Month: July 2016

Mental Health and Poetry With a Couple of Photographs

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Another Shot From My Day Trip To Jasper With My Dad.  So Beautiful There.

Check out today’s blog entry after today’s poem

First Responders

 

So long as heroes who make sacrifice are given due fame

So long as proud men and women seek the light

The human race will always be a worthwhile game

 

No one in the world is alone to blame

In the end the winners will be in the right

So long as heroes who make sacrifice are given due fame

 

Some evil people count destruction as their only aim

But as long as good people always keep up the fight

The human race will always be a worthwhile game

 

Raise up a cheer for those who carry the flame

By their acts they give the blind new sight

So long as heroes who make sacrifices are given due fame

 

Some feel the only good in life is gain

But our salvation still shines bright

The human race will always be a worthwhile game

 

Each of our heroes may not quite be the same

But on all of them shines a holy light

So long as heroes who make sacrifice are given due fame

The human race will always be a worthwhile game

 

Leif Gregersen

July 23, 2016

     Hello to everyone out there who faithfully keeps up with my blog.  I don’t really have a lot of profound words for you today.  I am lavishing in the memories of London, England from my June trip, it really was amazing.  I have been thinking about the Imperial War Museum which used to be a mental hospital.  I think it is kind of fitting to have such a place to commemorate war, it seems to be such an awful, crazy thing.  I had a near death experience not too long ago and it reminded me of my own mortality.  I fell off my bike on a steep trail and got knocked around pretty badly, even bit a good chunk out of my tongue and got the wind knocked out of me so it was impossible to breathe for a little while.  I wondered at that moment if I would ever breathe again.  I sure didn’t expect life would be this good or that I would be this frail at 44.  I remember as a kid reading about men in their 70’s doing these incredible feats, and I don’t doubt I could still do some things, but there are a lot of things I can’t do.  As a result of taking medications and my hands shaking, just about anything that requires a steady hand is impossible.  The medication also affects my balance and my memory.  My doctor and his staff are aware of all of these side effects, but we also agree that I am much better off with these problems than I would be if I weren’t on a medication that stabilized my mood and kept me from experiencing psychosis.  It is so hard to describe what psychosis is like.  You hear things, you think things, little things that happen seem to have huge significances, and you get a lot of irrational ideas in your head.  It is scary to think of how far gone I was during my last visit to the hospital.  I will never forget experiencing this horrible feeling of depression and restlessness and looking at a tile pattern on the floor and somehow my brain mixed it around and turned it into a vision of Nazi Germany and all the horrors they perpetrated. It may seem really odd, but it would make sense to someone who has experienced such things.

I don’t want to dwell too much on all that, actually this has been a great week.  I participated in a story slam, where you put in $5 and get to go on stage and read a 5 minute story and up to ten people can read and at half time they pass a hat which everyone puts $5 into.  The stories are judged and the highest score gets all the cash in the hat.  I went home the proud winner of $100 which isn’t huge, but enough to make a nice difference in my monthly budget.  It is funny to think of how much effort it took me to write the story, edit the story, prepare myself to read it and all of that.  Then it took tremendous effort just for me to get out of bed and walk the 2 miles to the place where the event was taking place.  I really didn’t want to go, I had no faith in my story or my abilities, and I didn’t want the stress of going there and going up on stage, but somehow I did it.

It was good to win that, but stress is eating a hole in me right now.  I am supposed to be moving this week and I still haven’t gotten word that my suite is ready.  I was really hoping to get out of this place I live in now and be done with it, but I just may have to stay another month which will cause all kinds of problems.  And then, constantly, I am bombarded with these thoughts, memories of my past where I play negative things over and over in my head.  Somehow I muddle through though and get things done.  I am now a paid blogger for healthyplace.com and I wrote my blog and recorded my video today for them.  Next step is just to post my blogs and then invoice them for my pay.  It is kind of cool.  That is what is great about being in your 40’s (I’m 44) there are so many little things you learn to do to cope with life.  I can’t imagine life without all my little jobs here and there.  Anyhow, that is my life for one more week, I appreciate you all following me, and as a token of that appreciation, I am going to post another photo just below.

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Trying To Enjoy Life. Good Sleep, Good Food, Good Friends

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I hope no one gets ill looking at this little fellow.  In a way I find him beautiful

The Simplest Things

 

You will think it’s funny

For me to talk this way

You see I had a happy time this evening

In a simple, pleasant way

 

I sat down to enjoy some food

With a lovely pair of adult friends

No kids around, no crayons

No waitress to offend

 

A new chance was given to me today

One that I once thought was forever lost

I had a chance to sup with lovely people

And wasn’t asked to front the cost

 

A little chicken, some cherries

Some salad vinnegrete

And off me fell the pain of loneliness

And the millstone of regret

 

For some time now I have been a number

A man without a face

Giving everything I had

To win the silly human race

 

I never thought a simple meal

Could bring so much joy to me

I have been trapped in my own prison

And just now for an hour I was free

 

It felt a little odd to talk

Instead of just wolfing down my food

When there is no one around

Nothing like that even seems to be rude

 

I want my whole life to go on like that

Breaking bread with my close friends

Perhaps even upon that wish

My sanity depends

 

Leif Gregersen

June 13, 2016

     Hello My good readers!  I hope all of you are on an amazing journey right now headed directly for all of your goals and dreams!  I hope I don’t sound too positive, I am in a pretty good mood today.  I went to help out a friend today and karma repaid me with a real blessing.  Basically, a friend down the street needed help with a new TV and Xbox he got for his grandson and simply gave me all his old stuff, which is incredibly new and in good shape.  I don’t need the stuff, which is a TV and some video games and I talked to my friend and he doesn’t object to me selling them.  Comes at just the right time, I am soon going to be moving and soon after that I am off to Toronto.  It is kind of funny because when I was younger I thought Toronto was the trip of a lifetime, but now compared to all my other journeys it is just another two weeks without my own laptop.

My mental health seems to be going well.  I am occasionally taking melatonin as a sleep aid and find it makes me very tired the next day.  I really can’t stay up past a certain time or I ruin my sleep schedule for the whole week.  For a long time I was able to get to be early every night, but now that I have more writing work to do and preparation for classes and things I am teaching, I have a lot of all-nighters.

I met with my friend Richard Van Camp today, what an incredible guy and incredible writer he is.  We had fun drinking bubble tea and tooling around Edmonton in his little car.  My main problem these days is not friends or money or things to do, it is simply looking down at my oversized stomach and wondering how I let it get so large.  I am 250 pounds and kind of sensitive about the whole weight problem of mine.  It has a lot to do with medications, of course, they give me such a large appetite.  One of the things I really should do more research on is corn, especially popcorn, I am pretty much addicted to it, I have a large bowl with margarine and salt nearly every day.

They say you should love who you are no matter what, and in some ways I guess I do, but it worried me that my health is failing.  It isn’t easy for my two bad knees to carry the extra weight, it is obviously hard on my heart.  I get a lot of exercise in but I never seem to be able to get my blood pressure down and my endurance is greatly diminished by the fact that I was a smoker for 18 years and did serious damage to my lungs.  I don’t really want to write all this to complain, I am very happy in many ways with my health and fitness, but I do want some people, especially younger people to be able to read or hear about things I go through as a result of poor choices and possibly avoid them.

Well, I hope some people that are reading this have been referred by healthyplace.com, I am now going to be a regular blogger there on the subject of Stigma.  I should let people know not only about that, but also about the fact that I have two books on the topic of bipolar disorder and recovering from it (memoirs) called “Through The Withering Storm” and “Inching Back To Sane” which I would love to send you for cost plus bare minimum shipping.  Let me know if you are interested in more of my writing at viking3082000@yahoo.com

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