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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

today's #avalonreads

There are some days I don't have enough spoons to do a whole blog post on my daily reading; I will share a quote or picture on social media instead. 

I'm at the chapter of health in Today Matters, by John Maxwell, where he exhorts the reader to make a decision towards healthy habits, and be disciplined in keeping them. His example of how exercise yields no weight loss in one day, but after a period of time, if done regularly, results appear - made me think about my obsession with reading.

I'm beginning to think that reading is helping me heal. The effects are small at first - just like exercise - you won't see any results overnight; you have to keep at it regularly. I still can't articulate how exactly reading is helping me, but I probably will, soon enough.

Reading aside, I do exercise daily. Less cardio nowadays but 18 exercises for specific muscle building as physiotherapy for my injuries, every day. Sometimes I can't even complete half of them all, but then I try to get back on track within the next day or two. No, I don't enjoy it.

John Maxwell does imply - very minimally - that the chapter on health includes mental health. I guess that my daily journalling, doing visualisation and mindfulness exercises, and weekly psychotherapy sessions count as taking care of my mental health.

I am still on Trauma Stewardship by Lipsky and Burk - I highly recommend it for anyone working or volunteering in helping professions which expose you to the trauma endured by our planet, by animals, or by fellow humans.

Today's chapter is on building compassion and community, the third of five recommendations to rebuild ourselves after exposure to trauma in our work. The first way to do so is in creating a microculture. 

I feel this message of community repeating itself through what I read every day in books and online. But the truth is, right now I'm isolated. I'm not able to build a support network at the moment because I've taken a leave of absence from leading our organisations, which means isolating myself from the volunteers. Friends from the past have either moved on or are far too busy with family and work to reconnect.

People who - do - want to connect, I don't feel the same way towards them most of the time. Lack of chemistry? Perhaps I'm not ready to love a friend because I have no love to give right now. And, I've definitely tried to connect with the people I want to relate with, unfortunately they are usually very busy people. I think I will just stick to writing to an anonymous audience online for now, specifically here, Twitter and Instagram (no Facebook because I loathe that platform). Is that a microculture in itself?

Next, from The Noonday Demon, Andrew Solomon:

Fact: I am uninsurable because I am on medication for psychiatric condition; only those who have been off medication for say, three years, can be considered for insurance. 

But as you can see from what Solomon has written, and a fact I know for myself, I am likely to be permanently on medication. Excluding the childhood experiences, the breakdown I've been on for the past decade is not the first; I had one around age 20 give or take (depression warped my sense of time then). 

If not for my other half supplying me funds I would be without aid. Before I had him I tried asking for financial aid and was rejected. I've said this before and I will say it again: this country's government needs to do way more for mental illness patients. 

I leave you with this, from Pinball 1973 by Haruki Murakami.

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