Month: August 2016

Loving Someone With a Mental Health Problem

Loving someone with a mental health problem.  It can be a very difficult thing to accomplish, but very worthwhile.  Scroll down past today’s poem and photo to read my blog about just that.

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This is a photo of my dad, who is my rock and salvation.  He married into a family with mental health issues and never stopped caring, never backed away.

 

Debbie

 

When I think of the perfect summer day

I think of you and I walking in the heat

We had no car no cash for the bus

But with you by my side I felt so complete

 

There was a certain special something to you

You had such beauty, and under that a loveliness true

I recall your long, ungainly, uncovered feet

Walking on the grassy part of the street

 

You never seemed to care at all what you had

As long as you had someone to share it with

And you had so very much to offer

Walking with you was pure bliss

 

There were so many things to love about you

Like how you let your thin shirt reveal your sweet breasts

Or how you could transform yourself into a bookworm

And study hard and get perfect scores on your tests

 

But I think what made me truly love you

Was how you were able to care so very much

For the smallest creatures in the animal kingdom

To people who had been hurt by life’s harshest touch

 

In my life I’ve not done well with many women

And I thought that was how the story would end

We all make mistakes and have problems that’s human

But I picked right when I picked you as my best friend

 

Leif Gregersen

August 22, 2016

     Good day, dear readers!  I haven’t been making blog posts on a regular basis for some time, but I think I will soon correct that error.  I have been learning a bit about how to make my blog better and more popular and I am hoping that will bring a new enthusiasm to this process.  I am currently in Toronto and having a fairly good time with the place.  It is huge and so I have been a bit reluctant to stray far from my sister’s house, partly for monetary reasons, and partly for mental health reasons.  It gets so hot here, I don’t know how people can stand it.

In a couple of weeks, I am going back to my job as a presenter for the Schizophrenia Society and I think it will be a very rewarding month.  I am going to speak at a medical school and our annual fundraiser which should be pretty awesome.  While I was here in Toronto I spoke at a mental health conference (on a panel) and I have to say it feels good to get some recognition going.  A lot of people really seem to respect that I have written books about my illness and all that.  I can only see things getting better career-wise, but still, I have to remember to do my daily maintenance on myself.  Above all, I need my medication, and then I have to work on the simple things.  Am I eating in a healthy manner, am I exercising, am I isolating myself?  There are a lot of things that I have to keep focused on.  Fortunately, as time goes on it gets easier.  Sometimes I am so amazed that it has been 15 years since I was in the hospital.  I have to admit to being a bit worried about what moving out on my own (in the week after I get back) is going to be like, but there will be support there and there is more support from the mental health clinic I go to.

Aside from that dear readers, I hope you all are well.  Remember as I said in my poem, we are all human, we all make mistakes, be kind and forgive yourself, rebuild and move on when that happens.  Thanks for all the support!

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Mental Health and Life Management With a Poem To Entice You

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                This is a photo I took with a special close-up lens.  Photography can be so rewarding and fun

Today’s Poem:

All We Really Have

 

Take a moment now and stop and stare

At the green glow of summer everywhere

White whispy clouds and deep blue sky

Don’t stay inside where you will surely die

Venture out under the sunshine all you dare

 

Summer may be coming near it’s end

And it does become harder to pretend

We won’t miss the sun again this year

 

Soon frozen winter hands will encroach

All the outdoor spaces and places we love the most

Are all our happy, carefree days simply done?

 

It saddens my heart, my mind, my soul

That we must now make toil our only goal

Until once more the outdoors are warm and sublime

 

Through the colder months of wind and snow

We get older as the young children grow

Pausing only to mark the birth of Christ

 

And then in Springtime as the flowers bloom

We fast and try to comprehend the doom

Of the only truly loving one who never sinned

 

Then once more our thoughts turn to different things

Such as the pain and joy a family brings

But not a man or woman regrets it for a moment

 

Because no matter how much I will lament with this pen

The Summer sun will be here again

To turn our sad faces to smiling happy bursts of light

 

But yes even then we will soon forget

That for each hour of joy we owe a debt

Of an hour of ice wind and snow

 

And when those times come upon the land

I think our Lord God understands

We need to sleep in curled up and warm now and then

 

And to cuddle close as we watch TV into the night

As lonely others pass and envy our light

That comes not from TV or light bulbs at all

 

I just ask that you heed me a little and hold close to your heart

As we wait for this precious summer to depart

Those who have shared your life with you from the start

And those who pierced you with cupid’s dart

For all in all love is all we really have

 

Today’s Blog:

Good day my fine readers and friends!  I have to say though the poem I wrote has a touch of sadness to it, I had one of the best days ever today.  My sister is in town with her husband and my niece and she threw a party for her old friends and our family and I had an amazing time.  It was one of the best parties I have gone to for many reasons.  One of them was that my sister’s friend Steve was there and he was a good friend of my sister’s when I was just a 12 year-old kid and as I sat listening to my sister and him talk it reminded me of the many things that I am so grateful for with regards to my sister, that she really works very hard to help people and has huge wellsprings of compassion in her heart, mind, and soul.  For a long time I just saw her as kind of an angry person, but when she was with her friends I guess her guard was let down and she was able to talk about some of the humanitarian efforts she makes like when she taught literacy in a penitentiary and how she now teaches mentally challenged students.  I had a fun time with my niece too, she is an amazing girl and we laughed ourselves sick at the ‘Instagram’ face-swapping app she used to take pictures of all of us.

All that aside, I have still been trying to keep up with my work.  I don’t know how many people out there have read my books, I have had a friend who has given me the incredibly kind offer of helping to edit and re-work the book “Inching Back To Sane” which has some good content but is in dire need of better organization and maybe a few other things.  I am also working on a manuscript of short stories that the well-known Canadian author Richard Van Camp is going through for me right now.  I feel so blessed that I have been able to win three cash prize contests and make the short list of a fourth.  September will actually be the first time a story of mine has been chosen for regular publication in “The Canadian Tales of the Heart Short Story Contest”  (in case you want to look it up in September, the title of the short story is “Sandra: A Love Story.”

All in all, I have been finding in the past few years that my forties are the best years of my life.  I have gotten over all that boyhood shyness, I don’t feel any more like I am some second class person in older company, I have developed skills that help me to thrive and I have not only overcome addictions but I have learned many ways to manage the money that my addictions were costing me.  This may seem funny, but in a large way this relates to suicide and how sad it is.  If young people who felt their life wasn’t going to get any better and that killing themselves was their only option, I have to say that if you stick to your guns, keep working hard, never give up on yourself and more, there truly is a much better life ahead.  Of course this also makes me think of the homeless people and how hard it must be to have nowhere to feel safe and to sleep through the night.  Even if they get a job (which is extremely difficult if you are dirty and ragged) it seems like such an impossible task to save the money required for a room or apartment on top of all the other needs a person must have.  What breaks my heart even worse is when you see people using needles and you just know that they are extremely addicted and likely infected with HIV or Hepatitis.  I don’t know what I can do, I do little tiny, minuscule things like giving people a few bucks, buying a person the odd sandwich, but there is so much need out there for these people to be helped.  All I really have is words.  They say the pen in mightier than the sword, maybe if I can truly master this craft of writing I could somehow change the way people look at the homeless and truly do something significant.  Anyhow, I think I am going to attach another photo below, I hope you have enjoyed your blog experience for August 5th!

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This is a building called “The Admiralty Arch” which leads a person from Trafalgar Square to Buckingham Palace.  I am so happy that I took this vacation, I am tempted to go there again already.