loneliness

Raw and Uncensored Manic Depressive Digressions

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                         This was actually a really small spider that I captured from very close up

Today’s Poem:

Disguise

 

Angel blond hair

Deep blue eyes

 

Lost and lonely

A wall between us

 

I wanted

I wanted to love you

 

Wall between us

Pain on one side

 

Look in these eyes

Yes mine

 

You will see pain

If you can look past the disguise

 

God in heaven

I am lonely

 

This is how I ask

You to reach out to me

 

This is how I tell the world

I’m the one truly hurting

 

I keep silent and show only

Only rage only silence

 

But I have to lie

Not just to you; to everyone

 

I have to keep up the pain

It feeds me

 

The pain; the disguise

I’m just a hollow shell inside

 

 

Leif Gregersen, April 30/2016

 

Good day to one and all.  I had a pretty cool Friday, I met with my mentor and good friend Richard Van Camp, who I met a few years back at the U of A when I approached him to help me with a Novel I was writing.  I have known Richard for some time and I still have yet to put out a full-length novel.  I have written a number of books and done a lot of articles but no blockbuster.  I think I have it in me, I just need to get a few life details in order.  Maybe I should set that as my goal for 2016, to write a complete adult novel.  There are so many different topics one could cover when it comes to novels, though.  When I was a teen I loved spy thrillers, historical thrillers, and military thrillers.  Now that I am grown more I don’t see those types of works as anything I can either have an authoritative voice in writing or really enjoy doing.  It is kind of a joke among my family members and I that from a young age I wanted to do some impossible act and get a million or more dollars so I could sit cozy and live off the interest of my windfall.  But here I am 44 and I haven’t made my first million yet.  I can honestly say, though, living with a mental illness has put a lot of roadblocks in my way.  One of the problems is that I don’t deal with stress in the same way that most people do.  In fact, I think the longest I have held a full-time job in my life has been about three weeks.  It is a scary statistic though I have had part-time jobs that lasted for years, I was with the IATSE union for 7 years, but there is something about me that just wants to shut down and go back to living with nothing rather than continue on in a job I don’t like.  I really liked the most recent job I had, which was being editor of two online magazines, but at the moment, it is hard to say if there is a future in it.

On the lighter side, I am going to be going to my hometown library in two days to give a presentation about mental health and have a chance to sell some books.  I think that one of the bigger opportunities I have at the moment is to continue further up the scale with public speaking.  I have even sent a resume to a public speaker’s agent company.

I really want to talk a bit about mental health at least a little today.  One of the things I have been having problems with is time and sleeping.  I seem to have hard-wired my brain to only be able to enjoy myself when I am working or studying if you can count reading books related to my own writing as studying when they are fiction stories.  There really seems to be nothing that I love more than reading, the heavier the better.  When I was first discharged from the hospital fifteen years ago, I had the time and ability to read just about every work that Steinbeck had written and it was a wonderful experience.  Lately, I have been interested in the short stories of Alice Munro.  I feel I am learning a lot and really enjoying myself by taking time to delve deep into these “not real but realistic” stories.  My mom, who also suffered from a mental illness, used to go to bed a couple of hours before my dad and in that time she would read and write in her journal.  I often wonder why she never tried to be a writer herself, she was extremely intelligent.  She once told me that there is no greater pleasure in this world than losing yourself in a book, in reading the really great works of literature.  To me, reading has been the education I was never able to pursue.

I have memories though of times when I was younger and living alone when I would spend days at a time not leaving my apartment at all, just reading on and on into the night and through the day.  It feels good, but I don’t see how it can be a mentally healthy exercise.  I think I have gotten past that now especially since I write my stories, have people read them, read them to people on the phone, participate in story slams, and doing all that.  I am a bit worried though that I could lapse back into isolating myself as I am going to be graduating from the group home I now live into my own apartment.  It is going to feel odd at first, I have been living here now for 15 years not counting a stint at my own place.  My main concern is bed bugs, then the next concern is that the place might at times be like a zoo because there are a lot of people there who are on the fringes.  Well, dear readers, that is about all I can manage for today.  If you like today’s poem or blog, please let me know.  As always, my email is viking3082000@yahoo.com   All the best!

Leif Gregersen

Memory Salad

DSC_0342The simple, unconditional Love that pets have for us.  This dog was so amazing, he kept bringing the water bottle back to me and it really made me feel cared for

 

the following writing is an attempt at ‘stream of consciousness’ writing in which the writer simply tries to let thoughts flow.  nothing x-rated, but it is hard to make things like this available to the public, very hard to admit that my brain isn’t normal, isn’t anywhere near normal and that my life can be a real challenge.

So many images floating through my mind.  So many past events, past mistakes.  I replay them all over and over.  They sneak into every thought, every word, every breath.  I pick up a comic book for that simple escape I used to enjoy so much and it seems each word is there just to taunt me.  An image of a cup of coffee.  Here it comes, I was just 16 and I worked at an all-night coffee shop.  One time a paramedic came in for a cup of coffee and he looked like he had been through the wringer.  I asked him how was business…  What a terrible thing to say, how can I be so horrible?  I walk with my head held low, so much shame.  There was a young woman when I was younger.  She was kind to me.  She was in some of my high school classes, we worked together on Shakespeare and even had after school jobs in the same places.  She would smile and I knew no joy in my life.  Every time she saw me she would smile.  What is she smiling at?  What is so funny?  Why do people smile?  The dialogue in my head never stopped.  Such depression, such severe depression.  I hated myself but just for my mom I wouldn’t kill myself.  I remember one of my first dates.  She was so beautiful, we had what I thought was the perfect night and at the end of it she kissed me like I had never been kissed before.  But for some reason she never wanted a second date.  I knew her brother and her neighbor and her friends and all of them got together in the darkest summer of my life to pull a prank on me that would make me hate myself even more.  I felt so unloved, so unlovable.  Everyone but my mom, who cared so much.   Cared so much but now she’s gone.  Six years now and still I think for brief moments that I could just pick up the phone and call her.  Then there was the other one, the girl I was in classes with.  I wonder if she liked me.  I liked her, she was beautiful, beautiful beyond description, million dollar model beautiful and she was always nice to me.  I barely knew her but a couple of times we talked–really talked, and she was kind and seemed to care and seemed to want to help me get help.  But I ran as far from any joy or peace I could run, all the way to the coast and still she was inside my head, my voices, my thoughts, replaying over and over all the things I ever said to her.  I made her into some kind of statue, some fake goddess that never could live up to the reality.  A couple of years ago I heard she got married shortly after.  Shortly after I tried to write to her and she told me to take a hike.  The guy she married beat her pretty badly but still it was her decision to make.  How could I love someone I didn’t know.  So many people ask if I’m married yet–how could I be married when I can’t even hold down a full-time job, how could I wed someone when I can’t fall asleep without pills and even then I wake up every two hours sometimes from a nightmare.  It’s all too crazy, it’s all too beautiful.

What The Heck Do You Think This Is? Band Camp?

DSC_0148Snapped this photo today of the underside of a raven on the wing

     Hello Dear Readers!  Well, this has been a good week so far.  I apologize to any 7th day Adventists out there, but I like to think a week begins on Monday, but it can be useful to think of Sunday being the first day of the week.  Personally I can go to church on Saturday or Sunday though I usually like to catch the early mass Sunday mornings.  As per usual though, I didn’t get to church this week.  I feel a bit bad about it because we have an amazing Priest, he is both American born and a convert to Catholicism and he is an incredible person.  Yesterday I went over to celebrate father’s day with my Dad and brother, I put a few photos on my Facebook page, which anyone is welcome to go and view, just look up Leif Gregersen and make sure you get me and not my Dad who has the exact same first middle and last name as I do.  Then after that I worked the Cirque De Soleil concert load-out which was mostly uneventful if you aren’t my poor aching back.  Today, Monday was pretty eventful.  I went out for an early lunch with a friend and we have been discussing several writing projects involving the community I live in and I also found out that I am being featured in a poetry exhibit of some kind at a local festival.  The most fun part though was going to the park with my new telephoto lens and my new-ish Nikon camera and taking a whole whack of pictures.  It is a bit of work to swap lenses all the time, but I sure can get some amazing photos, especially now that I have been learning more about my Nikon.  After supper I had no desire to sit in the house and lament my sore muscles so I picked up my stuff and headed for the swimming pool.  I borrowed some flippers and a flutter board and did some slow laps then hit the steam room and then dove into the cool water.  All in all it felt very relaxing and refreshing.  Now I don’t know how I’m going to get to sleep.

The other thing I did was stop procrastinating and I got to work on a magazine assignment I was assigned by the Tribal College Journal.  It was interesting to learn some of the facts about the Tribal College I was showcasing in words and pictures today, the student body is 75% female and of the average age of 30-35.  It almost makes me think it isn’t too late for me to go back to school, which could be highly beneficial to my career as a writer, but I have decided a long time ago that I know enough to make a living, and I do have a good job and lots of prospects, but also that going back to school would likely be too much pressure on me.  It is sad to think, but in my entire life I have never held a steady full time job.  I have been working with the Union I am in for a long time, but it is at best part-time and at worst not at all.  I can recall times when I worked for a few days in a row or a few weeks, but something about me and my ability to handle stress and sleep deprivation just won’t allow it.  It is funny because when I was a teen I would go to school all week, pull down decent grades and still work 20-40 hours a week, even more at times.  I recall a teacher in elementary having a talk with my parents about working me too hard.  Sometimes I wonder if my first serious mental collapse had to do with burnout.  For years afterwards I would sleep sometimes 12 hours a day on average.  It was hell really, living in an apartment with no contact to the outside world.  Sometimes I had no phone, I certainly didn’t have my front door buzzer connected.  I had no computer, I would just sit in my apartment sometimes in dizzying depths of depression and loneliness watching my small black and white TV, typing on my electric typewriter and reading my books.  At one point I took in a roommate just to ease the loneliness, but he ended up taking severe advantage of me.  Soon after he moved in he seemingly took over the place and invited all of his street friends in to live in my apartment and it took me months to get rid of them, not to mention an $800 phone bill I had no means of paying.  Things are so much better now, but I have to admit that even today I entertained thoughts of moving out on my own.  I really would like to go back to cooking for myself, I used to enjoy fiddling around with a budget and trying to eat healthy and all that.  Anyhow, now this has become a long rant, I will cut things off there.  As always, everyone who visits is free to email me at viking3082000@yahoo.com or join me on Facebook at Leif Gregersen.   Anyone in Edmonton or area can now order my books from Chapters, I have six in the system now, I am going to try soon to get copies placed in stores.  All the best Dear Readers, enjoy the poem below today’s 2nd photo!

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Hear Wisdom Cry Out, See It In The Sky

 

Will you celebrate your own happiness

Will you sing out words of joy

Do you understand the love that binds all of us

Young or old, man, girl or boy

 

Oh, when I was younger the world was such a perfect place to be

Savoring each moment like a ruby red glass of finest wine

I had so much love and wonder for the world around me

But soon that joy was no longer mine

 

The whole world was not enough for me

Neither was my own fair share

Somehow I couldn’t go on living simply

It was as if I was deathly scared

 

I would look at those with money

Lament I didn’t have enough

And then life became no fun for me

And I began to work harder and far too much

 

And then came more than my share of con artists

Who fleeced me for every dime

They knew how to exploit my own greediness

In truth the fault was mine

 

I believed all the lies they told me

How they would make me rich

And somehow things just didn’t come to be

One time I was left hungry in a ditch

 

There is no easy road to wealth

The streets are not simply paved with gold

I traded happiness and health

And I will regret it soon when I get old

 

But I will tell you if there is a thing of perfection

It would be admiring the gentle flocks of geese

They can always find the right direction

As they soar through the air with ease

 

Take the bird’s lesson, follow where your heart takes you

My friend, follow your heart when you are young

There really is a loving God and it really is true

There are songs not written that can be sung by you

 

 

As you journey forth to find your own way

You will always find a place to rest your head

Remember a miracle on a far off day

Where a few loaves fed thousands bread

 

Work hard and love your family

Always do what you think seems right

Prepare for the time that you are free

In a perfect world of light

 

Write great wisdom’s teachings deep inside

And you will always find a way

Put away hatred, addiction, anger, pride

And for you there will be perfect peace one day

 

 

Leif Gregersen

June 23, 2015

Regarding the Problem of Being a Gentleman

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Let me start off by saying I don’t profess to understand women and I may never do so.  A lot of people out there, some of them writers, say that they know how to pick up women, how to skillfully introduce themselves, joke with them and insult them at the same time to bring out the right kind of neediness.  I don’t support these practices at all.  My belief is that there is just one way to find a life partner.  You start by being a member of a community, perhaps a number of communities.  I met a lot of my most important friends growing up in St.Albert and being a part of school and cadets.  I think it is very hard to find a partner among people you don’t know.  Some people may be bold enough to pick up a member of the opposite sex, go to bed with them the same night and decide from there if they want to continue on with them, but I have to get to know someone.

When I was quite a bit younger, I think some people may have said I was a bit of a hound, always sniffing at the rear end of any woman even remotely attractive.  In a way I was like this, but I never slept with any of the young women I would meet and add to my ‘little black book’ (if anyone remembers what one of those are since we all now have cell phones).  I would go for coffee with them, chat with them on the phone, sometimes even meet up with or lend books to.  It was kind of a negative way to go about things because there was no real basis for a relationship.  Then, when I was 20 I started going to adult high school and one day while out having a cigarette, I met a very pretty young woman and we talked for a long time.  I learned she was a born-again Christian, something that was important to me at the time and that she cared deeply for her family and those around her.  She had a boyfriend but that didn’t stop us from becoming good friends.  That was 23 years ago and I still talk to this young woman to this day.

More recently, I had a female friend who was very attractive, but always seemed to be getting into the wrong kinds of relationships.  She was struggling with addictions but had enough of a head on her shoulders to be a top rated chef/cook and to get a degree in English from a local University.  A great catch for just about any man but constantly getting the wrong ones.  I think a lot of it had to do with the adult children of alcoholics syndrome.  I had met her mom who was a lawyer but not her Dad and my Dad had known her grandfather.  I don’t know where the alcoholic was in their family, but from my reading of the subject (I am an adult child of an alcoholic) this seemed to be the case.  One of the things about a family that has an alcoholic in them is that there is a set of rules that the addiction brings about, one of them being the rule of silence–many people in alcoholic families will live somewhere for 20 years or more and never talk to their neighbors, they have a secret and they don’t want to show it.  There are many other rules of course, but the thing is that when you are an adult child of an alcoholic, or this syndrome is passed down to you by a more distant family member, when you go out looking for a relationship you seek out people who ‘know the rules’.  I wish I could have helped this girl more, I think to an extent I may have been happy to be in a relationship with her myself, but it was not meant to be.

I can recall a few people, including the young woman mentioned in the previous paragraph wanted to know how to find a proper partner.  Looking for someone who ‘knows the rules’ could be misinterpreted as a woman looking for a bad boy.  Many women don’t necessarily look for the bad guy, they may just be looking for someone who understands the rough times they have been through.  Regardless, this young woman and others have asked me how to find a good life partner.  I think the best way to go about this is to find a community to be a part of.  It can be a church community, in fact it often is a church community where some of the healthiest relationships begin because these relationships often have the support of a lot of friends and family members and a good moral foundation to build a good relationship on, but I don’t think that by going to a building once a week you win any special favor from God.  I do love God a great deal, and I have to admit that as soon as I finish this blog today I am going to mass, but people can be healthy and happy no matter what they do with their Sunday.  Some people can join a sports team, some people can find someone they work with and those who don’t participate in things can volunteer and meet some wonderful, giving and caring people.  There is also people you meet at bars or pubs, but I don’t think these are the healthiest of relationships–just my opinion from trying it myself.

The next step after meeting someone is to make them your friend.  If time passes and you can make them your best friend and let things grow naturally from there (which they will if they were meant to be).  I remember when I was younger I knew this was the way I would find my perfect partner, and though in the end my relationship with the girl I went to school with mentioned above wasn’t meant to be a partner/spouse relationship, I have something that means a lot to me and gives me much joy and fulfillment–I have a friend for life.  To put it in terms that younger people may want to understand, if you go out and just try to get lucky at a bar and do pick someone up, maybe do it a few times, you will have a quick release of emotion (and exchange of bodily fluids) but not only will it not be very fulfilling, you run the risk of becoming addicted to cheap thrills and one day you won’t be so much of a stud and you will find a great sense of loneliness in you from never having established an adult and caring relationship.  This is not a hard and fast rule of course, and by no means am I any kind of clinician.  I just am relating what I have seen in my 28 years or so of good and bad relationships.  As always, I am here to talk, if anyone had any further questions feel free to email, my address is still:  viking3082000@yahoo.com

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