During our day-to-day lives, many choices and decisions need making or are made from when we are out of bed to when sleep comes at night. On some nights, there may be little sleep with tossing and turning, with a momentary escape into anxiety dreams or nightmares; the disturbing racing thoughts in the brain are often about an undecided quandary between two choices or worrying about the outcome of a decision already made.
The season for a fresh start seemed upon us with its promise of renewal and healing. Out of the deep darkness, a seed, a kernel of insight, grows towards the light and life with opportunity and challenge. People were reemerging after a trying and difficult period with some hopefulness of new beginnings.
The scourges of a pandemic seemed to recede with the anticipation of a reopening of society. The regaining of prosperity and security was the hope. But then, there was the possibility of new variants and surges. There were still people that had lost their faith in science, vaccines, climate control, our government, and democracy.
|Ron Parks, MD Feb 25|
Valentine’s day that passed recently reminds me that there are more profound realities than myself and related busyness. The holiday about love and relationship almost got overlooked, with my over-involvement and preoccupation with what I was doing. Luckily, my wife and something in the news gave a subtle reminder of Valentine’s Day coming. After reflecting on the day’s special significance—love, relationship, and our mutual interdependence—I went into action with roses and a special day together.
Unfortunately, the loveliness of the holiday was diminished by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The dynamics of relationship and choice-making become even more poignant when seeing the tragedy of another war unfolding. I reflected on the relationship between an individual’s emotional and mental functioning and extension to one’s social group, society, or country.
We all experience what seems like a bit of inattention that leads to a disaster—a disruption in the flow and harmony of daily life. A burned tea kettle incident led to the exploration of the deeper operations of our inner psychology, its related outer expression, and the different levels of awareness and personal meaning of possessions.
My wife and I had sat down to watch a recent movie about a family with turmoil and conflict. After the first short segment, we suddenly became aware and jumped up. We had forgotten about the tea kettle…
I’m Simon, and I have bipolar disorder. I like to joke that I was a late bloomer, very tongue in cheek, because that was far from the truth. I was in my mid-forties when I physically collapsed. Life and everyone in it just became too much and my mind and body had come to a place where something had to give, or in my case, both gave way at the same time.
I spent a long time in bed thinking that the heart palpitations, cause by my excessive drinking, were killing me. Eventually, I took a stupid Am I Bipolar? test in a magazine, and found that I ticked all of the boxes. That led me back to my GP, who set me up with an appointment with Arno, my first psychiatrist. Within an hour, and with prescription in hand, I entered life after diagnosis and the circus show that comes when dealing with extended family and friends. Luckily, I had Jax to help me...
As a nine-year-old boy, while enjoying the warmth of the midday sun, I was easing my way out onto a branch of a wild apple tree. It was in a deserted field with the sweetest green apples I had ever tasted. These weren’t like the shiny red ones you can buy at the local store. The tree’s singular presence in an untamed field of weeds and wildflowers made it an even more tempting challenge to climb.
In his timely book, now published, Ronald R. Parks, MPH, MD, examines the impact of COVID-19 or other forms of crisis, loss, or tragedy on individual mental health.
The spin away from the“inconvenient truths” in the current COVID-19 crisis, represents business and politics at their worse.
In business and politics, controlling the narrative towards what will win customers, build a brand, or gain a captive audience of followers, can be the way towards profits or power. People’s awareness and attention, unfortunately, gets diverted away from critical issues that need action. Not attending to these vital issues is a formula for disaster and recurrence of tragedies like the deadly pandemics from COVID-19.
The current COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call to understand all the contributing factors, and steps needed to protect ourselves and future generations from recurrences and the devastation.
Hopefully, soon, COVID-19 will peak and subsides. Its rapid spread and lethality have had a devastating and tragic effect on the most vulnerable people and the vital infrastructure of our society.
When the final analysis is done, what will be learned and taken away as practical ideas or as more profound wisdom? Some useful areas of interest and inquiry may focus on
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