Archive for the ‘UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM’ Category

Windows, Mac and Linux Battle – as rap (Jobs vs Gates) for the weekend ;-)

December 12, 2013

At the weekend we will be producing a christmas edition of this site’s home page.

There will be an announcement regarding the sliding in of our commercial site around the til-now personal blog, which will be renamed once this transit takes place.

Charles Harrison

Charles Harrison: he inspired Janie

The new home page will be more like a magazine front page + contents page in format, with basic information there to inform visitors about different choices and options of content across the site. Parts of it will be based on private subscription and there will be a ‘shop’ option. However there will be publically available content too.

All singing All smoking

As did her dad

The date of transition is planned as 6th January 2014.  It may be moved to 11th of January to coincide with the official launch of MissionMiraculus Ltd.  This event will take place at the Malt House in Birmingham. and will be strictly invitation only.  A public launch will follow date & venue tba.

Leamington Road2Recovery Show, June, 2010

Leamington Road2Recovery Show, June, 2010

Janie has been in London this week and mid-month she’s heading for Leeds & Keighley, to attend an awards ceremony and visit friends,  before returning  to North London to spend Christmas with her family.

family love

family love

She’ll be nipping back home to oversee the work being done to the front of her house on the way though, and hopes to catch up with a few friends then, and maybe even have an extremely small party, with food and music, to which she invites no-one at all but herself!! 😉

See you over the weekend probably 😉

Pausing for Gratitude.

December 3, 2013

Emma Swan – what a divine name!!!! – was the girl who gifted me with the arts of gratitude in mind and heart.  I met her in 2009-10 as MissionMiraculus moved to pursue the ‘Road2Recovery Show’ back then, using a grant from the ‘service user’ branch of ‘Time-to-Change’ the illustriously bureaucratic and pretentious, Rethink dominated, Government & Lottery funded Mental Health ‘anti-stigma’ campaigning organ of the stigma delivering services such as psychiatric NHS care.

We are the authors of our own joy: and the inspirers of others'.

We are the authors of our own joy: and the inspirers of others’.

She was doing a research project on the  impact of gratitude back then and I offered to be a participant in the research. So I received my 2 weeks worth of forms (or was it a month?) with spaces to write down each day 5 things which I had noticed in that day for which I could feel appreciative and grateful.

I was a crap participant because I never gave her back the forms and I probably only filled in three at most.

But at a selfish level my life changed forever by this ‘workshop’. It embedded the arts of appreciative and grateful living in the deepest recesses of my mind – and though I slip at times and lose the plot, for the majority of my life I look outwards with a happy and optimistic eye and heart , and brush aside ‘negatives’ with a pretty careless air of wellbeing because my focus is no longer on what I DON’T  have, and what has disappointed me, and is so much more on what I do have and what delights me.

Click the following link for an amusing take on Bas Luhmann’s ‘Wear Sunshades’ song:-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_aMTayDpxw

I am so filled with gratitude today that ‘my cup runneth over’.

‘Thank you universe,’ I want to say, ‘your energies are forever and everywhere wiser and more loving and surprising than expressible or fathomable: the worst becomes the soil of the spectacular and the apparent best wears thin and becomes tarnished at the smallest breeze or shower.  My life makes sense at last, and my future is already here and so glorious that sunglasses may prove vital alongside the suncream – even in the literal snow!!!! 🙂

How Janie is experienced….

October 18, 2013

Please fill in our ‘Polldaddy’ survey re Bipolar/Manic Depression and Anxiety/Depression levels of experience. There will be prizes for the  respondent who provides contact details, completes the survey questionnaire and offers the best idea for a short, catchy slogan to be attached to the relaunched identity of MissionMiraculus and Miss Miracle’s MIC

….by her loved ones…

Zainy Jainey Take a Chill Pill!

Zainy Jainey Take a Chill Pill!ound all their alarm bells.

It’s a bipolar relevant matter. My bf (boyfriend) and bf (best friend), my elder daughter and, to be fair, no one else who has expressed concern, have jointly and separately provided a wake-up call for me during the last three weeks. It hasn’t been that I have performed the constant nightmare role in their lives but that I was slipping into something that reminds them of trips to the nuthouse and this has been quite sufficient to unnerve them.

There are, of course, reasons for this instability. Last night I opened up my floodgates of grief re my Dad’s departure for unknown territory a year ago and this has been grounding for both me and my sister and, moving forwards, for those in my world who I love and who love me.

It’s all about ‘early warning signs’ of course – but unless you have an accurate map based on an accurate understanding of causes and pathways then the ‘EWS’ work will be entirely futile. As it has been over and again during years gone by.

This time the medication routine is nailed into the strategy (not necessarily forever but certainly til we get to safe ground) and I am continuing to listen to trusted others.

I am also mindful of anxiety levels around me and mindful to examine the flow of fear that moves across the networks of my friends and families in relation to my social conduct and expressive behaviour.

Just as laughter is poised on the interface of pleasure and pain, so hypomania is poised on the interface of psychic-emotional pain and pleasure – it is that critical point of meeting where fear in the form of anxiety enters the system as adrenalin and begins to flood the body. The body doesn’t have a clear ‘knowledge’ of the meaning of this tidal wave and it moves obediently in accordance with the instructions of the conscious and subconscious mind.

To come to rest the body needs to discharge this adrenalin in a manner that does not merely excite further outflows from the adrenals.

Consequently the ill-advised approaches are:- 1. enter a state of conflict or anger; 2. To be controlled by the adrenalin fuelled state as distinct from remaining mindful of the fact of this flooded condition; 3. To allow the adrenalin flow to go unimpeded.

Due to the pleasurable experience of high adrenalin flow in the body providing that it is linked with excitement rather than fear, the experiencer can be or become inclined to indulge in the flow and to resist external attempts to bring it under control.

Due to the body state – flooded with adrenalin – the very worst move by friends, relatives or mental health services would be to attempt to intervene abruptly and from ‘above’ to bring this condition to a halt. In the vast majority of cases this would be experienced as threatening and frightening by the possessor of the condition and the overwhelmingly likely reaction/response will be resistance. THE RESISTANCE WILL BE IN PROPORTION TO THE FORCE BROUGHT TO THE CONDITION.

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Remember always: adrenalin, at an evolutionary level, is the body’s device for commanding extraordinary levels of emergency mental, emotional and physical energy. The ‘sufferer’ will be in an ‘enhanced state of consciousness’ and an ’emergency-alert body state’.

Where the discharge of the adrenalin is directed toward creative or academic pursuits the results may be surprising in their levels of achievement. Where the discharge is directed toward sporting expressions, similarly, the achievements may be untypical of what would be predictable by the person in their ‘normal’ state. Sport is an excellent vehicle for discharging adrenalin since it clears the body of those poisonous chemicals associated with adrenalin which will collect in the body and harm it whenever it is simply left to fester undischarged.

This of course, is a level of understanding that remains light years away in any NHS psychiatric hospital. It is also why MissionMiraculus has a strategic interest in creating a service that will compete with the NHS for such patients and holds high hopes that it’s bench marked and staticised and published results of the first 2 years of business in this regard will demonstrate that its ‘shared humanness’ ethos and its translated from theory treatment plans outstrip the NHS success stories hands down.

Which is why, if you take an interest in bi-polar/manic depression and/or depression & anxiety, you should link across to Facebook MissionMiraculus page right now and ‘like’ our page there. While you’re at it track the life of Arrabbella Faith on Facebook and sign up to see the ‘Laughing for a Change’. Its Headline act is the well known ‘Barbara Nice’ – well known in Birmingham and the West Midlands. Less well known are a group of ‘new and developing comic artists’ amongst which will be Arrabbella. Only £5 a ticket from the Box Office at the Birmingham Rep and on a Sunday night beginning at 7pm – so it won’t be a late one.

It will, however, be a fun one.  Please fill in the poll questionnaire and take note of the contact details for this site, below. The 1st, 10th, 25th, and 100th person to fill in the questionnaire will win a gift from the Company ‘Miss Miracle’s MIC’ upon providing your email address or mobile telephone number and name. Candidates for a prize should nominate their preference for a gift leaning into the following fields of preference: a book; a gift leaning to nature; a gift from the domain of ‘art and culture’; ‘surprise me’.  The 1st and 1000th respondent will receive a special invitation to the first formal meeting of MissionMiraculus re-launched, a three-course meal with its core team members and the chance to take the stage on the day if they so wish.  The RRP of the gifts are range from £50 to £500 in today’s values. They are forecast to rise in value over the next five years to an exponential degree, ie way out of proportion to the UK annual inflation rate. These gifts, therefore, are recommended for investment purposes as well as for pleasure.

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Good Night Out?

October 13, 2013

Mine was. My friend Julia who usually lives on the south coast on a state of the art house boat is spending a few days with me – so that’s already heaven in the making; her bloke has joined in with us via skype the last couple of nights, which enhances the pleasure; this afternoon was spent in charity shops and primark (for me) which resulted in a few purchases at very little expense; bf is being challenging but then a whole janie-community conference took place today and found that I am almost impossible to tolerate when I am ‘hypomanic’ because I’m not ill enough to shovel in the nuthouse and not sensible enough to put up with if im at large lol – what can I say?

“Sorry” suggested Julia. So I did. She gave me a stern talking to and I have been the picture of obedience all day long until I bubbled over on the phone to bf. He clearly agrees with Julia cos first he put down the phone and switched the device to ‘don’t respond to janie’ and then on fb went to bed. I think I’m in disgrace….

He’ll come round… I realise that I’m something of a nightmare just now and I’m doing my very best. Julia is teaching me but she’s such a strict teacher that I end up with constricted bubbles from presing myself down so hard in order to win praise from her. It simply meant that I mistook bf for a softer taskmaster and got it all wrong lmao….

Where on earth am I to go to be tolerated when I am in this state?

I’ll tell you: Work. Work is going swimmingly lol

Everyone is trained in some way or another to be kind to nutters there. So there I’m able to be myself without fear of offence 🙂

When will my friends and family catch up? :-S

Hello, Good Evening and Welcome once again ;-)

October 1, 2013
Oasis at the University of Birmingham -

Oasis at the University of Birmingham –

NB ALL NAMES IN THIS OR ANY OTHER ENTRY ON THIS SITE ARE INNOCENT OF ANY CONTENTS HEREIN. GLORY SHOULD BE DIRECTED TOWARD THEM, ANY RAGE PLEASE SEND MY WAY (VIRTUALLY ONLY. IF YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICALLY ENRAGED REACTIONS PLEASE SIT QUIETLY IN YOUR BEDROOM TIL IT PASSES. A VALIUM MIGHT HELP.)

Yes: after a detour into the world of F(ine)Art, its heroes and demons, we return to the sunny climes of the Midlands, focus on the University of Birmingham (though I’ve never actually run a group in or at the clock itself it remains a handy focal point) and the topic of ‘Mental Distress’.I say ‘Mental Distress’ in preference to the normative heading of ‘Mental Health’… After all – does one go to work in a department titled ‘Blood Health’ when one is researching causes of Diabetes? Wouldn’t that be kind of… weird….?

Or would it? In fact maybe such projects SHOULD be called ‘Blood Health’ to assist the focus into how to bring bodies into alignment with healthful balance? I suspect that with Diabetes there are some unsurprising ‘discoveries’ in that direction, though not in the official language, which remains driven by DISease and INbalance and ILL health.

Be that as it may, I am primarily addressing the delightful students I met yesterday and today in one of the science blocks, working with Maureen Smojkis in delivering learning around families and solutions focussed approaches within Social Work practice.

Those of you who have seen us working together know that we have developed our act over the last three or four years (or more) and have now got to the stage where we accidentally lead the way in adult (and child) learning, since we are a ‘force to be reckoned with’…. we don’t talk at people, if we can manage it we don’t talk too much at all; when we do talk Maureen is the straight guy, I am the fall guy and everyone ends up having the minimum of a chuckle.

Is this naughty I hear you asking… Is this something the chancellor in his huge office; his vast piles of paperwork; his ambiance set, doubtless, by paintings, portraits of ex-chancellors etc, and luxury wallpapers with a vast and imposing work table (better known as an executive desk); with his secretary in her own outer office gatekeeping on his behalf and a further office of administrators busily ensuring that the central core of the university is all run according to ‘high academic and social standards’, ‘appropriate protocols’ and ‘unwritten rules’ – would be likely to welcome or abhor?

I couldn’t tell you. I’ve never had a tete a tete with the Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, although I’d love to have a coffee and chat with him, for some reason best known only to himself, he’s never rung to invite me.

To be utterly frank, I think I do know the answer to this mystery. It’s less a mystery than an entirely predictable state of affairs. He has never heard of me. He doesn’t know my name; he doesn’t know I work at the University; he doesn’t know what I look like, sound like, or teach like. He doesn’t know my history, my ‘track record’ or my ambitions. He doesn’t know my age, my gender or my height.

I tend to doubt that I am a detail he has ever needed to take any cognizance of.

I may leave it like that.

Then again…. I may alter that… it depends on what I find out about him. So far nothing. He could be a her or a pekingese dog for all I know, though to be fair if he proves to be a small dog I shall be asking serious questions – like – who put him in there? does anyone take him out for poos? does anyone make sure he doesn’t wee on the paperwork – it may sound unlikely, but my benjii frequently sits on a kitchen chair before I get home so I can admire how humanoid he’s becoming…

And – if the top dog of the University of Birmingham is reading this now and is thinking ‘what a delightful person this appears to be, I must contact him/her and invite h for a coffee: please don’t act yet. I need to find out what kind of animal you are first.

Anyhoo… I’ve written this in the hope that the students: Alix, Paul, Dave, Lucy, (I’m running out of remembered names guys, sorry), will get onto this blog and get commenting and opening conversations.. I’m so keen to shift this ‘blog’ from a ‘broadcast’ to a ‘conversation’ (albeit with me having the editor’s pen in my hand at all times and pushing out long monologues when the fancy takes me) –

And I ‘should’ write tons more ‘scintillating’ and ‘profound’ text to send you to sleep with…but I’m almost asleep already…so….

What kind of prize would tempt you to help me out? 🙂 ??

Love and Hugs,

Janie

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