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Soul of an Artist

 I often ask myself why I used to feel the need to numb my feelings. Did I always need to numb them, or was it a compulsion that drove me to do so. Whether highs, or lows. There are 2 schools of thought. Some say that you turn to substances because of your propensity to become an addict, something inherent in your physiology. Other schools of thought are proponents of the underlying issues being the cause for a person to turn towards substances of any sort, ranging from alcohol, to mood-altering medication, to drugs. It makes little difference what your poison is, once you are on the merry-go-round, really - you're stuck there until you find the will to get off. I have always had deeply intense emotions - the artist in me always prevailed, even if I performed brilliantly in academia. As powerful as is my brain, so is my capacity to be subject to very intense emotions, that has not always been easy to deal with. Indeed it was very, very hard. 'Was' not being exactly correct.

I'm not a Joiner!

 A couple of weeks I was having a  chat with a friend of mine, who's an NLP Trainer. Incidentally she was my trainer but this was a chat over a meal, as friends. As we do. The subject came up, of myself participating in some voluntary activities. I mentioned that as I've grown older it's become much. much harder to commit to anything.  I'll explain. Years ago I used to sign up for things - ballet classes, voluntary groups and other activities that required time and commitment, usually on a weekly basis and sometimes more. As the years rolled by, I found that this became increasingly difficult. No matter how much I loved the activity, the intention, the idea behind it, I just could not come up with the grit. I would join for a few weeks, a few sessions, a few events but then feel unable to commit.   This made me very unhappy and gave me a sense of dissatisfaction, because I kept comparing myself with others, seeing them gain achievements through commitments and sacrifice

Resilience

 Many have mused on the ability of humanity to recover, to get out of this global pandemic that has just simply changed the way we live. Not just the way we work, or the way we socialise, or the way we treat our families. Just everything we do. I don't think I have yet emerged completely from the shell I have built around myself during the time when Malta stood still, for about three months. I wasn't ready to crawl back out into the sunlight and I wanted introversion to go on. I think I felt this even after I'd found love. 2021 has been much easier on me and I welcomed the closures again in March, preferring to stay within the cocoon I'd built around myself.  Of course, it was an entirely new way of being and I still am finding my feet. Being in a loving relationship is nothing like it used to be. It used to be so simple when we were younger - if you wished to meet up you would just say so.  To express a thought was free - nowadays one is more easily led astray by conce

Creation and Self

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They say creation comes when you are at your most emotional. But, really ? Does it ever? Many have written about writer's block, too. And that muse abandons them when they are going through difficult times. The pendulum swings either way, it seems. The last few months have been far from easy. I have swung from being crazily busy to being rendered inactive after falling off my bicycle, just before the pandemic had us in semi-lock-down. I spent all of my time during this period wearing a knee-brace, and a good chunk of that having to use crutches. I would have thought this was something that would throw me - as would being confined and forced to stay away from socialising. In reality I was healing, healing from a huge gaping hole that was caused by living with someone who had addiction and bestowing on him different kinds of love. What started off as love among equals soon turned to be, for me, a love that provided support and resolved itself, perhaps, into the son I should have ha

Life after addiction

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And so you move on. It is not some 'namaste' revelation, nor is it some hopeful journey. Or at least, not right away. Succumbing to addiction creates victims, not only in the addict themselves but in the sufferers who have to reap the damage sowed by the loved one who is an addict. Relationships are burned away - indeed, trust is burned away and depending on how bad the damage done, the harm might be irreparable.  There could very well be trauma involved - has there been violence of sorts? fraud? Violation of trust, of one's safe haven, of one's home ? These are all considerations that the community remains comfortably unaware of. It is considered that now that the addict has recognised his or her wrongs and, or gone into rehab, things will look up but this is most often not the case. And so society moves on, unaware of the underworld that is in recovery. It could be argued that even the support services are unaware: there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth

My Cycling Adventures

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I remember my first tricycle, when I was three years old, and not only would I chase up and down the garden path we had (was paved) but we used to go down to Raffles ground and spend hours running around with it. When I was about 4 or 5, my parents got me a lovely black and yellow bicycle and my red tricycle went to my sister (although I still secretly liked it). At first we had side-wheels, and then they were gradually taken off. A few years later, we got a red Tomahawk, which I still winder the fate of today. We graduated to using the bikes not only in Luxol but other areas where they could be taken for a good old spin. This was most Sundays. At some point, we also used to cycle in the small street / alleyway next door and go round and round the block. Since I lived (still do) on a main road, commuting here and there was not much of an option and I was into windsurfing with my dad and his best friend. and ballet more than anything else. Eventually I moved on the

A Hole in Your Back Pocket

Living with addiction is no joke. Whether or not you are an addict, whether or not you are seeking to recover, or perhaps you might be living with someone who is contending with addiction, there are the traumas, the underlying issues, and the proverbial hole in your back pocket. This expression hit me during various discussions at recovery meetings. Recovering alcoholics will tell you how money seemed to vanish (though it would sometimes mysteriously appear instead) during their life as an addict.  They would have spent too much on alcohol for themselves, rounds for others, stocking up their cupboards for those long nights. With that, there is probably an alleviation of guilt somewhere. You break your car irreparably, drunk-driving. You fix it, not because it's worth doing so, but to atone for your sins. Someone makes financial demands on you and because when you last were pissed you made a fool of yourself, you pay up. It's never-ending. The outflow never seems to stop.

Gratitude

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What a beautiful expression, and how deeply meaningful. Gratitude.  Gratefulness.  Thankfulness.  Counting one's blessings.  Appreciation. Acknowledging that people have had time / willingness or whatever it takes, to deliver some benefit to you, perhaps unprompted. Looking back on the last twelve months, I have had no option but to recognise the high amount of blessings I have received, having stepped on the right path. Just one year ago, I was headed toward London, a conference and disaster.  That disaster would prove to be, not my undoing but a blessing, because I put it to good use and turned matters around to my benefit. It hasn't been without struggle and I have re-visited and confirmed all my promises to myself. You cannot deny, however, that when you preserve yourself, then you are able to keep your word and therefore be a gift to others. This weekend, I was away and I was surrounded by people, whom I had often spoken to but not quite remembered. I know I alwa

Are You Normal ?

That was the question during a therapy meeting. What do you consider to be "normal". "NOT ME," screeched my amused brain. Tongue in cheek, of course. Not me. Today there is wide acceptance that everyone has that little thing that sets them apart from the rest. A quirk, a chip on the shoulder, a scar, or a genetic make-up. Yet there seems to be a mainstream of what people consider to be normal. My mind wandered off to a poem ( see below) that I heard, entreating with 'normal day' to make itself known to the writer. It often makes me think of how little we appreciate what we call "mundane" (the word itself having a deprecatory note to it). “Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in t

An Appreciation - Hon. Justice Emeritus Mifsud Bonnici

I heard, yesterday, that one of the very first lecturers to make an impression on me in law school, has passed on to another life. Hon. Justice Emeritus Giuseppe Mifsud Bonnici was affectionately called "Jojo" by one and all in class, and he was a force to be reckoned with.  I still remember him clearly, riling against bureaucracy, indignant at a certain manner of doing things in University and his deep sense of justice - Natural Law and Natural Right. He was not one to be contraried in class - as I imagine was also the case in court. His temper may have appeared short but he was a righteous man - one who stood up for what was right. On his subject in our first year at university - the much hated book, Finnis - I was oft in two minds. The author was a pedant, and the book made heavy reading. Convoluted at best. I hated studying it with a passion and found all forms of philosophy repetitive.  However, Jojo would bring up humane issues at hand and an in-depth insightful a

Mundane choices

The tone of the iPhone, specifically, triggered it.  I used that particular "bling" for incoming e-mails, work e-mails, onto the phone, back when I was working in St Helier. Gut-wrenching pain reverberates through me, momentarily, as I remember the familiar smell of my beautiful apartment on the Esplanade, overlooking the yachts, and the walk to St Aubin's beach, 3 km of pure bliss as the tide was out, gazing longingly at the sand and sea. The staleness of struggling out of bed and the sinking feeling every time I would be called into an office, after moving to Malta. It was never-ending and the voices still echo in my head, as though I were in a time-travel cavern. I remembered the anxiety as it all spiralled again - and my struggling with myself and the thoughts of the one person  I had joined this team to escape. The crushing grief, his dogged insistence on remaining so close and yet so far. My perseverance in trying to get it out of my system but eventually succum