Some big changes…

Since 17th December last year I’ve lost just under 20lb in weight.

My waist size has dropped from 38″ to 35″

I have started some light weight training and yesterday walked over 4 miles.

And I have Fibromyalgia.

Why the changes ?

Well, I was due to have an Operation in December which has now been postponed twice and ultimately cancelled because my blood sugar spiked and made my operation unsafe.

My time dealing with the hospital was pretty traumatic and there is a complaint in with the Executive Director who is, himself, late in replying. I can’t say I am at all surprised.

Anyway, the spiking blood sugar, down in part to poor diet (Hey, I’m Autistic and don’t exactly eat a range of food anyway) and overwhelming stress, caused me to re-evaluate, seriously, what I eat.

Which meant bye-bye sweet tooth.

Out went bread, rice, pasta, bananas, grapes, potatoes, cakes, biscuits, pastries- anything carb heavy and damaging..

In came lots of meat, fish, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, salads, berries and sugar free Werthers..and full English breakfasts!

Of course it costs a lot to eat healthy and especially on a protein rich diet but the proof is in the pudding…which I won’t be eating.

Do I feel better ?. Kind of. I mean the weight loss is great and I’m now at my lightest for 5 years but it also means my trousers keep falling down because they’re too big..which sucks as they’re new and there aren’t enough notches on my belt to keep them up lol.

In 6 weeks I’ve got my blood sugar down from 78 to 57 (7.8 to 7.4 in old money) which is definitely a step in the right direction and I hope to see further reductions in the future..

But I do miss cake. There’s regular cake days at work and I have to exercise self-control not to eat any. But, if I can do it, anyone can..

Big changes physically then..

If only I could change my mental health..that still sucks..

One thing at a time I suppose..

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The Missing Blogger

I know, I know..

Once more I have been responsible for a dereliction of duty. My blogging has become infrequent and apathetic.

Because I’ve given up.

I don’t find it cathartic or soothing. I don’t find venting helps when nobody picks up the baton and runs with it and too often I feel I’m the lone voice crying in the wilderness.

I saw several tweets yesterday bemoaning the splits in the Autistic community. My finger poised over a tweet but then I realised it wasn’t worth it; not now, not again when I must have blogged half a dozen times about the same issues..but nobody follows me and nobody reads what I write..so.

That’s fine. It really is because it’s their choice not to or, more likely they don’t even know I exist so why should they seek me out ?. It’s not as though I’m changing the world.

I don’t have a voice. I’m not one of the chosen few, someone with a profile.

I think I’ve become numb to things now. I rail against injustices at work but, again, that’s just me, just the Autistic person with a view nobody shares. Or nobody shares because they’re afraid, or they’re happy, or they don’t care because they can’t change anything.

And I can’t change it either.

I can just draw attention to it. But why bother ?. What’s the point ?

There’s nothing anymore. Nothing to interest me. Nothing to interest you. No hobbies. No interests.

Nothing.

Just numb. Tired. Fed up and disillusioned, getting nowhere, time passing. Out of sync, out of time, out of energy.

So..

I’m sorry I’ve gone missing. Really sorry. I’d love to do more but…I have no idea what to say anymore.

The worlds lost interest in me and I’ve lost interest in myself..

Let’s ban the Cult of Celebrity in 2019!

Let’s start the New Year as we mean to go on.

Let’s stop the pointless hero worship and fawning over “celebrities”. Whoever they are. Almost anyone it would seem. Tho’ not me.

Twitter, on which I have vented my spleen about celebrity in the last, stills see fit to recommend I follow the accounts of such people!. If it’s not Ant and Dec, or one of them, then it’s Holly Willoughby infesting my timeline. Holly Willoughby! No doubt she is a perfectly pleasant individual but what, pray, has she done ?

Yes she’s appeared on “Falling on Ice in a terribly embarrassing manner” in a white dress which amply demonstrated her, err, ample assets but..well..what does she do?!?!

She, and she is not alone, are treated like some sort of hero.

Each tweet or social media comment is retweeted with no actual consideration of what is actually said. They get told they are wonderful, “talented” (insert fit of coughing here!) and that they are role models! How ?. Why ?.

They have money. They get nice clothes because people want to see their designs on tv so flatter the “celeb” in order that their clothes get promoted. They fine dine for free because of their reputation!.

Are they surgeons? Firefighters? Policemen and women ? Doctors ? Nurses ?.

No.

They are not brave. They are not conscientious. They are not working in filthy conditions, for long hours, for low pay.

Yet their every move; every comment, is held up as an example of how we should live our lives.

And it should not be.

Most are in the right place at the right time. A lucky break for a pretty face.

And if I sound jealous then, sorry to disappoint, but I am not. I just cannot understand how normally sensible people go all light headed when Holly, Phil, Dec, the one who crashes into cars when he’s had too much to drink or any others from Chelsea, Essex, somewhere up North or an other “reality” star opens their gob or steps out their front door.

In @ world where, it seems, almost anyone can be a “celeb” I’d ask you to start thinking in 2019. Ask yourself what these people bring to your lives. Ask yourself why you admire them and why they deserve the adulation you heap upon them.

Then draw back and look at the unsung heroes. Aspire to better. Be better.

Let’s can this cult.

Let’s stop celebrity in its tracks.

Calm reflection

A balmy evening.

A soft breeze blowing in from the ocean bringing with it that salt tang in the air.

A night of utter stillness. Such quiet broken only by the gentle murmurs of the crew as they prepared dinner and the soft footfall of those of us who, by the light of a diminishing sun as it welcomed a silvering moon, trod the well worn path beside our tie up.

I stood awhile watching the colours of evening. From inky blackness emerged a warm purple, then, in a line Amber was stretched brilliantly across the sky, carrying with it the warm yellow upon its broad back.

Purple diffused, violet into mauve.

The thinnest band of red, like a line of cotton, pulled itself into view; a divider, separating dark from light.

Trees on the far bank were swathed in rainbow hues before being swallowed whole in the dark, yet standing firm, so it seemed, against the myriad of colours that crept up on them from behind, highlighting their beauty in deepest blacks.

The night descended like a warm blanket upon a child; it’s softness touching us all with a gentle caress, enveloping is in a bath of warmth, security and love.

The final colours dissipated before the blanket of darkness as it swept through this ancient, wonderful landscape.

What a night.

What a place.

For calm reflection.

A single picture and a story..

It’s an iconic image isn’t it ?.

India in a nutshell. An image used to promote a vast country and one that’s instantly recognisable world wide.

My first visit, before this picture was taken, had been 24 years earlier.

I recall it quite well, those moments of anticipation, the nervous tension, the butterflies if excitement fluttering away in my stomach.

I recall how still it was at dusk. I remember how few people there were at that time and how you could walk unhindered around the Taj. It was a warm evening, Indian evenings usually are, but it wasn’t hot. There was a softness in the light as the harshness of sunlight was fading into the night. It was beautifully serene.

24 years later and, in late afternoon, crowded, hot, bothered and trying to breathe. Suffocated by the jostling crowds, the endless security, the shouting of guides trying to make themselves heard above the teeming throng.

The scramble to be photographed on the Diana seat. That seat were she was photographed in splendid isolation.

No chance now. A confusing mass of humanity surrounds it, pushing, shoving, each attempting to sit before the next, the perfect pose presented to an eager husband or lover.

How many have been here before ?. It seems half of India is here. How many care ?. Is this just another tick on the bucket list ?. Do they really appreciate what they are seeing ?.

Is this the way of all such iconic sights ?. Do we really care about them ?.

The Taj has a story. A story of love; monumental love, all consuming love. But is it represented here or is this just an elegant piece of marble from centuries past ?.

I adore the Taj. This teardrop on the face of time that brings love and tragedy together. A love story with an unhappy ending. It is represented here in the delicacy of the work, the carefully selected inlay, the curvature of the dome and its setting amidst the gardens of paradise.

I feel moved.

But I want to be alone to be moved. It’s an emotion best expressed in solitude.

I want to walk unhindered and unhurried. I want to rest my cheek against the cool marble and become one with timeless beauty. I want to enter and pay homage, in my own way, to an emperor and his queen, who lie in state beneath a pure white dome.

I want to sit awhile, at dawn or dusk, and watch the colours play across the marble. I want to contemplate the beauty before me and around me and let myself drift through time to an India of the Moguls and watch the construction unfold. I want to be there at the birth of this wonder.

But I cannot.

This is my story. This has been my experience. It is just mine. Others will see it differently, for good or bad.

One picture.

One Taj.

One story.

Walk like an Egyptian..

I should have been an Egyptologist.

Ah, if I could start over I think I’d take that path. Or I’d be a tour guide splitting my time between the places I love, Egypt, India, Cambodia. That would be my kind of heaven.

Sometimes, when it’s quiet, I close my eyes and allow myself to drift back to Egypt.

I feel the heat on my skin; that burning. Yet it’s a dry heat so there’s no sweaty shirt to contend with, just the impression that your skins getting a bit crispy.

And here I am.

Standing, looking back at the Ramesseum and, beyond that, the verdant strip of land that lies alongside the Nile.

Tombs dot the hill upon which I stand and I take in the glory that is Egypt.

Walk with me.

This is the Nile, lifeblood of Egypt. Mighty river along which lie the colossal temples of ancient times. See the West Bank, home to the Valley of the Kings, watch the sun setting over this ancient land.

Walk with me again.

Hatshepsut’s mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri. Set back into the cliffs this almost modern looking structure that was built for a female Pharaoh, in an age dominated by men. See it’s mighty construction and the beauty of its stone.

Let us walk a little more.

Medinet Habu. A glorious yet, thankfully, less visited temple. See the colours, read the stories on the walls, admire the craftsmanship and the artistry. See the Gods in all their glory and imagine the time that this was constructed. Vivid still despite times erosion.

One final stop, if you will.

Here, on a wall in the Temple of Luxor, we find Tutankhamen. Egypt’s poster boy. The youthful Pharaoh who’s life, whilst short and, in historical terms, insignificant, gave rise to the surge in interest that we have today. A simple tomb, yet filled with priceless treasures that have captured the imaginations of millions and encouraged thousands to become Egyptologists.

I should have become one.

Ah, time has passed. Time always passes.

But there are times when I drift away, and once again, in ancient times and upon ancient lands,

I walk like an Egyptian.

Suicide and why it needs to be talked about.

Suicide runs in my family.

A few weeks before I was born my Uncle, or the man who would have held that role, Mums brother, committed suicide.

I don’t know why and although I’m sure I was told when the time was deemed appropriate, I cannot recall details.

Unfortunately I can vividly recall the 27th August 2015 and the presence, on my doorstep at 3.00am, of two policemen who, solemnly and carefully, informed me that they had forced entry into a house in Exeter and there discovered that my Mother has killed herself.

So, that’s how it goes.

I know it’s a difficult topic but it has to be addressed.

I am suicidal. I have suicidal ideation. I have a plan. I have the pills. My doctor knows, my mental health team knows, my partner knows.

Yet nobody actually wants to talk about it. When I tell them I just get a nod of the head and a “Well, don’t do anything silly” and we move on. Nobody asks why, persuades me it’s a bad idea, wants to get to the heart of the matter.

The Crisis team believe the fact you’ve eaten recently means you won’t go through with it but even the condemned have a last meal. It’s as though simply by talking about it you aren’t serious, it won’t happen, so why should anyone show any interest or pursue an active role in prevention ?.

I’m suicidal because I can’t abide living. I find my job stressful to the point of physical pain, I don’t like where I live, I have no interests or hobbies, I am cursed by Anhedonia, my body is wracked with pain, stiffness and weakness through Fibromyalgia and the after effects of two strokes, I have mental fogging, zero self esteem, hate my body and consider myself an utter failure in life.

But none of that matters.

It doesn’t matter because I can’t get people to see how desperate I get, how far I fall.

It’s as though they’re saying “We dare you to do it!”, because that’s the only way I’ll be taken seriously.

It’s like I’m being forced to try. Or forced to die.

I’m Autistic. I panic, I get anxious easily, I stress easily, I’m terrified of dying…yet I’m terrified of living. It’s not that I want to die but rather I wish I’d never been born.

So what do I do ?

Suicide. More and more that becomes the appealing option.

And it shouldn’t be.

But trying to talk about it ?.

That’s a dead end!