R U OK? Day 2017.

R U OK?

I saw the evidence in my social media feed. This annual day focussing on mental health had arrived again. Nobody was asking me directly, so I asked myself,
“aRe yoU OKay?”

And my response was a little uncertain, but mostly a “Yes.”
Maintaining a positive focus, one of my newer skills. 🙂

I’d been seeing memory posts in my social media feed, “on this day” from a year ago. And each day it didn’t look good. There was much pain 12 months ago. Mental anguish, also manifesting in physical illness. And I could see it so clearly now, looking back with experience, with compassion. Seeing clearly what was going on then.

And now, not wanting to look back too much. Not wanting to see so much pain, to be reminded of what I’d been through, because it’s still raw there, I’m still healing there.

But reflection is a good action. With a positive focus, it is helpful and enlightening. 

But it hasn’t been that way for most of my life. Only just realising that my self-improvement had often been a vehicle for self-admonishment. A finding-and-fixing attitude often fed a destructive force of self-criticism.

I presume that came from my father. His black and white attitude to right and wrong coupled with strict religious beliefs, was a recipe for harsh parenting that I learned early on. And now battle with today. Possibly the last haunting vestige of my past (well, that I have identified anyway) – (see what I did there?!)

So at the end of this year’s R U OK day, I know I’m in a far better mental place than previously. Far better than for many years. There are gaps, there is still work to do. I am learning to accept present me, be understanding with past me, be patient with future me, mostly just learning to be.

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Once More, Unto Hope.

I will not acknowledge this darkness clawing at my soul
I will not name it depression, grief or anxiety, which gives it form and offers it power
I will not give in when the desire to hide away, from people, from loved ones, from life,
Calls me incessantly and offers an uncomfortable ease to this troubled heart
I will not doubt my own worth
I will not question every part of my being that others see as positive
I will not make life-changing decisions based on the fear of my present.

There are so many ways to dive into these depths
And in the past I’ve tried them all, tested their effectiveness
So I know that path isn’t right for me right now
Despite the comfort of familiarity all of that could be
There is only right now, hunched over,
Wanting to stand tall, but bearing the weight of my world on my shoulders
So for every step forwards, and every step backwards,
I know my focus on the future will eventually win through.

Hope calls me forwards
I don’t recognise it’s shape, but the warmth is enough to draw me away from this icy cold.
Hoping for a mind unrestrained by this clutter and weight.
Hope is a quiet voice, whispering encouragement through the darkness
Leading me onto a new path
Reminding me of the light that exists out there.

My heart. My head.

There is so much more I need to say
To the world, to you, and to myself
I need to hear the encouragement that only comes from a changed state of being
From a fresh way of thinking
From love overpowering fear
And it’s greatest source is hidden inside me
I want to hear it loud and proud
And each day I cry for another vision
Another visit from the tenderness that had been lost
I. Keep. Pushing. Forwards.
Searching. For. More. Of. This.
And the fear claws me back, holds me back,
Stabs my back and leaves me bleeding in pain
When all I want is Peace. Love. Life. Connection.
How do I connect with strength ephemeral?
Wanting more. Looking for more. Searching
Tell me where to look
Help me see what I need to… Be.
When deep ruts steer me wayward
I ask for guidance, for a gift
To heal the rift inside my heart, my head.

Falling into a Moment.

Today, is just as times before. When I feel the pain of another’s story, long after my ears have heard. When I remember back to my own journeys through the pain of chronic ill-health. And the mental anguish of being unable to function for days, weeks, months. The self-imposed stresses. The very real stress of maintaining a relationship whilst unable to maintain yourself. Being unable to work, unable to generate income, unable to meet deadlines.
Unable. Disable. Needing more enable, but those days were rare.
I have known defeat, suffering, struggle, and loss. Somehow I have found my way out of those depths and stand here today.

.

Pain reaches forwards
Up from the past
Clutching and dragging me
Back
Fearing all that
Now, as then

And I tell myself right now
These are emotional ghosts
They have no power over me
Except that which I give them.
Though I feel unsteady, unsafe
My comfort lies in others
Asking for help
Accepting supportive hands
Belief in my own inner strength.
These are my tools
With these now I survive
And prepare to thrive once more
This is my hope, my truth.

Breaking UnRules Before Midnight.

It’s that time of the the night when the world has gone quiet around me, my brain has cleared of daytime clutter and I want to just sit into the night and write. 

A sleepy brain is actually a benefit to creativity as all the normal barriers and rules have melted away. 

I can access deep, intuitive words and thoughts. 

But the downside is that I push past my need to sleep which becomes problematic tiredness the next day. 

So instead tonight I will lay down my writing devices and attend to my body’s need for rest. 

And tomorrow, perhaps the inspiration will have built up and there will be greater creativity at play.

Journey. 5

It doesn’t matter what I achieve compared to others
It doesn’t matter the person I am, or am not, compared to others
What matters is the effort I make to always move forwards in love
What matters is my truth, deep within me – my honest loving heart
What matters is that I work to make the world a better place for everyone I have contact with
Caring for myself is not selfish, it is the priority, so that I have energy to share with the world
At times there may be a fine line between strength and exhaustion – everyone experiences this at times.
Then you must choose how much to turn in and how much to share out.
This is recharge time. Make it that and only that.
Take the time to nurture yourself in all the ways you know how.
This is the quiet way forwards when you feel like stopping. Some days momentum is the gentlest breeze past your ear, and other days momentum is swirling along with rushing water.
Take them all for what they are, different energies for different days.
And for now, take comfort in these truths.
Find your energy level and move with it.

(21 July 2016)

Seeking Love.

Of Love and Loss

Learning to love myself
Learning to fully look after myself
Providing all the parenting I missed as a child
Protecting, comforting, reassuring, accepting
And loving me just as I am
Is what I need to do.
It’s so easy to think
I just need others to fulfil that for me
But then I will always be wanting, expecting
Being needy, maybe demanding of others.
I once wrote “I feel like I’ve never been loved”
That makes it difficult to love
Difficult to accept love
And sometimes I feel ashamed

(23 November 2015)

“For whatever reasons we can feel like we’ve never been looked after fully. We have to be our own parent, protecting, comforting, reassuring, accepting and loving us as we are. It’s not easy and the invitation to feel angry and hard done by is strong. Why do we have to do the hard work, especially if we are…

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Until Now; Forever More.

I was looking for words, to expunge the feelings and bring normality to my life.

In desperation I brought intention to my soul for self care. Falling asleep before I could comfort myself with inner words of support.

Yet intention was enough. Today was bereft of the previous days’ occaisonal negativity. Today was completely about being in my energy, and sharing it with people I came across. 

And tonight, the words come seemingly fleetingly. But a quick consideration proved the positivity of my limited expression. 

Recalling the lessons of this year, from the very start right through to today, reveals the value of focus, of maintaining a positive feedback loop with my brain. Of letting go that which no longer serves me. Of filling my mind’s eye with what I want to see, feel and be.

This invaluable reminder, demonstration, and confirmation all rolls into one solid point of existence. My existence, my life. This it must be. 

I am blessed with observation, identification and perseverance. Blessed with supportive energies around me.

I am the author of my own destiny. Today I choose to start writing a new chapter. The power in the words may come from many sources, yet the strongest power is in the wielder of the pen.

Torn Between Care and Resting.

I’m trying to be kind to myself
Being gentle on my body
That has been so fragile for so long
And my mind says “Lazy”

I’m scared of pushing myself much
And crashing again
Physically wrecked for a day or two
And my mind says “Lazy”

I say be gentle, don’t push
Let my body communicate its ability
It’s a fine line balancing productivity
And perceived laziness

(28 Sept 2015)

A Detailed Request. (Reblog)

A close friend, poet and writer, who I first met here on WordPress, is struggling with a relapse of Anorexia.

She is a professional working in adolescent mental health, specialising in eating disorders (with an understanding from her own experiences) and these are the bravest words I have read in a very long time.

http://www.inourhands.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/to-the-friends-who-want-to-help-me-some-ideas/

I wanted to share them with you, not just as an example of what helps someone in that situation, but also as a beautiful example of understanding one’s own struggles, of how to ask for help, and of how much a struggle mental illness can be.

In these darkest of times, wishing you love and light, dear Pooky.