Dreams and sleep

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New Beginnings-Week Two

Published January 20, 2022 by shoutyourheadoff

I am a few days late updating my log of the story of the new beginnings. But better late than never, I say. Seriously, though, due to bereavements in the family and covid related illnesses, my focus was elsewhere. Thankfully, it wasn’t me who had the Covid symptoms but a family member. I still managed to keep to my diet and although I did not get the desired weight loss, I am on track.

Emotionally, it’s been a tough two weeks. Nothing to do with the diet though. I learnt yesterday, that a childhood friend of my wife has lymphoma- cancer of the glands in the neck and is seriously ill. I’m praying for her daily now. The news came as a shock to me. I had not heard from her for nearly a year and I was feeling a bit peeved at not receiving any contact. But I haven’t stopped castigating myself for this feeling I had towards her and am constantly berating myself. You never know the circumstances of someone and having negative views had made me rethink how I feel about close friends who have not stayed in touch. Maybe, they are thinking the same as I am, because I didn’t stay in touch either.

So I managed to lose only another half a kilo, but small losses over the eight-week target should show the result I am after which is a 10-kilogram weight loss and a possible very positive result with my diabetes’ reversal progress. I have maintained my exercise regime of walking, indoor cycling and stretching daily.

I also learned from other people who have had strict regimes in their lifestyle. Like eating freshly cooked homemade meals everyday, within diet limits. No junk food or outside sourced food at all. Three meals a day and the last meal of the day should be 6.30pm latest. After that, early to bed for a minimum eight hours sleep. Apparently, the brain works even harder during our sleep, so this is most important for the brain and body to get a really good night’s sleep.

The above is very hard to follow in today’s busy lifestyles. Maintaining a certain strict regimen in your life takes some doing, especially if you’re in a family unit that has differing dietary needs. But now that I have managed to bring some form of regular eating and exercise habits in my life, I am feeling much better. My body doesn’t ache anymore and my moods are much better, meaning I have clearer thinking through the day. I feel confident, better about myself and look forwards to getting up. I enjoy cooking, experimenting with new dishes that are not fattening, but definitely wholesome.

Looking forward to write my next update again in week 3…….

My Emotional State -Revisited

Published December 28, 2021 by shoutyourheadoff

The last time I wrote about my emotional state was way back in 2017. Almost five years now, and the rollercoaster of emotions is still in full flow. For everyone, and myself and my family, the past two years have been very difficult indeed due to the Covid pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

Going backward, I talked about my wife who was very ill and had been given a maximum of 5 years to live. Unfortunately, she passed away in August 2019. And then about 9 months later, my eldest sister passed away, at the end of April 2020. Many other relatives have died too, but sometimes,in times of your own grief, even this is difficult to talk about. It was already a difficult time and losing family members at the very difficult time of the Covid 19 lockdown was harder as people were not allowed to say goodbye to loved ones in the hospital. Added to that, funerals were a maximum of 10 attendees. My emotional state in 2017 wasn’t revealed fully. As humans, we often can’t open up fully about our emotions and when they are heightened, then it’s even more difficult. I was hoping that I wasn’t going to use the word”depression” or “depressed”. Owning up that there is something seriously wrong with your mind, and body and feelings don’t come easily, because acceptance of that fact by the self is the first step. I wanted so much to open my mind to someone professional or even a close friend or a stranger even. Things building up needed to come out, but the bottle top was tightly shut and wasn’t budging. The days going forward got harder and I was putting on the biggest pretense of my life. I was behaving normally every day, and little did people know what was really happening inside. I should have won an Oscar for my performance from 2017 till even now in 2021.

When I look back and analyze what was going wrong, it makes me too emotional. I was dealing with a lot of traumatic incidences in my life, and also learning to be a full-time carer to someone who was the most active, exuberant, lively, happy-go-lucky person that I had the pleasure of knowing and being a husband to. When someone, whose personality I have just described goes into a serious illness and isn’t able to even look after her basic needs is in a more emotional upheaval than yourself. So then, how could I have shown my softer side that was also killing my thought process? It was killing my feelings. It was killing how I interacted daily, especially when I had to put on an act. It was killing me physically too as I wasn’t taking care of my own health. And the heart problem I had in 2016 was a reminder of how quickly one’s life can take a drastic turn. It could have been fatal, but I survived.And thankfully too. Because I always think, about how my wife would have coped if I hadn’t been around. I am forever thankful to God for saving me and making me be a carer to someone, whom I had loved with all my heart and spent 40 happy years with.

You know, watching someone die daily in front of your eyes is extremely hard. Because you feel so so helpless. You can go about your daily life, wishing, praying, looking for a miracle, and knowing that it’s not coming.

Back to my emotional state. Back in 2017, I was in a bad state, and now in 2021, I am in the same state, but coping better. Losing my wife was tough and every lonely second makes it tougher. I am quite a strong-minded person and usually deal with all my problems, even though I know that I need to get that help, which we all know is out there. I took that step once, guided by my elder brother, who took it upon himself to book me a free session. I went to the counselor. Before reaching her office, I had my trepidations but went there anyway. I sat opposite her, having been made comfortable and relaxed. As the questions came, with an invitation to say what I needed to, without being led there, I had already broken down into my second or third sentence. I tried to compose myself. It was no good. That pent-up emotion was bubbling out fast, making me hurt even more. I couldn’t carry on. I had to excuse myself, to use the bathroom hoping to go back and start afresh. No way. It was not happening. I thanked the nice lady and decided to leave. When I sat back in the car, I broke up again. I knew what was wrong. I knew what was getting into my head. I knew this was the path to take. Cry. Weep. Sob, whatever, just get back in there and start again. Instead, the demon that has been destroying my insides, won. I drove off.

Can you imagine how I was feeling of late? If I can’t talk to a professional, then who?

I know that what I have bottled up needs to escape from within. It going to hurt something crazy. But I have to do it, or the pent-up emotions, feelings, state of mind are going to destroy the essence of my soul.

I’ve got a set of oracle cards given to me by my daughter a couple of years ago. They are called “Messages from your Animal Spirit Guides”. I am a bit of a sceptic when it comes to horoscopes and similar types of cards, eg, Tarot cards. However, I have had surprising results on many an occasion. I saw the box lying on the kitchen counter and decided to pick three random cards after a good shuffle. And the animals that would be my spirit guides came out as “PUEO”(poo-ay-oh) which is a hawaiian owl. The short message on the card was “your spirit guides are offering guidance now, so pay close attention to signs and omens from them”

There is a full explanation in the guide book that accompanies the cards. I was quite surprised by this card as it was telling me that I was being guided by some ancestors that have died, no matter when and how old. I lost my brother-in-law on the 5th of January 2022. How odd. My wife died on 5th of August 2019. So who is guiding me . I have been in a quandary about a personal matter that I have not dealt with yet. There have been many deaths in the family in the past 25 years or so. And so it could be anyone, but I feel, it may be someone I think of daily.

My second card was a Penguin. “the period of darkness you have been experiencing is passing” read the short message. When I read the full explanation, I was again aghast with surprise. without going into great detail, it told me everything that I have been trying to write about in this emotional rollercoaster of mine. Almost to the letter, there were things in there that came up that were and have been part of my upheaval and healing process. It talked about all the hardships and challenges I have been experiencing of late. It talked about the loss of loved ones. It talked about daily difficulties. And so it went, revealing a surprising amount of what my emotional state is all about. Maybe, these words in the guide will help me do the self healing?

And the final card was a Weasel. The short note read “be silent, pay attention and simply observe with your eyes, ears, and physical feelings what is happening inside and all around you”. The detailed content in the guide talked about the stuff I have endured so far and how I should take a deep breath and another and another and then listen to my enviornment , my body, the feelings I have etc. As I had dealt myself these three random cards, and being the non -believer that I can be, I felt a little energised. I felt maybe, even though these are just oracle cards, maybe, there is some thruth in what each one portrays. For me, it was exactly what is, and has happened in my life so far. I don’t intend to pull another three cards tomorrow, but the temptation remains in the form of intrigue.

Photo Challenge: Chaos

Published November 6, 2016 by shoutyourheadoff

via Photo Challenge: Chaos

It’s 6.30 in the morning and I know I have got to get up off the bed and start my daily ritual.But instead, I press the snooze button on the digital alarm and wait with eyes closed for the next beep beep beep to wake me from my much-needed rest.And sure enough there it goes beep beep beep. I angrily press the stop button and rise off the bed . I get up angry most mornings at the moment. The days are long but filled with trepidation.I don’t look forward to the days. I would rather sleep and forget there ever was, any daylight.

First task, now what was that. Maybe it’ll come to me when I’m brushing my teeth. So off I go to the bathroom and follow my daily ritual, all the time my mind is trying to recall what I was supposed to do. I must have in on the post-it- note in the kitchen for sure. I’ll look when I go down to make my coffee. I’m in the kitchen and put on the kettle to boil. Now where is that post-it -note.? Ah, there it is stuck to the fridge. Get medicine ready for the day. But why? Whose are these ? My mind is in all directions. I haven’t made that coffee yet. Maybe, just maybe after I have had a wake me up caffeine shot, My mind will work better. As I get the mug from the shelf, the phone rings. I better pick that up. It’s another call from some company trying to make me sigh up for something or the other. Without hanging up, I place the phone on the kitchen counter and go back to my task. Now, what was I doing ? Ah, yes coffee. something’s working . So I make that coffee and go back to the phone. Poor bloke is still blabbering on . I put it back on the kitchen counter and walk to the lounge. Now why have I come here ? I am not dressed. The time is only half past seven. I sit down lethargically. No urgency in today. Thinking about this increases the anger. I look blankly at the blank tv screen whilst sipping my coffee.Did I turn it on ? Questions follow questions.I could sit here and think about all the whats and whys and wheres and who etc. It’s something I do a lot now with no clear direction.This is now normal for me. I think I will go back to my world of sleep because my mind is in chaos|

inline-the-company-chaos-you-dont-know-youre-creating

Daily Prompt: Eerie

Published November 1, 2016 by shoutyourheadoff

via Daily Prompt: Eerie

I suddenly woke up in the morning a few mornings ago. Something different about the feel around me. Too silent. Then I realised that there must be a power cut as the ceiling fans were not turning. The small lamp in the corner was off too, which was unusual as it’s always on through the night. There was a dull and dark feeling in the room.

I got out of bed gingerly as I had a slipped disc and needed to be careful. I noticed that the freezer in the kitchen was off too. Then I realised that there must be a power cut, so I got the keys and with my walking stick and night slippers on, I went out to see if it was a powercut all around the neighbourhood. I knocked on my neighbour’s door and before I could ask the question, Lorraine said yes, it is a power cut. I exchanged a few pleasantries and then said goodbye and walked back to my house.

When I got back insideI got my mobile phone to call the energy supply company but I could not get a signal. The home phone was unusable due to the power cut. So once again, I walked carefully to the front door and into the porch. The inner door was ajar by at least a foot.

I found the energy company’s phone number and called them As I was doing so, I faced out of the porch to see if the signal was better. Eventually, I got a signal and the phone started to ring out. All of a sudden, the inner door shut behind me as if somebody had pushed the door shut ! I was locked out as I had left the keys on the kitchen counter. How will I get back inside? I am in my slippers and my pyjamas stuck in the porch ! I called the house phone to call my wife but of course, it wasn’t working. Suddenly I remembered I had a credit card in the mobile phone’s sleeve. I was already feeling like a burglar and standing up straight was difficult due to the back pain. I put the card in the gap where the latch was and fiddled about until the door opened. What a relief. I immediately sat down on the armchair and breathed a sigh of relief, and then the eerie feeling dawned on me. How did the door slam behind me?

I remembered other small incidents in the past few days too. Like a loaf of bread falling from the top of the bread bin onto the kitchen counter. An empty plastic bottle that was left on the window sill for recycling had also dropped to the floor.Strange noises throughout the day as well, especially when it was quiet. I could hear somebody walking upstairs and always thought it was my wife  but when I checked, it wasn’t her.Each time I was alone downstairs in the living room!

Now if that is not  eerie what is !

Worn Out Souls: A Story of Synchronicity

Published July 27, 2015 by shoutyourheadoff

largesoulcontractby takingthemaskoff

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight. Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough. Give the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.

  • Mother Teresa

Explore and Discover day at British Airways Engineering

Published June 8, 2015 by shoutyourheadoff

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A great day out at the Explore and Discover day at the Engineering base at Heathrow. Amazing presentations and shows lined up for all tastes. I particularly enjoyed the simulator experience that my son and grand daughter went on. Also managed to get Harsha on it as well. The sun was out, atmosphere fantastic and very enjoyable. Saw a Michael Jackson tribute act…I’m sure after seeing this ,he’s in hiding somewhere!!!

To Sleep ,Perchance to Dream

Published June 3, 2015 by shoutyourheadoff

I went to bed quite late the other night. I was on a very early start for work and needed a much deserved sleep prior to facing another challenging day. As I lay in bed looking at the ceiling where luminous stars had been stuck to imitate the starry night outside, my mind kept wondering to a what if situation. I kept thinking back to 1972 when I first landed in my country of residence with only the clothes on our backs. My mind was wondering if I had settled somewhere else instead of Leicester, where would I be today. I had started work at the tender age of fifteen and a half ! I had lied to get the job and told them I was sixteen.

So I suddenly wake up, or had I slept at all even? I could not for the life of me close my  eyes and not think of “what If”.

And the what if’s of our lives can bring either miserly depression or a happiness not known to me . I kept thinking about my place of residence. What if I had moved to my choice area.But I needed consent. I was brought up in a house where even as an adult, I would seek permission do do even the simplest of things,like make a decision. A decision that would have changed my life and those around me. The stars were bright again. They shone in the darkness of the room. My eyes were open again. A quick glance at the wall clock. 03.30 am. ! Two hours and I’m at work.

Eyes closed again. Thoughts are astray, it’s that “what if ” question again. And so many of the what ifs keep trundling through my brain like a runaway train. It’s non stop. I can’t apply the brakes because  I like the what ifs. They are much better than my current status. So what if wins for tonight. It’s taking over my life tonight.

Another bright star in my eyes. It’s bright yellow. But still on my bedroom ceiling.Another wish shattered. I think a cloud should hide them stars. Maybe it should rain while I’m looking up. I’ll wake up drenched and see reality.

The time is 4.45am Time to jump out of bed as the alarm goes off in unison to my thoughts. As I open my eyes for the millionth time tonight, the over whelming” what if” comes back to haunt me. I know the rest of my sleep depraved day is going to keep the” what if” alive and well.!!

I take a deep breath. I look around. Rub my eyes and look at the ceiling. Tired, yes but not out yet. Then it suddenly dawns on me ( no pun intended) . What if this was just a dream. !14Wei_portrait01_20150310

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