Friday, 23 March 2012

On Getting A Good Night's Sleep


On Missing The Bleedin' Obvious

For the last couple of years I have been tired; I don't mean just yawning a bit but so tired I could hardly function.  I'd wake up tired, I have to sleep in the morning, I'd have a nap in the afternoon and be just about awake for the evening.  Even though I'm retired I didn't have the energy to tackle the backlog of DIY in all round the house and garden - I was too tired to think straight.

I spoke to the GP and she, twice, sent me for blood tests but they didn't show any reason for me being tired.  Given the amount of medication I'm on (for depression, bronchiectasis, asthma etc etc) I began to feel I should just get used to it and to make the most of what energy I'd got left.

And then I saw the light


It said "updating"

You see in our bedroom we had an old TV with built in video player (yes, that old) and in order to watch DVDs and digital TV we'd bought a DVD/HD Recorder.  Now this wonderful piece of kit can record TV from its programme guide but to do this it has to keep the guide up to date.  Some bright spark had the brilliant idea of getting it to do this at about 4am each day and, just to add to the fun, get it to make little beeping noises while it goes about its work!  Now I'm a light sleeper and so that was enough noise if not to wake me but to disturb me out of a deep sleep.

It was a couple of weeks ago that the penny dropped - it nearly always said  "updating" on the front of the machine when I woke up at night.  First we unplugged it and, when this seemed to help, have replaced it with a basic DVD player to go with the new TV that we'd bought in the meantime.

I now wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and can actually get through the day without sleeping.  All that remains is to work out how to link the DVD/HD Recorder into the system in the living room so that we can record from cable as well.

The moral is the answer can be literally in front of your eyes.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Eli, Eli, lamasabachthani?

For me living with depression is something I have had to get used to; it will always be with me.  Medication is definitely helping but the level of medication needed to eradicate the depression would also kill me as a person - I'd exist in a dulled world.  Of late I have got better at noticing the warning signs and consciously adjusting my  behaviour to prevent a crash.  However there are times when external factors jump up on me giving me no time to adjust and this happened to me the other night.  I am currently fighting off a chest infection with the aid of antibiotics and oral steroids and this and the enforced inactivity won't have helped.  However I was still surprised when I plunged into despair while trying to get to sleep and what I experienced led to the following poem.

Eli, Eli, lamasabachthani?

My God, My God, why have You deserted Me?
I cried in the dark of the night

My God, My God, why have You deserted Me?
As the thick veil of depression enshrouded me

My God, My God, why have You deserted Me?
As hope faded to nothing

And then I was silent

And in the silence a voice spoke
“I thought you’d deserted me.

In your pain and suffering I was always there
Even when the fog descended
But you let go of my hand when you lost sight of me.”

My God, My God, why have I deserted You?

Friday, 9 March 2012

How to Keep Your Brain With You

Today I came across the following on my friend Stephy's Facebook page which I think sums up what I mean by Don't Leave Your Brain at the Door:

Bertrand Russell’s 10 commandments for 
 everyone with a brain

The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:
  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

In my opinion a good place to start using these rules is in Church and when you read the Bible - you'd be surprised what wonders and truths are to found in the Bible if you just approach it with an open mind.