Tag Archives: pain

thoughts, blogs, and not much to say

another paid review! haven’t done one of them for a while. let’s just make this a bit of a wild, woolly and completely inconsequential romp.

so i’m supposed to review thoughts.com. this is what they say about themselves:

thoughts.com is a unique site with interesting conversations and sometimes heated debates. membership is 100% free and the most popular features are the free blogs and active discussion forums. all free blogs accounts come with unlimited bandwidth for posting blogs, uploading photos, videos and creating polls. thoughts.com is a community site so you are able to meet new people and make likeminded friends. there is a very supportive group of people blogging on thoughts and the community has a strong and intimate bond not seen in most areas of the web.

maybe something like myspace? no? ning? no? bebo? no? well, you can check it out for yourself if you want to. i looked around a bit and ended up watching a video about a magazine for plus size women (like me), and that led me to this runway diva blog by sharon quinn which has some nice pictures of good looking chicks in expensive clothes – but never mind that because then i came across this yummy looking guy here, katt williams – but you know how it goes? first i thought wellwellWELL!!! but the more often i looked at him the less interesting he seemed. is that because i’m getting old?

katt williams, by the way, is nowhere to be seen on thoughts.com. back to the runway diva then. ol’ katt, unfortunately, keeps on looking less and less appealing. darn.

our friend the runway diva has another blog where she dishes out advice and, in preparation for my next career, i checked out 7 deadly sins for plus-sized models. bad posture and low self esteem go together in her advice bag and are to be avoided. hm. i like to slump. i LOVE to slump, actually. you can often find me draped semi-horizontally in a chair. does that mean i have bad self esteem? i dunno – maybe what happened is that when they did the class on “body language for good girls” i was sick, or busy reading a detective novel, or something. i have all kinds of unladylike behaviours like a way-too-strong handshake, a penchant for trench coats, and a habit of taking up space like a guy. and i used to walk extremely fast with a huge stride, preferably wearing riding boots. (and yes, i HAVE smoked cigars).

now i feel self-conscious for talking so much about myself. hah! that’s feminine, finally, isn’t it? but does it also mean bad self esteem? maybe i won’t make it as a model …

okay, one last try at finding something at thoughts.com. there must be some thoughts there! i have already demonstrated in this post that i have none to speak of myself, so come on, thoughts.com, you gotta help me out here!

here, after quite a while of looking about, is something that’s kinda nice

for thirty-five years i have fought the pain in my back. for many of those years i was on pain killers, but not for a couple of years now. and it is excruciating. don’t feel bad for me. i am confessing how incredibly stupid i am. my daughter inherited my back condition. and after thirty-five years, because of HER pain, i have tracked down some pain specialists for US. a friend asked me about five years ago why i wasn’t in a more aggressive program for this pain that increases year-by-year. i said, “probably because i am not married. i just don’t do that stuff for myself.” but i was wrong. i just needed for someone i loved to need help and i tracked it down in a snap. “but, john, don’t you love yourself?” um … not to where i hold my own hand or feel all special about myself. “well, why not?” um … i dunno. maybe i’m not my type. anyway, my angel and i will be in specialized help soon.

and that, ladies and gentlepeople, is my review of thoughts.com.

creativity: a way out of depression?

john over at storied mind writing and depressionhas taken up the thread of the discussion on creativity that i started a while ago with Psyblog and, creative person that he is, is talking about it in connection with depression. let me add a bit to that discussion.

first of all, i’d like to say that if someone put a gun to my head and forced me to label myself, i would say “artist”. if i don’t get to play with language and ideas, if i don’t get to dance once in a while and gorge my eyes on beautiful images – well, i don’t know what would happen because i never let it get to that point.

my work as a counsellor, too, is in my eyes an act of creativity. together, my client and i collaborate on seeing their lives as a work of art and on creating experiences, actions, attitudes and thoughts that help them live better lives and through that, ultimately help others around them create more goodness as well.

also, i have experienced depression from a number of different angles, including myself. just establishing my “authority” here : )

in reading over john’s article, what i was thinking was that at least in some situations, creativity doesn’t so much chase depression away but can help us experience it in a different light.

years ago, when i was doing a lot of work in the area of chronic pain, a friend asked me, “so – are you including depression in your research, too?” he saw depression as chronic emotional pain.

i think there is a lot of truth in this. and just as we can experience pain in many different ways, perhaps we can experience depression in different ways.

for me personally, the worst part of depression is a significant change in e-motion – in my inner movement, as well as in the actions that are influenced by that movement. when in a depression, the decision of whether to wear black or white socks is overwhelming because my decision-making apparatus has slowed down to a tired old snail’s pace. leaving the house, if i manage it, can take two hours because putting on a coat and finding my keys present almost impossible-to-overcome obstacles. fright or flight don’t work anymore – there’s only freeze.

the urge to create can be one of the few e-motions, or motivating drives, to get me moving again. that’s where depression can become qualitatively different. the pain is still there but its place inside of me and its colour and texture change. if i follow the creative urge and find words to describe the depression, things start to move, and a bit of momentum builds up. it may not last long, but the depth of the creative experience helps me remember that there was movement, not just way back when, when i wasn’t in that black cloud, but just a few hours ago. that helps me put the depression in perspective, can remind me that depression is an experience, it’s not me, it’s not my master, it’s “just”pain, and i know i am not pain.

in those moments, i can sometimes be grateful for the depression for giving me creative impetus.

john asks,

there is something about creating … that draws out a force within me that dissolves depression. what is that? can i package some and pull it off the shelf when i need it?

in my experience, creating does not dissolve depression, it changes it for the better, it changes it for the different. what creating helps me “pull off the shelf” is the realization that depression is not my master.

(image by nicasaurusrex)