Tag Archives: Writing

only in solitude

Writing, for me, comes in times of stillness
The letters and words float into my head
and I ease them down to paper

I don’t sit down to write
The words find me when I am quiet
When I listen

Now that I am working again
and busy,
oh so busy,
my head is full up
No time for listening
No space for letters
Just do, do, do

It’s 4.30 am
An unplanned moment of solitude

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connection

My pain and fatigue stories are told and I wonder, what now for this blog?  I’m not ready for it to end yet.  I’ve had a taste and I like it.  It’s become a part of me.  A secret part that’s all mine.  Private and public at the same time.   A tiny piece of the innermost me stretching out across the world.  I’m hooked.

But now I am limited by the title: pain, fatigue and me.  I have no pain and I’ve finished with fatigue, yet I want to keep writing.

Am I a fraud, inviting you in with this title and now changing the rules?  I’ll understand if you decide to move on.

I don’t know what the new title might be, but I have some ideas about what I want to write.  When I stopped work last year, even though I was exhausted, I experienced a freedom I haven’t felt for years.  A liberation and renewed sense of wonder that engendered authentic connection with the world around me.  Stepping off the work treadmill and being confined to home curiously expanded my daily interaction with people and I began having random encounters with strangers.  I’ve already posted two: Not a Lazy Girl and Economic Cannibalism; and there’s a couple more to come.

From there, I don’t know?  Unchartered as yet.

fighting adrenal fatigue from all sides – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual

I’ve spent the last four months off work with what my doctor diagnosed as ‘adrenal fatigue’.  My symptoms being: exhaustion, low blood pressure, fainting, anxiety, insomnia, night sweats, brain fog, reduced resilience, poor memory, extreme coldness and extremely low B12 levels.

These last four months have been a gift.  My understanding now is that adrenal fatigue is an exercise in unconditional love; firstly for the self, then outwards to the world.  Where chronic pain can be seen as a physical representation of [repressed] rage (I discuss this here), I think adrenal fatigue is the physical manifestation of self-neglect.

It was easy to push my body into this state. I worked in an environment that made me anxious and stressed, without any let-up; I rushed everywhere, oh so busy; I used foods that gave me a ‘hit’ to keep pushing on (chocolate and sugar being my biggest offenders, but coffee and alcohol are equally effective); I ignored how tired I was and stayed up late at night, too busy to go to bed; I never let my mind stop churning, even in my sleep; and I forced myself to go to a personal trainer, where I felt sick after every session.

What I see now is that none of this was an expression of love for my body or myself.

So I made a lot of changes.  I stopped all sugar (including for a while, fruit) and became dairy and gluten-free.  No coffee, no chocolate, no alcohol.  I still eat meat and eggs, as my body asks for them.  I started taking supplements: magnesium, vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin B12, iodine, fish oil, evening primrose oil, probiotics and herbs.  I did a parasite cleanse, a liver cleanse and a heavy metals cleanse.  I bought a filter jug for our tap water and I grow my own organic veges.  I start the day with lemon, salt and ginger in hot water, followed by a green smoothie.  I have a carrot, ginger, celery and beetroot juice every afternoon.  This is about feeding my body only foods that nourish it (not foods that my mind craves at my body’s expense).  Listening to what it needs, and adjusting accordingly.

But it’s more than diet and supplements.  I stopped work, I stopped a lot of other things, and I certainly stopped the personal trainer.  I rested, I listened to what my body needed and I didn’t tire myself with social activities or obligations.  I took a ’time-out’ from the world (I had to, I was burnt out) and I listened and meditated.

I monitored my thoughts, noticing how often I spoke unkindly to myself.  I outlawed these hurtful thoughts and I stopped my mind from fixating on illness.  I knew I had to or else it would scare me by telling me how sick I was, and then how could I get better?

I did yin yoga off YouTube – gentle and grounding and you don’t need to leave the house.  I read inspiring books.  I pottered in my garden, barefoot on the grass.  I lay on the grass watching the clouds.  I watched the birds and the insects and I breathed.  I slowed down and gave thanks.  I listened and listened.  I waited.

The first answer I received was to start a blog.  I wrote about that here and how important it’s been to me here.  Self-expression – the opposite of self-neglect.  The next big response I heard is coming up on my next blog post.

I learnt to ask for guidance in all things, not just the big ones.  I found that by handing over decisions in this way, the brain fog cleared.  I don’t have to know all the answers, I just have to ask and listen.

Over months, my old world faded away.  The worries, anxieties, pressures and pace, the ambitions and insecurities, the striving and racing and speed, and the fears, especially the fears, all lost their hold over me.

My body sighed with relief and began to heal.

in praise of eavesdropping

Randomly selecting a blog to read and browsing through the back posts can feel like voyeurism.  People’s lives, thoughts, aspirations and pain laid out for anyone to see.  And the comments, back and forth.  Conversations between blogger friends.  Conversations you might want to join.  Friends you might want to know.

In the physical world, if I come upon acquaintances engaged in a personal conversation, they stop, or I move away.  But the blogosphere is different.  All open and recorded.  Whole worlds of life offered up for anyone to explore.

I live in New Zealand, at the bottom of the world.  As far as you can go away from everything else.  Last year I visited Europe for the first time and was struck by how insignificant New Zealand is.

Of course, you already knew that.  I knew it too.  But I didn’t really ‘know’ it until I was there, right in the middle.  Here in New Zealand we get about our business as if we are somebody.

Coming back home was tortuous.  Banished to the world’s outpost again.  So far away.  Longing to be back in the middle of that energy, that intensity.  New Zealand is so young and empty.  Only four million people.  Just a baby of a country.

Since I have been off work, I’ve become an obsessive blog-reader.  I inhale blogs.  I devour blogs.  I lap up the stories of people’s lives with a desperate thirst.  People’s lives in Washington, New York, Indiana, Barcelona, Rome, India, Darwin, Ireland, France, the world over.

Lives so far away from mine, yet unexpectedly close because of the beautiful honesty in people’s writing.

living in the internet

Tomorrow night I am having dinner with friends from work.  I am nervous.

These last weeks at home have been so calm.  I read, write, cook, eat, do a bit of housework and sleep, sleep, sleep.  In the evenings I go for a walk.

Writing has always been important to me at turning points in my life.  It’s not letting me down now.  Writing a blog has provided a focus, a context, a platform for expression within clean parameters.  A distraction from the anxiety of ‘What am I going to do?’

Having time to read other people’s blogs has been at first diverting, then uplifting and now utterly engulfing.  A whole world lures me in.  A world that exists with absolutely no reference to my reality.

Oh, how small my life had become, even when I thought it was so big, so important.

I know they will ask me when I am coming back to work.  How do I tell them that I don’t belong in their world anymore?  How can I explain that my world is inside my head right now, inside the internet?

how to stop being a civil engineer

As I stir the risotto the voice in my head asks,
But what would I do if I leave my job?

And as I stir the risotto the voice in my head replies,
You would write.

Of course, I thought.

At two o’clock in the morning the voice in my head asks,
But what will I do with all this writing?

And at two o’clock in the morning the voice in my head answers,
Put it in a blog.

Of course, I thought.  So I did.