Cleaning the threads

August 23rd, 2015

Today I am cleaning the threads.

The whole notion of cleaning the threads is based on the idea that underneath the world of senses, the one that we imagine we live in there is ‘the web that weaves’. What it weaves remains nameless in that I have never attempted to define what it is, this web of energy, of story, of the radical interconnectedness of all things. It is movement and being, it is both what is and what is potential.

The practice I think of as cleaning the threads is about release, about travelling back along the time line, untangling the twist it put on me that I have lived these stories and they have shaped me. The more clogged up we are with the stories we carry, the dirtier the threads. The dirtier the threads the harder it is for fresh energy to flow in our lives, the more likely it is that we will recreate the familiar, even if it makes us miserable.

So first, find the start of a thread. A thread is something that’s going on now, an attitude, an issue, like ‘Why do I have such difficulty trusting?’ Following this thread, I see all that I have missed for lack of trust. I forgive. I forgive myself for being the shape I am. I forgive those who betrayed my trust, who let me down. I forgive all those who behaved the way they did for reasons I do not know, because of experiences that shaped them that I have never been told. Then I forgive the people who did the things they did that resulted in this person becoming someone capable of acting as they did and all the threads of pain that weave and weave again between us humans who mean no harm but blunder around blindly, acting out of pain and causing more pain in the process.

Forgiveness as I work with forgiveness does not mean that what has happened is ‘fine by me’. I know that there are those like Richard Tipping who wrote ‘Radical Forgiveness’ who argue that all is perfect in a perfect world and that when we forgive in their terms we recognise that there is nothing to forgive. I have spent too many hours in my life listening to people tell me of the things big people do to little people to go there. I think of the secrets people have shared with me and no, I do not think it is well in this world that such things happen.

Forgiving myself for the ways in which I have shut down, chosen to be a shadow of who I know I am called to be, I want the threads to be clean so I can dance along them, welcoming the fullness of life with all its joys and sorrows. Depression is the refusal to feel because what is there to feel is so sore, so difficult and dark and sad.

In ‘The Goodwill Patterns’ I define forgiveness as follows…

‘Forgiveness is the cancellation of all the conditions in your mind that are preventing the flow of love, joy and vitality through you, independently of the behaviour of yourself, others or of any circumstances. It is a decision not to punish yourself, not to continue to diminish your overflowing love, joy or freedom because of the real or imagined wrongs done by yourself, or others, or because of outer circumstances. Forgiveness is an act of loving will – of mental and spiritual will. It cannot and does not take place on the emotional level, the level on which most problems arise.’

I travel back along the time line. I let memories arise and go on forgiving as one story melts and another arises. I forgive my son’s father for abandoning me when I was pregnant. I forgive myself for being so freaked out by discovering I was pregnant that I contributed to making it a situation he wanted to run away from. I forgive all the people who supported me to have my son adopted, failing to understand that what I actually needed was someone to say ‘You are not alone. You are not the only person who wants your child to live. You are not the only person who loves this little being in your belly.’ I forgive myself and I forgive everyone else. I forgive. I forgive. I forgive. I want to live in love and joy and freedom and no-one else can do this for me. I want to release the story. I want to become someone other than this me ‘that forever grieves with no hope of ever ceasing’. The trick is to accept the feeling and let the story go. Let the cry in my heart rise up and join the mothers’ lament, a keening chorus, the song of mothers who have lost their sons. I am not alone. I am not alone. When we suffer the illusion of separation wraps itself close around us, a dark grey cloak that chokes the voice out of us. In the belief that no-one would want to know of such pain, we fail to realise that ‘this knowing dwells in our hearts for all we seek to escape it’. That which feeds our sense of isolation is an experience intrinsic to the human condition. So is seeking to avoid the truth of ‘how it is to be here now, alive, on the planet, hurting’.

‘Hold out the pain and we hold out the joy too.’ (Joanna Macy) Feel this truth in your heart and know that in grief and sadness and pain we are at one with everyone else who knows this, has felt the searing pain of walking the road of hot stones just as you do.

Today I am cleaning the threads because hard and all as it may be to feel this, I know, I know because I have done this over and over again in order to keep living in this world, that the way back to life is in letting be, in forgiving. I forgive myself for being the shape I am. I forgive myself for not knowing what to do. I forgive myself for my failure to trust. I forgive myself for all the ways in which I still do not trust.

Cleaning the threads is emotional work and you know it is working when the shift happens, something loosens, frees up, releases, relaxes inside us. It’s possible to get stuck in ‘recylcing’ when instead of releasing the story whatever it is and allowing ourselves to experience the feelings, we retell ourselves our story, driving the knife in deeper with every telling.

Forgiveness is everything. Forgiveness does not make what happened a good thing to have happened but when I clean the threads, I find the other side of forgiveness, freer, looser, released, relaxed. I can see how much I have gained, how rich my life has been, all those amazing teachers, mentors, guides, all the skills I’ve gained, practices I have followed, how well I have mastered tools of self-management. All the kindness and care, love and understanding others have shown me along the road. I have needed support and I have had it. And all those amazing people who let me share a stretch of their road with them, who could see, simply because it is true, that I know this territory and can help them find their way through.

With forgiveness comes acceptance. I am no longer, as Caroline Myss puts it ‘financing the past’. I am lighter, more available to the present, to enjoying life. We all have broken hearts in different names. It is not what happens that is the problem, it is the meaning we ascribe to it, the twist we put on ourselves as a consequence. It is the conclusions we come to about ourselves, others and the nature of the world that do the damage, that lead us to turn away from the flow, to choose the half-life of depression as an alternative to opening up, letting be and forgiving ourselves and others for unskilful behaviour, for the things done that would be better undone, the things undone we would have been wiser to do.

May we dwell in the heart.
May we be free from suffering.
May we be healed.
May we be at peace.

Odd Days

August 14th, 2015

Wednesday 12/8/15

I’ve had an odd couple of days. I woke up yesterday morning and when I turned my head the visual field kept on moving after my head had stopped. It is difficult to get about in a spinning world in which it is impossible to tell which of the multiple moving images circling before me relates to the actual position of anything. I fell around for a bit, gave up, slept, and had another go a few hours later. As the day progressed, I turned into the old person I will be one day, just a bit unsteady and only some of the time ‘functionally blind’ – meaning that even though you can see, because you’ve a problem making sense of the information, you’re functioning like you can’t. It’s also got the symptoms of sea sickness, this whatever it is – possibly labyrinthitis, or maybe my eyes acting up. I can’t tell.

The effect is to slow me down. I feel like I’m moonwalking. I’m operating at ‘I’ve been hit over the head with a hammer’ speed, all cotton-woolly and slow. I’ve been so well physically for so long, pacing myself beautifully and having long restful restorative sleep when I was in Wales. It’s not in any way painful this, but a bit uncomfortable and definitely spacy. I’m not able to watch tv and I’ll have to abandon this soon as the text is starting to dance – it’s like there’s an overlay at a slight tilt that makes it impossible to read any more. The world’s most wonderful invitation to centre, to be still, to meditate. Aren’t I fortunate to have such clear guidance!! I remain in good form. It’s just a bit unexpected. But there couldn’t be a clearer message, could there? Time to find the still centre, see if I can find ‘the peace that passes all understanding’, stuff like that.

Friday 14/8/15

And now I’m just grumpy. I am fine but I can’t find the threads to pick up where I left off. My tendency at this stage is to get pissed off with myself and everyone else. Human beings are not brilliant when it comes to choice apparently, we get decision fatigue and then make bad decisions. (I’ve just looked that up on the internet so I can reference it. Sometimes it scares me how much the internet has changed the world particularly as I’ve not managed to make the adjustment – facebook defeats me – too much information.)

That first visit to Wales going round estate agents, I was like a child in a sweet shop as I realised that if I moved to West Wales I could potentially buy a property outright. Good news because I wouldn’t even want to attempt to apply for a mortgage in my current circumstances. But then do I want to live in Wales? It feels like everything depends on everything else. How do I know that if I move I will move to somewhere I can make a living, if I can’t manage it here? I met a friend yesterday who is in a comparable position in terms of age and uncertainty. Talking with her cheered me up no end. I can see how skilled and capable she is and have no difficulty believing that she’ll find a way to use her considerable talents to make her contribution and make a living in the process. It didn’t last long but for the duration it was great to compare notes and say to someone else the things I need to say to myself.

I’ve lost motivation and I don’t know how to find the enthusiasm to re-engage with the world. I was supposed to go to Ireland but I reckoned it wasn’t worth the risk of being ill when I got there and a burden on those I was hoping to see. I was going to be camping and it rains a lot in Ireland. So part of the grumpiness is the ‘I didn’t get to go to the party’ come down.

I’ve re-read my last blog and everything I said then still applies. I had momentum and I’ve lost it. I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing and I wish I did. Count blessings. When you don’t know what to do, begin in gratitude. The first thing that comes up is going to the Citizens Advice Bureau on Wednesday. When you phone the tax credit office to discuss paying back an over-payment (and I’m not in a position to pay it now) they send you from one phone line to another and back again. We were there for over an hour as the CAB worker phoned different numbers and eventually managed to talk to someone senior enough to make the decision to do nothing about the money I owe them for six months. She bought me time. I know if I’d attempted to sort this out myself I wouldn’t have managed it and would have ended up in a mess in the process. So there’s a tremendous blessing right there.

I’m going to write a blessings list now and hopefully get to a place where I’m more content with my lot in life and where I can once again see uncertainty as potential, the future as exciting, the present as a gift.

Counting Blessings

August 6th, 2015

I am awake at the scrake of dawn – 5.45 am to be exact and unfortunately one of the first things I thought about when I woke up was that I got a letter from the bank yesterday refusing to give me a loan. Stupid short-sighted idiots. Yeap, I am not happy.

But I’m not in bits and that is the most solid evidence of change right there. It’s not that long ago that I felt like the world had ended because the coffee bag split when I opened it. So my friends I may be pissed off but I’m celebrating the fact that I’m a different person these days. I know I’ve been blogging as I go along and this is some sort of record of the road but I still don’t quite get how it works, how I made it from there to here. I got potential. Good things not only can happen but are inevitable.

I’d the house valued by two different estate agents and I’m not going to say how much equity I have tied up in this house because the difference in the two quotes was HUGE. But it’s enough for me to sit this morning saying ‘Thank you’ to my father’s ghost, to whatever he now is, wherever he now is, that at this point in my life when the shit truly did ‘hitteth the fan’, I have a house to sell. My dear Dad I loved so much.

The other half of this is what now becomes possible. I may not end up in low-impact home in an eco-community that I have dreamt of all my life but it is possible. It is possible now in a way it never has been before. If this dream I’ve been dreaming all my life comes true now, I will have my father to thank. And my daughter. My home, this dream home is so much more possible because my daughter isn’t only an architect but one who has specialised in sustainable architecture. Proud? You bet I am.

I could have spent the whole day hissing and spitting about the bloody bank but when I sit down in my beautiful oh so saleable home that I love so much I am sad and happy, excited and scared, and most of all deeply grateful for how my Dad’s love is still shaping the world I live in. My heart goes out to all the people suffering as a result of the ‘reforms to the benefit system’ in all the cruel twists that the government have introduced. Iain Duncan-Smith has yet to publish the statistics on how many people have died within 6 weeks of having their benefits stopped. All those people who were not blessed with the cushion my father provided for me.

A few months back when I tried to see forward, all I could see was fog. Now it’s like I’m spinning round in a circle ‘I could go this way. I could go that. I could move to Ireland, to Wales, to Spain, to wherever in the world I am meant to be. I want to share what I’ve learnt because I’ve done it again – walked the road from despair to trust. I’ve a book that is calling itself into being. Somewhere, somewhere there is a place that I can write and the day will arrive (and what a relief it will be) when the book is written. I need the sea. I need to breathe salt air every day of the year because when I breathe in the sea, I breathe in Awen and all is well with my world.’

There are stages I can identify. Where I am now, all that positive psychology, think yourself happy stuff has as chance of being helpful. But earlier on, it can just be yet another thing you can’t get right. ‘I’m supposed to be able to think myself happy. I can’t, so I am doomed.’

The starting point is to see that whatever we are experiencing it is part of the human condition. If all looks bleak then pain is distorting perception telling us it is time to treat ourselves with all the kindness and care we would offer a beloved child if they were suffering as we are right now. The beginning we need only to listen to the chorus ‘Easy now. You’re in recovery. Be as gentle as you can manage with yourself. Fill the Well. Work out what you enjoy and do that for a bit.’ And to honour every achievement, especially if it is that you got out of bed when it felt impossible and sat crying rather than lying in bed crying. It’s a start. Eat something and you deserve a whole lot more gold stars for effort.

And the second stage is what I think of as ‘Stepping into the fire, I find myself in the waterfall’. I’ve just written a piece about how Stephen Levine ’s book ‘Healing into Life and Death’ came into my life for a single day when I was in torment, in hell. In that first chapter (the only one I’d time to read) he tells the story of Hazel, who when dying in intense pain, after months of resistance and falling out with everyone around her, opens up to her pain and

‘She began to experience all the other beings who at that very moment were lying in that same bed of agony. At first there arose the experience of herself as a brown-skinned woman, breasts slack from malnutrition, lying on her side, a starving child suckling at her empty breast, spine and legs twisted in pain.’ (p 12 Healing into Life and Death).

He goes on to say a whole lot more about her experience but this is enough to convey the essence of the message that mattered to me. Because what I take from this story is that when I am at my most despairing, in most pain, feel most alone, in reality I am connected with every other person in the world who is experiencing being here exactly as I am now. It is part of the human condition, all of it. And beyond that, I have this trust that as I find a way to cling on the rope ladder and climb back out of the pit I’ve fallen into, then somehow that helps everyone else who finds themselves in a black pit find their way out too. If we are, as I believe, all connected, then it is so. That thought keeps me going when the going gets tough.

When I cried when the coffee bag split, I’d no idea that I’d ever find that funny. Stepping into the fire is about accepting emotion as ‘how it is right now’ and letting the story be burnt off as dross. Accepting the purifying nature of pain and stop telling myself stuff about what it means. Releasing judgement and any notion I may have that I know what the hell is going on here. Change is the only certainty. This too shall pass. Love heals all hearts open to her healing powers. The fiercer the fire burns, the more soothing the waterfall is when I find myself, once again, showered in blessings.

So I reckon one of the essential practices on the road to happiness is to count blessings. The less I feel them, the more important it is to count them. The more petrified I am by all the uncertainties, the more sense it makes to look around and see ‘Who are my allies?’

Not the bloody bank, that’s for sure.

It doesn’t matter. I have the truest wealth of all in the people I know and all is well in my world.


August 1st, 2015

My cat died today. My little Star, comfort and companion these last twelve years. She’d been staying outside in the sunshine but today it was raining and I had her inside. She’s been fading over these last few months but still happy enough. Today I could see she was suffering so I phoned the vet and our appointment was at 5 pm and ten minutes later she was gone. I can’t say I didn’t know she was on the way out and this day would come. But I wish, I will always wish, I’d understood that it takes seconds for a cat to die when the anaesthetic is injected as I feel like I didn’t say goodbye properly. The move from ‘She’s clearly in pain’ to ‘The kindest thing is to put her down now’ was too sudden for me to take it in.

I didn’t understand the bond it is possible to have with another animal, interspecies love if you like, before Star taught me, through the intensity of her attachment, that she loved me. It was that fact that blew me away. For a human to be fond of an animal was one thing, I had no idea how capable of love an animal can be. One of the problems with having a job that wasn’t local was how much she missed me. I’ve heard how she cried when she thought I was gone and how she purred when she discovered I was around. (I had to go through this sentence changing the tense from present to past.) Sometimes when I was writing in the mornings she would put her head on my wrist and press down to force me to stop and pay attention to her.

I am trying to remember when I first met her – 2000 I think, when she was someone else’s cat. She wasn’t then the world’s most engaging cat. She drooled constantly and was jumpy and nervous. She came to live with us in 2003. It took a long, long time for her to trust, two years before she ever curled up on my lap – the very first time was while I was meditating. She had a particularly blissed out look when she was being petted sometimes, a smile of pure pleasure was what it looked like.

Her character changed a lot from those early scaredy cat days when she wouldn’t go into the garden unless I was with her. She became opinionated, ready to argue the toss. Her meow of indignation was hilarious. She got cross with me when it was raining, backing into the kitchen from the door and giving me a very dirty look, protesting as if I could do something about it. Who knows what goes on in their little heads but there were times when it seemed like she understood exactly what I was saying and had plenty to say in response.

It’s weird being alone in the house. I’m expecting her to get under my feet as I walk around or to find her curled up somewhere. Cats are supposed to be independent, free spirits but nobody told Star that. Over the years of ill health, it made such a difference all those weird woozy lost days to have this sweet little Being beside me purring. When I was recovering from the operations, she didn’t ‘fuss me’ looking to be petted but sat quietly on top of me with a deliberate intensity and, say what you like, I found it healing to have her love focused so.

Yeap, Star was in my world for a long time and I’ll miss her. Her passing is the end of an era, of a chapter of my life.

It’s Lughnasadh and for any of you for whom that word has meaning, I wish you a happy Lughnasadh. It is the pagan time of harvest, of celebrating all that the cycle of seasons has brought to fruition. It is usually a time of connection, a time when I am enjoying the company of others. This year I am about as isolated as it is possible to be, house sitting for friends in a place where I know no-one. There are two cats here, one about as disdainful and disinterested as a cat could be, whereas the smaller and younger one grows more friendly and affectionate the longer I’m here. I was finding it so difficult to be at home without the familiar presence of Star that it is perfect to be here with the company of Ferne, the little cat that must be about twice the size Star was.

Star’s death changes things. I am free now. Free to move on to whatever comes next, free to find my way forward. I was blessed to have her all these years but her departure is timely as I need to sell this house and it will be such a relief to be released from the debt that’s been accumulating over these months of recovery. I never did have an assessment for ESA. If I had, I’d have been £30 a week better off (approximately). It is another example of the meanness of this government that the chronic underfunding of the Welfare System means that thousands of people never get the money that even the government says they are entitled to.

I am still working out what my options are and trusting that I will work out how to get from here, a place that feels so uncertain, so confusing and unclear to a life that reflects what matters to me. What’s the relationship between this and the fact that I am now sleeping for far longer than I’m used to? The inability to sleep properly was a major contributing factor to the breakdown. What does it portend that I am now sleeping for nine hours a night and then for an hour or so in the afternoon? I reckon sleeping until I wake up naturally is one of the great luxuries, the outstanding benefits of being in this peculiar limbo, this odd state between one life and the next. For months I have been forcing myself to exercise every day. Since I landed here, I’ve temporarily given up on all of it and sat around thinking, writing, meditating. The oddest thing about this house is that it is full of books and all of them are non-fiction and non-literary. If I’d realised this I reckon I’d have brought some poetry books with me at least.

I am in a very different place now to the one where I wept at the drop of a hat. Yes, I am sad that Star’s gone but it just means I don’t want to be in the house where I’m so used to her being around. Writing for ‘Transformations’ and reading the article Andrew posted about depression and debt has helped me put things in a different perspective. Not my fault that the way the job was set up leads to so much stress-related illness. Not my fault that the system is set up so anyone who becomes ill also ends up in debt. I am very fortunate that I have a way to get out of debt, that I have a home to sell. And beyond that, I am fortunate that I have skills and experience that, even if I can’t see how right now, will enable me to make a living in the long run.

I feel even more like I’m in a cocoon here where I am temporarily free from ‘I’ve got to….’ I’m home in a couple of days and I hope that all this lazing around means I return with renewed energy to the things that need to be done.

Buddhafield Encounters

July 24th, 2015

Home from Buddhafield. 78 emails in my inbox. I am shattered. I want to stay positive in the exhaustion of today. I want to surf the wave of positivity from the last five days for as long as I can. For someone as withdrawn from the world usually as I am to have more conversations in a day than I can count is a powerful experience. It would be best if I could sleep but there’s too much going on in the assimilation of all these encounters for me to be able to sleep so I’m ‘downloading’ so I can come to a place of rest.

At the end of the 4th Work that Re-connects session Debbie and I ran, she said ‘You’re back’. I know what she means and part of that is that suddenly all the possibilities look like opportunities rather than threats. Right now I’ve no idea what I’m going to do, I’m just gathering up my options. I still think that the financial consequences of being too ill to work in this country are horrific. When someone who has been paying national insurance contributions for long enough becomes ill they get ‘contributions-based’ Employment and Support Allowance which means that if they’ve a mortgage, they are not entitled to any help to keep a roof over their heads. I am going to lose my home as a result. In my case that’s okay because I have so many options available to me, so much love and support around me, but for lots of families, it is a disaster.

At Buddhafield I met Caroline Brazier whom I know (slightly) from the PCSR online debates and from the Eco-psychology Conference a few years ago. She’s a Buddhist writer and psychotherapist who runs various training courses in the counselling field. We’d a brief conversation on Friday and when I walked away I felt a bit stunned. She had just offered me exactly what I want right now. I’m still reeling from the sense of it being miraculous. She’d like me to come and do some Work that Re-connects CPD for therapists in the training centre she runs. I don’t have to do ANY of the stuff I hate – sorting venue, advertising, networking, the blowing of trumpets. It has always really wound me up just how many hours the toing and froing of setting up a course or workshop absorbs. I loved working for the Extra-Mural Department in the University of Ulster. Once the blurb was in the brochure, it either attracted enough people or it didn’t and I’d so much fun running those courses I designed myself. I’ve a lot of nostalgia for all the work that simply got handed to me on a platter when I lived in Derry, the phone calls out of the blue offering me training work and inviting me to name my price. I was a bit clueless on realistically pricing my planning time but there’s nothing more fun than ‘bespoke’ training for someone who loves making up experiential exercises as much as I do. So this is my dream scenario, to do what I love and none of the stuff I don’t.

And then she said that they have a writing retreat and I could stay there to write. Now that is something else altogether. Caroline’s written loads of books. She makes it look easy. She gave me one of her books ‘The Other Buddhism’. It’s about ‘Pureland Buddhism’. I’d never heard of it before. I reckon if I was to be a Buddhist then this’d be the version I’d buy into but I rather suspect that I will continue with my own peculiar strand of Pagan/Christian/Buddhist practices and beliefs. Nothing set in stone as yet but the prospect lifted my mood significantly.

I am pleased with how I paced myself over the time of the festival. I spent a lot of time resting and limited myself to a workshop a day. I went to Cathy Whitefield’s Conscious Dying talk about Patrick’s last nine months. I will always be grateful for the precious hours I got to spend with Patrick over those months. I knew him through the Stop Hinkley C campaigning and involvement in various Transition Town projects and events over a number of years. He was a true gentleman Patrick. I miss him. I miss the support he gave me, how he believed in and encouraged me.

Cathy I didn’t know really because, for health reasons, she spends her winters in Spain and the second she reappeared, the only glimpses I’d get of Patrick was him glowing by her side at festivals. Cathy shared her poetry, photographs and memories of Patrick, talking truthfully and openly about the details of his final journey from terminal diagnosis to death and how she supported him to die at home. I am in awe of her. It’s only 5 months since she lost the love of her life and here she is offering her experience to others to help them with the challenging experience of supporting a dying loved one. It was obvious that Patrick loved his wife very much. Now I can see why.

But perhaps the most significant encounter of the last five days was with another boarding school survivor who shared her experiences and the therapy that she’s going through with a therapist who specialises specifically in working with those who’ve been boarders. In coping with the PWP role it was unhelpful that the situation ‘triggered’ me, reawakening the misery I experienced going to boarding school when I was eleven. I’d read too many Enid Blyton books and I wanted to go to boarding school. When I got the job as a trainee PWP, I was delighted. Both situations differed significantly from my expectations and, in both, being dyslexic was a contributing factor in how the challenges overwhelmed me. But I was bullied at school and my colleagues at work couldn’t have been lovelier.

We talked about our survival strategies. Hers was to be always bubbly and light, to fit in, mine was to bury my head in a book and say ‘Fuck off’ to anyone who disturbed me. Because I spent so much of my early years outside, incarceration and the enforced collectivism, constantly in the presence of others who were sometimes hostile and generally uncaring, had a huge impact on me. I responded by building an effective barrier between myself and others. The legacy of my initiation into boarding school life is the split between ‘me in here’ and ‘me as presented to the world’ my need to always be fine, to be smiling, to appear competent, strong, invulnerable.

It’s been a gift in this recent breakdown to breakthrough, using this blog to explore the relationship between these two aspects of myself and all the support I’ve had in doing so. The person the world sees is no longer so intent on ensuring ‘me in here’ is kept hidden. They are not in conflict as they used to be. I suspect I will always prefer the competent self and be happier working from my strengths but the truth is the poetry that so many people said they loved this weekend (Debbie encouraged me to share poems as part of the workshops we ran) comes from the vulnerable ‘me in here’. ‘Weep and Pray’ is the poem I wrote during months when I did feel ‘useless, pathetic, stupid’, floored as I was by CFS and I have lost count of how many of those who heard it said how deeply it touched them. They make me want to write more and to share more of what I’ve written.

I wish I’d managed to post this before the Buddhafield bubble burst. I’ve been pretty much wiped out for the last week and there is definitely a sense of evaporating energy and optimism, not least because it turns out that the weekend that I was to work for the Tariki Trust clashes with a prior AVP commitment.

It’s great to have options but decision-making is difficult. I don’t always find it difficult but I’m about as dithery now as I ever get. And this lack of clarity leads to a lack of motivation. I’m tired but I can’t work out to what extent the lethargy is because I am aimless and confused rather than due to physical limitations. How do other people do it? Find ‘get up and go’ when it feels like it has got up and gone? It’s raining now and I didn’t manage to mow the lawn with the lawn mower I borrowed and have to give back this weekend. I could now list all the other things I’ve not done but I’m resisting that road because if I’ve learnt anything it is how unhelpful my habit of attacking myself is and that’s where it leads.

This too shall pass. I’m up and down like a yo-yo these days and the one thing that is guaranteed in life is change. I’ll blog again when I find something worth saying. Go well, one and all.