Male Aggression

I have had an incredible year. Since March after I had a meltdown at work, and decided to change. I went on medication and joined Toastmasters. I was privileged to have a full year of work. I started a Graphic Design Diploma. And I gave my very first presentation to a large-sized audience.

This afternoon on a work conference call it all came crashing down. The client project manager used tone on me. In front of his team. I managed to hold it together, but as soon as I disconnected I burst into tears.

There is an automatic trigger inside of me. It invokes a feeling I have no control over. The aggression of a male.

This evening, I am wounded. Tomorrow I will be prepared. I will be strong.

Advertisements

Papertowel POTUS

The past few months we have been witnessing a front-row seat to textbook narcissism (thank you, POTUS). This morning I saw a clip of him throwing papertowels to those in Puerto Rico. His lack of empathy and delusions of grandeur know no bounds. He truly is a despicable person.

I needed some papertowels in the kitchen this morning. Oh POTUS, where are you when I need you?

http://m.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/donald-trump-helps-suffering-puerto-ricans-by-throwing-paper-towels-at-them_us_59d3db64e4b0218923e5b4f7

Hope!

It feels so good to be able to look back at the past six months, since March when I had an adverse reaction to a life situation, and I was finally able to say ‘Enough’. And so I went all out on making positive choices and change to my life. (Thank you Zoloft, Calm app, Toastmasters, diploma of Graphic Design).

And here I am. Something happened on Friday that would normally have been a major trigger for me. In previous days I would have been a hopeless mess, struggling to deal with my non-existent self-esteem, and placing everyone higher than myself.

I’ve had a passing thought this weekend, what about the trigger on Friday? Shouldn’t I be upset about it? Shouldn’t I be struggling to cope?

And yet all that happens, is that it is a passing thought. I can see clearly that when people don’t act in a way we wish them to act, it is sometimes doing us a great favor. We are being saved from further pain. I am able to move on quickly to the next happy thought. Something that is uplifting and positive. And that’s a wonderful, wonderful place to be in.

I have hope!

Mindfulness 

For the past two months I’ve been practicing meditation and mindfulness. It has been helpful in so many ways. Learning more about myself. Accepting myself. Having compassion. 

Yesterday I had a relapse into negative behavior. I reacted in a way that is so typical of how I would normally react, an unwanted reaction that offers short-term relief with negative undesired consequences. So this morning I have been doubling up on my meditation.

And what I love is that there is help! There is strength. A relapse is part of being human. It is not an abnormal, evil condition that dooms us into drowning in the deepest ocean. It is okay. It is to be expected. And what is important is forgive ourselves, get back up and have a renewed step.

Be thankful for those who help us even if we do not like the help they offer. Have gratitude for this miracle called life.

And to live each day, not in abject aberration for our shortcomings and weaknesses, but to accept them, be comfortable in our discomfort, strive to be stronger, and to love.

The Happiness Key

What is the key to happiness? A question presented to myself and others today. 

It was interesting to hear the responses. Family, relationships, health, loving what you do, life moments etc.

I came home and asked my children the question. My daughter, without skipping a beat, said simply “family”. I prompted her on it. She said to me family keeps you safe and happy. It does indeed.

My son replied with ‘meditation’. I asked him what does he know about meditation? He replied by saying ‘nothing, but that’s what he learnt in his religion class at school’. Fair enough!

What is the key to my happiness? I have spent years in anxiety and depression. Perhaps it sounds cynical to say the key to my happiness is my SSRI medication. 

And recently it is public speaking. Public speaking and poetry makes me happy. 

As well as hot tea, reading, writing and my cosy bed. The simple things in life. 

Boundaries

How good is it to have clearly-defined and healthy boundaries? 

I have a colleague friend whom I have texted privately on occasion, sometimes my friend would reply and sometimes not. But would always speak to me on our work Skype accounts.

Yesterday I was ill in bed and not logged into my work account. I whatsapped to say I am sick and cold and maybe I will play candy crush on my mobile.

My friend replied with a somewhat terse, “please do not whatsapp, keep it to Skype only”.

At first I was taken aback and felt a bit shocked inside.

And then I thought, well, it is good to know that person’s boundaries. I can then respect those boundaries. Much better than ghosting me. Actually more respectful too. I hadn’t figured that we could quite openly communicate on one communication device and not on another. 

But at least now I know.

Toastmasters

The past few months I have been participating in my local toastmasters club. I wonder if any readers have participated before, and what their thoughts might be?

Last night I presented my third speech. It was meant to be a prepared speech, but I was standing in for someone so pretty much spoke off the cuff.

The club president had a word of praise for me. He said that I have a ‘genuine story-telling talent’. I am not able to express how much this means to me.

I have always been introverted, overlooked for many things in my daily life, have a small circle of friends. But when I look back, there has always been a desire to speak in front of people. To speak into a microphone. To speak with authority.

Someone last week mentioned that a far as public speaking goes, I need to push myself. I can either live ten years once, or one year ten times. It is a nice thought. However, I cannot just stand up and speak. It has to come from within. It is the same with poetry. I cannot write a poem. It has to appear in my mind before I can pen it.

These thoughts were echoed in the comment last night. I have a genuine talent. And it’s only a talent I am discovering now.

Everything in its right time.

Scent

Yesterday I bought an old favorite of mine, Estée Lauder Beautiful Sheer. Apparently it is being discontinued. I managed to purchase one of the last three bottles in the store.

I wore this scent on a trip to Harare, Zimbabwe a few weeks before I left South Africa. It invokes memories for me. Good and bad and pain on my then soft heart.

But today! I am wearing it again. And I am back in Harare. With my perfume and my children then still babies, and a new future ahead of me.

And my heart is no longer as soft. The years and scars and experiences and feelings have toughened it up.

The scent, though, still lingers.

Be Inconvenient

It was all of eleven years ago when I sat in a Johannesburg office wanting to see the last screening of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. I had project commitments that needed to be completed, and so I decided not to go. 

This week, I noticed the sequel is being screened at my local cinema. I thought it would be an idea to watch the first one first. And so! Thanks to technology I was able to rent the documentary, and watch it eleven years later.

And this morning I managed to watch the sequel, An Inconvenient Sequel.

Now dear readers! I do not understand how others, as well as leaders (especially leaders) can sit back and deny and / or do nothing. Our planet is crying. Our planet is pleading. Resisting and fighting back. 

The sequel included a two-second Donald Trump insert where we can hear him denouncing climate change, and asking why would we waste our time when we have isis to fight. We see him exiting the Paris agreement. We see him facilititating the production of gas, oil and coal. We see him making climate change jokes. Climate change jokes.

All while Greenland and the ice caps melt. All while Cape Town droughts, Sydney sizzles, tornadoes rampage, floods drown, our planet and life as we know it dies.

My late mother, if she were here, would say (in response to Potus) that the mind completely boggles.

The might of nature and the power of the planet is far beyond anything we can comprehend. We are rendered powerless in the event of major catastrophes. The best we can do at times is to flee. And hope and pray for the best.

And yet. And yet. We do nothing. Trump plays golf, devours his two scoops of ice cream, and utters useless threats. Threatens nuclear war. 

Many thanks to Al Gore. For being the leader that the world needs. For speaking truth. For standing up for what is right and good and true. For making a change.

Trump has children, he has grandchildren. You would think, any reasonable person would think, he might well want a planet for his offspring to grow up on.

Wouldn’t we all?

Depression and Migraines

Long term readers of my blog will know that I have suffered migraines for many years.  I have been getting headaches and / or migraines every single month for at least the past twenty years or so (except during my two full-term pregnancies).

But for the past two months I have had no migraines at my regular time. I started light anti-depressant medication towards the end of March. So far I have not missed a day.

So I can see from my personal experience, that there does seem to be a link between depression and migraines. Even insofar that they can perhaps be treated by the same medication.

I feel like I have been given a new life. I am feeling positive. I am obsessing less. I feel strong enough to make career decisions.

On the downside, my poetry is diminishing. It is evaporating from my mind. I put this down to my decrease in obsession. My mind is ruminating less, and therefore less poetry.

However, I see this as a positive thing!