Archive for June, 2008

Light Of The World…

Light of the world,
Enter into the depths of our lives.
Come into the dark and hidden places.
Walk in the storehouse of our memories.
Hear the hidden secrets of the past.
Plumb the very depth of our being.
Be present through the silent hours.
And bring us safely to your glorious light.

Credit: Power Lines, David Adam

I’m not very good at keeping track of where I am, and I’m not sure how I got here. All I know is that for the past two weeks I’ve been finding it hard to keep my mood any higher than about knee-height.

We prayed the above prayer in church today, and it felt so appropriate that I wanted to share it here. At the moment, the “silent hours” are long, and very silent, as my housemates have all moved out this week. There are certainly plus sides to this – I’ve been able to get away with filling the fridge with fruit juice, and the freezer with frozen vegetables. But there’s noone to break the mood when I come home, noone to ask if I’m OK, noone to run out to the shop for me when I’ve forgotten yet AGAIN to buy electricity credit, noone to share their moans with me and make me feel a little better about having bad days myself.

And noone to notice if I decided to take the quick way out of all this.

Not that I’m suicidal, far from it. I’m just feeling very tempted by the viewpoint that says “Life isn’t worth the present struggle”. I’ve made such a mess of the life I’ve been given, and for the umpteenth time all I can do is bring it with me to the foot of the cross and ask for the strength to give it another go.



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Soundbite from a conversation I had on Sunday…

It’s… like… I grew up thinking the world works one way, but now I’ve grown up and it doesn’t, it works another way – and now I feel I’ve lost those years that I could have had learning to fit in this world

I don’t subscribe to the feeling that I had a bad childhood (I did have a bad adolescence, but that’s a different matter), but I did have a slightly different childhood. In primary school I was ostracised by my schoolmates, so I grew up thinking I was worth less than other people, that it was a kindness to people to avoid them – that if I sat down next to people, I should leave an empty chair between me and them to avoid the pain that having me sitting next to them would cause.

And I can still see the echoes of that coming down the years.

Backtrack a few hours to yesterday evening. I went to a fellowship group organised by someone at my church – I go every other Wednesday, as it gets me out of the house and in the company of other people. I walked into the room where we were all meeting that day, and had a common dilemma – all the sofas were partly occupied… so where should I sit? I settled for sharing a two-seater with my conversational partner of the Sunday… and then realised that I was squished up against the arm of the sofa in order to provide as much space between her and I as possible.

Another example…

When I was a young teenager (13 – 14) I was quite talkative. Still quiet and thoughtful, because that’s me, but I thought nothing of yelling across the classroom to butt into a conversation on the other side (and indeed got picked up on that by my teachers), backchatting my teachers, or having long conversations with people I didn’t know very well about random things.

Then, at about 15, I stopped talking at school. I physically couldn’t talk, the words just wouldn’t get past my throat. Some of the more understanding teachers stopped calling my name out with the rest of the register so that I wouldn’t have to answer, some of the unobservant ones would wait for me to finally squeak out a “Yes” (to the amusement of everyone else), and one of the misunderstanding teachers would give me long passages to read aloud in class, and yell at me for being so quiet (I still somewhat wonder why on earth he thought that would solve anything, but he remains one of my favourite teachers for other reasons).

Fast-forward to the present day.

I do talk now… most of the time… and I sometimes don’t even have to think about it. But it feels a bit as if the bit of my brain that translates what I’m thinking into words that flow of my mouth sort of… disengages occasionally. And then I revert to mutism, and garner odd looks, without even realising what I’m doing, or that there’s any difference.

So, aside from the lack of opportunity for self-carnivorism (is that even a word?), I do wonder how to tackle these kind of behaviours, because (for me), they feel instinctive. I don’t have much choice in the matter – I behave that way because the old conditioning holds so strong.

However, there are no scars I can point to to show my past. I don’t walk around with a sign saying “I am occasionally a bit strange”. So I’ve struggled to make friends, because people misinterpret how I behave. And though I’d like to learn more appropriate social skills, it’s proving a bit of an uphill struggle, as I almost never get feedback on them (go on… when was the last time you praised someone on how they interacted with you? Yeah, I thought you might say that… me neither!)

So, here I am, a child of my past, in a future I haven’t quite figured out yet and never really envisaged to be this way. And I think my map might be upside down…

*twists the other way*

…no, still doesn’t make much sense. Hmmm…

Anyone up for a spot of orienteering?

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Terms People Have Googled to Find Me

I don’t seem to get the interesting search terms that other people get – not even “really hate egg” (which I do, and have blogged about, so not sure why I’m missing out there).

The top search terms are a bit of a surprise to me (discounting “simple harmonic muddle”, since anyone Googling that presumably wanted this blog. Unless they were really confused by their physics homework).

Over 20 people came here searching for sweets or pick n mix. Some serious sugar cravings, I guess.

7 came looking for mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm (yes, with exactly 24 ms)

Some have been mental health related…
seeing images with depression
selective mutism
releasing emotions with a counsellor

Some physics-related…
simple harmonic
“harder simple harmonic problems” (God only knows what they thought when they wound up on a mental health blog…)
simple harmonic dish (No, I don’t know what one of those is either *confused shrug*)
“caolionn o’connell” pic (er, wrong blog, try here)

And the rest? I’m really not sure…
coldplay cardboard sleeve
dear god
how to unmat hair
‘a time to cry, a time to laugh, etc”

What can I say? I dunno, perhaps I’ll just have to offer the pick n mix around. Here’s to more sugar-fueled Googlers stumbling across my blog!

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Completely Unrelated (but rather annoying)

Does anyone have a clue why my “Incoming Links” section on the WP Dashboard isn’t showing my incoming links? I do have them (well, one, but I’m not getting greedy), and they show in the incoming links bit of the “Blog Stats” section, and so on… but not on the main Dashboard. I noticed it worked fine on another site, so is this just a WordPress.com bug that I’m gonna have to get used to? The untidyness is really annoying me.

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Didn’t sleep all night except for a one hour nap Thursday morning.

Broke-up with my counsellor. Let her think I was happier about the abruptness of it than I was.

Cried most of the day. But it was a regretful crying, not the insane crying I indulged in on Monday.

Bought the latest Coldplay album, Vida la Vida (how ironic). Spent absolu-blutely-ages trying to work out how to get the CD out of the weird cardboard sleeve. Like the picture on the cover of la Liberté… could do with some egalité and fraternité myself, but there you go. Postponing judgement on the music.

Slept fitfully all evening and morning, dragged myself out of bed at midday (it’s now 1.19pm). Felt like much longer than it really had been – this is a good sign.

Still postponing judgement on the Coldplay album until I can scrape up enough of my concentration to make a sense of it as being more than just individual notes.

Hoping they might call me today so I can have some idea of what’s going to happen and that I’m not being left in the lurch. Not very hopeful.

Think I might go back to bed.

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Swings and Roundabouts, Part II

Thank you for all your comments, they really helped.

Well, to update you… I phoned the place up, and asked about seeing someone else. Wasn’t as simple as I hoped – they said “someone will have to look into it”, and told me they’ll call me back in a few days. They did tell me not to worry about that, but I’m not really sure what there is to be “looked into”.

This could be a bit of a problem, because I’d already arranged with the person I saw on Monday to call her back on Thursday to set up another appointment. Oh well, I think the best way forward is going to be to forget that I’d promised that, and hope they ring me back before she assumes that I’m “not committed” and that I’m not going to get back in touch.

I also feel under pressure to finish with my current one this Thursday (and no, it’s no coincidence that this is also the day I said I’d call back), because apparently I need a break of a few weeks between two counsellors.

I’m now rather confused about the difference between counselling and therapy. I do understand that it is preferable to only see one counsellor at one time, and I do agree that it could get rather confusing if I tried. But on the other hand, I would like to feel that if I wanted to see someone once or twice about something unrelated – say, a specific university matter that they were knowlegable about, or my phobia of escalators (long story) then it would not be a massive ho-ha or involve feeling I was going behind someone’s back.

When I brought this subject up with the NHS, having been primed by my current counsellor that this was a potential problem, they told me that they would never dictate who I did or didn’t see, and that if I wanted to see a counsellor at the same time as a CBT therapist, then it was entirely up to me, and a question of whether I wanted to see the counsellor – they emphasied that it would cause no problems with the CBT.

Myself, I feel uncomfortable with the idea of having to choose between trying to squeeze counselling into a predefined period of time, and CBT. I would much prefer to feel that I don’t have all my eggs in one basket, or that I was relying on CBT to take the place of supportive counselling.

(Male readers may wish to look away now)

I realised today that it’s that time of the month, which makes me wonder if PMS was a contributor to yesterday’s tantrum and crying fit. Can’t decide whether to go to the docs about it or not – one incident does not a pattern make. I hated being on the Pill, I was pretty bad at taking it on time, and wound up with break-through bleeding through most months. Hmmm… decisions, decisions…

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Swings and Roundabouts

I had productive plans for today.

Instead, I overslept, threw a tantrum at my potential new counsellor, and spent two and a half hours sobbing in a stairwell.

Well, the oversleeping is definitely noone’s fault except my own, but I think Gestalt psychotherapy may not be for me…

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