Hope for the Heartbeat.

I took this particular blog below out of my Published format a while back now. I shoved it into Draft status. Said goodbye to negative content in the site uploads. On reflective reading again it was a very important decision to write it. The fact of depression comes from inside and outside sources. Since retirement? It has become a wonderful journey of positivity. It’s strange as to whether the experiences below belonged to the overwhelming nature of an unwanted lifestyle. Supporting others over a thirty year period and possibly feeling inadequate in abilities to do so effectively. I don’t know. There were times when I felt on top of the world as a nurse and supporting Deaf students. There were times of wringing your hands in angst. It never happened before when younger. Because when an ‘in artist persona’ existed it was a period where freedom and excitement existed in the acts of self expression. Musician, potter, photographer. That is why I have recent blog inclusions of why journalling and self expression in writing is a well being consideration. Fountain pens are more than an interest. They heal! Blogging and retirement are also great healers too it would seem.

The Blog. From a while back now.

“Until you’ve experienced the awful mind games? What happens? They Freeze your life’s purpose. When you should be experiencing Free your life’s purpose. Those unlooked for and unwelcome feelings of this mental health hot potato? It’s inherent badgering thoughts of ‘man up coz you’re supposed to be strong’. Express yourself in a positive light. Lose your boring negativity. Your boring me now. I’m boring myself now. People, I imagine, would say ‘If it matters that much to you, if it affects you that much? Just go see a doctor or a therapist and tell them you’re………….’

But it hasn’t got a simple name that lets you shout out your situation. And even if it had you’re too ashamed to actually reveal it. It’s always “This? This thing. This cloud of God knows what made it come alive and snigger and tease your mind”. It’s my problem. It’s part of my life. Part of me. And I live alongside it and it is has become my ‘fragile and quick to thump me in the stomach until I wanna throw up’ friend. My friend? It goes on holiday for a couple of days, but comes back and waves and tells you it’s stories….all over again. It even stays away for a few weeks and even better, months, enjoying it’s rest so it can come back with purpose and stronger than ever. It taps you on the shoulder and says ‘Hey! I’m back’.

I just don’t really ever, ever understand, or want or need to understand the despair inherent and the reality of this ‘I can’t see a way of getting out of this‘ situation. It lives it’s life and you live it’s life. It doesn’t kiss and make up. It throws it’s petulance with alarming force. So……what are we as supposed strong blokes to do? You imagine that many would snigger and say ‘You should be strong and man-up’. So you keep quiet.

Maybe we should all have a go at reading any written personal experiences and insight words that may change the self situation. The situation? You know? That wringing ringing in the brain that wakes you up at 04.18 am or an actual ringing 05.45 iPad alarm in the morning. A familiar ‘wake up call’ alarm on the iPad that trills that, as said, same old familiar Groundhog Day tune. It wakes you up with a mind battering ‘gasp’ and snapped eyes open expression of breathless……..ness. ’Hey!…..what just happened in that dream status’? A pulse rate at 150 beats a minute with grasp at images of the just escaped dreamed dreadful imagery. Then? It’s followed by fogged confusion and then the reality of ‘face up to another drudge filled and frightening‘ everyday and the same old, same old mixed up with a heaped spoonful of darker than dark darkness. Groan with ‘what the shit will the day bring and where do I go from here’ whispering on our lips. Dreadful. Not kidding. Absolutely dreadful.

You know what? I’m going to change the iPad alarm’s tune. Choice? A different one for everyday. iPad Apple, bless them, offer a whole list of trills and farts. There you go. That ‘Rainbow Cascade’ is going to be bin dumped and I’m waking up to Monday Mozart, Tuesday bird song, Wednesday waves on the shore, Thursday…….you get the picture.

So…….I’ll look for answers. The blessed bright spots in the day that actually do occur. Grasp them. Pull them in and hug them. Smell their freshness and vitality. Look for a self-help book or CD, music, hobby, walk next to the ocean, amongst the trees, up to a hill top, meditate, anything…..anything. Simply anything or, actually, anyone else’s story of surfing and survival of times where their monster was kept at bay.

Kept at bay? It’ll always be on the shore. But. As a staff nurse I myself taught ACT (the mindfulness based Acceptance and Commitment therapy course) to the local community. It’s one true, stand apart sentence? “You are not your mind!”. I have to practice what I pretend to preach. I am not my mind.

And then………..Some of the lines from ‘Hope for the Heartbeat’ lyrics by Bill Nelson spring into my mind.

Tender or brittle, take your chance,

Come to your senses, enter the trance

Here is a rumour I have heard,

You believe in your past like a weeping bird,

Sleep is the key to another world,

The things I dream nearly blow my mind away

Hope for the heartbeat

Hope for the heartbeat

Luckily. I have a wonderful ability. I can pull up my other mind. A more beautiful mind. I don’t have to believe one is inherent. It does exist. I write stories that show it is inherent. Sometimes it’s deep down there somewhere. Sitting, relaxing and getting stronger from having a holiday break. I can pull up the anchor that’s dragged it down to the oceans floor, head out to the sea, start a different journey and rub my hands because adventures await. Wave bye bye to that swirling part of my life cloud that hovers over the beach I’ve just left behind. Look to a new horizon. Look at the stars. Look at my family. Look at my friends. Anyone that gives hope. Anything that gives hope. That way. I’ll feel a little stronger and feel………I maybe actually belong in this world. Start over again. ‘Hope for the Heartbeat’ as Bill Nelson sang…”.

13 thoughts on “Hope for the Heartbeat.”

    1. Thanks Richard. It’s great that almost two years into retirement the stress and it’s lovely sidekicks have long since gone. Looking into getting Cape Cod at some point today. Interestingly, the Nature Fix is pretty enlightening. Stuck inside cupboards with the names College, University and Hospital Wards kind of creates claustrophobic if you allow it to. Arriving and leaving work in outside darkness too. Thoreau’s writing kind of hit the nail on the head really. Nature does heal and fix. All the best.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Imagining walking North with you and the many other amazing bloggers I have met in this space, along Marconi Beach, in Wellfleet, heading towards Head of the Meadow Beach, in Truro, and then on to the Parabolic Dunes in Provincetown. Yeah, some imaginings are precious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What you’ve just written has pinpointed all this blogging and exchanging in a nutshell. It’s why it’s a fine thing being active and expressing thoughts on here. Now I’m intrigued regarding the Marconi Beach, etc. spaces and places. It needs a Google image search to put myself in the same visual headspace. I’ll make up the accompanying imagined sounds. Cheers Richard. All the best.


      1. Oh, let me go find the google map of this, I’m just really bad placing images in the comments. Let me see what I can figure out. If not, I’ll post about these things later today.


      2. I will be writing a blog about it. Gotta get subject themes from somewhere. Looking at it now and it is pretty cute. They knew how to plaster on top of lath pretty well in those days.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with Grumpytyke, a like doesn’t seem appropriate, but I wanted to acknowledge reading and appreciating the courage it took to post this.

    I’m glad that since Covid, mental health discussions are more ‘out in the open’ but I think you’re also right, it’s very difficult for men to talk about their depression and other mental health issues. I hope, by opening up here, you will encourage others – or at lease reassure some they are not alone.

    I’ve never suffered depression to any great extent but I also know how helpless you can feel trying to help someone who’s been broken by the pressures and stress of the job, and of bad/toxic managers. It must also have been difficult for your wife, not knowing what to do or how to help.

    I’m sorry that you had to go through the turmoil and chaos of depression. What comes through from your post is the sense of being adrift. I’m glad your retirement has been a positive experience for you.

    I think what the medical professionals have had to endure in the past 2 years has added to the mental health problems of many.

    As an aside, I was also shocked to hear that NHS staff with long covid are getting their sick pay entitlement cut. I know this will be HR policy … but these people are sick because they put their lives on the line for everyone else.

    Thanks again, Gray for sharing your own experiences. I feel you’ve given me a really clear insight into the emotional quagmire of depression.

    Sending hugs


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Brenda. I kind of posted it because I now feel it’s gone. Done and dusted and brought about by, as you said, the whole impact of working environments. It’s strange, but you don’t express because you hide behind it all. And deep down you know it can change with the ‘If only…..’ phrase. I spoke to one fellow nurse who had similar experiences and she said that in actuality, no one is really aware. It had a bubbling underneath unsettling presentation accompanied with an outward smile. Strange but you do not hang on to the feelings. They come and go. And. They’re not worth it. You see other impacting scenarios that are really good and take them as oases and nirvanas. Now. Honestly. The whole thing has gone. I’m retired and loving life. All the best and thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am fortunate in that I rarely am depressed for more than a day, and my body usually tells me to take a day off. I enjoy writing with the fountain pen but have never written to outline what is happening inside me. I use it to take notes and scribble an outline of an idea I want to present to others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good that you can take that day off. It makes all the difference to be able to take stock when your body and mind need it. Retirement has now afforded me the same. I hope you are enjoying the fountain pen experience. It’s easier to write with than a ballpoint I believe. Your writing notes and ideas is probably perfect for everyday or practical use and getting back that long time past ease of use. And my experience was that a pen becomes more familiar and favourable the more it’s used. These pens are a constant for myself in whatever is written now. A shopping list to a piece of nonsense thought and on to a considered journal entry. Reflective writing was encouraged in nursing practice to improve and keep you on the ball. Hence ease of journal writing now. I don’t miss self analysis for job reflection at all though. But I know that a lot of research re: well being can be found in journalling for men. It’s good to hear your experiences and views. All the best.

      Liked by 1 person

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