Over-thinking and Under-playing…

I think I have a tendency to over-think things too much. A lifetime’s history of recurring depression and therapy and medication has left me hyper-vigilant to any warning signs of yet another potential depressive episode, to the extent that my constantly guarded concern gets in the way of the rest of life, clouding my judgement and darkening my horizons unnecessarily. Being so hyper-vigilant to attack all the time is quite frankly exhausting – it drains all the fun out of life, turning me into being a wizened, dried-up old stick-in-the-mud before my time.

I can see that what I really need to do is to loosen up, lighten up – let go a bit more, enjoying the good things in life as they come to me, and just have some fun while I can. Unfortunately, though, it seems that for me the other side of over-thinking the bad stuff is a tendency to under-play all the good stuff.

It’s not that I don’t see it as good as such, more that I just don’t always rate it as important to focus on – I don’t value it highly enough for it to register as meaningful on my internal radar. I’m always on the look-out for potential trouble in all things, so anything positive I see is automatically tainted with inherently negative threat, keeping me wary – a bit like the potential threat of being caught in friendly-fire in a front-line battle-zone. And that, too, is draining the life out of me.

So I feel that it’s way past time for me to move on from holding that persistently precarious position. Perhaps if I were deliberately to allow my blog to become only a positively creative space in which to explore the possibilities of having fun in life, playing both with words and pictures in whatever way I see fit, then that might help me break the bad habit of incessant doom-mongering. After all my real life is full enough of fretting and worrying without having (inadvertently) added another outlet for indulging the inevitable negativity that goes along with it.

It’s not so much a wholesale change of blog direction I’m looking for as a much-needed tightening up of remit – I can still be as randomly meandering as I like, just as long as each post radiates positive creativity overall rather than negatively draining the energy from the page. Part of my problem to date seems to be that I don’t associate a positive mind-set with being genuinely ‘me’ – but I feel it’s time that association changed for the better, allowing me to find a happier future, not only for me but also by extension for my long-suffering family… 🙂

Drifting, Not Meandering…

My blog no longer feels as if it’s meandering comfortably with me through life – instead I feel as if I’m just drifting aimlessly from one post to the next, unsure of why I’m even still trying to keep it up.

I sometimes worry that I’m using blogging as a form of instant gratification to force myself to feel better about life – I post something, people like it or comment on it, and I feel better for a bit. I tell myself – see, you’re still taking photographs, still writing haiku, still holding an online conversation and making sense, so on the surface you must be alright.

But underneath it all, I have to ask myself – am I?

I know it doesn’t ever take much to knock me off-course in life; I feel as if I’m always balanced on a knife-edge looking steadfastly forwards with courage and hope that this time the equilibrium will last. Then some little insignificant thing causes me to take my eye off the future for a moment and suddenly I have no idea where I am, or even why I am?

Have you ever watched Runaway Bride, with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? That moment on their first, would-be wedding day when Julia Roberts’ character is walking up the aisle towards Richard Gere with her eyes fixed firmly to his. Then her dad takes a photograph, and the camera flash dazzles her, breaking her eye contact, and suddenly she panics and bolts yet again.

That’s how tenuous my grip on any meaningful positive reality feels sometimes. I can be feeling relatively up-beat, and then in a flash of something or nothing, it’s all gone, just like that. So I know right now I need to get myself back on track before I seriously start to lose my way again; gently work through why I suddenly feel so lost, apparently out of the blue.

I guess the bottom line is I just want to feel like Mad Meandering Me again, not Desperately Drifting Depressive…

Lost in the Myths of Time…

Behind all the movies and TV dramas documenting the never-ending speculation over the identity of Jack the Ripper, it’s all too easy to forget that regardless of the man behind the myth, his five confirmed victims were real women, with real lives, who suffered very real and brutal deaths at his hands.

The first and fourth of his victims, Mary Ann ‘Polly’ Nicholls and Catherine Eddowes, were buried in communal graves in the City of London Cemetery in Manor Park, East London, not far from where I live. Today, two small round plaques laid in the ground either side of a pathway mark the general area of their last resting places – single flowers are often placed there by passers-by who realise the significance of the names.

Second victim Annie Chapman was buried by her family in Manor Park Cemetery, and third victim Elizabeth ‘Long Liz’ Stride was buried in East London Cemetery.

And his fifth and final victim Mary Jane Kelly, also known as Marie Jeanette Kelly, was buried in St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cemetery here in Leytonstone. Although the small grave marker that exists today is not the original, and may no longer even indicate the exact spot of her burial, again flowers are often left in her memory.

Five real women living in dire poverty in London’s notorious East End in the late 1880s, all for varying reasons down on their luck with no-one to help support them, all brutally murdered by a madman over a period of a few short months well over a hundred years ago, all now sadly lost in the myths of time…

Marie-Jeanette-Kelly‘None but the lonely hearts can know my sadness. Love lives forever’