Posts Tagged ‘Mental health’

Loop-y Path to Clarity



Because of the constant rain this past month, walking hasn’t happened much. Only twice have we made it to the red cinder track behind the high school.

Funny, I never thought I’d enjoy walking an endless loop like that but I do. For two reasons—my feet love the give of the rubbery red cinder surface and It’s like a loose loopy labyrinth—you walk until you stop.

The first loop is when you pay attention to what’s going on. Traffic beyond the track. Inhaling the sweet of the birch trees on the hillside close by. Greeting others using the track and making sure the marked lane you’ve picked is empty. And then there are the rabbits. Of every color and size and personality. All busy doing their rabbity stuff on the grasses surrounding the track.

But something happens near the start of the second lap round. Everything beyond your two lanes disappears and it’s as if you two are the only ones. At least until the body, or Man-Wonder’s handy dandy lap clicker, tells you you are done.

Sometimes we talk. We pull out the things prickling us, throwing them back and forth until either a solution is agreed upon or our tongues bleed. Other times, we fall into silence. Happy to just walk — him in his lane; me in mine.

In that silence you can feel each foot striking the ground and you fall into a rhythm. The unravelling of knots in your lower spine allows a deeper swing of the hips, a stronger stride and you are grateful for the grace of walking well.And, at this time of year, as the wind nibbles at your cheek,  a sense of Ahhhhh spreads because you’ve recognised that tiny hint of warmth under the chill. Spring is tiptoeing in and suddenly you are feeling more than just okay. You are alive. Life is good.

Does it get any better?


And isn’t it funny how a boring endless loop can help straighten out one’s mind.

The Ick Doth Stick

Memories are like unexpected boogers —the more ick involved, the more stick involved.

Here’s an example of a memory that won’t quit. We watched the movie Gone Girl with Ben Affleck and Rosamond Pike. Suspenseful. Good enough to snag you and with enough ick and dark to leave your brain so itchy its begging for a Disney movie shampoo.

Then there’s the wisp-of-smoke memories. Like me starting to write about our latest walk but coming to a standstill when I couldn’t remember where we’d been. I knew it had been a good walk; I knew it was worth remembering. Only I couldn’t remember why. Or where.

It wasn’t until my left arch cramped up that the missing bits of gray matter snapped into place like they were on military roll call. The foot cramp reminded me of the calf ache, which reminded me of the thigh strain, which reminded me of the hip. . . well, you get it.

We’d walked to town (3 ¾ miles, and don’t ask whose idea it was because that would force me to lie and say Man-Wonder’s). Then we walked the railways tracks (3 ¾ +) back.

Why was it longer going home you ask? Because we come across two different junctions. And twice, we picked the wrong track to follow. Which meant doing some painful backtracking. Which led to two new discoveries:

  • No matter what he says, Man-Wonder can whine louder silently than I can out loud.
  • Walking on legs like numb tubes of quivering jelly is infinitely better than humping along on nerve-banging stumps of cement.


So there, you see . . . without the sticky icky bits this blog would have been nothing but a very short movie review.


Cleaning up


We are running out of soap.

And even though I have been buying hand soap and creams locally from Sharlene, a creative genius, at  the urge to make my own bars of soap has been growing so I decided to give it a try again. I did learn about making soap years ago at a local herb farm but decided it was too much work until recently when I figured out that I didn’t have to make 40 bar batches.

But, let’s not call me slow okay.

Still, there was the burning issue of working with lye and since I tend to rush in and clumse (new word) about, the thought was unnerving me. I decided to ease myself into it and started out by making a hand lotion. Orange-scented jojoba oil lotion to be precise.

Oh my! It goes on like silk and soaks into the skin like magic. The orange scent is  yah-okay. I would prefer something with more oomph. Something more exotic. Maybe a deep lusty scent to bring out the beast in dear old Man-Wonder.

*Snort*. . . . okay, maybe just beef up the pussycat in him. (Good thing he never reads these blogs.)

Anyway, Man-Wonder, more to shut me up than anything, made  a delightful soap mold for me from an old pine shelf unit he was dismantling.

IMG_2106  Hinged the sides for easy removal.


Then I gave it a one-sided paint job and, using my super skills at sewing, whipped up two elastic straps (first photo) to hold the sides and lid tight during those first 24 hours.


Still, I was hesitating about making the soap, even with Man-Wonder now giving me the stinkeye until I spent more time (to the point of burning eyeballs) online watching videos and reading articles on how-to before I screwed up the courage to make a small batch.

It turned out surprisingly well during the saponification stage (look Ma – no lye burns or exploding volcanoes). It poured into the mold nicely. And even though it killed me to do so, I covered it up, tucked a small quilt around it and left it be for twenty-four hours to solid up. Then, with great delight because it was looking so normal, I cut into bars.


Which are now sitting on a shelf in our closet curing for the next four-six (oh hell, let’s say five) weeks.

Mind you—I am keeping the step-stool in the closet so I can climb up to smile down at them and I gotta’ say—this waiting period is going to be tough. Waiting isn’t one of my strong points.


Like, not uncovering the soap during those first crucial twenty-four hours.

Yeah. No. I peeked.

For shame I know, but, in my own defense—it was just a super-sonic, one-eyed peek before snapping the quilt back around the soap box. And it didn’t hurt the process one bit. . . . I hope.

Want to make soap? Here’s a few juicy sites to check out:

It’s that time of year again. . .

sick woman1

Once again the cold season has reared its snotty head!

Am now into week two (since first sniffles) and so so very tired of hearing my pitiful moans each time I have to blow my nose—which is the ugliest shade of reddish-purple I’ve ever seen and trust me I’ve been doing plenty of bathroom-mirror-staring-up-the-nostrils since plugging up.

I keep thinking Man-Wonder has reached the breaking point in listening to my sniffing and snorting, and has waited until I fall into the daily dozen or so, half-sitting, foggy slumbers before sneaking in, and, lovingly (sure, sure), shoved wads of twisted tissue up my nostrils, in hopes of a few moments of silence.

The other though that keeps me checking is the thought that maybe I’ve sleep-sniffed so freaking hard I’ve sucked up my a shit-load of fibers from my drool cloth.

HEY! Don’t laugh!

Since the nose turned into a solid block of . . . ,  there’s been a lot of serious mouth-breathing. And, since I’m unable to sleep on my back, the drool have the perfect opportunity to make a run for it.

Colds are so disgusting!

Take coughing—mine is now a serious strain on my abdomen it’s causing more embarrassing moments. Like having to run for the washroom because the bladder has been coughed inside out.

Gotta’ go to the doctors? Or run out of cough syrup? Guaranteed the cough-fart, cough-fart, cough-fart scenario is coming up. And worse yet—since the nose is blocked, there’s no sense of smell.

You start a cough-fart session and you better start trotting  running away.

Never mind you’re doing a serious imitation of tugboat Annie as you propel yourself forward.

Never mind that your mouth is hanging open like a demented cat. Or that there’s a thin silver bubble dancing on the end of your nose.

Just go. . . G0. . . GO!

Yeah, I love colds. It brings one down to the humblest of places. I guess in some ways it’s good to get a cold. It makes one appreciate full body control and function.

And now, thanks to the daily pot of stinging nettle, green, and red clover brew, the dark circles under my eyes are slowly fading and the ability to hear the world around me is growing stronger.

Like the sound of Man-Wonder doing a lot of low-level throat clearing. . .

. . Crap, Crap, and double-crap—I do believe round two in the battle of the travelling mucus is about to take place.

The Jelly-Gobular Line-up Starts Here

Why is it we (okay me) can’t trust ourselves (myself)?

The minute, the very minute I tell myself I’m not going to do something, or I’m going to do such and such, I can count on myself to do the opposite?

Why can’t I do as I say? Why don’t I listen to myself?

Take exercise, and you might as well since I obviously do not have any healthy respect for it.  I tell myself tomorrow I start walking again—come hell or high water—weird old expression eh? Why not come hell or heaven, or come drought or high water? So let’s say come whatever tomorrow my plan is to walk. And, even when something gets in the way I overflow with intention. Even when that one something turns into eight or nine somethings and the walk keeps getting pushed to ‘later’ I still insist my intention is good. Only, only when it’s beyond later than later and it’s too late do I admit defeat and immediately start re-plan for the next tomorrow.

Same thing with Jujubes. I feel the desire for those  fruity globs building and I tell myself I’m not heading down that gelatinous road to gluttony again. Yeah right.How many times have I bought a bag of them and promised myself I’d only eat a handful—even as my hand is repeat dipping. I’ve even eaten them to the point of . . . belly-pain ugly. Did it cure me?


This time I fought the craving valiantly. I held off for an entire week before caving. Finally, yesterday, with the craving larger than my brain I told Man-wonder I had library research to do. I did too. I just left out the parts I felt he didn’t need to know. You see, he’s a male – so to him, eating Jujubes is—find ’em, eat ’em. For me, things need to be set in place before I can snarf.

  • First stop—dropping off our new (yeah, four months ago) contact numbers to the doctors’ office. I want to be covered just in case the Jujubes re-conglomulate in my arteries accidentally.
  • Second stop—the health food store to stock up on the good shit to combat the bad shit I was heading for.

But, hey, this time I only bought a few (okay, one scoop full) and I spread out my gummy party to eating half before the library, figuring concentration would be way finer once the cravings were taken care of and half for the ride home. After all, if I didn’t finish them before I got home I’d have to explain (= share).

Today I plan to fill up on green smoothies and raw carrots all the way. . . unless. . .something. . . gooey, or doughy, or heaven-scented, or sweet gets in the way. . .


Here’s to me, and me, and me. . . and maybe you too

As I mentioned in a previous blog the word narcissist and I were combined in a sentence directed at me and which set me on a path of internal study and that study has led me to a few self-discoveries. I’ve also been looking around at what others have to say about narcissism.

Freud says Healthy narcissism might exist in all individuals. That this is an original state from which the individual develops the love object. He argues that healthy narcissism is an essential part of normal development

And while I was thinking big over this information I was also reading A whole Life’s Work by Lewis Richard and in a world that loves to pop up coincidences I came across more thoughts on narcissism: Lewis says, ‘We begin life as dedicated narcissists. When we are babies, the needs of the self are supreme.” He goes on to say, “Even after bonding and establishing a loving relationship with another we do not become aware that others have needs as we do until around the age of two.” further along he adds, “Even well into adulthood, some narcissistic patterns remain. The character struggle between helping ourselves and helping others continues throughout life.”

I guess if I am a narcissist then I’m not alone. But then if I recognise there are others just like me then doesn’t that make me a non-narcissist?

If you ask a religious person who is God – the condensed version of their answer may be that God is us and we are God. If you ask a spiritual person who is the Creator, the all of everything.They may well say we are everything and everything is us. Do not those types of thoughts smack of narcissism? We are God, we are everything. . .

Seems the more I look into that word the more I think Freud might have something in his thinking.

So—here’s to you, here’s to me—ain’t we all just a little on the divine side.

A warning to those who might need it.

If anyone is expecting a light-hearted blog or a funny one – better close the page now. This is me telling anyone who is reading this blog to pay attention to yourself. Your inner self if you are feeling stress. Long term or short term—find a neutral party to discuss it with—not your partner, not a family member, not even a friend. Find someone who has no invested personal interest in you and start talking.

I didn’t. I thought what with my meditations (not medications) and my self-talks I had things under control. Caretaker, money issues, relationship issues are all things that are stressful. Becoming the mother to a parent , becoming the person who stands between her and everything that could cause her angst – it’s all stressful.

But I thought I could handle it. Hell, some days I felt like superwoman. I was getting through it.

But I wasn’t. After Mom fell and hit her head because I was seconds too slow to prevent it and I know I will live with that sound of her head connecting to the floor for a long, long time and the grief that followed was like the opening of the vault door to all the emotions I’d been hanging onto without release.

The fact that I disappointed people to the point of their anger was all it took to let the ugliness inside of me shoot all over everyone. I took it out on two people that were important to me. I absolutely went rank with anger, frustration, grief. I hit them with every bit of venom I had. It destroyed relationships that cannot be mended because how do you get past ugly words?

You don’t. They always hang in there like a virus waiting to pop back up and wreck a state of mind.

I was called a narcissist. Was I? Probably, but I don’t think anyone locked in a shitload of head stress can be anything else. You can’t. You simply are incapable of thinking beyond the worries in your own head.

Why am I spilling my guts in public like this? Because, it is so, SO very important that you, or someone you are watching doesn’t fool yourself/them into thinking a long term stressful situation is easily managed. Won’t work. Problems need to be pulled out and dealt with. If the stress doesn’t turn into disease, it’s gotta’ go somewhere and the mouth is the next place.

And that is worse than a cancer.

I’ll say it again—if you are feeling stress, talk to someone. Someone neutral. GET IT OUT BEFORE IT DOES IRREPARABLE DAMAGE and you chance losing everything.

Just do it!