27/02/19 Well that was rather lovely.

Before I begin to wax eloquent about the beauty of the British countryside, I’ll say this…

Walking to help with a mental malady ONLY helps when it helps. To pretend it is some panacea that helps with all forms of mental ill health is…well…mental.

This evening I went out, on my own, for the second time this year, to enjoy my usual (regular when it’s regular) ramble around Warwickshire’s green and pleasant lands.

I’ve been crazy. Fucking crazy (you can look that up in the DSM-a milliion) and it’s been horrible – because that’s what mental ill health is – it’s shit.

As ever, the lovely Ella has been guiding my ship through these stormy waters – speaking to whoever needs to be spoken to – loving me – not judging me – gently stopping me from yelling, ‘Hey, look everybody, I’m cured!!’ to the world at large when the sun starts to break through the clouds…and when it looks like things have improved, applying gentle hands to stop me from running around like an over enthusiastic puppy, eyes popping out my head and tongue lolling, as I try to catch up with everything I’ve missed straight away.

To dull some of the pain (we’ve learned that during periods of deep dissociation, mindfulness and being in the moment can fuck right off) as well as a dark room and loud cop shows we increased my meds.

However…

Yark! Whether it was the malady or the medication or a mixture of both, I developed a few brand new symptoms.

Anxiety. As a rule my dissociation protects me from anxiety. My over zealous mind usually comes to my rescue from some unseen assailant – so instead of mental pain, I usually feel nothing. Not this time – this time my mind and body were in a state of hyper vigilance apropos nothing…just in case.

I’ve decided I don’t like anxiety.

On top of that, I experienced some memory shenanigans.

Here are some of the highlights…

Word finding difficulties – I completely mislaid a number of words including ‘circumcision’ (yes, I know it’s not a regular in daily conversation) and ‘referendum’ which was obviously my mind’s way of protecting me from…er…it’s on the tip of my tongue…

My PIN number that I’d had for around 12 years (security first!) vanished. I bravely did nothing about that, and whoosh…er…clunk…something or other jolted the old librarian who normally retrieves my memories back into action after about a month – and bingo – the number had returned…

Finally – weird shit – imagine my delight when I found the sugar in the fridge!

I’m back on my usual dose of meds and the world’s a bit more normal again.

Tonight’s walk was lovely though. I decided to start walking at dusk – finally conceding that I needed the torch on my phone for the last 10 minutes…but fuck, the world’s delicious at that time.

As blackbirds and pheasants settled in for the night I got to enjoy the magnificent acrobatics of some local bats as they pursued some unseasonal insects…

I passed a vast rookery – usually relatively quiet during the cold (well, increasingly warm) light of day, where the jackdaws (?) really kicked off at my very existence…

I was confronted by one of my most favourite British mammals – a hare – who raced up to me – screeching to a cartoonesque halt when it realised I was significantly bigger than them…

As a great big frog ambled past, it suddenly dawned on me that, in the darkness, wearing black, my head might make a delicious target for one of our larger predators – the whateveritis owl…as the darkness enveloped me like a big velvet blanket, I taunted myself with the image of the huge silent wings and the big pointy talons as it tore my head off in a Monty Python stylie.

Just to galvanise that bit of fear in my head, I heard the enthusiastic hoots of my potential nemesis…

I can do (to my mind, anyway) a passable impression of an owl hoot – which I stifled should it encourage an aerial bombardment.

All silliness aside, it was beautiful and, for prolonged periods, utterly silent.

Lovely.

So…just to remind you…going for a walk helps your mental health only when it helps your mental health…

Walk a Mile

Chris

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