked, “what is eating you”? Notice he did not want to know what they were eating.  It was true that the person was harboring ill feelings towards someone who had wronged them.

I learned a long time ago that it does nothing to hold extreme hatred or anger over what someone has done to them.  When I have been wronged I just move on.  Now do not misunderstand, I do get angry sometimes, but I do not give it free space within my mind.


“If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you’re allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind.”
― Shannon L. Alder


My father and I were never close, I really do not have any fond memories about him with me.  He had anger issues and when triggered it could get physical, usually I ended up being the punching bag.

In around 1980 I had just started travelling with the evangelist, we were in a Christian TV studio holding a crusade in Detroit, Michigan.  One afternoon my father showed up to a meeting. 

After the meeting he asked if we could go for coffee.  I agreed hoping that maybe something new would happen between us.  We ended up in a mall walking around and talking.  I spotted a Music store that had pianos, organs, etc.,. I told my father, “Watch this“.  I walked over to a digital piano that was on display outside of the store door.  I turned it on and started to play it.  A crowd started to gather, so with glee I continued for awhile.  The store didn’t mind me doing so. I guess they figured that maybe they would end up with some sales.  We then walked away and my dad asked me, “when did you learn to play like that”?  I just smiled on the inside even though I wanted to give a snide remark. 

I have not seen my dad since the late eighties for my own mental health stability.  I do not wish him any harm, nor do I hold any ill feelings towards him.

My way of working through anger may not fit you, the reader.  It is a personal thing that each individual has to wrestle with it in their own way.

So dear reader I hope that maybe something I wrote on this post will give you some ideas on how to manage anger!

Special Note

For the past month or more I have been struggling with severe pain in my hip.  My doctor feels it is bursitis.  This has hampered my mobility around my house.  I haven’t been able to sit up for any great lengths of time.

It is the reason for many reblogs on my blog. If I don’t seem to get around to your comments etc., I hope you will understand.

I saw the doctor today and he wants to give me a stronger strength of cortisone.  He also prescribed for about a week, Tylenol 4 for controlling the pain.

I took two right after I had the prescription filled and for the moment the pain is bearable.

So, please know I can’t wait until I can log on more often than I have done in the past weeks.

I consider everyone here in the WordPress community as friends, family!

We Have A Lot of Heroes!

everyday-heroes-sign

Just be yourself and be upfront about your expectations and desires. Don’t be ambiguous and play hard to get. It doesn’t work. You’ll end up in the friend zone. Mike Posner
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/upfront-quotes

I have not always been open in sharing my life, I mean I kept people at a distance.  I didn’t let many people in, I wanted to have a mystique about myself.

Since I started to write about my journey called the “bi-polar life” I have found it becomes easier to share more deeper issues.  Before this I had not ever spoken about my attempted suicide.  Except for my best friend no one else really saw me at my lowest when I first entered the Mental Health Ward.  That first time I know I probably kept my distance from others also admitted there.  The group therapy sessions were for others to talk, I didn’t enter into the conversation.

I came home after that trying my damndest to keep the same routine.  Yes, it worked for maybe a couple of weeks only to find myself falling back into my old ways.  Eventually I would find myself back in treatment, I started to become more involved in the groups, participating in the conversations, sharing my personal thoughts.

Writing posts on my blog has worked it’s wonder allowing me to feel freer in sharing more of my life.

Reading all of the posts of others has let me know that I am not the only one with feelings, going through the exact things like myself.

While I am reading your posts I say to myself, “that takes guts”.  I can feel the despair, the pain, the agony, that comes through your words.

So fellow blogger believe it or not, you are all heroes! Never stop writing your story!

A Re Blog: Stop hiding your Pain biggeneralsports.wordpress.com

Humans like to hide pain to show how tough of a man or woman there are.I am here to tell you stop hiding your pain and embrace it.Pain is like fire it can destroy you or be used to cook food for family gathering.It all depend on how you use it hiding it does not […]

via Stop hiding your pain. —biggeneralsports.wordpress.com