Posts Tagged ‘Chance Encounter’

Steve Jobs Inspires Us Still

November 15, 2013
Janie in 2009

Janie in 2009

Well, we haven’t dropped by to update you of late, and we don’t want to update you yet lol. But we DO want to inspire you!  And we can’t think of a better way to do that than to send you to a video of Steve Jobs addressing some graduates from Stanton University, USA back in the ‘noughties’.

We, by the way, are ushering in the ‘naughties’ – sounds the same, feels a bit naughtier, lmao.

Passing Strangers

February 1, 2013
Mr Fox

Mr Fox

Started this entry and lost three paragraphs immediately. How infuriating is that!!

Well, as I was starting – I met with Nicola Bate today for the last time.

As the woman who has worked with me for two years to adjust my identity toward self acceptance, embrace of my womanhood, ego-stabilisation and recognition that ‘no man is an island – nor is any woman’ and, even, that this was a lesson I needed to learn: it was not an occasion I necessarily looked forward to. She has become my ‘internalised mother figure’ and it’s always nice if you have an external figure to attach to your internal registers.

Still, I have memorised her image quite well, I doubt I’ll ever forget her face or her gait, indeed, I’ll never forget anything much about her. To her I owe my entirely novel state of wellbeing.

It is an achievement that would not have been possible, however, without an entire network of friends and associates in my life echoing her acceptance and positive regard.

Is this the point at which I list all of the people I regard as contributing to my recovery, indeed, not mere recovery but progress toward what Mike Smith and Marion Aslan define as ‘Thriving’?

Is it too soon to make such an announcement? After all, I’m sitting in a kitchen that defies description in any civilised terminology – my entire home is reminiscent of anyone’s concept of ‘hell on earth’ – boxes, bin bags full of books and clothes, portfolios, canvases, ‘people’ every inch of the place – it’s barely safe to walk to the front door, so likely is it that I’ll fall over something leaning in my way. Loft insulation wonderful, preparation for it – nightmare!

But also – preparation for it: miraculous: down fell so much art work I thought I’d binned many years ago.. Of course the larger part was binned and this is merely the smaller stuff the ephemeral stuff that was easy to chuck above myself out of sight. Still, it’s been a treasure of wonder to me that I can only feel deeply grateful for. How to proceed from here, though, is another question. My father’s will to furnish me with sufficient fund’s to see me out of financial distress after his death was an unexpected privilege I still haven’t got over, any more than I will ever get over, past, or want to move from his words and look on the last day I spent with him, five days before his death. The cash is not in sight as yet, however, and won’t be for some time. The house needs to be cleared, cleaned and repaired before that can occur.

I’m still accepting incapacity benefit/esa and ‘therapeutic earnings”supervised’ by a woman who seldom offers any supervision, and I remain in the dark regarding how or when a more dignified alternative to this plight will arise as an unmissable opportunity.

Yet, such an opportunity is what I have some sense is absolutely predictable for me within the year.

So, again – is now the time to announce my transition to health or is now the time to remain a little wary of such open optimism?

On balance I’ll stick with just a little wariness. Whilst also thinking it’s high time I thanked endless characters from the University of Birmingham – Jerry, Maureen, Kris, Ann & Alex, Dee, and from MHRN, Sonia, and Paul McDonald, for a culture of acceptance and tolerance in relation to me that has made a big difference to my life in recent years. To Paul Roberts and Gordon Parsons, Becky and Bella I owe my sense of security in possessing a local friendship circle and to Glenn Miranda I am ever grateful for his unswervable faith in MissionMiraculus. He, I and Gordon alone, I suspect, remain enthusiastic adherents to the mission and values informing that eccentric little group. It’s never been smaller or less active, officially than it is today – other than that ’til 2009 it had remained effectively a concept in my head and a few bits of paper since 2000 – so it’s made progress since then.

It surfaced in my mind today after seeing Nicola and having my eyebrows threaded (not simultaneously). I sauntered into Cafe Nero, my favourite Redditch coffee bar (there’s a really cute little girl who works there, same age as my own daughters, and I tend to buy her a chocolate each time I go there, though today, after the expense of the threading, she had to go without). I sat down and within minutes the owner of the cola on the table I was at appeared and sat beside me. His name was Mr Fox and he was 26 years old and he suffered from the kind of restless, nervous leg movements that aren’t unusual amongst young men. It transpired that he has suffered from mental health distress and that he attended Kings Norton Boys School. I add in these details because, if anyone recognises this description I’d like you to urge him to come along to Suresearch and find some peer support in Birmingham. In the absence of any organised peer support in Redditch it seems the best thing to do.

Suresearch has a website and the address and directions to arrive at the right destination will be on the site. I go to these meetings so he won’t arrive and find himself isolated in any way.

It made me think. Maybe I need to localise some of my energies and organise some kind of peer support group in Redditch that isn’t paternalistic and boring as hell but appeals to young people being casually written off by a cynical social infrastructure.

That’s it for now.

I need to brush my hair and dash along to Birmingham to get another hepatitis jab for my honorary research contract.

Toodle Pip,


Survival & Threat: Payment by Results

December 3, 2012
Volcanic Brightening Burst

Volcanic Brightening Burst

Survival & Threat, Recovery, Discovery, Thriving.

Where would you put your life in relation to the above concepts/standards of living?

Where is the course of your life, normatively, and progressively, in relation to them?

In a sense you could see birth through to adulthood as a mixture of survival and discovery with recovering an thriving peppered in amongst the mix. Perhaps most of us become a little more reflective as we mature, with more painful events and consequential errors of judgement causing us to retract at times and more pleasurable events and consequentially advantageous judgements enabling us to enlarge, at others.

Remembering always that consequentially destructive, constructive and creative decisions, actions and habits by no means ‘show up’ in their ‘true colours’ at once.

I sat down to write because I hadn’t published anything for a week or so (as you probably know this blog is intermittent and driven by impulse more than by systematised strategy) and I was wondering about my own ‘mental health recovery’.

My father’s death has somehow brought to light more clearly than for some time that my attitudes and values hamper my peace of mind far less than many around me who have no history of ‘mental illness’. I guess that my stability emotionally is aided by sodium valproate, a mood stabilisor, and that co-extensively and certainly more importantly my thinking is steadied and directed more helpfully by the work I have done with a psychotherapist over the last year and a half (seeing her on average about once a month).

The loving, light spirited yet somehow deeply spiritual time I shared with my father on the Saturday before his death added to my strength and the unexpected discovery that he had written a will favouring me and my sister, though it has thrown some family members into disarray, has by no means diminished my feelings of well-being – though nor has it diminished my sense of responsibility towards angry and upset family members.

Running parallel to my father’s death has been an emerging perception of me, by the mental health services, that I am ‘recovering well’ and needing little or no support from them. That said, I have four sessions with the psychologist left and running alongside that I see a ‘social worker’ also about once a month. The social worker has a value – as does the psychologist on the grounds of their sex: they are women and I have needed to align myself more strongly and trustingly with my same sex associates and to begin to feel safer in friendships with same sex people. This has been a great success and I feel altogether a more rounded, happy and contented human being since my psychologist moved me in that direction.

To be a heterosexual woman who feels uncomfortable with women makes for a very uncomfortable relationship with oneself. How can you feel safe with, trust and value yourself if you’re that kind of woman?

So – what a difference it’s making to my life!!!!

Anyway – the point is: Am I moving to be discharged from secondary services and declared fit for work because I am now well, or is it because of ‘payment by results’? I suspect it is the latter and that I’ve been allowed to recover because of the latter where I was tripped up and into ditches by the same before because it suited their own budgets and careers.

Psychiatry is a thorn in the side of positive mental health in my view – no doubt, if you know me or have ever visited this space before this view will come as no surprise to you.

Apparently my ship is due to be released from its naval fleet: Thank f***g goodness for that!! Do I sail away, never to be heard of again? Hmmm.. Good question… A sea shanty comes to mind…

A Funny Thing Happened Yesterday

September 21, 2012

when  I opened my door to a caller by.

A stranger stood before me wearing a bright yellow safety waistcoat. A friendly man, broad smiles before long, slight hesitance before enquiring what I was doing with the two spare cars in my drive.

Opportunity sang in my ears leapt in my heart. The girls’ cash register began sounding out ‘kerching, ker ching’. I needed to keep reserve but this man appeared to be the answer to my prayers – to get shot of my kids cars effortlessly whilst finding some dosh for one of them in dire need of it.

He on the other hand seemed to feel he’d found a car for his own daughter following her successful driving test. Plus a little more perhaps, since his father knows a bit about cars apparently and so – who knows – by buying both vehicles they might just make a bit of profit as I saw my children out of a dilemma and cleared my front space.


My favourite equation.

As it worked out I was so delighted by the hope and by the guy’s demeanour that I happily parted with the vehicles’ log books and car keys before he went, oh and my telephone number. In return I got a leaflet from the company he represented and his mobile number hurriedly scribbled along the side.

Come on. Admit it. You think I’m a stupid, over trusting moron. ‘Danger, Danger’ is sirening in your head on my behalf. Too late, the other part of you is thinking – she’s done it now, silly cow. Act in haste, repent at leisure.

Only guess what? You’re wrong. It was totally kaucher, whatever that means (but it’s a jewish related word isn’t it so I think, with a sideways glance across the family noses, I should use it). The man is who he says he is. There are no guarantees he’ll take the cars because he may go away and decide to offer me less than we agreed yesterday before he noticed the bash on the side of one of the cars.

I knew about it so my price is staying where it is. I know that in this ‘credit crunch’ market these two cars are worth more than they would have been ‘when times are good’. They’re small, they have low mileage and they do infinity to the gallon – what’s not to love?! As to the bashes – it’s all a question of marketing. Like odd socks – market them well enough and they’ll take off – customised markers, that kind of appeal.

My eccentric spin could lose me the loss of the cars, the opening of space in front of my house. But who knows – we could agree to agree and then we’ll remain win + win = WINNING

I didn’t mean to go into such detail.

I meant to share with you this experience because within  me I experienced it as a gift from god, a visiting angel, a serendipitous occurrence flowing from an ‘excess’ of faith

Faith Happens

Faith Happens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What happens when faith becomes ‘excessive’? I suppose it  must transform, like water transforms – becoming, when excessively hot,  steam and then, apparently, nothing at all :- So faith,in reverse order, is  ‘invisible’ to begin with and  transforms,  into appearance by manifesting, appearing, solidifying the focii of faith, moving through faster and more easily by sustained faith, getting broken up and delayed or even reversed by attacks of doubt and undermined hope. And it isn’t the action of ‘I’ll focus my faith on that so I get it’; faith goes deeper and more joyfully than that – something some of these American so called New Age websites fail to understand.

Of course, where the processes of water as liquid, solid, semi liquid (steam) and full dispersal (return to constituent parts) are relatively simple and interpersonally measurable, the processes of faith are so complex that they defy all human measurement instruments – and rely on faith, circuitously to affirm them.

How infuriating is that for the scientifically minded? Simple scientism must simply reject faith (ie the power of belief and the presence of a pan-human, pan-life energy connecting everything) out of hand as superstitious nonsense.

Why not? After all – you can’t put a ruler to it. You can’t put a thermometer to it. You can’t weigh it. You can’t determine its age. You can’t detect its trajectory. You can’t see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, touch it at all. Any more than you can do any of these things with ‘love’, for example.

Anyhoo – I’ll write again soon and tell you more about my experiences of faith

Toodle Pip


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