The Tears of a Clown

Now if there's a smile upon my face…

Christmas Approaches

This time of year can provide a lot of difficulties. I read a Tweet with four simple helpful points yesterday and agreed with it. It was aimed at suicide survivors but I think it’s good general advice, especially for those with depression and other mental health issues:

Don’t take too much on.
Avoid being overwhelmed.
Limit your activities to those which you are interested in and able to do.
It is okay to say no.

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Personally, i couldn’t stomach the thought of Christmas and New Year this year. I’ve lost too much and my life has been stood on its head and I don’t care to celebrate. Maybe that will come back one day. It’s only when you’re practising avoidance of it that you realise the subtle and continual pressures to join in, especially commercial ones. For some reason one of the worst things for me was trying to do my weekly grocery shop in Sainsbury’s and having to listen to insistent piped Christmas songs. I really couldn’t wait to get out of the place to be honest as it was making me perfectly miserable and acutely reminding me of my loss. I finished my shopping yesterday and won’t be back until the New Year. It’s all a bit cynical when you think about how many people have a rough time in the festive season.

I’ve felt the need to decline a lot of what Christmas has to offer. I’ve absolutely no wish to upset anyone, quite the contrary and in some ways it’s a very hard thing to do but this is my reality and how I am to survive, that I understand. At a very testing time I’m going to do everything in my power to protect myself. I am going to suggest to others that they look after themselves as much as possible in the same way.

I guess I just wanted to come on here and add my support towards others because it’s important to know that other people are going through this stuff as well. I want to reiterate the message that ‘keeping up appearances’ for Christmas when you’re having a bad time is not a necessity nor obligatory. I keenly feel the real significance of Christmas being a Catholic with a deep faith but even having said that I want to maintain the message that it’s just another day on the calendar in some ways and it’s important to protect oneself from the difficult feelings that can envelop one at this time. Sometimes it a ‘learn as you go’ as it appears to be with me right now.

Keep surviving. When you’re on your knees, get up again and proceed slowly with care. We are charged with looking after ourselves. That is the important thing even at this special time of year.

God Bless, good luck and peace to all.

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December 21, 2014 Posted by | I CAN HEAR MUSIC | , , , | Leave a comment

Canada ’08: Looney Dooking

Every New Year’s Day in South Queensferry near Edinburgh under the gaze of the massive Forth Bridges an event takes place which literally takes the breath away. The ‘Looney Dook’ is a well-established lemming-like rush into the ice-cold waters of the Firth of Forth by stupidly brave locals to signal the New Year. The event has something of a history these days and is not it’s own in the genre. Today’s Telegraph-Journal in Saint John, tells of at least two more similar events here in Atlantic Canada.

I visited nearby Mispec Beach a few days ago and it is a charming spot. Ideal for summer bathers in spite of the reported cold waters of The Bay of Fundy which lap the sands there. Nearby, all around lay petrified waterfalls of solid ice, beautiful though forbidding at this time of year. Not so for some brave souls however. Continue reading

January 3, 2009 Posted by | Ripping Yarns | , , , | Leave a comment

Canada ’08: New Years in Saint John

Well things are going very nicely here in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada – thanks for asking. The family welcome for our Christmas and New Year break has been marvellously warm and kind – a complete contrast thankfully to the Canadian winter that we face here.   

I run every day – it’s a given. That applies to wherever in the world I am and whatever other commitments I have, I alwaysrun – at least a short distance, every day. Through the cold, fog, rain, snow and icy sidewalks, being here in the Atlantic Canada city of Saint John presents no exception to that rule.

I have to say it’s been difficult.

In fact I can honestly say that all told, its the most difficult place I’ve ever run in.

 

 

Continue reading

January 1, 2009 Posted by | On The Road | , , , , | 2 Comments