A trick of the mind

Recently I have been posting pictures of wonderful landscapes and sights on twitter and Facebook, the kind of places that all too often just seem to have stepped out of our imaginations and are suddenly there in front of us. Some I have selected as I just knew they would be the sights others would enjoy but most are sights I enjoy, places I wish had been here in Scotland so that I could have seen them, places that all seem to have a moody and mystic feel to them, the places that somehow I see myself in. Travel has always been something I just wasn’t interested in, after several horrid childhood holidays abroad, where all I wanted was to go home, I have never left the UK again. My first marriage found me living all over the country, but it wasn’t until we moved to Rhu that I started to feel as though I was in a place that felt like home, maybe that had something to do with me finding the strength to walk away from what was a destructive relationship, in every meaning of the word. I spent many hours walking over the mountains and shoreline, hours of thinking in places that seemed somehow to make me feel good, feel strong and feel able to do anything. It is one thing that I honestly believe and that is we all have places, that makes us feel safe and secure, not in the way your home or your bed does, but safe in the bigger picture of the world, for me that has always been and always will be Scotland. As much as the mountains are beautiful and the castles majestic, it is the sea that holds me, the sea that makes me feel connected if that is possible to everything that ever existed.

I have spent far more time than I really should have in the last couple of weeks just looking a pure beauty in the form of pictures, the most beautiful are always those that don’t have bright sunshine or everything perfectly arranged, they are the places where man hasn’t been able to destroy. It is odd to find after so many years of trying to make everything around me perfect that I actually find the wild, the disorganised and the purely natural are the places I feel most at home in. They say that it is never too late to learn anything, even things about yourself, but in my case, they couldn’t be more wrong if they tried. Even if I could get out of this house and into a car, I still would never be where I want to be, as no car can go where there is no sign of humans, as it is one in itself. For me, a discovery of a need to be in the wild places has arrived too late, simply because when I could have made those journeys, I didn’t know most of them even existed. I have said it before, but this generation growing up now are so lucky, the world is there for them to explore and find what is right for them before they go anywhere, they are not restricted to believing what they are taught and been shown is the only way to live.

Chronic illness can be so frustrating, not just because of all the things you can’t do, but it seems to love find and showing you more and more things that you can’t ever do, just to make it that bit tougher. Looking at a picture of a wild sea isn’t anything like stand there with the wind and spray in your hair, any more than remembering what it is like to run is anything like the waddle and shuffle your legs can achieve now. I don’t often think about what I can’t do unless I am forced to, or a situation arrives when I need a certain skill and it just isn’t there anymore. It hasn’t been a logically thought out or devised plan, more a case of self-preservation that my mind has created all on its own and has stopped me from looking back in that way. I spend a lot of time remembering things, but I am not aware of thinking about what I was doing in that situation, I might be thinking about a great night in a club when I was DJing, but I don’t think about the fact I was always dancing to, my motion, or actions seem to have faded if that makes sense. I can see myself in any situation that I have been in, but I am now motionless, or if moving I glide rather than physically using my body, watching not doing. It feels as though my past is now a film that I watch, without me actually ever being part of it.

I guess that we are more complex than we can ever imagine, that our own minds can deal with all those things that we thought would destroy us far better than we give it credit for. Just like when someone dies and you believe that you will never take another breath as your entire self is in so much pain that life feels impossible, but yet you do go on, your mind heals that pain until it is at a level you can deal with and still live. I never once thought that living in a housebound world would actually feel normal and acceptable, but here I am, alive, still living from day to day and not yearning for, or missing all the things I thought I would. Strangely I miss the things I never had, but that could happen to anyone, disabled or able-bodied, maybe we should all give ourselves more credit for being able to cope with what we think we can’t. The human brain really is amazing, it really is there to protect us and if we just let it do its job, well we can adapt to anything. I suppose if there is one thing history can teach us about ourselves and that is we always survive, as long as our heart continues to beat, we continue to be and we can always make the best of anything. Just think of those who made it through concentration camps, or imprisonment by the Japanese during WW2, they got through it and most went on to have full good lives. Nothing is forgotten just dealt with and eventually held where their futures were protected from it. It is nothing like nearly as extreme, but I think it is similar to what my brain has done in taken away all that could pull me down and now letting me only see my life in a way that allows me to go on, to be happy and to be able to cope. Yes, I can override it’s chosen view, I can make myself remember every detail if I choose, but what would that achieve other than pain I don’t need. Sometimes in life, it is better to accept things just as they are, especially if that acceptance isn’t hurting anyone and is allowing you to be able to keep living and to keep being happy.


Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 01/05/12 – Agent No.7

I found myself today following what I call my memory trail, not all of the thing on this trail are real items that belong to the memories, but object that in my mind I have used to mark those times. Those of you who have read the bulk of my blog will know about the reasons for the trail but briefly for those who haven’t, I set the trail up as a way to test and store memories, things that I don’t want ever to forget, but due to my MS I have a high chance of losing. When I knew what my future held and I had seen for myself the beginning of gaps that were difficult to access, I decided to try and beat it at its own game, giving me a way to hopefully always remember. The journey today was not a planned one but completely accidental. I am reasonably fogged in today and holding my thoughts in one place is proving difficult to do. I do have some tricks……