THE ART OF HUGGING

cute monkeys hugging

Hugging – have you seriously thought about hugging? It has multiple benefits, and we should all be doing more of it. If we were, half the wars and battles wouldn’t be taking place, and thank the Lord that no-one has invented an anti-hugging vaccination. Hugs are much more life-preserving and also far more pleasant than coming down with a nasty case of chickenpox or the flu.

Did you know that you need at least one hug a day for reassurance, two a day for survival, four for maintenance and eight for growth? This fact would explain why I am reasonably ‘happy little bunny’ still breathing, in reasonable ‘nick’ but only two-feet-and-eight-inches tall.

If anyone would like to contribute to another few inches of height, I wouldn’t object or turn you away.

Hugging is environmentally friendly and ecologically sound. It builds self-esteem and also builds strong arm and shoulder muscles both of which are far less costly than building another new block of apartments and therefore, is economically viable.

It slows down aging which probably means I’ll feel like I’m ninety-seven before I reach sixty given that I live alone and don’t have a handy partner or nearby children.

However, I do hug the odd friend, (as I tend to prefer my friends to be a little on the peculiar side, like myself rather than conventionally rational).

I have to confess that I have a rather unusual habit in that I have been, on the odd occasion, known to approach and embrace a complete stranger. Hugging in those circumstances is sometimes okay, especially when it is to offer comfort or solace.

However, there are times such as when it’s with the bus driver en route or a waiter with a full tray of tea and scones which are not a wise idea. Also, cuddling up with the airplane pilot of a Jumbo Jet in mid-flight, or offering an embrace with Her Majesty, The Queen in the middle of giving her Christmas speech, etc., it can be seen as somewhat inappropriate.

Hugging also releases the feel-good hormone, oxytocin that is nature’s anti-depressant, so if they were readily available, we would have a lot more warm and happy people about and a lot less diazepam/valium needed.

A first rate hug ideally needs to have two elements, a hugger, and a huggee, preferably willing participants and not someone like ‘The Incredible Hulk’ squeezing the life out of a reluctant Miniature Chihuahua. Likewise, a hug needs to be shared between two beings, or more if near to hand as clutching thin air is no better than attempting to embrace a boa-constrictor.

At this point, I should say that I am offering free demonstrations. In addition, all contributions to myself will be gratefully received as I am saving up for my Blue-Peter badge.

healing hugs

 

CHAMELEON SKIN

 

chameleon_2048x1152

She is what she is … or is she, indeed?

She’s perplexed, befuddled, embroiled

Lost her mind along enmeshed journeys

She belongs, does she not to this world?

~~~

Is she real or a trickster, a fraud inside?

Not knowing her mind, too caught up in lies

Or perhaps, revealing her open wounds

You win some, you lose some, just look in her eyes

~~~

She’s not without fear though she’s scared of the thrill

The rollercoaster won’t come to an end

She writes her life’s story in ink, so black

You may wonder how her thoughts are penned

~~~

Innocence seen, and innocence gone

A fight in a nightmare; she holds her breath

The howls can be heard from far away

Will she ever return from the brink of death

~~~

You know her, you don’t, you think that you may

She’s a friend, a soldier, blood-kin

She lives or she dies; knowing the shadow side

Unknown, she wears her chameleon skin

 

 

THE DOUGHNUT AND SANITY CHALLENGE

Photo Bridget moment Blurt

Well, I’ve pulled myself out from the mire that I’ve been in lately and I’m feeling up to a challenge … nothing major yet but it’s a start (from little acorns mighty oaks do grow) so there’s hope for me yet.

I love writing, especially my blog, all be it a bit sporadic sometimes but reading, I struggle with. It’s not the spelling and grammar side of it as I’d say I’m fair-to-middling compared to most bloggers. In fact, I quite enjoy a tête-à-tête with a bit of vocabulary and an occasional close encounter with the English language.

I’ve borrowed a book from a colleague at university and I’ve got to hand it back within one week. So, in my spare time, which doesn’t amount to much these days, I’ve set myself the challenge of reading and digesting it in this time. No problem … except I have the attention span of a weary ant.

The book in question is a relatively new one called, ‘A Sane New World‘ by Ruby Wax. It’s a brilliant, clever, witty and informative book about her own journey through depression and mental health issues and how she went about improving her situation. Mental health affects 1 in 4 adults, including myself, but this book is written for everyone as anyone of us could become that 1 in 4 ‘mentally unravelled‘, (in Ruby’s words), at any time.

I know most people could knock this out in a couple of days as it consists of a mere 260 pages which I know is nothing compared to Homer’s Iliad or War and Peace but for me, it’s quite a challenge as my concentration when it comes to reading novels leaves an awful lot to be desired. I am determined to fulfil this challenge mainly because I’m interested in finding alternate routes to overcoming mental illness. I’ve made a start have already encountered a good dose of humour and many poignant observances. Hopefully, by the time I’ve got to the end, I will have gained a bit more sanity.

I came across this idea for my second challenge from a local Facebook page. It’s a page for those of us who find life a struggle sometimes, (so, that’s all hands up, is it?). We set ourselves small (or large if we are feeling brave) targets to achieve, to help overcome some of the situations that we find difficult for whatever reason.

My difficult situation? Well, I’m fine going out with Charlie, my wheelchair who some of you might have already met. I can go almost anywhere depending on whether the battery and motor are up to scratch that day but I’m really not good at stopping somewhere to grab a coffee and cake and then sitting with it in a café or coffee shop on my own. I’m great if I’ve got company but sitting alone, I feel a bit of a prune!

So, this challenge is to take my book to a café every day this week; order a coffee and something nice from the menu; sit by myself and then to read as many pages as I can in 30 minutes (just long enough for me to get out of the shop before the usually occurring uncomfortable squirming and panic kicks in).

Today, I had every good intention and headed straight for the coffee shop just after lunch, got to the counter and was just about to order a coffee and pastry when panic suddenly set in and I bolted out of there. I was really cross with myself but I’m going to have another go tomorrow. In the meantime, by way of compensation for my atrocious disappointment, I stopped off at Tesco and bought myself a large jam doughnut, took it home and indulged guiltily. However, I’m determined to repeat the jam doughnut affair tomorrow, only in a coffee shop while reading my book and thereby, at the end of this week, I will have completed both challenges (and probably gained half a stone in weight to boot which I could well do without). Next challenge: to lose that half a stone I’m going to put on this week!

THE VILLAIN

man-in-the-shadows

He would have you believe him and trust him implicitly

but the cut of his cloth hides the secret within

His tainted soul, disguised by his bleached white tongue

that fools the fool and tricks his own blood kin.

Haunted by guilt and his harrowing dreams

he seeks out the innocent, untainted and pure

He draws them in ink and paints them in deepest black

infuses his poison, slain swiftly and sure.

With no sign of a grimace nor a smile on his lips

with emotions like charcoal, hot bitumen and tar

His eyes scowl and glint like the blades of sharp knives

Leaving a wound and so jagged a scar.

He feeds on the danger and is brazenly villainous

is out for the kill though there is no parole

He’ll never know solace and he’ll never know peace

as the devil has stolen his mind and his soul.

GUNNING FOR A FIGHT

gun to head

This is just an immature little ditty that was all that I could muster tonight, having wanted and needed to come up with something a bit more intelligent to express my feelings. I failed abysmally. My BPD and my mental health are totally unpredictable just lately. I hate it when it’s like that because I’ve just had another  of those days where I just want to take a gun to my head …

Is everyone alright
if I give up the fight
just ‘cos I’m tired
of hurting tonight

I’m just having a ball
when I’m playing the fool
whilst I laugh through the pain
Look! I’m good at it all

So, you think it’s not true
that I’m feeling so blue
I’ll try and convince you
but I’m kidding me too

And it’s really not fine
that I don’t feel divine
just being ignored
by supposedly mine

I am knotted inside
and the tears have I cried
would fill up an ocean
a thousand miles wide

I wish I were sleeping
but to Hades, I’m creeping
I know I am destined
It’s a secret I’m keeping

So I hope it’s alright
if I give up the fight
just ‘cos I’m tired
of fighting tonight.

THE FINAL GRENADE

explosion mind

I am waiting for an explosion
But I don’t know when it’ll be
Somehow I have to be ready
But I don’t have the strategy

I’m dreading the mess it will make
Of both my body and mind
Because when the explosion comes
They’ll be nothing left behind

I’m holding a hand grenade
And haven’t yet pulled the pin
But when it blows, it will release
The tumult and chaos within

I don’t think I can cope with more
It’s becoming too much of a strain
It’s messing with my head
And eating away at my brain

A hand grenade is dangerous
Armies use them in war
I’m standing here holding it gingerly
I feel I can’t take any more

I can feel the grenade rumbling
I can hear the tick of a clock
Counting down the minutes
I can’t avoid the stumbling blocks

I am poised here, anxiously waiting
And really don’t think I can cope
I am sweating and terribly frightened
I am losing my grip on hope

In angst, I watch the grenade
I haven’t yet pulled the pin
But I know that it’s not a dud
This device is genuine

I cannot preserve my life
To learn how to simply enjoy
Because this grenade I’m holding
Is set and primed to destroy

At my birth, already a risk
Due to persistent lack of affection
It was always destined to be this way
No matter how much circumspection

The tick, tick, tick of the clock
Any minute it threatens to blow
It’s going to cause total destruction
My lifespan was set long ago.

© Copyright Elliesofia: elliethompson.wordpress.com 2016

HOW TO SURVIVE A POWER CUT IN THE AGE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

facebook, twitter & pinterest logos

We had a power cut today – only for an hour and a half, but apart from getting cold because the central heating had gone off (bearing in mind it was only 1-degree Celsius outside), I found the greatest inconvenience was not being able to get on the internet. I instantly felt lost and out of touch with the world without it, and given the choice between having my access to the web or having the heating back; I think I would have willingly pulled on an extra layer or two and opted for my laptop.

This incident reminded me of a time, three or so years ago when we experienced a violent storm that brought down the power lines, consequentially blowing up the local electricity substation. Fortunately, the weather wasn’t quite as cold as it was today. But, amazingly, (in this day and age), we had no power for nearly three days! Extra jumpers, thick socks, wooly hats, warm gloves, blankets and such were all dug out of the depths of wardrobes and were the order of the day (or three days in this instance).

I live in a cul-de-sac and all the houses there were affected. After the initial panic, the ritual of striking matches smelling of sulphur, to light the candles took place.  A variety of wax pillars were found with difficulty, bearing in mind, we were searching at the back of dusty cupboards by torchlight. I then thought to Google the Electricity Company’s telephone number to ask when the power would be back on. I won’t say ‘a light went on in my head’ as there weren’t any lights but it then dawned on me that no electricity equals no technology, therefore, no Google. There we were, back in the dark ages (pardon the pun) and I started to rummage for the telephone directory, not realising then that the phone lines were down too.

It was then apparent that social media had come to an abrupt halt which was a shock to the system at first. Gradually Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr all became redundant. If we wanted some company, instead of Facebook, we had to go and knock on a neighbour’s door and talk to them face to face. The term ‘Like’ meant the appreciation of a kindness done or fondness of someone. ‘Friending’ and ‘Unfriending’ became hanging out with our mates (or not). If someone had ‘Blocked’ you, they had, perhaps, parked their car at the bottom of your driveway, and the term ‘Sharing’ no longer referred to reposting an article from one FB page to another; sharing returned to meaning to have a cup of tea with a neighbour; lending your last box of matches out; distributing a pot of tea around the family, made from boiling water on a gas hob (at least, we had gas), .

Twitter had been replaced by the chatter of children and adults alike and gossip that was only heard on the grapevine. Instagram and Pinterest were impossible – if we wanted to look at pictures we had a resort to a book, magazine or get a bus to the art gallery on the far side of town. I missed emailing. Somehow, writing a letter, sticking a stamp on the envelope to post it in the mailbox and then waiting two days for it to arrive at its destination lacked the spontaneity of reeling off a quick email.

Computer games were naturally out of the question and we resorted to either playing Gin Rummy or Bridge with a pack of cards or digging out the old, well-worn Snakes and Ladders board and a dice. In my case, I managed to find the family Ludo board which was my mother’s before it was mine! But, I never was much good at card games but I could play a mean game of Monopoly. Just as I’d passed Mayfair and Park Lane and was about to collect £200 for passing go … the power came back on only to be greeted by a mixture of delighted “hoorays” and equally rather sad “awws”. All the nostalgia flew out of the window almost as fast as we all flew off back to our own little spaces to get a fix of Facebook or Twitter having suffered severe withdrawal symptoms over the past three days. I have to say, it left me wondering whether I would turn back the hands of time if I could.

reading by candlelight