For Today 5th March. I am following a Lent Challenge from the Bible Society, which doesn’t have a prompt for Sundays (Sundays are not counted part of Lent) and so I’m doing a Daybook entry instead.
Looking out my window… it has been one of those “is it Spring or still Winter?” days today
I am thinking… about the significance of timing
I am thankful… for my God-given talent of music making
One of my favourite things… clean body, clean pyjamas, clean sheets (as in, what I’m about to head to tonight!)
I am creating… a crocheted blanket for my son’s girlfriend in shades of blue and white
I am wearing… a big cheesy grin because I have just been asked if I would play for Pemberton at the upcoming Grand Shield contest (more about that at a later date)
I am reading… “Wyrd Sisters” by Terry Pratchett. Very funny, very astute, very poignant and very, very telling about the human condition
I am watching… Match of the Day (Manchester City played this evening against Sunderland. I know the result but I still like to watch my men on the pitch)
I have been listening to… “Guide Cats for the Blind” – a charity compilation CD. Here is one of my favourite tracks on it. So funny that when I first heard it I nearly crashed the car because I was laughing so much!
I am hoping… I have turned a corner with anxiety and depression issues
I am learning… to not beat myself up so much when I am paralysed by anxiety
In my kitchen… we have an almost sterile floor. I bought a steam mop last week (bargain at £30) and I have been right through the house hoovering and steaming all the floors. The kitchen floor is so clean now that you can eat your dinner off it…which is a good thing because I haven’t washed any plates…!! Hahaha, jokes…
“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela
A little glimpse into the world of Mushy Cloud aka Pam this week. You may have read last weekend that I played in my first brass band contest for a number of years on Sunday. If you did, you will know that I had a rather long day in Blackpool, and you will know that my band won – yippee!
Such a win comes at a price, and the price for me this week has been one of pain. I literally could not move all day on Monday, and it took me until Friday night to be up to going out of the house for the first time since I got home on Sunday. Partly because of the pain, partly because I didn’t want to, and partly (more than I’d like to admit to) because I couldn’t. You see, in the run up to the contest I had to adjust my medication so that I could function properly on the day with (as full) mental capacity as I could and without a dry mouth, which is one of the side effects of one of my tablets. The result was that yes, I was able to play my cornet properly on Sunday, but it took me the best part of a week to recover from it and to get my pain levels back under control.
The thing with a long term health condition is that it isn’t just about the physical side of things, but the mental side can play a huge part too. Not only was my physical pain that much worse this week, but I also had massive bouts of anxiety because of the pain that had crept up in recent weeks with not being able to take the medication I needed to. The anxiety is a multi-faceted thing and even I don’t understand it, let alone expect or hope for anyone reading this to understand it for me. The biggest part of it is that the medication I take when the pain is bad has different side-effects, such as it gives me hallucinations, causes headaches and can make me sick. Because of these three things it makes it difficult for me to go out in public – I see things that aren’t there, can you imagine what that would be like walking down the street or riding on the bus?? I have a phobia about being sick, so to risk being out in public and being nauseous is also a no-go. But…and here’s the rub…sometimes it is difficult to know when that grey area between being “ill” and “well” can be a tricky patch to negotiate, and your mind can play tricks on you telling you that you are physically unwell when really it is your mind telling you that because it is in a state of self-preservation.
I did eventually venture out of the house on Friday night to conduct my band in Todmorden, but I felt absolutely rotten. I felt like a robot when I first arrived in the bandroom and I had almost forgotten how to speak to people, let alone convey musical emotion to them. I gradually warmed up and was fine by the end of the rehearsal, but there was an element of that automaton in action this morning when I went to church. I had missed a couple of things this week because of my being ill, and it felt like the waters of church life had moved on under a bridge that I was not there to witness, and so I felt a bit out of it when I first got there.
However, it didn’t take long to get back into a better frame of mind and I had a really revealing chat with someone who had come to faith recently after a life of drug and alcohol abuse. It just goes to show – and it certainly made me reflect – that the nature of life is all about what we make it to be, and whilst it is sometimes right to go into retreat and recover from wounds inflicted by ourselves or others, it is also the right thing to do to venture out and face the world again even if we don’t feel fully healed. I doubt we are ever fully healed, and it is a matter of timing, but even so, we do have to take that step out of our own cocoon of healing sometimes and make a strike for a bit of life that will push us to better healing and further fulfilment.