|Ivan the Terrible's hair shirt (16th century). The tsar wanted to die like a monk.|
You find me today in a typically self-loathing mood. The main reason? WALKING INTO WORK. Again.
I'm currently averaging one day a week walking in. It's really not enough. But I know that I'll always find an excuse - "ooh, it looks like rain", "I didn't sleep well last night", and so on and so on..
To be frank, that's all bollocks.
The main thing that stops me walking into work is fear of unlikely events happening which were talked about enough in my CBT sessions a couple of years back.
Knowing how unlikely these events are doesn't mean that I can switch my brain off. The old drip-drip-drip of unhelpful thoughts can keep any of us indoors.
The day I walked in this week I had a Board Meeting - I finished at 8pm but I felt great all day. Walking home with a friend, he actually struggled to keep up with me.
I know the benefits. I KNOW the benefits.
I just need to bloody crack on with it. And posting this to you is - in a sense - a way to embarrass myself into doing it.
To offer a bit of much-needed perspective, here's a poem which I picked up on Twitter earlier. One of my old Freelance jobs was to do with Literature Development in the East Midlands, and part of that involved me working with Jo Bell. She's a poet and was formerly Director of National Poetry Day - as a boat-dweller, she's currently Canal Laureate for the Poetry Society.
As I mentioned in my last post, any song lyric can mean something to anybody at any point in their lives - see great misunderstood songs of all time like "This Land Is Your Land", "Born In The USA", "You're Gorgeous".
(although Ms CrankyPants I'm still waiting for your interpretation of "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)")
And the same can obviously be said about poetry.
But this poem - "This Isn't Happening" by Anthony Wilson - is a remarkably accurate portrayal of what happens inside your head when you're handed a medical diagnosis which your brain cannot and will not compute. It certainly took me back to my own.
This is not happening. It happened. Past tense.Anthony was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, at the age of 42. Thanks to him for being gracious enough to let me share this here.
One day, every day, eight years, a minute ago.
When they told me, they said, they are saying.
Mr Wilson. Anthony. (Tony). Darling. My lover.
It looks like. If you could. You have great veins.
Here is a gown. Here is a bag. Here are your pills.
Yes, you will. Yes, you will. It will, yes. All of it.
We don’t know. (We will never know). We don’t know.
No. Because. Maybe your genes. More likely your.
It’s best if you. If you can. We advise it. Everyone.
One day, that day, this, after another, today, May.
I am not angry, was not, shall not be. But I am angry.
Today, when they said ‘Actually…’ A minute ago.
With perhaps and maybe. Not No. We love Yes.
Yesterday. When it happened. (Present tense). Now then.
It left, it is leaving, it never. I am still waving goodbye.
(view the poem on Anthony's website)